I wanted to meet my father’s cousin from Fredericton, NB. My last visit from him was when I was about 12 years old. He came to visit my aunt Peg, his grandfather and my family. Then, he signified all the cool things about being grown up. He laughed, talked about Ski-doos, camping, and fishing. He and his brother even had candy branded with wrappers I’d never seen. He was very nice and his ways lured my interest North even way back then.
By last-minute phone I agreed to have Gordon and Jackie come to meet us for breakfast in the grandeur of Canada’s Fundy National Park. Each of us alone could have been loquacious but all squeezed into the Tramper (4 at the dinette, Gordon, Jackie, J-P, Anne, then Jane and I on the mini camping bench at the head) made for a laughing, warm time with real Pennsylvania ?, maple syrup and a pace that none of really thought about. After such a relaxed breakfast, both sets of guests were left with time for only a “little nature hike”. Dickson Falls provided a stupendously beautiful spot. Not a huge falls, but hugely beautiful. My biggest treat was stepping back, taking pictures and picturing people gaining the intended benefit of a park. All were ambling gently around, each pointing at their own sense of what to notice, chatting and being people with a shared, communal smile. Anyone who designs or preserves parks would be happy celebrating the scene.
Perhaps my most reassuring moments were Gordon talking about his life style. He takes no medications, lives in that unplanned, but willing way of allowing good moments into your day. I won’t say his age, but at my 51, if I get to stay active and enjoy like he, I will celebrate a life of more than I expect or deserve. Gordon’s inspiration to my youth continues today as he Lives every day seemingly without concern nor plans for what he should be doing. He golfs regularly, almost daily. Exercises on a “Healthrider” every day (maybe only 5 minutes in good weather, but more through the deep Canada Winter).
After our brief hike our visitors had to get going their ways. Jane and I said some sad goodbyes, Thanksgiving here is tomorrow, so it seems they all have commitments. We drove off on the small bumpy highway 114 to let our decisions make themselves for the day. I lazily thought, its cold, let’s leave the bikes in the truck (it takes about 5 minutes to get them out and reassemble them) and do a hike. We did notice a trail on the map listed as “mountain biking” though and as we parked at Bennett Brook, decided to ride. Overall the trail was 5.3 kilometers in to arrive at the confluence of Bennett Brook and the Pointe Wolfe River. It started as a “lawn”, a mowed trail wide enough for a 4 wheeler, transistioned into some nice root/rocky mt. biking, then a fine blasting tree-line old road down to a point where no bikes were allowed. It made sense as we hiked (hiding our bikes up in the woods above the trail) down some very tight and twisty switchbacks. We descended steeply through mossy, ferny, nice places to find the ford below.
The ridges and hike probably dropped ~1000 feet into the valley. A nice middle to our Brick of Bike, Hike, Bike.
The only problem was hiking difficult trails with the cleated, slippery bike shoes. Caution was the theme and no injuries or falls occurred . The green beauty gave us rewards for our crawl-pace, near tip-toe hike in bike shoes that anyone who has ever walked in such could identify with.