Getting Packed For Another Trip

By DAMI - Last updated: Sunday, November 16, 2014
Jasper is always ready for a ride and he knows when we are getting for another trip because he likes to hop into the suitcase or into any bag. He wants to come along!

Jasper is always ready for a ride and he knows when we are getting for another trip because he likes to hop into the suitcase or into any bag. He wants to come along!

Our Burmese cats are so much fun, if you want to see some more photos of them you can visit our Burmese Cat Gallery.

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Fredericton to Kouchibouguac – Goodbye Summer!

By DAMI - Last updated: Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The last weekend of September was looking like the weather would be perfect for doing something special so we decided to drive to Fredericton to see the fall colors and to explore a bit more of the city we have not really taken the time to visit while we’ve been in New Brunswick.

The Parliament Buildings in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

The Parliament Buildings in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

The City of Fredericton offers guided tours of the historical downtown where we were shown buildings relating to the military history as well as the parliament buildings and other interesting spots. Our guide was very good and we learned some new things like all about the powder-monkeys and the windows in the molasses barrels!

The Fredericton Parliament Buildings are adorned with many small faces mainly of English Royalty or the families of the architects. There are only two carved heads on the building showing the faces of the natives of this region.

The Fredericton Parliament Buildings are adorned with many small faces mainly of English Royalty or the families of the architects. There are only two carved heads on the building showing the faces of the natives of this region.

The autumn leaves were bright red on this sunny September afternoon in Fredericton.

The autumn leaves were bright red on this sunny September afternoon in Fredericton.

Downtown Fredericton is more than historical buildings, there is an amazing Arts Center as well as the infamous Beaverbrook Hotel and an art gallery where this sculpture of a mountain lion perched on a tree was standing.

Downtown Fredericton is more than historical buildings, there is an amazing Arts Center as well as the infamous Beaverbrook Hotel and an art gallery where this sculpture of a mountain lion perched on a tree was standing.

Soldiers and their wives lived in this barracks in Fredericton. It once held the Temperance Society and is now home to the Arts College and summer market vendors.

Soldiers and their wives lived in this barracks in Fredericton. It once held the Temperance Society and is now home to the Arts College and summer market vendors.

A lion atop an old fountain on Queen Street in Fredericton. The fountain was from the late 1800s or early 1900s and had a water drinking spot for people as well as a lower one for dogs and cats and even one for jorses. How thoughtful to offer a fresh drink even for the kitties!

A lion atop an old fountain on Queen Street in Fredericton. The fountain was from the late 1800s or early 1900s and had a water drinking spot for people as well as a lower one for dogs and cats and even one for horses. How thoughtful to offer a fresh drink even for the kitties!

After our picnic lunch and tour of Fredericton we went to Hyla Amphibian Park in Fredericton and when we stopped to walk the trail we had our own personal guide! Dahlila the Black Lab gave us a tour of the trail. We didn’t see the frog ponds as we were tired and wanted to drive home…next time!

After our picnic lunch and tour of Fredericton we went to Hyla Amphibian Park in Fredericton and when we stopped to walk the trail we had our own personal guide! Dahlila the Black Lab gave us a tour of the trail. We didn’t see the frog ponds as we were tired and wanted to drive home…next time!

We did a bike ride of 21.4 km at Kouchibouguak National Park including the Major Kollock trail which was a real kidney pounding ride. It seems to get longer every time we do the ride. We forgot to bring snacks so it’s a good thing we had a big breakfast!

We did a bike ride of 21.4 km at Kouchibouguak National Park including the Major Kollock trail which was a real kidney pounding ride. It seems to get longer every time we do the ride. We forgot to bring snacks so it’s a good thing we had a big breakfast!

We pitched our beach tent and relaxed watching the surf and gulls at Kelly’s Beach. We tried for a nap but the Deer Flies were swarming us and we ended up mostly swatting flies. Still I went for a swim in what was our last trip to the beach for the year.

We pitched our beach tent and relaxed watching the surf and gulls at Kelly’s Beach. We tried for a nap but the Deer Flies were swarming us and we ended up mostly swatting flies. Still I went for a swim in what was our last trip to the beach for the year.

Going home after a hot day at the beach. Couldn’t believe it was 27 degrees at the end of September! We’ll be back next year, Kouchibouguak is such an awesome place for birds and beaches and biking!

Going home after a hot day at the beach. Couldn’t believe it was 27 degrees at the end of September! We’ll be back next year, Kouchibouguak is such an awesome place for birds and beaches and biking!

What a great weekend we had! The perfect end to a super summer in New Brunswick!

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Skyline Trail in Highlands National Park

By DAMI - Last updated: Saturday, September 20, 2014
The end of the Skyline Trail in Highlands National Park on Cape Breton Island has spectacular views of the sea and allows you to walk amongst unique growth on the windswept bluffs.

The end of the Skyline Trail in Highlands National Park on Cape Breton Island has spectacular views of the sea and allows you to walk amongst unique growth on the windswept bluffs.

We’ve been going to Highlands National Park for several years and have hiked many of the trails and stopped at all the lookouts to admire the views but this time we decided to finally do the Skyline Trail which was one of the few treks we hadn’t made in the park.

We decided to do the entire trail loop and went counter-clockwise taking the right fork in the trail where the loop begins. It seems most people do the Skyline clockwise or just take the left fork and go straight there and back to the boardwalks at the end of the trail, we wanted to do it different and we’re glad we did!

The trail crosses open fields with short stubby trees and grasses and some swampy marshy plants. There are great views of the ocean as you descend the trail which is pretty much downhill all the way until you get to the start of the boardwalk which is probably the most iconic section of the trail and perhaps the entire park.

The winds blowing off the sea in Highlands National Park leave the trees bent and twisted in to lovely sculptures.

The winds blowing off the sea in Highlands National Park leave the trees bent and twisted in to lovely sculptures.

The highlight was coming around a corner in a tall bushy section of the trail and I saw the hindquarters of a large moose! We finally saw a moose, these famous Highland Moose that we have often heard of and hadn’t yet seen.

He was munching leaves and was making his rutting sounds. It was amazing to crouch quietly in the bushes in the sunshine and watch him. He was huge but very peaceful looking and it was nice to stop and watch him rubbing his large antlers on the trees.

The highlight of our walk on the Skyline Trail was being able to stand quietly and watch this beautiful Moose eat some leaves just off the trail!

The highlight of our walk on the Skyline Trail was being able to stand quietly and watch this beautiful Moose eat some leaves just off the trail!

After we left we saw a few other hikers and they asked if we had seen the moose as I guess when a moose is spotted the word gets around pretty quick. I’m not surprised some people never see any moose on the trail; we passed a lot of people who were talking incessantly as they hiked and this would make any moose want to hide especially when they are talking about the economy and foreign affairs!

We walked along the boardwalk and stairs along the ridge of the highland hills and had an amazing view overlooking the Northumberland Straight as it shimmered in the sun. The trail from the end of the boardwalk to the start of the boardwalk is the most dramatic for views of steep sloping canyon walls but also for the interesting plants and flowers that grow along the wind beaten and wide open fairly bare slopes of the hill. There is an entire miniature world of plants we don’t see back in New Brunswick and it was fascinating to stop and see the tiny flowers and berries that snuggled against the rocks.

Stark and bare yet still life thrives in this desolate place.

Stark and bare yet still life thrives in this desolate place.

All in all the Skyline trail was nice, I don’t think it would rank as the best trail we’ve done in Highlands Park but then again there isn’t really any lack luster trails either; every season makes every trail different and there are bogs and elder forests and rocky trails with amazing views so wherever we go we are always happy to see something new.

The boardwalk has benches to sit and take photos and enjoy the view of the Nova Scotia Coastline.

The boardwalk has benches to sit and take photos and enjoy the view of the Nova Scotia Coastline.

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