An Exploration Roadtrip

It all started with a class project and my bucketlist.  Isn’t that how most adventures start?  Someone looking for a good excuse to explore?  Well, Lena’s assignment of ‘find a special rock’ meant I offered up a road trip to Scot’s Bay, somewhere I’ve been wanting to go because I’ve heard wonderful things about it and the rocks you can find there.  Kill two birds with one stone, right?

The plan was that we would get up bright and early on the Sunday of the long weekend and head down.  Slight change in plan meant I was taking Lena and her classmate, Hannah opted out of this one to stay with her friend for the day.  So, Abbie spent the night and we hit the road at 8.  I had also made arrangements to meet up with my non-axe-murderer roommate from my weekend at White Point Beach Resort { you can read about that HERE and HERE } at Scot’s Bay, too.

At 11 o’clock, we rolled into the parking lot, we were greeted by sunshine and wind and a sweeping beach that went on for what seemed like miles.  The girls ran off to start looking for their special rocks and I wandered along, looking down and not really knowing what I was looking for.  But I saw someone who did look as though they knew what they were looking for.  I spotted a gentleman along the waterline, stick in hand, sack over his shoulder.  I approached him and we started chatting.  Yes, he sure did know what he was doing and he was happy to teach me a thing or two about what to look for at Scot’s Bay.  If the rocks are wet, it makes it easier to spot the waxy looking ones, which are the agate and he collects them to polish in a tumbler which takes up to 7 weeks!  Apparently he belongs to a group that does this and offers tours, does class trips and everything!  I really did find the expert!

I loved geology in school and seeing the rocks and hearing him talk about the area and where you can find amethyst, made me thankful we had made the trip.  The girls found some rocks, probably nothing worth anything more than the memories attached to them.  But it was fun to explore.

There was crazy amounts of driftwood and fishing rope along the high water line.  Someone had even taken the time to create a sculpture of sorts along the shore with all the litter, which was cool but also a reminder of just how much garbage there is laying around our beautiful beaches.  Ugh.

Lunch eaten, it was time to say our goodbyes to Tracy and her son Cole, who made this part of our day even better.  There’s nothing like chatting with a friend at a picnic table with the sun shining.  We piled our rocks in the car and hit the road, off to do some more exploring….although our next stop wasn’t far down the road – the Look-Off!

The valley is so amazing.  Especially when you can take its patchwork of colour in from a vista like the Look-Off.  We spotted a fire, horses, loads of tractors working the land, and the rows of apple trees in full bloom.  I loved that the girls each wanted to capture the view on their i-things, made me think that exploring is a fun part of childhood, even if you’re 10.  Lena even made one of her picture her wallpaper. 🙂

I hate to even admit that our next stops were places I have never been and they’re surprisingly close to home.  I’ve seen the sign on the highway for Walton Lighthouse and Burntcoat Head Park.  But I’ve never been.  Guys, you need to go.  Seriously!  Both are amazing places.  How often to you get to climb to the top of, not one, but two lighthouses!  When we were there the tide was going out, so the sea floor stretched out for such a long way.  The coastline is jagged and rough, trees cling to the bank and the evidence of the years of pounding surf apparent.

Walton Lighthouse is perched on the bank and after exploring there, we wanted to go down to the bottom.  I wasn’t sure how to do that, it was a twisty little road without a shoulder and any obvious way down.  But I spotted a little lane that headed down, so I pulled the car in, hoping I was going to be able to easily get out later.  We hopped out of the car and headed down the rocks to what we thought was sand….but, nope, it was goopy mud.  Pretty typical for the Fundy Bay.  So we wandered along the rocky shore, staying out of the mud, and found the best rocks of the day.  They were worn in the most amazing ways from the continued exposure to the water.  Buried in some were crystals, some had deep grooves, some looked like they were striped.  It was amazing.  Each one unique, each one seeming to tell its own story.  The girls loaded up their arms and pockets until they could carry no more.  I admit I took a few home with me, too.

Our next stop was suppose to be Burntcoat Head Park, but along the way, we spotted the most amazing cemetery that was covered in phlox that were in perfect bloom!  It was stunning, we had to stop.  And take pictures.  Because, well, how could I not?  I love old cemeteries, they are so scenic and captivating.  I wasn’t sure if the girls would get out of the car, they don’t quite get the draw I have to some locations and the need to photograph them.  But they got out and took their i-things with them to take pictures, too.  Another win for mom 😉

Burntcoat Head Park is a must see if you live in Nova Scotia.   I had no idea.  None.  Never have I been there { that I recall anyway } but I can’t wait to go with Michael and the girls.  It’s incredible.  The tide was still out, so we were able to go down and walk around the island { flowerpot? } and explore the ocean floor there, too.  Seriously, you need to go but wear shoes that have traction and that can get muddy, it’s pretty slick in spots.  And again, there is the lighthouse you can explore, too, climbing way up into the top and getting an amazing view of the whole area.

I thought our exploring was done for the day.  I thought the girls would be bored with seeing these parks and exploring the shore.  But, no, at the next park, Anthony Park, they definitely wanted to go check it out.  So, out we hopped and walked to the end of the pier.  With the tide out, the pier stretches over the muddy flats, but when the tide is in, it would be so completely different.  We need to do our route when the tide is in, just as a comparison.  Tides along the Bay of Fundy are so extreme – so low and so high.  I guess that’s why we’re world-renowned for our tides.  😉

And they still weren’t done!  Next stop was the centre in Maitland and walked down the old rail bed to the pier over the Shubenacadie River.  We checked the tidal bore table to see when it would be coming in, but waiting until 9:30 that night didn’t sound like a good plan to me…the girls were game…

On the way out, they noticed a thick cluster of dandelions and gleefully stomped and kicked their way through.  I managed to salvage a few to try to get them to blow them….do you ever out grow that?  I certainly hope not.  That wonder, the awe and the fun of just exploring, I hope they never lose that.

We fell into bed, happy and tired, just the way you should be on a long weekend night!  I just hope the girls can decide on one rock to take to school to present to the class out of their bucketful 😉

To be continued,


  • Ruth Ann Swansburg - May 25, 2017 - 7:17 am

    What a beautiful adventure! Thank you for sharing. So much fun exploring the natural beauty around you. They will remember that day and have those memories to cherish for the rest of their lives. Now to start figuring out if I can get my family up early enough to venture that way from Moncton 😉ReplyCancel

    • - May 26, 2017 - 5:59 am

      It’s great to be able to explore with willing children!! 😉ReplyCancel

  • Beth - June 3, 2017 - 11:38 am

    Love the “back story” on those rocks they shared with our class. Such a treat to see the photos that go along with this day trip 😊.
    We lived in East Hants for 17 years…isn’t the Noel Shore beautiful?ReplyCancel