On October 15th, 2017, we departed from Quebec City and headed for Fredericton, New Brunswick. Before leaving Quebec, we stopped by SAIL and MEC, both outdoor clothing and equipment stores to look for hiking boots. Krispy Kreme was nearby and is surprisingly popular here, so we got a hot donut and coffee. I still enjoy their classic glazed donut once in a while.
We got on the Trans-Canada highway and headed to Grand Falls Gorge and were underwhelmed by what we saw so we continued on. I later read that it was a dry summer with little water flow so we didn’t get to see the falls for all its glory. For lunch, we were still happily eating through our cheeses and charcuterie.
We continued along Saint John River towards Fredericton and stopped here for the evening. We went to sign up for a trial gym membership at a Goodlife Fitness (we needed a shower). We took our second warm shower of the trip and drove to the nearest Walmart parking lot to settle in with our fellow RV campers. There was even a couple from as far away as British Columbia!
The next morning started with a bacon egg mcmuffin breakfast and a nice big cup of coffee at McDonald’s. Leaving Quebec signified a change in our eating habits: a lot of fast food chains are entering our diets. We walked around downtown Fredericton, stopped by an outdoor gear shop, The Radical Edge and met Brian who gave us a list of hiking trails and unmarked routes to check out. We drove out to Cochrane Lane Cliffs to check out some climbing crags.
We got lost (didn’t have good reception) and were confused by many signs telling us not to trespass. Some of the climbing grounds here are part of the Canadian Military Base and requires us to get a pass from Range Control. The approach also brings us through a private farm with free roaming animals where we encountered a sheep and a horse enroute.
We headed to our next destination, Reversing Falls in Saint John, New Brunswick. Here, the Saint John River empties into the Bay of Fundy, where the rise and fall of its tides are the highest in the world (28 feet, 8.5 meters). The direction of water flow changes over the course of the tide cycle which takes 12 hours. During low tide, the river empties downstream into the Bay of Fundy and out to the Atlantic Ocean. The reverse (hence, the name) happens during high tide which is also when the rapids reach their peak.
After good coffee, we headed to the New Brunswick Museum for a private geology tour (because we were the only ones to sign up). We learned about each stage of the Earth’s formation, the types of bedrock created, and the fossils you might find from each period. I was surprised to learn about the geological diversity of New Brunswick, making it home to North America’s first Geopark.
Next, we drove to Carleton Mortello Tower, built as part of the defenses for the city of Saint John during the War of 1812. The funny part is that it wasn’t actually completed until after the war ended.