Friday, August 31, 2007

Nova Scotia Day 7

Day 7
Thursday August 23, 2007

I woke up at 4:43am and snapped this photo. Then I went promptly back into my tent until 6 to sleep some more and man was it chilly. I got up, made some coffee and some oatmeal. I hung up a clothes line and hung my tent fly over it to dry. I made a fire since it was pretty chilly and plopped myself down in my Kermit chair and enjoyed my coffee.

I started packing up around 8 and by 9 I was on the road. Of course 5 miles down the road I remembered I left my clothes line hanging up and I left my camp towel on it too. Boo!!!

I made my way along the lighthouse route again. I didn't really have any set destinations in mind except Cape Sable Island and Yarmouth to catch the ferry.
I came upon this lighthouse on the way.

I arrived at Cape Sable Island which is the most southern point in Nova Scotia and I thought it was cool that I went to both the northernmost point and the southernmost point.

Its nice having two saddlebags and clean clothes again!

This hill is a lot higher than it looks about 20 ft and I found it odd that it had grass growing on top.

Here's my I was there photo.

The Cape Sable Island lighthouse. Its the tallest lighthouse in Nova Scotia.


I finished up on the island then it was onto the final push toward Yarmouth to await the ferry. I was hoping to check things out around town. I got into Yarmouth around 1 and I decided to head out to the lighthouse at Cape Forchu. The original Lighthouse built in 1840, was replaced by the current structure in the 1960's. Rising 23 meters above the ground, the lighthouse's two-million candlepower beam can be seen over 30 nautical miles out to sea. Its the only "apple core" style lighthouse in Nova Scotia.

I walked around the cape and took in the sights.

Then I was getting hungry to I decided to see if I could get something to eat before getting on the ferry since that wouldn't be underway until 4. I found they had a tea room that served food right in the lighthouse museum. I stopped in at the
Mug Up Tea Room.

I ordered the Lobster sandwich and a coffee.

Even though I am not a huge lobster fan it was quite good. The coffee was really good and the waitress was very good about refilling my cup often. I also got the bread pudding with caramel sauce for dessert. That was quite good. If you are ever there I would highly recommend lunch at the Mug Up Tea Room.

Then it was time to go catch the ferry. I got in line with all the other motorcycles.

This guy had ridden all the way from Florida!

I talked to one guy that had ridden across Nova Scotia to Halifax on his bicycle from Yarmouth. He left his car in Portland ME. After loading a bunch of cars they finally let the motorcycles on. It was kind of sketchy riding up the steel decked ramp onto the ferry. I just kept a steady speed and no front brake. Everyone made it on without any moments.

I went upstairs to look around. Here are some cars coming up on the aforementioned steel deck ramp.

Here is the rear lounge,

The front panoramic windows,

and the casino which isn't open until we are out to sea.

and we are off!

On the way out the harbor here is the lighthouse again.

Once out to sea it was time to kick in those 4 9500 horsepower diesel engines! Awesome wakes! They are probably 20 ft high or more!

We arrived in Portland about 8:45pm eastern time. The trip took about 45 minutes longer than normal because of a storm out at sea. They had to go slower than normal. I talked to a number of BMW riders on board and they were all very nice. One couple were on a pair of GSs and they were up at the "Rock." There was a few guys onboard doing the Iron Butt Rally as well. It took a while to get through customs but it was fine and painless.

On days 8-10 I went and stayed with friends. I didn't really do any riding I just chilled out and didn't even take pictures. On Sunday when I was supposed to head home I got a late start. Then when I was finally ready to leave my battery was dead. Ugh. After screwing around trying to get it running I decided it was best to let the battery trickle charge over night and head out early the next morning.
I arrived home around 4 on Monday morning 10 days later. What a trip. My wrists and hands were killing me. As I sit here typing this 4 days later, they still hurt. Hopefully they will get better soon since I will be heading out for the Green Mountain Rally.

Check out that top speed! HA!!!

In the next day or so I will tally up receipts to give an idea of the costs involved in the trip. Thanks for coming on my journey.

Nova Scotia Day 6 - A Stranger's Random Act of Kindness Part 2

I had done everything I wanted to do in Halifax so now was the decision on what to do. I was thinking about visiting Peggy's Cove, Luenenberg, and work my way down part of the Lighthouse Trail. A few people had said Peggy's Cove wasn't that great. I checked the GPS and it was only about 18 miles away so I decided to go there anyway. I was so close, why not. It was a really nice drive out there along the coast but took longer than I thought, about 45 minutes, considering it was only 18 miles. I got there and its a tiny little fishing town although very picturesque. As I was driving in I was following a GS1200 and an F650GS. I saw a few places I might like to take pictures but there was a number of cars behind me and really no place to pull off so I went straight to the lighthouse figuring I could stop on the way out. I parked right behind the couple on the GSs and we compared notes on where we've been. I had actually seen them a few times during my trip. I noticed a number of times during my stay in Nova Scotia I kept seeing the same cars.
The lighthouse was very pretty and did not disappoint.

While walking on some of the rocks I came across this plaque which I found amusing.

The waves were crashing up and I could see the need for the warning.

One more of the lighthouse

I took a few more shots near the lighthouse and went back toward the village to the area I saw that I wanted to get some pictures at.

Here's a boat resting on its hull during low tide.

After taking this photo,

I walked back to my bike and started putting my camera away. As I was doing this a man came up to me and said "Nice Bike." I told him thanks and he said, "Nice saddlebag, that must come in handy." I said, "Yeah it was even better when I had two. I lost the other one 4 days ago on Sunday up in Cape Breton on the Cabot Trail somewhere." He asked what it looked like and I said, "Well its just like this one. Its black, oh and on the back it has a circular BMW MOA sticker that has North America on it." Then he says, "I have it in my car." WHAT!!! He said he saw it bouncing down the road on Sunday and picked it up figuring it had to belong to a motorcyclist. He'd been carrying it since then not knowing what to do with it and hoping he would come across me. He saw me taking pictures then noticed I only had one saddlebag and figured it had to be mine. I was stunned. I barely knew what to say.
I thanked him and tried to buy him lunch but he wouldn't have any of it.
Here Mike and his wife.

So 4 days and about 500 miles later I got my saddlebag back!! I am still stunned. Remember that Karma thing from the day before? If I had left then, I would have missed Mike, and never got my bag back. Amazing.

I installed my newly recovered road rashed saddlebag, and took off for Luenenburg. I would weave along the coast here and there sometimes hopping on the highway. I arrived in Lunenburg and lucked out that the Bluenose II was in shore. The original Bluenose was a Canadian schooner from Nova Scotia, a celebrated racing ship and a symbol of the province. The name "bluenose" originated as a nick-name for Nova Scotians. Her daughter, Bluenose II, was launched at Lunenburg on July 24, 1963, built to original plans by many of the same workers. She cost $300,000 to build and was financed by the Oland Family as a marketing tool for their brewery operations in Halifax and Saint John. Her popularity led to her being sold to the government of Nova Scotia which in turn gave possession of the ship to the Bluenose II Preservation Trust.

The ship is gorgeous.

Look at the woodwork.

After checking out the area it was time for some lunch. I stopped at a place and got a Propeller Cream Soda which is supposedly all natural, and a BBQ chicken pizza.

Food shot!

I left Lunenburg after lunch and wound my way down the coast occasionally hopping on the highway, sometimes taking the lighthouse route. I decided since it was my last night in Nova Scotia I wanted to find a place to camp on the ocean and stop riding kind of early. I found the place I was looking for. They had an ocean side site available for just $19!! Now that's why I love camping.

Look at the view!

I basically just hung out on the beach. The water was too cold for me for swimming although I did see some people doing it. It was nice to finally put on clean clothes and not have to wear my boots around camp. I snapped some pics around the beach at sunset.

Then I snapped this one of the moon.

Then I settled down in my Kermit Chair and watched some Caveman TV and thought about how amazingly lucky I want to get my chair back. Simply amazing. All in all it was a great day and I had a fantastic time in Nova Scotia.

More to come tomorrow, Day 7.

Nova Scotia Day 6 - A Stranger's Random Act of Kindness Part 1

Day 6
Wednesday August 22, 2007

I woke up about 6 am and Bob was up as well. He made us a little impromptu breakfast which I greatly appreciated. I knew he had to get to work so I got ready as quickly as I could, showered, and packed up. I said goodbye to Bob and thanked him for everything. I wished Paul good luck on his journey back to Ballston Spa, my birthplace, as he had to catch the Cat Ferry. I hit the road once again solo about 8:30.

My first tourist stop was the Halifax Citadel.
"Constructed between 1828 and 1856, the Halifax Citadel is an impressive star-shaped masonry structure complete with defensive ditch, earthen ramparts, musketry gallery, powder magazine, garrison cells, guard room, barracks and school room."

Down in the fort.

A regiment practicing.

One of the two buildings inside

Looking at these walls you can see why no one ever bothered to attempt taking the Citadel

The huge 7 ton canons on these swivel tracks probably also had something to do with it.

Looking out to the Harbor you could see some Navy Frigates and Destroyers.

I could also see part of British Upholder Class Sub.

The fort is quite large.

The other building in the fort. These younger guys practiced without weapons.

This gives you an idea of how high the walls are.

At one point while walking on the top of the walls I noticed a little heard path in the grass up to the top of the walls. I started to climb up when I heard, "STEP DOWN FROM THE GRASS PLEASE!". Whoops! I got scolded. I hopped down and waved. He hollered again, "THANK YOU!" I felt like a big dork but later on I heard a few more people getting scolded. Whew, I wasn't the only one.

There was a bag piper during the raising of the flags.

Some other cannons around.

Twin gun rooms.

I looked around a little more, then checked out the gift shop, then I decided it was time to take off. My next stop would be the Maritime Museum down on Water Street.

The museum was less that 5 minutes away. It was a pretty cool place right on the Ocean with a nice boardwalk. This is the Acadia.

This is a Corvette, the Flower class corvettes were a class of 267 corvettes developed by the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy specifically for the protection of shipping convoys during the Battle of the Atlantic (1939-1945) in World War II. They were a stop-gap measure in the war against the German U-boats: small ships that could be produced quickly and cheaply in large numbers

Then it was on to the inside of the museum. This is a replica of the pirate Edward Jordon. He was executed in Halifax in 1809. He was "gibbeted" at Black Rock in Point Pleasant Park. Any ship entering Halifax Harbor was greeted by this rotting corpse swinging in the wind.

They currently have a huge pirate display comparing the facts vs fiction. It was very good.
Here is a depiction of a Hollywood pirate ship on the right and a true pirate ship on the left.

An old lighthouse lens.

Here are some items taken from a captured U-boat toward the end of the war.

The official surrender certificate of U-190. The crew was very relieved to be captured. Apprently 70% of all u-boat crew died in the war. After the war many stayed in Nova Scotia to live.

Some of the sail boats on display.

They also had a section dedicated to the Titanic.

Here's an actual deck chair from it.

Here's a view of the boat display from upstairs.

There were many model replicas of various ships upstairs that are all created from scratch by volunteers.

They also have a shipwreck display upstairs. The museum if very cool and well worth the $7 admission fee. They also gave me a AAA discount as many of the tourist attractions and camping grounds in Nova Scotia did.

After the museum I traveled about a mile up the road to Pier 21 in the Halifax port, where one million immigrants landed between 1928-1971. Pier 21 is like Canada's version of America's Ellis Island.