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As Simple as That -- a column by Jonathan Riley

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier jriley@digbycourier.ca
Published on February 10, 2012
hiking on the neck

Published on 10 February 2012

Heading towards Culloden and the sunset on Digby Neck.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

waterfall

Published on 10 February 2012

Stopping to admire the stark contrast of the rugged rock and scrub spruce against a fantastic frozen stream.

Photos by Ben Cleveland

ice

Published on 10 February 2012

The Fundy shore is a riot of textures and shapes

Photos by Jonathan Riley

falls

Published on 10 February 2012

A frozen waterfall falls into a gully on the Fundy shore near Broad Cove.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

veils

Published on 10 February 2012

A curtain of ice drapes itself over the rocks on the Fundy shore.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

ben at monument

Published on 10 February 2012

Digby mayor Ben Cleveland visited the memorial to the crew of the SS Princess Louise recently.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

anchor detail

Published on 10 February 2012

Detail from the SS Princess Louise Monument on the shore near House Cliff Cove.

Photos by Ben Cleveland

wave cliffs

Published on 10 February 2012

Ben Cleveland waves from the foot of the massive cliffs at the east end of House Cliff Cove.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

lego cliffs

Published on 10 February 2012

Ben Cleveland climbs on the Lego block cliffs at the east end of House Cliff Cove just west of the SS Princess Louise monument.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

icicles

Published on 10 February 2012

Ice decorates the cliffs of House Cliff Cove near Broad Cove on Digby Neck.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

cliffs

Published on 10 February 2012

Ben Cleveland walks below the towering basalt formations at the eastern end House Cliff Cove.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

red buoy

Published on 10 February 2012

A splash of colour of the beach of House Cliff Cove.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Digby has the best gym in the world. It's free, always open, never crowded, has equipment to challenge beginners and experts alike and we all can have a lifelong membership if we want it.

I'm taking about the basalt ledge that runs along the Fundy shore.

Moving is good for you and there's lots of space and surfaces out there to inspire movement.

You don't have to go far or take great risks. Even a short stroll on that convoluted landscape can require some gentle little moves-stepping, reaching, stretching, bending, twisting, crawling.

If some of these things scare you, you can slowly get used to them again, just wandering around the Point Prim lighthouse for example, or on the flat rocks of Culloden.

Maybe the first day, your goal is just to make it to the first park bench. Then relax and enjoy the waves there. Don't be afraid of the cold or the wind. Dress for it and stay only long enough for the sea air to get your blood flowing a little faster.

My favourite thing about the shore is how easy it is make little goals for yourself-today I'd like to make it to the funny rock there and then come back. Or keep going.

Eventually you can work up to hopping, jumping, skipping, and scrambling. Plus there are great hills out there to really challenge the legs, awesome rock faces to work the arms.

I have to admit I've been slack lately. And so my latest excursion, just a quick hike to see the SS Princess Louise Memorial, was not only a hike but also a great workout. Two days later I can still feel the tough climbs in my quadriceps, I can feel the deep rocky gullies in my shoulders.

There is also a peace out there-away from manmade structures and noise, immersed in nature, surrounded by the nothingness of the ocean on one side and solid cliff on the other.

The shore hides an unending supply of surprises: frozen waterfalls, an elegant jumble of boulders, a cliff of Lego blocks, tough old scrub spruce defying rocky soil and salt spray.

The rugged beauty out there, the massive rock formations, the steady relentless waves are great for putting our daily troubles in perspective.

The shore is good for everything that ails you.

It is the kind of place Europeans or even Upper Canadians pay big bucks to visit.

And it is ours anytime we want it.

jriley@digbycourier.ca