Upon arriving at Parrsboro, NS, I have to say I spent the first fifteen minutes with my mouth hanging open like a fish. It was incredibly beautiful. I’ve been over quite a bit of Nova Scotia, but I had never made it to this neck of the woods before. Freecampsites had led us to a spit of land that poked out into the Bay of Fundy. The rocky beach swept down into the water at a steep pitch, and the area was sheltered by high cliffs. At the end of the land spit, a large chunk of rock sat, crowned with old pines and spreading maple trees. This we would come to learn was Partridge Island. Not truly an island, but an isthmus. It reminded us somewhat of the Flowerpots at Hopewell Cape in New Brunswick, but on a much larger scale.
Not Exactly the Welcome Wagon
There were several vehicles parked and people milling about here and there, but we saw no other campers, and no signage of any kind about camping. Mike spoke to a passing gentleman and asked if he was a local. When he said he was, Mike asked about staying overnight, to which he was told absolutely not, it was not allowed. The man then pointed to an empty post several yards away, and he muttered something about there was supposed to be a sign, and then went on his way up the beach.
We were still unsure as to whether or not it was actually permitted, or whether the man just didn’t want campers near his cottage (there were several homes within sight of the beach), but not wanting to tick anyone off, we decided to just spend the day and then continue on to Truro, where there was at least a Wal-Mart parking lot.
We took a long walk up the beach, which was not easy considering the rocky terrain. But we were so busy marveling at the interesting stones underfoot and the fossilized markings in the basalt and sandstone cliff walls, we hardly noticed. It was very warm, but the breeze coming in off of the bay kept us comfortable. We continued on until we felt we should go no further because of the incoming tide. The Bay of Fundy is home to some of the world’s highest tides, and just an hour can make a dramatic difference in the landscape. Rather than get stuck or wet, we decided to return to the camper.
Once back to Hank and Lonestar, we decided to investigate Partridge Island, and headed towards it. At the base of the Island, we found a sign, illustrating the 3 km trail we could take to go up it. Awesome, the view from the top must be fantastic! The past two days in New Brunswick had been wet and cool, and we were ready for a good stretch of the legs. So off we went.
Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called “Ego.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Then Partridge Island took our breath away. Literally. For the first fifteen minutes, the trail seemed to go up at a 45 degree angle, with little sympathy for old bones and weak cardio systems. I thought my knees would surely abandon me, but that’s only if my lungs didn’t give out first. We both laughed as we came upon a rest stop called “The Second Wind Bench.” Great name. Better timing. And very honest, as we came to find out at this point. We were still only half way up. Please shoot me now.
But we could hear a younger family coming up the trail behind us, and with a knowing glance at each other, we dug down deep and continued on. Steel will or foolish pride, we weren’t going to let anyone catch us, let alone pass us. Not sure who we were proving it to, but we wouldn’t be beat.
Cardiac arrests aside, the short version is, the trek was worth it. By the time we got to the top, Partridge Island took our breath away for the second time that day. Looking out from the shade of the large maples overhead, you had nearly a 270 degree view of the Bay of Fundy for a good 35 miles in any direction.
Continuing along the trail, it wound around the top of the Island, giving continuously changing views of the water some 200 feet below. Absolutely gorgeous. You can read more about Partridge Island here.
We goat this…
The end of the trail is marked with a lighthouse-type lookout, where we stopped and took some shots of the water and a couple of self-congratulatory selfies. The trail then loops back onto itself, and you end up coming back down the same way you went up. Interestingly enough, we never did encounter the young family that was gaining on us earlier. There were no other offshoots off of the trail, so we would have had to meet them at some point, but we never did. Guess they couldn’t hack it after all, and turned back. Tenderfeet. If you’re going climbing, sometimes it helps to be a couple of old goats, lol.
We returned home the following evening, and since then it’s been nothing but a flurry of activity, finalizing alterations to the trailer, completing dentist appointments and finishing up the packing. As of writing this, the only thing left to take care of are the safety inspections for Hank and Lonestar. And since today is Labor Day, they’ll have to wait until tomorrow. We’re hoping to be on the road Wednesday, possibly Thursday at the latest. It seems almost surreal now. We’ve waited so long to get to this point, and now that it’s here, we can’t quite grasp the realism of it.
But real or no, the next time you hear from us, we’ll offically be ‘full-timers.’ I know we’re ready for it. I just hope the rest of the world is, LOL.
See ya down the road.