Final Day in Newfoundland and Cape Breton

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Our last night in Newfoundland we stayed at Barachois Pond Provincial Park which is the first park we stayed in. In the morning we decided to hike Erin Mountain, since we didn’t have to catch the ferry until midnight. This was a long hike but probably one of the most breathtaking 360 degree views we have seen. There was one hike in another area we didn’t want to take because we saw there were over 400 steps and we thought that would be too much. Little did we know this hike had over 800 steps (yes, I counted) but we did make it. The difference in hiking in Newfoundland versus other places is they really like their boardwalks as well as the stairs. Sometimes it is a blessing and other times it is a curse.

Some of the 800+ stairs on Erin Mountain.

 

This picture doesn’t do the 360 degree view justice.

 

After this hike, we still had over 12 hours before we had to get on the ferry. So our last tour of Newfoundland we went to one more falls and one more lighthouse. Barachois Falls in Rose Blanche is a gravel trail that then changes to a boardwalk. A nice walk in to see a beautiful waterfall.

Boardwalk to Barachois Falls

 

Closer view of the falls.

 

The Rose Blanche Lighthouse was originally built in 1871 and restored in 1999. This is made from granite and during the restoration they were able to use some of the granite from the original lighthouse. The inside of the lighthouse showed where the keeper and his family lived.

Rose Blanche Lighthouse

 

Rose Blanche Lighthouse

 

Every place we went we saw wooden boxes and wondered what they were. They were in front of every house. At first we thought they were for holding the salt to melt ice in the winter. Our next thought was perhaps some sort of trash bin. They were octagon with slats and spaces in between. They were also different colors.  Come to find out it was actually a trash bin. The trash collectors do have to open it up to get out the trash bags. Apparently it is because of the wind in Newfoundland. If they used plastic cans as we are used to seeing, the wind throws them around and they get damaged or lose their lids. Smart idea.

Wooden Boxes

 

By midnight, we were on the 7-hour ferry back to Nova Scotia. Upon arriving in Nova Scotia, we opted to spend a couple days in Cape Breton. Cape Breton is another great place to visit. After the fact, we did think we should have gone here first as it was a little less spectacular than the coast of Newfoundland.

We didn’t see a lot of wildlife in Newfoundland, but we did see this heron on one of our hikes in Nova Scotia. The beach in Amherst Shore was a reddish color–lots of clay in the sand I’m guessing.

Heron at Amherst Shore

 

Amherst Shore Beach

 

 

View from Campsite in Cape Breton

 

Skyline Drive in Cape Breton

 

The Travelers

 

Overall we traveled 4,500 miles. The gas is sold in litres which when translated to US gallons is about $5.00 per gallon. So needless to say, we spent a lot of money on gas.

To finish off our vacation, we stopped off in Lubec to spend time with John’s family and to pay tribute to their father who lived in Lubec.

 

Burgeo Provincial Park and Erin Mountain

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After Gros Morne our next stop was Burgeo Provincial Park. This was another 2 hour ride over very bumpy roads. Since it had been raining the potholes were filled with water. As you can imagine, if you don’t see the potholes they will swallow you whole. Even the pillows inside the camper went from the top of the bed to the bottom as we rock-and-rolled through these streets.

There are over 100,000 moose in Newfoundland. Up until this point (almost 2.5 weeks into our journey) we had yet to see a moose. Luckily, we took this jaunt down to the southern tip of Burgeo and along the way we saw two moose walking right near the road.

One story we heard from a person from Newfoundland: When they were introducing moose to Newfoundland they would sometimes harness them and bring them by helicopter to different parts. As the natives looked up they saw a moose hanging below the helicopter. Since they always hunted for their meat they thought this was a great find and started shooting at the moose as it was being lowered. Gotta love it!

 

 

Our first siting of moose in Newfoundland.

 

After our two hour bumpy ride we arrived at Sandbanks Provincial Park. The town of Burgeo has a population of about 1,464 just about the same size as the town of Washington. There wasn’t much to see until we reached the park and the sand beach and views were everything we hoped for. We only spent one night here but it was worth the trip.

View of Burgeo Village from Sandbanks Provincial Park

 

Sandbanks

 

The different rock formations make the coastline unique.

 

View from top of hike at Sandbanks.

 

 

Final day in Newfoundland and onto Cape Breton….

 

L’anse aux meadows and Gros Morne

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After St. John’s we traveled back to the east coast and stayed again at Green Point campground in Gros Morne. We debated about going to L’anse aux meadows as it was about 2 hours north of Gros Morne National Park and the roads just aren’t great. In the end we did go. L’anse aux meadows is an archaeological site on the northernmost tip of the island. So we drove up on a not-so-nice day and camped at Pistolet Bay Provincial Park. As with most of the campgrounds this was a nice once and we met a wonderful ranger there and spent some time talking to him about Newfoundland. Luckily his accent wasn’t too heavy so we could understand him. Strangely enough, we met him 2 days later when we visited another area in Gros Morne. Anyway, we decided to go to L ‘anse aux meadows historical site the day we arrived. It was not a great day so walking around this site was a little less than desirable. We weren’t overly excited about this place but it was probably because of the weather that it wasn’t so great.

One of the Viking houses.

 

Thought this was an eery looking picture.

 

Okay more red chairs.

 

Bronze sculptures were quite interesting.

 

You can see how foggy it was here.

 

Statues at L’anse aux meadows

 

It was quite windy on the way back down to Gros Morne and it was blowing the camper all over the road. We made it with no problems but I was a little white knuckled as we were traveling. While we didn’t see a lot of wildlife we did notice a huge eagle on the way up north. We saw the same eagle in the same place coming back down. So the question is–was it real? We’re claiming it was. Who’s going to question us?

Coming back south we stopped at The Arches Provincial Park. These Arches show a geological formation formed over millions of years as a result of glacial action, wind and water erosion. The continuing changes to these Arches will probably result in them becoming rock pillars.

Love the look of these Arches.

 

Looking through the Arch

 

Shows how large the rocks are.

 

I loved how the waves covered the rock.

 

It is amazing how we go from rocky beaches to sand beaches. The Old Mail Road is an easy walk on the beach between the sand dunes and the campground at Shallow Bay. This path was once part of the only overland route up the Northern Peninsula. Every winter from 1882 to 1952, mailmen travelled it by dogsled to deliver mail along the coast.

 

A beautiful sand beach for a nice walk.

 

Another view of the beach.

 

Cow Head is the northern-most enclave community in Gros Morne National Park. The Cow Head Lighthouse is cast iron and was built in 1909. It is accessible by a scenic walking trail. You can tell it hasn’t been used in a while as it was surrounded by trees and you couldn’t see the water from the lighthouse.

Cow Head Lighthouse

 

Out buildings at Cow Head trail. Loved the colors.

 

View from trail at Cow Head.

 

Broom Point Fishing Premises was an interesting location where the three Mudge brothers and their families fished from 1941 to 1975. They all lived in a small 3-room house (at times up to 10 people) every summer to harvest lobster and cod. The men would haul in the cod and the women would clean the fish and lay out hundreds of cod on the beach to dry. It if rained, they had to go out and bring it all in until the rain stopped and then start all over again. Not a job I would want to do.

Butterfly on thistle as we approached Broom Point.

 

Fish store at Broom Point. The beach is where the women would spread out the cod for drying.

 

Ocean view at Broom Point

 

Lobster pots stored upstairs at Fish store.

 

Moving on we go to Green Point Geological site where there was another set of red chairs. Almost 500 million years ago, the rocks formed on the bottom of an ancient ocean. The Wave Sound sculpture by Rebecca Belmore is a cone-like shape that creates a natural application of the surrounding environment. I put my ear up to listen but didn’t hear anything different. But maybe it was just me.

 

Rocks jutting out at low tide.

 

Yes even more red chairs. This time at Green Point.
Wave Sound sculpture

 

We found a little town (population 281) called Woody Point. There was a nice lighthouse with a great view of the water and mountains.

Woody Point Lighthouse

 

One last hike in Gros Morne was Bakers Brook Falls. This hike started right from our campsite which is always a plus. It was a long hike (10 km 2-3 hours) but was well worth the trip.

Baker Brook Falls first view

 

Baker Brook Falls walking further down the trail. Can’t you just hear the water rushing down?

 

Next stop going south to Burgeo Provincial Park….

Terra Nova National Park and St. John’s

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We moved further west to Terra Nova National Park and then to St. John’s. Of course, we continued our hiking expedition at each place we stopped at.

 

Malady Head Hike

 

Gotta love those red chairs

 

One of the somewhat rainy days we went to a place called Trinity. This was a cute little town that we would have spent more time walking around if we had better weather. There were restored fishing rooms, historic buildings and unique houses. One of the buildings showed a general store where you felt like you were transported back into time.

Trinity Village

 

St. Paul’s Anglican Church

 

Ft. Point Light, Trinity

 

Lots of jellyfish near the Terra Nova National Park information center.

 

Another campground we stayed at was Butterpot Provincial Park. We took a nice hike and were rewarded with a beautiful view.

View from top of Butter Pot hill trail.

 

Another view of Butter Pot

 

As always on our next venture, I got us a little lost trying to find Cape Spear and Signal Light. We ended up in the heart of St. John’s. Luckily it was not as bad as driving in Boston or New York City. We eventually found our way to where we wanted to go. Signage in Newfoundland it a little difficult to say the least. If you see a sign telling you to take a right in 1 km don’t expect to see any more signs even when you get to the turn. You just have to figure it out or turn around once you have gone past it. (As we did quite often.)

Cape Spear is located on the Avalon peninsula near St. John’s and is the easternmost point in Canada. So we can now say we have been to the easternmost point in Canada and the U.S. (Lubec). The Cape Spear Lighthouse has been in operation since 1836. And a new concrete building was built to house the light in 1955. The original lighthouse building and the light keeper’s residence have since been restored to the period of 1839,

Cape Spear Lightkeeper’s Residence

 

Cape Spear Light

 

Panorama of lighthouse and residence

 

More red chairs with Cape Spear in background.

 

Love the color of the waves.

 

The waves were high the day we were at Cape Spear.

 

Signal Hill is a hill which overlooks the city of St. John’s. Due to its strategic placement overlooking the harbor, fortifications were built on the hill beginning in the mid 17th century. The final battle of the Seven Years’ War in North America was fought in 1762 at the Battle of Signal Hill, in which the French surrendered St. John’s to a British force.

Signal Hill

 

Okay more red chairs overlooking St. John’s.

 

View of St. John’s from Signal Hill

 

Lavender in abundance

 

Fort Amherst consists of a man-made harbor, a lighthouse and the remains of gun emplacements and pillboxes built during World War II to defend against German U-boats.

Fort Amherst

Back to the West Coast….

 

 

Grand-Falls Windsor and Twillingate

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Leaving Gros Morne National Park, we next headed east and traveled through Grand-Falls Windsor and Gander. Gander is the town that took in over 6,700+ people during the September 11th attacks. The stories from the Newfoundlanders and their guests were heartwarming.  This town of 10,000 residents ended up receiving 38 flights during the attacks. They took strangers into their homes and bent over backwards to make them comfortable. While we didn’t spend any time in Gander, just reading about what they did was amazing.

Grands-Falls Windsor (in the central part of Newfoundland) was a good stopover on our way to Twillingate. Right from the campground was a scenic walk to a waterfall. Just about every campground we stayed in during our trip had some sort of hike we could do right from our camper. Each one was different but all of them were worth the hike.

Grand-Falls

 

We went to the Salmonid Interpretation Centre and could watch the salmon as they travel upstream to the spawning habitat.

Salmon in holding tank prior to being released upstream.

 

Waterfall at Salmonid Interpretation Centre.

 

 

Cheryl and John at end of Blackhead Trail.

 

 

A view through the fence.

 

Our next stop was Twillingate. This was my favorite place in all of Newfoundland. The coast was just spectacular and we hiked along the coast for miles. Twillingate is known for its icebergs, growlers and bergy bits. (A bergy bit is a medium to large fragment of ice. Its height is generally greater than three feet but less than 16 feet above sea level . Growlers are smaller fragments of ice and are roughly the size of a truck or grand piano.)  Unfortunately, they are typically gone by August so we did not get to see any. We also didn’t see any puffins but the scenery made up for the lack of icebergs and puffins.

One of the many views at Twillingate

 

Lower Head Trail

 

One of the few pictures we allowed to be taken of us.

 

Lower Head

 

 

Village in Twillingate

 

And what would a trip for us be without seeing some lighthouses.  I needed a few more lighthouses to add to my list.

Long Point Lighthouse

 

Long Point

 

We went for a wine tasting and tour at Auk Island Winery. Not being a wine drinker I went for the Outport Raspberry Screech (Raspberry wine and Rum) and John tried the 3 Sheets to the Wind and Fifty Shades of Bay. The wines were made with different types of berries including crowberry, blueberry, cloudberry, bakeapple, and partridgeberries.  They even had wine ice cream. While this sounded terrible, it was actually quite good.

 

For you wine lovers, here is a great sign.

 

On to Terra Nova National Park and St. John’s…

Gros Morne National Park

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Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. All national parks and national historic sites are free to enter. We think this is part of the reason we had a hard time getting campsites. A few times when we got to the campground they were either full or had one or two sites left. After that, we had to plan a little more as to where we were going and make reservations ahead of time. A lot of time was spent just making these plans which was a little disappointing. But it all worked out.

We spent a few days at Green Point campground in Gros Morne National Park. This campground is a first come first serve so we got there and started pulling into one site when a woman came running up to us with her chair staking claim to the site. She had already registered and was trying to get to the site when we pulled in. We moved on and found one last site to take. There were some beautiful sunsets while we camped there. My pictures don’t do it justice but it was nice to see.

Sunset #1 – Almost missed this one. It was setting when we arrived.

 

Sunset night #2

 

Sunset #3

 

 

 

When I think of Newfoundland, I think of the small colorful houses near the water along with the rocky beach.

 

The rocks in Gros Morne NP intrigued us. Lots of different colors, shapes and sizes. Some of the bigger ones we thought would be easier to take a picture of rather than try to carry them home. We did bring a few small ones home. It reminded me of the time we took our nephew, Edward, hiking in Maine. He kept picking up rocks he liked and by the time we reached the top, his pockets were bursting with rocks. He was a little weighted down and had to drop a few rocks before heading back down. After learning from him, we decided not to fill our pockets

These rocks are actually underwater

 

Big rocks and little rocks.

 

The metal pieces here are from the SS Ethie. This was a shipwreck off the Martin’s Point in December, 1919. A storm blew up and the captain had to try and beach the ship. Miraculously, all 92 passengers and crew were saved.

Remains of the SS Ethie.

 

John enjoying the view

 

As we traveled around, we found many red chairs placed strategically in different areas. Other areas in Canada also have adopted this program. Eighteen pairs were added in 2014. We didn’t find all of them but did see a few. Some are at the end of a long hike, while others are not far from the road.

Red Chairs at Green Point

 

This was the extent of our fishing.

Came across this fish although not sure what it is.

 

We took a 2-hour Western Brook Pond Boat Tour. This is a landlocked fjord and is quite a sight. We originally wanted to take the boat to a hike which overlooks the rim of Western Brook Pond. They recommend a guide to take you as there is no real defined route and it takes up to 8 hours. So needless to say our aging bodies weren’t up for that so we settled for the boat tour.

The walk into the boat took about 45 minutes. A scenic view held out interest throughout.

 

Faces in the rocks were fun to spot.

 

Waterfall along the tour.

 

The final view of the tour was spectacular.

 

As always, I was able to find lighthouses in our travels. The first one was Lobster Cove Head. There were a few trails to walk around and enjoy the view.

Lobster Cove Head

 

Just so you don’t think there is no wildlife in Newfoundland, here is a snowshoe hare. He visited us a few times during happy hour while we sat at our campsite. And no, we didn’t share any drinks with him.

The snowshoe hare turns white in winter and dark brown in summer.

 

The Tablelands was an interesting place. One side of the road was like a barren desert while the other side was green trees. This area reminded me of traveling through Utah. We came to this area twice as the first time it was so crowded we didn’t stop. The second time we did get to hike the 4 km trail. roundtrip.

Another set of red chairs from the Tablelands.

 

View of Tablelands

 

Long walkway on Tablelands hike.

 

 

Another interesting rock formation at the Tablelands.

 

Down from the Tablelands was a hike called Green Gardens. This was a beautiful hike (9 km, about 4 hours) Totally different landscape from the Tablelands but also a great site to see.

View at Green Gardens hike.

 

Red chair view at the end of Green Gardens hike.

 

John snapped this picture of me at Green Gardens. I have a picture taken years ago of my mother in the exact same pose. Every time I see this picture, I think of her.

 

Every few days we need electricity just to recharge the camper batteries. One campground we had was a little less than desirable (think gravel and campers lined up one after another.) However, there is always a silver lining wherever we go. The best part about this one campground was sitting talking with our neighbors. They were from Louisiana and have have been to Newfoundland a few times. We had happy hour with them and a true Newfoundlander came over to talk to us as well. We only understood about every other word but he was fun to talk with. Many things are expensive in Newfoundland including the beer. An 8-pack (they don’t have 6-packs) costs $20. (We get a 30-pack in the states for $20.) Anyway, this man goes to Florida during the winter and on his way back home he stocks up on beer prior to entering Canada. Not sure if he has to pay duty on it, but it may still be cheaper than buying in Newfoundland.

 

On to Grand-Falls Windsor and Twillingate….

 

Port aux Basques

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The ferry arrived at Port aux Basques about 7 am on Wednesday, the 9th. Our first view of the area was to say the least extraordinary.

First view of Port aux Basques.

 

View in other direction at Port aux Basques

 

We traveled about 2 hours to Barachois Provincial Park from the ferry. Our original destination was Gros Morne National Park (4 hours) but after no sleep the night before 2 hours was plenty of time to travel. Anyone that has camped in Canada’s provincial parks knows how nice they are. There is almost always hiking you can do from the campground. They are very clean and the sites are wooded and spread out so you are not on top of one another.

We stayed at Barachois on our first night in Newfoundland and our last night. Our site was in the day use area right near the water. We were very secluded and after our first few nights in Nova Scotia this was a welcome site.

Truck camper with the driver (John) getting some much needed rest and enjoying the view.

 

Beach area at Barachois PP by our campsite.

 

An early morning view of the reflective pond at Barachois Provincial Park.

 

Traveling throughout Newfoundland we kept seeing the word “Barachois.” I finally had to google it to find the definition: A barachois is a term used in Atlantic Canada and Saint Pierre and Miquelon to describe a coastal lagoon separated from the ocean by a sand or shingle bar. Salt water may enter the barachois during high tide.

 

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Nova Scotia and Newfoundland 2017

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John and I had another successful trip in the truck camper. Our trip from August 6 to September 3, 2017  took us to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Normally I try to blog while on the road, however, this trip there were very few times we had internet and/or electric. So for those of you who have asked, here is a recap of our trip complete with pictures. I took over 480 pictures so I will post the best and try not to bore you too much.

During our camping trips, we very rarely make campsite reservations ahead of time. We like to decide on the road where we want to go next. As we soon found out, this trip made it a little difficult to do that.  Our first night we planned on stopping in New Brunswick at New River Provincial Park. This night, however, when we stopped we found they were all booked up. So after looking at the map we decided to stop at Harding’s Point Campground in St. John. Upon arriving, we soon found out there is a ferry to the CG. The ferry was free and was fun to take. Unfortunately, that was the best part of the CG. We felt like we were in a sardine can and sitting on someone else’s site while trying to enjoy the nice weather.  The beach (which was not near our site) was nice to look at. We survived the night and the next morning instead of taking the ferry back, we decided to take another route. Since my map reading skills aren’t the best, I directed John to take a turn which to me looked good on the map. An hour and a half later, we arrived at our original starting point  (campground) and took the ferry back over. So much for the map…

The boats were fastened with cables to go back and forth to the other side.

 

Harding Point Beach by campground.

 

We worked our way across Nova Scotia to catch the midnight ferry from North Sydney to Newfoundland. We toured Sydney before the boat ride and came across a beach with some unusual features. Not really sure what they were but we’re guessing it was some sort of barrier to protect the beach.

Beach in Sydney with unidentified objects.

 

Watching the ferry being loaded was interesting. We lost count of the number of tractor trailers, cars, motorcycles and, of course, the most important vehicle–our camper. We were wondering how the ferry didn’t sink with all that weight. The ferry ride was surprisingly smooth especially to someone who gets seasick. We paid extra to get a recliner seat so we could sleep. Sleep pretty much evaded us as we got to listen to 60+ people snoring in unison throughout the night. We had opted not to get a berth for the 7-hour trip thinking it would be very uncomfortable. We talked to other people that did get a berth and they had a comfortable bed, TV and shower. Next time we get the berth.

On to Newfoundland click here to next page

 

All good things come to a close

posted in: Georgia | 2
Goodbye from Seabreeze Island.

 

We extended our time in Georgia an extra week but it’s now time for us to pack up and leave. Our last week here was quiet as far as sightseeing. We had two days of rain and thunderstorms which cooled things off from the high humidity and temperatures. We did have a tornado warning for one evening but luckily we did not experience an actual tornado.

Our last trip was to Harris Neck Wildlife Preserve that we had already been to but we enjoyed it so decided to go back. We found another trail to walk and found alligators and many birds as well on this trail.

Wood storks

 

Coming in for a landing.

 

The birds

 

Just another gator. But look at those teeth.

 

Stork in flight or is it a teradactyl?

 

Butterfly on thistle. He stayed just long enough for me to snap his picture.

 

Our trip to Darien has been everything we hoped for. We have seen some fabulous sites (especially the Blue Angels), traveled to some wonderful marshes with lots of bird sightings, met some wonderful people in the area, played pickleball, kayaked, and added two more lighthouses to check off our list. We loved the house we stayed at and would certainly come back here again.

I had our last day here all planned. It consisted of going for a walk, playing pickleball, kayaking, and going for a bike ride. Unfortunately, with winds of 35 mph for the last two days we could only go for a walk. Maybe another visit.

Hope you all have enjoyed seeing some of the highlights of our trip. Until next time…..

Last happy hour on the deck.

 

 

Happy Easter from Seabreeze Island.

 

 

 

Wildlife and Marshes

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Altamaha Wildlife Management Area

 

Driving around this area, we see a lot of marshes and wildlife areas. While many of them look alike, there is always something different to see. The picture above shows a wildlife management area but used to be Butler Island Plantation, one of the largest plantations in the South, It is fun to see the birds, ducks, alligators and try to identify them. (The alligators are easy to identify.) Some birds we are successful finding what they are and other birds we can only guess at looking at the bird book.

Walking around this WMA we heard a huge splash into the water and moments later an alligator popped his head up. After that, we were on alert for not only splashes but we kept looking behind us to make sure they didn’t follow us. A few times even though I was expecting the splash it scared me as I didn’t see the gator.

A small alligator that ran into the water after he heard us. He had a twin just to the right of him not in the picture.

 

This big guy just sat watching us. His claw sticking out of the mud was a little intimidating.

 

Here are some birds that were in the trees right outside our deck at the house.

 

Hard to see this bird but as he sat there, we identified it as a Louisiana heron. Better picture below.

 

Louisiana Heron

 

Cattle Egret

 

This lizard appeared on the deck so he could get his picture taken as well.

 

 

We thought this was some exotic bird …but upon closer look it was a bobber in the trees!

 

Catbird

 

Outside of Savannah is a park called Skidaway Island State Park.The hiking in this park was like much of the hiking in Georgia–marshy areas amongst live oaks, palmettos and pines. They do offer an observation tower to view wildlife on the barrier island. Only problem was that the walkway to the tower got destroyed by the hurricane in October so there was no viewing from the tower for visitors.

Observation tower that you can only observe from a distance until they fix the damage from the hurricane.

 

View along the Big Ferry Trail.

 

During prohibition liquor stills were built on this secluded island. In the 1930s there were 31 liquor still sites located throughout the island. Boaters could easily sneak on and off this island with their illegal moonshine. Many stills fell victim to police raids. You can see ax marks on this still.

One of the remaining stills.

 

Some days we opt to stay home and choose to ride bikes and kayak. (OK maybe not John but Sharon and I got to do those activities.) John stayed back and played photographer. It was a beautiful sunny day, the bugs stayed away and the paddling was just perfect.

 

View from our house of the marshes where Sharon and I were kayaking.

 

Cheryl paddling back home.

 

Sharon working hard in the kayak.

 

View from the kayak of John on the dock. (I brought a little camera to take pictures.)
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