Friday, September 20, 2013
in Nova Scotia. We arrive exhausted from the cross country flight and find ourselves transported to a simpler time of stop signs, bucolic settings amidst breathtaking beauty. Our introduction to Truro, Old Barns and Maitland did not disappoint. Truro being the commercial hub, and the others dotting the landscape with farms, a church and cemeteries. Truro is famous for its tidal bore, which is is a phenomenon in which the leading edge of the incoming tide forms a wave (or waves) of water that travels up a river or narrow bay against the direction of the river or bay's current. It is also the reddest, muddy swirl. People ride the bore - and swear the experience is worth the washing up. We will try this next time! Old Barns was named for the barns that were left to rot after the English burned the houses of the French in the area. The barns that were left became the moniker of the area. We learned this on the ride from Halifax, barely an hour away. History has steeped long here. Lore and tale are shared enveloping me in a quest of history. Verdant hills, etched faces and a place that does not need om to relax...it is the om I need..majesty displayed in the macrocosm. Yoga pants unnecessary.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
after my last post...you might not want words. You might be dreaming of the tarmac that hugs the coast and in your minds' eye can see rolling waves and horizon. The most amazing church that is nestled at the side of the road
Saturday, September 14, 2013
...is amazing to ride!!! It has twists, esses and windy bits that thrill a rider...and so much more. A lack of stop lights, stop signs, few other vehicles and logical speed limits has every rider smiling..But again..there's more. The church steeples would announce the town and remembrance of the past was unavoidable as the headstones of yesteryear were the proclamation of our forefathers and the sacrifice of the homesteaders, immigrants and sailors. I cannot begin to count the number of cemeteries we saw on our journey. At some we wandered through noting dates and ages...sometimes generations of families were etched in the landscape. The homage to the past was part of our journey. Swathing through bucolic settings of gentle slopes and tidy barns something eludes me as to what the difference is....Traffic aside, a farm is a farm. After hours of riding I see an atypical farm - equipment in the fields, some strewn in the yard along with skeleton cars and rusted swing sets. I realize that it was the exception...where a typical acreage was neat and tidy, mown grass, prim and proper. The pride in their possession shone through. Many of these were over a hundred years old and yet they still looked habitable and quaint. After this revelation - it was obvious. Financial challenges meant things are not easily replaceable - but maintaining things can still be done. A great message to a disposable generation. Moving from farm to coast we now enter fishing villages along the way. They are old and ripe with personality..but again a sense of pride shows through the scrubbed hulls and brightly painted fish shacks. The roads aren't steep, nor really twisty, but their character is something to behold. A gentle sway, the church spires and the crashing waves all conspire to draw you in like a deep inhale of breath. You cannot help but relax and drink it in. Within a few days I kept repeating that my "memory card" was full..for just when I would exhale a breath at an astounding - church, graveyard, bird, town...... I would come upon another. The eye candy was almost too sweet at once. We hadn't even done the Cabot Trail yet..! More to come on that one!
What are things you get in Nova Scotia. I enjoyed all three...even the surrendering to The Mc chain... What you won't get is hustle bustle...there is no time for that. The clerks talk...and talk to customers unconcerned with line-ups. Customer service is not about churning people through the till apparently. What you won't get is a myriad of choice. Typically it was white or brown...multigrain was offered only once - and that was at an upscale B&B. Organic was not labelled, but I didn't see large chicken factories....most farms were family owned and run. A few salad dressings were the choices from the 70's of Thousand Island, French and Italian. No one seemed to care they were missing out on Mandarin Orange & Ginger; Mango Chipotle or Fig Balsamic. Also, you won't find many stoplights on backroads - stop signs either. We rolled along curvy, smooth roads with spires peaking in the distance announcing a town. Around the church would usually be the markers of pioneers and homesteaders of yesteryear of several generations. Walking amongst the settlers resting place we saw many were new arrivals, young, vulnerable to a land in need of clearing. Generations of families told a story of heartache at the many young as well as resilience at the aged markers telling stories of sea survival. This was a place that honour their decedents, keeping them forefront. It changed my mind on burial...headstones...graveyards. What I had perceived as unnecessary, morbid and expensive became a place of reverence, history and stories. Thank you Nova Scotia.