Airstream Time

Exploring North America in an Airstream

Posts from the ‘Beaches’ category

Points East, Prince Edward Island

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

We went down to North Lake Harbor, declared the tuna fishing capital of the world, probably by Tony’s Tuna Fishing. He exports to Japan and China. We stopped at North Lake Fisheries store/restaurant, where Tony’s wife, a trained chef, features rice bowls. Martha bought 3/4 pound of tuna and ¾ pound of cod. Mussels are still the deal though. We stopped at a roadside cooler with farm eggs on the honor system.

DSC_3494DSC_3495IMG_5255IMG_5256IMG_5252IMG_5253

Going down the south shore, we went to Singing Sand Beach, which is gorgeous. At low tide with calm seas of Northumberland Straight, we walked for about two hours. Two walkers stopped to chat. They were from Vancouver, but have a cabin on an island in a big lake in northern Ontario, where they spend most summers. We traded stories of where we had been and done. They biked the Confederation Trail for three days with a tour. Their butts had enough. It is a rails-to-trails, and goes mostly through central PEI in the woods. The section between St. Peters Bay and Morell was the prettiest because it was along the coast.

Singing Sand Beach, PEISinging Sand Beach, PEISinging Sand Beach, PEISinging Sand Beach, PEISinging Sand Beach, PEISinging Sand Beach, PEI

We went to the Lobster Shack for a lobster roll and chips, then went to St. Peters to bike the trail. The first part was totally washed out, so we rode around it. Others had said there were downed trees along the way. Early on, someone had cut a lot of trees away, but as we went on, we had to dismount, walk under and around a number of trees. 2k from Morell, I said that was enough. 

IMG_5259IMG_5260IMG_5261IMG_5262IMG_5263IMG_5265

IMG_5266

Someone did a heck of a job cutting trees back in this section, especially considering all the damage done on the island

IMG_5268

Back at camp we cooked tuna on the Cobb grill and corn and green beans from the farm on Nova Scotia. It was all quite good.

Bellevue Beach Campground

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Before leaving Frenchman’s Cove Provincial Park, we took a little walk over to the golf course that is such a big attraction here. This is a very nice park with a great staff, and now I see the biggest attraction – this very nice golf course.

Driving back up the Burin peninsula is so pretty, with its alpine lakes, hills, trees combined with open grasslands that appear to be manageable to travel by foot or horseback. It’s Labour Day weekend in Canada, so we saw cars parked along the highway, or by a bridge or gravel road. Some might be picking blackberries, some were likely fishing while some were 4-wheeling with their ATVs.

We pulled over next to a bridge and down a short gravel road beside a pretty stream. A big camper was parked there, but its truck was gone. We ate our lunch by that pretty stream. Surely there were fish if this guy camped here. 

IMG_5116IMG_5117

It was early afternoon when we pulled into Bellevue Beach Campground. We knew nothing about it, except it wasn’t a provincial park, our usual preference. Being a holiday weekend, it was packed. Every site was taken, and then there were visitors with extra cars and trucks. The sites weren’t well-marked, so I was stopped, looking to see if I was in the right place. A man jumped up and pointed, visually asking if this was our spot. I nodded, and he quickly moved his truck.

It was a tight fit. Kids were riding their bikes. People were walking down the gravel road, and Beatles music played from a boom box next to our site. I started to back in, but got out to see where two little kids were on my right front where the front of the truck will swing. They waved and then moved their bikes. The man who moved his truck came up asking if I would like some help. Yes I would, thank you. As I backed in, it looked like the right, front of the truck might clip a trailer parked across the driveway. I was in the spot, but crooked, crowding the site next to me. The guy with the truck suggested pulling forward across the drive. I did, but I told him I was worried about clipping the trailer. He stood on that corner, directing me until I was perfectly straight, then gave me the thumbs up. The owner of the trailer looked relieved. 

The Beetles player site welcomed us, asking where we were from. Five of them were sitting in a circle, enjoying a perfect day at the beach, sipping beer and soaking up the sun. They were from St. John’s and came for the long weekend. Still hooked up, I glanced around at the rocky beach. People were swimming, walking the beach, while behind us a baseball game was going on in a nice, grassy field. 

IMG_5129 2IMG_5128IMG_5127IMG_5124IMG_5123

Finally, we got set up and took a walk up the beach, then up to a grassy area on the hill. Martha pointed out the whole field was wild strawberries. They are an early season berry and were no more. We saw that it was a natural barachois that probably was breached at high tide. To the north were big, dramatic cliffs. A day use area bordered this beach.

IMG_5122IMG_5121IMG_5120IMG_5119IMG_5118

Back at our site, Martha went next door to ask about hiking trails and where the showers were. I was sitting inside and noticed the husband was packing up. He was the one who guided me into our site. “Was it something I said?” I asked through the screen. “No, it’s where you’re from”, he said with a smile. We talked through the screen for quite a while. They are from Cupid, next to Brigus, 50 minutes away, and were leaving to go see their children and grandchildren in Alberta in a few days. They planned to stay longer, but got to thinking about all the things they needed to do. He was recovering from esophageal cancer, and was doing well, but still didn’t have his energy. He talked about where we might go in our last few days here. They go to Venice, Florida in the winter, usually flying, but now considered driving down. They have a friend who goes to Bradenton Beach, where they also visit.

I gave him my card and told him to come see us in Charlottesville on his way down. Then he invited us in for a drink. They had just bought this 25’ trailer, and it was quite spacious inside with all kinds of storage. His wife Madeline had been giving Martha all the scoop on where to hike tomorrow. We had a nice, long visit. Funny how you just hit it off with people sometimes. Next door was quite a party. Paul said he couldn’t leave until they finished up. It was a group from nearby Dildo. They invited 25 friends with a big buffet dinner while their husbands played music. It made for nice background music. Finally, they finished playing, so we let Paul and Madeline get packed up.

We fixed a nice dinner backed right up to the beach, watching everyone enjoying the holiday weekend.

Bonavista and Puffins

Sunday, August 25, 2019

We drove the coast road north along Bonavista Bay. The coastline here is beautiful with crashing, blue-green waves. It was about an hour to Bonavista. 

_1GW2872

We walked along the Bonavista harbor on a beautiful day, and went into The Mathew Legacy, a building housing a reproduction ship, The Mathew, that John Cabot landed at Bonavista in 1497. He intended to sail to Cathay, but instead discovered New Found Land. It was the only place he landed his small ship (75’x20’) with a crew of 19. 

DSC_3413DSC_3414DSC_3417DSC_3419DSC_3420DSC_3421DSC_3422DSC_3426DSC_3428

He was Italian, raised in Genoa, moved to Venice, and his real name was Giovanni Caboto. He was commissioned by Henry VII to make an expedition across the Atlantic. He returned to England, reporting his discovery. He is thought to have perished on a return trip in 1498. https://www.history.com/topics/exploration/john-cabot

IMG_4999IMG_5001IMG_5002IMG_5003

The reproduction is very cool, and you can walk on and around the ship, which has actually made the voyage across the Atlantic. It is not a big boat, but then Diego’s father made a historic trip across the Atlantic on a raft. It would have been more fun to have seen the ship out of the building, but it had been so windy, they probably wanted to protect it inside, and it is a very cool building.

We walked around town, then drove to the lighthouse for lunch with a spectacular view.

Got the chips?

Don’t forget the chips!

DSC_3435

Driving east along the coast to find a puffin viewing area outside the cute village of Elliston. You can walk out a peninsula and view across 100 yards of sea to an island, or more likely a stack where puffins have a breeding ground. Little burrows dot the top of the stack where heavy grass grows. They stand guard over their burrow for a while, then jump up and glide down the side to get a fast start. They must be outstanding fishermen, because in short order they return with a small fish to feed the young. They land and are down the hold in a flash. Then they pop back up and stand around a while before they are off again. They fly with great speed. I tried tracking with the camera, but it was tough to follow. But then, it was great sport.

_1GW2985

On a beautiful Sunday, lots of people made their way out to watch. It was fun to listen to the comments and screams as these little birds put on quite a show. 

Driving out, we stopped at a beautiful, sandy beach, where people were swimming, and two guys were surfing with wetsuits on. As I walked up a rock hill, like a sand dune, I asked a man ahead of me if he was going for a swim. “Not me”, he said. He was from Come By Chance at the neck crossing over to the Avalon Peninsula. You have to love these names. He said, “How about Dildo? Didja go there?” Laughing, he said Jimmy Kimmel made it famous on Saturday Night Live. “There’s nothing there, but everyone goes for a visit because of it.” The town has made Kimmel honorary mayor. The man was with another couple, and their wives were collecting these smooth, oval rocks to paint. It’s a popular thing in gift shops, and they are cool.

_1GW3080

He asked where we had been, impressed that we had been here so long. He said it is getting more popular for travel now. I suggested they not advertise it. It might ruin it. He said, “It isn’t  always this pretty. This is a beautiful day.” I told him how much we loved it, but maybe we should stay to see what winter is like. He said, “Well, you might not want to do that”. 

We drove back down the coast toward camp, noting places to explore tomorrow. 

IMG_4995

Drive Back Down Coast to Shallow Bay Campground

Friday, August 2, 2019

It had been rainy, cloudy and cold in Pistolet Bay for three days, and it was getting to Martha. She talked about how cloudy and cold makes her sad. 46 years of marriage, and I am still learning.

I went to Woodward GMC in St. Anthony’s to have the oil changed. Mike checked me in, then I went to the visitor’s area hoping to catch up on my posts, but I could go nowhere on their WIFI. I couldn’t even get my phone to work there, so I took a nap. 

At 3:00 we arrived at Shallow Bay, set up and went down to the beach to see what it was all about. The sun had broken through, and it was a warm, beautiful day. This beach is one of the prettiest, beaches I have ever seen. Shallow water keeps it relatively warm. Several people were swimming, while others walked the huge, semicircular cove. Pristine sand without a bit of trash and no rocks make it unique in Newfoundland. It is a part of this diverse, incredible National Park, Gros Morne. If you come to Newfoundland for nothing else, come to Gros Morne. 

We walked for about 45 minutes and came back to camp. Martha wasn’t feeling well with an upset stomach, so she took an hour nap, instructing me to make wild rice in the InstaPot. Then heat up lobster claws in butter and wake her up in an hour.

The InstaPot takes a bit of power as it heats up, but after that, it uses very little. Dinner was wonderful, but Martha didn’t feel like eating. I cleaned up, got in bed and read Killing Patton.

Cape Onion/L’anse Au Meadows

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

_1GW2114_1GW2116_1GW2117_1GW2118_1GW2119_1GW2120_1GW2121_1GW2122Martha looking for whales_1GW2124_1GW2125_1GW2126_1GW2128_1GW2129_1GW2131

The couple that stopped to talk at Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve yesterday, told us to go to Onion Cove, up past a cemetery. It’s a good place to spot whales. We drove up there to find one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. There were no whales, but we did see two moose, and the scenery is special. Green meadows cover mountains that meet the sea as hanging cliffs. Below is a protected cove where hundreds of ducks frolicked, and seagulls cried. Whales frequent this coast, and moose come to graze. Oh, and if you think you might be able to see or hear after death, what a place this would be to be buried.

Tahquamenon Falls

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

We explored the lower and upper falls in Tahquamenon Falls State Park, and they are beautiful – like a little Niagara with colors like Pictured Rocks. It rained hard again last night, so the river was rocking. This is a beautiful area you could explore for a long time. There are lots of trails and lots of clear streams to float, but we don’t have a lot of time, and it is supposed to rain hard for the next three days.

Our treat of the day was to go to Brown’s Fish House, famous for freshly caught whitefish. Looking at the small menu, I was torn between yellow perch, walleye or whitefish. The nice waitress said whitefish is fresh and what people come from miles away to get. Whitefish and chips it was, and it was good. With three good-size pieces of fish, it was all I could eat. 

IMG_2861IMG_2862

We drove out to Whitefish Point to see the beach, the lighthouse and bird sanctuary. Walking out on the beach, we came up on a young man with a scope and a computer, drinking his coffee next to a tiny hut. It was a chilly, windy day, but he was there to count birds for the Michigan Audubon Society. Martha walked right up and asked what he was doing. His name was Gary, and for 30 minutes he told us about all the birds that come through here. Birds are his passion, and he knows his stuff. The puddle ducks are all gone now, flying south for the winter. That’s why we didn’t see anything at Seney Wildlife Area. Now the diving ducks were just starting to come in. The plovers have all migrated, and so have the hawks. He said thousands of hawks migrate through here. It is such an important spot because birds will stop here after crossing Lake Superior or resting before crossing when coming back north. It’s a relatively narrow part of the lake, so it’s a good place to cross. Unlike so many places, this point has gained about 150 yards of beach, including a good-sized pond. We thanked Gary for his tremendous enthusiasm and sharing his knowledge with us.

IMG_2863

Walking up the beach, several people were collecting smooth, round rocks that line the shore. I took a couple of pictures of the lighthouse that protects shoals that have wrecked many ships, including the Edmund Fitzgerald. Gordon Lightfoot describes it well in his song, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”. 

IMG_2864

IMG_2874

IMG_2857

Lyrics

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down

Of the big lake they called ‘gitche gumee’

The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead

When the skies of November turn gloomy

With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more

Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty

That good ship and crew was a bone to be chewed

When the gales of November came early

The ship was the pride of the American side

Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin

As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most

With a crew and good captain well seasoned

Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms

When they left fully loaded for Cleveland

And later that night when the ship’s bell rang

Could it be the north wind they’d been feelin’?

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound

And a wave broke over the railing

And every man knew, as the captain did too,

T’was the witch of November come stealin’

The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait

When the gales of November came slashin’

When afternoon came it was freezin’ rain

In the face of a hurricane west wind

When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck sayin’

Fellas, it’s too rough to feed ya

At seven pm a main hatchway caved in, he said

Fellas, it’s been good t’know ya

The captain wired in he had water comin’ in

And the good ship and crew was in peril

And later that night when his lights went outta sight

Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Does any one know where the love of God goes

When the waves turn the minutes to hours?

The searches all say they’d have made Whitefish Bay

If they’d put fifteen more miles behind her

They might have split up or they might have capsized

They may have broke deep and took water

And all that remains is the faces and the names

Of the wives and the sons and the daughters

Lake Huron rolls, superior sings

In the rooms of her ice-water mansion

Old Michigan steams like a young man’s dreams

The islands and bays are for sportsmen

And farther below Lake Ontario

Takes in what Lake Erie can send her

And the iron boats go as the mariners all know

With the gales of November remembered

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,

In the maritime sailors’ cathedral

The church bell chimed till it rang twenty-nine times

For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down

Of the big lake they call ‘gitche gumee’

Superior, they said, never gives up her dead

When the gales of November come early

Songwriters: Gordon Lightfoot

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Scouting Betsie and Platte Rivers

Thursday, September 27, 2018

It was a chilly, blustery morning with dark, fast-moving clouds. The Platte River is a perfect river for us to kayak, so we went to check it out. It is a beautiful, free-flowing, clear stream that travels 26 miles into Lake Michigan in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore. The trouble is the salmon are running and the river is lined with fishermen. We met a nice young couple locking their bicycles to a tree so they could ride back to their truck after kayaking. He said he grew up here and the fishermen are used to kayakers, and you just try to stay out of their way. We talked with two fishermen who had been roommates in college. Now in their late 50’s maybe, they had been here three days and were heading home. Seeing my camera, they suggested going to the weir where we would see Coho salmon jumping up the rapids and weir. 

I love to watch the salmon run, so we drove to Benzonia, took a left at the McDonalds and followed signs for the Betsie River Dam. Above and below the dam, fishermen lined the stream. Somehow hundreds of salmon ran the gauntlet, rested holes and then jumped the steps up the dam. Not always successful, they would just miss the top and get washed back down. Some jumped sideways and some backwards.

_1GW0603

At check-in, the ranger said it might be better to float the Betsie River, so we drove some crazy roads to check it out. It is a much longer river, and also beautiful. Put-ins and take-outs are a little more remote. Since we don’t have two cars, we were hesitant to float it. I’m sure there are people who will take you and pick you up, or even guide you. This is a beautiful river winding through varied terrains flowing with a pretty good pace (3-4mph).

Tybee Beach, Georgia

May 15, 2018

We drove over the beautiful Moon River, for which Johnny Mercer wrote the song for the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” in 1961. Mercer grew up here. 

We drove over to Tybee Island to explore. A nice lady at the Visitor’s Center told us where to go to look at pretty beach homes. Then we walked along the beach a bit. It’s a bit like Virginia Beach 55 years ago, which is surprising with it so close to Savannah. On the other hand, Georgia has so much water front on so many rivers and islands. 

Our nice lady neighbors across from us had a flat tire on their trailer, and asked for some help, since they broke their ratchet wrench trying to remove the tire. I was glad I had a big torque wrench, which made easy work of it.

We went for one more seafood dinner before heading back tomorrow. Our neighbor told us about Pearl’s Saltwater Grill, so we went. I had “Shrimp Three Ways” while Martha had tuna. It was all excellent, and the view fabulous.

Got back just in time to make sure Brynn Cartelli made it through on “The Voice”

Hunting Island Day 3

At low tide I took my camera up the beach for some pictures. This is such a cool beach Where wildlife manages to survive among humans. 

We then took a bike ride on Magnolia Trail and Lagoon Trail, then back on Maritime  Trail. I went for a swim in the ocean to cool off after that. It was just the right temperature to cool me off. A father and his teenage kids were having fun surfing the waves.  

Hunting Island Day 1

Monday, May 7, 2018

It’s always fun arriving at a new place, anxious to explore and see what is here. We walked out the long boardwalk into a huge marsh. It was low tide and they haven’t had rain for 12 days, so the only water was in the creeks. I was disappointed not to find birds, but it gave us an opportunity to see all the animals that provide food. One inch crabs were everywhere. They live in little holes with mounds of dirt making hills from their tunneling. There were abundant Periwinkle snails and mussels. A raccoon was feasting through the grass, barely looking up to see if we were a threat. 

Then we visited the little nature center where two volunteers gave us some great lessons about the park and where Martha could kayak. We headed over to the lighthouse for the 187 steps to the top. It wasn’t bad, and it provided a beautiful view of the park. 

Tuesday

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We photographed lots of birds gathered in a small pond beside the road. We would stop at the next pond north the following day, only to get caught by a very nice park ranger. I noticed the sign said not to approach the birds because they were nesting. Especially the wood storks can be scared off and never return to the nest. In an odd quirk of nature, the birds like this pond because it has alligators. Lots of animals like to eat bird eggs, particularly raccoons, but alligators like to eat raccoons.