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We rose around 8:00 am and left around 9:15 heading out of Quebec towards northern New Brunswick on Route 20 east and then Hwy 2 where we made a gas stop after 2 hours of driving. This Irving station is designed for large transport trucks and tour buses to stop for a rest, provide toilet facilities and a restaurant. It was easy to pull into any of the bays for a fill and the ease into one of many spots for a break to stretch the legs or grab a snack if needed. We are self-sufficient at the moment so we moved on to find the tourist info centre to research the area and ask about a recommended campsite.
That is when we discover that we are in another time zone and the clocks are an hour behind local time. We check into the provincial park near Edmunston.
Instead of having lunch around 1:30 pm, it is actually 2:30 and getting late for lunch but we are hungry so we had a bowl of noodles and then prepared to wonder around. The botanical gardens are next door to the campgrounds and it is $14 per person to see the gardens. Stuart says that at this time of the year, not much is in bloom so the fellow says that there is a 25% seasonal discount. Well, that turned me off so it did sound as if the themed gardens were not quite ready for viewing.
We drove into the town to look about and within a few minutes of leaving the campgrounds, we were lost as the tourist map did not have direction bearings, making it difficult to read or find out where you are. A woman driving behind us noticed that we were lost so she backed up and came over to help us figure out where to go and pointed out some landmarks. She was kind to go out of her way to assist.
The moment we step out of the CRV, we notice that there is a smell, Stuart says like burnt tires (I do not know, as it is not a familiar smell to me). We walked around a modernization site for the Madawaska River dam. There is a nice a set of bridges joined by a pavilion in the middle of the river. A bunch of elementary age school kids were walking down the joining ramp when one of them fell and hurt his arm. On the other side, there was a skateboard park with viewing benches. We walked through the middle of town and climbed the stairs of an old fort that was a lookout. One can see across the river to the American side of Madawaska which is Maine. On our return over the bridge, we passed through a park area which had a wood structure sectioned into numbered booths where people would sell stuff on weekends. There was a stage area that people could perform or participate in activities like yoga or sing-alongs.
Back to the car we went as the smell was getting annoying, so we did not spend anymore of our time in this town. Fortunately the air is cleaner at the campground where it is out of range of the big stack from the factory. We went back for salmon burgers, mango chutney and veggies (carrot, celery and grape tomatoes).
After dinner we walked around the grounds. There is a path to the lookout which has not been maintained so there is nothing visible over the bush in front. There is a bridge over the marsh that has fallen and no repairs to resurrect it. There is a camping area strictly for cyclist with racks of stands to lock the gear to. There are picnic areas and group sites with open kitchens (3 walls and a roof with stove and two sink areas and lots of picnic benches). It is neat for large social gatherings for everyone to meet and eat.
This is a very large facility. The trees are larger and more mature, so this place has been around much longer, though the branches are less of an intrusion for something our size. The area we are assigned has no water hook up and the power is 15 amp; meaning we cannot run the air conditioner and definitely not simultaneous usage of the coffee maker and toaster oven, like at the last site. There is still the row upon row of sites designed for drive through vehicles like ours.