Chignecto 2004       Picasa Photo Album

This trek started, as most of ours do, at the annual Gonzo meeting when about 12 hardy souls signed up. When it was time to actually hike, the 12 hardy souls had dwindled to 5 of us really hardy souls. (and of course 3 canines). Sun God had to go down on the Friday nite in his "shaggin' wagon" Never miss a chance to show the advantages of having you house with you. True to his word Pack it in, Pack it out was at my door at 0400, (some of us still can do a Gonzo start) and we (including Tess asleep in the back seat) did the 3 hour drive arriving at the trail head at 0700. There to meet us was Ian (Frosty's Dad) and Frosty. Of course Sun God and the Licker were up and putting on coffee for the guests. Soon thereafter, Dr. Gordon (great first name) Young from Pictou arrived. After the obligatory pictures, we were off at about 0800.

Well what can you say? Last year I hiked about 2300 miles, 2172 of them over the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Cape Chignecto is as good as any that we traveled over on our 2003 adventure and just as tough.

As the road from Eatonville was still suffering from the winter and not passable, we decided to do an out and back. We would hike 12 Kms to Refugee Cove and leave our packs and the hike out the 4.4 Kms to the Cape itself and return for supper and the night at Refugee Cove.

The first half of the hike to Mill Brook has a couple of pretty good ups and downs where you climb about 500' in a very short time. The woods were just starting to get green, with a couple of different flowers struggling out of the cold earth. There were lots of small white ones with 5 petals and a small pink vein showing (mayflower perhaps? But I don't think), as well as small yellow ones with upswept petals (trout lily?) just before Mill Brook, we met about 5 hikers and a very shy dog climbing up out of the valley. One of them was the author of the Guide Book "Wilderness Trails and Day Hikes of Cape Chignecto. Arriving at the camp sites at Mill Brook, we found a young couple doing the 49 Km route in 7 days.

Last year we often asked why you went down to towns and back up when you left. The camp sites in Cape Chignecto are placed the same way. Down to the sit and water and back up after you leave. Leaving Mill Brook is a killer up. It is only 500 ft., but very steep with man made rock steps which would be treacherous when wet.

It wasn't much after noon that we arrived at Refugee Cove. We rested in the shelter of the rocks at the cliffs edge and ate lunch, looking out to Cape D'Or. I took this as a chance to try my kite. It worked pretty well despite the gusting winds.

After a short nap, we headed inland to our evenings campsite. We hung our bags and headed out to the Cape itself. Again back uphill. You actually end climbing almost 600' this time and after leveling out it is not that bad a trip out to the end. At first glance all you see is Isle Haute, but you sense the power of the ocean below as the currents can reach 20 to 25 Kms per hour. Below you tides can reach 40 ft., so it is not to be taken lightly.

We returned to set up our tents or tarps and to prepare supper. Everybody had something different and I filled myself with a Lipton's Cheese and Sour Cream Pasta mixed with a can of mushrooms and a can of chicken. I shared some of the canned chicken with Tess and she tried to chew the metal off the inside of the can. Having finished(?) with the can she went to her supper when Lewis the Licker came by. He actually had enough nerve or was it lack of brains to go between Tess and her can. All hell broke loose. I found I can lift Tess by the scruff of her neck right off the ground. Of course, that didn't stop the Licker who just kept coming. After that, things settled down.

Frosty's Dad had a nice 2/3 man tent and the good Doctor also had a tent. Bruce and Pack it in, Pack it out had tarps and I had my tarp/tent. We couldn't get across the stream to the other sites so we spread ourselves out over the first two sites. I heard that some stayed awake till past 8 o'clock but as I was in the sleeping bag by 7:15, I can not attest to that.

The next morning we were all awake and well fed by 0800 and on the trail. When we arrived at Mill Cove and after carefully checking the 40' tides (still on their way out for the next couple of hours), we headed for the much shorter and easier beach walk out. We were out in less than 3 hours and that is sure something that should be thought of next time to make it a much easier hike.

A young fellow caught up to us on the beach out and he had done the whole 49 Km by himself leaving the previous morning and going counter/clockwise.

We waited to see if the Shagin' wagon would start and headed off. Pack it in, Pack it out and I stopped for lunch in Glenholme and being a sucker for Fish and Chips, I ordered a two piece. Well I couldn't finish half the fries and could only eat one of the pieces of fish. A huge order for only $7.45. And after hiking yet?

All in all, a great weekend with great friends and their dogs.

Gimp aka Viking aka etc.