Crossing the Border into Campobello Island, Off the Grid, Part 2

When we crossed from Lubec, Maine onto Campobello Island, New Brunswick we discovered that it was Canadian Thanksgiving Day. There was something so apt about this, on a trip that I was so grateful fo, it is beautiful the way life speaks up when quiet down and listen.

The border patrol agent just after the bridge over the Lubec Narrows greeted us, and also let us know much of the island was closed for the holiday.  I showed my passport and Mia’s vaccination papers, and then went on to the tourist center, the sole visitor there. We were arriving right one time.  I picked up a map and asked about place off the beaten path with remote beauty (as if we hadn’t already arrived there.)  If there was a bumper sticker, or life goals club around this, I would definitely be in this, if not a chapter leader.

Mia communes with nature near Con Robinson's Point wind in her ears, happy as I am in nature.

We left the tourist sites alone, as I generally do on trips like this, and instead headed east into the Roosevelt Campobello International Park.  After walking the Eagle Hill Bog boardwalk to the observation deck, Mia’s orange vest popping with the foliage, we headed to the coast.  I drove the car right to the cobble beach on the southern edge of Herring Cove as an October gale from the night before blew out.  We walked out to Con Robinson’s Point and watched seals sheltering nearby, as they watched us.  

All of it, the remote beauty, the weather, the chill in the air, reminded me of a visit the remote monastic island of Iona in the Inner Hebrides.  That November, ages ago, after I checked in as the sole guest at the hostel, actually the sole guest on the island I found out, I walked the beach in lent wellington boots and a seal followed along at a distance in the impossibly Bermuda blue waters.

Safety first for Mia on the Eagle Hill Bog boardwalk, actually she totally blends in with fall foliage, so to beat her dogmaflage, she wears her ruffwear orange vest.

So on this island in Canada, with my wing pup, I called out to our friends in the water, and a few did turned towards us to see, their dog like faces & distinctive black and white markings clearer.  And sure enough they followed, heads popping up and flipping torsos and tails as they disappeared, as we walked down the beach, as curious about us as we were about them.  It was such a thrill, to be alone but with just the right company in the right place.  Regretfully I finally left the rocky beach as the October skies shifted again. 

We checked out the Herring Cove Campground, which would be an amazing spot to stay, but it was closed for the season, another time perhaps, such are the hazards of late season travel.

The view near Herring Cove Campground, the feeling of awayness, of escape was powerful.

The clouds raced overhead, stormy gray sea below as we crossed back into the US, and fresh firewood in the car to keep camp warm that night, nowhere to be & no one to be, none of this can be expressed fully.  It is something you must go and do.  To feel yourself.

Published: October 9, 2017

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Julianne Gauron


I am a designer working in the outdoor and health innovation space for over ten years, as well as a writer and photographer. I have lived in India, Ireland, England, Italy and Micronesia, & what I love most in all...