The Mighty Bay of Fundy

Medford Beach, Bay of Fundy

Nova Scotia’s Mighty Bay of Fundy: Part 1 of a 8 Part Series: Nova Scotia, My Heart and My Home

Medford Beach, Bay of Fundy
Medford Beach, Bay of Fundy

 

Years ago, as a newly wed, my husband was offered an interview with a company in British Columbia. That interview hinted at wonderful opportunities and a good life.

How did I take this exciting news?

I cried. I cried for days at the very thought of moving from Nova Scotia.

Finally, my husband cancelled the interview.

 

And, after all this time, I still wouldn’t want to live anywhere but this beautiful province. Why would I? As a child, there wasn’t much opportunity to explore. As an adult, I am sure as hell making up for that. Even so, I could never experience all I wanted to do, see, taste and smell in one lifetime in Nova Scotia.

Every shore is different. Every shore is a natural playground all its own. I love being so accessible to rivers, lakes, the Atlantic and my personal favorite-the mighty Bay of Fundy. After all, it was practically on my front door step.

As a child,I learned to swim in the rust colored water of the Avon River.

I walked the ocean floor before it became a THING, and  sunk in red mud up to my shins, scraped my toes on barnacles and ruined white tee shirts that will never again be even close to white.

Of course, many flock to the Bay of Fundy solely to witness its amazing tides, which can reach as high as a then 5 story building, and come in as fast as a running horse. Tidal bores, flowerpots, fishing boats resting on a bed of mud. It’s all good.

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TrailQuest is the New Game in Town

 

There’s a new game in town.In Kentville, that is and it will be spreading soon to nearby areas.

Trail Quest
The Quest begins!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That game is TrailQuest, a historic scavenger hunt created by young Daniel Duke of Port Williams. Duke recently spent time with his family living in the UK where such  hunts are beloved  by the masses.

I was given an opportunity to test drive Kentville’s version before it hit the market. Naturally, heat hater that I am, I choose the hottest, stickiest day of the summer and set out. From my rough calculations and the help of Map My Run, I figured it was over a 3 km walk to complete all the required walking for the scavenger hunt. So wear some good footwear.

Nope. I won’t give away any of the clues. But I will tell you that it is a great way to discover some historic facts about Kentville which I sure didn’t know. It’s a nice walk, and since it’s self guided, your pace is only dictated by the pace of your fellow hunters (it’s great for families, couples, whatever) and your own gait. (mine is slow) It took me about 2 hours to complete the route. But then again I needed to backtrack one section. (nope, not saying where)

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Those Hidden Gems-Black Rock Trails and Lighthouse

 

Black Rock TrailsRecently we all hopped in the car- husband, dog and me- and set off for a Sunday drive. Now you may know me well enough by now to know I am not a sit in the car and drive around type of gal, but more of a let’s see what we can get into, err, I mean do, woman.  This may or may not cause ‘heated’ in-car discussion. Not with the dog-she always wants to do things. Nuff said.

That Sunday was no different.  We headed up Middle Dyke Road off the 101 and then west on the 221, swinging up the North Mountain towards Black Road, thinking we may find a good place to get to  the beach.

Black Rock Trails

But upon entered the community, a small a sign invited us to  enjoy the trails.

Woah-what trails were these, now?

We found out a few kms down the  road at the Black Rock Community Hall.  Seems like there is a series of trails  hidden behind the hall-but not secret-everyone apparently knew about these Black Rock Trails.Everybody  but me.
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Guided Meanderings on Oak Island

Oak Island WanderingsI have a secret. Please don’t throw tomatoes at the computer, but….I don’t watch ‘the Curse of Oak Island.’ There, I’ve said it.

Which made the tour I took today a bit awkward.

Who was that nondescript bespectacled man signing autographs? Turns out he was our tour guide and beloved character on the Curse of Oak Island  series, Charles Barkhouse.
Oops.

Old Island Wanderlust

 

There’s a good chance I was the only person on the tour that hadn’t watched  a entire episode of the show, and that’s including my entire family-who seem to be rabid fans. Who knew.

Both the ‘Official Website  of Oak Island, Nova Scotia’  and the ‘Friends of Oak Island Society’  website were (and are) suspiciously bereft of information regarding ticket sales, but my sister managed to get 6 tickets for the  tour-and man, tickets are not easy to get.Private tours are about $300 for 10 people, while the public tour was a deal at $30. Both tours were sold out in less than an hour. You need to be on your toes to get these tickets, people!

We booked the public tour-I’d say there were about 25 people, making it easy get close enough to snap pictures and to hear the tour clearly. Charles was such a wealth of information that my scant knowledge of the island didn’t  matter.  By tours end, I knew about Borehole 10X  (looked down into it actually), the so tragic  deaths of  Robert Restall, his son Bobby, Karl Graeser and Cyril Hiltz. and the cabbage farmer who  shipped his produce across the way to Tancook Island.
Charles is an exceptional storyteller and seems genuinely passionate about the Island, it’s history and of course the treasure that may be lurking beneath. How can I tell he loves doing this? Charles didn’t disappear immediately after the tour,good-naturedly fielding the constant bombardment of questions and requests for pictures and autographs (yes,I got one)

And this was his 3rd 2 hour tour of the day.

Oak Island Meandering
Oak Island is home to the longest running and most famous treasure hunt in the world. The treasure hunt began in 1795 with the accidental discovery of the “Money Pit“.

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Delaps Cove Wilderness Trails-The Bohaker Trail

Delaps Cove

It”s been years since I’ve done the Bohaker Trail in Delaps Cove in Annapolis County . I remembered it was  a fairly short hike and that there was a point along the trail where one could see the Bay of Fundy and a waterfall at the same time. The trail was indeed short-just over 2 km, and that includes a careful decent to the bottom of the falls.

Once again, a perfect day. No bugs. No rain. No blistering heat. The rainfall the day before left some wet and mucky sections, but nothing we couldn’t get past.
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Check out Nova Scotia’s National Treasures This Year

On Canada’s 150th  birthday, why not take advantage of the free National Park  Pass and visit as many of these National Parks & Historic Sites in Nova Scotia as you can? Some have special events happening that I wouldn’t mind attending, in fact, I’m putting some of these on my calendar right now.

Cape Breton Island

Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, Baddeck, Cabot Trail – Plan at least 3 hours to visit. The kid in you may want to take part in Tetrahedral Kite Workshop . $9.60 per kite. May 19 to October 30.


Cape Breton Highlands National Park
-hiking, camping, special events and weekly activities. One event that takes my eye is Learn to Lobster Boil  Wednesdays  from June 21 to the end of Aug. $44 per person. I hope you plan on several days to enjoy this beautiful park.  For access times for the Visitor Centre, click here

Marconi National Historic Site Glace Bay. Plan an hour or so to view the exhibits. Beware the steep cliffs. July 1 to September 4

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site–  There are tons of daily activities, so -at least an entire day, please….19 and older? You may enjoy  Rum: The Spirit of Louisbourg . Drink, er, I mean taste rum daily from June 1st -Oct 15th $10.80 per person. Open daily from May 22 to October 15. Celebrate Canada"s birthday!

 

 


St. Peters Canal National Historic Site
–  Pack a picnic and enjoy the scenery and interpretive trails at this site. Bring your camera. Allow a couple hours on a pleasant day. Battery Provincial Park is nearby if you’d like to spend a night or two camping. Hours of operation differ according to season-check them here.

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My Long-ish Weekend in Newfoundland

First of all, I don’t recommend you hop on over to Newfoundland for a weekend-however long a weekend it may be.

Too bad I am one of those ‘Do what I say,not what I do’ people.

Flights are expensive, the ferry is excruciatingly long and  a bit pricey and Newfoundland alone is huge- including Labrador, you are looking at  405,212 square km.

So…not conducive to a quick jaunt. We had five days, four nights, and some Air Miles to burn-but even so, we limited our explorations to the Avalon Peninsula and parts of the Eastern Region.

Day 1. Downtown St.John’s

Arrived in St.John’s about 10:30 am. Picked up the rental. Went to the hotel to see if we can check in early.Bonus-we can! Not a bonus-construction on our floor.Took off to visit Cape Spear-the most easterly point in North America. From there you can show your behind to the rest of the continent.  Took lots of sub-par photos-I really need a better camera. Walked up to the lighthouse , and went into the gift shop. Beautiful views from the Cape. A must see.
We came back to the hotel and had a nap. Yes, we did,even though the musical sounds of hammering and moving stuff was all around us. We took a stroll downtown. Ate fish and chips at Rumpelstiltskin’s, the hotel restaurant.

Newfoundland
Supper @ Rumplestiltskins

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Bring Your Bike to Big Tancook

Bike Tancook Island
Biking on Tancook Island

One of the best things about bringing your  bike over to Big Tancook Island is -you get to the food first. You can roll right off the ferry and pump you legs up the hill past the couples, the families and the old folks with walkers and canes.
I jest,of course. While it’s true Tancook has limited choices for restaurants, and while it’s also true food is usually everyone’s first stop, you could just as easily whiz by them and take a swing around the island itself.
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How to Pack a Carry-on for 5 Days Travel to Newfoundland

How to Pack Light
Travel Light

We leave on the 19th for five days in Newfoundland ​I have been thinking hard about what to  pack.  The main reason we are going especially in the Newfie season of ‘Sprinter” is to  see an iceberg-checking one more thing off my Bucket List. I hope.
I have a little prejudice against paying for checked luggage-especially when we are going for only five days. We are each taking a duffel bag type thingy plus a backpack.
We decided against filling  those five days to the brim-leaving time for unexpected adventure is always fun, but we did book an iceberg boat tour out of St.John’s,and  plan on using our free National Parks Pass 150 at Terra Nova National Park . Maybe  we ‘ll even get to do a bit of cod fishing.
We’re splitting our time between 2 nights   in St.John’s and the other 2 in Charlottetown, near the park. Day 5 is a we – need – to – start – heading – back – towards -the-  airport day.
So what will I pack? Considering it’s likely to be cold, guaranteed to be windy and may be rainy or even snowy (why are we going  this time of year again? Oh yeah, Icebergs  )
I consulted the internet and a friend who lives in Newfoundland
Here’s what made the list.
Waterproof hiking boots. (wear on plane)
Jeans and top (wear on plane)
Warm Jacket (wear on plane)
Lined wind pants
Sneakers/comfy shoes for walking around town
( I love Crocs -they are so comfortable and do not bother my bad knee at all.Pack light
Warm hoodie
Long sleeved tee  shirt-natural fabrics are warm and great for layering
2 short sleeved tees one  a little dressy(polyester resists wrinkling, and hand washed/dries easily)
Tights for wearing under stuff (like wind pants)
Casual slacks that go with all your tops
warm gloves
Warm hat Pj’s
3 sets undies
5 pairs warm socks (cause I hate cold feet)

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We Hiked Cape Split-and Lived to Tell About It.

To all the visitors who asked me about Cape Split at the Visitor Centre.
I lied.
It’s much more hilly then I remembered.
Last weekend, a friend and I hiked Cape Split.

Hiked Camp Split
Personal art

Cape Split Provincial Park Reserve is a 447-hectare with a 12.5 km  trail rimming its northern edge. There are signs at the beginning and all over the web that insist this trail is 16 km..but I measured the sucker with my Tom Tom  and it was just over 6 km each way. I hobbled the trail with my arthritic knee -believe me, I would warn you if it were longer.  I am guesstimating it took us about 5 hours..but we dawdled . We climbed trees. We took pictures. We tried to break into a locked washroom. (Shh). We were slow hiking up the hills- there was mutinous mutterings coming from behind me- and just as slow coming back down them. To my credit, I didn’t take a header or land on my backside.
It was a perfect day. The threatened 5 mm of rain did not appear.

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