On the Road to Newfoundland – Across Canada

There is so much I can write about as I travel across Canada and yet there are still things that I would like to share about my adventures in New Hampshire.  There have just not been the wireless connections that I would have liked in order to keep up.

So I will jump to where I am at the moment and back track later as time and connectivity allows.

I crossed over into Canada just a couple of days ago.  I had traveled from Conway, NH, to Maine and crossed to the coastal road heading north east to Calais, ME.  It was there that I crossed the Canadian checkpoint.  Since 9/11 things have become much more formal about crossing our borders and my passport was a requirement.  There were a few questions from the boarder official and then I was on my way. 

Immediately I had to convert to the metric system as speed signs were in kilometers and gasoline was sold in liters.  I was soon doing 110, kilometers per hour, that is.  That is just shy of seventy miles per hour.  Luckily my GPS could be set up in kilometers and it would serve as my speedometer as well as guide.  Another adjustment was to the signage.  Canada is French as well as English speaking so many of the road signs were printed in both languages.  My high school French has faded and I only have a few dregs of the language left to recall.  Fortunately my English was acceptable everywhere I went.

I decided to stop in Saint John, NB, for the night.  I had been traveling for most of the day and it felt good to pull in to a hotel knowing a clean bed was there.  I figured that St. John would allow me to reach North Sydney in two days or less.  I would need to be at the ferry on the evening of the fifth.

having left St. John, NB

The countryside was not boring as it changed and wove its way north and then east as I drove away from St. John in the morning.  There are bays and large expanses of water everywhere.  The land rolled along with plenty of woods and none of the monotony of driving in the mid-western states of the US.


on the road heading east

I thought at first that I might only go as far as Truro, NS, but I reached it by mid-day and the GPS told me that North Sydney was only about four hours away so on I went.

Coal mining was a major industry in this part of Canada and I drove on what was called the “Coal Miner’s Highway”.  It became pretty much a two lane road, except for hill where a lane was added for slow moving vehicles, like trucks.  Still, it was not difficult to maintain a speed around 100 to 110 kph.

Coal Miner's Highway

Just as my GPS had predicted, at about four in the afternoon I rounded a large hill and there was North Sydney before me.  The ferry was huge and I took a short tour on the shore road through the town.  It reminded me of driving some of the shore roads on the south side of Cape Cod.

North Sydney

Next I needed to fill up my fuel tank.  Ninety-one octane had been the best I could find since Maine and I still struggled with converting liters to gallons so I would have some idea of my mileage.

It was a short drive across an equally short bridge and up a hill to get to the North Star Inn which overlooked the bay and the dock where the ferry was.

This weekend was apparently a big one for cyclists and several had checked in to the hotel.  Outside was a huge pedal-powered contraption that was part of a health drive campaign.

The Big Bike

With all those seats and pedals traction was only produced at a single rear wheel.  Steering was done by someone who would be seated in front on the left and it has hydraulic brakes as well.  It should be quite a show when it got going.

one-wheel drivedrivendriver


I will spend today seeing the sights and killing a bit of time until tonight, when I board the ferry.  We will cast off about 22:00 and the voyage will last 12-14 hours.  More to come.

the ferry

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