Eastport to St. John

104 miles/166 Km

7 July 2007

Route Map
Local Map

Photo Gallery and Commentary

What a difference a day (and a night) make. Last night the fog was so thick it was difficult to see more than a few hundered feet, if that. This morning we woke up and the view out of the trailer door of Deer Island was clear and you could also make out the New Brunswick mainland. We left the campground in Eastport and headed out on a relatively short run to the Harding Point Campground, north of St John, New Brunswick. The roads were lightly traveled although there was some construction that restricted the flow of traffic to one lane. It didn't delay us too much. Once we crossed the border into Canada, we also crossed into the Atlantic Time zone and lost an hour of time.

To get to the campground you have to cross the St John River by ferry. This is a free provincial fery that is considered to be part of the highway system. The ferry is unique in the way it operates... at least we never encountered anything like it. It is a cable guided ferry. There is a cable running through the middle of the ferry that is anchored on both shores of the river (see pictures below). The pilot of the ferry only has to control the speed of the vessel and has no steering control. The ferry runs 24 hours a day, all year. At night, when trafic is light, only one boat is operating and it sits and waits for vehicles. If they see lights on the opposite shore they will run there and pick up the vehicles for the crossing. The people in the campground office told me that winter does present some problems to the ferry operation. At times, a heavy ice floe could come down the river, which can snag and break the cable, sending the ferry drifting downriver. I don't think I want to be on that runaway ferry.

The Harding Point Campground is quite nice. Our site is not far from the entrance and is shaded by tall pine trees. There are a variety of camping envirnoments in the campground that include riverside, alongside a beaver pond and semi-wilderness tent sites. It seems to us that most of the sites are permanently occupied. I spoke to one of our neighbors and was told that they live in St John and spend most of the summer here. The same holds true for probably half the sites in the campground. The only down side is the Internet... the only place we can connect is in the office. After two days of no Internet and now limited access, the two of us, who like to have the Internet at the tip of our fingers, are a bit frustrated. Hopefully, the next campground will give us Internet at our site.

Harding Point ferry as seen from the campground
Detail of the cable (orange line) that guides the ferry
Two views of the St John River as seen from the campground. Left is to the southwest and right is to the southeast.
Previous Day
Next Day