New Glasgow to Antigonish, NS

July 21, 2019

Sunday I made a short road trip east of New Glasgow.  I headed over to Routes 245 and 337 to drive along the “shark’s fin”:

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First stop – Arisaig where I found a harbor, a lighthouse and a lobster Interpretive Centre.

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This is the current lighthouse, a replica of the original.  The first lighthouse was built here in 1895 and was modified a few years later.  It was destroyed by fire in the 1930’s.  Volunteers built this replica in 2007.

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Next to the harbor there was a little restaurant serving Sunday brunch out on their deck.  Meet Killan who was entertaining the customers with some fiddle music.  I’m getting closer to Scotland every day….

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This is the St. Margaret of Scotland church, across the highway from the road leading down to the harbor and lighthouse.

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Further up the road was this canoe in a small pond on someone’s property.

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Further up the road were these pretty flowers.  Looks like a good opportunity to play “Go ahead, count ’em.  I’ll wait…”

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Up at the top of the “fin” I found the Cape George lighthouse.  It is the third one to exist at this location, the first one having been built in 1861.  It sits 360 feet above sea level (I was surprised to see the sign state feet and not meters).

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Around the bend from Cape George is Ballantynes Cove, with – you guessed it – a harbor AND a Bluefin Tuna Interpretive Centre.

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For an interpretive centre I didn’t find it very informative.  One of the three things I learned was that the a lens for the Cape SAINT George lighthouse in Newfoundland was inadvertently delivered here to the Cape George lighthouse back in 1908.  Oops.

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Second – meet Jenna Gavin, who at age 12 landed this 618 pound bluefin tuna in 2014.

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(Photo credit: cbc.ca)

The third thing: Congratulating Jenna is Ken Fraser (they are both local residents) who himself landed the world record 1,496 pound bluefin tuna back in 1979 – a record which still stands today.  Talk about a “Big Kahuna Tuna”….

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(Photo credit: marlinmag.com)

 

 

Memory Lane, Lake Charlotte, NS

July 20, 2019

As I was driving east on Route 7 on my way to New Glasgow I came to the little town of Lake Charlotte where I found this roadside attraction.  It is a retro 1940’s village that takes you back in time.  Most of these buildings were transported here from other parts of the province.  Admission for seniors was only $6 so I ponied up some cash and went in to check it out.  Many of the buildings were open but I only went in a few of them.

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This was inside the Hocking General Store (Entrance)

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The Village garage and gas station:

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And by the way, up here in Canada Esso is still called Esso, not Exxon.

The Clam Harbour United Church:

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The Little Harbour one room schoolhouse:

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The Family barn/garden shed:

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The ice house:

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The residence (Webber House):

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The Norm Hutt boat house:

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And the fisherman’s storehouse:

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There was also a dining hall which served food but I was there before it opened.

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If you like what you see grab your passport and get up here Saturday, October 10, 2019 for the 16th Annual Atlantic Canada Harmonica Festival!

 

Halifax to New Glasgow, NS

July 20, 2019

Saturday I would head east from Halifax, going further out beyond the scenic roads I drove on yesterday to see more of the southern coast before going north across the province to New Glasgow, the Birthplace of Nova Scotia.

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I took the expressway, NS-107 (the blue road), back out to Musquodoboit Harbour (where it ended) and resumed my drive east on scenic Route 7.  I went as far as Sheet Harbour where I turned left and headed north on Highway 374 which would take me to New Glasgow.

If you had asked me that morning what things I might see along the way this would not have been amongst my guesses.  Just before entering the little town of Head of Jeddore I saw these along the road:

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Evidently someone is a big “The Simpsons” fan…

These large wooden signs were on both sides of the road, at a kid’s entertainment facility (mini-golf, bowling, etc).

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They were spot on.  Looked exactly like the TV characters.  There were a few other things there as well:

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Slip inside this costume and you might be chosen to be Marvel Comics next superhero – Grasshopperman???  or woman???

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This is a cube shaped rock painted as a Rubik’s Cube.  On NS-107 I had also seen a huge, cube-like rock painted as a die (1/2 of a pair of dice).

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There was a house behind the facility and I saw a young couple outside.  I went over to ask if they had done the artwork and the woman said it was all done by her father.

Ready for more water pictures??  One of my sisters-in-law already asked me if I’m bored with water scenes.  I admit they are all kind of blending together but today I saw some exceptionally nice views.  I actually took photos of more but the ones facing into the sun were kind of washed out so I only picked the best ones.

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The photo above was taken near a bridge, looking inland.  You can see the water rushing in very quickly, creating several small whirlpools.

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Standing there watching it I could actually the effect of the water coming in sucking in standing water from the right side.

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After getting to Sheets Harbour I proceeded north, passing care-free through my first RCMP (“the Mounties”) speedtrap.  I had my cruise control set right on the speed limit (90 km or roughly 56 mph).  Everything is Canada is metric so distances and speed limits are stated in kilometers.  I set cruise control on the highway but am having trouble not exceeding the lower limits going in and out of small towns (which I do alot of on my smaller, scenic roads).  When I see a sign that says 50 (they only show the digits) my first instinct is to go 50 mph (but they mean 31 mph..).  Route 374 was a pleasant drive, not unlike roads in eastern Pennsylvania or western North Carolina.

I had to chuckle when I arrived in New Glasgow and saw this sign attached to a utility pole:

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Looks like I’m getting closer to “Celtic country” after all…

After stopping to say hello to my Airbnb hosts I set out for a late lunch and a scenic drive west along Route 6, along the water (I thought) to Amherst, near the border with neighboring New Brunswick.  It ended up being more inland than I expected (look closer at the map, dummy!) but it was still a pleasant drive.

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Once I got to Amherst, which I had stopped in my first day in Nova Scotia, I hopped on TCH-104 (the Trans-Canada Highway) for a faster trip back to New Glasgow.  I cruised through another RCMP speedtrap on it as well but once again escaped unscathed.

 

Halifax & Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

July 19, 2019

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Friday I backtracked along the route I had come in to Halifax on to stop at another memorial site which I missed the turnoff for yesterday – this one for the SS Atlantic.

On April 1, 1873 that ship, carrying an estimated 975 passengers, ran aground near the small town of Terence Bay (lower left corner on the map above).

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(Photo credit: theglobeandmail.com)

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(Photo credit: ssatlantic.com)

The ship, aka RMS Atlantic, was owned by White Star Line (the folks who brought you the also-ill-fated Titanic).  She was sailing from Liverpool, England to New York City.  The ship could be propelled by sails and/or coal-generated steam.  It was a dark and stormy night, to borrow that phrase, and the sails were useless against the strong currents of the storm.  The captain, fearing that they might not have enough coal on board to make it to New York, ordered the ship to stop in Halifax, a port with which both he and the crew were unfamiliar.

The ship was off course and ran aground at 315 am local time on what is now called Mars Head, near the towns of Lower Prospect and Terence Bay.  Lifeboats were lowered but they were all carried off or destroyed by the heavy seas.  Because they were close to shore some of the passengers and crew were able to make it to land and an estimated 562 people died, including all the women and all but one child.  It was the worst maritime disaster in the North Atlantic prior to Titanic and remains the worst Canadian maritime accident of all time.

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Another moment of silence, please…


 

Next I headed over to the east side of Halifax to drive on some scenic roads near the ocean.  Before that – lunch.

I was in Halifax and wanted to try their tasty snack – a Donair.  This is similar to a Greek Gyro – a large round of pita bread wrapped around meat, tomato, onion and drizzled with garlicky white Donair sauce.

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(Photo credit:  Mr. Donair – a fast-food chain, not a person)

Mr. Donair (chain) claims to have created the Donair in the early 70’s, naming it after the Turkish doner.  I ate at a chain called King Donair (“the King of Donairs”) which claims to have introduced Canada to the Donair in 1973.  Boys, boys… don’t make me stop the car…

A Donair is stuffed with Donair meat.   Hmmmmm….  That makes me a little nervous.  Is it from a Free Range Donair??  Cage-Free, perhaps??  And the “secret sauce”??  What’s THAT all about??

The meat is supposedly beef, cooked on a vertical spit and shaved off to place on the pita bread, then curled up with one open end.  The entire thing is then wrapped in aluminum foil.

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Mine was quite messy but wasn’t terrible.  My mother would have said “It’s not something I’d miss…”

I resisted the temptation to don one of King Donair’s crowns while I was eating:

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After lunch I drove out several small coastal roads (shown in yellow on the map) as far as Musquodoboit Harbour, then south to spend some time overlooking the ocean at Martinique Beach.  I then drove back up to NS-107 (shown in blue) to return to town.  It is a 2-lane, limited access highway with a much higher speed limit.

Close to town I drove to the north side of the city of Dartmouth, stopping at Lake Banook.  It is home to both the Mic Mac Amateur Aquatic Club and the Banook Canoe Club.  There are lots of buoys out in the lake to create “lanes” to help keep all the boaters organized and avoid collisions.  There was a nearby gondola where I could watch the boaters from the shade.

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After watching the boaters for a while I drove up and around another big body of water (the Bedford Basin) and back down to the south side of Halifax where I was staying.