Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Halifax!

 So, I was filling the truck with diesel the other day. I had ¼ tank left when I started. When the pump finally shut off the display read $239.38. Never in my life would I have thought I would be paying that for ¾ of a tank of fuel! I wondered how many people drive off without paying? It reminded me of one of my first jobs. I had not thought about it for a long time. I was probably 16 or 17.  It had to be back, I am going to say 1978 or ’79 at a SuperAmerica gas station on the corner of Maryland and Rice in St. Paul. My older brother had gotten me the job as he was a manager for them. For those you who know that area, it was in a pretty rough area of town. At least what was considered rough back then. I have not been in that area now for many years.

My job? I had a clipboard and a sheet of paper and had to write down the license plate numbers of everyone that pulled up to the pumps. This was before pay-at-the-pump so everyone had to go in to pay. Then the cashier would announce over the speaker “Pump 5 clear” and I would cross off their plate number. Hundreds, maybe thousands of cars every day. Writing down the plates and crossing it off. Some of the people did not want their plate written down and became quite belligerent.

My brother then became a security officer for Kmart and I followed in his footsteps by becoming a security officer for J.C. Penney. That would have been in ’81. Wild times back then catching shoplifters. Lots of stories. I am still friends with a couple of coworkers from back then. Then in ’83 I went to work for Cub Foods, again as a security officer. I remember taking that job because it paid $4.23/hour! What? People steal from a grocery store? Yup, this was back when cigarettes were still on the shelves so those were a hot item. But we caught people stealing just about everything. Usually it was stuff they wanted but did not need like cosmetics, dog toys, steaks, spices, film…. I was with Cub for 30 years working a variety of positions. Great people and a great place to work.

Not many people can say they only worked for 2 companies since they turned 18! In my younger days I was a paperboy probably when I was 13 or 14. I still remember walking that route and some of the people. There were some days I would walk it in my sleep, go back home, back to bed and wake up in a panic thinking I forgot to do it at all! In the winter my younger brother and I would take our snowblower and shovels door to door asking if people wanted their driveways cleared. Then there was my short stint bus boy and fast food cook. That turned me into a germaphobe and is where I developed my food quirks. People are disgusting.

I am writing all this for a couple of reasons. One, is that someday one of my grandkids or great grandkids might wonder what Grandpa Jim did back in the day and the other so is I can refer to it in a few years when I myself start forgetting! Someday I will write about Barb’s work history but for now back to the present!

Our trip from St. John’s to Port aux Basques was just how we wanted it. Uneventful. We drove 5 hours both days. At the end of the first day we found an absolutely beautiful overnight spot right on a lake. We got there about 2:00, we spent the afternoon reading and watching the dogs play in the lake. We thought “It does not get any better than this!” 

That was until dusk and the bugs came out. The black flies were horrible! And so small they were coming right through the screen. We fought them for a while but it was a losing battle. We packed up and went to another spot 10 miles down the road and they were even worse! We ended up at a Walmart in Grand Falls/Windsor. No bugs there!

The next day we made it all the way to Port aux Basques but not before stopping in Corner Brook for some groceries. There was a guy in the parking lot selling lobster “$7.00/pound” the sign said. I went up and bought 3 for $22.00. Then he said, “I have two left, I will give you a deal on them”. “Sure”, I say. Then he pulls out the big lobster with only one claw but the claw was enormous!

We pulled into a little park in Port aux Basques about 2:00 and started cooking lobster. (This park would accommodate small campers.) We were only able to eat about ½ of it so it looks like we have left overs!

We got on the ferry the next morning and made our way to North Sydney, again, a 7 hour ferry ride. It  was July 1st, Canada Day. And Dakota’s birthday! She is now 8 years old. After boarding the ferry we tucked the girls into the camper and went up to the main deck where we read and watched T.V. This trip seemed to take forever. Perhaps it was because it is no longer new to us or maybe it was the rougher seas causing the ferry to rock a little more than usual.

Good bye Newfoundland!
We finally got to North Sydney at 7:00pm where we drove to the local ice arena where we set up for the night in the parking lot and had the rest of our lobster from yesterday.  At about 8:00 some cars started pulling in. More and more cars, until the parking lot was about ½ full. Come to find out there is a concert in the arena from 9:30-1:30. Oh well. And being Canada Day there were a lot of fireworks going off all around as well. It was fun to hear all the laughter and goofiness of the people having a good time.

Our destination for the day was Truro and our 2nd Harvest Host stay since joining. No, it was not a brewery. What do you think we are a couple of alcoholics?!?! It was a distillery! The Raging Crow Distillery in North River Nova Scotia is a very small distillery run out of a building in the backyard of a residential neighborhood. Although they may seem small on the outside, on the inside they had quite the variety of gins, vodkas, rums and liqueurs. It is run by a husband and wife couple, well mostly the wife, Jill.

They have an awesome set up, the kind that makes you want to do it yourself in your backyard. Except I don’t have a couple hundred thousand to spare in the whole set up. Jill gave us a tour of her work area and we sampled about ½ of their offerings. We walked away with a couple including the Dill Pickle Vodka Barb is anxious to try in her Ceasar's! Again, we spent way more than we would have at a campground but a very cool experience.

The Raging Crow was a nice place to stay and I would highly recommend it to anyone traveling through. Not suitable for rigs over 30' though as you could not turn around. 

Our real reason for stopping in this area was to check out the tidal bore on the Salmon River. What is a tidal bore you ask? There is a whole web page that describes it. There is part of it. 

A tidal bore is a tumbling wavefront which moves upstream in a river, announcing the arrival of an incoming tide.

Tidal bores occur in regions of the world that have large tides. However, a tidal bore does not occur in every river flooded by a high tide.

Three conditions are necessary to form a tidal bore:

  1. Almost flat riverbed – The riverbed must have a very gentle, downstream slope.
  2. Higher riverbed – The riverbed must be well above the level of the low tide so that the tide is rising rapidly when it enters the part of the river where a tidal bore might appear.
  3. Shallow river water – The water in the river prior to the arrival of the bore must be relatively shallow. If a tidal bore encounters water that is much deeper than the height of the bore, the bore collapses into a barely noticeable, smooth surge of rising water.
Guess who forgot to take pictures? That would be me. It was interesting as the water came up the somewhat dry riverbed and started filling it. It would have been real interesting in time-lapse. 

Our ultimate destination for the week was the Dartmouth/Halifax area. On our way there Barb was looking at her phone and told me to pull off on a random exit. I did not know what was going on as I knew we were far from our destination. "Turn left here", "Turn right here". Where did we end up? Another Roadside attraction of course!

I mean who can resist a giant mammoth and the Flintstone house?!?!? The only saving grace was that there was a Tim Horton's on the corner. Oh wait, there is a Tim Horton's on every corner in Canada! 

We finally got to Dartmouth and went to the Bass Pro Shop (We stayed at the Bass Pro Shop both nights.) Dartmouth is directly across the river from Halifax.  As luck would have it, we arrived on Sunday, the last day of Ribfest down on the waterfront!
We got enough ribs to feed us for the next 3 meals, we were ribbed out by the time we were done. 

The next day was Halifax, there is a toll bridge from Dartmouth to Halifax but it is only $1.25.
Looks like I need to clean the windshield! 
Historically, Halifax is known for two big events; the first was in 1917 known as the Halifax Explosion when two ships passing in the narrows collided. 

The Mont-Blanc was a munitions ship headed for the war. When she caught fire the munitions ignited  and eventually exploded killing 1,600 people immediately and another 400 later due to the severity of their injuries. It pretty much leveled the entire city.
The other thing Halifax is widely known for is its involvement in the recovery effort of the Titanic after it sunk in April of 1912. Three ships left Halifax and recovered 300+ bodies. Some of these bodies were buried at sea, while the majority of them were brought back to Halifax and buried in the Fairview Lawn Cemetery.  

We visited both the cemetery and the Maritimes Museum of the Atlantic. It was very humbling to walk through the cemetery and see where the remains 125 unidentified bodies were buried in a mass grave as a result of the explosion

Many of the unidentified from the Titanic were buried in graves baring no name, just a number and date. Those that were identified were also listed the sequence in which they were recovered. These two were significant for two reasons; J Dawson was thought to be the inspiration for the character Jack Dawson in the movie Titanic. Although "J" was actually a John and not a Jack. 
James McGrady was the final body to be recovered, #330. He was recovered almost 6 weeks after the ship sank. 
The Maritimes Museum had numerous artifacts from the Titanic including a deck chair, tickets, pieces of wood from throughout the ship and articles of clothing worn by some of the passengers. 


In addition to the Titanic exhibit, the museum houses many other Maritimes items throughout history. Model replica's of ships, torpedo's, bombs, and ancient coins dating as far back as the 1600's.



It was interesting to look at these model ships and wonder what life must have been like back in the day when they roamed the harbors. Equally as impressive was the skill and craftsmanship that went into making these scale models. It must have taken months just to complete one!



This figurehead is from 1826! Imagine what that ship must have looked like when she was first launched. 


Overall, it was very interesting and a "must see" if you are in the area. The museum is on the waterfront which has a lot of shops and a walkway. We went twice, once in the morning with the dogs and once in the afternoon by ourselves. 


On our way back from our morning walk we came across the Garrison Brewing Co. I know, shocking right? It was a little after 10:00 and Barb asked if I wanted to stop for a beer. It was kinda early in the day to start drinking and I told her so. Her response was "They open at 10:00 for a reason you know". How could I argue with logic like that?!?!?
In that same area you will find the  Alexander Keith's Brewery. For just under $30 you can take a guided tour of the facility.  This was later in the afternoon, not right after our morning stop!
We really liked seeing the facility and how they made the beer. We could have done without the theatrical manner in which way they did it. It reminded me of a bad high school musical. But they gave you beer so it made it bearable. 


That's it for Halifax. We have roughly one week left in Nova Scotia as we work out way south I cannot help but lay awake at night with anxious anticipation of what Roadside Attractions Barb has in store for me this week!

41 comments:

  1. Glad you are still finding things of interest to check out while you are here in Canada.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your adventure.

    It's about time.

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    1. Lots of history that we knew nothing about and we are just hitting the highlights.

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  2. I remember my grandfather speaking about the Halifax explosion. He visited there (on a naval ship) a few weeks after it happened. Must have been dreadful for the people there.

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    1. In addition to dealing with the deaths, their homes were completely leveled. Having to deal with both of those things at the same time our be unbearable.

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  3. I like the roadside attractions Barb finds for the two of you! It was neat that you were in Canada for their Canada Day! Those lobsters sure sounded like they were delicious and what a deal you got on them! I didn't realize one of the bodies found from the Titanic took 6 weeks to be found! That is dedication with people looking for them.

    You had a great working career! It is always fun to read what others did or currently do to make a living!

    betty

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    1. Three ships were sent out of Halifax to the Titanic site over the course of 6 weeks. James' was the only body recovered on that particular mission. He was originally listed as an unknown male in his 50's but he was actually much younger than that.

      I cannot imagine what it must have been like to be on one of those recovery vessels.

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  4. Overheard in Cocoa Beach, Florida: “You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning”.

    Looks like you had a great time in Halifax!

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    1. I've used that line a time or two myself back in the day, usually on Canadian fishing trips. Not anymore though, my body just can't handle it!

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  5. I compliment you again my dear fellow. I can't believe you put Bambi in a time out. She must have been a bad girl. Thanks for all of the tours. It was like walking alongside you and seeing everything. Let me know if you need to borrow some money. I have to give our bank a heads up. LOL.

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    1. Very bad! You can just transfer your funds into our account, ours is getting a little dry.

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  6. Wow ... beautiful country. Makes me wonder why there's so much alcohol around there! Love going through those museums. So much interesting history. I've been waiting for a video of Barb serenading you with the accordion. Happy Birthday Dakota and pets to Zoey!

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    1. We haven't been anywhere long enough for Barb to break out the accordion. Maybe in PA!

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  7. Sounds like you are seeing a ton of things. Ray was drooling over your lobster, his favourite.

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    1. There must be millions of lobster out there to sustain these fisheries and families year after year!

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  8. Those nasty little flies were probably no-see-ums. We never thought of looking for all the roadside attractions…pretty cool! We did a tidal bore in Moncton, NB. The Halifax waterfront was one of our favourites, especially the Maritime Museum. Highly recommend Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, Peggy’s Cove, and Lunenburg. Safe travels!
    Colibaba’s

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    1. I am sure that's exactly what they were. Our zapper could still zap them but we just couldn't keep up!

      We are in Peggy's Cove right now and it is pouring. Hoping it stops soon so we can get out and explore.

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  9. Ribs and Lobster...can't go wrong there, that's for sure! And I can't believe Barb trusted you enough to put herself into that Pillory...bet she had a keen eye on you the whole time so you wouldn't lock her in! lol (looks like her narrow hands would just slip right through it had you locked her in there)

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    1. I was tempted but I would have paid for it many times over. My momma didn't raise no fool!

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  10. The lobster look so yummy. Really enjoying your adventure. Thanks for taking the time to share.

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    1. Would you believe we had to take a break from lobster!?! You ever heard of such a thing?

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  11. I love hearing what people did in their previous life before retirement! Wow those lobsters are something else! :) You two are certainly having a wonderful time, and that's what it's all about!!

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    1. We like hearing people's stories as well. We meet people from so many different fields.

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  12. Nice claw!!! Da Lobsta looks yummy!!! And so does that brew and whiskey! What an amazing area to spend time in, you’ve certainly got us excited to follow in your footsteps in the future! And lastly who’s that Hotta in the stockade? SteveMc

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  13. Looks like so much fun - except for the nasty flies :-( Nice to have lobster to make everyone feel better. Good to be traveling with a partner who finds all those important attractions, and honors the operating hours of drinking establishments!

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    1. Barb is an awesome trip planner and navigator. She makes sure we see the most of everything in each area we go. Well, at least everything that interests us.

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  14. lobster, ribs and beer...you guys sure do eat and drink well. i am surprised a brewery would be open at 10 am but i agree with supporting them if they are open!!

    i think i enjoyed the artifacts and graves from titanic most, that was so interesting. that's one museum i would love to visit!!

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    1. The Titanic exhibit and burial site were two things we were really looking forward to. The rest of that museum was equally impressive as well!

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  15. Mmmmm, lobster and booze! Fun history and scenes. Weather looks warm. Happy Birthday to Dakota! Wow has Zoey grown?!

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    1. Does it get any better than that?

      We knew a little of the history but not to this extent. It was very interesting.

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  16. So much to see, so much to do, so many beers to try. Looks like a fun, fun trip, thanks for sharing.

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    1. We don't try every beer, just those that are cold and refreshing!

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  17. It’s Gay…Joe ( Navy vet) would love the Maritime Museum. The tidal bore is ver interesting…thats my kind of adventure!

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    1. We went to another museum this week you would like as well then!

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  18. We enjoyed reading your biography! Thanks for sharing. Nothing like fresh lobster! So, so good and reasonably priced. I'm very jealous. Happy Birthday to Dakota!! I fell in love with Alexander Keith's Red. One of my favorites. Who knew I wasn't going to be able to get it in the US! I do believe they starting selling it but we never found it. We did buy a 12 pack to bring back. Probably paid as much as we for two cases here.

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    1. We liked the Pale Ale there, I had never had it before this year. Beer is spendy up here with cases averaging almost $50!

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    2. It's funny the things you remember but I remember we paid $24.95 for the 12 pack!! Hence, only one was purchased and that was 13 years ago.

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  19. Replies
    1. We were not able to get up to Gaspe as we were running short on time. If we had another month we would have gone up there as well as Labrador but we have a date that we have to be home by and it is approaching faster than we would like!

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  20. Replies
    1. We spent some time in Truro and will be in Digby and St. John's NB later this week. We decided to take other side of Nova Scotia (southern) on our trip through there....Halifax, Bridgewater, Yarmouth....

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