August 13: These very nice people have serious Roots

Today started out as misty moisty and cloudy was the weather. Also in the upper 60sdF, topping out in the low 70s, which was wonderful. Wisps of fog, too, which were beautiful.

This morning I bopped back and forth between stretches of what passes for freeway in southern Nova Scotia (one lane in each direction, but with onramps and offramps and the occasional passing lane), and the coast road. The coast road is also a two lane, but it also adds more than twice as many miles to the same point-to-point, so I didn’t want to drive it the whole way. I passed through Yarmouth, where I stopped to pick up a few groceries, and my next stop was one of those serendipitous things that make me so happy.

Cape St. Mary lighthouse, between Digby and Yarmouth.
Cape St. Mary lighthouse, between Digby and Yarmouth.
The beach below the Cape St. Mary lighthouse.
The beach below the Cape St. Mary lighthouse.

I saw a sign for an Acadian historic village, so I followed it. What it turned out to be was a living history village of buildings preserved in the oldest continuously occupied Acadian village in Canada (the inhabitants came back after twelve years of exile, and, finding their old lands otherwise occupied, settled in the Pubnicos (there are several of them, ranging from Upper Pubnico to Lower Middle Pubnico and so forth)). It was interesting, and there were some beautiful quilts and other handicrafts, but the amazing thing was that all of the interpreters/docents/re-enactors I spoke with (and even the cashier) were descended from the families who had originally inhabited the buildings for centuries. It was amazing. “My great-grandfather was the last person to live in this house before it became part of the museum.” Stuff like that. For someone who grew up in four major metropolitan areas, it’s sort of mind-boggling. One of my fellow visitors pointed out someone in a photograph in on of the buildings and told her friend that this was her grandfather when he was seventeen, too. Amazing.

Looking down at the water from the Acadian village.
Looking down at the water from the Acadian village.
One of the houses at the Acadian village.
One of the houses at the Acadian village.
A wool quilt, which looked like one my mother has described to me from her childhood.
A wool quilt, which looked like one my mother has described to me from her childhood.
A very fancy baby carriage at the Acadian village.
A very fancy baby carriage at the Acadian village.
Notice anything unusual about this clock?  It has the days of the month as well as the time of the day.
Notice anything unusual about this clock? It has the days of the month as well as the time of the day.
That round thing is a butter churn, and the woman is one of the interpreters -- and a descendant of the people who originally lived in the house.
That round thing is a butter churn, and the woman is one of the interpreters — and a descendant of the people who originally lived in the house.
Dried cod, anyone?
Dried cod, anyone?
Low tide at the Acadian village.
Low tide at the Acadian village.

That wasn’t the only time I had that happen today, either. After I left the Acadian village, I drove out to the very southern tip of Nova Scotia, The Hawk on Cape Sable Island. I’m not sure why I did it, but I’m glad I did. The views were amazing, out over the Atlantic, and I struck up a conversation with an older gentleman who was sitting on a lobster trap [g]. He told me about how he’d grown up there, like his parents and grandparents and so forth, but that his son had followed his job to Alberta, and was home for a couple of weeks with his own son, the next generation. The gentleman was concerned that the baby would not remember Cape Sable. Then he asked me what my last name was. I told him, and he told me his last name was Atwood. Driving back to the main highway, I saw at least half a dozen Atwood references – street names and so forth.

The beach at The Hawk at the tip of Cape Sable Island.
The beach at The Hawk at the tip of Cape Sable Island.
The tallest lighthouse in Canada, at the tip of Cape Sable Island.  It's undergoing some restoration work, hence the scaffolding.
The tallest lighthouse in Canada, at the tip of Cape Sable Island. It’s undergoing some restoration work, hence the scaffolding.

What it must be like to have roots like that is completely beyond me.

The rest of the afternoon was spent driving northeast towards Halifax, searching for a campground. I finally found one, and went to sleep listening to the rain fall on Merlin’s roof. It was a very pleasant sound.