Now You See It...

Friday, May 28, 2010 Road Junkies 1 Comments

Saint John, NB to Moncton NB
We took the scenic route today from Saint John, following the coast along the Bay of Fundy east toward Moncton.  Although the weather was sometimes overcast, the scenery was beautiful.
Fundy National Park along our route features the unique landscapes of the Maritime Acadian Highlands.  Rising from the bay, this rolling plateau is covered with lush forest and cut by streams flowing through its valleys.
With many visitors to the park annually, some of Fundy's wildlife has become desensitized to humans.  This chipmunk entered the trail as we were approaching.  We stopped and watched as he examined various items he found on the trail.  
We took a few photos, thinking he would skitter away when we came toward him.  As we waited, another pair of hikers approached from the opposite direction.  The chipmunk remained until someone waved a hand toward him, at which time he strolled just a few feet off trail.

As much as we read in the travel literature about moose and seals and other wildlife in the area and in Maine, this chipmunk is all we have personally viewed, except for the thousands of mosquitoes, black flies, and gnats, of course.  We don't even need to search for them; they find us.

At Hopewell Cape, we visited another natural phenomenon caused by the extreme tides of the Bay of Fundy.  Hopewell Rocks are rock formations caused by tidal erosion.  Because of the large volume of water that flows in and out of the bay each day, some parts of the adjacent sandstone cliffs have been separated from the rest of the cliff face.
The waves that come in with the advancing and receding tides have eroded the base of these formations at a faster rate than the top, resulting in the unusual formations.  Just by chance, our visit to these "flower pot rocks" (as they are called locally) occurred at low tide, so that we were able to walk down to them-- "walking on the ocean floor," as the tourist brochures promote.

Since we didn't spend six hours at the site, we borrowed this image from www.new7wonders.com to demonstrate how the rocks look at high tide.
On the floor of the bay, near some of the underwater caves which had been revealed by the low tide were some unlikely stacks of rocks.
We marvelled at the ingenuity and engineering prowess of whoever left these litle studies in balance for the rest of us to enjoy until the tide came back in and destroyed all their work.

Early in our journey this morning, we were lured by a sign indicating that a covered bridge was 4 km off the main road.  The next six or eight times we saw the sign, we kept driving.  New Brunswick, which is about the size of South Carolina,  has a total of 62 covered bridges, the newest of which was built in 1992  in Fundy National Park.
Back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when wooden bridges began to be built in the area, bridge builders had to find a way to deal with the extremes of climate, especially rot-causing rain and snow.  A wooden bridge left uncovered would last only about 10 years, while a covered wooden bridge could be expected to last 80 years or more.

Daily Stats:
Miles driven:  203
Letterboxes:  0
Covered bridges:  10