After 3 weeks of enjoying the sights in Nova Scotia, and at times living next to the Atlantic Ocean, it is time to continue our sojourn around North America. Today, we are headed to New Brunswick, staying at what we expect will be a rather primitive campsite in Fundy National Park, as we return to nature and hope to experience the thunderous tides of the mighty Bay of Fundy.
Monday 29th September 2014
Highbury Gardens, NS to Chignecto North Campground, NB
Temps – 12 to 14 C (Arctic weather)
Weather – Dull, dreary & overcast
Wind – Gusty
Cloxs – no change (Z-3)
Distance today – 272 miles
Total Distance – 5,686 miles
Today we had numerous options on all segments of the route to Fundy National Park. Segment # 1 required getting out of the Annapolis Valley and up to Truro, which had 4 separate options. Google and the GPS recommended staying on the highways, but this required back tracking to almost Halifax before turning up to Truro. Three other shorter options were available, but on the shortest one the road looked in really bad condition and the other 2 were only a few miles shorter.
Segment # 2 from Truro to Moncton has a toll section, with a local road that conveniently acts as a by-pass, so yet another decision to make. The final segment from Moncton was either along the river and then Bay of Fundy, or a more inland route.
Departure Highbury Gardens Campground
Although the campground has lots of trees and some tight turns, with a fairly steep exit, the place was deserted, so it really was a rather simple departure.
Detailed Voyage to Fundy National Park
Decision, decision, decision – what a start to the morning, trying to decide which route to take. Last night the most scenic route along the coast to Truro was the favoured option, but this morning, when I went to raise the rear landing gear I found the driver’s side rear legs already stowed. In case the legs decided to come down on their own, we decided to stay on the generally flatter main highway, so we headed almost to Halifax before turning up to Truro.
With an early departure, Judi hadn’t yet had breakfast and having seen no rest stops, we were looking for somewhere to pull over so she could eat. Bingo, we spied a gas station and what looked like an exit and entry back onto the motorway. So we took the exit, which leads down below the motorway to a traffic light. Stopped at the red light I immediately notice – Houston, we have a problem. The gas station is closed and even worse it is fenced, so I can’t use it to turn around. The return to the motorway is the opposite direction at the traffic light – couldn’t even make the “U-turn” with the truck alone, never mind trailer behind us. Straight ahead is up to the Dartmouth motorway, left heads to a rather low bridge, Judi sees a dump truck come through it, but I’m not so sure, as we are higher than most dump trucks. Off to the right the road bends quickly out of sight. The safe option is straight through onto the Dartmouth motorway and drive for however long it takes to turn around, but Andy weighs up another option. Just before the low bridge he is sizing up the slip road entrance onto the Truro motorway and reckons, if reasonably tight to the gas station fence and taking a wide swing he figures he can make the corner, if not, we would have a rather large predicament with irate drivers stuck behind us. The light turns green and off we go towards the low bridge, Andy pulls as close to the gas station fence as he dares, but still leaving sufficient room for the back end to swing clear. We start to swing wide and the GPS goes wild with alarms, flashing lights, etc – danger low bridge, do not enter, etc. Going wide, with the front truck passenger tire skirting along the side of a ditch we slide the trailer tires around the apex of the corner – made it, and back on the road again. Oh! the joy of driving a semi around city streets.
Back on the highway we stopped at a weigh station for Judi to have breakfast and walk the dogs. It was an uneventful trip until after Truro, when the GPS wanted us to head off onto local highway # 4. We have the parameters set to avoid tolls, which we set back in Toronto, as a short spell on their toll highway would have been about $70, don’t mind a few bucks, but $70 ???. We elected to stay on the motorway and happily paid the $5.25, for the shorter distance over a well maintained road.
Our next stop was when hwy # 4 returned to the motorway, as we spotted a gas station/restaurant with a huge parking lot for semis. As we parked and got the dogs out for a walk it was almost arctic conditions – gusty and chilly. Rather unpleasant. Got the dogs walked and gave them some water and we headed into the restaurant for lunch.
As we started again, Judi suggested we pull into an information kiosk after we cross into New Brunswick, so a couple of miles over the provincial line we took an exit signed information. Judi spoke to a really pleasant lady who gave her all sorts of maps and books and even recommended taking the river and Bay of Fundy route from Moncton. They even provide a piece of paper with detailed directions.
Just prior to Moncton, much to the ire of the GPS, we follow the directions provided by the information kiosk. We skirted around Moncton then followed the river down to the Bay of Fundy. A very scenic route following the blue lighthouse signs. After about an hour from Moncton we reached Fundy National Park and started a serious climb up the hill, as the campground is located about an elevation of 1,000′.
On arrival, we are highly impressed with the sites. We have a long pull through site (65 to 70′) and while well treed the roads and sites are easy to access. They even have a sufficient clearing for the dish to lock onto the Shaw satellites and as a bonus, they even have free Wi-Fi. Wow, our anticipated camping in nature is actually “glamping”. This is way better than Banff – thank you Parks Canada for an excellent campground.