June 30, 2022, Jonesboro, Maine- The breakfast serving room was stifling, at the Comfort Inn, Amherst, NS, and I had some concern for the well-being of the attendant. She was quite vocal about the heat-mainly from the ovens in her immediate food preparation space. I thought it would be a good idea for the management to consider better ventilation. A good worker, to paraphrase the old United Black College Fund ad, is terrible to waste. We patrons at least were to take our food to our rooms. COVID protocols are still in place, in many establishments.
Two very different reactions to my presence in Amherst were to present themselves, as errands were discharged. When I went to the laundromat, the attendant was friendly at first, but once I told her where I was from, the smile faded and I was asked what I was doing in Amherst. At least I was left alone to complete my washing and drying. The people at the car wash were a lot nicer, and gladly exchanged four quarters for a dollar coin, so the wash could proceed.
My business in the Chignecto area complete, I drove over to Fundy National Park, in New Brunswick, and caught a few scenes of that home of high tides.
Any thoughts I might have had of further exploring Fundy were brought to a close by the approaching rain. It got quite heavy, at times, as I drove west, on TransCanada Highway 2. In and around Saint John, the province’s largest city, the rain was the heaviest. Being rush hour made things go that much slower-and of course, there was road construction, with lane closures. Nonetheless, the people along the Loyalist Trail (Saint John was a haven for those loyal to the Crown, during the American Revolution.) have the rush hour thing down to a fine art, with taking turns entering the open lane de rigeur.
A relatively short time, maybe forty minutes, later, I was at the border crossing, where the inspector briefly peered into my back seat, glanced at my passport and said “Welcome home”. If only we lived in a world where everyone could have that kind of a border greeting, each time. The invisible frontier, however, attracts its share of grifters and smugglers-so sometimes, the rest of us need to exercise forbearance.
Beyond Calais, Maine, I took note of these scenes along the St. Croix River.
A few miles further south, the St. Croix Island International Peace Monument commemorates the first, ill-fated French expedition, led by Pierre Dugua, an explorer, soldier and fur trapper. The group landed on St. Croix Island in the Fall of 1604, with the intention of claiming the area for France. A harsh winter ensued, and despite the assistance of the Passamaquoddy people, who were native to the area, the party lost about half of its members. In the spring of 1605, Dugua and his group departed the area, for another point on the Canadian mainland. Canada and the United States jointly maintain this historical site.
The presence of this monument underscores the value of seeing that “The Earth is but one country and Mankind its citizens”- Baha’u’llah.
I continued on to the small town of Perry. There, a restaurant called New Friendly featured a cheerful, talkative waitress, who seemed to connect with everyone, a shy teenaged girl, who was looking around for something productive she might do and a visibly flustered, rather crochety woman, who seemed to be the owner. I was served by the waitress, and enjoyed a nice meal of fried clams-with full bellies, which I love, being a son of New England. I was the last one in the door, and so was about the last one to pay. The owner took my payment, seemingly glad to see me leave.
The end of the line, for tonight, is Blueberry Patch Motel and Cabins. I am in a tiny cabin, recommended to me by the night clerk, who said I had just made it through the door, before she turned out the Welcome sign. Yes, I got the last cabin-with one motel room going unclaimed. Rural Mainers do things a bit differently, and the invisible frontier, between being hard at work and being tired enough to stop for the night, takes on a different hue up here.