Earthbound Artist

Articles tagged as 2017 Maritime Trip (view all)

Perfect Prince Edward Island

03 July, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

The last time we visited PEI was 20 years ago, when we were on a motorcycling holiday. This spring, as the finale of a two-month, 8,000 km journey, we spent 11 days there. We camped in our trailer, along with our good friends in their trailer. Below is a photo of me, John, Carolyn, and Roger at Greenwich Dunes.

Karen Richardson with friends, PEI

I had forgotten how stunningly beautiful PEI is, with it's white or red beaches and cliffs, and lush, green farm fields blanketing gently rolling hills. The photos below are taken near Cavendish, on the north coast of the Island.

Cliffs near Cavendish, PEI

Red cliffs near Cavendish, PEI

We saw cormorants nesting there.

Cormorants near Cavendish, PEI

One day we hiked into Greenwich Dunes National Park and I took lots of photos of the beach, waves, and dunes. It was a very peaceful place.

Greenwich Dunes National Park, PEI

We planned our visit to PEI so we could attend the 150th Canada Day celebrations in Charlottetown, the birthplace of Canadian confederation. It is a charming, prosperous town, with lots of well-crafted historic architecture, as shown in the home and commercial building below.

Charlottetown historic house, PEI

Downtown Charlottetown, PEI

Part of the Canada 150 celebration was a Tall Ships festival, with about eight sailing ships on display at the harbour. We toured four ships, including this impressive 4-masted sailing vessel called the Union, from the Peruvian Navy.

Union, from Peru, in Charlottetown PEI

On Canada Day weekend, Charlottetown hosted the finals of a national lumberjack competition, free music concerts, and fireworks in the park near the harbour. We wore our Canada T-shirts and hats and really enjoyed the festivities. We are so proud to live in this amazing country, and grateful that we are able to travel to many of its uniquely beautiful parts.

Tourist season officially started July 1 and the beaches were getting noticeably busier, as shown below. I'm glad we got to experience the Maritimes in the 'off' season. It was time to say good-bye to PEI and start the drive back to our homes in Ontario. 

Cavendish beach, PEI

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Camping in Beautiful Nova Scotia

24 June, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Seaside Campground, Nova Scotia

During our two-month RV tour of eastern Canada, we allocated three weeks for Nova Scotia, because there is so much to see and do there, even though our visit was before 'tourist season'.

Two of the campgrounds we stayed in were beside water. The photo above shows our Earthbound travel trailer and truck parked with a view of the ocean. We were near New Glasgow, in a bay off of the Northumberland Strait (the body of water between Nova Scotia and PEI).

Another lovely spot was Rayport Campground in Martin's River, near Mahone Bay. Our campsites backed onto a scenic river, and I was visited by some hungry ducks in the photo below. I had nothing to feed them, but they nibbled on my fingers anyway.

Karen Richardson at Rayport Campground, Nova Scotia

Historic architecture is everywhere in Nova Scotia. Popular places like Halifax, Mahone Bay, and Lunenburg afforded many architectural photo-ops, like the three pictured below.

Jelly Bean Houses in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Mahone Bay House, Nova Scotia

Historic Building and Carriage in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

We spent a week in Halifax and were busy every day touring museums, eating in great restaurants, and walking our feet off, up and down those hilly streets. We visited the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Halifax Citadel, and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, to name a few highlights. The Harbour Hopper amphibious tour, the Public Gardens, the Halifax Seaport Farmer's Market, and the Alexander Keith's Brewery historic tour were excellent too.

The Annapolis Valley, on the Fundy shore, is very fertile, with many prosperous farms, orchards, and vineyards. I took this photo from a lookoff above the valley, north of Grand Pre.

Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia

While we were visiting Lunenburg one day, we noticed a large schooner tied up at the dock. Closer examination revealed her identity: Bluenose II! We watched her cast off on a voyage to Boston to attend a Tall Ships festival there. She has been totally rebuilt and looks brand new. What a gorgeous piece of Canadian history (pictured on the Canadian dime). I took this photo below as she motored out of the harbour. I wrote an article about Bluenose II when we visited Nova Scotia in 2012. It is titled 'Fastest Sailing Ship in the World' and you can read it here.

Bluenose II Schooner in Lunenburg Harbour, Nova Scotia

I got a few great photos of fishing boats too. Pictured below are some from Blue Rocks (near Lunenburg), and from Digby.

Fishing Boat harboured at Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia

Fishing fleet at Digby, Nova Scotia

One day we hiked into Kejimkujik National Park Seaside which is near the southern tip of Nova Scotia. The seashore there is pristine white sand with huge boulder outcroppings, a turquoise sea, and I was in heaven. We saw cormorants and seals out on the little islands, but it was the patterned rocks along the shore that excited me. Shown below are just two of the hundred photos I took that afternoon. I could produce enough artwork for a solo show, just from this one beach!

Kejimkujik National Park Seaside, Nova Scotia 

 Kejimkujik National Park Seaside, Nova Scotia

Since it was spring, everywhere we drove this holiday, we saw gorgeous lupins blooming in roadside ditches. I harvested a few seeds and will plant them in my garden at home, to remind me of our holiday in this lovely province.

Wild Lupins, Nova Scotia

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Top Five Must-Have's For Travel Fun

31 May, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick

This spring, we explored Canada's eastern provinces on a two month journey, traveling 8,000 km from Ontario through Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.

This article is the first travel story from this trip, and the photos below show the top five things that, to me, make holidays memorable.

1. The Company of Good Folk

This was our first lengthy RV trip with others - friends who brought their trailers too. Our group is pictured below, left to right, John and Karen, Sheri and Al with their dog Jack, and Carolyn and Roger. We have known these friends for many decades, get along well, and we had a wonderful time exploring the sights together. Sheri and Al spent the first two weeks with us, while Carolyn and Roger stayed with us for the entire two months. We also met some lovely strangers along the way, fellow RVers or local folk, who shared their stories with us. We learn much from others, when we take time to listen.

Karen Richardson with husband and friends in New Brunswick, Canada

2. Interesting Architecture

Wherever our trips take us, we love to discover unusual or historic buildings. In the town of Sherbrooke, in the scenic eastern townships of Quebec, we had a guided walking tour of 14 murals. These are some of the most outstanding and realistic murals we have seen. A few are pictured below.

Heart, Culture and Education Mural, Sherbrooke, 2011, representing 100+ regional authors

Tradition and Prevention Mural, Sherbrooke, 2007, honouring firemen and policemen

Canada Games 2013 Mural, Sherbrooke, made by 200 local and national artists

Detail of Canada Games 2013 Mural, Sherbrooke

3. Wild Places of Rock and Water

Scenery that demonstrates the forces of Nature excites and rejuvenates me, and provides inspiration for most of my paintings. New Brunswick is exceptionally beautiful and two of its natural wonders are shown below. Grand Falls was thundering with spring runoff when we visited. These two photos hint at the magnificence of the Saint John River flowing into the Gorge.

Saint John River at Grand Falls, New Brunswick

Saint John River gorge at Grand Falls, New Brunswick

We visited Hopewell Rocks on the Bay of Fundy at two separate times, so we could explore the flowerpot islands and shore features at low tide, and then see the islands at high tide. They truly are impressive formations, as the following photos attest. The first one shows John and I beside a flowerpot island.

John and Karen Richardson at Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick

Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick

Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick

And below is the same scene at high tide. The seawater in the Bay of Fundy looks like chocolate milk, due to sandstone sediment.

Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick

4. Great Local Cuisine

We like to sample the regional food of the places we explore on holiday. So of course we had to have a lobster dinner feast, complete with fresh fiddle (fern) heads, while in New Brunswick. Yum!

Fresh Lobster Dinner in New Brunswick

5. Stones I Can Bring Home

I was thrilled to find lots of colourful beach stones to bring home as souvenirs and painting subjects, from Maritime beaches. These ones below are from near Cape Enrage, New Brunswick.

Beach pebbles from New Brunswick

Subscribe to Karen's Newsletter if you wish to see more travel tales, studio news updates, or notices of upcoming painting classes and exhibitions.