Friday, May 19, 2017

Miramichi and Bathurst 

I woke up to the sounds of the birds as the sun was just starting to rise. It was so gorgeous outside that even though I was still sleepy I got up and sat out on the rocks by the water for awhile. When I went back to the bus I expected Michael to be up but even the dogs were still sound asleep. I climbed back into bed and stole an extra hour of sleep before finally sitting up and having coffee in bed with a view of the the waters edge. As I cleaned up Michael took the dogs out along the beach and then we were off up the road to find a nice hiking trail. We stopped at one that looked promising alongside a river. At first we stuck to the wide trail that I'm sure was the designated one us tourists were supposed to use. The smell of the pines put a smile on my face immediately and Melkie raced ahead happy to be on an adventure again. We were a little disappointed when the trail didn't follow the river like we had thought as so we turned around to head down the trail in the opposite direction. This time the trail stayed too close to the road for comfort but I had spotted a narrow pine needle path (the kind that I like best) and soon we were racing down the path towards the river. The dogs were in heaven and were soon both swimming around. As we followed the narrow trail it took us out to a grassy area and within seconds Michael had found a tick on him. We turned around but it was too late, for the rest of the day we kept finding ticks. We spray our dogs with a natural tick deterrent but one of the disadvantages of this is that instead of the ticks latching onto the dogs, they use our dogs as carriers and end up crawling on us. It is gross but I've dealt with worse on the Appalachian Trail. Michael on the other hand has not ever had to deal with this and is totally creeped out by the nasty little bugs. It's hard not to laugh at him shaking everything out and checking some part of his body every couple of minutes like he has fleas or something. Anyway, we piled back on the bus and made one last stop in the park for Michael to try his hand at fishing again. He didn't catch anything but it gave me a chance to get a few things done on the bus before continuing along the coast to Miramichi. By chance we found the entrance to Middle Island Historical Park and decided to check it out. Not knowing any of the history of the place as we drove up it just looked like the perfect island park with lots of paths, perfect for taking the dogs for a walk. It turns out that this island was used as a detainment camp for some of the Irish immigrants fleeing from the potato famine in the 1840's. Sometimes there was so much sickness on the ships that captains would look for the closest port to let people off at. This is how the Irish ended up on Middle Island sick and badly in need of help. They had to stay on the island until they were healthy enough to leave. The park displayed information about specific incidents and of a doctor who went to help on the island and ended up getting sick and dying there. Today Miramichi is proud of its Irish heritage and its water tower claims that it is "Canada's Irish Capitol." I enjoyed stopping at the park but I feel like the historical facts presented were a little white washed compared to what the reality probably was (we looked up a few things online as we left Miramichi and found a few different historical facts). Maybe the story about all those families being forced out of their homes back at Kouchibouguac is making me question the information displayed at the park today. I was questioning things a little more as we picked up a hitchhiker on our way to Bathurst who told us about Brunswick Mines and what happened after the mines closed. I can't verify his story because I couldn't find anything online to back it up but that doesn't mean that what he told us isn't true. He said that after the mine closed someone who was into garbage disposal bought the mine and used it to store garbage. He warned us not to drink the water as it is contaminated. The mine closed in 2013, you would think that by now people would know better than to throw garbage into a mineshaft, wouldn't you? Anyway the drive to Bathurst was nice (I was driving) and although there were still hills they are more rounded out with more flat sections than we have seen in days. The trees don't grow quite as tall and there were huge sections of forest that entirely consisted of birch trees. I have never seen so many birch in the same place in all my life! It was pretty! As we dropped off our guest, he told us where we could park for the night and his suggestion was great! Bathurst is the last big town we will be in for awhile and maybe we should have taken advantage of the restaurants or the laundromat (we decided we didn't want our clothes washed in potentially contaminated water) but instead we went for a long walk along the waterfront through the good and bad parts of town and made it back to the bus in time to beat the amazing wind/rain and thunderstorm that hit. As we are updating our journals now lightning is lighting up the sky. Good night World!

1 comment:

  1. apparently peppermint is good to draw out ticks, I'm wondering if it's a good deterrant as well?
    Have fun!