On this trip, in hot drenching weather, we barely dip our toes into 2 big regions: Madawaska in New Brunswick and Témiscouata in Québec. Our home base will be in Edmundston at the Days Inn. We leave Friday at noon and our first stop is at the Youngs Cove covered bridge information center. It is a great place to stop and gather information brochures.
On the Highway we can’t resist the advertisement for the Potato World Museum so we make an impromptu stop in Florenceville-Bristol. We learn many new interesting facts and buy ourselves a couple of place mats for out homemade TV dinners.
In Grand Falls we visit the museum where no one is able to explain to us why there is a copy of John F. Kennedy’s will. The highlight of our visit is a nifty 3-D picture viewer called a stereoscope.
Right across the street from the Museum we stop at the Visitor Information Center and get a map for the hiking trail and get to see the falls from any different angles across the bridge. DD is wearing a skirt so we pass on the Zip lining across the Gorge: it looks so refreshing!
Our last stop of the day is in Edmundston where we check into our hotel, Days Inn, for a well-deserved rest.
We are up at 6 on Saturday morning and by 8:30 we are taking advantage of the morning freshness and enjoy a short bike ride from The Botanical Gardens heading south.
We spend 3.5 hours at the New Brunswick Botanical Gardens. It is a record heat day and it is fairly quiet. We start with the butterfly hothouse where the cleaning lady is finishing her shift and telling us about the butterfly life cycle: they only live 2 days as a butterfly which is when they breed and their longest life is as caterpillars. We end our tour with Rick Fournier who offers us a delicious sweet herbal tea and tells us about some of the herbs used in the tea. We have most of them at home so we should be able to make some for ourselves too!
At 12:30 we stop at the Quebec Visitor Center where we gain an hour with the Eastern Time Zone. We have our lunch sitting in the car, parked at the Dégelis Marina. We hop on our bikes for an hour return ride and stop midway for a refreshing dip in the Témiscouata River. The freshwater is a nice change from the salty ocean: it’s clean and clear.
In Dégelis we visit the privately owned garden Jardin de L’écluse where we are welcomed by Marcelle, a very charming lady. One of main features of the garden is the sculptures made from recycled materials that blend in perfectly.
A little further north, in Notre-Dame-Du-Lac, we visit another privately owned garden, Jardin de la petite école. We are greeted by Bijou the Chiwawa! An amazing garden built by a landscaping professional on a sloping lot, backing to some wonderful views of the Temiscouata River. We recognize many plants that we have in our own backyard and are inspired to expand and dream of our next bigger property.
On our way back we stop at the New Brunswick Visitor Center where we start planning for tomorrow.
We end the day back at the New Brunswick Botanical Garden and we make another quick tour to see how our favorite flowers, plants and trees look under this new light. It is amazing to see how the position of sun at the end of the day makes it look so different than in the morning. The butterfly hothouse is looking miserable and awesome at this time. Many of the dead butterflies lie here and there and many newborn that didn’t make it lay there crippled in their own cocoon juice. Despite of that, we encounter some new ones that weren’t there in the morning. What a day of bike and gardens!
On Sunday morning we get up at 6 again and we have a short bike ride in Edmundston along the St-John River: what a beautiful trail. We start at the information center and ride a little past the golf and stop many times to look at geese and ducks and to listen to the birds.
We drive to Clair and visit The Historical Site that consists of 5 buildings. Being so high along the river, it is hard to imagine it was flooded in 2008; the water rose to almost 6 foot above the ground level. They have an Edison Amberola which is a cylinder phonograph that our tour guide plays for us.
We return to Edmundston and visit the Blockhouse. Patrick is an awesome guide and has an answer for all our questions! He is really outstanding and the views are magnificent. We could stay there longer but we have to move on.
Our last visit is at the Railroad Interpretation Center. Geraldine gives us a private tour; we are the only visitors at the time and we particularly enjoy the miniature part of the visit. At the end Dami buys a little wool toy ball for Alaska that Geraldine made sometime during the winter months when the center is closed.