Paved with Only Good Intentions

Monday, June 07, 2010 Road Junkies 0 Comments

Day 38:  Louisbourg, NS & Glace Bay, NS.  Since our van has been kind enough to carry us 4,805 miles on this trip, we owed it a little TLC.  The local Honda dealer in Sydney administered the routine service this morning, and we were soon on our way again.  Yesterday's rain continued today with a few lighter patches of almost sun.
The drive down Nova Scotia's east coastproduced one stellar vista after another.  Picturesque Acadian fishing villages dotted the rugged shore.  
Typical fishing village
In addition to the fog that rolled in mid-afternoon, the only impediment to enjoying the coastal drive was the deterioration of the road.  Though the province does an admirable job with primary roads for which it receives federal funding, many secondary roads are in severe need of repair or reconstruction.  Normal wear and tear is exacerbated by a climate where the average high temperature is in the 30s (F.) for four months of the year.  In addition, Nova Scotia's secondary roads are said to be 50% older than the those in the remainder of Canada. 

'Rough Section Ahead' signs are a familiar sight on secondary roads, and usually the rough condition is not intentionally caused (by grinding for resurfacing).  Some of the roads have been patched and left unrepaired for so long that a gravel road can seem an appealing alternative.
Rough road
Local railway museums have become a popular use for old train depots which are no longer in use. In Louisburg, as in other towns, volunteers in the community took the initiative to organize a museum committee.
Louisburg's once bustling depot is now a museum.
A few samples of obsolete, unwanted rolling stock were obtained, and retired rail workers and others in the community donated rail-related memorabilia.  Louisburg's museum has some fascinating exhibits of old equipment used in the depot.  But we could not find the letterbox that is supposed to be located there.

We did locate a box nearby that had been unfound for four years. The clue involved a series of seven compass readings with instructions to go a certain number of steps, then take a new reading and walk x steps in that direction. It was an expansive open area on the shore and we didn't think there was a chance we'd end up in the correct spot with so many opportunities for error. Our compass readings could be a little off, our steps longer or shorter. When we finally took our last reading and went our final steps, we discovered, exactly as the clue stated, "The box is hidden at the base of the large boulder closest to the path." What a rush!

  • Miles driven: 100
  • Van service:  146,250
  • Fishing boats:  74
  • Letterboxes:  2
  • False sightings of bald eagle: 1
  • Osprey sightings: 1
  • High temp:  57° F
  • Rain:  yes
  • Fog:  of course