East Coastal Drive, Day 8, the roots and rocks trail

I made a serious mistake. It was a decision I should have carefully considered. It was a lesson learned. Today I wanted to take the pugs on a trail. We would use the stroller to make the excursion more enjoyable for Raisin. However, they didn’t look too happy about going.

The park guide listed Easy, Moderate and Difficult trails. In the moderate section was the Mathews Head trail which included a scenic lookout of the Bay of Fundy. I decided on this one.

The information map clearly showed the loop. What it does not show is the terrain. That is where I got into trouble. The trail information sign gave the difficulty of moderate. The No Bicycles should have been a warning. The distance was 4.5 km although given the different elevations I had to walk, it seemed more like 10.

But, there is a happy ending.

We started off – going up a steep incline then a descent. When I saw all the tree roots criss-crossing the path, didn’t realize that was my second warning. I thought once we get past these, it will be a dirt trail.


It was like that the whole trip – roots and rocks blocking the path.The time to turn back was when the terrain first looked difficult. Instead, I pushed on.

There were patches when it was just dirt, with very few obstacles. I think this is why I decided to do the trail rather than turn back.

The views were impressive. The trail was leading through the centre of the mountain. We could look up to the top or down to the cliffs.

Raisin and Greta enjoyed the view from the comfort of the stroller. Eve, ever the Wonder Woman, charged on in front, smelling everything.

The forest provided ample shade. Being this high up the temperature was about 20 C. Great conditions for hiking and not over heating.

The roots started showing again. The water from the rainfall has washed away the soil, exposing the roots to potential tripping for hikers. I managed to lift the front wheel over the roots and let the back wheels roll over. It made for a couple of bumpy pugs.

We came to a clearing. I said to myself (well, to the pugs also) this is where it gets easier. We had gone about 1 km so not too late to turn back. This big meadow was deceiving.

Someone had put up the Canada Trail sign. This made me feel like I was part of something bigger than the roots.

At about the 2 km mark we caught our first glimpse of the bay. Signs posted warning to keep back, stay on the trail, as the cliffs were degrading. I kept a hold of Eve’s leash. I was still trying to navigate the stroller. However we stopped and rested for awhile to enjoy the view.

We started to ascend to the lookout. It became impossible to drive the stroller up. Not only were there roots but big rocks blocking the path. I would carry the stroller up along with Eve by my side. I would tie Eve to a tree then go back down and carry Raisin and Greta up.

It was exhausting work. Had to rest after every lift. We finally made it to Sqaw’s Cap Lookoff. There were a couple the Canada Red Chairs that we had seen before. But they were in the sun. I got a photo of the pugs on the thin bench then we rested in the shade.

At the lookout barrier was a view of the coast. It was a magnificent view and the photo does not due it justice. But was it worth it? No.

We were just over half way and we had spent 4 hours on the trail. I had used up the water I brought. I had my Canon camera around my neck and noticed I had lost the lens cap. I wondered if the day could get any worse. Eve picked up on my distress and tried to comfort.

Then 3 guardian angels appeared. Afterwards, I was convinced they were angels. 3 young people, 2 men and a woman, along with a dog with piercing blue eyes. I had been resting but shouted to them, as they were coming up the path, that I had a dog.

I was not concentrating and still tired when Eve suddenly dashed toward the other dog to greet it. I had been holding her leash but she pulled me down and I fell onto a rock. The one guy came to help lift me up. I explained to them the situation. I asked for water for the dogs.

The fellow who help me up noticed my camera and said “you have a Canon?” Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out my lens cap – It was then I knew I was in the presence of angels.

After awhile, the 2 guys offered to carry the stroller to the parking lot. At first I said no, I would be okay. But realized I would not be okay. I graciously thanked them and off they went.

It became easier as we got 1 km away. The path became greener. Sure enough, just before the parking lot, the stroller waited in the forest. The angels were gone.

If ever those people end up reading this, know this – you restored my faith in the kindness of humans. Complete strangers, yet I think we had a canine bond. You took me from despair to happy.

The lesson learned is to check with the park personnel, who know the trails, what the terrain is like before deciding on a “moderate” rail.

I had set my Strava app to record the hike. I had got the app for this trip but hadn’t really used it. It recorded a 10 km walk.

Later, I headed into Alma for dinner. The pugs were into a deep sleep. I decided on the Tides restaurant. Most people were on the patio. There was one other couple in the dining room and they soon left. Ordered the Seafood Combo, white wine, and thought about the hike.

To top off the day, and all the calories I burned, I ordered the Hummingbird cake, banana, pineapple, coconut and cherry. It was delicious.

3 comments

  1. Oh my goodness that sounds like a treacherous trail. I’m glad you made it through and that you had some angels helping you out. I’ll bet you slept like a baby after the day you had.

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