July 15th, Day 49: It was hard to find a campground to spend the night. Our real goal is to reach Quebec City but for us pulling our trailer the more than ten hour drive to get all of the way there in one day was next to impossible. What we did then was to guess the half way point and then find a decent campground in the general area. We selected the Sunset View Campground located in Hawkshaw in south central New Brunswick. Basically a random selection in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately the setting of our new home was very pretty with a nice view from a hillside of the St. John River. It was a relatively small campground and that fact combined with its rather remote location, meant for us no TV service and no Wi-Fi connection at our trailer. Talk about primitive. The only Wi-Fi connection that I could find was down in their Recreation Room and even in this location it was slow.
The 5-1/2 hour drive over to Hawkshaw was really quite lovely, consisting much of the way of rolling evergreen covered hills with some really nice long range views. Almost the entire drive was on a 4-lane divided highway known as the Trans-Canada Highway. It was not particularly crowded but we were surprised to see how many travel trailers and motorhomes passed us going in the opposite direction. Anyway, a good day and at this point our plans are to simply relax for the rest of the day. Tomorrow morning we will see if this part of New Brunswick has anything to offer us curious tourists. We discovered tonight why this campground is called the Sunset View. I had to stay up way past my normal bedtime to get this photo which I took at around 9:15 pm but it was well worth "staying up past my bedtime." The beauty of the sunset unfortunately was not fully captured in this photo. To sleep, perchance to dream.
July 16th, Day 50: I spent some time last evening perusing through a bunch of travel brochures trying to find some interesting places to visit the next day. Locally there was only a monument located in a park within the nearby community of Nackawic. There they were claiming sat the "World's Largest Axe." Normally, I might just shrug this off, but it was close by and it deserved a visit. Unfortunately, I suggested to Kathy that we photograph the axe with one of us laying under the blade and she not only thought that was ridiculous but she then refused to even get out of the car. We parked close by so fortunately all three of us have visited something that few people in the world can claim to have seen.
Our major tourism effort this morning was to drive around 1/2 hour to visit the capital city of the Province of New Brunswick and the province's third largest city with a population of around 56,000. The city was Fredericton which frankly, I had never heard of before but fortunately we were pleasantly surprised. Every Saturday during the summer, Fredericton holds a large farmers' market, the Boyce Farmers Market, which Kathy just had to visit. Unfortunately while Kathy did get the chance to wander around the market, innocent Cabo was forbidden to enter the market, so Cabo and I were given some time to ourselves to wander by some of the local nearby shops. As it turns out the market was far larger than the above photo would indicate as shops were set up both outside and inside some of the buildings. According to what we read later, this market in size is in the top 10 in all of Canada.
The rest of our morning was spent wandering around the old downtown area of Fredericton which included a walk along the banks of the St. John River, the same river that flows by our campground.
One of the most interesting looking buildings within Fredericton is the Fredericton Region Museum which while today is a museum, the building once was the Officers' Quarters for the Royal Corp of Engineers and parts of the building were built back as far ago as 1839. We did not visit the interior of the museum.
Since Cabo was the reason that we did not tour the museum, he reluctantly agreed to pose as a Scottish soldier who might have lived in the old historic building a long time ago.
There were many lovely historical old buildings along the path of our walk this morning, too many to include in this blog, but one of the largest structures was the Legislative Assembly building that was built in 1882 and is still in use today. Seems awful large for a province as small as New Brunswick.
We did get the unusual opportunely today to visit the inside of one of Fredericton's oldest churches, the Christ Church Cathedral, that officially opened in 1853. One of the advantages of opening a church for a tour is that visitors like ourselves always leave behind a generous tip. This church was declared a National Historic Site by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and we can see why.
Kathy and I always look around for beautiful homes and we found many here in Fredericton, especially across the street from the St. John River. We also joke about how much fun it would be to live in one of these homes, although frankly today we admitted to each other, that the size and age of the homes would be a lot of work, too much work for these old folks. To take this photo I had to drive down their driveway. Kathy was not a happy camper but no guns were fired as we passed through and out of their front yard.
We enjoyed our visit to Fredericton, New Brunswick; it was a surprise frankly. Anyway, tomorrow we have a long six hour drive up to Quebec City where we plan to spend three nights and hopefully be thrilled with our visit to one of North America's oldest cities