Islands and Ferries - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-06-2014, 03:04 PM   #1
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Islands and Ferries

Norm, I see you like Fogo and I guess all of Newfoundland. What do you like about it? Does it have some unusual things to see or the whole place is unusual?

You have to take two ferries? I like ferries but only short ones. Not sure I want to be on a long ferry but I have always wanted to go up there. How long is the longest ferry?

We were just on Washington Island, Wisconsin but only one campground, private, for $35 per night so left the Escape on the mainland.

Anyone have unusual islands or ones with great scenery to recommend where you can take the trailer?
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:10 PM   #2
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Freshwater newfoundland is one of my favorite places to visit (manatoulin island) its accessible by ferry on one side, and by a bridge on the other, island life is at a different pace from the mainland!
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:26 PM   #3
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We have lots out here and in BC.
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Old 08-06-2014, 04:02 PM   #4
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Cathy,

There are two ferries between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, the short ferry takes 6 hours and the long ferry takes 16 hours. We always take the short ferry. It is a real ocean liner. The ocean liners have been really smooth. They have airline seating and cabins. We always just use the airline seating.

The one way cost for our tow vehicle, trailer and the two of us is $250. We usually spend 2 months so the cost spread out over our stay is not too bad.

Some people take both the long and short ferries. The long ferry is a lot more expensive and can be rough though probably rarely. The reason people do this is you can not make a loop of the island, there are no roads to speak of on the south coast. If you want to take the short ferry both ways and want to go to St. Johns, then you turn around and drive back across NL to take the short ferry home.

The cross road across NL is excellent, the TCH 1. Though not totally multi-lanes. it is an excellent road with tons of passing lanes and light traffic.

While we travel we seek the new and different. Newfoundland is that and more. The people are among the most friendly you will meet. Their lives are different and the island is beautiful and unspoiled. The population is 500,000, about 250,000 of them live in the St Johns area. The rest of the province has a lot of small communities.

The length of the coast line of NL is similar to the USA but most of it is walk-able and walk-able alone. Last year we were after a banded iceberg and drove into this guys yard. We asked if we could take a picture and he welcomed us and was happy to have a visitor. Two more cars came after us and he was just as friendly.

Even their best beaches are deserted. Every community has hiking trails. They have many Provincial parks. For a site with electricity for seniors it's $14., no services $9. The sites are usually beautiful and their bathrooms and showers spotless.

We love seafood and eat it practically every day when there, excellent and generally fresh plus when you go out to eat you always can get homemade fries.

The west coast has two U.N. world heritage centers that are worth the trip alone, Gros Morne, known for it's geology, and L'Anse aux Meadows, a verified Viking site. You could easily spend a month in Gros Morne.

The province has tons of music and theater festivals. The last two years we have gone for a marvelous festival in May min Gros Morne.

This year we went to Fogo because we met a family from Fogo who camped next to us and told us we should go to Fogo. Newfoundlanders camp.

We had a marvelous experience on Fogo. There is only one campground, the Lion's Club campground, located next to Brimstonehead, tight on the ocean Their bathrooms were nicer than mine at home. The price was $20.

Fogo is about 100 square miles with 11 small communities with a total population of about 2000 people. We drove every road, hiked many trails and generally had a very good time. Any time you see an activity like the planting of a roadside garden feel free to stop and strike up a conversation, friendly and open people.

People just camp about. No one will ever bother you. Newfoundland has the lowest crime rate in North America. NH where we live usually has the lowest in the USA. Newfoundland's is only a 1/3rd of NH's.

Fogo was particularly interesting this year because it was the best ice berg year in about 100 years. The ice bergs were worth the trip all alone. Icebergs are why we go in May. They were plenty this year.

The scenery is grand all over. I suggest you go on line to the Newfoundland Tourist bureau and ask for a map and their tourist booklet. They really produce a great book of stunning beauty.

Order Travel Brochures – Newfoundland and Labrador – Know Where to Go and What to Do

I could write a 100 pages, beautiful, clean, quite, invigorating. We have now spent over a year in Newfoundland and will go there until I can no longer go. This is not to say that there are not other wonderful places, we have made 6 loops of the USA and Canada. There is wonder every where, but there is something about the relative isolation of NL that separates it for us.

Glad to answer questions for you on a more detailed level, just ask.
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Old 08-06-2014, 04:25 PM   #5
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Thank you so much, Norm. It sounds truly wonderful. Since you go all the way down to Florida and all the way back up to NL, I figured it must be one very special destination. Hope I get there soon. It looks like my kind of place.

Been to a little of the nice BC area and have heard about Manitoulin. Have to put it on the list.
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Old 08-06-2014, 04:36 PM   #6
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Since you go in May, I take it you are dry camping for a while. We still have not even bought any solar so would have to fix that up.

You are not usually at campgrounds in NL, just camping about?
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Old 08-06-2014, 04:44 PM   #7
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Smile San Juan Islands

We have a bunch of islands in Washington/British Columbia called the San Juan Islands. There are about 400 Islands. I realize this doesn't compare to Newfoundland's 7,000 islands but we do have higher mountains. LOL

San Juan Islands - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 08-06-2014, 04:47 PM   #8
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Cathy, Over our 14 years of retired RVing I guess we've covered 300-400,000 miles. AS my mother used to say, "Haven't you seen it all yet". Our travels are like summers for kids; can they last long enough. We have seen a lot and recognize we'll never see it all. Just because we've driven every road in Newfoundland and Labrador, there's always more to see everywhere.

We often visit a small coastal town in Oregon, we've been there 7 separate times. Each time we go there we discover something new.

When we first started geocaching we began by looking for and finding a cache in our town, we've had lived here for over 20 years and have been coming here for 56 years. The hunt took us down a trail alone a river we did not even know about. (One reason we like geocaching because it often takes you places you may not find on your own., the reason we drive to the ends of roads.)

I'm in no way knocking BC. We've been out there and love it as well. Our western choice might be the Yukon though we love the Oregon coast.

We have found, though all the famous places like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon are great, there are many unknown to most everyone places that are also wonderful and not so touched by crowds. The first time we went to the Grand Canyon it was August, really crowded. The next time went in November, much better.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger C H View Post
We have a bunch of islands in Washington/British Columbia called the San Juan Islands. There are about 400 Islands. I realize this doesn't compare to Newfoundland's 7,000 islands but we do have higher mountains. LOL

San Juan Islands - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
But not that many we can reach by ferry!

There are some really great boat-in campgrounds on some of the islands. Not sure how many are reachable by ferry- anyone know? (Just of the San Juans- not including islands further north or south.)

Ferry fares can be high. One reason I'm not quite as tempted to get a bigger trailer is that my Forester-Campster setup goes for roughly 50% more than car fare because it is under 30 feet long and under 7 1/2 feet tall. Go over on either end and the rate goes way up.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Cathi View Post
Since you go in May, I take it you are dry camping for a while. We still have not even bought any solar so would have to fix that up.

You are not usually at campgrounds in NL, just camping about?
Carhy,

Except for the first year we always go to NL in the spring, it's cool then so we seek camping with electricity. We have been spending a lot of time in Provincial Parks though we also stay in some favorite private parks. This was a cold year, actually yesterday the high in Death Valley was 89, 30 degrees lower than normal.

This year we were often the first/only person in campgrounds. Actually this year it did snow on us, a first in NL. You don't need solar for Newfoundland, provincial parks are inexpensive an very good. Private parks are more expensive. On Fogo we spent $20 a day/120 a week. parked right on the ocean but the only camper. Though every day there were people who came to climb Brimstonehead.

Roger -

We love WA and have spent many months there, driving all over the state and loving the coast. We sometimes stay at the Escapee Park near Port Townsend, another favorite.

One of our first visit's was to Washington's ice caves, I can still see them and feel the cold dripping water.

Too much to see, not enough time.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:36 PM   #11
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Roger and Bobbie, I have been to the San Juan islands but no trailer and saw very little. If I go again, what's good to see? We never know when we might want to go to Tammy and Reace's, the Escape factory, and have some mods done.

Norm, you have made so many loops around the country that I expect Newfoundland is one great place. I liked Haystack and OR too. We can do without crowds. Try to avoid them. You usually dry camp up there?
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:44 PM   #12
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One really quite state park is Cape Blanco State Park, near Port Orford. A wonderfully deserted beach, great beach stones, marvelous cliffs, most western point in the lower 48, beach agates nearby, ......
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:02 PM   #13
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I'm actually not very familiar with the San Juans, except for Saddlebag Island which is now a state park. (Boat-in.) (And technically not sure it is a San Juan Island.) I live on Whidbey which has both two places you can reach it by ferry and one by bridge. I've been through the rest of them en route to BC on the ferry and have been to Friday Harbor a few times.

There are camping parks on a few of the San Juans. Whidbey, which is much longer, has four state parks (Deception Pass, Fort Ebey, Fort Casey, and South Whidbey.) Fort Ebey and especially Fort Casey have old forts, built to defend the entrance to the sound. South Whidbey has old growth forest. Deception Pass has Deception Pass (bridge, scenes, etc) and all four have beaches. Hiking at Fort Ebey is especially good. Fort Casey campground sits right next to the ferry dock and you can watch shipping traffic go by as well as ferry traffic. The campground is not at all private but a lot of sites are beachfront. (I have a Sunday night booked there in September just so I can sit and watch the boats for half a day.)
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:01 PM   #14
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Our posts crossed. Thank you for the all of the info on both places.

I used to cover as much territory and as many sights as possible when traveling. I just read someone's comment about how he could not go back to a place to see what he had missed because he has to go somewhere he has not been.

In recent years, I prefer spending time in the same place to see it well and, yes, even returning to the ones I like best. I am no longer interested in running all over to try to see everything because it is impossible anyway. And if you have covered a lot, then why not return to the places you like best? We won't be here forever.

Norm and Ginny, you must put everyone in a philosophical mood.
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