2012 US-CA Road Trip, Day 10: From Fundy National Park to Halifax, Nova Scotia

Day 10 (Tuesday, June 5): From Fundy National Park to Halifax, Nova Scotia

Driving distance for the day: 210.9 Miles

Cumulative distance: 1774.1 Miles

Another rainy day. Here comes another change in our schedule — we would skip Prince Edward Island. It is a pity that the weather has been bad (although we had as much fun as we could). We readjusted our schedule such that on heavy rainy days we would drive as much as we could, possibly to a location where it was not raining.

It sort of worked out on this day — when we arrived in Halifax, at least it was not raining (but it was still cloudy).

Halifax

In the famous citadel, some soldiers were training.

Halifax Girl

We could see Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse from the citadel.

Peggy's Cove Lighthouse

Because of the overcast sky, I turned my attention to the city streets and museums. We found this mural near the waterfront.

Nova Scotia Crystal

And it turned out that the Halifax Maritime Museum was free after 5pm! This museum has a large collection of model boats, some very intricate. We enjoyed the free visit.

Model Boat

And the museum also has a large exhibit of Titanic-related artifacts (the Titanic being sunk near Halifax).

Titanic

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2012 US-CA Road Trip, Day 9: Fundy National Park and the Fundy Coast, New Brunswick

Day 9 ( Monday, June 4): Fundy National Park and the Fundy Coast, New Brunswick

Driving distance for the day: 72 Miles

Cumulative distance: 1563.2 Miles

In the morning we took the Caribou Plains hike inside Fundy National Park. Here we encountered the first northern bird — a flock of White-winged Crossbills. These birds spend the summer as far north as inside the Arctic circle, and it was a delight to catch a glimpse of them here.

White-winged Crossbill

Another short hike to Dickson Falls allowed us to pass some time before high tide.

Dickson Falls

In Fundy, everything is centered around tides. We wanted to see the natural features both at high tide and low tide. On this day we went to Hopewell Rocks to see the dramatic changes in tides, and on this day and the previous day, we made stops in the little town of Alma (just outside the national park) to see the Bay of Fundy at high and low tides. The following pictures show the dramatic difference at different tides:

Bay of Fundy at high tide and low tide

Bay of Fundy at high tide and low tide

Hopewell Rocks at high and low tides

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2012 US-CA Road Trip, Day 8: From Ellsworth, Maine to Fundy National Park, New Brunswick, Canada

Day 8 (Sunday, June 3): From Ellsworth, Maine to Fundy National Park, New Brunswick, Canada

Driving distance for the day: 270.3 Miles

Cumulative distance: 1491.2 Miles

In rain, sometimes heavy downpours, we entered Canada and continued to Fundy National Park. We rented a cabin for two days inside the park.

Cabin in Fundy National Park

Even though the driving distance was not great for the day, because of the bad weather, delay at the border crossing, and a section of not-so-well-maintained roads inside the national park, there was just a little daylight left once we settled into the cabin. I did notice, however, a red squirrel and a rabbit outside the cabin. Amazingly, the rabbit had a ammunition ball lodged on its head, but it appeared to be moving around just fine.

Red Squirrel

Rabbit

We paid a brief visit to the town of Alma, then cooked our meal in the cabin and called it a day.

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2012 US-CA Road Trip, Day 7: From Boston to Ellsworth, Maine

Day 7 (Saturday, June 2): From Boston to Ellsworth, Maine

Driving distance for the day: 319.6 Miles

Cumulative distance: 1220.9 Miles

Our good fortune (with fine weather) would run out and in fact stay that way for some time to come. We made some adjustments to our schedule. Initially, we wanted to stay in Ellsworth for two days; we shortened it to one day — a good decision as the next day would be raining all day. With this change, we only had a very brief stay in Maine, and under heavy clouds too.

After almost 6 hours of driving in rain, we checked into a motel in Ellsworth. Ellsworth is at the intersection of U.S. 1, which leads to Canada, and U.S. 3, which leads to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. We would take U.S. 1 to enter Canada the next day.

We decided to use the remaining few hours of the day to take U.S. 3 to pay a brief visit to Acadia National Park. Acadia was not new to us — in 2005 we took a similar road trip to New England and spent a couple of days there.

But this time because of the weather, the scene was much more muted (you can see a picture I took in 2005 from almost the same location here for comparison).

Acadia National Park

Nonetheless, Acadia is still a wonderful place to visit, in rain or shine. The roaring waves at Thunder Hole are no less deafening in cloudy weather.

Thunder Hole

And another seafood dinner in Bar Harbor rounded up the first half of our road trip. The next day would see us in Canada.

Bar Harbor

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2012 US-CA Road Trip, Day 6: From Cape Cod to Boston

Day 6 (Friday, June 1): From Cape Cod to Boston

Driving distance for the day: 130 Miles

Cumulative distance: 901.3 Miles

I could stay in Cape Cod forever. But at this point you have to leave a place and hit the road again. The plan was to go back to Boston at the end of the day and to head north again the next day; but first, we headed to Martha’s Vineyard.

We drove to Woods Hole and took the ferry to Marth’s Vineyard.

Martha's Vineyard Ferry

The ferry arrive in Oak Bluffs, from where we got on a bus to head to Tisbury (Vineyard Haven).

Oak Bluffs

While at lunch in Tisbury, a beautiful sailboat in the harbor caught our attention.

Sailboat

But our bus journey would continue and take us to Aquinnah, where the splendid Gay Head Cliffs Lighthouse stands.

Gay Head Cliffs Lighthouse

And with the sheer cliffs and crashing waves, the scene is nothing short of spectacular.

Gay Head Cliffs Lighthouse

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2012 US-CA Road Trip, Day 5: Cape Cod

Day 4 (Thursday, May 31): Cape Cod

Driving distance for the day: 116.2 Miles

Cumulative distance: 771.7 Miles

Make no mistake about it: this was a lighthouse day — we hit the cape from top to bottom and visited various lighthouses and beaches. The weather was glorious, and where else would you rather be than Cape Cod?

The first beach we went to was Nauset Beach. This is vintage Cape Cod.

Nauset Beach

Nauset Lighthouse was our first lighthouse of the day.

Nauset Lighthouse

The bonus was the Three Sisters Lighthouses nearby, the following picture shows two of the “sisters”.

Three Sisters Lighthouses

Our next stop was Chatham, where the Chatham Lighthouse was awaiting.

Chatham Lighthouse

After lunch in Chatham and a leisurely walk on Chatham Beach, we headed north and stopped at Highland Lighthouse.

Highland Lighthouse

But it was time to take a break from lighthouses. We headed to Head of Meadow Beach to rest and relax.

Head of Meadow Beach

Enough lighthouses? Not yet! After dinner in Truro we headed to the end of the cape — Province Lands, where sand dunes dominate the landscape.

Province Lands

Because there was a thin veil of clouds in the western sky, this turned out to be the perfect condition for a magnificent sunset: there was a halo around the setting sun, which made the fiery sunset all the more dramatic. And we were at the perfect location — Herring Cove — to see it.

Herring Cove Sunset

Herring Cove Sunset

And we could also see Race Point Lighthouse in the distance, rounding up this day of lighthouses.

Race Point Lighthouse

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2012 US-CA Road Trip, Day 4: Cape Cod

Day 4 (Wednesday, May 30): Cape Cod

Driving distance for the day: 50.7 Miles

Cumulative distance: 655.5 Miles

The weather turned cloudy on this day. In the morning we hiked in the Audubon Sanctuary in Wellfleet. This Baltimore Oriole was taken just outside the visitors center.

Baltimore Oriole

I also took a walk from our motel to Marconi Beach. In the woods a busy Red-breasted Nuthatch caught my attention.

Red Breasted Nuthatch

And all of a sudden, I almost bumped into a roosting Wild Turkey. Such is wild Cape Cod.

Wild Turkey

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2012 US-CA Road Trip, Day 3: From Boston to Cape Cod

Day 3 (Tuesday, May 29): From Boston to Cape Cod

Driving distance for the day: 120 Miles

Cumulative distance: 594.8 Miles

After a day of leisurely walking in Boston, it was time to hit the beach! So to Cape Cod we went. But before that, we made a stop at Plymouth, where the first pilgrims landed.

In Cape Cod Bay, a replica of the Mayflower (the first pilgrims’ vessel) was in display.

Mayflower II

And the “landing rock” is enshrined (but honestly, its authenticity is dubious), and a group of students were getting their patriotic lessons.

Plymouth Rock

After this brief stop, we continued on to Cape Cod. After some hiking in Nauset Marsh, we made a stop on Coast Guard Beach, but it was getting foggy. Just then I noticed a very imposing figure on top of the coast guard station — this was a Red-tailed Hawk.

Red Tailed Hawk

After checking into the motel in Wellfleet, we went to Moby Dick for dinner. Cape Cod is known for its seafood, and naturally seafood was what we ordered — a lobster and a bucket of “steamer” clams and mussels.

Lobster

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2012 US-CA Road Trip, Day 2: Boston

Day 2 (Monday, May 28): Boston

Driving distance for the day: 0 Miles

Cumulative distance: 474.8 Miles

This was a no driving day. It was also Memorial Day, and Boston is alive with holiday spirit, and the weather was superb. We took the “Freedom Trail”, starting from Bunker Hill Monument. The following picture was taken through the window at the top of the monument (you have to take more than 300 steps to reach it, a nontrivial exercise).

Boston

In Boston Harbor, U.S.S Constitution was firing its cannons to celebrate the holiday:

U.S.S. Constitution

The trail took us to Boston Common, where flowers were blooming on this late Spring day.

Boston Common

And because of this was Memorial Day, a different kind of flowers were blooming as well.

Boston Common

Another shot of Boston street scene, where a building’s reflection is seen on the glass surface of another building.

Boston Street Scene

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2012 US-CA Road Trip, Day 1: From NOVA to Boston

Day 1 (Sunday, May 27):  From NOVA (Northern Virginia) to Boston

Driving distance for the day: 474.8 Miles

Cumulative distance: 474.8 Miles

On this day most of what we did was … driving. We drove nearly 500 miles and passed 9 states: Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Although there are many sites to visit along the way, we made few stops. After all, we only had a finite amount of time, and my “road trip philosophy” is that I generally want to go as far as I can on the first day, then take a more leisurely pace afterwards. This way we will enter new territory as soon as we can. We can always console ourselves that the more nearby places we can always visit in the future.

By late afternoon we arrived in the great city of Boston. I just snapped a few pictures through the hotel window.

Boston

Our spirits were high at the beginning of this road trip. Cape Cod, Acadia, Bay of Fundy, Quebec .. all these places are within reach now.

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