We hesitantly packed up camp in Maine, knowing we needed to head north into Canada. We had to be in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in a week to pick up an arriving guest and wanted to do some exploring enroute. Our sights were set on the Bay of Fundy National Park, about a half days’ drive from Mount Desert Island, ME.
This would be our first border crossing with our trailer, food, gear and Hudson. We weren’t entirely sure what to expect, but we were prepared for a worst case scenario of human and dog food confiscation, exact details of our every stop while in Canada, when exactly we’d be returning to the US, a full inspect and dissection of our trailer, bags and camping equipment… I half expected them to make me unfold our rooftop tent! Once we arrived at the border near Saint Stephen, NB, we quickly gave the first boarder agent our rundown and were quickly directed to pull our 4Runner and trailer over to the inspection area. “Here we go!” was our thought. After some confusion on what was deemed our misunderstanding, not their lack of instruction, we made our way into the main building and began an odd conversation with another agent. He asked what we did for a living, and, apparently “We took some time off work to travel around the US and Canada for an undetermined amount of time and we don’t have a home.” is not a satisfactory answer. This must have led the agent to think we were coming into Canada to squat and mooch off the Canadian Government’s social system or maybe we were possibly preemptively immigrating due to the inevitable election of one of two very horrible candidates running for U.S. President. Regardless of his exact thought process, we were asked to provide some sort of “proof” that we wouldn’t be illegally staying in Canada. After providing bank statements the agent hesitantly moved onto the next step of investigating our equipment.
We proceeded back out to the 4Runner and trailer, unlocked all the doors, ensured that there were no sharp object or syringes and then sat on the grass while the agent rummaged through our trailer. I do believe one saving grace from a thorough dissection of our gear and a tent pop was the fact that the agent was so enamored with our trailer. He repeatedly exclaimed how “awesome” it was and continued to ask questions about the trailer that weren’t pertinent to his inspection. At one point he finally asked: “Am I going to find any grass in here?” After explaining we were more hipster than hippy he quickly concluded his inspection, told us we did exceed the amount of beer and wine aloud in (but was going to let that slide as we were living out of our trailer), gave us a few tips for the next time we crossed a Canadian border and let us go our way. All in all, our time at the border only set us back 45 minutes and we learned how we could quicken the process at our next border crossing.
We finally arrived at our campsite late evening, set up camp and headed to the small town of Alma to eat dinner at a great little restaurant called Octopuses Garden. The next morning we headed further up to Hopewell, intent on walking on the bay floor in and around the Hopewell Rocks. The Bay of Fundy is one of the longest bays in the world which makes the tides rising’s and lowering’s much greater than other bays and shorelines. Hopewell Rocks is a unique section of the shoreline within the bay wherein over time the rising and lowing of the tide has shaped some fascinating pillars and arches along the cliffside. At high tide these rocks are mostly covered and look like little pods or islands and at low tide you can see them in full form, touching the bottom of the bay.
That afternoon we set our sights on a small trail along a creek that had several waterfalls along its’ way toward the Bay of Fundy. The trail was quite busy and as usual Hudson was the celebrity he always is with many people complimenting his looks and well behaved demeanor (if they only knew.) Hudson also managed to snag himself a blueberry bagel hidden in a hole along the creek. Initially, Crystal was convinced it was some poor rodent, turned away and couldn’t bare to watch Hudson chomp down this old stale bagel. I, myself, was in complete laughter over Hudson’s find and Crystal reaction.
We meandered further down the trail and found a waterfall all to ourselves. Hudson and I decided to jump in for a refreshing swim as the day was hot. After an exhausting day we made our way back to camp, ate dinner and crashed in the tent.
The next morning, we did some chores around camp (mostly laundry) and went for a small hike along the bays shoreline forest. That afternoon we returned to Hopewell Rocks at high tide to get a glimpse of the rocks covered by water. From the small platforms there’s not much to see and since we had Hudson kayaking around them wasn’t an option, but it was interesting to see how high the tide came up so deep in the bay.
The next morning we packed up camp and headed north. We had a campsite reserved just outside Halifax, Nova Scotia where we were going to stay for two nights before picking up our guest and continuing on with our adventure thereafter... The Rock, as some Canadians call it.