My favorite quote of the day: > “The most efficient way to get through this is to listen to what he has to say.” “We are not here to hear what he has to say,” Engoron replied. “We are here to listen to him answer questions.”

Can anyone guess the context of this quote?

Mesa Verde

Today started out with another harrowing drive. We received about 3 inches of snow overnight, so my first duty was to clear the snow off the car. The snow was melting off the streets and it was warm enough that I really wasn’t worried about the drive. Until we started up the million dollar highway, on snowy, icy, roads, with no guard rails! We were doing 5-10 miles per hour on some parts. Luckily once we reached the summit things improved dramatically, but it was a very long first hour of driving.

The highway was built in the 1880s to connect Silverton with Ouray. It is supposed to be stunningly beautiful. Hopefully we can return in the warmer months to find out.

Our Journey for the day

From Silverton we continued on to Durango and then Mesa Verde National Park. It was a great time of the year to visit as the crowds were pretty small. The downside is that the ranger led tours of the cliff dwellings had ended a few weeks ago. Still, we were able to see a lot of the detail of the construction extremely well.

IMG 7825

IMG 7826


Mesa Verde, Machu Picchu, and other ancient constructions always astonish me. How could they have done all of that building? So much progress in engineering that seems to have been lost. What happened?

Westward Migration

Today began just North of Denver, dry roads and a cloudy sky. We had coffee and got our day started, we were on the road by 8:00. Our path today would take us to Ouray with a stop at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Not our usual route out of Denver, up I70, but rather down US285 and over Monarch pass. Not more than 20 minutes down the road the conditions changed drastically. Cars in the ditch and ice on the roads. We slowed our progress considerably and soon the ice changed to water, but the skies got cloudier and the snow started. The conditions were not too bad until we climbed up toward Monarch pass. A pickup (pulling a camper!) had slid off the road, we slowed way down and joined a line of other like-minded travelers.

IMG 7791

Once we were over the pass, the temperatures warmed above freezing and the roads thawed and the sun came out. We paused for lunch at the Alpine Brewing company in Gunnison. We continued west toward Montrose but took a detour slightly North to take in Black Canyon NP. It was cloudy and we could hear thunder in the distance. Its odd to look down on the clouds in the Valley.

IMG 7799

I kind of felt like maybe I could hear the dwarves from the Lord of the Rings.

IMG 7803

IMG 7811

The thunder got louder and closer, and before we knew it it was sleeting like crazy. In less than five minutes the roads were completely covered in slushy ice. But once again as we descended slowly the roads cleared.

We continued on our way toward Ouray and were treated to a beautiful sight as the clouds briefly cleared.

IMG 7819

Our evening in Ouray was pretty uneventful. We walked around downtown, but it was pretty quiet as it was cold and rainy. We had dinner at Brickhouse 737 in Ouray and it was a great meal. Quite a nice change from breweries and other on the road meals.

This is a theme for me in 2023… Individual thinking versus institutional thinking. From Bloomberg: “Still, any lawmaker who crossed party lines would risk fierce backlash from key supporters and donors”. Too many people are ready to burn down the entire country instead of working together! WTF!??

Happy Thanksgiving?

Happy Thanksgiving! or Columbus Day or Indigenous People’s day! We are in Canada and Thanksgiving and Columbus day are on the same Holiday. It seems really weird for us to hear people wishing other people a Happy Thanksgiving on a Monday, much less in early October! But it was a day to be thankful for after all!

We started our day by visiting Niagara Falls! Our first stop was the behind the falls experience. It was a little unnerving to walk through a tunnel realizing how much water was flowing just feet over your head! But the sights were quiet nice.

IMG 7718

IMG 7725

We thought the view from above was even better. This is one of my favorites!

IMG 7735

The Canadians clearly were lucky in that you can see Horseshoe falls as well as the American falls so much better from the Canadian side.


The afternoon was a fun afternoon of wine tasting in the Niagara region. Starting with the Wayne Gretzgy distillery and ending with a very nice pork chop on our grill back at the camp ground. At this point vacation is basically over and we have two days of driving to get back to Decorah. I’m almost sure the adventure is not over yet. So stay tuned for further updates.

Rainy drive to Green Lakes State Park

After a fitful night of sleep due to the on again off again rain, and in between the rain the wind blowing the rain out of the trees along with many leaves. We finally got up and decided to head down the road. It was just lightly raining when we broke camp, but as we drove west toward Syracuse NY we drove in and out of fairly heavy rain. Nothing nearly as bad as the moment we arrived at our campground!

It wouldn’t be a good trip if you didn’t get to use your raincoat. So we put them on and used the dump station and added some fresh water. Do I look happy or what?


When we found our site, it was basically a shallow river. Despite our excellent rain coats we were pretty wet by the time we got backed in and leveled up. I was wearing my crocs for some dumb reason so my feet ended up soaked too. I decided to do some work, which was a mistake, as something broke, so I couldn’t run my Saturday updates.

We thought about heading out to a brewery for dinner and the hope of watching MNUFC take on LA Galaxy. In the end our internet was good enough that we decided to make chili and stay in. The Loons miraculously won, so that is something. Their playoff hopes, however dim, are still alive.

The morning was cool and partly sunny but very windy. I spent the morning working on my problem and finally found the solution I needed. Jane took a walk around the campground. We had hoped to bike along the Erie Canal, but it was way too windy and cool.

Green Lakes state park

Then I got the board book for the Luther board meeting and saw the schedule for Thursday, so we called another audible and decided to head out to Niagara Falls today, which will allow us to arrive in Decorah on Wednesday instead of Thursday. You gotta stay flexible when you are on the road.

Dear AppleTV

Some vague excuse about a dispute between MNUFC and local broadcasters is not an excuse for not broadcasting the game I paid for. Especially when you say I can stream it elsewhere.

Mixed emotions on the departure of Adrian Heath at MNUFC. But probably time for a change. I certainly appreciate all that he has done for the club over the last seven years. @jthingelstad What are your thoughts? Who would like you to see succeed Adrian?

Franconia Notch Stat Park

Onward to New Hampshire! We have turned the corner and started heading back west. We got to Acadia a day early to try to maximize the nice weather, and are doing the same to try to enjoy some New Hampshire “leaf peeping.” Personally I’ve now done enough leaf peeping to last me a while, but everywhere you turn there are hillsides full of vibrant colors. Jane has a higher level of enthusiasm and can’t get enough of the leaves.

Here is a beautiful view from “Height of the Land,” one of our first stops in New Hampshire.

IMG 7667

We arrived at our campground at Franconia Notch State Park. It is a very compact campground and took a lot of fancy driving for Jane to get our camper backed into our spot. Its one of the most unlevel spots we have had and took some stacking skill on my part to get us level left to right. But it was a beautiful site, with a nice fire pit.

IMG 7673

After a long day of driving it felt good to go for a short hike at Artists Bluff. It was a good workout of climbing over rocks to get to the top where we could see hill sides in every direction, a small pond and even some of the ski slopes. It had turned quite windy so we didn’t stay on the bluff as long as we might.

Instead we headed back to camp, got a couple of bundles of wood, and made a nice campfire with happy hour and some burgers on the horizon. This will be our last campsite with no electric hookup. Also no place to dump, so we’ll have to haul our gray and black water with us to New York.

We have reservations for three nights, but we are anticipating leaving a day earlier as it is supposed to rain and we can drive to Syracuse and break up the drive to Niagara.

The highlight of day 2 at Franconia Notch was the hike to the Flume Gorge. This was a fun hike through a granite and basalt gorge. covered bridges and walkways. Fall colors were everywhere despite the overcast day.

IMG 7694

IMG 7705

When the hike was over we still had a drive on the “Kanck”. A well known highway with lots of turnouts. This weekend is a long weekend with Columbus day and Canadian Thanksgiving, which seems to be widely celebrated in the Northeast. So it is one of the busiest weekends of the year for leaf peepers. But despite the crowds there was plenty of beauty to go around.

IMG 7713

We stopped for lunch in North Conway at a restaurant that was featured on Diners Drive-ins and Dives called Barley and Salt. We had the Thai chicken tacos which were really delicious and which I am determined to recreate when I have more than a camper kitchen to work with.

By the time we got back to the camper, which was round 6pm it was starting to rain so we packed up the chairs and had everything stowed and ready to take off in the morning. The rainy night was a perfect night to use some of the left over ragu in the freezer. We both feel like we we are in the home stretch now. We will be in Decorah in six days. The time has flown by, but looking back at our initial stops in New York feels like a long time ago!

Cadillac Mountain Sunrise

I woke at 1:15AM, three and a half hours of sleep left. Darn, I did math, now my brain is awake. Breathe slowly and try to get back to sleep. 2:30, wonder what time it is now? 3:30, really? just sleep until the alarm goes off already! 4:30 both of us are awake but we might as well just lay here for 15 more minutes! Finally, my iPhone alarm goes off and I accidentally hit snooze – as if! I’m so used to just waking up at 5:30 every morning, that when I need to set an alarm to get up earlier my whole system breaks down. So why all of the fuss?

We had a reservation to watch the sunrise on Cadillac mountain! It is the first place to see the sun come up in the USA. I guess that is a cool feature. The recommendation from all of Jane’s research was to get there an hour before sunrise, which was very good advice because of course the sky starts to glow well before.

IMG 7615

It is so cool to be sitting up there looking at the ocean and all of the little islands, and everyone around you is whispering, because its dark and nobody wants to spoil the vibe. We watch a cruise ship come into the area waiting to deposit its passengers in Bar Harbor for the day. We hear lots of fishing boats heading out, and we can see lots of moving points of light on the water.

We can tell there are some clouds on the horizon so there should be some nice color. And there is!

IMG 7625

6:35 comes and the sun is obscured by the clouds on the horizon, but we wait a bit longer and are rewarded with a glorious sunrise! The volume level goes up all around us, and people leave their spots and start wandering around more. Everyone seems very happy! A beautiful sunrise and the promise of a new day.

IMG 7630

What a great way to start your morning. Next we think that maybe some Popovers from the cafe at Jordan’s pond might be a good way to celebrate a successful sunrise, so we stop, but sadly they do not open until 9. It is only 7:30, so we head back to the camper for some pancakes instead.

Later some more hiking and another trip to Bar Harbor to find the internet. My coffee grinder has broken down, so I’ll try to see if I can find a replacement or at least by some ground coffee for future mornings. We only have a week left, time has gone so quickly.

Acadia Day One

Lets get going by 9 Jane said. No problem, time for coffee and morning puzzles etc. My watch and phone said it was only about 8:15 and Jane was pacing, “ready??” Her iPad said it was 9:15. Some of our devices had not made the switch from Atlantic to Eastern timezone. Not surprising given the lack of internet connectivity around Acadia.

The result was that we got an early start on our hike up the Beehive Trail, which was good because we definitely beat the rush. Here are some pics to highlight our hike/climb.

IMG 7583

Yep, this hike features vertical climbs up metal rungs. A couple were even past vertical. I must admit that the pictures definitely look more dangerous than it felt at the time.

IMG 8018

IMG 8043

The climb was definitely worth it as you could see forever, and it was beautiful.

IMG 7570


IMG 8025

With the hike finished we headed back to the camper. The sun and solar panels had already done their job of recharging the batteries for the camper. We had worked up an appetite so I cooked some hash browns, bacon and scrambled eggs on the griddle.

IMG 8060

Acadia has highways, park roads, and carriage roads. The last are thanks to the Rockefeller’s from way back. The carriage roads are for bikers and hikers and horses only. So it is a great way to see the park free from traffic. Getting to the carriage roads from our campground, however, is a bit of a challenge. We had to start on one of the park roads for a few miles and then walk our bikes up the bank to the carriage road once we got there.

IMG 8098

We really enjoyed Jordan’s pond and Eagle Lake and the Bubble Pond… The fall colors were really brilliant

IMG 7599

IMG 8114


The last bit of our ride was back to hiking. To get from the carriage road to the highway that brings us back to our campground required some fancy maneuvering!

BE90A02A 2C2D 46FC B2F6 ED062B98A4B3

With plenty of exercise for the day, we rested for a few minutes and then went in to Bar Harbor where we had a dinner reservation. Bar Harbor was busy I can’t imagine what it is like there during the summer months. But we found a brewery with good WiFi to catch up on a few things and then walked around the shops before heading to Geddy’s for some calamari and pizza.

It was not a late night, as we need to get up at 4:45AM to drive up to Cadillac mountain to watch the sunrise…

Halifax for Jane's big six oh

Halifax has a nice food scene and a pretty boardwalk along the bay. We saw several cruise ships leave and arrive, and got to try a local specialty. A Donair.

A Halifax Donair shares some history with a Gyro, except that they are made from beef and have a special Halifax sauce. Crispy thin sliced beef with a creamy, sweet, garlic sauce with plenty of tomatoes and onions. We split one from a shop on the boardwalk so as not to spoil our appetites for Jane’s birthday dinner.

IMG 7524

The boardwalk was fine, but I wouldn’t say spectacular. We found a nice Irish pub for some drinks, and they had a live band. So it was fun to sit and listen. Not as cool as the ceilidh back on Cape Breton, but still good.

IMG 7525

Birthday dinner was at The Bicycle Thief restaurant. It was a very nice meal, Jane had Seared Atlantic Halibut with brown butter & parmigiano fregola, charred asparagus, vino bianco, roasted sweet tomatoes, lemon & caper beurre blanc. I had Old-School Lobster Thermidor, Whole NS Lobster, wild mushrooms, shallots, Brandy crema, gratinéed with breadcrumbs, gruyère & parmigiano, truffle spaghettini & fresh asparagus. Both were delicious. We had a nice bottle of Chardonnay from Long Meadow Range in Anderson Valley. For desert we split the Creme brulee… slightly warm, with a really crispy crust, in short perfect. Top that off with a little sip of Port or Courvoisier and you have completed a near perfect meal.

Riding the Adventure Trail in Nova Scotia

The plan was to bike about 14 miles to Lunenburg, have some lunch at a brewery, and then bike back to where we parked. Drive back to the camper and make some Peruvian chicken for dinner. That was the plan. It was a beautiful day, It was a beautiful ride, although the trail was a bit soft in a number of places, and in a few it was completely washed out.

IMG 7950

However, 15 miles into the 14 mile ride we called a halt to consult the map. Somewhere along the way we had missed a turn that we didn’t even know to look for. Now we were almost to Bridgewater, quite a distance from Lunenburg.

IMG 7965

What to do now? Trying to make a triangle out of the situation was not a good solution. No trails from here to there, and the distance would have made the ride too long. So, we decide to turn back, maybe stop at a brewery along the way back, and see where to go. Riding along and discussing the options further, we decide to just head back to the truck and then drive from there to Lunenburg. Jane really wanted to see Lunenburg as it is a UNESCO site.

To get there we had to drive through Mahone Bay. What a zoo! We drove into their annual Scarecrow Festival! People everywhere. Cars everywhere. Astronaut scarecrows, firefighter scarecrows, They were everywhere. Kind of funny and clever. One of the few things we didn’t take a picture of, sadly.

Eventually we made it to Lunenburg where we found a good viewpoint to take a photo of the town, with its colorful buildings and tall ships in the harbor.

IMG 7979

Around four O’clock we parked and walked to the Shipwreck Brewery tap room. The smell of pizza was a little overwhelming as we walked in! We hadn’t much to eat, and had just ridden 30 miles. After looking at the menu we decided the chicken could wait! One small pizza and one lobster roll to go with our beers please.

The Cabot Trail

I have to admit I was a little whiney. Not yet 7am and Jane was ready to go. It was barely even light outside. But we had to get going. We are driving the Cabot Trail today, around Cape Breton island including many many short stops in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Spoiler alert… even though I was a bit grumpy starting out this was one of my favorite days. This drive is just so beautiful. In Jane’s notes it was described by some other blogger as follows:

The Cabot Trail is a road that hugs the Gulf of St. Lawrence on the rugged northwestern edge of Nova Scotia, where around every bend you want to pull over, spew expletives of joy at the stupendous vista, and take another snapshot.

Our first fun stop was to take the worlds shortest ferry ride on the Englishtown ferry. We had a lovely chat with the ferryman during our three minute crossing which covered everything from the state of education to English Premier League football, to the relative strength of various hurricanes, to whether the Packers (he saw our Wisconsin license plate) would win their Thursday night football game. We covered a lot of ground!

Englishtown Ferry

Our next stop was Middle head. A really nice hike which we cut short because we were still worried about time. Jane had read that it was really difficult to get the whole loop done in a day



After that it was just turnout after turnout of stopping to take in the scenery. Our next real goal was to do the Skyline hike.



The skyline hike was four miles out and back. With a set of boardwalk steps at the end that give you a pretty spectacular view of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.


IMG 7867


IMG 7852

More scenery followed the Skyline hike…until we arrived in Cheticamp, where we decided to stop for lunch at the Doryman’s pub, rather than eat another day’s worth of turkey and salami sandwiches. We had a great view of the bay and I had fish and chips and Jane had chowder. The chowder was great. My irish red ale was also very good. We think that our waitress secretly could not believe that Jane would like the IPA she ordered and so brought her a bud light instead.

At the end of the trail, Jane made a “wrong turn” that led us to the Big Spruce brewery instead of our camp ground. We enjoyed a couple of pints before heading back to relax for the evening. We made a campfire, thanks to our neighbor who gave us some nice dry kindling and paper to get it going! We were still very full from our mid afternoon meal that we warmed up some leftover pizza on the Traeger for an evening snack.

IMG 7885

The Table

Last night we had a fabulous dinner experience! On Prince Edward Island there is an old church, that once was a barn, but is now a restaurant. It is open every night for dinner for one seating of around 20 people. Their menu says they are “a love letter to Canadian food and wine.” The menu changes every week, and they don’t repeat, ever, at least not in 8 years.

IMG 7784

All the foods are local, that is they use ingredients from PEI that mostly come from just a few km away. They don’t use any ingredients that are not grown in Canada. So, no lemon, or lime, or black pepper. Instead they make pepper from the flower cluster of the Green Alder, They are super creative and the food was just awesome. One of the highlights of the night was the Halibut. One of their friends/suppliers, a fisherman, showed up on their door a couple of days ago to let them know he had a 50 pound Halibut he had just caught, he thought they might want it. We are glad they did!

The kitchen area is open for everyone to see the small staff working to prepare the next course. And before you eat the course the chef explains what you are getting. Then as you are eating he walks around to answer questions or just chat with every table. They pair each course with a Canadian wine. The result is a 7 course meal that goes from 5:30 - 9pm, a beautiful night of food and drink.

IMG 7451

  1. roasted carrots, marinated carrots, cows’s blue cheese fritters, basil aioli. The blue cheese fritters (Choux batter with blue cheese mixed in) were better than any fried cheese curds I’ve had in my life!

IMG 7450

  1. celery root soup, roasted celery root, pickled mustard seeds, celery.

IMG 7452

  1. french river halibut, clam cream, dill oil potato, chives. SOOOO GOOD. We were imagining the staff milking the clams, but it turns out it is more like homemade clam sauce mixed with cream and then reduced.

IMG 7795

  1. belle river rock crab mezzalunes, charred tomato aioli, cured egg yolk. What? Cured egg yolk salted and dried and then they grate it over the pasta! I’m gonna try it.

IMG 7456

  1. cold water shrimp, our bread, herbs, crispy shallots. The chef described it as a mid meal snack! Yummy.

IMG 7457

  1. braised island short rib, potato puree, market vegetables, ox tail jus. I’ve hated beets for 50 of my 59 years. But I have to admit that these were not bad!

IMG 7800

  1. geoff’s apples, maple granola, mint oil, whipped sweet clover cheesecake. The apples were warm, but still crunchy, and the whipped cheesecake was like a thick whipped cream. A delicious ending.

IMG 7458

Jane’s favorites: The carrots and the Halibut

Brad’s favorites: The Halibut, the carrots were a big surprise and the fritters were just so good. Learning about cured egg yolks.

Prince Edward Island

This morning we woke up at almost 7AM (Atlantic Time) way late for us usually. I lost whatever unspoken contest we had, and got out of bed to turn on the heater! We like keeping the heat off overnight and sleeping in the cold rather than having the heat kick on and off.

We decided to drive to the beach to see if we could see more than last night, and we ended up finding a very nice board walk with some great views

IMG 7437

From there it was only a 3 hour drive to our campground on Prince Edward Island. I can’t imaging what a zoo this place must be during the summer but at this time of the year it was very quiet. They had assigned us a pretty lousy campsite but the nice person checking us in just said to drive around and pick whatever spot we liked, and give her a call on the off chance that someone else was going to be here and had booked that site. Even with all of that it took us more than an hour to get situated. The sites were so uneven and once we got the camper in a decent position the steps would not go down far enough! In and out, up and down… Usually it takes us about 10 minutes to back in and level up. It took us almost an hour!

We had hoped to bike, but it was very cloudy and windy today so we didn’t have any desire to bike. So we drove the coastline, and around the area. Here’s a very attractive photo of the shoreline with a not so attractive picture of my shirt blowing in the wind.

IMG 7703

A more interesting picture of the beach.



The National Park closed last week, and things have shut down very quickly. So most of the shops and attractions were closed for the season. Thankfully our dinner place for the evening was not one of them!

IMG 7442

It was a four course dinner experience. You got a 1 pound lobster plus unlimited chowder and mussels and salad and desert. it was all very good and we had the nicest server who talked with us and answered all of our questions about the area. This place goes through 20,000 pounds of lobster and 90,000 pounds of mussels every year. They have a huge lobster holding area that they feed with fresh and salt water to keep them happy/slightly sedated before they are cooked for us. The mussels are also locally “cultivated” and were delicous.

Here I am diligently working on my Lobster! IMG 7730

Over the Confederations bridge to Prince Edward Island. The longest bridge over ice covered water in the world. 8 miles long and high enough for cruise ships.

Bless the Broken Road

No I haven’t suddenly become a Rascal Flatts fan! But 40km into the 120km stretch of NB 108 (New Brunswick 108 East) that phrase came into my mind. Why? Because it is quite possibly the worst stretch of highway we have ever been directed to drive by any maps application ever. Not counting the horrible dike road incident at Lake Chilcot Arkansas in 2021. That was clearly not a highway. The first warning was that there was no gas or service for 120km. The next bad sign was that the speed limit was 80km/h but we couldn’t drive more than about 50! The road was broken! When Jane posted on the RV group about our experience this was the reply.

Who or what gave you the option of taking the 108? When it was called the Renous shortcut way back when, that road was take at your own risk, things have not changed.


The road was broken for miles and miles.

But God bless it!! it was beautiful. And totally devoid of cell service!

IMG 7422

IMG 7428

Our stomachs (and bladders) were churning from the bumps so badly that we stopped at the first gas station 1.7 km from the end of the road. But their network was down. So gas was cash only. Ummm we have some US$ but very few loonies. Thankfully gas (at least petrol) was not the point of the stop. So we moved on. Never have we been so happy to get on a smooth highway!

And we arrived at the Kouchibouguac campground on Saint-Louis Lagoon on the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Eight hours after our six hour drive started. But… this is why we call it an adventure! You never know what you are going to encounter…

Our first order of business after getting the camper settled, by which I mean picking up everything that was strewn all over the floor. Everything from an entire box of frozen meat from the freezer to cans of soda and ice trays. What a mess. After getting it all cleaned up we decided to walk down the trail toward Kelly’s beach… Unfortunately we discovered that the bridge to the beach had been removed for the season! Grrrr 2.2 km of constant mosquitos for nothing! Adventure! We turned around and headed back to the camper.

IMG 7431

Life is not so bad! Bless the Broken Road.