A long time from now, archeologists will be able to trace my route simply by following the myriad guestbooks I have signed since I got here. "A bowl of soup? Sure, $5.50 and please sign our guestbook."
I had grand plans, but the weather put a damper on everything (see what I did there?). Nova Scotian rain has a wicked good sense of humor. Driving along, there would be some mild rain or mist. But if I stepped out of the car, there was a surging downpour. So, fuck Cape Forchu and fuck Cape Sable Island (and I was told they have Boston accents there--I really wanted to hear that [the woman at the inn: "Well, be careful there. They have guns." I laughed. "No, they don't. But they do." I liked her mixed messages.]).
So I took some random roads when it the rain let up.
|Nova Scotia, you mock me with your gigantic chairs and no photo assistance.|
|Creative spot for this message.|
|This jail is so old it's called a "gaol."|
|Sometimes my people confuse me.|
|Just a random little welcoming committee in a marsh.|
|Was not expecting this.|
|He showed us how they made square nails back in the day. Very cool.|
After this, it was back to the highway. There is nothing to see on the highway. Nada. Rien.
Eventually, I came upon Birchtown and pulled off the highway. Birchtown was a black loyalist community and is now a little schoolhouse-turned-museum. I paid my admission and checked it out for a while. Truly, the book by Lawrence Hill captures the entire thing perfectly. But to see copies of pages from the Book of Negroes was fascinating. Every black loyalist was documented--name, age, and a description. There are three books remaining--one in England, one in DC, and one in Halifax. I wanted to take pictures, but sometimes it doesn't feel right. This was one of those times.
When I finished viewing the inside museum, the folks told me to take a walk down the path outside to see a pit house (very crude lodging), burial ground, and a couple other things. But as soon as I stepped outside, a horrific rain started. I jogged down the path and tried to get pics.
|Imagine making a home in this landscape.|
|Imagine this being "home." Any time of year, any weather. With bears nearby.|
Soaked through and thoroughly hating life, I got back into the car, turned on the defrost, and hit the highway. Fuck Shelburne, fuck Liverpool, fuck Le Havre Island. I stopped at a Tim Horton somewhere and tried to dry off.
Travel note: You can totally stay in Nova Scotia without making reservations. I was worried about this because search results didn't always bring up all the chain hotels for some reason. And I know I'm doing a bang-up job of selling this as a supreme vaca spot, so you'll want to get on that.
|My sweet little room.|
|The Boscawen Inn is a huge, rambling, elegant old-timey place.|
|Even their font is pretty.|
|Just keepin' it real.|
By 7 p.m., I was kinda done. Tired, cranky, muttering. But the nice people who run the Boscawen Inn told me to come to the pub downstairs in the evening. So around 9, I went down and settled in with a beer.
Have you heard of the Boxwood organization? I hadn't. Hopefully I'll explain this accurately: They are a collective of professional and aspiring musicians from everywhere, all ages, getting together to make beautiful music together. They are here in Lunenburg this week, and all gathered in the pub and put on a jam ceilidh ("kay-lee"--traditional Irish/Scot/Gaelic/etc. music). It was great. These are the moments when just being "open" to the adventure makes all the difference. I had sadly missed out on ceilidhs last summer in Cape Breton, so this was a treat. And I was told this morning that among the musicians was Chris Norman, who was behind the flute music you hear while watching Titanic.