August 10: More Fundy, and a second province (and baby’s second oil change)

The sticky bun wasn’t as good as I’d thought it was going to be, but that’s okay. Today wasn’t a stellar day for food all around, alas.

However. I saw some really unusual scenery, and that part was great. After I left Alma this morning, I continued north on the coast road until I reached the turn-off for Cape Enrage, which has got to be one of the more unusual place names I’ve run across (says the woman from Puyallup [g]). It’s apparently got to do with the area’s French heritage, although why the French were so angry there still escapes me.

Anyway, it’s a very winding, very narrow road (when I was coming out, I saw a motorhome coming in, and I did wonder how they managed some of the “I’m going to rear-end myself” turns, or if they had to turn around, and wouldn’t that have been fun). The road led to a very windy bluff overlooking the Bay of Fundy, and, as the tide was headed out this morning, I got to see quite a bit more land than I would have otherwise. When the tide goes out here, it goes OUT. There’s also an adorable little lighthouse (no Fresnel lens, alas), and a gift shop, and a zip line, and a few other attractions, all for the grand price of $6 Canadian (about $4.50 U.S. given the current exchange rate, which is one of the reasons I could afford this part of the trip to begin with). No, I did not ride the zip line. I have no desire whatsoever to ride a zip line, let alone one that runs over a rather steep cliff.

A beach on the road to Cape Enrage.  See the high tide marks on the cliffs?
A beach on the road to Cape Enrage. See the high tide marks on the cliffs?
The lighthouse at Cape Enrage.
The lighthouse at Cape Enrage.
From the deck at Cape Enrage.
From the deck at Cape Enrage.
And another view from Cape Enrage.
And another view from Cape Enrage.
Fireweed!  Just like at home.
Fireweed! Just like at home.
They've been taunting me with these signs ever since Maine -- and I have yet to see a single moose!
They’ve been taunting me with these signs ever since Maine — and I have yet to see a single moose.

A few more miles farther down (or up, I guess, since I was headed northeast) the road, I came to what looked to my skeptical eyes like another Trees of Mystery (my standard for tacky roadside attractions). But I’d seen pictures of what they were showing off here, and I wanted to see it, whether it was as hokey as the admission gate and gift shop made it look, or as magnificent as the photos of it I’d seen. The reality was closer to magnificent than tacky, I have to say. The Hopewell Rocks are the famous “flower pot” rocks of the Bay of Fundy, and I do mean famous – I’d heard of them even over on the west coast before I left home.

I was lucky – the tide was just before its ebb, so I could actually see them. Apparently they’re almost completely covered with water at high tide, which is pretty impressive when you get a good look at them. They’re huge, as you’ll see in the photos (lots of people for scale – the place was seriously busy). Anyway, you walk down a ½ km trail to a series of metal staircases that lead you down to what’s billed as the ocean floor [g], and you can actually walk around among the huge formations. It’s really pretty impressive, if a bit hard on your shoes. I had to wipe mud off of mine when I got back up – there’s a setup at the top of the stairs made for it, complete with water sprayers and boot scrapers.

The Hopewell Rocks at low tide.
The Hopewell Rocks at low tide.
And more of them.  They are so odd-looking.
And more of them. They are so odd-looking.  Oh, and that gray stuff is seaweed.
The metal stairs going down to the "ocean floor" where you can stroll among the flowerpot rocks.
The metal stairs going down to the “ocean floor” where you can stroll among the flowerpot rocks.
A view of the "ocean floor" at Hopewell Rocks.
A view of the “ocean floor” at Hopewell Rocks.

I’m glad I went to see them, and I’m really glad I landed there at low tide so I could see them.

After that, I drove on up towards Moncton. I found a really awful hamburger along the way (there wasn’t a whole lot of choice, I was hungry, and I didn’t feel like picnicking), then filled Merlin’s tank once I got to Moncton, for the first time since I crossed the border. The gas station did not have pay at the pump, which was weird. And gas cost me about $5 U.S. more than the same amount (about 8 gallons) would have south of the border, once I did the calculations from liter to gallon, and factored in the exchange rate, so it isn’t bad, all in all. The lady where I went to pay was very helpful when I asked her about where I could take Merlin to get his oil changed, and even produced a city map and marked my route to the place on it for me. The fellow at the oil change place also took the map and marked my route to the highway on it for me. Nice people!

And so I drove on east to Nova Scotia, and stopped at the welcome center to ask about campgrounds. The upshot of that is that I’m in a very nice provincial park campground a bit north of the town of Amherst, not far from the northern shore, in a lovely quiet wooded site. It’s windy as heck, but the trees seem to be keeping the worst of it above me. Very pleasant, and there are showers, too!

Self-evident [g].
Self-evident [g].
There are almost as many Baptist churches in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as there are in Texas, but they're much bigger and older and fancier here.  This one's in the town of Amherst, NS.
There are almost as many Baptist churches in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as there are in Texas, but they’re much bigger and older and fancier here. This one’s in the town of Amherst, NS.