First Cascade on Moosehorn Trail, Bay of Fundy National Park
I took more than 500 photographs on my trek to Nova Scotia and home again. In this age of digital camera’s, that’s probably not much, but I still remember when I counted out my pennies calculating the cost of 36 pictures, 1 roll of film plus processing and printing. I was/am miserly about that. Now, after the initial outlay for the physical device (the camera), one picture costs about the same as 200, and money (or lack thereof) is no longer a deterrent to copious photographs, a calculation I reminded myself of many times on my travels far from home.
Views of Moosehorn upriver and downriver, Bay of Fundy National Park
But 500 photographs is a lot of images to inflict on anyone, including myself. 500 stuffed into a computer file, unsorted, unedited, is useless and unseen at best, mind-numbingly boring at worst (I still recall sitting for one excruciatingly long hour watching someone’s endless video of icebergs floating by (there were five more hours of the same which we declined to watch)). So I’m whittling my pile down into tiny bite-sized chunks.
One of the many beautiful spillways on route along the Moosehorn River Trail
This is the hike from Moosehorn to Laverty Falls. The two trails make a lovely day-hike loop that is pleasant, but strenuous enough to satisfy one’s exercise needs—7.5km of varied terrain from easy flats to rocky scrambles. But I was mostly looking forward to the pool at Laverty Falls. Every time I asked about swimming in the ocean, the answer, repeatedly, was yes you can, but it’s really cold; you should hike to Laverty Falls, where there is a pool just below a curtains fall--it’s a popular swimming hole.
Randy watching the Moosehorn waters rushing down river towards the sea.
Long before we reached the falls (or heard its roar) we could hear shrieks and screams, which let me know that we were a) getting close, and b) the water would be exactly as warm and welcoming as I expected a deep forest river pool to be.
The famous swimming hole below Laverty Falls, a curtain falls with a deep pool below (me on the left).
Which means eyeball freezing cold. Now if you’ve never jumped into really cold water, this may need some explanation. If you are like me, your relationship with your eyeballs is one of comfortable ignorance. I don’t normally think about them, nor do I associate any presence from them. They are there, doing their job, sending signals regarding light and motion to my brain, and otherwise they hum along in the background un-noticed.
Now, there’s Laverty Falls. It’s September, the pool is dark deep and shady. The river runs through a forest. I had a clue. I found a sandy entry so I could go in toe first, one toe at a time, but eventually, I was bobbing in the current, and no matter how cold it is, it just does not count as swimming until my hair is wet. And so, I ducked under the water, and WOW, suddenly I am fully and completely aware of every square millimetre of my eyeballs, and they are NOT happy. That is the meaning of eyeball freezing cold. It was also chest collapsing cold (when the water is so cold it feels like someone put a giant vice about your chest, and sit shivering in the sun for an hour while you eat lunch cold. In short, it was pretty darn cold, maybe the coldest water I’ve ever been in, although Burnt Rock Pool, on the Agawa River (Lake Superior) might be a tie (another deep forest pool). But this pool had a curtain falls, and a ledge where you could sit under the jets and get a super jacuzzi combination hair wash (better than shampoo!) and stunning fairy-tale scenery. So I stayed in (and out) a long time. There were the sunny rocks to warm up on (sort of), and the current to swim against, and the deep brown water that tasted beautifully sweet, and, well, it was just screaming good fun to play in and around a waterfall.
Jacuzzi time, the most luxurious accommodations in the forest if you don’t mind the temperatures.
The remains of lunch, one granny smith, and two little Bay of Fundy roadside apples, plucked from an overhanging tree (there are many). The puddle is a perfect example of a river carved drill hole, a completely natural creation through time.
And then we had a lunch of crunchy granola bars and apples at the top the falls, where I shivered (dry and fully dressed) in the sun, followed by a return trip through the woods up a gentle but steady slope that did warm me up thoroughly.
It was one the most memorable (and fun) swims I’ve ever had.