On June 10th, I rolled from Calais, Maine into the border town of St. Stephen, New Brunswick. This particular location was well-chosen as my "get it together" spot, as you can easily cross-over for whatever reason. In fact, I chose to do so after a few days to fill my gas tank, get an oil change, and buy groceries. Even with the exchange rate in my favor, food and fuel seem crazy expensive to me in Canada!
While I was busy task-mastering myself, I did get to bike about town, walk along the riverfront, and enjoy dinner with my Airbnb host, her precocious six-year old, and a few friends. St. Stephen (population 4,400+) was once a major lumbering and shipbuilding center, and is still home to Canada's oldest family-owned chocolate company (c.1873), Ganong. It's a very low-key small town where people of all ages always say "hello" to you. When exchanging money, I had a 15-minute conversation with the teller about her family's favorite camping spot in New Brunswick, then left wondering when that ever happens at a bank.
When crossing the border, the officers in both directions asked me why I was spending two months in New Brunswick. They got the short answer -- it's my favorite Maritime province, and it is. I love that it's officially bilingual, and I can read everything in English and French. I love the coastline from the Bay of Chaleur to the Bay of Fundy, as well as the mountains. And I love the slower pace, even in the cities, partly due to the fact that New Brunswick is more than 28,000 square miles, with just 760,000 people.
So, let me admit right now, that my dream is to live south in the US of A for six months (and be warm), then mosey my way to and from New Brunswick for three or four. Dreaming is good.
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover