Sunday, June 24, 2012

Leaving New Brunswick-Entering Quebec

Monday: World’s largest axe. No, it doesn’t belong to Paul Bunyan of American folk tales. They haven’t heard of him here in Canada. It’s the symbol of the city Nackawic, New Brunswick to honor the early loggers due to the importance of the logging industry to the founding of Canada. It was a leisurely 2 kilometer stroll with (the round trip being 4 k). Notice the grass path. Yes it was like that most of the way except in the forested area. In the afternoon, we took another 4-5 kilometer walk through another beautiful forest along the banks of a river.

Tuesday: Two more peaceful walks (too easy to call them hikes), one in the morning, and another in the afternoon. The morning walk was in the Meduxnekeog Valley Nature Preserve.  After driving to Florenceville, we walked through the woods on the Shiktehawk trail. I’ll never get tired of trees and water. We also saw the world’s longest covered bridge, 1,282 feet. Our RV made it through with a few inches to spare, but I still found myself ducking. Tonight we are in Clearview, New Brunswick.



Wednesday: The falls at Grand Falls, NB was a disappointment at first. They are damming up the water for repairs. However, after lunch and a nap, they opened the floodgate, and water started pouring in. We also walked along the gorge.  Majestic.  It was a fairly long walk, but nothing strenuous.  After a few easy days, I’m good to go on a more difficult hike, but there aren’t any in this area.

Thursday: A day to kick back. We took a leisurely walk along the river in Grand Falls then drove less than an hour to our next gorgeous campground. We’re going slowly because the Palmyra Pageant doesn’t start until July 13th.

Friday: Last day in New Brunswick! We had a nice walk around Edmundston then went to the Maple Leaf Queen’s Buffet. It was mostly Chinese food, and just as tasty as the sister that recommended it last Sunday said. It was a lovely day when we went for our walk this morning, almost too hot, but it sure felt good after all of the cold weather we’ve had. While we were eating at the buffet, the sky faucet turned on—real pouring rain just like Thailand. It rained like that last night also, but the morning was delightful. I love hearing the rain when I’m in a cozy place, I even like going out in it when it’s warm. Not good for hiking, though.

Saturday: Quebec! The province, not the city. More rain, so we didn’t get to go to the gardens near our campground. Today we’re in St. Fabien. It’s a charming rural community.

Sunday: We visited a French speaking branch. I did better with my French than I thought I would, I even bore my testimony part in French. It was a beautiful drive.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

More New Brunswick Canada

Monday: It was rather slow day except for our 3 hour walk from Shediac, New Brunswick to Point de Chien Warf and back. The warf didn’t exactly live up to the brochure. It was sort of interesting, but small not much to do. The stores were closed, and so were most of the restaurants. The walk on the biking/walking trail was lovely; I never get tired of seeing trees. The high point was a lobster dinner in the “lobster capital of the world.” I liked the world’s largest lobster too. If I were ever in a position to highlight a city or business, I’d have the world’s largest something or the other made to draw people to whatever it would be.

Tuesday: We walked along an isthmus of sand dunes in Bouctouche, New Brunswick. The pictures tell the story. It was an easy walk, but we didn’t go the whole 8 kilometers. Some of the boardwalk has been destroyed by storms. It's too expensive to keep re-building it. I like walking along the sand anyway.

Wednesday: Today we went on a 7-8 mile hike in a lovely forest along the banks of the Kouchibouguac River in the Kouchibouguac National Forest. Please don’t ask me to pronounce it when we get home; I can’t even pronounce it now.

Thursday: More of Kouchibouguac then on to Baie Sainte Anne, NB.

Friday: Traveled to Miramichi, New Brunswick. We started out on an easy hike which led to a moderate one like we planned. Due to the lack of signs, we ended up on the difficult trail for awhile. It wasn’t too bad but it was steep both up and down in places. Thankfully, we found a second bridge back across the babbling stream to the moderate, then easy hike. We needed the exercise anyway. The scenery was superb when we could glance up. There were rocks and roots all along the path. The stream made it worth the trip.

Saturday: Mostly a travel day to Hawkshaw, NB. We saw a covered bridge along the way. We went for a walk along the river. Much easier than the hike we went on yesterday. The flowers are wild roses! The last few days have been warm. Notice no more jackets!

Sunday: We didn’t take any pictures, but we went to the branch in Houlton, Maine even though our campground is in Hawkshaw, New Brunswick. I used to wonder if the church ever had wards or branches that cover more than one country. They do. The people were very welcoming. It’s interesting to visit so many different wards and branches. It’s so uplifting to feel the spirit of the saints no matter where we go. Some are more cordial than others, most introduce us in Relief Society and Priesthood, but more often than not they forget in Sunday School. Everywhere the spirit is the same. Just like people, some are more reserved rather than out-going, but that doesn't mean they aren't glad we're visiting. This ward was as friendly as can be.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Walking on the Sea Floor and More

Monday: Hopewell Rocks and on to Nova Scotia. Today I walked on the ocean floor. High tide will be up to 58 feet above my head. Remember the funnel effect from last week? The further up Fundy Bay we go, the higher the tide. It’s really remarkable. What surprised me the most about this part of the sea floor was that there were no sea shells. The surface was pebbly rocks with a small amount of muddy silt the receding tide had deposited, no sand. The boulders were covered with seaweed.  Here the tide comes in and goes out at about 5 feet per hour. You don’t want to get caught with it coming in! In the 45 minutes or so we spent walking around, the tide was noticeably lower than when we arrived, a couple of hours before low tide. Amazing stuff in this world Heavenly Father created for us. We spent the night in Glenholme, Nova Scotia. Don’t try to find that city on a GPS device, Mapquest, or on the map program I have. Google earth found it, though. We had to use an actual map and directions from the campground guide book to find it.

Tuesday: We drove to Joggings, Nova Scotia another site with the extreme tides on the opposite side of Fundy Bay. We got there too early because the tide had just started receding an hour or so earlier. We did walk down to the little shelf that was just exposed for a few feet and took some pictures. We were only there for about 10 minutes and could already tell the water was lower. We would have had to wait an hour for the tour of the fossil site. It was cold and raining, so we drove back to the campground. We also saw Five Islands (picture with the lighthouse) which was interesting. What we didn’t know was that at low tide we could have walked to the islands.  Most of the best things to see in the Bay of Fundy area happen at low tide. How can you be at several places within a few hours time frame?

That small dark spot are trees on top of a pillar that will look like those at Hopewell Rocks.

Wednesday: Freeway driving! I love driving on small country roads, but there can be too much of a good thing. We were on curvy 2 lane roads all day yesterday, fun, but hard on the driver. We visited the Halifax temple which is always a highlight. We stopped by the Masstowne Market on the way home. It’s basically an indoor market plus. Besides the expected vegetables and flowers they had a bakery, restaurant, and deli. It was next to a fish market built like a lighthouse. The lighthouse had a nice view from the top even on this rainy day. It’s supposed to be spectacular on a sunny day.

Thursday: We went to Truro, NS and saw some neat carvings. The elm trees that used to line the streets died, so they had artists carve the dead trunks. The best thing we saw was the Glooscap Heritage center about the Mi’kmaq Indians.  In legend, Gooscap created the landscape we see today. We also took a hike in Victoria Park and saw some waterfalls. Fun stuff.

Friday: Our last stop in Nova Scotia was the swinging bridge in Tidnish. We could see steep cliffs below the water, and although it was relatively calm, we could see water flowing in both directions, but this area isn’t on Fundy Bay where those extreme tidal waters flow. It’s close to Northumberland Strait, so it was just a stream entering the bay.

We’re back in New Brunswick, Moncton to be exact. On our way we stopped by Sackville where we visited Swan Pond and Waterfowl Park.

Saturday: A quiet, rainy day. We drove to Magnetic Hill. We drove down the hill which had another hill that went up at the bottom. When reaching the bottom, we put the car in neutral and it backed up the hill. The water in the water bottle remained flat, but the terrain certainly looked like it went down then up, and it felt like we were going uphill backwards.