Friday, October 25, 2019

Meductic to Woodstock

This morning we slept in for the first time in who knows how long. We were in a safe, quiet, comfortable place, and completely relaxed. It was a beautiful luxury.

We shared a fantastic breakfast of egg and cheese sandwiches, beans, veggies, and vegan sausages with Eric and Gabriela. It was absolutely delicious, and far, far, more tasty (and healthy) than our truckers breakfast of a few days ago :)

It was hard to leave our hosts and their wonderful four legged and feathered family. Their kindness, generosity, support, encouragement, and thoughtfulness over the past few days have been overwhelming. It is a rare thing to share true happiness, and to be with people who are so willing to listen to your aches, pains and frustrations.  We are enormously grateful to have met them, learned from them, and traded stories with them.

 

After our lovely breakfast, Eric drove us back to the trail in Meductic, to a spot just west of the road closure where he picked us up. He left us with a delicious lunch of egg salad sandwiches and fresh apples to look forward to! 

 
This was a lovely piece of trail magic!! The recent wave of negative and downright nasty online commentary and the resulting loss of several opportunities to get our message out in the past couple of days has made us realize how some of the seemingly small things, like a new pair of shoe laces, a packet of fire starters, or a tasty lunch can turn a challenging day into a wonderful one. It is all about perspective (and about caring for and helping one another!).  In fact I think it is fair to say that we were really only able to get beyond many of the comments and emails being sent to us because of the kindness of Eric and Gabriela.  Thank you so much!

 

Our walk today was a continuation of our previous journey down a two-lane road beside the St. John River. The road had a wide, flat, paved shoulder, relatively little traffic, and beautiful scenery.  So it was shear heaven for us in terms of road walking.  Given the wind and rain of the past few days we soon noticed that most of the leaves are now down, leaving the rolling hills a patchwork of dark green conifers and light grey branches rather than presenting themselves as hills of glorious colour.

 
 

As we walked we passed several large flocks of Canada Geese out on the water, as well as a large group of Mallards paddling around in the reeds. There were several lone Mergansers fishing in the shallows, as well as a single Double-crested Cormorant. A Great-blue Heron stood motionless on the shore, patiently awaiting its prey.



We walked along the edge of the Woodstock First Nation, which is the second home of a band of Maliseet people. Before it was renamed by the colonists, the St. John River was called the Wulastukw, which translates as 'The Beautiful River.' The Wolastoqey are the people of the beautiful river.

 
 

At one point we stopped to take a break at a local gas station and noticed a beautiful area filled with flags and a monument.  Driven by curiosity we soon investigated and found it to be a sacred site - as such we deemed it inappropriate to photograph the site and instead took a few moments to learn and enjoy the privilege of being able to visit.

 

When we reached the town of Woodstock we crossed a picturesque pedestrian trestle bridge. This spot offered a nice view of the town.

 
 
 


As we crossed the bridge we paused to examine some interesting street art on the side of the Farmer's market. As we set off down the trail again, we were greeted by a man with two dogs, who asked us if we had just come Gabriela's house. It turned out he knew who we were, and invited us to step inside, refill our water bottles, and take a short rest for a while. It was a much appreciated opportunity to refill our supplies and to enjoy a few moments break!


As we continued through the riverside town of Woodstock we passed quite a few interpretive signs describing various historical buildings and sites. Woodstock claims to be the first incorporated town in New Brunswick, with colonial history dating back to 1856. The light was beginning to fade as we passed through, but we would have liked to spend a bit more time there to explore. It looked like a large, prosperous community with some interesting history to discover.



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