Wanna go on a two hour drive with us today, over to Campobello Island? What's there, you ask? The beautiful home of the late U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife and Eleanor. The island is famous for its beauty. Roosevelt's summer home has been preserved with almost all original furnishings and artifacts and is an international park jointly run by Canada and the U.S. It's located on the Bay of Fundy. The island is a wonderful place of forests, coastline, beaches, whales, porpoises, salt marshes and bogs and it's FREE! But you have to have your passport. We passed easily from the U.S. to Canada and back without any problems. You can't have purchased anything major, there's a dollar amount of which we are not sure of (400.00?) where you have to declare and show what you've purchased if you are over that. Fresh food items like fruits and vegetables are NOT allowed from Canada coming back into the U.S. They also ask if you have any tobacco or firearms. We didn't so we passed on through. It feels like a test when you are going through! There are lots of horror stories out there what it's like to go through the border in a motorhome. So in the car was a lot easier, apparently, although some guy on a motorcycle had to throw away a BUNCH of stuff when he went through coming back into the U.S.
It's a bit of a drive from Bar Harbor. The literature says 2 hours, but it's a little more than that. Well worth it, in our opinion..it's the Schoodic Scenic Byway, highway 1, all the way to the northernmost point of the U.S. After crossing the border, the international park is very near. We pulled into the parking lot and saw the beautiful grounds and the cottage and were so impressed!
After we wandered around the visitor's center, we headed out the back door to walk down the path to the cottage. A couple was coming our way, and the woman said, "Sparky and Eldo! You must be Sparky and Eldo of Where's Eldo?" Why, yes, that's right! We were SHOCKED that somebody recognized us! The couple started talking to us, and we found out they have been following our blog ever since we started! How about that?! Mike and Susan Wilhoit, of Melbourne, FL, nice to have met you! It was great chatting with them about traveling, where they had been lately, where they were going, and had they seen any moose? Yes, they had, but mostly in Canada. Sparky is now planning a trip to Canada. Maybe we will head back through Canada on our way to Michigan! (Maybe....says E. Not sure yet....) We were just totally shocked and so pleased that somebody recognized us and said hello. That's the first time it has ever happened to us, and it was fun to meet them! Great people, they were.
On to the "cottage", er, mansion. It was built in 1897. They call it a cottage, but it has 18 bedrooms, 7 fireplaces, and 6 bathrooms! Roosevelt and his family spent summers in the cottage from 1909-1921.
Inside the cottage, there was no electricity or phone. They used kerosene lamps and candles for light. A lot of work went into polishing lamps every day, filling the lanterns, trimming the wicks. They also had several servants to help run the cottage along with several island residents hired to help with daily chores. Every summer, the Roosevelts brought along a nurse and teacher to tutor the children. Sparky loved the little classroom on the second floor.
Running water for cooking, bathing, and cleaning was gravity fed through the cottage from storage tanks on the third floor. A single cylinder gas engine pumped water from the well to the holding tank on the tower. Gravity carried the water from the tower to inside storage tanks. Heat was provided by the seven fireplaces and the kitchen stove as well. It was interesting to see the old, large white enamel coal and wood burning stove. It's a coincidence that the model name of the big enamel stove is the "PRESIDENT".
We really enjoyed hearing and learning about F.D.R.'s life and presidency. There are many photos, artifacts, and a short video there at the beautiful visitor's center in front of the Roosevelt's summer home. He was a remarkable president and accomplished many great things for our country, despite being stricken with polio at the age of 39. His wife, Eleanor was an amazing woman ahead of her time and was a model for future First Wives. She was quite a woman in her own right as well. F.D.R. died of a massive cerebral stroke at the age of 63.
There is a beautiful park across the street from the visitor's center. We did not visit the gardens there, but decided to go further into the island to see the beautiful lighthouse at Head Harbor, the very northern tip of the island. The entire island is about 10 miles long, so it doesn't take time to explore. There are lots of picnic areas and observation points along the way.
The East Quoddy Lighthouse Lighthouse at Head Harbor is one of the prettiest lighthouses we have seen. It's being refurbished with new viewing decks, a fresh coat of paint. It's quite the climb down STEEP ladders, across slippery, algae, seaweed covered rocks on a very narrow path, across boulders and up another steep ladder to get to the lighthouse, three steep ladders in all. It's 10.00 a person to take the lighthouse tour and climb to the light tower. We didn't do that. We just enjoyed walking around the grounds and talking to a couple who were watching whales WA-A-A-Y out with a set of binoculars. They did see two, but we couldn't see them.
On the drive back from the lighthouse, just a mile down the road, we saw buoys for sale, 10 bucks a piece! Sounds like a bargain, but we didn't buy any to hang on the motorhome....(whew! says E. Just another thing we don't need!) But they sure are cool!
It was a beautiful day once again....Loved the lighthouse, LOVED meeting some of our readers, and loved the drive on Highway 1, the Schoodic Scenic Byway all the way to the end of Maine. We've been to both ends of highway 1, the most southern point in the Florida Keys, and the most northern point in Maine. And Sparky got to see just a tiny bit of Canada, something she has always wanted to do, with her mom being born and raised in Winnipeg. A great day full of memories...wouldn't trade this lifestyle for a house in a suburb anywhere.....at least not for a long time.....(Glad to hear that, says E. :-) Bye for now......
|Mulholland Lighthouse, just over the border bridge in Canada|