We arrived at New River Beach Provincial Park at supper time. After setting up the tent we headed to the beach. Tonight was dedicated to photography and exploring the beach. Tomorrow would be hiking. Tonight was going to be a full moon. A super moon. And I had used the photographers ephemeris app to tell me in what direction it was going to rise.
We turned right after descending the stairs to the beach. The moon was going to rise in the opposite direction and I wanted to be looking back across the beach when it did. We passed several groups with bonfires. There were other individuals wading in the water or playing on the beach. We eventually made our way to the rocky part of the beach near the outlet of New River.
I was trying out different compositions of the rocks and the beach while Vicki was playing with her camera. It looked hazy on the horizon. I was about to give up on the moon and focus on the stars around New River Island when it started to rise behind the trees. It was big and it was super. I switched to a zoom lens and took some pictures using people on the beach as a foreground. That didn’t work so I made Vicki run down the beach and stand on top of a rock outcrop. I got her to move back and forth as I lined her up with the moon. I finally got the shot that I had come for.
After the moon rose higher in the sky we continued exploring the rocks. Vicki had bought large sparklers on the way to the park and she wanted to try spelling something with them on a long exposure. We tried New River but that was too long and complicated and also because I am terrible at spelling with sparklers. Vicki then had the idea for the word “one”. It was coming up to our one year anniversary and it was short so it was perfect. After several attempts we finally had a keeper. It was good timing since we were running out of sparklers.
The tide was almost all the way up the beach now. We started to make our way back, passing once again a group with a bonfire. Just before the park boundary we had to cross a small trickle of water that came out of a bog and crossed the beach. It was now a major stream running inland as the tide overtook the beach. We pulled up our pant legs and started across. After the second step Vicki’s foot got caught in the sand. When she took the next step she left her shoe behind. It quickly floated to the top but just as quickly floating up the stream. After a short chase and some wet pants she finally recovered her shoe.
We climbed the stairs as the beach disappeared. The bonfire near the bottom of the stairs was being pulled apart by the tide. The light from the full moon was amazing so we stopped to take a few more pictures of the beach with New River Island in the background. It was hard to leave but it was getting late and we had hiking to do in the morning.
We woke up late to the sound of a dog barking in the campground. We were sore but not from our walk on the beach the night before. I had forgotten the plug for the air mattress so we only had the tent’s floor and two sleeping bags between us and the gravel.
We had showers, then took down the tent, packed the car, and we were off. It was a short drive to the parking lot around the corner. Today was our day to hike. We paid our $8 at the gate and parked. The Chitticke’s Beach Trail went into the woods on one side of the parking lot and along the shore on the other. We decided to go along the shore first.
Vicki took some pictures of driftwood at Tommy’s Cove while I took some pictures of the wild roses along the beach. When we were done we started following the wide boardwalk that made up start of the trail. There were a few trees down along the trail, but not too many considering the damage caused by Hurricane Arthur. We soon came to the first of several lookouts that provided views of the rocky coast and New River Island. The blue skies and the clear green water were beautiful. What a day for a walk along the coast.
We followed more boardwalk and realized they made up most of the trail. We read the interpretive signs at the lookouts that described past storms and shipwrecks. It seemed fitting this soon after Hurricane Arthur ripped through the area. We eventually came to Chittick’s Beach. Chittick’s Beach is a gravel beach in a cove. There was a small field with a fire pit and picnic table overlooking the beach. An interpretive sign explained how a house stood on this site 150 years ago. The house was owned by the Chittick’s family who had escaped the potato famine in Ireland to come to live on this harsh coast.
The rest of the Chitticke’s Beach Trail returned to the parking lot from the back of the field. The Barnaby Head Trail continued along the coast. We continued on the Barnaby Head Trail. We watched a loon diving in the bay that held Chitticks Beach. I also took pictures of the strange curved roof cottage back at the mouth of New River. We found out later that it was owned by Richard Oland, which added to the interest of the place. We took more pictures of driftwood and rocks and just enjoyed being there.
The trail was becoming a bit more difficult but still not too bad. Vicki took her mushroom pictures, while I took pictures of her taking pictures of mushrooms. We eventually came out onto the rocky outcrop that was called Barnaby Head. We took some couples selfies (if there is such a thing) and continued on the trail. As we came around the southern end of the point we could see Point Lepreau Nuclear Station in the distance. There were some higher cliffs and rockier outcrops on this part of the trail, which made for spectacular views. We eventually came out at the Barnaby Head Lookout and looked back at the rocky coastline.
After the lookout we entered the woods and were once again on a boardwalk. We followed the long narrow boardwalk until we came out into a large bog. We crossed through the center of the bog and took many pictures of the leathery leaves of Pitcher Plants. We went back into the woods and soon passed a crossover trail. Eventually the trail came back together and we were soon back at the small field at Chitticks Beach.
We entered the woods near the back of the small field at Chitticks Beach and soon came to a lookout in a smaller bog. The interpretive sign told us all about moose and Pitcher Plants. There was a small crossover trail across from the lookout but it was so grown it that we didn’t map it. The trail continued through the woods traveling past a rocky cliff. There was a styrofoam skeleton hanging from the top of the cliff that was a bit creepy. We knew from the sign at the entrance that it was part of the park’s Ghost Walk.
On the next section of boardwalk we got behind a group that were out on a hike put on by the park. We soon came back to the parking lot and to our car that would take us to our next adventure. We filled the rest of the day by checking out Lepreau Falls and Beldings Reef Nature Preserve. We then had to make our way home, ending our 24 hours without kids. I got to photograph the super moon and do some hiking, and Vicki liked it so much she wanted to go camping again for our anniversary. A beautiful day in a beautiful place with my beautiful wife.