07/21/2005: Into the Bay of Fundy
As the day began, I sat on the deck of the Trails End B&B in Alma, New Brunswick staring across the Bay of Fundy at the foggy coast of Nova Scotia. The fog has lifted and the sun was warm.
We checked out and returned to Fundy Park to walk one of the waterfall trails. It was mostly boardwalks through mossy, fern-floored forest to come to this series of nice little waterfalls. The big fall was about 20 feet, and not very loud. But the scene was green. I mean, the canopy overhead let dapples of light into the cavernous rainforest. Water trickled from many sources on this sunny day. My camera told me how dark it was by the long exposures it required to try to capture this serene green.
I was tired by the end of this trail, and rested a bit while Karen walked back through, again.
We returned to Alma so that I could take a couple of pictures of the high tide. Then we drove along the coast, and turned onto a small, winding, steep road to Cape Enrage.
A few years ago, students from Moncton bypassed the Provincial government and started rehabbing the lighthouse and keepers cottages that were slated to be razed. They prevailed, and now the site is maintained, staffed, and preserved by an organization of students with permission from the government, and funded privately.
We had lunch there, looked around, and then headed up along the coast to the well-publicized, privately owned Fundy tourist attraction, Hopewell Rocks. Entrance fee and a walk later, down some stairs, and we were on the sea floor with hundreds of other tourists. Some in heels!
Well, we moseyed around the pretty erosion zone for an hour, when we got to a limestone escarpment with an interpreter standing guard. They can't call their staff "rangers", although they do the same sort of jobs. This woman warned us that the going over this escarpment was rough. I walked up the jaggy rocks toward her following a fairly well worn set of protrusions. She said accusingly, "That's not the easy way! You should have gone up there," and pointed to another path. I replied, "You mean there's an even easier way?" She gave up and let us by.
We figured out that the rocky ridge was not really the issue, but rather that the mud flats on the other side is a protected habitat, and her job is (whether she knew it or not) to keep the ignorati out of this area. The flats can be reached from the other side, but that way is labeled as a birder zone, not a hyped tourist attraction. It usually draws a more respectful audience.
We met some others up above that had wanted to go around, but ran into others returning from the ridge saying that they were turned back, so they turned back.
Me? I am as comfortable climbing rocks as following trails, if not moreso.
Anyway, we did the full loop around the rocks and up the other side. I was only tired; not exhausted! My health continues to improve.
But, now we needed a place to stay. The accommodations near there were booked up. We headed up the road, and tried a few more places. We gave up and were heading to Moncton, when we saw a newish building with a B&B sign by the side of the highway. A quick U-Turn, and a chat with a lady carrying a teacup poodle like a muff over her arm, and we had a room at Lori's B&B in Riverview, NB. Her place was on the Chocolate River. Decades ago this river had a tidal bore, with a twice daily rush of 6' of water passing by. Now, it's a silty tidal estuary of no real interest.
The place was clean, and the owner very chatty. I got to hear about her experiences growing up in a villiage in Quebec with no utilities. It still has none: No electricity, phone, water, gas, or such. They had an annual visit by a supply boat, and that's the only time they saw exotic foods like oranges or broccoli. When she left home for school at the age of 12, she had to learn to use all those city things like running water and to eat foods you didn't catch yourself, like pasta and sandwiches.