Saturday, September 12, 2020

116 kilometres

 116 kilometres isn't really that far.  It's 72 miles.  Sometimes we express distance as time.  "How far is it to Burntcoat Head?" you ask.  "Well from my place it's around an hour and 20 minutes."

But it's not quite a direct route.  It could be.  But with me it rarely is.

I wanted to show my friend Donna, Burntcoat Head, sight of the highest tides in the world, but as usual there were places to stop along the way.

We agreed to meet up at the lay-by at Cheverie at 11:30; three hours before low tide.  There's a large parking area so you can enjoy the stunning view across the Bay of Fundy to the cliffs of Blomidon.


I've told you about this spot before.  I may have mentioned that many visitors come to take in this view, and then happily leave, not realizing they have missed something very special.

If they tore their eyes from this view and turned around they would have seen this on the hill behind them.

It's a stunning building created in 2012 by some students of Dalhousie University.  It stands atop a grassy hill, just waiting to be explored.  But few people even notice it.


To be fair, it's not like there is a large sign or anything.  
This teeny sign is the only thing directing you to it.

In a dark room within those walls is an enchanting surprise.  Well not at first.  You have to wait a bit for your eyes to get used to the darkness.  Then you simply stare at the floor waiting and waiting ... until on the floor you see projected the view across the Bay.  What's super fun is when a car zips by at your feet.  (The smudges and marks I think reside on the mirror that projects the image)

BTW that's Donna's car parked just left of centre.  The road is just behind it. Below, is what the projection is showing.

Just a kilometre down the road we turned down Shipyard Road so I could show Donna the gypsum cliff.


After a walk there we continued on to Walton where we got take-out lunch at the Walton Pub -- "Under one billion served" it declares proudly on their sign.

We ate it at the Walton lighthouse.

It was pretty close to low tide.

We stopped on our way back home several hours later for a comparative photo.

Finally it was time to head to Burntcoat Head.

Did I mention that we brought our dogs with us ?

Donna has a black and a white Schnauzer; Pyper and Allie.

We just about had the whole shore to ourselves.  We walked for a while and wanted to keep walking but as I kept reminding Donna, "the tide has turned".

Donna's high tech watch told us that we'd walked 10,000 steps.  I was pretty darn tired by the end of our explorations and easily believed we'd walked that and then some.

The dogs were pretty tired too.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Blue Beach ... new adventures.

Introducing a friend to a place that is special to you is a doubly wonderful experience.  You get to see the place through fresh eyes and remind yourself of why you like it so much in the first place

If you like rambling beach walks, exploring and fossils; Blue Beach ticks all the boxes; so that's where Donna and I went on Wednesday.

We went looking for an old tunnel I'd heard about.  I don't know it's purpose; I suspect it's for drainage.  We tramped a couple of kilometres down the shore and found it.  


The walk was made slower by us stopping to take photos of all sorts of beautiful things: driftwood roots; rock formations; silly dogs leaping onto rocks ...

That was the rock formation and this is the silly dog.

We stopped for a picnic lunch.  Sooki had gone for a swim near the tunnel and had begun to shiver.

Hence her getup.  That's MY sweatshirt she's sporting.  

The fossils on Blue Beach are not dinosaur fossils, but are from 350 million years ago.  Ms. Wiki tells us that the cliffs are soft shale and sandstone.  They erode rapidly because of the high tides combined with winter freeze-thaw conditions, creating continuous opportunities for new discoveries.

Most of the fossils are ripples, mud cracks, worm tracks, rare plant impressions and traces of foot prints or tail drags.


Pretty rock formations were around us,

above us, 

and below our feet.

We wandered down the shore, where we caught a glimpse of the now abandoned Horton Bluff Lighthouse.

We'd spent six hours walking, keeping an eye on the tides and scouring the ground.  Donna made the best find of the day.  We think it's the impression of the bark of a tree.  The bark of a tree that had died 350 million years ago !

We had a fabulous day.

Before we left we were already talking of returning to Blue Beach.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Staycation summer

If I'm going to be stuck in a bubble I am so glad that I'm stuck in the Maritimes; specifically Nova Scotia.

Today my chum Donna and I met up at Baxter's Harbour Falls on the Bay of Fundy.  The "falls" are the outflow from a culvert high above the harbour.  In spring they are quite wonderful; right now, not so much.

Still it's pretty.  We were there at low tide.  You can see how high the water will be a mere six hours later.

We explored the shore.  

Scrambling over sometimes slippery rocks, with me reminding Donna all the while that this was good for our hippocampus (our hippocampi!).

Donna found us a marvellous spot for our picnic lunch under this stone arch.  Here's a shot of Dexter "photo bombing" Donna.

Donna set up her camera on a tri-pod to take a pic of us having lunch.  I thought the large seaweed covered rock behind her looked like a friendly, Muppet, monster.

We had hoped to walk down the shore to Black Hole falls; but after walking over a kilometer down the shore we found our way blocked by high, greasy boulders.

The rugged beauty of the shoreline was adequate consolation.  

We walked back to where we started and decided to drive to Scotts Bay, about 25 minutes up the road.


The shoreline of Scotts Bay presents a very different view.  A flat stone-covered shore; a rock collectors dream

The tide was just turning, meaning it was starting to come back in.

This lovely driftwood tree presented a lovely photo opportunity.

We're already another staycation adventure for next week.

I hope you are finding things to enjoy in your neck of the woods.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

The homework assignment

Weekly face-time chats and laughter with chums Sara and Kelly has been a real tonic during these unusual times.

After our "chats" I always feel better.    All that laughing really gives me an endorphin hit.

And now for something completely different we've added homework to our weekly agenda.

Kelly when next we chat will be presenting a design of a new section of her garden; Sara a newly taken insect photo.  Me a report on "See(ing) ruins".

These are ruins that I've been looking for for ages.  I learned about them first through a FB group on abandoned places in Nova Scotia.  Kelly and Sara and I went looking for them once.  We must have been close but couldn't find the ruins despite rambling around in circles for ages through the woods. 

Now thanks to the twinning expansion of highway 103 the ruins not only are easy to find, they are in danger of disappearing.  They are high atop a hill.  The land between the stone house and the highway is to be blasted and brought down to road level.  Current thought is that the act of blasting will create enough of a vibration to cause the house to fall down.

Today I set off to do my homework and find those ruins.  I spotted a couple of cars pulled off to the side of the highway, and joined them.

See my little blue car parked way down there ?

A well worn path snaked up the hill.  The trees had been cut right up to the door.

I wasn't the only visitor.  

Originally named "Bonavista Lodge", the beach-stone cottage tucked into the woods near Exit 6 at Hubbards was built around 1926 by George Guilford Harnish.  The getaway was named for its stunning panoramic view of Fox Point Lake in the distance.

The remote compound, consisting of the main stone building as well as a "maid's quarters" and wooden bunk houses -- enough space to sleep eight to 10 people.  But it functioned more as a "man cave" than a family cottage, where the owner would invite his friends to stay for hunting and fishing trips led by local guides.

A FaceBook group created to protect the future of the stone house: "Save the Simms settlement stone house" warns against visiting the ruins, though there is no signage to that effect there at the moment.

I'm glad I went when I did, though I'm not sure I could have stayed away even if I knew.


Hope the girls will give me a good mark on my homework.