We don’t seem to be having a great deal of luck in the camping department this year. After visiting the eastern shore mid-June we planned a wee break expecting some visitors from away and of course time to tend to our garden.
We did however manage a trip to Quebec for a family visit. Twelve hours of driving each way used to seem like such a trial but for some reason this time it felt easier. Two hours of drive time, a brief break for Zula and us to stretch our legs, a change of driver and all was good.
We decided to leave REDII behind this time choosing instead a hotel stay. As much as she loves the camper, Zula seemed to feel right at home in our room…
F thought she should have tree-climbing lessons at a nearby park. That look on Zula’s face says it all doesn’t it? “Are you kidding me? I’m a cat. Watch me climb! Now try to get me down.”
Early August I had booked another few days at Five Islands (our favourite spot last year) but half way there, our tow beast started having issues with losing coolant. Staying on the safe side of road travel we called to cancel and turned around. Once home we found the water pump needed replacing. Last year wasn’t a whole lot better with F breaking ribs and collar bone during a cycling outing. That time we had to cancel our trip to PEI, so this year we are island bound, the longest trip to date for REDII, slightly longer than our trip to Fundy last year. We chose to cross by the Confederation Bridge instead of by ferry.
My dad, Robert Haslam, was born on the island and it always brings back wonderful memories to drive by the family home, even if now it is only a drive-by, no longer owned or occupied by family. Hazeldean is what it was called and it still stands, having been lovingly restored under the Historic Place Protection Act. If you are interested you can read a bit more about its history here: Hazeldean.
Our camp site at Twin Shores was perfect. Large and private and most importantly, level.
We had a view of the beach from our dining table and at night we were treated to a symphony of waves splashing the shore.
In spite of this being a busy week for campers and the last long weekend of the summer, and a very hot one at that, the beach wasn’t at all crowded.
Twin Shores Beach
Every night we enjoyed a camp fire and were treated to spectacular sunsets.
Venturing out to poke around the country side offered so many beautiful pastoral scenes.
Garden of the Gulf
…and along the coast, dotted with fishing villages.
You can’t come to PEI without enjoying it’s bounty of seafood, especially world famous Malpeque oysters.
Our final day we stopped by a nearby pub to enjoy yet another feed of oysters, delicious seafood chowder and some local brew.
While we were away, our little village of Hubbards hosted the World Sailing Championship of the 49er, 49er FX and the Nacra 17 class. Over 400 entrants from all over the world filled St. Margarets Bay with colour and activity. Our very own Bluenose II even made a cameo appearance.
It was a very busy month for us but we are now back to home base, rebalancing our lives and getting ready for whatever fall may bring. We hope to have at least one more outing before packing up for the winter months…something more local no doubt. Maybe a place on a quiet lake to try out my new paddle board…which sadly hasn’t been out of it’s bag yet this year.
Thanks for stopping by to catch up. The crew of REDII will return when time allows.
….peace and love…
Good day to all of you followers of Sailing RED, and more recently RED by the Sea. It seems our days are far too full and time is passing too quickly. We’ve now passed the summer solstice and here we are at the beginning of camping season.
Our very first of the year camp outing was to the eastern shore of Nova Scotia for a few days at Murphy’s Camping by the Ocean.
Zula, our road warrior, supervised while we coupled the car to the camper and seemed eager to be included in the upcoming adventure.
The Good Life
We find camping very relaxing and she has adapted quite well to the life style in REDII.
While at Murphy’s we took a ride on Murphy’s Legacy to explore the Hundred Wild Islands, an archipelago of over 100 islands stretching 30 km along the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia and are protected through the Nature Trust of Nova Scotia.
One of the larger of the Wild Islands has a hunting camp that’s been used by the Murphys for several generations.
The trip included a chance to anchor and fish for supper. None of us caught anything large enough so it was ‘catch and release’ this time.
Clam Harbour Beach is one of Nova Scotia’s best with a seemingly endless expanse of white sand.
Clam Harbour Beach
Zula made friends with some of the visitors…those that smelled right that is.
Other encounters didn’t go so well. She took issue with a very friendly Australian Koolie, at least four times her size. I guess he didn’t smell right.
Walking with Papa
She is learning to walk well with her vest and leash but she is after all a cat so it doesn’t always go smoothly. Every scent, blade of grass or bug has to be investigated making the hike a little slower than we’d like.
We gave her a chance to explore our camp site.
After several days of perfect weather it was time again to supervise hook up. Time to return home to prepare for visitors from away and plan for our next adventure.
Thanks for stopping by to catch up.
….peace and love…
Our final camping trip for this year was a trek not far down the road to Kejimkujik National Park. Kejimkujik. That’s a mouthful isn’t it? Pronounced “Ke – jima – koo – jik” and translated from the Mi’kmaw to mean ‘little fairies’, it’s simply referred to as ‘Keji’ by locals.
Spreading over 400 sq km , it’s a mecca for hikers, canoeists and kayakers , bird watchers and campers, designated a dark sky preserve and the seaside portion is a wilderness protection area. Over 80% of Kejimkujik is accessible by canoe or hiking only with 47 backcountry camping sites spread out over 17 lakes and connected by multiple rivers and streams.
We chose this as our last adventure at this time of year to see the fall colours at their optimum and we weren’t disappointed. We expected it to be chilly so came prepared with lots of extra layers, gloves, toques and wooly socks, because as a friend of mine says ‘any fool can be cold’. But it was anything but cold. More like a moderate summer day with mostly sun and 20 deg temperatures. Nights were cool so firing up the camper heater for a few minutes took the humidity down. And of course there was the traditional camp fire with toasted marshmallows.
Colours of Fall
At Keji, the serviced sites are with electricity only so this was our first time dealing with no water or sewer hookup…a kind of modified ‘boon-docking’….four nights/five days to see just what we could manage with using our internal storage tanks, and it gave us three full days to explore. Each site at Jeremy’s Bay is very roomy too, strategically placed so very private and view of neighbours is minimal. Plus there is a definitely advantage of camping this time of year. Even over the weekend there were very few visitors.
Front Door View
After setting up and enjoying a quiet supper, we took a walk around Kejimkujik Lake just before sunset, returning to light our evening campfire and discuss where to go the next day.
The choice for the day was Kejimkujik Seaside Park which was an hour and a half drive from the main camp ground. The trail to the beach through colourful bogs was a 2.8 hike ending at the stretch of beautiful white sand of St Catherine River Beach.
Keji Seaside Park
Keji Seaside Park
Keji Seaside Park
Day three was spent cycling around the park. The trails and roadways are easy and safe for the most part so we explored for the better part of the day, picnicked at Merrymakedge Beach then cycled back to our camp site for a respectable 30 km ride.
Mi’kmaw Encampment Site
Kejimkujik Lake is fairly large and dotted with small islands each with designated tenting sites. While we were eating our picnic lunch we saw a young couple, with two young kids and two cats on leashes piling their belongings into a canoe presumably heading out for an overnight adventure to one of these islands. Imagine, two adults, two kids, two cats one canoe and all that gear. So brave!..or extremely patient…or both.
We continued on the bike path along the Mercy River then headed back to camp. When one reaches ‘a certain age’, simple is so much better, don’t you think?
For those who prefer a little something out of the ordinary, this park offers Oasis Pods, a cross between a tent and pop-up camper. How fun is that? Imagine snuggling in bed at night with a view of the stars because this park is also a designated dark sky preserve with almost zero light pollution.
On our final full day we braved the newest Keji trail, Ukme’k, which means twisted in Mi’kmaw, a 12.6 km medium level winding hiking trail along the Mercy River. Near the end of the trek we both realized that 5 to 6 km is about our maximum for daily hiking. Sore knees, sore feet and ankles and we were more than ready to head back to camp for cocktails laced with a couple of ibuprofen.
Well, we made it to our fifth day away. Water was easy to conserve, having learned many good lessons after seven years of boating with limited resources. Potable water was available to fill our tank at the park entrance and there were filling stations throughout the park every few 100 feet as well as super clean toilet and shower facilities. Our grey water was at capacity as was the black water tank but we easily pulled through the dump station our our way out of the park. F purchased a back-up portable waste tank for a ‘just in case’ moment but we found we didn’t need it for this trip.
Portable Poo Pot
The trip home was beautiful if just a bit more muted in colour. We think we may have chosen the best week for leaf gazing now that we’ve had a couple of days of rain and wind and any of the leaves have fallen or turned brown.
On reflection, we both feel Fundy was our favourite place overall. Five Islands and Keji tie for second place with the Ovens a close third. Just four outings for this our first year with our little turtle on wheels. There are already plans in the works for next year but for now RED II is parked in our driveway, unloading and cleaning underway and appointment made for fall inspection and winterizing, after which she’ll be put to bed until next spring.
Back at our little home by the sea we begin to prepare for guests from away. We are so very thankful that for the most part we have remained healthy throughout this last couple of years of pandemic restrictions and that with a sprinkle of caution we can begin to welcome friends and family who have been eager to experience some east coast hospitality.
….peace and love…