Last week I was on the east coast of our great country, just toodling around New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and this weekend I'll be on the west coast at the Surrey International Writers' Conference (the best little conference in the world, I tell ya.) I really should get me to the prairies one of these days. I have flown over the prairies numerous times but I've never actually been there i.e., had my feet on the ground. Anyone know of a good excuse to visit Saskatoon? Moose Jaw? Medicine Hat? I'd like to come see you sometime because you look gorgeous from 30,000 feet up in the air.
Anyway, while I was on the east coast last week, I visited the Hopewell Rocks on the Bay of Fundy, an uber cool place with flowerpot shaped rocks carved by the ocean and the highest vertical tidal ranges in the world. I managed to arrive just before the high tide came rolling in and had about half an hour to wander down on the beach surrounding the rocks. During low tide you can literally walk way out on the ocean floor. At high tide, you can kayak around those same rocks which will now be either completely submerged or pretty little islands with a few wind-scrubbed trees.
The tide comes in so fast and high that the park has a guide at the water level to keep people safe. The tide rose 40+ feet the day I was there, and I could see the seaweed on the walls of the cliff and the flowerpot rocks themselves.
To give you an idea of how fast the water in the Bay of Fundy rises, the guide pointed to the water washing up on the flat beach at our feet and said, "See that? It looks like a gentle beach with lapping water? Well, that's rising about a foot every 30 to 40 seconds." Seconds. That left less than five minutes to get back to the steps leading up the cliff as 100 billion tonnes of salt water coming thundering into the bay. (And that's literal, not like "I have 100 billion tonnes of dirty dishes to do. Although I actually do.)
See the steps at the bottom of the photo? The water reached them in minutes. I've never been so inspired to climb stairs. There are signs that give advice like "if you find yourself stranded by the incoming tide, do not attempt to climb the cliffs, just find yourself a rock not covered in seaweed, climb on top and wait three hours until the water recedes." Sheeyah. You would hear my screams all the way to Yellowknife. (Another place I want to visit. Just saying.)
Just for comparison, tides in other parts of the world go up and down about 3 feet on average.
Thus endeth the lesson on tides.
We also saw a tidal bore on the "Chocolate River" in Moncton without a speck of real chocolate in it, sad to say, but in reality, a churning, brown devil of a thing. Speaking of which, here's a public toilet we passed on the road. In case you had any doubts, each side had its own unique signage leaving no doubt as to its purpose.
Yes, that says "shiter"
I can't leave you with that image. Here are a couple more. Think of them as cleansing breaths for your brain.