The Big River
Oct 3, 2008
|A drive up the St. John River to Fredericton - Friday, October 3
Since we are camped near the mouth of the St. John River we decided to drive up the river to New Brunswick’s capital of Fredericton. We are heading for the international border and are planning at this time to cross it somewhere north of Fredericton on Saturday or Sunday.
Our first destination was the Visitor Center at Reversing Falls. It was good to see the falls again and the woman at the Visitor Center remembered us. She gave us directions to the scenic route and told us to come back again - which we are very likely to do someday.
We found the scenic route and the next few hours were spent driving north along the west side of the St. John River. It is the longest river in New Brunswick, having it’s source in Quebec, and it is a wide and powerful waterway that sees tidal action as far as Fredericton, 80 miles from it’s mouth on the Bay of Fundy.
The roads were rough in many places but the scenery was worth it. The river has many faces and we saw a lot of them by the time we got to the Highway 105 turn off. Here the river makes a bend and we crossed it on a wide viaduct. Immediately on the other side we encountered a sign that had a picture of a van type truck circled in red with a red slash mark through it. What did this mean? We didn’t have a clue.
Obviously it meant some kind of trucks were prohibited on this road, but with no writing we didn’t know if it meant all trucks or just big trucks. And are we considered to be a truck? Who knows? The road looked OK - it was one of the better highways we’d been on all day. But maybe there was an overpass with a low clearance, or a bridge with a weight restriction. With nothing but a generic truck picture to go on it was impossible to tell. So we kept going - but a little nervously.
We finally stopped for lunch at a roadside café and the waitress assured us we were OK. She said the road used to be the Trans Canadian Highway and carried all the traffic, but when they built the new highway across the river they banned big rigs on this side to keep it rural and nice. We felt better with the news, and with the food.
A few miles farther we started getting into Fredericton traffic - and wouldn’t ya know it - we were right at the rush hour. We seem to manage to hit every urban area we come to at the rush hour, and here we were in the capital city in the Friday night rush hour. And it was starting to rain. Perfect!
As it turned out the traffic wasn’t bad. The rain made the road a little dicey for a while, but by the time we got past Fredericton and to the provincial park in Mactaquac it was clear again. The sites there are all on the grass and the ground was very wet, but we parked without a problem and settled in for a quiet and peaceful night.