It looks like I'm going to be doing these out of order. An order that is primarily based on how long it will take me to come up with a coherant answer for each one.jackspryte —
gave me the prompt;
A vivid and/or evocative description of the most beautiful/amazing/awe inspiring place/space you've been to/in.
I decided on my answer to this one when I was looking at a friend's FB post about places they had visited in Canada and it mentioned this location.
A whole bunch of years ago Axel and I were invited to a friend's wedding in Maine. When we were making our plans around that we decided that we would extend our vacation after the event, drive North into New Brunswick and check out some of the east coast provinces, since neither of us had ever been there before. We did that and spent several days tooling around the coast taking pictures of covered bridges and boats at low tide, eating fresh seafood and being completely touristy.
There were a few places that were on our short-list of things to see while we were out there, and the Bay of Fundy was on that list. So we found a campsite near the park, set up our tent and pulled out a schedule that we had picked up at some rest stop along the way to figure out what time we should show up at the park in the morning. It said that the low tide was going to happen at 11am. Only it also mentioned that low-tide happens twice in a 24-hour period. It was currently around 10 pm.
It took some doing for Axel to convince me that it was a good idea for the two of us to go roaming around on a unfamiliar shore in the pitch black all by ourselves but somehow he talked me into it. The gates were locked so we had to leave our car on the side of the road that leads in and climb over a fence to get into the park. There is a walk along a wooded trail that is quite short to get to the stairs that go down the cliff, it seemed like miles
in the dark. I was still half-convinced that we were going to end up on some Darwin Awards website and Axel kept taunting me by turning the flashlight off. I finally made him stop by saying the word "bears" at him. I was glad I did; we didn't see any bears but we did spot the world's biggest toad sitting in the middle of the path and I would have been very sad to have stepped on him.
If you have never been to the Bay of Fundy, it's an inlet between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and it happens to be the site of the highest tides in the world. We were in a provincial park on the New Brunswick side where they have built wooden staircases that take tourists down the 15-metre cliffs to walk around on the shore when the tide is out. So we climbed down the stairs and walked around what is essentially part of the ocean floor.
There was no moon at all that night so it was pitch black. There were also no clouds so we could see the rocks above us as black shapes against the backdrop of dense stars. The mud was sticky and sucked at my feet with every step and everything stank of brine. If I put my hand on the rocks I could feel spiky barnacles and slippery seaweed. We could hear the water lapping at the sand just a few yards away and the deeper ocean noises off in the distance. And of course the sound of our feet squelching through the mud.
It's hard to explain what it was like walking around down there. The inlet is wide enough that the sky above us seemed to stretch to the horizon. It was one of those nights where the air is so clear that if you focus on a cluster of stars for a few minutes your eyes suddenly realize that the dark patches between them are full of even more, even fainter stars. And etched against that background is the pure black shape of the flowerpot rocks. I felt incredibly tiny and ephemeral.
We walked around in the dark for about half an hour before we decided to head back. We ended up taking a slightly different path through the woods and promptly got lost but Axel "Country Boy" Johnston managed to guide us back to the road and we found our car easily from there. We went back during the day of course and did some mucking about on the ocean floor in full daylight with the other tourists. We took a bunch of pictures and were able to see the parts of the inlet that you can't walk around on because they are nesting areas. It was gorgeous and it was fun and it didn't have a tenth of impact of walking around down there in the middle of the night.
My sense of direction is hopeless if you take me out of an urban environment.
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