Walking on ancient rocks has become an obsession for me since moving to the Bay of Fundy. An opportunity arose to take part in a guided tour offered through the local Cliffs of Fundy GeoPark yesterday. A huge thank you goes to Caleb and Lauren, our informative and patient guides. They shared a wealth of information while guiding us through the woods to another breath-taking beach, another destination to explore further in the future.
Excitement was building as we stopped frequently to find out more about the geology and historic surroundings. Thomas Cove is situated along the Fundy shore in Economy. Economy was an important town with five shipbuilding families contributing to the area. These days it is difficult to imagine such a busy town as one passes the small homes and countless AirBnBs overlooking the vast beach area. The Fundy Shores GeoPark Welcome Centre has not reopened yet since the pandemic shut down so many tourist destinations. This will change quickly now with the borders opening. I can’t wait to stop in and check out additional historic information.
Thomas Cove is named after the Thomas family who was heading one of the five shipbuilding companies. The walk along the fern-lined wooded path, located on the old Thomas homestead, was easy to navigate. Caleb stopped in regular intervals to share background information and provide us with glimpses of the beach-scape below.
On the map it looked like quite a distance before we would reach the point where a rope would be assisting us to get to the sandstone beach below. It took hardly any time at all and, socially distancing Covid-style we made our way down one by one. For anyone hesitating to embark on this excursion, worry not! An alternative route is available to those not comfortable or unable to use the rope and head down the steep slope. It was the reason I felt comfortable signing up for the tour but I didn’t need to resort to the “easy access” after all.
As if on cue, the sun came out and lifted the cloud cover almost as soon as the group made it onto the amazing red sandstone formations. The sandstone’s distinctive colour is due to the iron content in the sand particles and their response to the elements. You can bend down and touch the rocks and realize instantly how soft they are. You scoop up sand particles between your fingers without much effort. Constant tidal erosion hastens the changes in the shoreline and contributes to the distinctive colour in the rocks and in the water as waves approach the beaches.
We advanced slowly across the ancient rocks. The sandstone is the result of glacial compression during the last ice age. I can never get enough of the bright colours, especially after a rain fall when the red rocks seem to glow. Our group had plenty of time to explore, pose more questions and enter into short discussions with Caleb. It was a diverse group comprised of individuals with keen interests including birding, geology and photography. I was able to distance and explore the rock formations up close.
The middle of the day heat caught up with us by the time we reached the last part of our tour. The excursion came full circle when we walked across the salt marsh and returned to the wooded foot path leading to the parking lot. Two hours well spent and with a memory card full of images (besides these from my iPhone). I look forward to downloading and editing the images over the weekend.
I will leave you with an image of one of Parrsboro’s Historic landmarks, Ottawa-House-by-the-Sea adjacent to Partridge Island. The flag is at half-mast as the usual festivities have been cancelled to acknowledge the sad and disturbing discoveries at several residential schools in Western Canada during the past several weeks.
I do know that many of you in Atlantic Canada will be reuniting with family and friends this weekend now that the border restrictions have been eased. May your day be filled with joy and gratitude.
Warm wishes, Anna