Monday, August 31, 2009

Pictou Harbor, Nova Scotia

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Moving day. In case we decide to go to Newfoundland, we need to move further northeast to North Sydney, on Cape Breton Island. With that aim in mind, we looked over the map and headed to Pictou Harbor. This turned out to be only a hundred miles or so from Amherst but for us that's a good day. The problem with Nova Scotia is that there are just too darn many interesting places to see and stop at. This, in turn, makes any substantial progress very slow. It comes down to a matter of choices; we can't see everything. As soon as we say, “we are not going to make any more unscheduled stops”, boom. Up pops some extraordinary must see pullover that begs for a quick look. So it goes-slowly.
Entering Pictou we saw smokestacks and the attendant odor of a pulp mill. I really thought they were a thing of the past, that environmental laws had closed them down or at least modified them to be less toxic. In an otherwise picture perfect little town, there stands a blight on its shores. We need paper but there ought to be a more environmentally friendly way to go about to producing it. Carol noted that since most of the smoke looked pure white, it was could be mostly steam. One can hope.
Anyway, other than a unleashed Golden Retriever blindsiding Nicky, we loved this town. The replica of the Hector, the ship that brought the original Scottish settlers here in 1773, was a marvel. How they crammed 33 families into that boot, as that style of ship is called, is probably something I don't really want to know.
About 6 miles out of town we found the Caribou Provincial Park. It looked to be another great campground. As it was getting dark I quickly got the bikes off the rack and took a ride around the park. After dinner, our evening stroll to the beach took less than five minutes. The trail wound through the woods before bursting out into a huge grassy meadow that was situated on the bluff overlooking the beach. Although there are no hook ups in provincial parks, the prices are about half as much as the more popular national parks. The locations might not have the notoriety of the National parks but I found this park to be every bit as interesting as their more pricey brethren.
After a long walk along this deserted beach, which allowed dogs, we returned to the Casita. It was a clear, cloudless night and Jupiter was bright in the southern sky. I got out the huge astronomy binoculars. We saw at least 4 moons of Jupiter. Love thinking about stars, solar systems and all manner of cosmic questions. A fitting end to another great day.

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