We entered New Brunswick via a bridge into Campbellton where a circus was taking place. We continued on to Camping by the Bay in Black Point on the recommendation of our pal Matt. We entered New Brunswick at the same time Hurricane Arthur was approaching from the south. We had just enough time to set up camp, make a quick dinner consisting of Hermann’s noodles, asparagus and pickled carrots, buy a couple of Half and Half tickets (seems something people do at campgrounds on the east coast? we personally think it’s a scam as we never heard who won or how much was raised or what the cause was), brushed our teeth, listened to some real NB rednecks whoop it up and fight and scream for help with the Heimlich Maneouvre (someone in their group was choking). We were grateful that the power went out and the rain came early on in the evening. It should be said though that the view from this campsite was very beautiful! We locked our doors and slept until we could make a quick escape at dawn. Because we knew of the incoming hurricane we chose not to raise the roof on the van that night which aided in our quick escape. We drove towards Bathurst. The roads were deeply rutted from lumber trucks which caused the van to hydroplane and the winds were so strong that we felt the van could tip at any moment. We beelined for a little greasy spoon called the Coffee Stain in downtown Bathurst. The service here was the star, specifically the server who was one of the owners. We’d go back just for the service. We decided that to drive any further was suicidal so we checked into a hotel, showered, napped, did a little laundry, and finally ate a little dinner and called it a day. The storm raged with heavy rain and high winds all afternoon. The van was covered in summer green leaves that had been blown to tiny shards.
We awoke the following morning to a blue sky, sunny day intent on driving to Fundy National Park. We planned our route and got to our intended highway only to encounter a roadblock caused by a broken beaver dam that had flooded the highway and made it impassable. On our way back to the original highway we watched an overhead hydro line catch fire and made it under before it fell. The drive was a little longer than it should have been in the end. We stopped for fish and chips in a little town called St. Louis de Kent where the friendly townspeople easily conversed in both official languages. New Brunswick is the only province that is officially bilingual. The Acadian people impressed us with their ability to switch so easily back and forth between English and French. If only all of Canada were this way! We finally made it to Fundy National Park where the power was out due to Arthur. Before setting up camp we stopped at the Alma Lobster Shop to buy some fresh cooked lobster for dinner. We stopped at the two small grocers in Alma as well thinking we may be able to pick up a few other vegetables for the next couple of days. Wrong. One shop offered a single bunch of celery, a head of iceberg lettuce, two cucumbers, a few bags of onions and a bag of carrots. The other, not a single fresh vegetable but plenty of canned options. The bakery had a wide selection of white bread and other similarly floury non-multigrain options. A nice treat but maybe not on a daily basis?! Our neighbours that evening were a great family from the Toronto area. We had a lot fun chatting with them that evening. The next morning after breakfast we drove to the Hopewell Rocks and walked amongst the flower pot rocks and climbed over to the mud flats. On our way back towards Alma we stopped at Cape Enrage. The wind was incredibly powerful and it was easily evident why it earned this name. The signage warning of falling rocks was how we were greeted at Fossil Beach. Here the fossils date back some 40 million years. One of the people on beach shared a find which they were going to turn over to the park. After wandering and climbing we stopped in at the Cape Restaurant for a bowl of warming chowder served to us by an amazing young 17 year old new mother. The chowder was prepared by a talented young chef named Jeremy Wilbur. We had a great conversation and would recommend this restaurant without hesitation. We wished we had eaten here instead of at Alma Boathouse Restaurant that night! The next day we left Fundy National Park stopping at the Octopus Garden in Alma for a cup of coffee and a muffin. This was a great little place that we would recommend too. Next stop: Nova Scotia Mr. Dixon!