Mary Beth Writes

Thank you, Robert Burns, for that title. 

We were driving from Gaspé to the next town when this happened.

What you are seeing is Tim Horton’s; famous Canadian purveyor of coffee, donuts and a whole bunch of other treats and sandwiches. They also offer free WIFI so we stopped by Tim Horton’s most afternoons to use their Internet to figure out what motel we would be stopping at that evening.

Which is what we are doing in the photo. The rain you see is an outer band of Hurricane Dorian. Dorian was no longer something to wonder about. Dorian had become a sheeting downpour that was causing our car to hydroplane on an empty highway somewhere in New Brunswick. It was time to find a motel and hunker down. We were not in the hurricane but we were a mere 300 miles from the middle of it, and it was a doozy. Twenty miles from this Tim Horton’s was Bathurst and yes, they had a room for us.

We soon learned that Nova Scotia has a population of 500,000 people - and 400,000 of them lost power that night. Including the entire city of Halifax. It would take days for the “normal” to come back on.

We spent the next morning at a small nature preserve on the bay by Bathurst.

The path we followed down to the bay.

This is their salt marsh, where fresh water from the river flows outward, and saltwater from the bay flows inward. Salt marshes are among the most fragile ecologies on earth due to global warming and rising sea levels.

 Isn’t this beautiful? It’s a collage of leaves and sticks that puddled together the day before in the torrential rain.

We drove onwards to Moncton, New Brunswick. Our next motel had electricity although about half of Moncton was still in the dark, with non-working stop-and-go lights. Our motel’s ‘free WIFI’ didn’t work that night because too much infrastructure had been damaged.  

We went into the city for dinner. Afterwards we walked to the Petitcodiac River to see Moncton’s Tidal Bore. A Tidal Bore, for those of us who don’t live with tides, is the lead wave that arrives on a river or bay, herald of the incoming tide.  In Moncton it isn’t huge, but it still impressed our midwestern hearts.

If you are curious, here is a YouTube video that shows it more clearly. https://youtu.be/8R6Ipsl2VJ0

Next morning, we visited Hopewell Rocks along the Bay of Fundy, at the southern end of New Brunswick.

This pup was hot. 

By the end of that afternoon we exited Canada, with regret. We are not sure if or when we will ever get back. It was so beautiful, although we might take a plane or train if we try it again. And NOT in August or September, hurricane time… That lesson is learned.

 …

We have heard all our lives that Maine’s Acadia National Park is spectacular. We don’t disagree, but we didn’t love being there.

It was a Monday well into September. Where did all those people come from?  The place was so jam-packed we could barely park our little car. We drove to the top of Cadillac Mountain, saw the stunning scenery, but could only pull into a handicapped parking slot. Len jumped out, took some photos, then we drove back down that mountains, bumper to bumper with RV’s and tour busses.  Not our favorite day. 

This photo is from the handicapped parking slot on the top of Cadillac Mountain!  And yes, that is a cruise ship down there.  Either a regularly scheduled tour, or maybe a ship diverted from the hurricane.

We thought we could take a hike, but I wasn’t up to negotiating uneven slabs of rocks for two miles, so we went back to the car. (Lesson learned from you, Bob N.) 

Not sure if this was a Maine or Canadian cormorant, but isn’t it elegant?

This was our favorite part of Acadia. See that tiny person in the middle of the picture?  (Looks like a rock.) That’s Len looking for starfish. He didn’t find any, but we sure did see snails! And I collected dozens of empty snail shells, all so tiny they fit in one jean’s pocket.

Comments

Leonard's picture

If you have been a long-time reader of Mary Beth, you know that this is the SECOND vacation that's been rearranged by a hurricane. Kurt Vonnegut said that unexpected travel is like dancing lessons from God.

Gorgeous! Thank you for taking us along this memorable dance!

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A-Z Cats

This is Lil Girl hanging out while I wrote this. 

...

2/2/2023

Cats

 “Every family needs a cat so there is someone to blame everything on who won’t actually care.” Quote attributed to Len. 

I was 21 when I got my first cat through the fraught circumstance of someone dropping him off on a highway. He made his way to the backstep of my brother’s house where Sebastian the dog began to bark his head off. Paul went to the door to discover a kitten hanging by its wee claws to the screen door.

A-Z Barbara

Barbara 1/26/2023

A-Z means I’m writing short takes on random topics and I’m going in alphabetical order. I love this quote: “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”

That’s the spirit I’m pursuing: Undisciplined, irreverent, and original.

A-Z, Alaska

1/25/2023 

I’ve never been to Alaska. I’m sure I’d love it but going there is not a big dream for either Len or me.

However, this. When our son was around 12 he developed a crush on all things Alaskan. Kid who lives in a ranch house on a Midwestern cul-de-sac wants to get lost in tundra and mountains with moose and wolves. Yup.

At first he just talked, dreamed, read books, and watched shows about Alaska. Then, at 14 he got a part-time job as a janitor at a vet clinic and he kept that job until he went to college. It was a good fit for a kid not drawn to homework.

A to Z

1/25/2023

I am not exactly depressed, but I can whip up a pretty good glum at almost any moment. There have been about three sunny days since Thanksgiving, and four colds, and I’m feeling it. How about you?

We can’t even properly whine. Not with the Atmospheric Rivers of Doom in California, and tornadoes in the south. And all the other glum and hateful news.

Sara Kurtz & Healthcare by Zip Code? Really?

1/22/2023 

Many of you have been very generous in the past. Please think about making a donation to the GoFundMe account of Sara Kurtz. Donate here. 

Who is Sara? She’s a friend of my niece Susan.

Len Explains Fusion Energy

The photo is of Lisa Meitner. The BFF of one of our kids is (quite likely) a great grand niece of this amazing woman. 

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MB: Len occasionally explains very complicated science things to me or our kids in such a way that we actually understand it. One of our kids asked him what the big deal was about fusion. Len wrote this and I thought some of you might like to read it.

Long live curious people and long live nerds. 

 

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