Thursday, July 17 to Sunday, July 20
On Thursday we spent most of the day in and out of the Moncton hospital, visiting with my Mom. She was waiting to have a simple medical procedure completed, but delays kept her there for the day. During the afternoon rest period, Jenn went out with my Dad for a scenic drive along the upper part of the Bay of Fundy. There's some nice coastal scenery in this area, including several signs that we were again in the place of the world's highest tides: extensive mud flats, weirdly shaped rocks (at Hopewell Rocks, which we didn't stop to examine because the tide was too high), and the world famous tidal bore (which again we did not see because it was the wrong point during the tide cycle).
We stopped at Cape Enrage, a scenic outcropping of land where there is a lighthouse station atop a 150-foot high cliff. And even though my Dad had spent most of his nearly 88 years in New Brunswick, he had never visited here before. So, something new for everyone! In any case, a nice diversion from sitting in a hospital room all day.
With my mom's procedure completed, she was being released the next morning. We had a take-out chinese dinner with my cousin Allan, then we headed east to a spot north of Shediac, NB. My Aunt and Uncle's, Ben and Lorine, have had a cottage on the shore at nearby Cassie Cape for many, many years, and they graciously invited my Dad, Jenn and I to spend the night there. We had a most pleasant chat with them before heading off to a nice, quiet sleep.
The next morning, we went to pick up my mom in Moncton, then headed north to my hometown of Bathurst, stopping again at the cottage to pick up some forgotten items. There's not much more to say about our stay in Bathurst -- quiet, uneventful, and filled with some tasty food.
We left for Ottawa on Sunday, July 20. We left very early because we wanted to cap off our highpointing adventures with a full triple-play of all maritime highpoints, and Mt Carleton, the highpoint of New Brunswick, was an easy and scenic hike that required a short 10km detour from our drive back to Ottawa. Unfortunately, it was not to be. When we arrived at the Mt Carleton Park gate at 6am, it was closed. Strange. Then, a man got out of the nearby park building and walked over, curtly telling us that the park was closed and we'd have to wait until 8am. period. We couldn't wait two hours and still be back in Ottawa at a reasonable time, so we had to turn around. I was pretty angry. The park brochure online and related website says NOTHING about opening or closing hours. And not only that, virtually every large natural park in the world doesn't bar it's gates during non-operating hours. It all seemed pretty arbitrary and rigid.
As a result of NB Parks' infinite wisdom and judgement, we got a very early head start on our trip back to Ottawa, and arrived mid-afternoon. All in all, a pretty successful and varied journey!