Friday, September 19, 2014

Maine Maritime Museum

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  The Maritime museum is on the site of the Percy & Small shipyard where large wooden sailing vessels were built from 1894 until 1920. The mold loft, oakum shed, paint & treenail shop, mill & joiner shop and shipyard owner’s house are all original buildings and contain equipment, artifacts and information about the processes that took place in each building. Other structures house the maritime history museum, a working boat workshop, historic boat collections and a lobstering museum. Allow a lot of time to see everything. Tickets are good for a 2nd day if used within a 7-day period.

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The maritime history museum is all accessible. A paved path leads to the mold loft, paint & treenail shop and mill & joiner shop. The pavement gives way to gravel and grass and wheelchair users may find it difficult to access some of the site due to hills. Many of the buildings have two stories. Wheelchair users must exit the buildings and, by using ramps and paths, enter a different door to see both levels. The ground level door of the lobstering museum can be opened from the inside only. The oakum shed is accessed by steps only.

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  A gravel lot for RV parking is located just south of the main lot. Follow the signs. Park at the far end of the lot for easy access to a paved path that leads to the front door of the maritime history museum.  Museum

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fundy National Park

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  Fundy's tides are the highest in the world with a difference of more than 50’ depending on the time of year and the location. The boat harbor in the little town of Alma at the eastern entrance to Fundy National Park is a good place to observe the phenomenon. The park itself is fairly small. A paved road travels through the center providing access to many interconnected hiking trails.

  Very little is wheelchair accessible – two viewpoints, one at Alma Beach and one at Point Wolfe, and a very short boardwalk trail at Caribou Plain. The accessible campsites are close to the restrooms. 

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  Most of the parking lots are large enough for RVs. The campgrounds have sites for large RVs. Park

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Cape Breton Highlands National Park

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   Magnificent scenery with steep cliffs dropping down to the ocean greets visitors traveling up the western coast of Cape Breton. Scenic overlooks and trails are accessed from the highway, the only road through the park which is a protected wilderness area.

  The scenic overlooks are accessible but most of the trails are not.  The Bog Trail, a short boardwalk trail, is accessible.  Freshwater Lake Trail at Ingonish Beach should be accessible but we found an erosion control board across the path entryway making it impossible for scooters or electric wheelchairs to access. The first section of the trail is scenic but as it loops around it becomes just a path along the road.

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   We stayed at Broad Cove Campground. The accessible sites are close to the restrooms but otherwise they are the same as the rest of the sites. Hard packed dirt and short grass makes pushing around fairly easy.

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  The parking lot at the visitor center on the western entrance of the park is large enough for RVs. Most of the overlook parking areas are large enough for RVs but most trail head parking lots are small.  Broad Cove Campground has sites where large RVs will fit. Park

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Celtic Shores Coastal Trail

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   The trail is about 60 miles long, stretching from Port Hastings to Inverness. It’s a shared trail with bikers, hikers, runners, quadders, skiers, snowmobilers and  horse-back riders all using the same path. Not all of it is suitable for wheelchair users but the short section that we took near Mabou is fairly flat with a hard packed surface. It passes through a small forest and along wetlands.

  The parking area is large enough for RVs.  Trail

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Friday Night Ceilidh at the Red Shoe Pub

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   A ceilidh (kay-lee) is a social gathering with Scottish or Irish folk music, often accompanied by dancing.  We were treated to wonderful fiddle playing by the very talented and enthusiastic Colin Grant along with equally talented and enthusiastic pianist Jason Roach. These two put their whole heart and bodies into their music! The Red Shoe Pub is much too small for dancing but the music had everyone tapping their toes.

   Ceilidhs take place at the Red Shoe every Friday evening (9:00 – 12:00) and Sunday afternoon (4:00 – 7:00). Arrive about an hour early to get a seat. A wheelchair ramp is located on the right side of the building.

  The parking lot is small but parking is available at the Mabou Community Hall across the street when there aren’t any functions scheduled. Parking is also available along the street and in the small marina lot at the bridge.  Red Shoe

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Halifax Boardwalk & 24 Hour Parking

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  The boardwalk is about two miles long with the Casino Nova Scotia at the north end and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at the south end. Great views of McNabs Island, the lighthouse and ship traffic can been seen on the water side. Restaurants, little shops and snack shacks are along the inland side. For crafts and fresh local food take a stroll to the Farmers Market which is opened daily. The Maritime Museum, along with the ferry and tour boat docks, is located near the north end of the boardwalk.

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  The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Discovery Centre, Halifax Citadel, Museum of Natural History and Halifax Public Gardens are all within walking distance of the boardwalk but the streets are very steep so you may want to drive to visit them.

  24 hour parking lots are located right along the waterfront. We parked in the lot on the corner of Lower Water Street and Morris Street. At $22.00 it’s a little expensive for what amounts to dry camping but the location is fabulous. Smaller RVs will fit into two spaces and the fee is the same as for a car. Payment is made through coin/credit card operated machines. The maximum fee per day is $16.00 which is good until 6:00 PM. The nightly fee is $6.00. It’s not possible to pay for all 24 hours at once. We visited after Labor Day and the lots always had open spaces.

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The boardwalk is all accessible and in good condition. There isn’t an access path from the Lower Water/ Morris lot to the boardwalk so wheelchair users must exit the lot to the sidewalk and go through next lot to access the boardwalk.   Boardwalk

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Maritime Museum

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   The museum has a wide variety of exhibits covering the maritime history of Nova Scotia and Halifax. Ship crews from Halifax recovered bodies of victims of the Titanic and also fished pieces of the ship from the water. Many of the Titanic artifacts are displayed. Another exhibit covers an explosion in the Halifax harbor of a WWII Norwegian munitions ship which killed 2,000 people and destroyed a large portion of the city.  Other exhibits are about the Canadian navy, shipwrecks along Nova Scotia’s coast, and the evolution from sail to steam. The CSS Acadia, hydrographic research ship, is located outside at the dock. Tours of the ship are included with  museum admission. 

  The museum is all accessible. The CSS Acadia has a steep ramp with cleating. We didn’t have time to attempt a visit.

  Parking is available in several lots along the boardwalk. Smaller RVs will fit by taking up two spaces.  Museum

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Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

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  Between 1928 and 1971 one million immigrants came to Canada through the terminal at Pier 21 in Halifax. Refugees, war brides, evacuee children, displaced persons and people just looking for a better life - all found themselves in a unfamiliar place often very different from their home country. Their stories are told through artifacts, videos and oral histories.

  Everything is accessible.

  Parking is available in several lots along the boardwalk. Smaller RVs will fit by taking up two spaces.  Museum

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

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  This is the forth citadel built to protect Halifax – first from the French, then from the US, from the French again and lastly from the US. Located high on a hill overlooking the harbor, it never saw battle and was made obsolete by high powered weapons but was still used as a temporary barracks through WWII. The citadel was transferred to Parks Canada in the 1950s and has been completely restored to the Victorian period.

  Free guided tour are given throughout the day. A series of short films depicts life at the fort in different eras. Artifacts and exhibits are located in the buildings. Costumed interpreters are on hand to answer questions.

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   The citadel grounds and many of the rooms are accessible. The grounds are hard packed, crushed stone which is fairly easy to roll along. Ramps access the rooms but some have a high edge where they meet the ground. The Army Museum  has an elevators to access the second floor.

  Two handicapped spaces are located near the entrance. Bus and RV parking is also located there. Citadel

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Halifax Public Gardens

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  Nova Scotia Horticultural Society began the gardens in 1836 and the city of Halifax added more to make a total of 16 acres by 1874. Richard Power, who was the garden’s superintendent from 1872 to 1915, introduced the bandstand, the fountains, statues and wrought iron gates. All are still in place. The garden is a nice size for a leisurely stroll and the plantings are beautiful.

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  The paths are surfaced with finely crushed stone making pushing around fairly easy.

Metered parking is available along the surrounding streets. Gardens

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