Posts filed under ‘Hopewell Rocks’

Fun @ Fundy

July 8, Day 30 of my epic cross-Canadian road trip. I was exhausted, but we had one big day of travel and sightseeing still ahead of us. From Halifax, the plan was to drive north, back into New Brunswick. Well, NB was a repeat trip for Jules and me. Since Christina had joined us in PEI, she hadn’t been with us for the northern leg of the NB exploration. Plan for the day: FUNDY.

The Bay of Fundy is a sliver of ocean that cuts between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. It’s important because it has one of the highest vertical tide ranges in the world. There’s about a 17-metre drop from high tide to low tide. At the Hopewell Rocks on the New Brunswick side of Fundy, depending on which time you go, you can either kayak around the “flowerpot rock” formations, or you can walk on the ocean floor. We wanted to walk on the ocean floor, so we checked the tide tables and planned our arrival time accordingly.

We knew all of this heading into the trip. What we did not know is that the water at the Hopewell Rocks is brown. It makes sense—it’s laden with all of the dirt and sand that rushes in and out with the tides—but we just didn’t anticipate it. When we finally got to the Hopewell Rocks, after driving along the Petitcodiac River (the “Chocolate River”), I was so disappointed, but I didn’t want to say anything.

Once we got down to the rocks, though, it was really neat. The ocean floor is pretty gross—very muddy and rocky, and sometimes there are dead fish lying around. But when else would I have a chance to say that I walked on the ocean floor?! So I embraced the mud and started clicking the shutter. The landscape shots that I got probably aren’t going to be ones that I will frame for my living room, but they’re important for the memories! Just very…brown.

Hopewell Rocks
Here’s a shot to show the scale of the rock formations. At high tide, the water level is more than halfway up.

Hopewell Rocks
They earned the nickname “flowerpot rocks” because some of them have trees growing out of the top, so they look like giant versions of plain clay flowerpots.

Fundy
Yep, Fundy is brown! There’s also a ton of seaweed that gets washed in at high tide, then stays on the shore when the tide goes out. We ate some.

Ocean Toes
My toes on the ocean floor! (Also trying to get rid of the mud…)

Muddy Fundy Feet
One of the other girls (Jules?) models muddy Fundy feet for me.

Me
We were all feeling pretty exhaustedsilly by this point! Shortly after this photo was taken, I made up a multiverse song while we hiked back to the parking lot.

After we felt like we’d spent enough time among the rocks at Fundy, we decided that we wanted to see the Cape Enrage Lighthouse. Cape Enrage Light is a classic white lighthouse with a red top, and the view is supposed to be one of the most dramatic along the Fundy shore. From the postcards that we found in the Hopewell Rocks gift shop, it looked like the water at Cape Enrage was more blue than brown, and we love lighthouses, so off we went.

It was a beautiful day, as you may have noted in the photos from the Rocks. In fact, it was so bright that I was having a hard time exposing my shots at Hopewell Rocks. So we got in the car, found the lighthouse in Lee’s directory, and had him map a route. After a fairly terrifying and bumpy ride down a “farm lane,” as Jules called it (we defer to her for such matters), we arrived at this gorgeous park in the middle of nowhere:

Lighthouse Park
It had a lovely little pond and a mini lighthouse. The landscape was so pastoral and picturesque, I thought we’d somehow transported ourselves back to PEI!

So we kept driving, past the Ha Ha Cemetery and the Sawmill Creek covered bridge…
Sawmill Creek Bridge

…and then we drove up a mountain toward Cape Enrage. The road was a bit scary and as we drove, we drove into a cloud. The fog (which there’d been no sign of 10 minutes before) became more and more dense as we drove up the mountain, until we arrived near the top and saw a sign that informed us that we’d have to pay $4.50 each for the view. For the view of fog? Um, non. So we turned around and drove back down the mountain, and back into the beautiful day.

I’d still love to see Cape Enrage sometime, but if it’s completely under fog on a gorgeous, tank-top wearing, blue-skied sunny day in July, I’m wondering when exactly they get those fantastic postcard photos!

Anyway, we’d worked up a pretty good appetite by then, so we headed back to Moncton, where Christina had recommendations from a foodie friend. After a stellar dinner at Calactus, we picked up some frappés at a great coffee house near downtown called Cafe Archibald.

Moncton Castle
Moncton was cute, even though we really only saw it from the car! It made me wish that I’d planned for more time in Moncton on the trip itinerary. I hope to have a reason to go back sometime!

From Moncton, we had to drive along the Saint John River to Fredericton, where we were staying for the final night of the Canadian road trip. It was dark, and when I say that it was dark, I mean that it was pitch-black, increda-creepy, darker than a black hole kind of dark. It also felt like we were going to fall into the river at any point. But we made it, arriving at the Ramada Inn only to discover that when I’d booked it, I’d failed to note that the rate was for a room with only one bed. Oups! After 30 days of traveling, I was bound to stop noticing a few details, I guess.

On July 9, we woke up impossibly early, because I thought that I was supposed to get the car back by noon. In Manchester, NH. Fredericton failed to produce an open Starbucks for us, so we declared it the most disappointing capital in Canada and headed for the Maine border, the great Canadian road trip nearly over.

May 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm 3 comments


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A serial road tripper chronicles her adventures.

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