Into the Woods 2017

I happen to be one of those people who loves looking at vacation pictures.  Since I know that’s not the case with everyone (and this is still just a garden blog) I’ll try to keep it quick.  Last August we headed out for the annual camping trip and although our base camp was in the woods, we spent nearly all our time exploring the beautiful maritime region where Maine ends and Canada begins.


On the lookout for whales at Head Harbour Lightstation, at the very Northern tip of Campobello Island.

Campobello Island, New Brunswick was our home, and besides the scenic coastline and cool northern air (and water!) the island is also the site of the Roosevelt Campobello International Park, a joint operation between Canada and the US which operates the park and curates the summer cottage of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

My first visit to Campobello was over 30 years ago but one of the things I remember best were the immaculate flower beds which decorated the FDR visitor center and cottage grounds.  They’re still there and they still contain all the bright annuals which seem to do best where summer temperatures rarely break the 80F (27C) barrier, and ocean fog is a weekly occurrence.

The kids are still young enough to enjoy just about everything about roughing it.


In charge of the breakfast dishes.

Herring Cove Provincial Park Campground was our base camp and in addition to an exceptionally friendly and thoughtful camp staff, it’s also just a short walk from the beach.  The cold Atlantic water is only for the most desperate or daring of swimmers, but there’s always a whole outdoor world to explore and plenty to do along the coastline.

Another memory is the exceptionally collectable stones of Herring Cove beach.  They’re all so perfectly polished and there’s such a range of colors and types.


Herring Cove beach

Although Campobello is part of Canada the only bridge to and from the Island connects to the US mainland.  To avoid crossing the border and making the two hour roadtrip to the next border crossing, the locals travel back and forth via ferry.  Just for fun one of our days was spent riding the ferries between Campobello, Deer Island, and then the Canadian mainland, and of course it’s an extremely scenic trip this island hopping through the wildlife rich waters of Passamaquoddy Bay.

We had exceptionally warm and sunny weather for the first part of visit, but a trip to Campobello wouldn’t be complete without fog.


Back in the US at West Quoddy Head lighthouse.  West Quoddy is the easternmost point on the continental US and an excellent site for some of the easternmost calisthenics in the United States.

Lubec Maine’s harbor is as scenic as Maine gets with its lobster boats and fog shrouded islands, and the rapid tidal currents swarmed with gray and harbor seals as bald eagles cruised the air.  Of course there were plenty of seagulls as well!


The docks just off commercial street in Lubec Maine.

Hopefully we made a few memories on this trip, ones which are strong enough to hold up to a return to wifi, but if anything the kids were just excited to visit their first foreign country… and collect what seemed like hundreds of dollars worth of ‘souvenir’ Canadian change.


A foggy Mulholland Point Light with pink fireweed and yellow rudbeckia.

We will see where we drag ourselves off to next summer!

27 comments on “Into the Woods 2017

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    What a nice getaway – it is so beautiful Down East. Love the shot of the fireweed and rudbeckia – that is a combo to try in my field.

    • bittster says:

      Yes, I love the coast of Maine. Top to bottom beautiful!
      Fireweed always has that ‘Northern’ feel to it. I only see it on vacations up north, I wonder how it would do a little more south.

      • Eliza Waters says:

        It supposedly grows all the way to GA, but I think it prefers cool mountainous areas, as it is adverse to heat. It require cool stratification for germination. Up for the challenge? 😉

  2. One of my favorite places. The most recent time we visited Head Harbor Light, there were, as advertised, several minke whales swimming past.

    • bittster says:

      We once watched a family wading across from the lighthouse, the rising tide had nearly stranded them and the family dog needed to be pulled out of the current as they came over. As we stood on dry land helping them dry off and listening to their close call (which had been everything the signage warns people about) a Minke came up within 50 yards of where they had just crossed. That was quite the shock!
      I love all the wildlife up there. The abundance really makes you feel good about that part of the world at least.

  3. Never hesitate to exploit your gardening blog with such a readable account of your travels in a beautiful country. We have similar memories of Canada and the East Coast last September. Mulholland Point is scenic. Ideas for our next trip. Keep holidaying.

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    We have been up through here too. It is a gorgeous part of the planet. I loved seeing this area through your camera. It brought backs some lovely memories. My favorite photo is the last one. Great perspective.

    • bittster says:

      I’m glad it brought back a few memories. I hadn’t been there for years either and it brought back memories for me as well. Sad to see some of the changes, but other things seem to just go on forever!

  5. Annette says:

    I quite enjoy travelling especially at this time of year so thanks for taking me along. I’d love to explore that part of the world sometime but it’s always a bit tricky when you have animals. With the weather being so rotten I’d leave tomorrow! Having said that it’s supposed to improve next week and then I’ll have a rendez-vous with the snowdrops. 🙂

    • bittster says:

      I hope your rain has decided to take a break, it will be several days at least before you can dry out!
      We are fairly lucky animal wise (the close neighbors who can be too close at times) come in very handy for taking animals in for a few days or checking up on them throughout the day.
      There are so many trips I’d like to take. It’s hard breaking away from the day to day…

      • Annette says:

        It has after I decided to complain madly about it! 😉 I was even able to start cutting back as things are starting to sprout. And oh those snowdrops…

  6. Indie says:

    Gorgeous! A trip to explore Nova Scotia and that area is on our list of things to do one year. What gorgeous lighthouses! Looks like a lovely trip.

    • bittster says:

      Nova Scotia is on my to-do list as well! I think it’s a little more touristy but that’s not always the worst thing for ice cream and souvenir lovers such as ourselves 😉

  7. That looks like a wonderful vacation. The last photo is just perfect; the kind of image you can just get lost in. Can’t believe I never knew that that is where Campobello was located. Since FDR also went to Warm Springs, GA, I just assumed it was a southern location as well. Deer Isle has a famous summer art camp which I tried to get into for years with no success. If I had a bucket list, Maine would be on it.

    • bittster says:

      Linda you do live in a beautiful part of the country, but Maine and coastal Canada also have their charms. Completely different though.
      I think you would like coastal Maine, if you ever get the chance make the trip! For some reason the beauty of the Northern coasts of states like Maine and Oregon seems to really bring out the artistic side of people, and it’s a real vibe in these areas.

  8. Alain says:

    It sounds like a very nice trip. I have never been to Campobello but I was born about two hours due north of it. Although a different country, the same part of the world.

    • bittster says:

      I wish we could have gone a little further North to your ‘birth lands’ but we just didn’t have enough time. Growing up we made it to Kouchibouguac a few times and it was such a special place, I’d love to get there again and even better make it to the Gaspe Penninsula some day.

  9. johnvic8 says:

    Thanks for your geography lesson. All new to this southern boy.

  10. This is very interesting to me as I have been thinking about Judy and I taking our next trip to Maine. The last time I was there was probably 50 years ago as a kid visiting Acadia National Park with my family. Campobello looks terrific. Oh, and we used to camp with our kids also until they hit their teen years.

    • bittster says:

      I wonder how long my kids will make it. They always have fun, but they’re definitely not used to roughing it!
      Get to Maine if you can. South of Acadia is excellently touristy, further North also has its tourism but you can still get that old Maine coastal feel.

  11. Cathy says:

    This looks like a wonderful place Frank – I am not one for camping, but love the sea and all that coastlines have to offer. Great photos of the lighthouses. 🙂

  12. Peter/Outlaw says:

    That’s some “cottage!” Looks like a grand time was had by all; what wonderful memories you’re creating for your kids. Loved seeing some blue sky and blooms!

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