Day 5: Western Nova Scotia

August 9, 2020

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Day 1: Western Nova Scotia

August 5, 2020

I NEVER had "Rent a camper and road trip" on my bucket list.

I mean, like, REALLY never.

Campgrounds aren't my thing so much as actually back country tenting; and that's not a possibility with an RV.

 

But then COVID-19 happened and we all do weird things when we're locked up in our personally created cages for a few months.

 

CAVEAT: As I type this, the province has two active cases of COVID-19, both caught and self-isolated immediately. It's a very safe feeling to go out and explore right now, seeing how seriously everyone is taking precautions with sanitizing, 2m distancing, and face masks. The "Atlantic Bubble" took extreme shut down measures early on in the pandemic outbreak, and it's paying off now. I would not be taking this road trip if I felt unsafe, or if the health authority of Nova Scotia said to avoid such endeavors. They are, however, encouraging local tourism to keep its summer-tourism focused economy alive.

 

Like any overzealous traveler, I overbooked myself on day ONE and had to swap some things around. Picking up the 28ft camper at Canadream look longer than I had anticipated. It turns out, there's a lot to know about campers if all you've ever driven is an automatic Subaru.

I also learned that Camper toilet paper is specific (available at Canadian Tire) and expensive. So that's a thing.

 

After checking and rechecking their "things to know" list, stopping at multiple stores to pick up the things I forgot at the previous store, and filling the gas tank (with $160 bucks worth of gas. That was fun.) I was heading toward Baxter Harbour Falls for low tide.

 

Bay of Fundy: Mud, Whales, Fossils

 

Hugging between the Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the corner tip of Maine, the Bay of Fundy is one of the 7 wonders of North America. It's home the highest tides in the world, 12 whale species including the rare and most endangered North Atlantic Right Whale, and unique tidal bores (popular for rafting!). Read more about the whales here.

 

Because of this massive, powerful swing in tides, it has uncovered some of Earth's oldest fossils, including the first reptiles!

 

Baxter Harbour Falls: Walk the Ocean

 

Located just north of Wolfville, Baxter Harbour Falls is pours into the Bay of Fundy, which means it's accessible at low tide only. There is not a real trail, although there is a parking lot. You'll drive to the end of Baxter Harbour Road and then take the dirt road, Paddy Beach, down to the shoreline.

 

The rock faces show their wear from the ocean, and the falls are illuminated by its vibrant sea algae/kelp/moss. Jagged and black at low tide, invisible at high tide, if you time your trip like I did, you'll be able to say that you walked along the ocean's floor.

 

The Falls weren't gushing for me, as it's been pretty dry lately; but I have every intention of returning in the winter when it freezes over.

 

 

The Church: Built, Moved, Burned.

 

I'll be exploring Wolfville more on day 2, but for day 1, I managed to make it to the Church an hour before closing. Originally built in the mid 1800s, moved, and burnt to the ground, the current establishment only opened as a restaurant in 2019, but was previously a Presbyterian and then United congregation.

 

 

Now it's a beautiful brewery, keeping the integrity of the Church with its stained glass windows and hymn boards showcasing other local craft beers, ciders, and wines; and making me wish I was going to college at Acadia University down the street.

 

Highbury RV Campground

 

This campground is located 10 minutes from Wolfville and nestled among the trees with nature trails and clean bathrooms. The silver lining to COVID-19 is the restrictions placed on campgrounds means not being at max capacity. I normally avoid campgrounds for their over-crowded nature; but this RV park is peaceful, shaded, and half empty. :)

If you've been wanting to visit a campground, this summer may be the time (assuming your local restrictions allow).

 

On the plus side, camper life means pulling in, hooking up, and being ready to settle in for the night.

My "oops" for the day comes from the tent-goer in me. I left my shoes outside, and the tropical storms of the Atlantic decided to push a random rain storm up to us. I will be hiking in road shoes while my trail shoes are drying today.

 

 

 

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