Destination: Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
We enjoyed a leisurely morning in Kouchibouguac National Park. We knew the drive to Fundy was only a few hours, so we took our time at the site. It was so lovely that we would have enjoyed another night there. I did some personal writing – I have a beautiful handmade journal created by Jenn, who I hiked with in Alberta, and in that journal I keep little epiphanies or ‘notes to self’. I had stumbled across some insights during my high night, and I made sure to write them down – we always think they will stay with us forever, but the act of writing is transformative and I wanted these thoughts transformed into reality.
I also drafted some emails while I was waiting for Christine to get moving. She takes a long time to get up and usually doesn’t do so without prompting. I do find that frustrating because I don’t like feeling like a parent to someone who is my equal. I also don’t like feeling like I’m bothering her or being annoying, but if we went by her schedule, I wonder if we’d have ever left Muskoka… But at the same time, it gives me time to do extra things that I may put aside if we both went at the same speed.
We had a lot of fun that morning, playing in the wooden wagon and taking photos. We went back to the ocean to try to photograph the crabs, and then we packed up the car and started to drive.
I drove to Fundy, a short but beautiful drive. Once there, we went to the gift shop, and also spoke to the parks people about where to stay. It was really busy and the campground I’d thought I wanted was very much in the woods, and we really wanted to find something with an ocean view. We spoke to the parks staff and it turned out there was one more spot in the campground called Headquarters, so we drove there and sure enough, you could see the ocean from the site. We booked it right away, and the staff told us how lucky we were because the campground had been full for ages and that site had kind of randomly opened up. We were thrilled! It was private and quiet as well.
We decided to go for our hikes before we did anything else. We started with Herring Cove, a short trek down wooden stairs to a cove that fills with water as the tides come in. It was really cool to see all the rocks that the waters brought in every day, different all the time. Everything was covered in little barnacles, and all the rocks were perfectly smooth.
The second hike was Dickson Falls, about a kilometre to a lovely, very mossy waterfall in the woods. Both hikes were quite populated but we enjoyed them. New Brunswick is an absolutely beautiful province.
Back at our site, we set up camp and marvelled at how lucky we were to be there. The site was recessed from the road and sunken, and if we parked the car sideways, no one could see us. The trees to our sides were dense and we couldn’t see or hear other campers. We set up the tents in such a way that we could both enjoy the view of the ocean, which was visible through a vee in the trees.
We took the car to another part of the park where there was a little hike around a pond, an interpretive trail describing the four traditional indigenous medicines. I really enjoyed learning about that, especially after the interpretive signs on the Mi’kmaq Cedar trail had been taken down. There were plenty of frogs in the pond as well, so we took some photos.
We then went to Alma, a town adjacent to Fundy, for groceries. It wasn’t the place you’d want to buy groceries from, that was for sure. It was very expensive as it was more of a convenience store. We mostly got snacks on sale and some soup, and I also bought a bottle of wine and Christine got a big cooler drink. My anxiety was fairly high most of the day – I didn’t expect Fundy to be so busy but it isn’t like other parks. It seems to be almost like its own thriving village. I felt very much like a tourist there.
At the site again, we munched a little on snacks and then headed out at dusk to another trail. It was called Caribou Plains, a 2k loop and we were hoping to see some moose and we’d read that was the best time to spot them. However, it got dark very quickly and although I had my headlamp, we still got pretty freaked out. There were a few forks in the trail that didn’t seem to make sense, so we split up – yes, really – to check them both out and then I’d shout if it was the right trail and Christine would have to find me, or vice versa. It was a beautiful trail but no moose and just stress!
When we returned, we made dinner – beans and chips – and then cleaned up the site. By then it was quite late so we went to Christine’s tent and played Yahtzee, Head’s Up, and Crazy 8s, all on her phone. We had a blast with Heads Up – the great thing about that is when you know a person really well, you can make up clues that wouldn’t make sense to any other person alive. We drank our libations and I talked to my sister about my anxiety and she really helped me with it. The truth is, sometimes you just need to feel it, and I’m so used to feeling so much that when anxiety comes, I just want a break. But it doesn’t work like that – it needs space, like all feelings.
I left her tent and went to mine around 11pm, opening the fly and looking out over the ocean, just like we wanted.