Total mileage at the beginning of the day: 1,488
Well, I can tell I'm back in true civilization because I shaved my legs for the first time in a week. I felt compelled to in my IKEA show/hotel room. However, to balance things, I'm wearing the same outfit for the third day in a row. I totally overpacked. I'm just alternating between two outfits. I'm a pretty minimalist packer anyway, so I'm annoyed at myself, knowing I could have gone one bag lighter.
In the morning, I rushed over to Hopewell Rocks. Along with 4 billion other tourists. I can't believe it's been 10 years since I've been here. I'd forgotten exactly how crowded it gets.
Hopewell Rocks is a national park that features some awesome geography. Visitors are able to go down a four-story set of stairs to walk on the ocean floor when the tide is out. If you're really daring, you can walk right down to the water. And potentially fall knee-deep in red mud. There were a lot of those people out there. Incidentally, there's a hose/wash off spot when you get back up the stairs. Because you will get muddy. I saw one woman down there in kitten heels. Another, ankle-deep in mud, wearing a Coach bag. We're walking on the ocean floor, people. No one cares if you look good. Because you don't--we all look awkward as hell in mud and stumbling over rocks.
|The view from the top of the stairs. The tops of the "flower pots" |
become islands at high tide.
|"Wait--is that the same natural beauty we saw in Highlands Nat'l Park the other day?" |
Yes. Yes, it is.
It's pretty crowded, down there on the ocean floor. But walking up the stairs, with so many people pushing and pulling, is what made me hate humanity. Also, I didn't realize that this is one place where I would feel lonely and a little awkward. There are just so many families and friends and couples. I was constantly in the way of someone else's picture.
I needed to get away. Fast. I drove from Cape Hopewell to Alma, right on the edge of Fundy National Park.
|I had to wait an eternity for a man eating a sandwich in the entrance to move. So please enjoy this picture.|
|Cape Enrage! From the parking lot because I'm too cheap to pay for entrance.|
While I was nibbling on my perfect scallops, I watched another waitress talk to a group of Brazilians at the next table. One of the men had ordered a lobster, and when it came out, he asked how to eat it. The waitress was marvelous--she took a utensil and pointed out where to begin, what to eat/not eat, etc. I watched how kind and patient she was, and how grateful everyone at the table was. And then I remembered that Boston has a restaurant "famous" for its rude ("salty") waitresses (and some restaurants that probably are more on the infamous side for the same reason). While I admit to being a surly New Englander, I was really touched by this waitress. It made for some introspection.
I've found myself to be so mellow on this trip. I'm fully relaxed, and pretty much everyone I talk to is super friendly. It changes how I interact with people. I find myself talking to strangers almost everywhere I go, saying things when I normally would keep thoughts to myself. Could it be that the road has softened me?
Besides eating, Alma is also a great place to watch the tide come in swiftly.
|Really? The stars and bars in NB?|
|From Fundy National Park, you can see Nova Scotia across the bay. I'm pointing to |
the approximate location of Comeauville, from which my family hails.
It was an eventless drive to Saint John. I ended up at an Econolodge. People were friendly, but the room looked like someone's grandmother had had a field day decorating in florals. And then I have a question. What exactly is this about?
|Just a couple bits of tissue sitting out blatantly on the couch.|