Airstream Time

Exploring North America in an Airstream

Posts from the ‘Waterfalls’ category

Niagara Falls, Lester Pearson College and Route 14

Saturday, October 14, 2017

On a chilly, overcast morning, we went to Goldstream Farmer’s Market in Langford.  Traffic was very busy on a Saturday morning. They are also building like crazy here. It is surely a bedroom community for Victoria. Martha loves a farmer’s market! There are still fruits, vegetables, jams and breads through October. A man was playing guitar to entertain the small crowd. After shopping, we shared a chicken risotto with Jamaican carrot sauce. It was excellent. Might have to go back for another.

Then we drove to Goldstream Provincial Park to visit the other Niagara Falls. There was also the hope of seeing salmon running the small stream to spawn. There was a pavilion with a wood stove burning. A group of young oriental people were cooking egg rolls and other yummy-looking things at a picnic table. I walked by twice to get a look. They just smiled, but no offers for an egg roll. On one end was a collection of perhaps retarded people gathered around a fire. At the other end, two families were cooking hot dogs. Then there is always a guy walking around in shorts.

We walked under the highway through a tunnel. It was the rocky stream bed, but without a drop of water in it. Walking on, I was surprised to see water coming over the falls with a pool at the bottom. Then it goes under ground. I have often wondered how our trout survive drought years when there is no water in a stream, yet the next year it will have trout.

There were lots of visitors in the park. I couldn’t watch as a young family climbed up to a rocky ledge to have their picture taken. A mother clutched her little girl. Canada is great in the way they warn people of dangers, but they don’t prevent you from stepping off a cliff if you stupid enough. There is a nice visitor’s center with great information, and a good film on the salmon run. At a viewing area of a bay and marsh, 20 mallards played, ate and took baths.

After lunch we took the local trail, took a wrong turn and ended up in Lester Pearson College. A young student from Swaziland greeted us and asked if we needed directions. The well-spoken young man had gotten a scholarship and was studying mining engineering.

Saturday night must be go out to dinner night, as Martha gave me two choices for places to go. I chose Route 14 in Sooke. It was crowded, so we said we would sit at the bar. There were two big guys at the bar, and the waitress asked one to move down to make room for us. All other chairs at the bar were taken. I thanked the man and we took our seats as Toronto Argonauts were playing the Edmonton Eskimos in football on one TV, while Chicago was playing Los Angeles in baseball. The big man started asking me about my favorite hockey team. I told him the last time I watched a hockey game was my first date with Martha. The big guy could not have been nicer, and it seemed he knew everyone who came in, kind of like Norm in Cheers. The bartender was giving these two guys grief and they were giving it back. I felt right at home. Dinner was also great with a good Caesar’s salad, mussels and lobster ravioli with mushrooms, arugula and a rich sauce. As the big guy left, he said good night to everyone at the bar. It was a cool atmosphere, a great bar tender and excellent food.

Loft Mountain Campground

May 30, 31, 2017

We spent two lovely days at Loft Mountain Campground in the Shenandoah National Park. The Appalachian Trail circles the campground along the edge of the mountain where the views are spectacular. On Tuesday we hiked to Doyles River Falls, which includes three beautiful falls. This is a popular trail, so it is wide. A 3.2 mile round trip, it is pretty steep coming back up. On Wednesday afternoon, we hiked with Ed Brownfield to Jones River Falls. Again, this is a series of falls, and with all the rains we have had, quite beautiful. The hike back up wasn’t nearly as bad. 

We topped it off with dinner at Blue Mountain Brewery with Roberta Brownfield joining us. Ed was the designated driver for the 45 minute trip back to the campground. We saw one bear quickly crossing the road. Our wildlife viewing for two days was quite good. We saw an abundance of deer, many of which were in the campground, reminding me of Whistler’s Campground in Jasper, BC, where Elk wander throughout the campground. We saw one bear eating right beside the road driving in. He didn’t like the diesel sound, so we couldn’t stop and get a picture, but as soon as we edged past, he came right back out to continue eating. The car behind us stopped for some good pictures. We also saw a young turkey right next to the road, and there were lots of birds in the campground. I hate snakes, but they were no bother. We saw four, a cute little ring neck in the trail, a dead rattlesnake next to the trail, a garter snake, killed by a lawn mower in the campsite and one unidentified crossing the road. The treat was a bobcat slowly crossing the road as we drove down to dinner. That is only the third one I have ever seen, and it was so nice to give us a good look. I saw lots if bobcat scat walking the AT, but never saw one. 

Ed is a frequent visitor to this campground, and I see why. We’ll be back!

Hiking Maple Grove and Hopewell Rocks

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36℉ at 6:00 and a high of 57℉

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

It was chilly when we started the Maple Grove hike at 9:30, but it went up a mountain, so I was soon shedding layers. We stayed quiet as were sure we would see a bear or moose. Nothing! Well, the cute little squirrels were talking to us. A small cabin greets you at the top with an inside and outside fireplace. It is only open in the winter for those who will snowshoe to the top. After we came down there was a short hike to Dickinson Falls. This was a beautiful area, looking like a Japanese garden with walkways all along the small stream that runs through the golf course above. The golf course reminds me of the old course at the Homestead in Virginia. It is only nine holes, but it is beautiful. No one was on it!

We came back to camp for sandwiches and then drove back east 35km to Hopewell Rocks. On our way out of town, we stopped at the bakery and picked up some bread, sticky buns and cookies stuffed with dates, sampling the cookies as we drove. We arrived at Hopewell rocks along with a bunch of others including a couple of bus tours. Of course there are the huge swings in tides here. Though hundreds of years the waters have eroded rocks into islands with peculiar shapes. Ripley visited the spot in the 30’s and wrote an article the paper and his name stuck – Ripley’s Flower Pot. A man was guiding a bus tour through the rocks, and we tagged along. He was great, telling stories about the rocks, seaweeds and things that lived in the muddy waters of the Petitcodiac River. One of the seaweeds has a gelatinous material that is used to make ice cream and toothpaste. 

Leaving Hopewell Rocks, we took the scenic Lighthouse Route back. The road was rough, small and wound through some rough country, but parts of it were extraordinary. So many marshes followed the route, I was drooling. We followed a road to Point Enrage. I questioned our wisdom as we drove this little, windy, rough road, but when we ended up at the top of a cliff, the views were incredible looking back up the river toward Moncton. A lighthouse sits on the cliff protecting a very dangerous point. We could see and hear the tide rushing past those rocks. We talked with two young brothers visiting with their cousin. They live in Moncton and told the story of their parents who were walking along cliffs looking for fossils. They were so engrossed in what they were doing, they didn’t notice the quick tides coming in and their return route was cut off. They told of people getting hurt or killed in these situations all the time, but their parents somehow were able to climb the cliffs to escape the dangerous waters. They talked about how beautiful this place was, yet so difficult to describe or photograph.

Returning to the Lighthouse Route, we passed more beautiful marshes and huge, long beaches. This is a rough environment a long way from anything. There are houses, but not many, and most are very modest. I remember passing one dilapidated house and barn with the most spectacular views. The windy road led us back to Alma on the edge of Fundy National Park. We stopped at the takeout place for some clam fritters, but they were closed. 

Longue-Rive and a Lot of Wind

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As I drank my morning coffee, I heard what sounded like a huge ship on the river periodically turning it’s giant engines. It was very regular, but I couldn’t see anything out the window, so I went out for a look. Nothing. Maybe a storm, but I couldn’t see any lightning. About a half hour later you could finally see a huge thunderstorm rolling toward us. The winds picked up to 40mph, so we battened down the hatches and hung out for the morning.

By 11:00 I was stir-crazy, so we drove to Les Escoumins for lunch, then drove north to Longue-Rive, the next town north. We stopped at the Visitor’s Center, but the nice lady did not speak any English. The wind was blowing so hard it had broken the bathroom door outside. There were pretty falls of the river flowing into the St. Lawrence and a suspension bridge across. 

We keep seeing these rose hips in full fruit now. Squirrels are working hard to eat as many as possible and burying the rest. Reading up on it this morning, they are high in vitamin C and can be made into herbal tea, jams, soups and they are good for arthritis pain.