East Coastal Drive, Day 6 – Fundy National Park

I was up at 5 am after a 9 hour sleep. It was only a short drive to Fundy National Park but I had a couple of stops to make before that. Caught the sunrise on the Northumberland Strait through the pines.

Didn’t take time to make a coffee or breakfast. Pugs got fed, of course. I figured I would stop at a Tim Horton’s on the highway. I knew I was getting close to the high tide.

Cape Engrage Nature Preserve has several things going for it. It is the site of NB’s first lighthouse, built in 1838. However, although it was sunshine and blue sky when we left Murray Beach, some Bay of Fundy mysterious gravitational line we crossed caused the fog to descend.

We got there at 9:20, the place opened at 9:30. A gentleman drove up and unlocked the gate for us. He said to park down by the gift shop as people were setting up. We strolled over to get a photo of the lighthouse.

The story goes that the first lighthouse keeper didn’t have a light – only the fog horn. So he was only paid half the wages. When they installed the light 2 years later, he got full pay. They also have a Zip line so people can zip over the shoreline.

There is a restaurant. They get about 50,000 visitors a year. The place is known for it’s fossil findings. Between the fossils and the zip line, the restaurant survives. The restaurant was a duplex for the lighthouse keeper family and his assistant.

Unfortunately, I was at high tide so was not able to hunt for fossils. I was able to go to the metal stairs to get to the ocean floor, but only go half way.

The fossils are contained in the layers of sedimentary rock and are 320 million years old. The fossils have been transported from elsewhere by the tide. trees called Calamites and bark textures from Cordaites trees. I did manage to see the coastal shore.

The view from the staircase to the restaurant.

I headed back on to the highway feeling somewhat satisfied. The guide said on a clear day you can see Nova Scotia – oh well. You cannot plan these events. On the way, I stopped in at a winemakers. They make blueberry and rhubarb wine. I got one bottle of each. The woman was from Toronto and this business is a kind of retirement. They do well normally because of the Cape Enrage traffic. And they were happy to see tourists starting to come back.

Next stop was Alma, a town just outside the entrance to Fundy National Park. They have several lobster sellers but I went to Alma Lobster Shop as I was there before with Dublin and Raisin

They weren’t open for another 15 minutes so we went for a walk around back to look at the bay.

One thing I wanted to do was compare the lobster from Shediac in the north with the Fundy lobster. First off, the price. I knew the price of lobster had gone up because of the pandemic but…the 1.5 lb lobster in Shediac was $22. Same one in Alma was $36. Okay, I bought one so I could do the taste test. I also got a package of the peppered smoke salmon. Also I had to stop in at Kelly’s Bake Shop. I highly recommend their sticky buns. I also got some fresh baked rolls.

The Alma lobster was firmer having more of a mealy mouth feel. I think the Shediac lobster was more tender, sweeter (and cheaper).

The campsite we had was for 3 days. I chose a more accessible one than last time. With Dublin and Raisin I stayed at Point Wolfe which was particularly isolated. The Chignecto Campground is closer to Alma so I could run in for supplies over the 3 days.

Their was an easy trail that ran around the outer edge of the campground. There was also a second trail the spiked off that led to a brook.

We went halfway around the campground before taking the road back to our site and tucking into bed. It was another cold night so everyone snuggled under the sleeping bag. I put Raisin next to me the first night.

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