Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Tea Two with the Friar and Gibraltar

Wednesday August 28, 2013
Campobello Island
New Brunswick, Canada



We wake up to pea soup fog.


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Not a sign of any water outside our front window.

Darn, thought I might go out early before everyone else is up and enjoy the quiet or maybe the loons. The other end of the campground is fogging away.  I can barely see the swing and the arbor.  I have to zoom in to get this shot.




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Wonder what our new neighbors think of this fog? Isn’t their Airstream great??


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What to do given this fog??   HAVE TEA!!


We were going to hike the Coastal Trail at West Quoddy Lighthouse but there isn’t any coast to see.

So do we wait until it burns off or we do something that requires no view? How about we’ll go back and have that 2nd tea with Eleanor that I wanted to do before we leave here.

And so we do.

By the time we get over to Campobello the fog is slowly lifting. We get free tickets for tea at Eleanor’s favorite time of 3:00 ADT and then decide we’ll hike down to see the Friar  since it is low tide and we can walk along the beach. Notice how good I’m getting at this tide business?


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The information says, take the trail through the woods and IF it is low tide you can walk the beach back. Well I’m not taking any chances losing low tide, so we will walk the beach over.







The Friar is a stone chimney sitting just off a point known as Friar’s head. 

David scopes it out with his binoculars in the picture above.  It’s that little thing in the water at the end of the point.  It doesn’t look too far from here does it?


Here’s a zoomed in picture so you can see where we are going.


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It’s a great gravely rock shoreline until we get around this corner.


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We find huge cliffs, bigger rocks and hairy boulders.  Still not too bad, we can make it across on the big rocks by just being careful.   But where is the Friar?


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This turns into another big rocks and slippery seaweed jaunt.


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Really slippery.  Now what?




I look back at David.  He’s not coming.

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I can’t get any closer than this without crawling on the seaweed covered rocks so I’m going to have to give up on the picture angle which shows that the Friar is not attached to the mainland at the bottom as he looks but rather is standing out in the water some feet from the shore. 



Darn.  Even at low tide, I can’t get over there. 


Look VERY closely for my blue shirt and light sweatshirt hanging below my waist in the picture below to see how far away I still am.  What look like little rocks I could walk over on my right are actually totally moss covered basketball  sized stones or larger.   David took this picture from his high vantage point quite a bit behind me.   Can you even see me in this landscape?




SO I have to give up and go back.  No small task in itself!   David’s taking pictures of me from above.  I’m taking pictures of him from below.




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I’m thinking the best views of the Friar must be from the water or on postcards.  There is no view from the “overlook” and a hard won view from the beach.  Buy a postcard or take a boat is my advice.


I do make it back around to the stairs.


This takes us up to the nice, easy path, through the wildflowers and the woods, back to the visitor’s center.  No sign of encroaching tide.


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When the trail crosses a service road we meet up with a local woman coming down it picking blackberries.


For jam she tells us.  Or possibly for bars.  She dictates the recipe.  Only she doesn’t remember the exact things that go in the “crumbles”.   She is eager to show us the berries and to tell us about her picking and that the biggest juiciest ones are up out of reach.  But she’s not so eager to have  her picture taken with her berries.


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This is Gibraltar Rock not the Rock of Gibraltar.


We’re back with two hours to spare before “tea time” so we take a short hike to look at Gibraltar Rock.   This is apparently a huge glacial erratic which was brought here from the highlands of mainland New Brunswick and left about 14000 years ago.   The forest has grown up around it.


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The rock is in the Provincial park we stopped at yesterday.  But we start the hike from the International Park end of the trail since that’s shorter and we do not want to be late for tea.





This is definitely a BIG rock but Rock of Gibraltar?  These are Canadians, haven’t they ever seen the real rock??






It’s big on all sides

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Not sure if this tree is trying to climb the rock or just give it a hug. Any opinions?


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And now it’s time for TEA WITH ELEANOR!   It’s Tea Two for us.



We did the tea last week and enjoyed it SO much we wanted to come back again before we leave.  Here’s the post on our first visit with details I won’t repeat if you’d like to read it.  It was pretty much the first thing we did when we got to Lubec.  And it was great which is why we are back to do it again.


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If you are here for the tea, you get to go in the side door directly into the tea room.  Otherwise if you do not have tea tickets but want to view the beautiful Hubbard house  you go in the front door.






We are seated at five tables around the room all of which have lovely linens and table service.  For pictures of those see my first visit.


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Last post I forgot to take a picture of the excerpts of Eleanor’s My Day columns that are posted on one wall.  But while people are getting seated, I do today.


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Darleen welcomes us to the tea and begins the talk about Eleanor Roosevelt’s childhood while Carolyn pours our tea and brings out plates of delicious cookies.  

And now it’s Carolyn’s turn to present and Darleen does tea refills.  This is a bottomless cup of tea.



Carolyn is the main reason we have returned for a second visit.


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Of course the delicious tea and cookies don’t hurt either. 

But Carolyn’s presentation is so enthusiastic and she knows the history of the Roosevelt’s so well that it is a joy to listen.






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She has story after story all told with humor and charm. 

She is telling us about the pictures on the wall and doesn’t even flinch when the typical American tourist knocks on the closed door behind her 30 minutes late and wants to come in.  She and Darleen just bring in a couple more chairs, we all squeeze in, the extra people are accommodated with grace and patience.  Carolyn continues right on. 

Personally I would never have had the nerve to knock on a closed door knowing I am 30 minutes late for an hour long tea and ask to be admitted.  Is that just me???





Carolyn takes all the questions you want to ask during the tea itself and will stay as long as you want after the tea has ended.  I ask her about the delicious cookies and if the recipes are available and she takes my email address and says she will send them to me.  Now that’s above and beyond.




The party’s over, almost.


By now, even though the tea started at 3:00 ADT, it is 5:00 and these people are finished working.  We must let them go on home.  We walk back outside on the wonderful Hubbard House porch. 


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Everyone else has gone and we are admiring the view when Andrea and Rachel come from the front of the house.  It turns out, they are from Virginia and have been best friends for years.  Rachel has come to visit Andrea who moved here 9 years ago.  Andrea’s story is really something.   She was living in Montana when she decided to come to Maine.  She picked Lubec, bought her house over the internet and even though she had it inspected, she says she was shocked at the condition when she moved here sight unseen.   Now that takes some gumption.  But all has turned out well.

Rachel has been to visit every year and I ask her if she’s planning on moving up here.  She says she would but she has an elderly mother for whom she has responsibility.  We talk some about the difficulties with that since I have the same power of attorney and medical power for my father.

It’s great to talk to someone who actually lives in the town or has been coming here for years AND is from your former home state.  They give us a lot of information.  The most important of which is, where to find Baileys.   It’s behind the counter in the grocery store along with the cigarettes.  Now isn’t that a hoot.  Keep all those vices under control.  I thought only Penthouse and Playboy were under the counter.    Thanks Andrea and Rachel!    We do meet the nicest people.


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Just think, all that careful foot work and I could have just sat here on the lawn.


It really is time to be on our way although I don’t think this park ever closes and you could sit here on this porch as long as you want to.  I find that amazing too.  No worries of vandalism?  How nice!

As we start to leave we walk down into the back yard toward the water and what do we see, but the very picture we crawled all over slippery rocks in search of.   There’s the Friar clearly standing just outside the rock at high tide.  Boy does he look small from this distance.  He was huge when I was over there.  I’d still like to see it up close and personal from the water.  Say in my kayak.






And now for some parting beauties!


This will be our last visit to Roosevelt Campobello International Park so I’ll  leave you with some of their magnificent flowers.  I just couldn’t stop myself from taking pictures of the dahlias on my way out.  The roses are from this morning on my way in.   An amazing place.  Don’t miss it!!


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How big are they really?   Better than three times the size of my hand.

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Head Harbor Lightstation-it’s a tricky one to get to

Tuesday August 27, 2013
Campobello Island
New Brunswick, Canada



We’ll be gone most of the day so we pack a lunch.

I’m having a wrap with the Bar Harbor herring and Raye’s mustard we bought yesterday.  Looks good doesn’t it?   Who would have thought I’d ever actually like mustard.  Aren’t you shocked Carrie??   Also of note is that this Herring is made in Canada for the Bar Harbor Company which is located in Whiting, Maine.  I looked on the map and sure enough there is a straight known as Bar Harbor in the area.   Not to be confused with the one near Acadia formerly known as Eden further south.


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Today we are driving over to Head Harbour Lightstation on Campobello Island. 


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It’s also known as the East Quoddy Light house.  Or at least here in the states.

It’s located on the outermost of a group of small islands at the northeastern tip of Campobello and is the oldest surviving lighthouse in New Brunswick and one of the oldest in Canada.

To get there we drive across the border and keep going straight to the end of the island.   We park the car and set out on the path to the little “toll booth”.

The 61 foot high all-wood lighthouse was built in 1829 with the distinctive St. George red cross added before the end of that century.

A century ago, the light house was maintained by a full time resident lightkeeper employed by the Canadian government.  Today all the labor and expense of restoration and maintenance are borne by the Friends of the Head Harbour Lightstation Inc, a Canadian registered charity.  They charge a $5 per head cross over fee and $10 a head for a tour of the keeper’s quarters and the light itself.

I thought that sounded a bit pricey to me but changed my mind after I saw what they had to restore and maintain and the condition it was in when the government sold it to them for $1.00 Canadian.

We pay our $10 cross over fee and head to the first set of metal stairs. 



This time  we have the tide just right.


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Unlike yesterday at Old Sow, today we are SURE that the best time to be here is at low tide so we can walk over the sand bar and land bridge to the lighthouse.   So we are here about an hour before low tide.  The rocks are all exposed.  We see the lighthouse on the farthest island in the distance and folks walking across the gravel land bridge.

Turns out getting over to the light even at low tide is a bit of an accomplishment.  Nothing like the easy walk over to Bar Island from Bar Harbor.



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After reading the giant warning sign written in both French and English, we head down the first set of iron stairs. 


At the bottom we find what we couldn’t see from up above where it looked like an easy walk over gravel.  Now we see an area of large rocks we must get over and around before we reach the easier walking “sand bar”.  The bigger rocks are wet and covered with seaweed which makes them slippery.


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We’ve just come down the ladder behind me.



We are aiming to go up the ladder David is headed toward and onto island number two.


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Once we get to the sandbar, we are home free and up the steep second ladder we go to be met by another warning sign identical to the first.


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Island number two is really small.  It seems like about a dozen steps and I am at a great bridge connecting islands number 2 and 3. 




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Here we are on island number 3.  We walk across and finally get a view of the lighthouse on island number 4.  It looks really far away.

There is another “land bridge” to cross but this one has no beach to help out.  It is totally made up of slick seaweed covered rocks.












Ok then, down ladder number 3 and watch your step since it ends at a large slick rock.


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Ok now here we go. Through the first section.  Watch your feet.

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Getting closer and there is more gravel to walk on.

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A path, I can handle that.

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Almost there.

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And it was actually fun.




David’s right behind me walking up the last big slab before the last set of stairs.   I’m betting the lighthouse keeper and his family came and went by boat.  What do you think?


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As anyone who has ever owned an old wooden building knows, the maintenance work is never done. 

You just go from one thing to another.  You paint one side of it each year and when you get it all finished, then you start over.  Today there are workers pouring a new sidewalk, scraping and painting and repairing the seawall.   Visitors just walk around them.  I’m thinking that there probably is not a time when you can come over and not find someone working on something.


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This is the volunteer who later does our tour.
   Pretty sure he’s not afraid of heights.


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I am captivated by the light house and walk all around it taking pictures of the buildings and the views.  So does David. Some of these pictures are his.




The lighthouse “complex” consists of the light tower (1829), the adjoining keeper’s house (1840), the fog horn alarm building and storage building (both 1914-1915), and the boat house (1947).  Prior to the building of the keeper’s house, the keeper lived in the lighthouse itself.







Notice all the white dots on these rocks?  They are seagulls of course, with some cormorants thrown in for good measure so everything isn’t white.

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When I come around to the back of the keeper’s house I  see the volunteer/painter is also a birder and is identifying the gulls on the rocks.  The big ones are black gulls and gray gulls (also known as herring gulls).  The smaller ones are kittiwakes and Bonaparte gulls.   This man knows his gulls.  I have a little trouble with the various gulls but I know which ones are cormorants.




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After looking all around the grounds which on a rock are small, we decide to take the lighthouse tour. 

The tour includes the keeper’s house and the lighthouse itself.

That Canadian Flag wants to sit on the keeper’s roof in this wind.


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Come on in, make yourself at home.

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Thanks I will.

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Sure is a nice view from this rocking chair.

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I wish I could show the pictures they have there of the condition of the interior and exterior of this house when they took it over.  I am just amazed at the amount of work they have done and the wonderful condition it is in now.

The volunteer group is having some trouble coming up with enough period furniture for the house.  They are trying to do it in the period of the 1880’s to 1910 and have a good start upstairs and in one of the parlors.  But the kitchen appliances have been modernized so that’s in a 1950’s style.

The house has two rooms, kitchen and bath downstairs and three bedrooms upstairs. The rooms, of course, are very small. 

They plan to rent it out in the future.  Now wouldn’t that be sweet?  Spend the week-end or a week in the East Quoddy Keepers House.  Hmmm, how would you get there??  :-)


The Downstairs rooms

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Anyone remember that clock with the ticking tale??

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The upstairs bedrooms and stairwell

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How about this as a view from your bedroom??




These stairs are short and steep just like ours at the farm.

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After finishing the house tour, we head up into the tower. 


More stairs.
One set up to the second floor, one to the third and one to the light.



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On the second floor is the keeper’s room.  I do love all this old furniture.


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One last set of stairs and up through the hole in the floor to see the light.


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What a lens!  What a view of the world.
The original Fresnel lens is on display.  It was replaced in 1988 when the light house was automated.


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I guess you could call this the red light lighthouse now. 


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No one wants to leave this high perch looking over all the world.  How do they keep that glass SO clean??  But our time is up and we must come down.


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And then it’s away we must go before the tide comes in. 


It rises at 5 feet an hour and we’ve been over here for more than two hours since low tide.   I won’t take you back across all the wet stones and metal stairs again.  You can just go up to the top and read it backwards if you want.


We see the first land bridge is significantly narrower but not a problem when we come to it at 12:13pm.


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By 12:19 it looks like thisEast Quoddy Light 180




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12:44 – that’s a half hour after we start across.East Quoddy Light 190 


Water rises rapidly in this land of high tides.

We have our lunch here watching the tide rise and cover over the places we have just walked.  An hour after we were walking back through this very spot,  here is what it looks like.   If you are still over there now you’ll be staying for 8 hours and walking back in the dark.  Walking over is no picnic in the daylight.  Virtually impossible in the dark.


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On our drive back home we make a stop at the Provincial Park on Campobello Island.  This park’s land is adjacent to the International park and together they take up a bit more than 1/3 of the island.


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We drive through their campground which is very nice.  They have an electric section - no water other than to fill your tank, no sewer other than the dump station.  Cost is $28 per night American and $25.20 for senior citizens.   We’re happy where we are but this is a very lovely wooded campground with a variety of sites and many quite secluded.  It is also close to the trails and Herring Cove Beach which is where we go next.



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He’s marveling at the color of the sand.

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AND he’s making this beach’s rock collection displayed on the driftwood tree we are leaning against later.   This is in lieu of taking any of them home with him.


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We spend over an hour just enjoying being on this lovely beach which we have almost to ourselves.   If it weren’t for the call of dinner, we would have stayed much much longer.


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But we’ll be back.