They say all good things must come to an end and so it was with our visit to Lance and Laura’s magical camp on Cross Lake. We had an amazing time, met some fantastic friends and PJ had the opportunity to reconnect with family and decompress. Thanks again Laura and Lance for opening up your home and your hearts and making this one the most memorable stops on our wanderings. Also a big shout out to Jim, Kami, Rachel and Matt for fun times and keeping us laughing. I’ll never look at charades the same again. We were sent off with a warm farewell in the driveway and pointed our prow towards the Canadian border at around 10 o’clock.
We drove the now familiar stretch of road into Caribou where we filled up on cheaper U.S. gas then hunted up the propane outlet on the south end of Main St. and had the old timer out in the field top us up. The facility was stuck in a time warp with the raw wooden floors, old items hanging on posts in the shop and right down to the antique adding machines they used to tally up your purchase. Not a thing has been disturbed since 1962 including the quintessential Mainer who finished filling up his delivery truck then quickly and expertly filled us up for the road.
It wasn’t long before we arrived at the sleepy border outpost just past Fort Fairfield. The customs lady was tough and was grilling me on why we were crossing at this facility if we were from California. In the end, she confiscated my pepper spray and now feeling like she had fulfilled her duty, she sent us on our way. The GPS had a glitch and we added a little scenic loop in the small town on the Canada side but soon found our way and were rolling along the Trans-Canada Highway.
There’s the border!
An hour or so in, I spotted a sign touting the longest covered bridge in the world. Knowing PJ’s enchantment with covered bridges, I took the exit and we meandered along some back roads through the lush countryside until we reached the small hamlet of Hartland where we parked up in a nice big open lot across from the bridge. It’s on a quiet bend in the St. John’s river which we have been following since we crossed into Canada. We wandered into the bridge until an oncoming car chased us out then got some pictures.
We made sandwiches and rested for a few minutes. There was a hiking trail down to the river so I took Cali, or should I say Cali took me, for a walk through the tall brush down to the river bank. A truck passing earlier shouted out to keep the dog out of the river because the blue-green algae bloom is toxic for them so I had to catch up with my little escapee and keep her from lapping up any of the river. Lots of gorgeous countryside as our route continued to take us parallel to the St. John.
After another hour, we exited onto a thoroughly potholed and poorly repaired piece of road leading onto Bear Island. Some of the patches were worse than the potholes. We bumped along for 20 kilometers ( we’re in kilometers now) until we reached great bear campground where the super friendly owner set us up with a nice site right on the river. We set up then took a nap as the rain began to fall. And fall it did, never letting up until the early hours of the new day.