52 Foot Tides!

Bay of Fundy National Park NB, Canada

September 3, 2009

Cabano, on the shores of Lake Temiscouata, is where we bedded down for the night. It is a long, narrow, tiered site along the lakeshore and is filled with seasonal renters a new phenomenon to us. Apparently in many parts of Canada private campgrounds will rent spaces for “the season” from May to October. This works like a second home. Renters virtually move in for the summer, plant flowers, build elaborate decks around their trailers, know their neighbors and enjoy the benefits of a lake house without any of the maintenance.

Lake Temiscouat

As we were cleaning up after dinner our gas sniffer alarm went off, a high shrill sound like a smoke detector, however, we smelled no propane. Nonetheless we opened the doors and the alarm finally went off. A few minutes later it went off again, still no smell of propane, this pattern continued for several minutes. It was windy and we thought propane might be drifting in through the window so we closed windows and George turned off the propane at the tank but the alarm continued to drive us crazy going off every few minutes. We tried all combinations of opening/closing doors and windows to no avail until about 9:00 p.m. it just stopped. We don’t know why but at that point didn’t care because we got to sleep. Next morning it was fine.

September 4, 2009 –  Fundy National Park NB, Canada

We did a quick Internet search and found an RV repair shop in Fredericton NB, right on our route and decided it would be prudent to have it checked before getting on the ferry for Newfoundland. Upon entering New Brunswick we stopped at the tourist office and the woman there was extremely helpful, looking up the facility and printing out detailed directions to the RV repair shop along with the phone number. George called and they couldn’t promise they could fit us in but said to come by and they would try.

We arrived in Fredericton around 3:00 p.m. and found the RV repair shop easily. Their customer service rep, a 3-year-old golden retriever with wagging tail, smiling face and sweet demeanor, greeted us immediately. She led us into the service area and our van was taken in right away. We sat in the comfortable waiting room, shared with the golden retriever and her basket of toys; she would wander in every so often to see how we were doing and to get her ears rubbed. The technician, two-legged, performed a pressure check on the propane system and found no leaks. Greatly relieved we thanked them and were on our way again in short order.

We detoured to the little town of Sussex after spotting a farmer’s market sign and found the town quite charming. It calls itself the “Mural Capital of the Atlantic” with many of the older buildings adorned with murals depicting the history of the area. We easily found the market and stocked up on fresh corn, onions and couldn’t resist the kettle corn. Spotting baskets of apples when we asked for four the vendor proceeded to load four baskets into a bag instead of four apples. As we were chatting, not paying attention, when she said it would $16 we snapped to attention and after a good laugh we got our four apples.

Sculpted on a rock in a Sussex children’s park: Four-way test of things we think, say or do:
1. Is it the truth
2. Is it fair to all concerned
3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships
4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned

Leaving Sussex we encountered another gorgeous stretch of highway, roller coaster like as it climbed up and down the hills and wound through the farmlands to the coast and Fundy National Park and the little village of Alma where we arrived as the tide was beginning to ebb. The Bay of Fundy is world-renowned for it’s tidal ranges, as much as 52 feet in a 12-hour period.


September 5, 2009 – Hopewell NB, Canada

Leaving camp we decided to explore south along the shore to the end of the road at Point Wolfe, stopping along the way at Herring Cove for a hike down to the beach and then on to Wolfe Point entering the parking area through a covered bridge at the site of an old lumber mill. A boardwalk trail led us down countless steps through the forests to reach the beach on an incoming tide making the point inaccessible but it was a lovely walk.

Moving back north, beyond the village of Alma, we again detoured to Cape Enrage to view the lighthouse.

Cape Enrage

A short drive today, we camped at Hopewell to see the rocks and perhaps witness the drama of both a high and low tide for which the bay is famous. In the early evening we drove out to the site for a visit to the Flower Pot Rocks but the tide was incoming so our visit was short. The name comes from the fact that at high tide only the tops of the rocks are visible, resembling flower pots.

Hopewell Rocks

Hopewell Rocks

September 6, 2009 – Cape Breton Island NS, Canada

An early morning revisit to Hopewell Rocks allowed us to view the incoming tide at Demoiselle Beach. It was quite dramatic to see the tide line, the channels cut through the sea floor and the tide moving in so quickly. George walked down to a point of rocks to photograph the shoreline and was met by a volunteer who asked that we not go beyond the point as the incoming tide would block our return to the beach entry. He said at mid tide it moves a vertical foot every 10 minutes.

Demoiselle Beach

We left the Bay of Fundy and soon entered Nova Scotia driving with our blinders on, looking forward to returning to Nova Scotia after our visit to Newfoundland but for now it we a date to meet the ferry tomorrow evening. Stopping for the night in Antigonish NS, we will have us a leisurely drive to the ferry tomorrow.

Labor Day in Canada and not much is open for business but we do manage to find a drug store that carries enough groceries to meet our needs and we head on down the road at a leisurely pace needing to check in for the ferry by 6:30 p.m. in North Sydney on Cape Breton Island.

In North Sydney we had limited success finding a place for dinner, everything was closed except for a pizza parlor and Betty’s home cooking and a couple of chain sandwich shops. After talking with a couple in the park, from my hometown of Philadelphia, who had eaten at Betty’s we opted for the pizza parlor. It was okay but not fine dining.

There was quite a line-up for the ferry but with the reservation system there was no rush to join it. We passed the time visiting with a young man from Ontario who was in line in front of us. He was a firefighter and had just been in British Columbia fighting the forest fires there. He and a friend were traveling pretty close to the same route we had planned. We enjoyed a long conversation until the boarding process began.

Ferry to Newfoundland

Into the belly of the beast

On board we found our assigned seats “recliners” and then proceeded to explore the ship until time to settle in for the night. I cannot say this was the most restful night; the recliners did not recline as our bodies would have liked so we slept in fits and starts, basically catnapping all night. Sometime in the wee hours of the morning the temperature was lowered in our area and by morning we were both freezing. It was not a good night in fact, the only thing good I can say about it is that we had relatively calm waters for the crossing.

Newfoundland at last and now the real sightseeing can begin.


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