The alarm went off at 5:45am. It was our last day in New Brunswick and the rental car needed to be returned by 9:00am, but not before one last drive to the place I’d been dying to see all along: the Hopewell Rocks.
We arrived at the provincial park just before 7:00am and parked the car by the side of the road. The place was closed and I knew it would be. There were no signs suggesting I couldn’t be there, but I still felt like a teenager tip-toeing in after curfew as I walked around the first barrier and then hopped over another chain to get into the park. I was relieved to see a photographer had also snuck in and was busy photographing the tide go out. I’m not one to break the rules, but this was my last chance to see the rocks and I wasn’t going to let the ‘hours of operation’ ruin it for me. I had come a long way! All the way from Ontario, to be precise. Besides, nature should be free for anyone to observe no matter what time of day, right?
As we walked through the forest and slowly made our way down to the seabed, we were greeted by this haze of gold streaming through the trees. Our timing was perfect.
The tide had just gone out exposing the ‘flowerpot’ rocks and granting us the freedom to roam the rocky seabed. Mounds of seaweed lay on the ground like seals basking under the sun. The landscape was out of this world. I felt as though I had washed ashore on the banks of some post-apocalyptic world with only a handful of survivors, each of them wandering in a daze.
When I got up that morning I had contemplated heading back to bed in my slumber; I’m so glad I drove out to the Bay of Fundy instead. The Hopewell Rocks were the highlight of my time in the Maritimes. And seeing the rocks at sunrise before the masses of tourist cared to venture in was priceless.
Tip: If you choose to visit the park outside its hours of operation, be sure to check the tide schedule! And should you loose track of time and find yourself trapped when the tide is rolling in – don’t despair, you will not be washed out to sea! Just find a rock above the moss line, sit tight for a few hours and enjoy the view. That’s what the signs say, anyway…
Have you visited the Hopewell Rocks?
What’s your favourite place in Maritime Canada?