Dispatch from the Field: An Apology to the People of Edmundston

I mean no offense to Edmundstonians, but their town Edmundston in New Brunswick required all of about 15 minutes to tour, and not a photo was taken. I suppose I could have taken a photo of the attractive but standard-issue cathedral at the top of the hill, or the pulp mill that had the most phallic smoke stack I’ve seen on this trip (not that I am cataloging them), or the walking bridge that, so far as I could tell, simply got you to the other side where you would look around, and then get back on it and come back, but really, why? There was also an old, deteriorated wood sculpture of a squirrel in the park that I think was intended as a beaver, but it was so deteriorated you could not tell. And deteriorated not in an artistic sense deserving of a photo, but really more in the “are you kidding, why don’t you restore this poor thing or chop it up for firewood?” sense.

I did spot a sign for a covered bridge and after many miles of traveling, and lucky guessing at a T intersection that failed to provide further guidance, I did find a covered bridge. The rules of these types of blogs requiring a photo at least every couple of paragraphs or so, here it is.

covered bridege 1

Just a covered bridge with a tiny sign identifying it as the Boniface Bridge constructed in 1925, and a whole lot of modern safety signs that completely detract from the historical rustic-ness and artistic value of it.

I drove through it and shot the other side, thinking how could it be any worse?covered bridge 2

In fairness, we were in town on a Sunday, and it was pretty much closed down, so I was unable to strike up a conversation with anyone except the person who took my order at the local coffee house. She took pity on me and spoke English – everyone else was conversing in French and took absolutely no interest in me.

Our campsite was notable not only for being one of the most comfortable, spacious and beautifully landscaped sites we have had, but also perhaps the closest to an operating railroad line. This is not a problem for us. In fact, railroads and campgrounds go together like curbs and gutters, since the property value diminution caused by the one makes the other economically feasible. And anyway, we like trains. But this spot was notable because we could feel the rumble of the trains in our motorhome just about the time we heard it. At first we couldn’t figure out what it was. A semi barreling in to the site next to us? A phalanx of semis rolling down the road in formation at 100kmh? Do they have black ops helicopters here in Canada too? We peeked out the window and this was the view:


The campground was also notable for having only a single washer for those of us needing to do laundry, but no dryer. Now if we were in Yuma, I could understand no dryers, but this was the Maritimes and I was as puzzled as the look on the host’s face when I repeated “no dryers?” Oui. We deferred doing the laundry to another time.

On our way out of Edmundston the next day, we stopped at a local cafe, where once again all the customers were speaking French. So much for thinking we had left French-speaking Canada when we left Quebec. It turns out that New Brunswick is officially bilingual, which I think means everyone speaks French except servers and cashiers.

Our server had a tattoo visible above her ankle. I told her seeing her tattoo made me feel at home, since just about everyone in Portland has a tattoo. She said it’s one of six, and that her first was a butterfly “down low on my…back.” She said it was addictive, and she has plans for more. I asked her what was there to do in this town? She hesitated, paused, thought. I asked where do you go to have a good time, and she said “Moncton.” Trying another angle I asked, well, what is the one thing you need to do when you come to Edmundston, what is the highlight? She thought a little more and then her eyes lit up and she said: “Me! You need to come to this restaurant! I am the highlight!”


And she was.

3 thoughts on “Dispatch from the Field: An Apology to the People of Edmundston

  1. This report makes me smile and then smile again. Edmundston is my kind of town. Glad to know ain’t nobody gonna knock down that covered bridge, not on my watch.

    On Fri, Sep 22, 2017 at 6:37 AM, 2 WASTED MINUTES wrote:

    > Ken Fransen posted: “I mean no offense to Edmundstonians, but their town > Edmundston in New Brunswick required all of about 15 minutes to tour, and > not a photo was taken. I suppose I could have taken a photo of the > attractive but standard-issue cathedral at the top of the hill” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another classic travel column, which is fast becoming a highlight of my day (perhaps an all-too-transparent commentary demonstrating my simple, ordinary life and made in front of your massive audience — I hear it is up to as many as seven now??). By the way, given the oncoming and ongoing tragedy known as the “Daton-Madman standoff”, Moncton seems like a pretty good residential alternative to anywhere on the west coast. Send me a real estate guide please.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joe. I’ll pass on Moncton but Prince Edward Island is delightful, and is no doubt off the radar for every madman with a trigger in the world. More to come on PEI next week; the blog still needs to finish crossing New Brunswick. By the way, the blog now has over 50 followers, and the Canadian Content post had over 150 views, from as far away as the UK and Egypt, proving that people world-wide are starved for reading material. I only need another 9,950 more followers and I can monetize!


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