Baie Vert

I was hoping to be surprised by a trip around Baie Verte to where New Brunswick meets Nova Scotia at Tidnish. I was hoping it might be like rounding the Cape Horn where we might discover some bird found only there, or that the customs were strange and exotic.

The only strange thing we found was a woman sitting in what looked like a toll booth with a Do Not Disturb sign on her door. No doubt she was “eccentric” and “intriguing” but she just looked silly sitting in that re-sided toll booth. And she wasn’t even in New Brunswick.

marshWhat we saw was a lot of marsh. Baie Verte is a small, narrow bay which means the shores don’t take the kind of pounding needed for beach so there were only a handful of places where the water was accessible. We were determined to find something so we explored a couple of them.

Mason Beach was a cottage village hidden in the woods much like Treasure Island (Surrette Island) up the coast near Cocagne. What these wooded points of land have in common is that they seem like secret hideouts, like the forts my friends and I would build in the alders near our home when I was a kid. 

sign post on beach road

I can see the appeal of these hideaways, though living in such close proximity with your neighbors—the cottages in these places are always packed close toether—is not for us. But we all need something different to keep our lives balanced. Hidden away in the trees with a group of people is probably good for some people.

Hicks Beach up the road, on the other hand, was almost treeless, with dead end roads running every which way. We were pursued by a backhoe the whole time we were there. He was repairing potholes and everywhere we turned he was either in front coming at us or coming up behind. We might have gotten out and explored but I’m sure anywhere we parked would have been in his way. Each time he passed us he had a friendly smile and wave for us.

In between these two beaches is Port Elgin. This village is like so many villages these days. Prosperity, centralization and improved roads have meant anything that holds a community together has been sucked away to places like Moncton. Standing in a parking lot by the bridge we looked around and saw nothing to draw us to explore. If we asked around I’m sure someone would have told us, “That’s where the mayor used to live and that’s where the bank was. That was the pub.” There was a beautiful bed and breakfast, the Veranda, but why would we stay? What would we do? Port Elgin, like so many small communities has been reduced to being a suburb.large old house across a small body of water