Day 748: Fort Beauséjour – Fort Cumberland National Historic Site

Today the kids did homeschool while I took the truck out to get gas and propane.  We left the Moncton casino this afternoon and drove east to Aulac, New Brunswick, where we visited Fort Beauséjour – Fort Cumberland National Historic Site:

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The site preserves the fort built here as Fort Beauséjour in 1751 to protect what was established as the border between British and French Acadia by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.  In 1755, the British captured the fort from the French after laying siege to the fort.  The fort was renamed Fort Cumberland, and was instrumental in preventing American control of Nova Scotia during the revolutionary war.  This model depicts Fort Beauséjour in 1755 on the eve of the British assault:

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The bell from an Acadian church nearby, cast in France in 1734:

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This room in the visitor center was filled with relics collected by a local Acadian, and didn’t necessarily have anything to do with Fort Beauséjour:

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Ship in a lightbulb:

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We toured the fort, whose walls contained several casemates, this one built by the French to house foodstuffs:

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Looking down into the fort:

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Barracks foundation:

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This stone casemate was added by the British after conquering the fort in 1755:

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Another French casemate:

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Cannons from the fort are on display:

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The kids completed their Parks Canada Xplorers workbooks and received their tags:

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Continuing east, we crossed into Nova Scotia and stopped at the nearby welcome center:

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The welcome center had a display on traditional rug pulling and included an area where visitors could try it themselves:

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A completed pulled rug:

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The welcome center had a nice flower garden:

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We continued east, stopping in Amherst, Nova Scotia.  We had called ahead and the Chamber of Commerce told us that the town had a public water spigot.  When we got there, we discovered it had an unthreaded hose, and that a button had to be pushed to dispense water one gallon at a time.  We used our water bandit to attach our hose, but the pressure was too high so I had to push the water bandit against the supply hose each time Trish pushed the button.  It took a while, and we were both pretty wet by the time we were done, but we managed to fill the tank.

After getting diesel (about $3.75 per gallon here), we continued on to overnight at the Walmart of Amherst.  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 747: Biking in Moncton

It’s another cloudy day here at the Moncton Casino, but at least it’s cooler today:

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After homeschool, Trish and the kids went shopping, and I went for a bike ride.  I almost immediately met up with Pablo, a local cyclist, and he proceeded to take me for a 35 mile tour of the area with 2200 feet of climbing:

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It was a great ride.  Nice meeting you Pablo!

Tomorrow we will hit the road, bound for Nova Scotia.

Day 744: Fundy National Park

Unlike their US counterparts, Canadian Walmarts have WiFi, which is great.  At the Walmart, we bought a Chatr SIM card for our unlocked phone.  $60 Canadian (about $45 US) buys unlimited in-Canada calling and 2GB of data for a month.  Like the last time we visited Canada, I used a free Canadian DID from Les.net and a free PBXes.com account to route inbound and outbound US calls through a Canadian phone number to avoid Chatr’s $0.20 a minute international call fee.  As far as Chatr is concerned, it’s a free domestic Canadian call, and I pay fifteen-hundredths of a cent per minute to Les.net for making the Canada to US portion of the call.  Not too shabby!  See the link above for diagrams and more geek-talk.

Today we drove east to Fundy National Park, which preserves one of the last Acadian forests in New Brunswick:

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We hiked the Caribou Plain trail.  The trail leads to a viewpoint overlooking a bog.  The bog here is about 12 feet thick, with successive layers of sphagnum moss growing on top of each other, leaving older layers below to accumulate as undecayed peat.  At this viewpoint, the peat pile is so thick that the pile slumped as it slid downhill, leaving a water-filled depression called a flark:

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The kids dropped sticks and rocks into the flark to test its quicksand-like characteristics.  From time to time, moose become mired in the flark and die if not rescued in time:

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After finishing the hike, we continued east.  We ran into road work, which reminded us of Alaska:

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We reached the visitor center for the park:

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The kids completed their Parks Canada Xplorers workbooks and received their dog tags:

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We went for a hike on the Dickson Falls trail:

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Silver Falls it ain’t, but it was still pretty:

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We drove down to the shore of the Bay of Fundy:

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Leaving the park, we continued east and happened upon this lovely turnoff with access to the bay:

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This is the first sandy beach we’ve seen on the Bay of Fundy:

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We were chased off the beach by a thunderstorm, so we continued east and north to Moncton, New Brunswick.  The plan was to spend Shabbos with the Jewish community here, but the parking didn’t work out so we drove to the other side of town where we will be parked at the Casino New Brunswick.

Good Shabbos from Moncton, New Brunswick!  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 743: St. Croix Island NHS, Canada’s St. Andrews Blockhouse NHS and Carleton Martello Tower NHS

Today we said goodbye to the Lubec Airport.  Morning and Evening fog for our entire stay prevented any flying, unfortunately.

We drove north along the shore of Passamaquoddy Bay, then along the shore of the St. Croix River to the US visitor center for Saint Croix Island International Historic Site.  The island itself is in the center of the St. Croix River, just off shore from the visitor center.  The site interprets the history of the island, location of the first permanent French settlement in North America, built in 1604.

The ranger presented the fascinating history of French and English colonization of the area:

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We walked the short trail from the visitor center to the shore of the St. Croix River:

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Would Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons approve of this mockery?  Methinks not.

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St. Croix Island is faintly visible through the fog:

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The kids completed their Junior Ranger books and received their patches:

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As we were leaving, we met a military family from Virginia whose older daughter has completed 135 Junior Ranger sites, roughly the same as what we’ve done.

We drove north to Calais, Maine, and crossed over into Canada.  Thankfully, our border crossing this time didn’t involve a half-hour strip search of our RV like it did last summer.

We drove south to Saint Andrews, New Brunswick, home of Canada’s St. Andrews Blockhouse National Historic Site.  The blockhouse was built during the war of 1812 to defend the river-facing canon battery that protected the town from American privateers who might try to raid the town:

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Ahoy, Yankees!  Actually, no Americans ever tried to raid the town, probably due to the presence of these canons:

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We’re still on the Bay of Fundy, so all the brown land is underwater at high tide:

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The block house is appointed with period furnishings:

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Upstairs, a small canon peers out over the main battery and the river:

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Driving East, we stopped at the St. John information center, where we failed to find a Nova Scotia visitor’s guide but stumbled onto the onsite dump station and water spigot, which we used:

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In St. John we visited Carleton Martello Tower National Historic Site.  One of many Martello Towers built around the world, this tower was built, like the St. Andrews Blockhouse, during the war of 1812 to protect the town of St. John from American naval attack.  During World War II, the roof was removed and a two-story concrete structure was added to allow the tower to be used as an observation post to direct fire at enemy ships:

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The visitor center was well done:

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The entrance to the tower is on the second floor, where the soldiers lived and slept:

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One level down was the powder magazine, as well as musket ports to repel an infantry attack:

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Looking out through the musket ports:

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The kids practiced the maneuvers they learned at Minuteman National Historic Park two weeks ago:

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The powder magazine:

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We took the stairs to what used to be the roof:

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This level originally had a parapet with canons, but in World War II two more concrete stories were added:

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Heading back down:

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The kids completed their Parks Canada Xplorers workbooks and received their dog tags:

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This is B’s second Xplorers tag, having earned her first tag at the SS Klondike historic site in Whitehouse, Yukon Territory last summer.

We continued east to overnight at the Walmart of Sussex, New Brunswick.  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.