1940 Chevrolet Rat Rod

August 11, 2019

Sunday morning as I drove through the town of Lameque, New Brunswick I spotted this combo in the parking lot of an auto repair shop:



A rat rod is a type of customized vehicle and also happens to be the license “number” of this particular vehicle which, by the way, was undoubtedly parked there to attract attention (mission accomplished) not because it needed an air conditioning compressor replaced or a nail taken out of it’s right rear tire.


Take a closer look at the front and rear wheel “fenders”:


A tire within a tire.  What an idea!


As I was driving north from Miramichi Sunday morning I saw a very similar vehicle, but in a tow truck configuration, driving south – I don’t remember exactly where.  I figure it is probably owned by the same person and is perhaps off at a car show or something.  I was hoping maybe it would be there when I drove south later in the day Sunday but it wasn’t.  I will be going up that way Monday morning so I will check again then.

You will note than the vehicle and trailer are in their natural “rusted” state.  When I was in high school in eastern Pennsylvania our school district decided to build a Middle school to reduce the strain on our aging high school.  The architects designed a round, windowless building with an open classroom concept in mind (virtually no fixed interior walls, mainly moveable partitions).  For they exterior they recommended a material which, when it rusted, would look like wood.  Well, when it rusted it looked like rust.  It was one of the ugliest buildings I have ever seen.

UPDATE – 8/12/19

This morning I did go back to the spot where I saw this vehicle on Sunday hoping that maybe the same person owns the Rat Rod tow truck I saw driving south.  It still wasn’t there and perhaps never would have been.  It just seems too close in the geographical area to be a coincidence.  I will continue looking online.


Jellybean Boats!

August 11, 2019

When I was in St. John’s, Newfoundland I posted photos of their famous Jellybean Row houses.  Well this morning, as I prepared to cross the bridge from Shippagan, New Brunswick out onto Lameque Island, I saw this line of colorful boats off to my left.  It is evidently quite a popular spot for photos as there were lots of people there taking pictures both on my way north and, later in the day, back south.


Here is a closer look from right to left:



I’m kind of partial to the dark blue boat on the right in the photo above.  My initials are JAD.






The wrath of JohnBoy

August 11, 2019

I stewed about this for about a half hour this afternoon and want to get it out of my system. I went to a popular tourist spot along my route today and as was taking a photo of my target from the parking lot I heard a vehicle next to me start up. I looked over and when I saw what it was I took a photo. The driver saw me take it and as I was preparing to zoom in a little he waved me off, politely (in the Canadian Way), with his hand and arm movement. Yes, he is pointing a finger in the photo but it is his index finger, not his middle finger. I nodded to acknowledge no more photos and walked away.

After I thought about for a few minutes I decided – screw you, pal (in the American Way). It’s just a frickin’ car. Get over it.


You don’t want me to take photos of your kids or post them on my blog if I already did take them – I get that and I will absolutely honor your request. You drive your goofy little car to a popular tourist destination on Sunday afternoon and don’t expect everyone there with cameras to take your picture – no way Jose. If you don’t want someone to take a picture of your goofy little car take it out at night or keep it in your garage.

Are you on the run from the authorities or cheating on your wife and don’t want your picture taken? In witness protection, perhaps? Then don’t drive around in such a conspicuous vehicle.

I think we should do the old chain-letter number on this dude. Everyone right-click on the photo and save it to your computer. Then send it to, oh, say a hundred of your friends – and ask them to send it to a hundred of their friends….


There, now I feel much better.

Birds near Lameque, New Brunswick

August 11, 2019

Sunday was an amazing and very lucrative day for photo ops.  I took over 500 photos (many are duplicates, but still…) and it may take a little time to get them all posted but I think the wait with be worth it.


I left where I had been staying in Miramichi and continued north on the Acadian Coastal Drive which I had driven on Saturday.  I stopped briefly in the town of Tracadie-Sheila (pronounced TRACK-a-dee SHAY-la) to make sure I knew where the house I would be staying in Sunday night is located and then continued north all the way past Shippagan and out to the Acadian Islands.  I then backtracked and went west to Caraquet and Grande-Anse before doubling back to Tracadie-Sheila on back roads.  I may post things a little out of sequence but will try to knock out a few easy posts tonight.

I saw some huge nests on top of utility poles and they were occupied by large birds I presume are osprey.  I briefly thought they might be sharp-shinned hawks based on signage I saw today but the legs and claws on these more closely resemble osprey.

When I drove my car into position and got out with my camera one bird left the nest, flew in a few circles near me, I think checking me out.  I never felt threatened but it finally landed on a nearby tree, away from the nest, probably to draw me away from it.

It was chirping and calling constantly, probably a warning (or a call for reinforcements to come pluck my eyeballs out).



Now that I have the photos uploaded I think the bird that left the nest (above) IS an osprey.  After getting those shots I turned my attention back to the nest and there were now TWO large birds in it.  These, I believe, are sharp-shinned hawks.

When I took the photos the nest was pretty far away and I just pointed the camera, zoomed in on the target and clicked off pictures, one reason I take so many.  I wasn’t even sure what I was seeing.  I find it chilling to look at these photos and see that both birds were staring right at me.




One of the two left the nest again and landed on a utility wire nearby.  I methodically walked closer and closer (on the opposite side of the road) and eventually beyond it.  They were always keeping tabs on me.





I tried hard to get shots of them in flight but I am still struggling with that.  I have the shots but they aren’t all that great.  What was really amazing to watch was when they were ready to land on a tree or in the next and they slow down and extend their legs before touching down.  I never got a shot of that but it is poetry in motion.  I will be heading back the same direction tomorrow morning and may try to get some more photos.  I also want to just watch them with binoculars for a while (maybe from a little further away).


Flags of the eastern Canadian provinces

August 11, 2019

Like states in the US, each Canadian province has it’s own flag which, in my opinion, are more colorful and interesting than their US counterparts.  I’m going to post them in the order which I have, or will be, visiting the province.

I made an earlier post about Nadal (Civic) Day in Nova Scotia and included a picture I had found online, which showed their flag flapping in the breeze.  I decided to show just straight shots of all these flags so you can see all the detail.

All of these photos I found online at en.wikipedia.org

New Brunswick, where I stopped for two nights after entering the country and to which I have now returned:


My Airbnb hostess told me last night that every child who goes to school in New Brunswick is taught to draw this flag!

Nova Scotia:

Flag of Nova Scotia

Newfoundland and Labrador:


Prince Edward Island:




And finally, Ontario:


As future trips take me to some of the other provinces (the ones which border the United States, I doubt if I’ll ever get to the Northern provinces)  I will make a similar post showing their flags.

Kouchibouguac National Park

August 10, 2019

After I had backtracked and driven my scenic roads north beyond Shediac, Bouctouche and Richibucto Saturday morning, all of which I had stopped in in search of “air and repair “for my tire the day before, I reached the southern edge of this National Park, located south of Miramichi on the east coast of New Brunswick. I had stopped in briefly here as well on Friday to get a map of the Park and get a general idea of things I might do when I returned.


Don’t be afraid of the name, given the area by the indigenous Mi’kmaq people. They called this area Kouchibouguac – the river of long tides. As with Kejimkujik in southwest Nova Scotia, this name is also pronounced just the way it looks: koo-she-boo-GUAC (like the short name for guacamole).

When I stopped at the Visitor Center Thursday I saw that the “red chairs” had a different application than in other Canadian Parks I have been to thus far – placed just outside the Center, with green directional signs below the name pointing, and showing the distance, to Gros Morne National Park and L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic site in Newfoundland. I imagine there is another set in a location I will be telling you about shortly.


I’m almost afraid to mention it but if you look at the window above the chair on the right you’ll see the reflection of me taking the photo. Yikes!! Sloppy camera work there, JohnBoy….

That photo was taken Friday when it was overcast. Saturday at the Park the sun had come back out (briefly) and I stopped at the Visitor Center again to ask a few questions I had formed about the Park.


If you look at the window above the chair on the right you’ll see…. why…. I don’t believe it…. it’s Safety Sam! Wait a minute…. who let that guy in here….

After having my questions thoroughly answered I drove deeper in to the Park. The thing I was most interested in were the sand dunes out near the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This Park is located far enough north along the eastern edge of New Brunswick that it is above the northwest tip of Prince Edward Island so I was no longer looking out towards the Northumberland Strait as I had been down in Boutouche.



The dunes themselves are out just beyond the strip of land you see in the distance and are accessed by the wooden walkway you see on the right side of the photo above. I didn’t go out there as the dunes themselves, while nice, I’m sure, are unremarkable and visitors were told that much of them are closed to public access as it is Piping Plover (a bird) nesting season and they are not to be disturbed. What is distinctive about these dunes it that the water beyond them is the warmest salt water found north of Virginia!

After visiting the Park my original plan was to return to my Airbnb in Miramichi, grab my digital camera which I had inadvertantly left there when I left this morning, and drive west on another scenic road on my list. Well by the time I got into town the sun, which had been out after the morning batch of rain, had boiled up big, nasty looking thunderheads which were clearly dumping large amounts of rain not far off in the distance. Radar showed that the large system was moving towards Miramichi and a severe thunderstorm watch had been issued for the area. I headed home, worked on the blog and spent the remainder of the afternoon and evening visiting with my Airbnb hostess. She and I ate dinner and stayed up drinking wine and talking until the wee hours of the morning. We both had many stories of our travel and life experiences to share and it was nice, for both of us I think, to take a break and just enjoy each other’s company.