Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dipping a toe in the Northumberland Strait

Day 2: Fredericton,NB, to Merigomish, NS
Total mileage by day's end: 732.4

I didn't sleep last night. Oy. And it made for along day. I was on the road by 7:30, passed Moncton at 9:15, and hit Nova Scotia shortly after. I beamed rolling over the border. I love love love Nova Scotia.

The NS visitor center is very sweet, with beach roses and arbors.

From the visitor center, you can see Fundy Bay.

That may not look like much, but all that red is the ocean floor while the tide is waaaay out. Fundy wasn't part of my agenda because I've been there before, but I felt a slight tug while I stood there. Maybe we'll go there on the way back from CB.

And who doesn't love a chick playing bagpipes?

From the visitor center, I decided to get off the highway for a while and explore rt 6, which was reportedly more scenic. And it was okay. But not award winning. Maybe I was just too tired to appreciate it.(Though I loved the fact that I was generally the only person on the road.)

However, you know I love you because I went days out of the way to get this shot for you:
World's Largest Blueberry, Oxford, NS
What the Web and guide books don't tell you is that it is on the corner of an Irving gas station parking lot. That makes it lose a little of its charm.

Don't get me wrong, there were many beautiful things to see along rt 6...

The Chatterbox Cafe, Pugwash, NS
Gratuitous food shot to upset half the audience
The signs are bilingual here--does that seriously translate to "Black St"?

Now, I'm all about novelty. And when I first started researching this area, I came across the website for this place. And if you love trains, I'm about to rock your world.

Train cars set up as a restaurant and hotel...

Each of the train cars/cabooses are available for your luxury stay in Tatamagouche.
Also in Tatamagouche: a sign announcing a Ta Ta Tattoo Festival. What?! Unfortunately, I'm a day early going through. And for the record, my ta-tas are tat-free.

Remember, I am the sheep whisperer. I can find sheep anywhere.
Do not underestimate my sheep sensing ability.

I had a momentary pang of loneliness. No one to hold the
camera while I act foolish. Sad.

I came across a lavender farm in Seafoam, NS.
 And it smelled heavenly when I got out of the car, bien sur.

And finally--wildlife!
I hate fake wildlife--more so in places where said wildlife might actually exist. Grrrr
From here, things took a turn. Literally. I needed to get through Pictou and over to to Merigomish to camp at Cranberry Campground in Barneys Lower River. But look at this cluster-F on the map. I hit a rotary and pulled a European Vacation trick--spinning around several times, reading the signs, not knowing what the hell to do.
A friend loaned me her GPS, a gadget I've never used before. I thought this would be a prime time to try it out. It promptly got me through the rotary, onto a highway, off on a dirt road, and lost as fuck in the woods. "Rerouting..." Yeah, I gave the GPS a time out.

Eventually, I got here. And was lucky to get the last tent site. This place is beautiful, even though it's a total permanent RV establishment. As I was filling out the paperwork, the kid at the desk let me know that it's Christmas in July here this weekend. If someone dressed like Santa comes barreling through on an ATV, I'll be very disappointed. But for now, I'm happy to just park it and be done for the day. I'm going to read a book while the sun sets over the water and enjoy the delicious cold here. Seriously, it's impressively frigid. Except the water--the Strait is known for its warm water, and it wasn't warm, per se, but it was not as icy as I would have expected.

Tomorrow, we finally step foot on Cape Breton. Sometimes I look around and catch myself thinking, "Wow, I'm really doing this." It feels incredible.


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