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

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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The Erie Canal; Means and Dreams

This photo is from Schoharie Crossing State Historical Site. The crumbling infrastructure is the oldest part of the Erie Canal -where it crossed Schoharie Creek. 

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Crown Point, Ticonderoga, and Saratoga

Not everyone wants to see where the American Revolutionary War got up and got going - but we did.

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The summer after college I worked in my family’s printing business, trying to earn and save enough to move out. To where I was not sure, but somewhere!

Gaspé Peninsula & MB's Big Hike to See Gannets

Like I wrote previously, our plan was to turn to the right at the bottom left hand side of the map (see below) and drive east to Nova Scotia and then shoot up to the 7-hour ferry that would schlep us to Newfoundland.

Following the St. Lawrence River: “Further up and further in.”

We drove right past Montreal and Quebec.  We really “should” have turned off the Trans-Canada and gone into these cities to see historical sites I have been reading about for years.  Except, well, neither of us wanted to ‘do a city’ yet.  We love city life, but cities don’t kindle imagination the same way as the surprise of smaller towns and the beauteous unrolling of fields and woods, river and sky outside out car windows.  I bet people who live in rural areas like to take their breaks in a city when they get the chance…

Let's go to Canada. It will be beautiful and convenient and nothing will get too crazy.

Hi! Len and I returned home at 1:30AM from our 15-day road trip through eastern Canada and Maine and more.  

In case you ever wondered, you CAN go to the “Glazed and Confused” donut shop in Syracuse, NY at 9 in the morning, peruse the  Erie Canal museum https://eriecanalmuseum.org/ and then drive back in Waukesha - all in one 16-hour day. We are generally closer to interesting places than we know.

But I get ahead of myself.

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