Aboard the "Ocean" train to Moncton, New Brunswick, Saturday, August 6th
altercation happened and the train was stopped, the police were called and the result was a man in custody and our train was two hours late.
I watched the verdant scenery of forest and fields. Ferns, evergreens, shrubs, fireweed, milkweed, goldenrod, streams with clear rushing water, hemlock, birch, larches, cormorants, great blue heron, gulls, blackbirds, starlings and crows pass as I watch. In swampy areas are beaver ponds and muskrat dens. Dave, back in our room, tries to rest. Lunch is at 1:30 PM. We got to Moncton at 4PM. We retrieved our luggage and got it to the bus and eventually the hotel.
Not a very good photo of the hotel in Moncton.
The dining car is several cars forward. We found out that if someone is in the hallway coming toward you, it is best to wait in between cars for them to pass. The hallway is one person wide. Navigating on a train is somewhat like walking the aisle on an airplane, a bit iffy for balance so better to be safe by waiting.
Our room is unmade so we went to the observation car, last car of the train, another good hike. The car immediately before the observation car is full of kids all heading to summer camp. They get off at a siding and pile into school buses, late for first day of camp.
Because of the delay in the night, Doug (tour leader) had been on the phone rearranging our activities for this evening and tomorrow. As a group, we walked downtown to an Irish pub for dinner and had the rest of the evening free. It rained lightly this evening but the weather on this trip has been lovely so far.
Moncton NB, Sunday August 7th
Breakfast at the hotel. The Rodd Moncton Hotel is located on the Petit Codiac River where the tidal bore arrives with high tide twice daily. A boardwalk and viewing park is situated for viewing this phenomenon. You can see it on You Tube by searching for the "tidal bore at Moncton". We didn't get to see it since we were away from the area in the daytime when high tide happened. The river is the color of milk chocolate with sediment that is continually stirred by the tide action.
The river banks are pure mud, no vegetation. It is a curious sight.
On the bus at nine and off to Hopewell Rocks on the Bay of Fundy and a presentation in Park Interpretation Center and a tidal walk.
Our guide met us at the interpretive center and took us down onto the floor of this bay where high tide can reach fifty feet above our heads. He led us out onto the bay showing us rock formations and telling us about the bay as it looks in all seasons, the birds and animals it sustains. As many as 5,000 people visit this site every day in summer. There were people everywhere. Some tried walking out to the water line and soon found themselves knee deep in mud. Our guide didn't advise trying it.
Lunch was at the Broadleaf Guest Ranch which is a working ranch but also has camping sites and cabins. A full brunch buffet was served by the women of this family. The food was comfort foods and regional specialties such as fiddlehead fern greens. There was pie. We were happy.
Back to Moncton and some free time until the trip to Shediac Bay and a Lobster Cruise with Crosiers Shediac Bay Cruises, Pointe-Du-Chene Wharf.
The cruise started around seven on a lovely summer evening. We had a little time to explore the wharf before our lobster boat was ready. Most of us shopped in the touristy shops along the wharf and took pictures of this pretty area.
Finally we board and met the crew, the Captain and two mates, learned the rules, and we were at sea.
The Captain humorously explained about lobster fishing, lobster anatomy, lobster cooking (complete with recipe card) and then how to dismember and eat a cooked lobster. He made it look easy.
Each one of us got a cooked lobster to eat, potato salad, a roll and a maple cookie.
I didn't get a picture of the grisly scene since my hands were covered in lobster but we all managed to eat our fill and our plates were a mass of shell leavings. It was a mess but a tasty one.
The Captain insisted that the traditional way of eating lobster was serving it cold and on its back to retain its juices, not hot from the pot. Some of us missed the melted butter though.
We have to have our bags packed and at the door by seven in the morning. Another busy day ahead.
Sunday August 8th, Joggins Fossil Cliffs, FORCE center, Fundy Geological Museum
We were on the bus at eight in the morning heading along the Petit Codiac River and across the neck of the peninsula into Nova Scotia to the Joggins Cliffs a UNESCO designated important site.
An archeologist gave an overview of the formation of Pangea and eventual separation of the continents and how these fossil beds were formed. Now the tides rise and uncover fossils, breaking rocks from the cliff face.
We had time to turn over rocks and find fossils and to study the sediment end rock cliff before getting back on the bus and going to the FORCE.
The central part of this house was built in the mid-1700's by Acadian builders. A ferry service ran from this shore to Grand Pre saving miles of travel for those using it. Shipbuilding and other trading was done from here as well. The house was expanded in 1871 by Sir Charles Tupper a former premier of Nova Scotia and he gave it the name it now goes by. Further renovations were done between 1895 and 1912 by A Mr. Cowan. Ottowa house became a hotel began in 1922 and may have been instrumental in a rum-running business. Since 1981, the Parrsborough Shore Historical Society has been operating Ottowa House seasonally as a museum and hosts many events such as teas, galas, quilt shows and veranda concerts. They ladies of the society prepared and served lunch for our party of travelers and gave us a guided tour.
Next stop Fundy Geological Museum also on the north shore of the Minas Basin. This was a interesting small museum with exhibits documenting the geology and archeology in ages after the fossils in Joggins Cliffs were deposited. I didn't take photographs inside but I did snap some pics of license plates in the parking lot.
Back to the bus! We are going to Halifax.