After a busy weekend of relocating to my new “base camp”, dinner parties with my workamper buddies and staying up until the wee small hours watching the Olympics, it was time to hit the road. The trip got off to a late start after discovering that one of the tires on the car was flat. The folks here at the campground had an air compressor and got enough air in the tire to allow me to get to a local garage (pronounced “graaj” here) for a repair. One wood screw removed; one plug inserted; and I was headed for the Northumberland Shore area.
The Northumberland Shore is the northern coast of mainland Nova Scotia. It borders the Northumberland Strait, which separates Nova Scotia from Prince Edward Island, and boasts the warmest Atlantic Ocean waters north of the Carolinas. Consequently, it is dotted with beaches in little coves all along the coast.
Due to my delayed start I began today’s excursion in the middle of the region ~ known as the Tartan Coast ~ with a visit to the Lismore Sheep Farm & Wool Shop. I admit that the opportunity to pet baby lambs was a draw, but my main objective was to check out the wool shop. They offer handmade knitting needles crafted from local birch wood. Unfortunately, they did not have the size and type that I need, but the quality of the needles was so good that I was tempted to buy some just to have them around.
Leaving the farm I drove along Highway 6, the Sunrise Trail, to the town of Pictou. All along the route were glimpses of the ocean with its rocky shore and red sandstone cliffs. The coastline here is picturesque but not nearly as dramatic as either the Fundy or South Shores. Side trips down some of the local roads invariably led to a sheltered cove with a sandy beach and families frolicking in the warm water.
The historic town of Pictou is considered the seat of Scottish immigration to Canada. However, it was first founded in 1767 when the Philadelphia Company dispatched six families from Maryland and Pennsylvania to settle the area. The Dutch cargo ship Hector arrived in 1773 with 179 passengers from the Scottish Highlands. The success of these first settlers encouraged thousands of additional Scots to make the journey. As the main port of entry for these immigrants, Pictou became known as the “the birthplace of New Scotland”. I strolled through the streets along the waterfront and downtown area accompanied by the tunes of a bagpipe group practicing in the town park. Visitors to the Maritime Museum can adopt a baby lobster. I couldn’t bring myself to do that knowing that I have thoroughly enjoyed eating its ancestors. :o)
I enjoyed a delicious seafood dinner while watching sailboats skimming across the tranquil harbor. The road out of town was flanked by inland bays and marshes, then gave way to mixed hardwood trees and evergreens. Up on the Trans-Canada Highway I was treated to a bright red sunset on my right and, on my left, a luminous moon in a blue sky streaked with pink and red sitting just above the tree line. That’s the kind of thing that takes the ho-hum out of interstate driving and I am grateful!
For additional photos of this outing, visit my on-line web album