Yesterday’s epic hike meant an early morning for all. I met my ride just before 5 a. m. at the Parrsboro Tim Hortons. It was still dark with a bright moon guiding the way. The winding drive to West Advocate to the meeting place takes 45 minutes. Everyone was gathered there by 5:45, ready to start the long hiking day.
The tide was still moving out, beach partially cast in shadow with the moon moving across the sky and the sun beginning to rise in the east.
The beach never disappoints. Between breath-taking geological formations and what the tides leave behind I can spend hour exploring. Our navigation was carefully timed as we had a narrow window to get past one particular spot right at low tide. We arrived minutes before the low tide point and successfully moved passed the large boulders jutting out into the surf. A late arrival would have meant wet shoes and feet or possibly turning around and trying another day.
This stretch of beach is not for the faint of heart or occasional hiker. I was grateful for my sturdy hiking boots, hand-knit wool socks and several layers of clothing. Some hikers in the group even kept their hands warm with hand warmers and mittens. These were the people who had done this hike before.
Images cannot really describe the actual experience of six hikers dwarfed by the 600’ high cliffs standing tall against the mighty Bay of Fundy.
Our destination beckoned in the distance, a pyramidal stack called “Ol’ Sal”. What a sight after several hours of walking across slippery rocks, loose gravel, seaweed covered rocks and pebbles.
But before we arrived at our destination we stopped into the Mermaid’s Cave, another true marvel of nature.
After about 3 ½ hours of walking along the beach we reached “Ol Sal” at 9:30 am, the clouds had cleared and Isle Haute appeared within reach.
We took our time exploring, rested a bit, out came the food and spirits were high. We all knew that the strenuous part of the hike was still ahead… check back tomorrow for Part 2.
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Best wishes, Anna