Fort Amherst to Freshwater Bay

Hike post, as promised.

My friend Matthew is in town for the summer, and as we both had nothing to do Thursday, we took a hike. “I’ve never walked that trail,” said I, pointing across the harbour a few days earlier. “How about we do that one?”

So he made some sandwiches and I brought the date turnovers and we set out just after noon. The start of the trail is uphill. Very aggressively uphill. Like, I-hike-an-hour-up-Torbay-Road-every-day-and-I-ran-out-of-breath-three-steps-in-uphill. Just when you think you can’t go any higher, there’s more up. And then some more.

And at the top, for reasons unknown, there’s a little pond and a dam. We poked at it with some sticks, and parts of it are decently deep; it would probably make a nice little swimming hole.

Once you’ve gotten up on top of the Southside Hills, they’re a really nice spot for a stroll. We saw pink ladies’ slipper orchids all over the place, some whales, a beaver lodge, some moose and fox(?) tracks, bog cotton…

We even found this:

But there were no ducks.[1]

Eventually, the trail started angling downhill. We went along, stopping by a merry stream so picturesque it just cries out for a bunch of hobbits on a quest to splash through it.

There was a slight uptick post-stream, and then a lot of downhill. I started to get worried. My knees were starting to go a little wobbly, and my legs still had to carry me back home whenever we decided to turn around and convert the downhill back to an uphill (which I had been looking forward to not walking any more of that day). But there was an interesting-looking bay coming up, and it didn’t look sooo far away, and by now we were surely halfway down anyways, so we kept going. And going. And going. Three times along I thought to myself, “Okay, but we’re halfway down by now. We may as well keep on.” I think it was only the last time that I had accurately gauged the size of the hill.

Eventually, we came out of the trees, and ate the last sandwich on the cliffs overlooking what Google Maps assures me is Freshwater Bay.

There was a neat-looking barachois further up the bay, but we left it for another day. We’d done a lot of meandering and poking at things and sitting down for lunch (and second lunch, and threesies, and tea, and…) so it was getting late. (Also, the thought of going down, thereby adding even more up to our walk home, was making my legs quiver in terror.)

We got back, poked around the accessible parts of the fort, and got to the car just before the rain, which had been slowly marshalling forces all day, decided to come down.

[1] Incidentally, the latest series of Doctor Who is fabulously funny, creepy, and exhilarating. I am very happy with Mr. Moffatt and everyone else on their creative team. And I may very well burst of impatience and yearning before the Christmas Special.

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