When life gives you lemons, go ride Lemonade!

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia (New Scotland) is a peninsula that hooks east around the top of the Bay of Fundy and then down it's eastern side.  The Gulf of St. Lawrence is to the north.  In the gulf is an island that is part of Nova Scotia and that is our first destination here.  The day we left Hopewell Rocks and turned east along the Gulf was cloudy and dingy but no rain.  The countryside is flat and at sea level.  Although only a few miles from the Bay of Fundy the Gulf of St. Lawrence does not have the huge tides.  It is the outlet of the St. Lawrence River.




To get to the island part of Nova Scotia we cross a very shallow waterway on a causeway and then a small drawbridge.  As we turn left towards the famous motorcycle road "The Cabot Trail" the sun comes out and the day is looking fine.









As we head north along the coast the ground develops some hills and valleys, bays, streams and lakes.  The towns are small and fewer.  It is why we are here.









When we enter the Provincial Park (fee required, my US senior card is no good) the real "Cabot Trail" begins.  The road climbs, drops, turns and twists.  Not like the famous "Tail of the Dragon" in South Carolina but still a reasonably fun road.









It mostly follows the coast, only heading inland when the road building was too costly and difficult.  It curves around the top of Nova Scotia, leaving and entering the Provincial Park a couple of times.  There is very limited gasoline up here but the whole route is easily done on one tank with gas to spare.

The Cabot Trail is almost always on the "Top  10" lists of the "Best Motorcycle Roads".  We found it to be a nice road but not very long.  We rode it in one afternoon and had time to spare.  It is less than 100 miles (160 km).  Out west we have roads as least as spectacular and go on for all day, and tomorrow too.  Highway 101 up or down the Pacific Coast is a prime example.


This island part of Nova Scotia is rent with long narrow water channels as a result of the glaciers from the last ice age.  They often have a causeway built out of rock and dirt leading to a bridge or ferry.  This opening in the causeway allows for boat traffic through the waterway.  After rounding the top on the Cabot Trail we wanted to go east.  We could have ridden 15 miles south and back up the other side of the waterway but it is only about a mile across.  We decide to take the ferry and were delighted to find out it was free.  I was a lot less happy when I saw the loading ramp.  I had the choice of putting the bike tires or the trailer tires on the ramps.  I chose to put the bike tire close to the inside edge and that allowed one trailer tire to ride a ramp.  the other one, well I goosed the throttle and it hopped aboard with a large bounce!  Getting off was the same type of ramps but I just put the bike tires on one and let the trailer hop off on its own!

The causeway and ferry are in the center of the left hand picture.  The next narrow waterway had a bridge at the end of the causeway.





Our first destination today is near Sydney, the site of the first radio message across the Atlantic on December 15, 1902.  Marconi built an antenna here that had towers 64 meters (210 feet) high.  There were 400 copper wires that led down from the cables between the towers.  This is a picture of the scale model.  You can just make out the wires as grey lines in the center of the picture.  Outside the only remaining part is the concrete bases of the towers.  He also had built a steam boiler and steam engine to power the 75 kilowatt alternator that sent the message.  The site is a Provincial Park and off the beaten path.  The building is small but the staff are friendly and knowledgeable.  And may actually have been a bit lonely!


From Marconi, and Sydney, we stayed off the main highway and continued east to Louisbourg.











Louisbourg is a huge settlement/fort that has been nearly completely rebuilt by the government as a economic boost to the area in the 50's.  It was originally built by the French in the early 1700's and was used by both the French and English at various times until the late 1700's.  The area was hotly contested by those two countries.

There were extensive records and town plats that had survived and when the Canadian government decided to give the area a boost it brought in experts and hired locals to rebuild the town/fort exactly as and where it originally had been.  Because some foundations were left they were able to place the reconstructions in the same exact place as before.  The seafront had changed somewhat but not enough to bother the project.


The place had many costumed re-enactors that were part of the fun.  The front gate to the left and a young blacksmith to the right.  This is another Provincial Park and had an entrance fee.  It reminded us of Williamsburg in Virginia.


A lady made bobbin lace of which some was for sale, but out of our price range.  I don't see how she could keep track of where she was in the pattern and still talk to tourists.  And the man on the platform went on trial everyday at three o'clock.


We had been traveling at about the same speed as a Swiss couple for over a week.  We first saw their vehicle in Acadia NP in Maine.  We talked to them in Eastport, Maine before getting on the ferry to Canada.  We camped in the same campground that night after crossing into Canada.  We saw their rig again in St. John at the Reversing Falls.  We camped at the same Provincial Park that night but way far apart (the park where we had the beautiful waterfront private campsite). and again at Hopewell Rocks we saw their rig.  Then we met up again in one of the viewpoints on the Cabot Trail.  Now here we are in Louisbourg, NS and we are camped side by side.  They shipped this vehicle to Buenos Aires, Argentina and have been working their was north for several years.  They are somebody else who likes long-term travel.  Their website is www.gloorontour.ch.  Of course, it is in Swiss.








From Louisbourg we headed south to cross the same causeway/bridge that we had used to come north.  We have now just about circled the island part of Nova Scotia.  It is time to head south through forest and field, along the Atlantic side to Halifax.  This is the capital but sadly we have only one afternoon here.  And we spent it checking out the local food and beer at the Alexander Keith's brewpub.  Then it is west across the middle of the province to the town of Digby on the Bay of Fundy.  

The Wharf Rat Bike Rally starts tomorrow!  And we have reservations at the local campground.