Archives for posts with tag: cross-country travel

July 3, 2017 – New Brunswick:

Well, yesterday, Stacey and I decided to drive from Bangor, Maine as far as we wanted to into New Brunswick (Canada) toward Nova Scotia until we got tired or ran out of time, and then drive back to our non-cancelable hotel room in Bangor. And, we did just that… via the back roads…and it took F-O-R-E-V-E-R! These roads are rough, to say the least! Couple that with the s-l-o-w speed limits and the unchanging views and one gets a little stir crazy and feeling like you entered the Twilight Zone or a black hole where the wheels on the car are moving but you aren’t! Been there a great deal in my Canada travels. Love the people, though!

The one thing that keeps my interest is the clouds while driving from Maine to New Brunswick and back. They are very heavy, many different types in one single view and low to the ground. The other part that brightened our day was the Canadian Border Crossing grilling! These dudes are intense!

2017-7-3 NB12017-7-3 NB2

Canadian Border crossing on backroad Highway 1.

Pretty intense! “Why do you want to drive across the border to turn around and come back?” And it didn’t stop there.

I just answered, “Because I’ve never been to New Brunswick before and that’s what I do…go places I’ve never been to before!”

2017-7-3 NB3

2017-7-3 NB42017-7-3 NB52017-7-3 NB6

However, there was the nicest man who greeted us at the US Border Crossing with the more intense younger dude behind him scrutinizing our ever glance. I answered all the man’s questions before he had a chance to ask as I’d been down this road before with the last four crossings! 2017-7-3 NB7

July 4, 2017 – Nova Scotia:

This morning, July 4th, we checked out of the Bangor, Maine hotel and headed, quite excitedly, for Nova Scotia (via New Brunswick via the quickest land route. On the drive, we had such a great time catching up and chatting, that I forgot to get gas! My brother texted me and when it showed up on my Bluetooth, I noticed the time and looked at the gas gauge. The light was on and I had no idea how long it’d been on! This area of Maine is quite desolate and I was getting concerned about our gas situation when an exit sign appeared. As has been my experience in my travels, not all exits have facilities of any kind!

Exit 276 on Trans Canada Highway 2 will forever be my favorite place in Maine! I can’t even remember the name of the town where it was but we not only got the gas pumped for us but met this group of wonderful men sitting around a table drinking coffee and telling lies! Of course, Stacey and I had to join in! We stood there for the longest time getting to know them, hugged and said we’d see them on the “come around” tomorrow…and we will!

We got caught in the time warp thing again as soon as we crossed the Canadian Border again. Dang! I was glad to hear Stacey say that she’d felt it too because I was beginning to wonder if it was just me. Thank GOD for Stacey!

It took EIGHT HOURS to drive from Bangor to Nova Scotia only to find out how slow it is to get around this province. There’s no fast way to do anything here and I believe it would take a person at least two weeks to see it all. I hear tell there are about a million people living in Nova Scotia. Hmmmm. Not sure where on them marshlands they be living but I ain’t got no authority to discount that population number and don’t care to because I do believe I saw every one of them on the roads as we struggled our way off and on this road and that just to get to our hotel in Halifax only to find out we’d need two weeks to see the area and all we had was about a half of a day.

So, we jumped back into the truck (really? again?) and drove to see the closest historic area called Peggy’s Cove where there is an old lighthouse. It didn’t appear to be that far from our hotel by looking at the map but it took us an hour to get there (expanded to much longer considering the time warp factor)! It only took us about forty minutes to get back. Hmmm.

2017-7-4 NS1

Rainbow on drive from Halifax to Peggy’s Cove!

2017-7-4 NS2

Adorable Churches all on the drive to Peggy’s Cove

2017-7-4 NS3

Finally, I see water!

2017-7-4 NS4

The roof  of this church in Peggy’s Cove seemed to glow. This is photo is not altered!

2017-7-4 NS5

Quaint fishing village in Peggy’s Cove

2017-7-4 NS6

Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse

2017-7-4 NS7

Flowers in the rocks!

2017-7-4 NS8

The rocks, rain and sunset.

2017-7-4 NS9

2017-7-4 NS11S

Stacey & the lighthouse

2017-7-4 NS12

2017-7-4 NS13

Village shop in Peggy’s Cove

Tomorrow? We start to drive back to Georgia. It’ll be a test of every bit of fortitude we can muster to get this done in the time allotted, but knowing Stacey and me, we’ll get ‘er done! July 5th? Albany, NY or bust!

HAPPY TALES AND TRAILS, UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN!

I had the best of times meeting so many wonderful people on my journey thus far. I think Ava is directing me in their direction. I don’t go into a shop unless I’m “pulled” into it. I don’t talk to strangers unless I’m drawn to them. Most of them, so far, I have to admit have been other southerners. I seem to have radar for that. But, tonight, as I walked up to the Hostess desk at the local Cracker Barrel in St. George, Utah, for seating, a young woman ran up behind me and said, “Excuse me but we were first!” I laughed and said to please go ahead! I thought she was a southerner! She was from Arizona and I told her that was okay and I wouldn’t hold it against her for not being southern! We kept talking as I waited and she was guided to her table with her party. She now has my card and, I hope, she’s going to follow me on my 2017 Great Adventure and create some of her own!

Yes, I digress, but it’s all good. As for the wonderful people? They range in age from three months to my age; vary culturally from Taiwan to Native American; but all with the resounding common thread of being amazing communicators who actually connect with their eyes when in a conversation! They turn off the ringers on their phones; they don’t stay connected to the news or the TV; they are independent thinkers; very well educated (even if self-taught) and appear to know exactly who they are and where they are going! This gives me great joy. I’ve been worried. Now I’m not so much…on this level, anyway.

Okay. Now for Utah! We made it to St. George Utah because my daughter-by-another-mother, Jenni, just had to see it, Zion, Bryce, Flaming Gorge, western Wyoming and Montana (mostly Glacier National Park). It was a must for me to show her my other most favorite places to go. Plus, I needed to check out how the cowboys are doing in that area since last year. I think there might be a round-up in Montana! Yeehaw!

If you didn’t know this about me before, you’ll know it about me after this trip with Jenni. I LOVE ROCKS! Being out West is like a fix I can’t get enough of! There are so many rock formations out here which photos just pale in comparison to the real experience. It’s like I’ve always said, telepathic communication is the whole package and verbal is archaic and leaves out so much. Kinda like the difference between the old silent movies and the new 3-D ones of today…or those crazy multi-dimensional game thingies kids are hooked on. Night and day, baby, but this is where the blood either starts pumping to get more or I lose you. It’s all good and really all about timing.

2017-6-15 NV3

This is what it looks like leaving Las Vegas going North on I-15 headed for St. George, Utah.

2017-6-15 NV5

Pretty exciting rock formations, huh? But wait for it! 

2017-6-15 NV6

Especially when you think about this whole area of our country was under the ocean millions of years ago!

Just as you enter Utah, you drive through the Virgin River Gorge. I always want to be in a convertible with the top down and let my head spin around like an owl’s! It’s mind-blowing. The driving is so precarious, there’s no way to get photos, so you’ll just have to drive it yourself to see what I’m talking about!

2017-6-15 UT1

Then comes Snow Canyon State Park! WOW! It consists of 183 million years of wind and water influences to shape what is called Navajo sandstone and what is the remains of the ancient desert sand sea which created petrified sand dunes. Cinder Cones erupted causing lava to flow down into these canyons filling them with basalt which redirected ancient waterways which carved the canyons. As we drove through, you can see the black lava rock “walls” sitting on top of the ridges which were once canyon bottoms. (paraphrased from the Snow Canyon State Park brochure)

Upon entering the park, you’ll first see some of the most realistic cast sculptures you’ll probably ever see in the “wild” on the round-about. Take your time and go around several times to get a good picture. Everyone is supposed to drive slowly (operative word is “slowly”) throughout the park.

2017-6-15 UT5a

2017-6-15 UT5b

Then comes the good stuff. Lava flows (black rock), Navajo Sandstone (red rock), petrified sand dunes (both red and whitish), look outs and more!

For a quick trip, I highly recommend driving north on the park access road (ask for a map of the park at booth when you pay your $6.00) absorbing its magnificence. At the end of the park road, turn right onto Hwy. 18. Don’t go speeding off because you’ll totally miss the best part! Watch closely for a fairly quick turn to the right onto a poorly marked “overlook” sign which takes you down a narrow dirt road. Pull off to the left, park, turn off the engine and take a deep breath!

2017-6-15 UT2

Snow Canyon…see that black rock?

2017-6-15 UT3

That’s ancient lava flow!

 

2017-6-15 UT62017-6-15 UT72017-6-15 UT8

2017-6-15 UT10

Wind carvings in sandstone

2017-6-15 UT11

The overlook! Can’t tell that this is a serious drop down from where Jenni is sitting at the edge, can you? See that pick up truck on the Park Road directly in from of Jenni?

2017-6-15 UT12

I had dreams of being an eagle soaring over this exact terrain up until I was in my early thirties when my life went kerfluey! I stood from this perspective, spread my arms and felt like I was soaring, once again, as the “Warrior Eagle Donna Mama” that Jenni calls me! I still am.

2017-6-15 UT13

Still standing at a guarded distance from the edge, but amazing nonetheless.

Please turn left out of the overlook back onto Hwy. 18 and drive back down the same Park Road. I love, love, love driving the same road back as the way I came to see it from a totally different perspective. It’s why I keep coming back from different directions to the same places and at different times to grasp the light changes on the surfaces of these magnificent reminders that we don’t even have a clue about all that we think we know…and that’s really okay. But what we should have a clue about is how precious this beautiful country of ours is and fragile Mother Nature, even with all her terror and forces, is really a delicate little flower which we have pilfered and damaged.

2017-6-15 UT14

Please reuse, recycle and reclaim! This planet might just be one of a kind!

Tomorrow? Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon and giddy-up time toward Flaming Gorge, Wyoming! YEAH, baby! Yeehaw!

HAPPY TAILS, TALES OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK!

After getting well rested and fed at the Jacob Lake Inn, Ava and I were ready to  hit the road toward the Four Corners area to hike Mesa Verde and check out  Canyon of the Ancients.

#6 Cabin at Jacob Lake Inn

Oh, if you love hearing the wind blowing through the Georgia pines, you’re going to go  CRAZY when you hear the wind blowing through the Ponderosa Pines. It sounds like the  ocean. They’re so majestic.

Ponderosa Pines at Jacob Lake Inn

It will always be the back roads for me as much as possible. We took Hwy. 89 from Jacob Lake toward the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. We were only into  the trip about an hour when we came around a bend to see a dramatic  topographic change. Ponderosa Pines and WHAM wide open spaces.

Ava capturing the moment - left to right of next shots gives panoramic scope

next shot

 

3 of 4

 

4 of 4

It was such an absolutely breath-taking event going from dense forest to wide  open spaces. This is right before you get to the Colorado River so this is a part of  the pre-Grand Canyon!

The color of the rock formations changes as you travel toward Hwy. 160 past  Cliff Dwellers (the town).

Cliff Dwellers, Arizona (the town) on Hwy. 89 before Hwy. 160

We climbed up Hwy. 160 east toward the Four Corners area crossing flat, sand  blowing highway through the Reservation. We passed pastures of Mustangs    and not much else the whole time we were on Hwy. 160 except for the  occasional awesome rock formations left over from millions of years of erosion.

Off in the distance -- rock formations

 

Big rock

We decided this should be called "Castle Rock"

Finally - the turn-off sign

After driving 6 hours, we finally saw the turn-off sign for the Four Corners  meaning we were only 10 miles or so from our campground near Mesa Verde.  Yay! We made it!

Tomorrow, Mesa Verde adventure. Ava will hike the Cliff Dwellers in Mesa Verde.

Happy Trails!