Northern Exposure ‘13. Part 2
We’re off in Canada for a month and this is travel blog part two.
Made it to Fundy Park where we climbed down another ridiculous series of staircases to get to the floor of the bay, at low tide, where the gigantic 40-70 foot Hopewell Rocks stood exposed. These giant sculptures were formed by ages and ages of the largest tidal changes in the world. And it’s amazing how fast you can climb back up those stairs when that huge tide starts coming back in.
The next day we looked at the park map, with its color-coded walks and hikes. A purple dotted line offered a short walk “suitable for everyone.” Surely we could up our game to the green level, promising a 2.5 kilometer walk “comfortable for almost everyone.“ The map listed three more increasingly difficult levels.
The green line turned out to be littered with chunky tree roots and rocks, and heading straight downhill. Then came mud holes rivaling the La Brea tar pits. We huffed and puffed along for twenty five minutes with no sign of running water.
“You want to turn back before we see the waterfalls?” Bonnie asked.
“No,” I said, “in for a penny, in for a hip replacement.”
Without going into further torturous detail, we hiked the 2.5K straight down, then after going, “Yup, a waterfall,” suffered another 2.5K straight back up. In the parking lot we patted
ourselves on the back for a job well done. Also to stop the coughing.
At the campfire that night we ate as many roasted marshmallows as we wanted.
Yesterday, we arrived in beautiful Chester, Nova Scotia, where we are visiting a friend in a house with spectacular water views. This morning said friend had me out walking three point five miles. Who is this typing and what have they done with Fay? We are having a positively grand time, even if I may need to detox from the great outdoors when we return.
Except for the 3-4 mile forced marches, we have had an amazingly relaxing time. We traveled across to the Northern shore one day for lunch at Lucketts Winery, where they have scrumptious food and drink, plus, in the middle of the vineyard, an old-fashioned English red phone booth. And, from it, you can call anywhere in the world for free. Hence, their most popular wine is Phone Box Red and Phone Box White.
For the past few days Bon and I did little but lounge on the deck reading (Bon), writing (me), and having a vacation from our vacation. By today a soupy fog rolled in. We could hardly see the drinks in our hands. We managed.
Now we get it when locals say there are two seasons here, winter and construction. We drove, through miles of road cones and flaggers to a teeny lake community in the center of Nova Scotia. We’d been invited to stay with two women we met last year at the campground in Lunenburg. They have a spectacular log home, decorated entirely in Southwestern Cowboy décor, with Georgia O’Keefe cattle skulls and boots and spurs everywhere. It’s really a showplace, overlooking a small river and lake. One of the cowgirls took me on my first all-terrain-vehicle ride and it was a doozy—we flew along snowmobile trails, through rutted roads and humongous mud puddles. I came back laughing, covered in terrain.
Canada is so cool. While the gals are the only lesbians in the community, back in June they threw a Pride Party and all their straight neighbors came in rainbow shirts. But the girls were sure glad to see us and have a little gaycation to make U-Haul jokes, and chat about the fall of DOMA, Edie Windsor, and other topics their neighbors aren’t apt to discuss.
Tomorrow we have plans for a ferry ride to Big Tancook Island, where they make sauerkraut.
We called the trip The Hunger Games. Took the 1 p.m. ferry to the island to discover only one restaurant, which appeared less than clean, with rude staff. Asked about the art gallery and we heard it was closed. That was IT…nothing else on the island! What about the sauerkraut? It seems that 25 years ago a couple of deer swam over from the mainland, went back, and told all their friends, and the herd came back to decimate the cabbage patch. No more sauerkraut. You’d think the islanders could manage to grow a head of cabbage or two during rutting season, but no.
So we walked around the island—FOR FOUR HOURS!— on dirt roads, amid a thundering barrage of pre-teens on ATVs, kicking up dust storms in our faces. A police car drove by, but when it got close we saw that the star on the door said BEER PATROL and the officers appeared to be bubbas. Cue the banjo music!
Got back to the ferry an hour early, ‘cause believe me we did not want to miss it. And you could hear our stomachs rumbling over the ferry engines. Okay, some of the scenery was pretty, but jeesh, a trip to nowhere! I don’t even want to think about Little Tancook Island. As for the editor of 1000 Places to See Before You Die, her credibility is kaput.
Luxuriated at the waterfront and readied ourselves for the trip home. Cleaning out the RV fridge was like Survivor Nova Scotia, with their complex and stringently regulated recycling system. There’s a compost “wet” bin, a plastics/aluminum “dry” bin, a paper bin and, as if that’s not enough to put me in the loony bin, a garbage pail for the rest. Panicked we’d goof, leaving a hostess gift of a $200 fine or jail, we drove to the grocery store and furtively—as furtive as you can be in a 27 foot recreational vehicle—started lobbing trash into what we hoped were the right slots. Luckily, Bonnie and Clyde weren’t nabbed.
All in all, we’ve loved our stay in Nova Scotia and the two weeks before that in Montreal and Quebec…but we are happy to be heading home for Sundance! See you there.
Fay Jacobs is the author of As I Lay Frying—a Rehoboth Beach Memoir; Fried & True—Tales from Rehoboth Beach, and For Frying Out Loud—Rehoboth Beach Diaries.