Wednesday, September 19, 2012

No Internet, No TV...a Week at the Beach in Bathurst, NB

We decided to spend a relaxing week at Youghall Beach in Bathurst, NB. I grew up in Bathurst and consider it my hometown. We both lived there for almost 30 years before moving to Toronto, and finally retiring in Fredericton, NB.

You can see Bathurst in the northeastern part of the province of New Brunswick.

The cottage was...well, shall we say rustic and be kind. We knew there was no internet or TV and we were actually quite looking forward to that. We weren't exactly counting on an infestation of fruit flies. They became Jim's nemesis and kept him busy all week figuring out ways to trap them.

The fireplace looks quite lovely, and it was really chilly some mornings. Unfortunately, most of the heat went up the chimney, but it looked nice.

Lots of old books and old pictures to look at. We really enjoyed playing Scrabble every night and both did quite a bit of reading.

The porch overlooked the water and we spent most of our time there. The glass part jutting out at the end of the porch was a cabana of some type and someone lives there, but we never saw him.

Access to the water was a challenge, but it didn't spoil our view. They have had to bring in a lot of rocks for a breakwater to stop the erosion.

It was very peaceful. We were at the end of the beach with very little traffic.

A lovely sunrise to wake up to. Most mornings, we were up early and sitting on the porch wrapped in blankets enjoying our coffee.

An angry storm rolled in one evening...

And it poured for a short time, but otherwise we had great weather.

We walked on the beach at low tide. Lots of crabs and other shell fish come in with the tide, so the gulls have great pickings.

I loved the impressions in the sand...

This reminded me of a tree...

This huge breakwater sure beats our rocks! Many people have built beautiful year-round homes at the beach and aren't taking any chances on losing their land.

And I just liked this...

This is one of the original cottages at Youghall and is still owned by the McLean Family. Angus McLean was the owner of the Bathurst Paper Mill in the 1920s and the McLeans were a very prominent family in Bathurst.

A panoramic of another lovely sunrise...

We decided to head to Miscou Island one day. I had never been there and we were looking for an adventure. These are the rocks at Pokeshaw. At one time, they were much closer together but erosion has taken care of that. In older photos of Pokeshaw, you can see many trees on top of the island and a proliferation of birds. It was also known as Bird Island.

Our next stop was Miscou, an island located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence at the northeastern tip of New Brunswick. I marked it with a red star below.

A bridge built in 1996 finally joined Miscou to the neighbouring island of Lameque, ending the use of a cable ferry.

Miscou was one of the areas explored by Jacques Cartier in 1534. The first residents came in the 1600s, but the first permanent resident was John Campbell who came from Wales in 1815. Miscou has a population of about 650 residents.

St. John United Church was built in 1921 close to the Miscou Lighthouse. Electricity was never installed in the church and oil lamps are still used today. A minister comes from Miramichi four or five times a year between April and September to conduct a service. The church has about 25 worshippers. There have been four weddings at the church, the first in 1913 and the last in 1997.

The Miscou Lighthouse on a spectacular sunny day. The lighthouse was built in 1856 as traffic and shipwrecks increased in the Bay of Chaleur. Due to erosion, it has had to moved further inland twice.

This is the road leading to the lighthouse with fiery red peat bogs in the Fall. Isn't that breathtaking? We could see some spots that were just starting to turn red when we were there. The people in Miscou call it the Barrens.

We climbed to the top of the lighthouse for wonderful views.

Miscou is now a favoured destination for kitesurfing and the World Championships were held there in 2009.

Look at this tiny church...Miscou Pentecostal Church. It was built in 1935 and, other than new paint, it remains exactly as it was built.

You can see it is suffering a little from frost heaving and is starting to have some indentations in the roof. Given the low number of parishioners, there are very few services.

We stuck our faces (and the camera) to the window. You can see the peeling paint, but everything still remains ready for a service...pews, a pulpit, an organ and vases.

Miscou is known for its sand dunes and lagoons, which have a variety of migratory birds. It's a popular destination for bird watchers and naturalists.

There are stories about treasures buried here at Wilson's Point.

I don't think this boat has set sail for quite a while!

And now wind farms are popping up...

Target practice...

After a lovely visit, with my wish to see Miscou granted, we left and headed back to Bathurst. These fishing boats were lined up in Lameque. Fishing is the major industry, with lobster and herring as the main catches.

This gives new meaning to a drive-in church! As you are approaching this church in Paquetville, it seems like you will drive right into it!

We both really enjoyed the time we spent at the beach and decided to rent this cottage next year. It's much more modern and has easy access to the beach.

Our cottage might have had some shortcomings, but you couldn't beat a sunrise like this one.

Until next September when we return...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Joanne's Special Birthday in Edmonton

After leaving Seattle, we headed to Edmonton, Alberta to visit Jim's sister, Joanne, who had celebrated a special birthday (won't say which!) earlier in the month.

Joanne has a new cat, Birdie, who became my new fixation.

Joanne has done a lovely job in her yard with lots of perennial flowers...

And her new endeavour this year...a square foot garden. A great way to plant lots of different veggies, but not too much of each.

Beer can BBQ chicken...yum! This cracked me up...if only he had a head, the tales he could tell!

Love my new zoom! It was great for stalking Birdie...

Joanne borrowed bikes for us and we joined part of her bike club for a ride. We loved Joanne's decorative bike helmet. Now that's a princess! (After we got home, I saw a re-run of Dragon's Den and the lady who is marketing these. She has done very well!

Part of our route that was a beautiful day for a bike ride!

For Joanne's special birthday, she wanted to go to a restaurant called the Melting Pot. Unfortunately, they messed up our reservation and they couldn't fit us in when we arrived. Harrumph! Her next choice was this Ethiopian restaurant. We got this huge plate for sharing...

Which you eat with this bread. You unroll the bread and break off a piece and use it to pick up your food. Different...and very good! I called the bread "blanket bread" because it reminded me of those spongy-type blankets. It was very filling!

Our last night with Joanne; her daughter, Teresa; and her granddaughter, Zoe.

We had a wonderful relaxing. And then it was time to fly home. Look at the size of these farms!! Gotta love the Prairies!

Home again! I think we had been gone too long because a momma pigeon decided our balcony would be a great place to make her nest and lay an egg...

Thanks to our great family and friends for a wonderful trip!