I woke up and turned on the weather channel to check the time. It was 9:30am. I was half tempted to go back to sleep since I finally went lights out at 2:00am. But, good sense kicked me in the butt and I got out of bed. Starting a day without coffee should be illegal, but I made do with a can of diet Coke as an eye opener. After a quick shower, I loaded the car and headed out.
I figured on a considerable drive to make it to Fundy National Park, but it turned out to be untrue. Probably, if I didn’t head out of the way to Carlton and then the drive to Plaster Rock, I might have made Fundy about the same time as I did the motel. Hind sight is 20/20.
I began by taking Highway #109 to hook up with Highway #2 again to head eastward. It was nice to be operating from a single page in my map book. It was a little tricky and a bit of a pain yesterday flipping between four pages.
One thing I missed was the pull off rest stops they had in Quebec. Just as I thought New Brunswick did not believe in picnic areas. I did finally spotted one and pulled off the highway. It was a place called King’s Landing, a historical village, but it looked too much like a tourist attraction and I didn’t have the time to check it out. If there was a picnic area, I didn’t see it, so I got back on the highway. Before too long, I passed Fredericton, New Brunswick and was well on my way. Not too long after that, I turned south on Highway #10 and then when I reached Sussex,New Brunswick, it was east again on Highway #1. From there, it was a short hop to Highway #114, which runs through Fundy National Park.There is a highway on each side of the St. John River. I opted for the north side because it seemed like it would be a little less traveled.
The road passed though many little towns, but at least there were no traffic lights. When I approached Hartland, New Brunswick there was road work and so I had to stop for a signal man. Behind me was an empty logging truck; the eighteen wheeler kind. From our vantage, I had a great view of Hartland and The Hartland Covered Bridge, the longest bridge of its type in the world, which is out of the shot to the left in the image to the right.
When we finally got moving, I had that big truck riding my ass across the bridge while I was trying to get a moving shot of the covered bridge just downstream. I heard his airbrakes several times and felt obligated to quicken my pace since I wasn’t anywhere near the speed limit. Because of this, though, I missed whatever cut off there might have been to drive over the covered bridge. Not one to turn back, I carried on. Now I was on the south side of the river and it was a divided highway so I pushed the peddle down to make some time.
Fundy is impressive, but it is not cheap. Firstly, you have to register if you are planning to use any of the parks facilities; i.e. hiking trails, lakes for canoeing, or they also have auto trails; I made a note to drive one of those on my way out. The registration was $7.00 per day and then you have to pay for your camping on top of that at $23.00 per night; you can’t have one without the other. This maybe slightly higher cost than provincial park camping in Ontario, but I guess I am used to not having to pay separate fees.
On the way into Point Wolf campground, I came across a covered bridge. The sun was actually out and once I over came the shock of that, I pulled into a parking area and got out to take some photos. I was the first time since leaving Guelph that I had an opportunity to take in an attraction. It was very photogenic and I was glad of the chance.
Afterward, I headed into the campground to get a site. I was assigned Campsite #60. It is a nice park, with lots to do for everyone; they even have a golf course, but the campsites are squeezed together like the Rockwood Conservation Area near my hometown. I was glad that no one took the site next to me; otherwise I might as well have been camping with them.
As it was, I had two couples move in a couple of sites up from me in site #52 and then some motor-head cracked on his tunes several sites in the other direction. Hell; that is what I go to get away from. It is one thing that they had it loud enough so that everyone in the park could hear it—like we wanted to—but at least they could have had the decency to have good taste in music. Fortunately, though, it was short lived.
After settling in, I walked a few laps around the campground and then started cooking up some chops for supper. As I did, the people in site #52 started to strum guitars and sing some Eric Clapton tunes. I found a new appreciation for them.
Once dinner was cooked, I sat down to eat. The guitars had gone silent as twilight descended. Just as I finished, two of the guys from the Clapton site stopped by to see if they could use a can opener. After they finished with it, we chatted for a bit and I found out that they were nearing the end of the same trip I was starting on, only in reverse. They invited me to drop by later on and told me that when I heard the guitars, that would be my cue.
It is 9:50pm east time and the temperature just dropped like a rock. I guess the tide has been coming if for three hours now, bringing the cold water to cool the air; at least that is my assumption since it is my first time down here. The air temperature is up and down like a yo-yo. This is a new experience for me. One minute I can see my breath, and the next I can’t. Then another arctic breeze passes by and I can see my breath again.
The dishes are done and I’ve had to pull on track pants and a sweater to write today’s entry. It is dark and the guitars have just started. I am tempted to go over, but I’m really tired after yesterday’s drive and content to just listen.
I doubt I’ll ever have the chance to spend some real time here in Fundy and explore the park, but you never know. I would like to have spent two nights here, which was my original plan, but my day late leaving Guelph has thrown my schedule off. As I was driving down the road today, I realized it was already Wednesday and I have to be at Kejimkujik National Park by Friday, but I want to be there tomorrow, or at least very early on Friday to get a good pick of a site for the weekend. Following my time there, I won’t be so hemmed in by time constraints.
Editorial Side Note: It has been nearly eight years since I first wrote this. With the combined fees, a basic unserviced site was $30.00. For 2012, those fees would add up to $33.30. Those fees are valid until March 2013. For a complete price list which should fairly on par with other Canada Parks, to here.