My day started out as usual…rain!
As I lay in the tent, listening to the ever familiar sound of rain spattering on the tarp, I realized I had forgotten to take my stop watch with me when I went to bed, so I could only guess at the time. Finally, I got up and checked the clock in the car; it was 7:00am. I didn’t even make a coffee and just started packing. It was going to be another wet pack and my only concern was getting things in the car, no matter which way they went.
It was very humid, almost sauna like. So after getting everything packed, I was soaked and sodden from sweat and rain. I used a kitchen house, which was across from my site and changed into some dry clothes, but even after a fresh change of clothing, I was still clammy and uncomfortable. I closed up the car windows and flipped on the air conditioner to cool off.
After leaving the park and a farily short drive along the highway, I passed right on by Hopewell Rocks, which was on my list of things to see, because it was still rainy and foggy. Trying to keep depression at bay about the weather, I headed through Alma, New Brunswick on my way toward Moncton, New Brunswick along #114. Many times I caught sight of the bay; it was low tide. I got to Riverview, New Brunswick and crossed a bridge into Moncton. I skirted the outskirts until I hooked up with Highway #2 on which I stayed until I could link up with #102. I took that west, who would have thought—my directions were kind of muddled a bit by this point—until I got off at Elmsdale, Nova Scotia. I stopped in at a McDonald’s Drive thru and then realized that I overshot my turnoff at Highway #14, just west of Millford in Annapolis County. Fortunately, all I had to do from Elmsdale was to head back toward the onramp for #102, but carry on through to #214 instead. This linked up with #14 and put me back on track.
There was a costal route along secondary roads, but I opted to take the fast track and get to Keji, as the locals call it, as early as possible and arrived at around 3.00pm. Here, like Fundy, you also have to pay a user fee to enter the park and then the camping fees are extra. But Canada Day was free, so that was a little bonus for me.
All in all, I have no problem with park fees considering the job that the Government does in maintaining and improving the parks and facilities. As with the staff I have met within the many provincial parks I have stayed at in Ontario, I have always found the people very knowledgable and eager to help and answer questions. Also, the fact that the parks are protected lands, I sure do not have an issue with contributing to conservation.
Kejimkujik is a nice park and if you’re a family or traveling with someone where privacy is not an issue, it is a place to see.* I felt with the campsite I was given, #146; I was going to be having not only company, but an unwanted camping partner, given the proximity of the neighboring site. I tried to trade for site number 13, but was told it was a trailer site; therefore I had to go through again looking for a site on a list of tenting sites. This was a lesson. I had booked and paid for the site in advance via the internet, but now I know to always book for what you might want as opposed to what you really have. It gives you a whole lot more options. Anyway, after another look, I chose site #203. It was still too close to the adjacent sites, but it was livable. If there were more bush between sites, it would be perfect.
While I was looking for the site, I got a call from my friend on my cell. I was amazed at the clarity of signal, on top of the fact that someone can dial my number in Guelph and it rings in Nova Scotia. After answering, I told him I was just looking for a site to set up and asked if he could call back. He told me he would call again at 4:00 and after I hung up, I thought, it is 4:00.
Shortly after I had picked my site, which took about an hour, I backed onto it and started to unpack. I was just spreading out my water laden tarp when the cell rang again. Sure enough it was my friend and we had a conversation in which he said that I should be having fun despite the fact that I had been pissed on pretty much since I left Guelph. He had no idea how much I was hating my experience and I didn’t want to dwell on how miserable things were looking from my point of view.
As I finish up writing the day’s events, it is coming up on 9:30 and it is going to be an early evening. One good thing that is that I know that what ever the weather might be, I can sit and chill out for the next four days with no need to be anywhere other than where I am.
* I am used to camping in the Provincial Parks in Northern Ontario where you can usually find a site with a fair amount of privacy and fewer fellow campers, so I guess I’m a little spoiled. I was aware before leaving on this trip that I would not find what I was used to, but it is still a hard pill to swallow. I am also trying to not be too critical of the parks here as I write this journal. The old adage comes to mind: When in Rome …
Day five coming soon... Stay tuned. :)