After exiting the road from Economy Falls, I feel relieved to be on solid pavement, but the short hike had just whetted my appetite, leaving me wanting more. With the Five Islands Provincial Park not open till June, I decide to check out the recommendation from the lady at the gas station in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. “I like to hike on the rocky shore trails of Thomas Cove,” she had said. Sounds like my kind of place. I just hope the road is more travelled.
I only have a name, not an address, and I keep my eyes trained on each approaching sign. The Thomas Cove Ecotour sign is posted at the start of Economy Point Road and I make the left. Yikes another dirt road. This one is wide and well maintained. A few hollowed-out potholes, but nothing to make me surrender. Five minutes more, I have backed into a spot, donned my coat, picked up my camera and walked to the first trail head — I choose it because it’s grassy and wants wear.
Soggy leaves lay decaying on the path. The smell of composting earth mingles with the familiar briny fish odour of the Atlantic and I breathe it in deeply to get its full effect. Using my best footwork I hop from a rock to a dry grassy patch then onto a stump to avoid a muddy area, and continue this rhythm of sashaying and tango-stepping to keep my tootsies dry.
I arrive at high ground with a view to the mud flats (feature image). A excellent depiction of how current and wind thrive here. A little yellow bird shelters in the branches of a young sapling on a nurse log. I hear voices and then rounding the corner, two young ladies with day packs and colourful winter hats come into view. “Hello!” I greet them. “Can you tell me, is this a loop trail or return trail?” The tall blonde lady with a Scandinavian accent says, “It is both, it loops around the point but rejoins this path you return on. It is very pretty, we enjoyed it.”
I follow the path deeper into the forest, till it meanders back along the estuary. A sphagnum bog is a graveyard of dead trees, their bleached gray trunks standing like headstones.
Creaking of timber giving way in the breeze interrupts the silence. I head left to follow a brook carving its way along a hill flowing towards the ocean. I cross the wooden bridge to the other side where the trail, and my desire to continue, fade simultaneously.
I snap a few photos and then head back along the way I came until I get turned around momentarily at a fallen tree I don’t remember stepping over and I backtrack to the main trail. I check my watch, pursing my lips together. The hour I spent here was not long enough but it was all I had to give today. Sadly, I have reached the end of my journey along Cape Chignecto and the Minas Basin and although I know there is a great deal I missed I look forward to my next adventure somewhere in the Maritime provinces. To sum up my trip I blended phrases from two Robert Frost poems together
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