Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Grand Pre: Back to the Bay of Fundy

It's really strange how much I missed the Bay of Fundy, all that red water and the forests primeval, in a way that the water off Yarmouth didn't do much for me.  Right now, as I'm sitting on the Scamp bed in Digby with the rain pattering on the roof, water, water everywhere.  Whether I head up to Annapolis Royal or not depends on whether the rain lets up any.  But for now, it's nice to catch up on my photographs, drink my Maritime Mist, and not move for a while while I wait for this barometric pressure headache to go away.  Galway is tucked up in a little puddle of paws at the end of the bed and Maeve is snarking at birds from the front dinette. A simple morning, even if it's wet. It's supposed to clear by the afternoon, so we'll see. I'm having my peanut butter and jelly sandwich lunch, with Pringles, which is hitting all the right nostalgia factors from camping as a kid and stopping at a rest stop somewhere along the road, pulling out the red Igloo cooler for those who wanted meat and cheese sandwiches (the other option was PB&J), and Dad cutting the block of cheese on top of the cooler with his Buck knife and telling whichever of us was closest how he wasn't sure he'd cleaned it after the last time he got a deer. No matter how many times he said that, it still grossed us out, which was pretty much his goal. But we didn't get Pringles (or chips at all, really) when we were home, so they were a special treat.

[But a side note on the realities of the rain and the tinkering of the Scamp interior:  I love my front dinette. I've only used it sporadically on my shorter trips, but I've eaten more meals here, done more writing on the tabletop, than I ever expected to, and it's just plain brilliant.  So many things Dad and I have done in here to make it awesome (I'm particularly fond of the PVC shelving in the closet), but hands-down, tearing out the front couch to build that dinette was the best thing we ever did.]

It was rainy when I got to Grand Pre and set up at the Land of Evangeline Campground, which is less a campground and more an RV park for seasonals.  I've stayed in a few of these recently and I've finally figured out why they bug me:  they're not for camping. The people who have their campers parked there for the season, it's more like a neighborhood than a campground, houses more than campers, and their lives are mostly lived inside. That means that you don't have people out in their chairs around a campfire (lit or not), you don't have people eating their meals on the picnic tables, you don't run into people in the bathroom.  With the exception of the owner of the place in Yarmouth, I didn't talk to a single, solitary person in the three days I was in that campground.  And that, I think, is why I miss the provincial parks so much.

Evangeline Beach, Grand Pre
Anyway. The sun finally came out on Monday afternoon and it was gorgeous.  I love how the sun and sky doesn't change the color of the water.  I wanted to go to the Grand Pre Historic Site, but it was closed Sundays and Mondays, so I planned to visit on my way out on Tuesday, a convenient thing, because it was right on the road from my campground.  I knew from my research that this was the right place, St. Charles aux Mines, but the records themselves are in Halifax (frick on a stick, seriously) and the cemetery, again, marked by those wooden crosses. So on Monday, I went driving.

I first went to the Blue Beach Fossil Museum and went fossil hunting.  I don't understand all the paleontological terms and such (more research necessary, since I retain things better when I read them), but this is one of the earliest fossil sites on the planet, or something.  Strictly a Mom and Pop kind of museum, but that's okay. It was blustery, but not raining, so I went down to the beach to look for fossils.  I could find fossils of bones and teeth (fairly rare), some plants, some tracks, but mostly I was looking for fossils of ripple marks. Go figure, that's what I wanted.  And I found two good ones--one for me, one for my niece.  I am totally aiding and abetting her rock collection.

Fossilized ripple marks at Blue Beach.
From there, I went to Windsor, just up the road, because that's another place name on my genealogy, but there wasn't much there. I looked at the Ford Edward Historic Site, which would have been more exciting had there been anything there. But there wasn't, just a block house and some earth works.  But this is the spot that many Acadians were held before they were deported.  It was still cold and windy, so I didn't stay long.

By the time I got back to Grand Pre, the sun was out and I was curious about the wineries, so I went to the one closest to my campground.  I sampled their whites (not a big fan of reds) and found out lots about Nova Scotia wines, which grapes are Nova Scotia grapes, what makes their wine unique, the short growing season, etc.  And I came home with a few bottles of deliciousness that will be perfect on a summer night.  (They were kind enough to give me a box to bring them home in and when I got back to the campsite, I wrapped the bottles in maps I'm no longer using.)

That night, the sun was out--and there was a sun dog!  I noticed this as I was walking down to the beach before heading in for the night and as I got closer, there were two guys unpacking kites from their car.  It was a glorious night for flying a kite on the mud flats at low tide.  The wind was enough to keep the kites up, but not enough to be prohibitive.  I overheard one of the guys say to the other, "Best fifteen bucks I ever spent!"

Flying kites on the Bay of Fundy at sunset

Next Stop:  Grand Pre Historic Site.

1 comment:

  1. enjoyed your post and beautiful photos again.
    Have a terrific Thursday! safe travels from Kim and Jeff in MN