Monday, August 18, 2008

Hot Rocks

Hopewell Rocks is to the East Coast what the Sea Stacks of Washington State are to the West Coast. Large rugged chunks of rock that time and water and other effects of erosion have failed to pull down into the mighty sea that surrounds them. They are “curious” in part because they are so rare and unique; but there is something symbolic about their resistance to chance that draws us to them as well. Here in New Brunswick, where the tidal change is extreme, yet another element of magic is added to the viewing on the rocks- the fact that sometimes they actually “rise up” out of the water and permit a brief exploration up close and personal. Before you do that, though, there are a few things you need to know: first, the real time (synchronize your watches, y’all), second, the time the tide will be out and the time it will return and, third, the time by which you MUST return to the pillar of steps that brings you back up from the beach. Since the tide comes in FAST- rising 6 feet per hour- getting stranded on the beach and away from the only return route would not be good! That’s six VERTICAL feet per hour- which of course covers a whole lot of beach in short order. It is the only place we have ever been where you can actually SEE the water rise- it happens that fast!

Here are some comparison shots between nearly high and low tides:

And a few to show the scale and detail:

So here we are at one of the lookout stations on the path down and back to the Hopewell Rocks. More than a few onlookers are jostling for position to get up to the rail for that “we were here” mandatory tourist shot. Inevitably the rhythm and order of the process breaks down and someone steps in front of your otherwise perfect shot. Some just wait. Most laugh a bit. A few will fume. But it’s all part of the process of sharing the globe and so while it may be easier to get the shot with no one else around- that’s not the way things usually work out. They don’t call it “The beaten path” for nothing you know. Now there are more than a few waiting behind me for their turn at the rail. The French gentleman in the shot with Marilyn was going out of his way being polite in order that I might get my shot. Even going to the effort to “hide” himself from my shot by ducking repeatedly behind that tree trunk. His lady friend is behind me waiting to get up there when we are finished. But I was not trying to take a picture of Marilyn alone- I wanted one with her and him looking off to the bluffs beyond. My ability to convey that must have left a little something to the imagination, so he just kept on trying his best to accommodate me. Then, as best exemplifies international recognition of common goals, Marilyn resolved the issue in her own inimitable fashion: she hugged him, smiled her nicest, and posed with him. We all have a nice picture…and a nice memory and a new friend.

While they may be grand and glorious- “Rocks Is Rocks.” So in the face of their sheer beauty, a couple of dogs and some ice cream can still steal the show. Had these two setters been able to do this all day, they would have been an even greater-than-the-rocks tourist attraction. Slide show follows:


Jane & Jim said...

Not sure if you remember us britsontour.blogspot,com "Fossil" Jane. We are now in UK for a visit. We Look at your blog most weeks and was happy to see Hopewell Rocks we were there last summer, and had a great time. Safe driving.

Greg said...

Not gonna forget you any time soon, Miss Jane! We look for fossils, gold, something cool everywhere we go. There was a fossil beach at Cape Enrage but the tide was all wrong for finding anything when we were there. I'm still waiting to see if Thousand Trails ever publishes the post piece on your fossil club at Peace River....great to hear from you.