Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Out East 2011, Over to Nova Scotia

I left from the Middle.

From the Middle of the USA, to the Middle of the TransCanada Highway (hywy 17), to the Middle of Nova Scotia. From Latitude 45 in Door County to Latitude 45 in Nova Scotia

Leaving Friday about 6:30 AM and arriving in Porter’s Lake Provincial Park about 10 PM on Sunday. 42 hours of driving, and two rest stops. The first was at Samuel Champlain Provincial Park in Ontario, near Mattawa and Saturday night at a private camp near Bethel, Maine.

I stopped in East Orland, Maine to see if my old friends were still there. They owned the Whispering Pines Campground. My daughter and I first stayed there in August of 1998. We were on the road heading home and needed a place to stay…I had stumbled on an ad for them in Machias, Maine, called them up about 8:30 and they said just park alongside the house and pay in the morning as we would be arriving until later.. Anyway its was one of those places where you just feel at home…so we came back 6 more times over the span of 11 years.

Sandy and Dwight are retired now, getting ready the sell next year…hope the economy improves and they get a good price...

Porter Lake, NS. This is a brackish lake with a small tidal influence…8 to 10 inches.

I could just paddle here…don’t feel like driving much today.

Looking at the map, the bay near East Chezzetcook looked interesting, with islands and protected areas to paddle. So, I just followed the road that ran through the Town of E. Chezzetcook, south to Meisners Head at the mouth of Chezzetcook Inlet. There was a hiking trail and a beach, both on the seaside and the lakeside…again a trapped, brackish lake, like Porter Lake…was Meisners Lake. There were 3’ breaking waves on the beach…kids were surfing on knee boards.

I took a hike to the headland. I was a rough cobblestone trail…an ankle twister. Scrub spruce and cedar, washed and beat-up lobster traps lying around here and there. The headland was about 50 high of red dirt and gravel. To the west was a 100’+ headland…Story Bluff, with waves breaking at its base. I scared up a few cormorants and other birds…sorry, but I’m not a birder and didn’t have a close enough look to check it out in my book.

So back at the beach, the slope was gentle and thought I could launch there. The waves weren’t always breaking and weren’t steep. I Loaded the boat up and pushed out through the waves…was a blast, except the camera mounted on the rear deck flopped over, so I turned around and rode a wave back in to remount the camera, this time making sure I tightened up all the adjustment points. The kids on knee boards thought it was cool a kayak could surf. Launched again and headed to the bar near Meisners Head. I could feel some current pushing me around. The swells were about 3 or 4 feet, no breaking waves until they felt bottom, when they would rear up and break, so I stayed away from those areas. The boat felt lighter, more buoyant, being in salt water…I could feel a difference in how stable it was…slightly less as it was sitting higher. I guess that meant I could pack heavier gear if I was camping. I paddled around avoiding the breakers as I headed back to the launch. Ran a breaking wave right up the beach at full speed…that was a rush! Portaged over to Meisners Lake, thought I could wash off most of the salt and check out the Islands scattered around as well. At the east end of the lake of the lake, I pulled out and hiked along the seaside beach, finding more old lobster pots and fire pit remains from local parties. The waves were breaking on the rocky shore…It’s a change from fresh water…there is more power and it foams on the beach and the rocks or shore. Not that it is polluted…at home the site of foam on shore is a sure sign of pollution, but in the sea, here is natural.

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