Chapter 19 - Prince Edward to Dartmouth/Halifax, Nova Scotia
July 1st, Day 35: Our drive over to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia was uneventful although the scenery was consistently beautiful and the traffic was fairly light considering that today is Canada Day. Incidentally, Canada Day is very similar to the Canadians as the 4th of July is to Americans as it celebrates the anniversary of the July 1, 1867 uniting of the three separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into one single dominion within the British Empire called Canada. The founding of Canada as it were. This Canadian holiday accounts for the reason that we decided to go to our campground in Dartmouth four days earlier than originally scheduled since it was the only campground that we called that had space for us for the night, sort of like what happened in Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago. We were also without a water, electrical, or sewer hookup although it was not quite so bad as spending the night in a barn. Well, we did rough it a bit as we had no TV service and my electric toothbrush did not work the next morning. Fortunately, we knew that the following day, on Saturday, we would move to a new spot within the same campground and the services would be available. Other than purchasing gas and a few supplies, the remainder of the day we enjoyed in the relative quiet of the campground.
July 2nd, Day 36: This morning was fairly cool, in the mid-60s, although warmer than we might have expected here in Nova Scotia. The problem however this morning, was the overcast skies and the possibility of rain. Besides a possible weather problem, today was also a little different than most other days as we have been told that we need to change our location within our Shubie Campground around 11 am which means that any tourist activities that we might plan will need to be abbreviated. Fortunately the Shubie Campground is only minutes from the downtown area of Dartmouth so Kathy and I both agreed that we had plenty of time to visit one of the important tourist attractions in the city, the gravestone of my great grandfather, John R. Patterson (1855-1927). The problem was that we were not really clear which cemetery we would find my great grandfather other than we knew that it was on Victoria Road. The problem was that we found two different cemeteries on Victoria but finally after searching every corner of both of these fairly large cemeteries along with a lot of up and down hill walking, we finally found my great grandpa buried in the Dartmouth Common Cemetery (or the Dartmouth Public cemetery) established back in 1842. We were somewhat surprised to see a fairly new gravestone considering that he died back in 1927, although I must assume that one of my "cousins" may have had his old stone replaced. We quickly returned to our campground by 11 am and relocated our trailer.
After we moved our travel trailer and had lunch we decided to drive downtown in Dartmouth to visit what was being advertised as the "Harbourview Weekend Market" which we both agreed sounded like a good place to stock up on some fresh vegetables. When we arrived rather than finding a nice outdoor marketplace, what we found was a rather rundown looking building where indoors they were pushing mostly second hand junk. So much for this tourist attraction. We then decided to go to what we hoped was a much larger outdoor market over in Halifax called the "Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market" which we soon discovered was also an indoor market but it was obviously a much better place to shop as their parking lots were jammed. Knowing that Cabo would not be allowed in the building, we decided that we would forgo the experience and return home for the rest of the afternoon. We did however, get a chance to see the downtown areas of both Dartmouth and Halifax on a busy Saturday afternoon on a holiday weekend. Not bad all together although maybe we might prefer to have visited a quiet old historic site or a crowded stone filled cemetery where no one uttered a word. Late this afternoon we had a gentle rain and the temperatures remained in the low 60s. A great night for relaxing and sleeping and watering the grass.
July 3rd, Day 37: This morning we woke up to blue skies and cool temperatures and we both agreed that it was a perfect day for being tourists once again. Our primary goal today is to drive down the coast of Nova Scotia east of Halifax as we have read that the scenery along the coastline in both directions is a must see. On the way we passed the Dartmouth Harbour and Ferry Terminal area and we immediately decided that it was worth a view especially since on a Sunday morning the parking lot was almost empty. I was fortunately to be able to capture this photo with the Dartmouth Ferry from Halifax just entering the terminal.
This view of Kathy and Cabo with the City of Halifax in the background we felt was also worthwhile including in this blog. Despite the fact that it was only around 9 am on a Sunday morning there were still boats in the harbor including one large freight boat as well as a small sailboat.
The numerous harbors that we encountered as we headed eastward down Highway 207 known as the Cole Harbour Road, made it difficult to know when to pull over and where best to take a photograph. The harbor shown in the above photograph is pretty typical of the kinds of views we were seeing every few minutes. Although no homes are shown in this particular photograph we were surprised just how many houses, some of them quite small, lay alongside the water with views that were worth more than the value of the house alone. Way more!
We were quite surprised to come across a large beach area known as the Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park. What surprised us the most was that despite the fact that the beach was virtually empty there were lifeguards on duty. The beach was quite lovely although the beaches were composed entirely of stone pebbles rather than sand, the water was undoubtedly still cold, and the waves were fairly large. These conditions did not seem to bother the more than a dozen jet skiers who were jumping back and forth through the crashing waves.
Kathy and Cabo enjoyed the view of the beach and ocean as well.
While it is impossible to identify a typical home along the seashore, this home in the photograph to the right is pretty typical: small, steep roof, wood shingle siding, small paneled windows, and lots of green grass, plus what does not show in this photo, terrific long range views of the Atlantic Ocean. Our next summer home in the land of my ancestors?
Speaking of my ancestors, on our return trip back to our campground, Kathy and I decided to drive across the toll bridge into Halifax and stop by the Camp Hill Cemetery where my research shows that my great, great grandfather, John "Jock" R. Patterson (Sr) (1822-1892) is buried. I suppose that we should not have been surprised that we found the cemetery to be huge and despite a futile search though this lovely place for around one-half hour, we had to give up searching. Perhaps my sister and her husband when they arrive here in a few days would like to help us continue in this search.
As we approached the large pond named Sullivan's Pond on our way back to Shubie Campground we could not help but notice some families directing small remotely controlled sailing boats out in the pond. It appeared that the boats were having a race in what was likely a common Sunday afternoon pleasure here in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, at least in the warmer months. We had to see what was going on so we parked our car and walked over into the park alongside the pond where we took this photo. Today we can see why some folks most love the Halifax/Dartmouth area as a place to call their home. Makes me wonder why my grandfather Douglas Patterson left the area at a young age and moved to Lockport, New York.
We arrived back at our campground around 2 o'clock, happy to just finish out the day relaxing and thinking about what fun places we can visit tomorrow.