Monday, August 10, 2009

Pennfield, NB: Canadian Blues

So we pull into New River Beach Provincial Park. As always, we set up our tent quickly so we can shower and clean up before preparing dinner. We exchanged a brief greeting to our neighbors across the way, relating the abridged version of our travels so far. By the time we had the tent set up, here comes the wife with two plates with huge wedges of blueberry pie. Wow.

At this point we are only a couple of days of leaving New Brunswick and Canada altogether, and we did not want to miss the chance to stay in another one of these lovely parks. The sites are nicely graded with gravel, the bathrooms clean, and there was a kitchen shelter with tables and a wood-burning stove. And we woke up the next morning, and it was raining, and we decided to stay one more day rather than ride in the cold rain. And before we even got into the shelter to cook breakfast, the campground attendant brought in wood and lit a fire for us. He said he thought we would be needing some warmth on a day like this. Double wow.

We sat most of that rainy day in the kitchen shelter, doing blogs and reading. We met most of our fellow campers as they filed in to do dishes in the common sink area. And one family was particularly interested in our trip, and we talked for a good while. Later they invited us to come over for dinner. So we went, and we ate, and we talked the evening away. Wow, wow, wow.

So, the pie was outstanding. Ever since we had a really lousy piece of blueberry pie in Newfoundland, I swore I would make a decent one when I got home. But the pie from our benevolent neighbor was baked just down the road from the Provincial Park. And lucky us, it was on our way, so we pulled in there first thing in the morning. There were pints, quarts, and flats of blueberries, pies stacked on shelves, and blueberry muffins in plastic bags with holes cut in the tops of the bags to let them breathe. There was a little kitchen in the back where women were making even more muffins and pies. The head blueberry matron got a kick out of the fact that we already had experienced her pie. When asked if her blueberries were wild, she said she calls them wild, but they are more like "encouraged" -- lots of tender care, like what went into those baked goods. We asked for six muffins to go, please.

So we are blue. Our fingers are stained from jammy globs of cooked blueberries in those muffins. But down and out blue? No way -- the kindness of the Canadians continues to amaze us.
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