Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick

First, an addendum to the Prince Edward Island post, with some pictures that the computer somehow misplaced, but wanted to share these:

Lighthouse at North Rustico, on our bike ride Sunday afternoon
 Looking across Lake Dalvey at a beautiful hotel, as we rode past

 The Gulf of St. Lawrence behind us
 At Cavendish Beach, near where we were camping

 We stopped here after going out to eat, and with the sun going down, the colors were just too beautiful to pass up!  The next two show the different views as you turned toward the Gulf and then the other way, towards a marshy pond.

Lovely way to spend our last evening on PEI!

Monday we left PEI and drove back to New Brunswick, via the Confederation Bridge, an 8 mile bridge across the Northumberland Strait.  It's not as high as some bridges we've seen, but an 8 mile bridge is still pretty impressive!

Our destination for this day was Hopewell Rocks, the site of the biggest daily tide fluctuation in the world.  100 billion tons of water flow in and out of this place twice each day--due to the unique geography of the Bay of Fundy:  it's particularly shallow here and funnel shaped coming in from the Atlantic Ocean to this point, so basically the water from the rising tides have nowhere to go but here.  The tide rises approximately 46 feet, twice a day.  At this point there is a collection of huge rock formations, known as the Flower Pot Rocks, as the erosion caused by this water flow over millions of years has given them shapes that resemble flower pots.  We got there in late afternoon, so we could "walk along the ocean floor," at low tide.  There's a 99 step metal stairway down to the floor, and we could walk in, among, around, and through some of the huge rocks.  It was pretty fascinating to do this, when you looked back up and saw how high the tides would reach in just a few hours.  We came back the next day to see it at high tide, quite remarkable!

A couple of shots at Stanley Bridge, on our way out

 Just some pics of the beautiful scenery along the drive to the bridge

 Confederation Bridge
 Some pics as we drove across the bridge

 Back in New Brunswick

 A lot of this area reminded us of the Marshes of Glynn in Georgia, at least with the marshy grasses and ponds
 The color contrasts were really beautiful!

 Is this a red roof, or what?!
 So typical to see the church spires towering above the little towns we passed through

 The Peticodiac River, near Hopewell Rocks--nicknamed the Chocolate River, as the mud makes it so brown, does look like flowing milk chocolate!

Looking down on the Flower Pot rocks from the top of the stairs going down to the ocean floor.  Here the tide is not completely at its lowest, but fairly close
 Here we are, walking along the bottom of the ocean!!
 This reminded us of when we went kayaking in the sea caves last year in the Apostle Islands

 You can see how erosion is shaping those rocks and some of them will eventually be completely eroded away at the base and fall--but it'll be a few years!!
 Probably the next one to go

 Cool shapes!

 Stunningly beautiful!  The rocks aren't bad either!!
 This gives you a bit of perspective
 Back the next day as the high tide was coming in--this is a little ways farther up the shore, near a beach area.  You can see how brown the water is here, the result of the muddy silt on the bottom, but with the high volume of water flowing back and forth each day, the silt doesn't really have time to settle completely on the floor, so it's constantly being churned up
 The Mudflats

 This is back to where we went down to the floor the day before at low tide

 Sophie hiked along with us today

 But, after about 4 miles of walking, she began to tire, so she hitched a ride in Trisha's purse!!
 Our campsite was right on the water, a pond/lake separated from the Bay of Fundy by a big berm.  Here, a flock of Canada geese are coming in for the evening--made us think of Goose Island back home when the honking geese fly right past our deck each morning and evening

 Incredible harvest moon
 The next morning, the geese getting ready to take off

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