Posts Tagged ‘just how many tags does one really need’

I figured it was time to stop bubbling away about how cool Newfoundland is and get down to the business of chronicling our adventure. So here goes:

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Nine Days of Newfoundland – Day 1

Newfoundland is the island bit of the easternmost province of Canada. It is a world apart, not only geographically, but in every other way I can think of.

Getting there requires taking a six-hour ferry ride. And it ain’t cheap! If you’re travelling with an RV, they measure you from nose to stern, car and trailer, then they ding you $12.00 for every foot of space you take up on their boat! And that’s not counting the people charges of forty-odd dollars each. It’s a painful experience, but it’s the only way you’ll get your RV to The Rock.

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All goods and etceteras are transported on the ferry too. If you think this sounds as though it just might jack the grocery prices up a tad, you’d be thinkin’ right, amigo!

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The ferry pulled into port at point A on that really awesome (right?) map up there that I slaved over for days (I’m soooo not a map person), a place called Port aux Basques, or sometimes Channel-Port aux Basques (or Port O’Bask if you’re Irish), Newfoundland.

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Observations:

Geography: Rock and water

Vegetation: Not so much

Architecture: Clinging for dear life to the rock

We lumbered up the road a ways and made camp for the first night at a lovely spot called, um…the Grand Codroy RV Park (Whew!  Good thing I had that written down, eh?)(Point B on our lovely map up there…), which offered warm Newfie hospitality among its other amenities (free firewood!). It was just a stopover for the night on our way up the coast, but we felt at home there.

Bob’s other wife, Shari, has a thing for signs, so you may see a few salted in here and there.

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“Pisstank One to Base, over?”

“This is Base, PT1, go ahead.”

“Base, I’ve been assimilated.”

(Oh lord…)

“10-4, Pisstank One, resistance is futile.”  (eyeroll)

Yep, he’s wandered off again.  That’s not even the scary part.  This park where we’re currently moored is the scary part.

When we first pulled in last night, the place was just a’hoppin’.  There were people everywhere – hoards of kids running around, adults clustering with their polypropylene-encased beer cans.  A very festive scene that rapidly went weird.  As we rolled to a stop, the entire park seemed to come to a grinding halt.  People pivoted around to stare at us.  The silence was eerie.  The staring, worse.  “What are they staring at?” I wondered aloud.

“No idea,” said ole Bob, vaulting from the car to go register us.  I locked the doors and stared back.  They just kept on with their staring.  I began to wonder what I’d do if Bob never came back.  Eventually he did and we proceeded to our designated camping spot.  As we pulled in, the same darned thing happened.  Everyone stopped what they were doing and stared.

An hour later, we were all set up.  I had opened up all the windows and blinds and just gone about my business.  Then.  I happened to glance outside.  There was some hillbilly just standing there like a statue.  Staring.  Y’know, most people, when caught gawking will look away or blush or pretend they were looking at something else.  Not this guy.  He just stood there.  Staring.  Even when I stared right back, he didn’t budge.

I couldn’t swear to this but I’m pretty sure I heard banjo music in the distance…

This bird business is getting out of hand. If you’d told me five years ago that I’d become a birdwatcher in the not-too-distant future, I’d have har-de-har-harred and advised you to seek professional help.

Be that as it may, I found myself prowling around in a cemetery the other day in search of an Eastern Screech Owl I’d heard rumour of. The problem with the location for the search was that, in addition to my little bird problem, I also have a real thing for cemeteries. It sounded like the perfect combo to me. Now who needs professional help, hmm? Hey, we all have our demons…

Well, the owl was nowhere to be found, although, I have to confess, my search was perhaps slightly less diligent than it might have been in a less fascinating environment.

Here’s what I did see (please excuse any photographic weirdness you might encounter – I just got PhotoShop Elements 11 and we’re becoming acquainted):

And, as if that weren’t thrilling enough (okay, thrilling to me, anyway), I found someone who is…er…that is to say was more enamoured with their trailer than Bob is with ours!  

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Hey, do you think they’d do an Airstream tombstone for him when he kicks the bucket?

Nine more sleeps ’til we leave for Newfieland!

When we arrived in Verona, Virginia, first stop on our way back home, we were completely charmed by the Shenandoah Valley Campground.  What’s not to love about this:

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And these:

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Some of these:

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And a bunch of these:

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Temperatures in Virginia topped out at 89 F so when we set up, we had every vent and window wide open.

As soon as the sun went down, our nightmare began.

Noseeums (nasty little biting bugs) by the score began pouring in through our screens.  There were thousands of them – they couldn’t resist our lights.  We didn’t wanna start blasting bug spray around so we figured we’d just shut off the lights and go to bed early.  We wanted an early start in the morning anyway.

As it was still pretty early and our neighbours were having a fire and being rambunctious, we shoved earplugs in and went to sleep.  Because we both had our ears plugged, neither of us heard it start to rain.

It was, in fact, a downpour of biblical proportions.  We slept on.  It wasn’t until I rolled over into a big squishy patch of bed that I discovered that water was pouring in through the vent in the ceiling over my side of the bed.  It was all being merrily absorbed by the sheets, blankets, mattress – all things just made for sucking up water.

Cripes!” said I, or words to that effect.  I bounded out of bed, darting madly to and fro, closing open things and feeling about for wet bits.  Because I am so unusually alert when I first awaken (I wish I could have said that with a straight face), I reported back to Bob that all was well – no water had gotten in.  At least none that wasn’t currently occupying my side of the bed.  I got back in the sack, gave Bob a wee shove, curled awkwardly around the soggy zone, and went back to sleep.

A while later, I awoke, as I often do, wondering why the hell Bob has to be so flaming noisy in the morning.  This seemed worse than usual, so instead of just pulling a pillow over my head as is my custom, I got up to see what was happening.

Remember when I said that no water had gotten in?  I was wrong.  To my credit, the one spot I really did check while I was (ahem) sleep-walking and closing things was dry.  The rest of the trailer, however, not so much.  Suffice it to say my deluge detection skills are not quite up to snuff.

As I shuffled out of the bedroom, there was ole Bob on his hands and knees under the table.  He was attempting to sop up a lake with a bath towel.  He was already on his third towel and he really didn’t seem his usual cheery morning self.  He had upended most of the upholstered cushions and when I grabbed one to move it out of the way, it seemed a lot heavier than I remembered it being.  It also peed on my foot which I thought was a bit rude.

We had to eat standing up the rest of the way home.

Sigh.

 

We decided to head to the beach today.  The plan was to go to Clearwater where we’d been before.  It’s just such a gorgeous spot to walk in the surf, collect shells, or just loaf.  Unfortunately, it’s not as gorgeous when it’s over-crowded.  I have no idea why it would have been – Spring Break is over now as far as I know – but it surely was.  Happily, we found another beach nearby that the hoards of sun-worshipers hadn’t yet discovered.

Even though you can’t see me, I’m actually hiding in this picture:

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And, here’s a picture of Bob, finally not thinking about work:

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And, just for schitts and giggles, here are some turtley things – I think they’re actually showers:

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Since I promised that there would be absolute NO bird photogs in this post, here’s a nice picture of a guy fishing:

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I have no idea what that grey thing is in the foreground.  I swear that wasn’t there when I shot this.

And, finally, here’s a shot of a tree:

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Note the interesting foliage.

So, that was pretty much our day.  We got back fairly early, so after a big taco blow-out for dinner (and the ensuing flatulence fest), we did some laundry at the campground facility, and now I’m off to bed.

I have good news and bad news.  The good news is that it finally stopped raining!  The bad news is that this has happened just in time for us to go home.  Happily, our last day in Maine was spectacular, both weather-wise and fun-wise.

I know I’ve been a little vague about The Great Puffin Quest.  My reasons for doing so may seem odd to you, but, like that California Condor business, “See puffins” has long been a Bucket List item for me.  I was loath to jinx it by saying “we’re gonna go see puffins!  Neener neener!” just in case the whole thing went to hell like the whale-watching plan did.  I think I can speak for us all when I say that nobody likes to end up looking like one of those dorks who brags about all the stuff they’re gonna do and then end up with nothing but a handful of lamo excuses.

Anyhoo, the thing about puffins is that the little wheezers only come ashore for a very brief time each year to…er…well, y’know…beget puffinlets upon each other and whatnot.  When they do this stuff, they don’t really want us to watch, understandably, so they hide.  Most of this hiding goes on way out in the ocean on little rock-pile island-ettes.  As you might surmise, this makes the whole “See puffins” thing a tad dodgy as Bucket List items go.

For some reason, I had been under the erroneous illusion that one could simply arrive in Maine and say, “Yo, Where’re the puffins at?” someone would point, and we’d all live happily ever after.  Sadly, this was not the case.

The first roadblock came when we arrived in Maine initially (early last week) only to learn that the puffin tours weren’t scheduled to begin until June 13th, and that there would be only one tour per week (!!) for the course of the puffin mating season.  I feel we adapted rather well to this news:  I pouted pathetically and Bob rearranged our entire trip…once his query of “Do we really need to see the stupid puffins?” was met with…let’s just call it “hostility” and leave it at that, shall we?

So, already long story slightly less long, we headed over the border, as I mentioned in my last post, with the aim of being back in Boothbay Harbor (ha-bah) by Tuesday so that we’d be in plenty of time for the Wednesday morning puffin tour.

Unbelievably, it was STILL raining in Maine upon our return.  But, I was determined to see those pesky puffins so I checked and double-checked the weather.  No matter which website/TV channel I checked, the verdict was the same:

Precipitation:  Oh hell yeah!

Probability of it stopping:  In yer dreams, Skippy!

Boating conditions:  Sea – rough;  Waves – bring a barf bucket (it actually said that!) (I’m lying…again…)

Additional weatherisms:  FOG!  Visibility:  Nil to nada, with periods of zilch.

Perfect.

Now, I’ll have you know that I’m no weenie.  I’d have been willing to barf for the cause, but I sure as hell am NOT barfing if all I’m gonna see is fog.  My disappointment was complete.  Until…

I had begun to think that those puffins would just have to stay on the stupid Bucket List a while longer when Bob looked at me and said, “Well, there must be other puffin tours…”  You’re probably wondering why this had never crossed my mind.  I know I was…

La-la-long yadda-yadda-short, we found a tour going out last evening from a little harbor just up the road called, imaginatively enough, New Harbor.

You’ve been very patient (assuming you actually read your way to this point, and, if so, bless your heart!), so without further ado or inane babblage from yours truly, I give you….  PUFFINS!!

(Hiding among a pack of killer black guill…mumble-something-or-others)