Dobson Trail Winter Walk

Dobson Trail, New Brunswick, Winter
The Dobson Trail is incredible in winter, snow covers the trees and the trail is narrow enough to make you feel a part of an intimate space within the woods of New Brunswick!

Canadian winters are lovely, harsh, tormenting, delightful and always unpredictable and exciting! Every year there is something new to experience and every part of the country gets to experience different winter sensations.

I’ve been lucky to have lived all over Canada and have passed winters in The Northwest Territories, Alberta, British-Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec. Every province has a different winter…sure almost always there is snow, except on the Sunshine Coast of BC where I lived and saw only rain, but you don’t have to shovel it, they would often say!

Now that we’re living in New Brunswick we’re seeing new aspects…things like the Nor’easter storms. This is our first winter in New Brunswick and it’s barely started and already we’ve seen storm surges smashing the coast, snow storms knocking trees down and cutting power, and winds blowing at 100 km/h!

The weather has been atrocious! So today, after several days of grey cloudy weather with snow squalls and high wind chills we finally had some sun and it was time to take advantage of the lovely day.

We decided to brew up some kava and take a walk on the famous Dobson Trail to go deep into the woods and have a little kava ceremony. We decided to avoid the first section of the trail because it is always the busiest and decided instead to drive to the second trail head. With all the snow we had in the last few days the trail seemed pretty much unused except for snowshoers. We had our boots and trekked along to the beaver dam under thick branches heavy with snow. It was so beautiful to see the white tufts of fluffy snow clinging to the branches and the bright blue sky above us. The heavy snow caused the birch branches to droop around us and it was like walking under a canopy of magical crystal pillows held up by the sleeping trees.

Once we got to the fork in the trail at the beaver dam we turned right and had to break trail ourselves as everyone else had turned back from that point as it was a bit rough for snow shoes. We skirted the beaver pond and headed to where we knew there was a little rest stop and it was there we have a break and a little kava.

Dobson Trail New Brunswick
Crossing a brook on the Dobson Trail. The fresh snow cover made it a challenge!

There were many trees that had been toppled over, blown down in the strong storm winds we had in Atlantic Canada the last few weeks. We had to crawl under some big trees that had collapsed on the trail and go around others. Luckily the trail is well marked, even in the snow and being the first in the snow, we were able to find our way with only a couple of spots that we drifted off the trail.

Finally we got to the rest stop and were surprised to see three chairs waiting for us! How thoughtful! This little clearing is a popular spot for some folks as there is always a collection of empty beer cans tossed around the clearing, luckily because of the 30cm of snow that had fallen in the last few days we didn’t have to see garbage and could enjoy a few minutes in the woods with a few sips of kava.

We had walked for about an hour and had sat for 15 minutes enjoying the rest and the kava. The sun was going down and we knew we couldn’t enjoy the silence too long so we packed up and headed back.

After the one hour walk through deep snow in the cold we were pretty tired and our bodies started to feel weak. We had two Kashi bars to share on the return trip and they helped but we were both a bit dizzy and weak in the knees…we had ramen knees or lasagna legs for sure!!

When we saw our car at the trail head we were as happy as if we had seen a big birthday cake being set on the table in front of us! It was so nice to sit down! We’ve loved hiking the Dobson Trail in the 6 months we’ve lived in New Brunswick and this was one of the more strenuous stretches we did…it really knocked us out…next time we’ll bring a bigger snack and will be careful when we stand beside a tree filled with snow covered branches as DD had a whole bunch of snow fall down her neck as she touched a snowy tree!

When we got home we were wet, tired and glad to have a roaring fire in the wood stove! The Dobson Trail is incredible, every time we use it we are thankful to live in a place as beautiful as New Brunswick!

DD and Mama D are going to Walt Disney World!

Yes! Finally I am going back to Orlando, Florida. I am so happy! Mama D offered the trip, she’s such a sweety! She thought it would be better to see each other somewhere warm this winter instead of coming all the way from Quebec to New Brunswick. Our trip is from January 16-22. I am leaving from Moncton and Mama D leaves from Montreal. We are both meeting in Toronto and flying together to Orlando. We will then take the Disney Magical Express to our resort, Port Orleans – Riverside. We both have our yellow tags to put on our luggage before we leave.
So far the weather in Florida seems a little cooler than normal. The weather is all messed up: it’s warmer in the north and cooler in the south! It’s December 22 and we still have no snow in the Moncton region. We are having a Nor’easter with lots of wind. Fortunately we still have power and none of our trees have been damaged.
To prepare for the trip I’ve been doing some reading and we’ve been watching Walt Disney movies. We watched Snow White, Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland and we will watch Mary Poppins before returning the DVDs Saturday. I read a Walt Disney Biography, read the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; the movie is playing tomorrow (Dec. 23 2010) on Turner Classic Movie Channel. I am now reading The adventures of Tom Sawyer. Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer are caracters from Mark Twain ‘s books that are part of Walt Disney’s childhood. He did put a few of attraction in their honor: Mark Twain Steam Boat in Disneyland, California and The Island of Tom Sawyer at both the Florida and the California Parks. It is going to be fun. We might even get a bite at Aunt Polly’s Dockside Inn (the food counter on Tom Sawyer Island), who knows.  I won’t be able to catch up with all there is with Disney but at least it’s a start. Walt Disney wanted Disneyland to be something organic, something that would be alive and in constant movement and change. It is indeed alive and growing. Growing from one generation to another and from one park to another.  I will definitely see the parks in a different way this time.
Among the attractions I am looking forward discovering  for the first time is The Haunted Mansion: I can’t believe we passed this one when we went in 1988. Of course I am looking forward Soarin’ at Epcot. I can’t wait to see Mama D’s face when we walk out and I take her picture: It will be priceless! There are the attractions I won’t go back to because I have motion sickness: Star Tours (closed for refurbishment anyway) and  Test Track.
I hope our room is not shabby because I read the rooms are getting old, with wallpaper peeling and stained carpets. Hmm.. Maybe I can bring my mini scotch tape roll and just stick some behind the peeling wallpaper if there’s any? Hey, why not!  Between Mama D and me we’ll probably have so many things mini! Most of all, I hope it’s clean. I know they are renovating French Quarters but what if I had booked there and still got an old room? I am sure it can never be as bad as the room at the Best Western Plantation Hale in Kapaa, Hawaii, impossible. Or even worse, our entire trip turns out as bad as in The Out of Towners movie starring Jack Lemmon. No!  Everything will be alright and we will have a good time! As long as I don’t hurt anywhere… there’s always something! Headache, pimple, tummy ache, cold sore, earache because of earplugs, sore throat, PMS, painful periods, you name it!
I love planning for trips. 25 days to go and I already have my biggest suitcase right beside my computer desk. I bought a few things for the trip like an immersible water heater and a portable cooking range. We are not supposed to bring these items but what the heck, I want to be able to reheat stuff and warm milk for teas and coffees. We will be spending so much time outside of the room I want to at least be able to relax in bed with some snacks and be able to have a light breakfast before we leave the room.  We will still have all our meals at Disney’s restaurants.
I already have a few options for our first evening, depending on how the check-in goes:

Option 1 – take Boat Taxi to Downtown Disney, go to Rainforest Cafe to buy some big 2 cup size coffee mugs. Get a bite to eat and grab some snacks for the next day at Pollo Campero. Try to get on the last 11 Oclock boat back to the hotel.
Option 2 – Stay in, order pizza, salad, dessert with a big 2 litre of Pepsi. We’ll have lots left for the next day and we’ll have pop in the fridge.
Option 3 – Go to Riverside Mill Foodcourt for supper and buy snacks for next day. Go to a whirlpool if we can find one, relax and plan our next day.
It’ll be interesting to see which option we choose. I don’t want to plan too much other than that. I made a list of where to eat in each parks, including counter service and table service. For the remaining days, I’ll try to now focus on Christmas and New Year.
Merry Christmas and Happy 2011!