Edmundston, NB to Halifax NS
9-20-01 The remote roads of the New Brunswick countryside lead me through an area that looked more impoverished than most of the reservations I had ridden through. Many of the houses were nothing more than tar paper and sheet metal. Oddly, there were often cars that were in half decent shape outside of these shacks. Only the gardens outside of the houses showed a bit of the beauty of the area. I worried about the people who lived in this houses through the upcoming winter, but they survive this way year after year, I'm sure this year will be no different. The mountains in this area were large but rolling and soon I was rolling into St John to see the reversing waterfall (the tides are so large here that rivers flow in both directions, and through narrow passages, with great force) and to wait for the next ferry to Digby, Nova Scotia.
9-24-01 Biking along the coast of Nova Scotia I saw a number of people out on the mud flats with pails. Reminding me of the Japanese story of the brother that drank the ocean for the other to collect fish, I asked a road worker what they were collecting on the flats below. I was told that there was good money to be made digging clams if you didn't mind your life being dictated by the tides, and a constant sore back from bending over. I watched the distant figures with interest.
9-25-01 My thoughts were starting to focus on plans for when I finished, which should be in only a day or two! I had heard the story of the Grand Pre - an area that was built up by the Acadians, French settlers. Here they had painstakingly created dikes to block the tides from flooding the salt marshes. Slowly with their work, they changed the salt marshes into very fertile fields. These fields were an item of desire in those times, and the Acadians were taken over and gathered up and deported to the Southern US, creating the French speaking area of New Orleans. However, not everyone was deported together, and not everyone was sent at all. There were a number of families that were divided by this process, and the story of Evangeline was one such story. Separated from her love, she traveled the US in a great search for him. It took her many years to find him and be reunited. Her journey for love and the injustices of the deportation are remembered at the Grand Pre Evangeline memorial statue and gardens. I had heard the story on the CBC and had to stop and see this place, so common for weddings in the area.
9-26-01 Halifax was now in reach! The night had been dry, so all of my gear was dry, but as the day progressed the rain was coming down harder and harder. As I neared my final destination mother nature seemed to be teasing me by the increasing rain and head wind, as if to jeer "How badly do you really want to finish?!" I stopped for food at a gas station, shaking off the flowing water from my jacket before entering the store. A man in a car called over to me "Not a good day to be biking, Eh?" I smiled over at him - "No, it's a very good day! I'm almost to Halifax from Vancouver!" I entered the city and the rain stopped, streets were bustling with people and smelling fresh from the rain. I made it!!