Yes, that’s multiple ovens, a sure way to get a good exposure. It has been a while since I have been going to some interesting places. As usual, the house is to blame. It seems that nobody in Nova Scotia lives in a finished house. As a result, the craftsmen are hard to come by.
So I need to do everything myself. From demolition to rebuilding walls and installing plumbing and heating, it all comes down to the ol’ back…
But when you’ve had enough of it, you might want to take a break instead of throwing in the towel. At least I do. So last weekend, the time was ripe for a drive (a bit longer than required, if only I had found the ferry in time…). Just north of Bridgewater, NS, lies a place that is called The Ovens Natural Park.
It’s privately owned, it’s not a Provincial or National Park. Proceeds from the entry fees are used to maintain the park. I arrived there by the end of the afternoon, so I thought I’d have only a small window to see everything. It turns out that I was right about that.
Precarious looking trail
At first, it looks like your regular campground, RVs in one place, tents etc. in a different place. The usual campground canteen and a small convenience store for campers.
But then you go onto a trail (hiking boots recommended) that leads you near the edge of the rocks. Booming sounds keep you wondering what is going on as there was no sign of a thunderstorm. The views are fantastic, even if I caught them with some fog rolling in.
A perfect place for a treasure
It might be nice to say that none of these pictures were taken with a polarizing filter, you know, the one you always forget in your car. The first “oven” is a dry one. A quick view from an entrance at the top gives you an idea of what lies ahead. However, the pictures taken from here don’t give you any reference of scale. The above cave was some 20 meters high and I was looking in from the top.
Dripping mouth water
No way to go in from the seaside, at least not on a foggy Sunday afternoon. I’m not sure if the owners even offer such rides. After a short walk to the next oven shows a gaping hole. It also makes you understand where the booming thunder is coming from. Even if on this afternoon, the swells were rather small.
The views outside are wonderful, anything a photographer will want to see and shoot. Including the other visitors clogging up your field of view . I managed to avoid them altogether, but sound recording was barely possible.
Down into the unknown
Then, a descent shows up. The wet, slippery stairs were not really inviting, but for a guy like me, well, you know what’s coming next…
The largest oven called the Thunder Cave is one of the star attractions of the park. I was there at an outgoing tide, about halfway through. Waves came in, but without conviction to do damage. I’ll love to come back after a good storm that has caused large waves to come crashing in here. On the left of this picture is the railing onto which I put my gear as the light was pretty “low”. Thank heaven for good low-light performance of my camera.
Once the trail was at its end, it folded back through a wild and insect-ravaged forest, left in place to regenerate itself. The other side of the parking where I had my car, was a different landscape. Once used as a gold mining operation, the beach had been carted off to Wales for gold extraction.
Nothing much left of it as a beach, but a battered coastline was great to shoot. I hope that next time I will get some better weather and some better skies to show off this beautiful place.
If you want to visit this, let me know and we can hook up to go there together.
Until next time…