Today we’re departing on what will be a record-breaking journey for us, the longest road trip yet by both mileage and time away from home. Over the next 24 days we’ll travel more than 4,500 miles through nine U.S. states and four Canadian provinces. Tonight’s stopping point is Niagara Falls, followed by a night in the Adirondacks and a night in Burlington, Vermont. By Saturday we’ll be settling into a rental vacation home for a week with family in Bethel, Maine. From there we’ll be able to make day trips to locations in Maine and Northern New Hampshire like Mount Washington. After Maine, we’ll be entering Canada on a car ferry from Portland, Maine to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Our path then winds across the country’s second-smallest province over the course of a week before turning back toward Chicago via New Brunswick, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.
We’ll visit three Canadian National Parks on this trip: the nearly unpronounceable Kejimkujik and Cape Breton Highlands in Nova Scotia and Fundy in New Brunswick. Since we got our feet wet camping last summer at Isle Royale, we’re bringing the tent along to rough it on four nights, one in each of the national parks and one in the Adirondack Mountains. The night at Keji National Park will be the most remote, with a short hike into the backcountry required to reach our reserved tent site.
We have some new and unique lodging planned for this trip as well. We’ve been thinking of using Airbnb for years, but never had quite the right oppoutunity. This time, we found perfectly located and priced accommodations through the service in both Burlington and Toronto, so we’ll see what all the rage is about. At Wolfville, Nova Scotia we’ll spend the night in a vineyard near the Grand-Pré UNESCO World Heritage Site. Probably the most unique lodging of the trip will be at the Fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island, where we’ve booked a night in the Lartigue House within the reconstructed fortress grounds.