Sunday morning I headed out for a trip along the shore – the shore of the Kennebecasis River and the shore of the Bay of Fundy.
I was determined to avoid the boring 4-lane, tree-lined highways as much as possible. I wanted to see fall colours and water – lots and lots of water. My first stop as at the top of the hill on the old road between Hampton and Nauwigewaak, opposite the High-Low farm, overlooking the edge of the town and the Pickwauket hills. There was a time when I saw this view every day of life as I traveled back and forth between home on the Kingston Peninsula and work in Saint John. That was prior to the construction of the ‘new’ highway that bypassed all possible scenic outlooks.
Once I passed Saint John I again got off the highway and traveled the shore roads as much as possible. Even there, it was hard to get close to the water except at spots where the road kissed the shore and you could actually see the bay.
I passed through (among others) Chance Harbour where, at low tide with a cold wind blowing, I wondered how people living in dilapidated houses with shingles missing from their roofs kept warm. Dipper Harbour , with its piles of lobster traps neatly displayed on the shore, was so much more tidy with more apparently prosperous homes.
On through Maces Bay where the cliffs on the far shore were more obvious and seagulls hunkered down in the low tide mud flats and sea grass to keep warm while watching for lunch.
Meanwhile a lone fishing boat headed out into the bay.
I was hoping that Lepreau Falls would provide a photographic opportunity, but with the months-long drought we’ve been experiencing, the river had all but dried up and the falls were nought but a trickle over the rocks. In St. George. though, some water was still flowing through the gorge and made for a pretty autumn image.
Then it was on to St. Andrews. Since I was far too early to check in to the inn, I went exploring through the town.
With the threat of invasion from the south somewhat reduced from when these installations were created, today’s visitors find more peaceful ways to view the Bay of Fundy and the shores of the state of Maine in the background.
At the other end of town there’s a rocky beach. At low tide more seagulls line up there, in the sun, to take off and keep a wary eye out for a fish or two that might become today’s meal.
Their calls are raucous and loud but totally appropriate for the moment, of course.
My exploring done, I headed off to check in to the #RossmountInn in Chamcook, just outside the town limits of #StAndrews. The main goal of my trip was to spend the night there and have dinner with a lively group of writers with whom I’d shared my trip to Ireland last spring.
It was a little too cool to take a dip in the pool, but it certainly looked inviting.
Others followed the winding trail to the mountain top. I didn’t make it up there, but they told me the view was spectacular and that, at one point, it had been the primary lookout for invaders approaching from the USA.
Apparently there are informative plaques along the way and the walk was well worth it, making me wish I’d gone along. The colourful foliage was still hanging on to many of the huge trees around the property, revelling in the warmth and sunshine of the late autumn day.
On a clear day like that from the front porch of the Inn you could see the Bay.
Little details around the property make all the difference. The newel post on the front stairs could serve as a hitching ring for those arriving by carriage or on horseback. Unless it’s changed recently, there was a law on the books requiring hoteliers to provide stabling and hay for their guests’ horses – one I’ve always wanted to test.
All in all, my trip along the shores of rivers, streams and the famous Bay of Fundy was a good one, ending with a divine meal, good wine, good friends and much laughter.
After downing a couple of cups of coffee while huddled on the front porch of the Inn, a group of us watched the sun peek over the horizon as another week began. I packed my car and headed for home while others stayed behind to participate in another Go and Write retreat with #GerardCollins. If you like to write and want to be challenged to improve your skills, these retreat workshops are well worth the investment of both time and money.