Tristan’s Trip Report – Week 3

Atlantic Canada Roadtrip Route

July 11th, 2016 (Day 15)

From: Fundy National Park, N.B.
To: Fundy National Park, N.B.
Activities: Grocery Shopping, Hiking
Stayed: Fundy National Park, oTENTik

Had that classic story line morning where you wake up to the sun-light breaking through your window, and a rooster’s call in the distance beckoning you to rise. Yeah, those classic story line mornings suck!

Well, at least that rooster does.

So up we got and started breakfast. Joining us on our trip is a Coleman stove that belongs to Arienne’s parents. They brought that Coleman stove with them when they did their very own Maritimes road trip back in 1975. 41-years later, and here we are, cooking on the very same stove, in some of the very same places that Arienne’s parents did. Now that is a Kodak moment* (or the digital equivalent) if I ever heard of one.

From 1975 to 2016...

I’d like to celebrate that moment by firing up that Coleman and cooking that rooster!

We spent the late morning and early afternoon driving back to Sussex and doing a little grocery shopping to stock up for the next few days in Fundy National Park.

As we exited the grocery store… it happened. After days spent in the metaphorical wilderness of endless gray skies, wondering what foul deed we had committed that could shadow us for this long… the sun came out. Helios himself could be heard whipping his horses, driving them from behind the clouds, pulling his sun chariot out into the crystal blue sky and down onto our penitent faces. Then we got back in our car.

We celebrated the arrival of the sun and the seemingly real beginning of our trip by doing a 3-hour hike out to the Third Vault Falls in Fundy National Park. The hike was well worth it, culminating in a rapid descent into a mystical emerald green forest valley that was home to the exquisite Third Vault Falls. It was so worth it! One of the most beautiful things I’ve seen on the trip so far.

It was a really great day.

*Do kids even know what “a Kodak moment” means?

Total Kilometre Count: 2,872km


 

July 12th, 2016 (Day 16)

From: Fundy National Park
To: Fundy National Park
Activities: Exploring Cape Enrage, Zip-lining, Rappelling
Stayed: Fundy National Park, oTENTik

Today we headed off to Cape Enrage. Not to be confused with the place Arienne ends up in after I break wind in bed, which coincides we me ending up in Cape Amused. No, Cape Enrage is a wee slice of paradise on the Bay of Fundy. The cape offers immaculate views of the bay and stunning photo opportunities around the cape’s lighthouse. The interpreters are top notch, and if you think of it, ask for Sharon, she’s a gem. Oh yeah, don’t forget to check out the restaurant with Chef Jeff. That seafood chowder is dynamite! The lobster taco too!

Adventure Activities in New Brunswick
A shot of Cape Enrage from above during low tide. At high tide, the water will come up to the bottom of the cliffs.

 

The sun was out and shining, hurray! We planned on spending the whole day at Cape Enrage, and found more than enough to do to keep us entertained. We took out Alice (the Drone) for a zoom or two, and then did the zip line, which runs along the cape and makes it seem like you’re going to fly right out over the water. After that we got harnessed up for repelling down the cliff wall right onto the Bay of Fundy.

This was the piece-de-resistance for us, and so when dark clouds rolled over during our orientation, I immediately ran to the bottom of the cliff to prep the drone. Arienne came down on her first repel which I captured on video, but couldn’t capture it with the drone because a little rain had begun to fall. As she finished her first repel, the rain stopped, so Arienne busted her tail back to the top of the cliff so we could finally film her from the skies with Alice (the drone). Just as I was about to take off, a call came from the top of the cliff, “we heard thunder, shows over!” Arrrgghhh, and I didn’t even get to repel once, let alone film Arienne repelling with the drone. Then it really started to rain. #isthismytrip?

Adventure Activities in New Brunswick
Arienne making her way down thte 140ft Fundy cliffs.

Okay, don’t worry about the rain stuff, you gotta check out Cape Enrage.

Total Kilometre Count: 2,895km


 

July 13th, 2016 (Day 17)

From: Fundy National Park
To: Moncton, N.B.
Activities: Exploring the Hopewell Rocks Park, Kayaking
Stayed: Saint James Gate Boutique Hotel

Today was a BIG day. The Hopewell Rocks Park is probably the crown jewel of New Brunswick tourism, so we spent the whole day on site. Fortunately, Arienne got special permission to fly Alice (the drone) around the rocks, so we have some seriously nice footage of the park, both at low and high tide.

One thing I will say about New Brunswick in general, is that they have some really awesome people running their tourist destinations and sites. Everybody is so incredibly helpful and pleasant, and they really have a lot of pride in where they work. From the interpreters to the park managers… even the people working the ticket booths and concession stands. And they do it all in English or French, no problem. What a pleasure!

After running around the Hopewell Rocks all day, and getting a little zapped by the sun, we had the incredible opportunity to kayak around the Hopewell rocks during high tide. This was absolutely an amazing experience and one that I will remember for a long time. Great photo opportunities from an angle very few get to experience. I highly recommend making a booking if you have the chance.

Kayaking around the Hopewell Rocks during high tide.
Kayaking around the Hopewell Rocks during high tide.

We finished at the park around 8:45pm, and then busted our tails down the road to get to Mama T’s Ice Cream before it closed at 9pm. They were just turning off the “open” light when we pulled up, but in classic Maritime style, they served us (and a few other stragglers too!) with a laugh and smile. What a great finish to an awesome day.

Total Kilometre Count:  2,984km


 

July 14th, 2016 (Day 18)

From: Moncton, N.B.
To: Moncton, N.B.
Activities: Discovering Moncton’s Street Art, Magnetic Hill, Magnetic Hill Winery, Lobster Dinner and Cruise
Stayed: Saint James Gate Boutique Hotel

We started today by checking out all the really cool street art murals around downtown Moncton. They have been painted across the past 2 years of Festival Inspire, and makes for a great way to explore the core.

Festival Inspire Moncton

Then we drove over to Magnetic Hill, which is the most ridiculous tourist trap you’ll ever experience. You pay $6, stop your car, put it in neutral, and watch it roll backwards “uphill”. I tried really hard not to be obnoxious as we recorded the experience, and I’m sure the poor teens running the thing couldn’t wait for me to get out of there… but it was so fine, so nice, we did it twice!

I was so giddy from this ridiculous experience that we headed further up the hill (past the water park, and zoo) to the Magnetic Hill Winery so I could calm the heck down over a picnic basket and bottle of wine. The winery is a nice little operation, having carved out a niche in the wine market by specializing in delicious non-grape, fruit-based wines. A simple tasting will make you toss out any of your (my) idiotic preconceived notions about fruit wine. Their blueberry wine takes the cake in my books.

Atlantic Canada Lobster
Our first lobster dinner of the roadtrip!

We finished off the day by driving out to Shediac and hopping aboard the Shediak Bay Cruises cruise boat for a tasty lobster dinner. The Captain, a hilarious and gregariously bilingual retired lobster fisherman had us in stitches as he taught us how to catch and eat lobster. It was our first real Atlantic Canada seafood dinner, and it was a real beaut!

Total Kilometre Count: 3,088km


 

July 15th, 2016 (Day 19)

From: Moncton, N.B.
To: Cavendish, Prince Edward Island
Activities: Driving, Confederation Bridging
Stayed: Kampgrounds of America, Trailer

So… New Brunswick celebrated our departure from the province by lowering all its liquor and beer prices to match those of Quebec. The day we were leaving! I’m gonna let you sit with that one for a second.

(sigh)

No, I’m not done with this. After all we went through in New Brunswick… the constant gray skies, the rained out activities we wanted to do, the fact that we still loved you anyways and rightly rained (PUN INTENDED!) down praise on all of your wonderful cities and points of interest… and this is the disrespect that you show me. #TristanIsGettingAngry

In other news, should you be planning a trip to New Brunswick, you can now enjoy liquor and beer prices as low as those in Quebec. #ExploreNB

With that, we left New Brunswick today and crossed the Confederation Bridge into Prince Edward Island. Okay. I’m going to try not to swear here… but P.E.I is beautiful.

Arienne, do we have a picture?

Atlantic Canada Roadtrip
The lighthouse at North Cape.

Alright, we found our way to the Kampgrounds of America (KOA) in Cavendish, which is very close to Green Gables. We met the owners of the camp ground who are absolutely lovely, and settled into our very comfortable trailer for a nice evening of writing and editing.

Kamgrounds of America PEI
Our home for a couple of nights!

Total Kilometre Count: 3,275km


 

July 16, 2016 (Day 20)

From: Cavendish, PEI
To: Cavendish, PEI
Activities: Driving to North Shore, Lobster Dinner
Stayed: Kampgrounds of America, Trailer

So, last night for dinner we boiled up some PEI potatoes. They were from the first crop of the season, and thus called “new potatoes”, and my goodness they were delish. We didn’t even have any butter. Just some salt and pepper. Holy-moly that was some good spud. So we sliced up the leftovers and had them for breakfast. Just lovely.

Well we hopped into Jane (the civic) and drove off for the North Shore of PEI. We took the long way about making sure to stick to coastal roads. Must have been passed at least 20 times by Islanders. It was just so hard to drive fast when EVERYTHING was beautiful. (Insider tip: Locals will secretly tell you that 9 months of the year are pretty rough here, so don’t go tying up your pigtails and dying them red too fast.)

Found a nice spot along the coast to let Alice (the drone) have a zoom or two… and then it happened. Jane wouldn’t start. Hold-the-effing-phone, NASA we have a problem. Arienne and I quickly gut-checked and tried to remember what plan-B would be if Jane kicked the bucket, and then realized that plan-B was to pray to God that Jane doesn’t kick the bucket. Well, with some poking and prodding, we got her started again, and then plied her with some engine oil a couple clicks up the road. I have a buddy in Nova Scotia who can run a scope on her, so everyone join together with me by sending out the good vibes for #TeamJane.

After rounding the bend on the North Shore and letting Alice out for another zoom or two, we cajoled Jane to get us back to New Glasgow for a Lobster dinner. It was delish, done in the style of the old Church Lobster Dinners which apparently no longer exist on the Island. Our stellar waiter (who flattered me by asking if I was an Islander because I ordered the Lobster served cold) had me turn as red as the lobster by tying my bib on for me. New Glasgow Lobster Suppers, you GOTTA EAT THERE.

Look at that face! As red as a lobster.
Look at that face! As red as a lobster.

Total Kilometre Count: 3,614km


 

July 17, 2016 (Day 21)

From: Cavendish, PEI
To: Cornwall/Charlottetown, PEI
Activities: Green Gables Historic Site, Brackley Beach
Stayed: Kampgrounds of America, Deluxe Cabin

Woke up, yadda yadda yadda, Anne of Green Gables, yadda yadda yadda.

Arienne, do we have a photo?

Anne of Green Gables
The house that inspired Anne of Green Gables.

Okay, the one I thing will say about the Green Gables stuff, is holy moly… every bakery, house, field, storm drain, and portable toilet is named either Green Gables, something to do with Anne, or something to do with L.M. Montgomery. Beautiful place though. Beautiful place.

We drove off to Brackley Beach, which is the prototypical PEI beach to check out. It’s got the stunning sand dunes, long ocean vistas, nice sand etc. Unfortunately for yours truly, I couldn’t quite take it all in, because I was too focused on keeping it all in after Jane struggled to start again and had some high revs while idling. Then I thought I had locked my keys in her and just about wanted to throw up all over those pristine sand dunes. Fortunately, when I found Arienne on the beach, she had the keys. For the rest of the day, Jane ran fine.

Arienne, do we have a photo of Brackley Beach? My blood pressure is running high and I’m short on words.

Beaches in PEI
Brackley Beach

Made it to KOA Cornwall/Charlottetown. Little disappointed that they advertised wifi, and yet poor Arienne is losing her mind cause she has work to do, and the page… it just wont load.

Three weeks down. The sun is with us now, let’s hope Jane continues to be. #TeamJane

Total Kilometre Count: 3,687km


Coming up for week 4: Charlottetown, Eastern PEI, Ferry to Nova Scotia, and the northern coast of Nova Scotia!

Missed any of Tristan’s previous trip reports? Check them out here: