Scoot Commute

Canada Day Eleven: Mira River, NS (60 miles)

Posted in 2010 Canada, BMW F650GS Dakar (Maxx), Suzuki DR-Z400SM (Elsa) by sbahn on 2011/02/02

Rain. Rain. Rain. And slugs. Slugs. Slugs. That’s what greeted me this Monday morning. I woke up really early and was going to slip out of the tent quietly, to walk up to the privy and then sit and watch the steam rise up off the water. Quietly is the key word here.

I gently pulled the zip on the tent door on my side, and poked my head out to check on my shoes which were tucked neatly under the extended fly. “No slugs,” I said softly to myself. I reached for one shoe, which is white with green and mustard yellow stripes, the same mustard yellow as the slugs, and I screamed. “Aaaagh…I touched one. I touched one. Aaaaagh, I can’t get that feeling out of my head.”

So now the boyfriend is awake. “Didn’t you just check?” he asked. Well, yeah, but I’m really, really nearsighted and hadn’t bothered to put on my glasses. I’m regretting that decision now. “Get it off, get it off!” I’m yelling. Poor guy. Can’t even get a good sleep in while he’s still in pain and recuperating from the trip to Upper Leitches Creek.

He flings the slug off as I crawl out of the tent. I jam my feet in and head off of on my morning walk. Apparently while I was gone, enjoying stepping on as many slugs as I could, he had to scoop out not one, not two, but three of the slimy creatures from the bottom of his riding boots. I shudder just thinking about slipping my foot into my boots and feeling that squish. I really don’t like slugs.

Today he says he feels up for a visit to the Marconi National Historic Site. Finally! Who doesn’t love a good walk around a place where modern communications began?

Marconi National Historic Site, Table Head, Glace Bay, NS

Marconi National Historic Site, Table Head, Glace Bay, NS

We’re off, headed toward a tip of land in Glace Bay called Table Head. I really don’t know what my deal is with Marconi; I’m a little obsessed but I don’t know why. I’ve been to the site on Cape Cod in Chatham (several times) and to the beach station in Wellfleet. I’ve been to the site in Clifden, Co. Galway in Ireland. The Clifden location was the European side of the first regular trans-atlantic telegraph service; the North American side is the location in Glace Bay. My head is just about ready to explode.

We arrive at the museum and it’s pissing down with rain. We walk all around outside and then head inside to view the exhibit. The lovely young women at the desk don’t mind us leaving our dripping gear in a corner of the building. Two older gents are going on and on about radio stuff; one works there and one is visiting his friend. I don’t think they realize that it’s the girl of this moto-duo who is, quite literally, going bonkers over all the cool shit. I felt kinda bad for the girls working there as it must sorta suck, being surrounded by old men talking radio stuff. They were so very nice, suggesting that we visit the Fortress of Louisbourg on July 1st as it’s free on Canada Day which is just a couple of days way. I didn’t want to tell them that I wasn’t interested in the Fortress; I had everything I needed right in front of me on this spit of land with some cement foundations sticking up through the scraggly brush, the only vegetation that can grown in this harsh environment.

Coal cliff, Table Head, Glace Bay, NS

Coal cliff, Table Head, Glace Bay, NS

We headed out for a ride on the Marconi Trail, one of the themed “Scenic Travelways” put together by the Nova Scotia tourist board (at least that’s who I think does it). There are signs along the route indicating that it’s a scenic trail, just like the Cabot Trail or the Ceilidh Trail. I had read somewhere that the house that Marconi and his family lived in while he worked in Glace Bay is nearby and that the current owners don’t mind visitors. Of course I wanted to go.

Beware of Dog

Beware of Dog

I found the place. There was a large wood sign way up high tacked to a tree with random sticker letters that read “Beware of Dog”. Hmm, should we head up the driveway? And then we see the dog. Oh crap.

We both started back-paddling the bikes down the driveway and back toward the road. “Hurry, hurry, it’s coming!” I yell over the communicator. We get back on the roadway and the dog still isn’t at the end of the driveway. We sit at the edge of the roadway as the dog finally gets closer. Ohhhh, it only has three legs. So we ran from a 3-legged guard dog. Needless to say, I didn’t get to see the house.

We got back to our camp site quite early as neither of us wanted to push it today. We hadn’t really explored the campground as we were in the section that wasn’t actually open because 1) they were busier than expected and didn’t want to turn us away; and, 2) Betty wanted us to be separated from any noise and commotion. The only section that was technically open was the big field where the RVs park.

We walked over to that section, passing a little area where a few tents were set up, and strolled along the RVs. Man, they can be big. One of them had a cat curled up on the dashboard. It made me sad as I was missing my cats. I noticed a building tucked way on the other side of the field and said, “I wonder what that is. Do you think this place actually has flush toilets and running water?” We had been using a privy, which I don’t mind, hell, it’s a lot better than not having one, but neither of us had cleaned ourselves or our clothes in 5 days. There’s really only so much a baby wipe can do.

Continuing our loop around, we come to the building. I open the door on the women’s side and he does the same on the men’s. Oh my…a shower. A bona fide, hot water shower. Guess what we did that afternoon? That’s right. I wore my clothes into the shower, lathered ’em up, rinsed them off, took them off, and then lathered up me. I was so happy to be able to wash my hair as tomorrow night is our big night out, the reason we were in Mira River to begin with.

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One Response

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  1. Keith said, on 2011/02/02 at 9:09 pm

    My daughter is an electrical engineer. She would have been in her element with you surrounded . Me? I love the Old Fortress at Louisbourg. Oh well.
    ~Keith


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