Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sunset at Campobello

Campobello, New Brunswick - Lubec, Maine International Bridge

I left you in Maine a couple of months ago.  Blogging while camping is a hard thing to do, specially if you are not connected to the world with a wireless hotspot (a very different use of words from what I considered a hot spot.  The trip to Canada was magnificent if beset with all manner of issues regarding heat, rain and mosquitos.  The saying you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs still applies.  You don't get to go out into the wilderness (or such as it was) without dealing with exposure to the elements.  Leaving our cozy cottage in Rockport, Maine allowed us to experience much much more by way of nature, but it did come at a price.  Our first night camping seemed simple and untrammeled.  We drove across a simple bridge and we were met by a customs officer who let us pass:  no complications, no terrorist threat in the offing.

one of many lighthouses in Campobello with Lubec as a backdrop
Lubec is the Easternmost city in the US.  It is a small little outcropping of houses on a rock in a bay.  By contrast to Campobello it is Manhattan in the amount of available services.  Campobello has not banks, gas stations or a hospital and practically no markets or restaurants either.  It is a place steeped in history that was more than it is.  Campobello because of its status as the summer home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt has garnered a special status of an international zone that is jointly managed by the Canadian and American governments in the areas pertaining to the Roosevelt property. After the death of Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1962 the State Department during the presidency of Lyndon Baines Johnson created a special place for this very unusual landmark.  Today the park is administered and funded by both the US and Canadian governments.  It employs Americans and Canadians alike without much concern for border politics.

It was at Campbello that Roosevelt contracted Poliomyelitis in 1921.  This debilitating disease however, did not manage to slow down or affect the output of his presidency.  It is a tragedy that as I write this much lesser men paralyze our government for their political ambitions.  

What is remarkable of the Campobello Cottage is its simplicity.  No electricity nor telephone until the 1960's.  It is hard to imagine presidents living in anything that the opulence of our modern times or what we know of the White House.  As you can see from these pictures there is no opulence here.  The matrimonial bed (full sized) was used by the couple. 

The kitchen was a study in antiques with its copper hot water heater.

The most shocking item was this jerry-rigged palanquin to carry the President around the property.  So little ceremony for such a president.

Our accommodations were a little more basic than the Roosevelt's.  We still managed to get around and discover the rest of the 2800 acres that makes up the Roosevelt International Park.  Beautiful trails and overlooks allow you to visit and enjoy this natural wonderland.  

Limo got his camping legs pretty fast.  The park built these wooden trail like the historic wooden turnpikes.  It made traveling through sensitive landscape easier and less destructive.

In all we camped for 29 days and nights. By the end of the camping we were better people for our efforts and had learned a greater appreciation of people who do this as a matter or survival.  For us it was just an adventure in nature.

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