My bother and I planned for another day with nature this weekend… it is something we make time for on a regular basis.
Work is bliss, satisfying and gratifying. It pays the bills. However… nature is alive, something real, something fresh. Time outdoors is like hitting a recharge button. A balance of work and life is pretty important to us. We work so we can play longer and further into life.
Recently, the days have been long and the nights longer. Lots to do and lots going on in the world of “EH”.
Many hours are filled with working with our advertisers, growing Canadaeh.net and expanding into the Central, Eastern and Atlantic Canada. This blog has followed much of our story most of the way. We have posted our adventures while exploring in the wilderness, our visits with communities and our challenges to becoming the largest network of travel and adventure websites in Western Canada.
But yesterday, like every week, we planned for some “ME” time and bonding time with the outdoors. Instead of building websites about nature, tourism, travel and adventure we planned to live it for another day.
Yesterday we packed up the jeep, the canoe, photo and video gear and some fishing rods. The plan was to lose the pavement and to dive head first into the forests via the extensive gravel road network available to us in the province.
We explored the coastal paved roads first by taking the back way to our forest destination. The paved sightseeing route led us to Little Lepreau and a 1910 covered wooden bridge and the Hanson Stream Reservoir. Next we looped around the harbours from Maces Bay to Dipper Harbour to Chance Harbour back up to Musquash. Behind Musquash was the Lock Alva Protected Provincial Area and the Lepreau River Provincial Wildlife Area.
New Brunswick is rich in forests and wildlife. Throughout the woodlands there is a massive selection of remote pristine lakes, reservoirs and wetlands to explore. Some waterways connect together creating amazing paddle routes. There are many massive tracts of forests, lakes and rivers separating communities. These forests are home to wildlife sightings like moose and bear. These forests are accessed by a massive network of backcountry gravel roads and trails.
The gravel roads include active logging roads, deactivated logging roads and off road trails. The off road trails are used for ATVing, horseback riding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. In the backcountry you can only go as far as the logging roads will take you. Which is still really far. However to dig deeper into the remote wilderness one must slim down on transportation and travel the smaller off road trails.
Bro and I made a dent into the wilderness region near Lepreau, New Brunswick which is close to Saint John. We drove about 10 kilometres into the wilderness via the gravel roads. The route dipped and dived into the heart of the forests passing by rivers, lost lakes, reservoirs and marshes. At the very end of our road we arrived at 7 Mile Lake. The road for us ended but the road did continue for anyone with an ATV or horse.
7 Mile Lake was our stop. The lake is long and full of islands, coves and fish. We were going to paddle it and, possibly, fish it. And to make things even better we had the whole lake to ourselves. On this day there was no one else playing in the playground. The lake was void of humans. It was just us, the lake and the sun. It was a thing of beauty – the fact you can go out into the wilderness and find your own lake… your own little piece of paradise.
We set out in the canoe – lock, stock and barrel – loaded up, ready and willing. The conditions were OK. The sun was shining and the skies were painted blue. That was good. However, the wind was moody, pushing south. That was bad. There was a wind tunnel coming down the centre of the lake playing havoc with the waves which were showing signs of frustration with frothing white caps.
We decided to paddle into the wind while we had lots of energy. From our experience we know that at the end of the day, after a long paddle, is not the best time to paddle back home against the wind.
We were on the lake for about 6-7 hours. During the day we tried to stay near the shore and paddle behind the islands so to be protected from the moody winds and wind tunnel. Here and there we would cross the river to access other islands and fishing lanes. We paddled like machines – the paddles stroked the water like a knife cutting into melted butter. It was music to our ears…. splash, swoosh, silence… splash, swoosh, silence… splash, swoosh, silence. It was almost machine-like.
Hiding in and out of coves was so peaceful and soothing. We found a large rock oven perched on the shores of the lake from what looked like a campsite. We made a dry landing and snacked on a rocky coastline. We set up a fishing line in the water only to catch a mitt full of weeds and reeds. We floated motionless untouched by winds and currents.
In the sky we saw a peregrine falcon. A little later a loon’s haunting cries captured our attention. It floated by us surfing with the current. Its haunting cries echoed, one after the other, bouncing off all four corners of the lake. To this day I still say the loon has one of the best bird calls in the Canadian birding world.
Outside the protected coves we were at the mercy of the currents and winds. We floated down the lake for miles and then we would paddle against the wind back up to our favorite cove. It seemed we would paddle up to the end of the lake and then let the current drag us back… then we would paddle up the lake again and then float back… it was an endless cycle of activity and relaxation.
New Brunswick is so much more than the Bay of Fundy. All Day I kept asking myself why they do not better market the province as an off road destination with sightseeing tours using there gravel roads and lake and river systems. The locals all travel them why not develop an industry around them.
Expand your understanding of New Brunswick and discover a new world of adventure. Did you know that New Brunswick had such an excellent selection of backcountry roads? Most unlikely unless you are a local. Did you know that the backcountry roads access thousands of lakes and rivers creating adventures like fishing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, camping, horseback riding, boating and birdwatching? I bet you not.
Did you know New Brunswick has excellent paved driving routes with a large selection of heritage and historic covered wooden bridges? Did you now New Brunswick has a beautiful coastline of rocky cliffs, sandy beaches, coves and islands. Did you know New Brunswick was more than just the Bay of Fundy. I bet you know now.
Cannot wait to share the whole New Brunswick experience with you on our upcoming New Brunswick eh Travel and Adventure Website.