Mary Beth Writes

Thank you, Robert Burns, for that title. 

We were driving from Gaspé to the next town when this happened.

What you are seeing is Tim Horton’s; famous Canadian purveyor of coffee, donuts and a whole bunch of other treats and sandwiches. They also offer free WIFI so we stopped by Tim Horton’s most afternoons to use their Internet to figure out what motel we would be stopping at that evening.

Which is what we are doing in the photo. The rain you see is an outer band of Hurricane Dorian. Dorian was no longer something to wonder about. Dorian had become a sheeting downpour that was causing our car to hydroplane on an empty highway somewhere in New Brunswick. It was time to find a motel and hunker down. We were not in the hurricane but we were a mere 300 miles from the middle of it, and it was a doozy. Twenty miles from this Tim Horton’s was Bathurst and yes, they had a room for us.

We soon learned that Nova Scotia has a population of 500,000 people - and 400,000 of them lost power that night. Including the entire city of Halifax. It would take days for the “normal” to come back on.

We spent the next morning at a small nature preserve on the bay by Bathurst.

The path we followed down to the bay.

This is their salt marsh, where fresh water from the river flows outward, and saltwater from the bay flows inward. Salt marshes are among the most fragile ecologies on earth due to global warming and rising sea levels.

 Isn’t this beautiful? It’s a collage of leaves and sticks that puddled together the day before in the torrential rain.

We drove onwards to Moncton, New Brunswick. Our next motel had electricity although about half of Moncton was still in the dark, with non-working stop-and-go lights. Our motel’s ‘free WIFI’ didn’t work that night because too much infrastructure had been damaged.  

We went into the city for dinner. Afterwards we walked to the Petitcodiac River to see Moncton’s Tidal Bore. A Tidal Bore, for those of us who don’t live with tides, is the lead wave that arrives on a river or bay, herald of the incoming tide.  In Moncton it isn’t huge, but it still impressed our midwestern hearts.

If you are curious, here is a YouTube video that shows it more clearly. https://youtu.be/8R6Ipsl2VJ0

Next morning, we visited Hopewell Rocks along the Bay of Fundy, at the southern end of New Brunswick.

This pup was hot. 

By the end of that afternoon we exited Canada, with regret. We are not sure if or when we will ever get back. It was so beautiful, although we might take a plane or train if we try it again. And NOT in August or September, hurricane time… That lesson is learned.

 …

We have heard all our lives that Maine’s Acadia National Park is spectacular. We don’t disagree, but we didn’t love being there.

It was a Monday well into September. Where did all those people come from?  The place was so jam-packed we could barely park our little car. We drove to the top of Cadillac Mountain, saw the stunning scenery, but could only pull into a handicapped parking slot. Len jumped out, took some photos, then we drove back down that mountains, bumper to bumper with RV’s and tour busses.  Not our favorite day. 

This photo is from the handicapped parking slot on the top of Cadillac Mountain!  And yes, that is a cruise ship down there.  Either a regularly scheduled tour, or maybe a ship diverted from the hurricane.

We thought we could take a hike, but I wasn’t up to negotiating uneven slabs of rocks for two miles, so we went back to the car. (Lesson learned from you, Bob N.) 

Not sure if this was a Maine or Canadian cormorant, but isn’t it elegant?

This was our favorite part of Acadia. See that tiny person in the middle of the picture?  (Looks like a rock.) That’s Len looking for starfish. He didn’t find any, but we sure did see snails! And I collected dozens of empty snail shells, all so tiny they fit in one jean’s pocket.

Comments

Leonard's picture

If you have been a long-time reader of Mary Beth, you know that this is the SECOND vacation that's been rearranged by a hurricane. Kurt Vonnegut said that unexpected travel is like dancing lessons from God.

Gorgeous! Thank you for taking us along this memorable dance!

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"Brotherhood" by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr - A Book Review

10/13/2021

“Brotherhood” by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr is the most compelling novel I’ve read this year. I read the first half as if I was reading a book for the first time; it felt as if the writer was expressing a story so powerful he called it fiction just to get it out, to me, to us. 

I skimmed the second half because I was exhausted by the impossible trauma and decisions the characters would need to endure and try to survive.

Let me say right here than many will survive. Not all.

Thanks & Now Let's Do Pups!

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 Thank You!

I sent our collated list of “Ways to Help My Community” to the Third Graders this morning.  Laura has already shared it with them; I just received this from one kid. This was really cool and helpful thank you for coming back to me so quickly well you always respond quickly like all the time and also I like hiring (hearing) from you always make me smile from writing to pictures I love them all.”

3rd graders on Community Building

10/12/2021

... 

I’m just back from volunteering in the third grade.  I’ve done this for five years; Laura Zahn who is this class’s teacher, plus her friend and fellow teacher Mara, have become among my favorite people in Waukesha. 

My Relationship with a Door 10/5/2021

Dear Friends,

I seem to be out of Deep Thoughts lately. Not sure if this is apparent to you but it is to me. This is not exactly a problem but keeps me guessing what in the world I should be writing. Or - since “should” is a sometimes toxic and generally unhelpful word – these days I am not sure what you want to read and I want to write.

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Then we came home to all that stuff one does up returning; laundry, groceries, and bringing in the Big Dozers to deal with cat litter boxes. 

Cabeza de Vaca & Company: A 500-Year Old Story for Our Time.

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So let me tell you about a guy I admire.

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