What a way to honour the May long weekend Sunday. A group of hikers from Moncton inquired if I could show them the way to Clarke Head. You know my answer to their question. Of course I will share this epic beach excursion!
As soon as we rounded the arch the sun burst through the clouds, the fog lifted from Two Islands and we all peeled off our jackets.
We accessed the beach from the Glooscap Campground. The new manager was welcoming and even suggested a quicker approach which we declined. With experienced hiker we wanted to explore the beach to our hearts’ content.
We found fossils, beach glass and sparkly rocks. We had so much fun that we set out to explore another beach before the tide rolled in. Watch for instalment 2 tomorrow.
I could have stayed all day, sigh! But you know it’s time to push on when you see the tide rolling in.
The Cove is spectacular and it is difficult to imagine that within a short time it will be completely flooded.
The driftwood provided shelter from the wind and a good backrest while some nourishment was shared to provide energy for the long climb ahead…
Ascending the first cliff on its wide and well maintained path foreshadowed the rest of the hike back to Red Rocks from where we started. I managed that first “hill” relatively unscathed. We enjoyed the spring flowers and green shoots before the equally steep descent.
And here is the reward for climbing so high: a fabulous view toward Advocate Harbour.
Lucky for us, the path was dry! Since I left my hiking poles at home I was concentrating hard on each step and made it down Arch Gulch without slipping or tripping. Phew, one big “hill” successfully navigated!
I saw the signs and thought to myself “only six kilometres to go!” That was deceiving but helpful as I had no idea that the toughest stretch was just ahead, 2 km of even steeper climbing than the first “hill”… my biggest mistake was to stop and look ahead. It took my breath away and brought a momentary sensation of defeat. In the end I made it just fine, after much huffing and puffing. I definitely need more cardio workouts…
When the Red Rocks came into view a feeling of accomplishment came over me. I made it. I had met my personal challenge, I completed one of the most demanding hikes in many years.
Heather and I had inadvertently pulled ahead of the pack and decided to enjoy some ocean time overlooking the Red Rocks while waiting for everyone to catch up.
This hiking adventure will stay with me for a very long time. It was a privilege to be invited and with it I have met a personal fitness goal I can expand from.
Hope you enjoy today’s images and recap of the epic hike! Enjoy your long weekend. Best wishes, Anna
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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After a day of mist and rain the trees are coming into full leaf. Flowering shrubs are lining the road and during my after dinner walk I noticed lovely floral scents in the air. Spring is in full swing and the rain is ridding the world of dust presenting us bright colours.
It’s no secrets how passionate I am about “the beach.” But what exactly is it that I find so fascinating? For me it’s all about I what find after taking in the view.
Last Sunday in West Advocate I discovered tide pools. I had not found any like this since I started roaming various beaches along the Fundy shore. Granted, they are vastly different from those tide pools I have explored along the coastline of British Columbia but, none the less, I had some fun jumping from rock to slippery rock trying to see what I could find.
My personal favourite is a sandy ripple beach. It’s still shiny from the receding tide but firm enough to walk on without sinking ankle-deep into red Fundy Bay mud.
This is the type of beach where I look for Sand dollars and still life compositions presented by Mother Nature. I could walk these sandbanks for hours!
The ripple formations themselves are mesmerizing.
Wishing you all a sunny Friday the 13th. May it be a great start to your weekend, Anna
When the invitation to join a hike to Seal Cove was posted on my FaceBook hiking group I decided to bow out of writing group and join the adventure instead.
The trailhead to Seal Cove is well over an hour from Parrsboro. I headed to Apple River and into unknown territory beyond, a true adventure for me. There were only the two of us, Brian and I. He is a very experienced hiker who has explored and navigated the upper Bay of Fundy areas for 35 years. I must admit, I was a bit nervous about the unknown terrain and degree of difficulty but in the end I managed just fine.
The forest held so many springtime wonders that stopping to catch one’s breath after a particularly steep climb was not inappropriate. Once the amazing views over the water opened up we could be found on look offs and cliff tops regularly. What an amazing stretch of the Cape Chignecto Hiking Trail!
We spent some time capturing the Three Sisters formation near Eatonville in the distance. I had only seen this formation in images. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and with the turquoise water surrounding the cliffs I felt like I was in another world.
Discoveries were everywhere: from weathered trees to new vistas, such a feast for the senses.
And then we arrived at our destination, Seal Cove.
There were no deals but lots of pink pebbles that moved under my feet. We climbed the massive sea grass covered boulders and explored the cove on the other side. We timed this break perfectly for noon. The sun was warming us and the waves lapped at the pebble beach lulling us into a meditative state.
Soon we turned around and headed back to our cars. The experiences from this amazing excursion will be long-lasting. It was a long day (I left the house at 7:30 am and returned at 5:30 pm) but my body didn’t complain too much. I guess I am fitter than I thought. Good news! I am off to lead NSWalks Day. I organized three walks in Parrsboro for today. Let’s see how popular it is!
…”I don’t think you can do that…” was the answer to my question shortly after we arrived in late 2020. I had inquired with the walking group I belonged to at the time. It’s taken me nearly 18 months to prove to myself that crossing the mudflats is definitely an option.
I arrived at Wasson’s Bluff right at low tide on Saturday. After meeting a group of women hikers from Moncton and a casual chat the question about how to reach Clarke Head popped up. That’s all it took for me to challenge myself for the day. After bidding each other farewell I set out on my beach walk and the closer I got to the crucial crossing point the more convinced I was that it is doable!
I managed to cross without sinking too deeply into the mud and soon I was walking on the familiar rocky terrain I know so well around Clarke Head. The sun was shining, a light breeze blowing and the walking was easy. It was in awe about the seaweed covered rocks below and around the path I chose. These rocks are a constant reminder that at high tide one no longer sees them due to the vast volume of water covering the entire area!
It didn’t take long to reach the immediate vicinity of Clarke Head with its majestic natural arch.
This place never gets boring! Once again I paid tribute to this amazing place along the Fundy Shore in the heart of the Fundy GeoPark. I walked around the arch, took advantage of the deep blue sky dotted with a few fluffy white clouds to get postcard shots. Looking toward Parrsboro I made sure the mighty sea stack is still keeping watch over the beach.
I realized that the tide was rolling in and I best get back on my way to return to my starting point.
There truly was no issue with timing to make it to Clarke Head and back to Wasson’s Bluff. The tide was not lapping at my heels and I had extra time to get close to the little waterfall.
It’s clam digging season and this area is a popular spot to bring a bucket and spade to. I love these scenes where people go about their day pursuing their passion.
My round-trip on foot took about two hours at a leisurely pace. At no time was I out of breath or had to stop to rest. I started right at low tide and had plenty of time to return to my car. On the way back to town I did see the area around the arch filling in with water. So, if anyone plans to follow in my footsteps, give yourself time and watch the tides.
Hope this little recap in images and word are setting the tone for a fabulous week! Best wishes, Anna
The rain had stopped by the time we reached the city yesterday morning. The pups and I decided to spend the time walking and exploring the neighbourhood while we waited for Colin. I knew the Public Gardens were nearby and we set out in that direction. When I reached the main gate I realized pets are not allowed in the gardens, so, back to the car we went. With Ash and Teak comfortably nestled in their car seats I walked the short distance back to the Gardens and explored the early springtime display on my own.
Established in 1874 the Halifax Public Garden is among one of the oldest surviving Victorian Gardens in Canada. Construction took place from 1874 – 1879.
The well established trees are sure to provide shade once they are in full foliage.
Yesterday I delighted in the raindrop adorned magnolias in and around the water features and Band Stand.
I enjoyed the quiet surroundings and meandered at a leisurely pace.
There was so much to see and explore despite the early spring time and the absence of flower beds in bloom.
I look forward to returning to the Gardens as the seasons progress.
Wishing you all a great weekend! Best wishes, Anna
Just as the sun was slipping below the horizon a shape resembling a rib cage caught my eye from afar. I just had to investigate. The “rib cage” turned out to be a rusted culvert glowing in the light of the setting sun. Sometimes my imagination goes wild!
Walking the pups one day last week I came across this visual haiku. What is a visual haiku you ask? In nature this is a great time to find them: the image is a fine example. The rose hip is from last autumn and close to it the green leaf bud is getting ready to unfurl anticipating spring. Two seasons captured in one image is considered a visual haiku.
Why not look around your environment when you head out for a walk and see if you spot two seasons in one.
…is always a great way to explore the nitty gritty of a particular area. These images were made while exploring a park in Halifax. Finding subjects and topics for this type of photography is limitless! It has a name: Miksang. Miksang is Tibetan for “The Good Eye”. It is also referred to as Contemplative Photography. I am currently exploring the possibility to offer a class based on the principles of Contemplative Photography through the Parrsboro GeoPark Office. Stay tuned for details.
It felt as if from one day to the next buds are bursting and signs of spring advancing are everywhere! The local naturalist keeps careful records and according to his calendars plants are two weeks ahead of schedule in 2022. This is somewhat difficult to fathom as it has been a harsher than normal winter (we are told) but in the end I welcome Spring, even if it’s raining today.
Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday. Hope you are all enjoying some springlike conditions today! Best wishes, Anna
It was a blue sky kind-of-day when we left Parrsboro on Sunday noon. The closer we got to our destination the more clouds shrouded the sky. Grey sky is not something that deters me easily and as we arrived at the parking lot next to the Joggings Cliffs Centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, I realized that we would have the beach to ourselves! Love it when that happens!
This wasn’t my first Joggins beach exploration but it was the first time I experienced it at low tide. The waters of the Bay of Fundy were just about at the turning point and 90 minutes later when we were departing much of the sandy beach stretch I was about to walk on it was slowly being reclaimed by rushing water. It doesn’t take long for the scenery to change here!
Each side of the access staircase has unique geological features and the colours vary greatly! Images above this paragraph are from the left side of the stairs, all captures below were made when I turned right.
The wind was picking up but I was determined to look for the fossilized trees in the cliffs. I’ll burst your bubble of anticipation: I never found those trees… next time. What I discovered instead was a beach that warrants further exploration in the near future.
By the time I reached this impressive cliff face the wind was so strong I could no longer keep my phone straight, and climbing the rocks to see what was beyond turned into a short peek and back I went to the sandy, more sheltered area which was brimming with interesting offerings.
Heading back yo the car I silently marvelled at the rugged and ancient landscape that holds so many secrets yet to discover.
Wishing you all a fabulous Tuesday, Anna
PS: Why do I call it THE Joggings? That’s what the locals in the area call it. Might as well follow their lead… makes us stick out less as “come-by-choicers”😜
It was an exhale kind of moment when we arrived at one of the best kept secrets along the Bay of Fundy this morning. It always gives me such pleasure to bring new friends to this particular beach with its rich natural history and diverse geological formations.
Lori, my friend, was in awe as the beach spread out in front of us with unique sea stacks beckoning.
We managed to walk a total of ten kilometres and even took some time in a sheltered area to sip tea and water while listening to the waves lapping at the shore.
Phinney Beach is uniquely located between the Brookville rock formation and Spencer’s Island. I have visited this beach during all seasons and weather conditions. Today was a special day with blue sky and warm breezes!
Happy Saturday, friends! Best wishes for a glorious weekend, Anna
My heart always beats a little faster when we drive past this beach in Economy. I visited and hiked this beach three times last year. When an invitation to join the List Soles hiking group on this excursion was extended I could not resist.
Words cannot describe this amazing day!! Pictures really do speak a thousand words.
The hike was 15 km return. Walking the pups in the morning and leading my Wednesday Walking group through town made for a 25 km day… but it was worth it!
Around every outcropping another amazing sight presented itself.