Day 23 – One More Train Stop on Cape Breton

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Oh Cape Breton how beautiful you are!

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This morning we left Sidney behind and headed south on highway 105 with our first stop at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck.

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As we walked around the grounds enjoying the beautiful views over the water we spotted another pair of red chairs.  What a perfect spot to sit and look out at the light house.

The centre wasn’t open yet so we traveled on down the highway and turned off at Orangedale.

Are you familiar with the Rankin Family of Cape Breton Island?  Here is their song called…

The stationmaster looked all around
Along the track both up and down
But the train could not be found
For there was neither sight or sound
There was neither sight or soundIMG_3825He walked on slowly to the station door
like so many times before
He looked outside into a sunshine beam
Closed his eyes and dreamed a dream
Drifted off into a dream

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The winds of change forever blow
Some things stay and some things go
The falling rain must melt the snow
The orangedale whistle will always blow
IMG_3830Years ago throughout this land
That line was laid by able men
But things are changed as time goes by
People drive and people fly
People drive and people fly
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The stationmaster is long since gone
He faded off into the sun
But the whistle shrill still lingers on
In the hearts of everyone
Everyday from dusk till dawn
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The winds of change forever blow
Some things stay and some things go
The falling rain must melt the snow
The orangedale whistle will always blow

Nana’s Nature

For the past four weeks we have crossed the country and have found many old railway stations and trains.  This has been Opa’s interest and Nana enjoyed it too but she also found bits and bobs of nature that caught her eye.  Here’s a collection of her favourites.

Flowers

Fungus

Critters

Plants

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Rainbow

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Sometimes Nana needed a hand.

Day 22 – On To Nova Scotia

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Up at the crack of dawn (really before that) to catch the ferry off Prince Edward Island.

All day yesterday, since we dug the potatoes in the field, Nana looked for a chip wagon or someplace that sold fries.  But we were out of luck, being the off season, everything was closed.  So this morning she was thrilled (and Opa was too) to see homemade hashbrowns on the breakfast menu on the ferry.  One filled her up!

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Once off the ferry we detoured west to a town called Tatamagouche to visit the train station that is now an Inn.

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The train station has been converted to three guest rooms upstairs in the original stationmaster’s residence. The lower floor has a gift shop and cafe.

The rest of the accommodations can be found outside in cabooses and a boxcar that have been converted for guests to stay the night.

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Plus they have refurbished a dining car that is open for lunch and dinner.

Next stop was to the Museum of Industry in Stellarton.  This museum houses so much on industry and work in Nova Scotia that we just had time to focus on the trains.

This locomotive is called “Samson” and was built in Britain and imported in 1838.  This was the first steam engine ever seen in Nova Scotia.

This is a portable steam engine and boiler.  It was pulled by horses and was a power source for farm equipment like a thresher.  I think the seat is perfect for two.

They also have a wonderful HO model train layout with buttons to push to make the trains go.

Day 22 – Continued to Louisburg

Today was a great day for trains and for history.  We drove to the most eastern part of the province that we will visit on this trip and that is at Fortress Louisburg.  Opa and Nana had a great time walking around peeking into buildings and cannons.

Take a look…

After the fort we drove back into town to explore their historic train station.

As I mentioned above this is the farthest eastern point we will drive on this trip so we stopped to take in the view.

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We found another set of red chairs and we were approaching the Fortress.  Where these chairs sit once stood a whole town.  It’s hard to imagine that is not a trace left.

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And finally, the Atlantic!

We have driven from Vancouver Island on the Pacific Coast all the way across to sit on a beach on the Atlantic.  It’s been an amazing trip and it’s not over yet.

Day 21 – PEI

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This morning was crispy with frost as we went for a stroll around Indian Point by Port Elgin in New Brunswick.  Today our plan is to head to Prince Edward Island.

You have two choices to get on and off the island.  You can drive over Confederation bridge or take the ferry.

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Since we were closest to the bridge we decided to enter that way.  The curved, 12.9 kilometre long bridge is the longest in the world crossing ice-covered water (luckily not today), and continues to endure as one of Canada’s top engineering achievements of the 20th century.

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Entering PEI we decided that we will just do part of it.  First heading to Summerside and around the north part of the island driving east to Elmira.

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Prince Edward Island is famous for it’s potatoes.  We stopped in a field and dug up a few, now Nana is hoping to find fresh french fries for lunch.

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Another attraction that PEI is famous for is the home of Lucy Maud Montgomery, who wrote Anne of Green Gables, in Cavendish.

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We continued our drive to the most eastern point of the island to see the lighthouse.

 We found this board with a message written on each side.  I guess it’s all in your perspective on how your day goes.

Finally for the highlight of the day — the Elmira Railway Museum.

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The station was built in 1912 and ran from Elmira to Harmony Junction with the last train running in 1989.

Now during the summer season they are open as a museum,

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offer rides on a speeder down this track and back,

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 as well as rides on a miniature train,that goes past this fun mural.

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The rails that once stretched from the east to the west have now been pulled up and are part of the trans Canada trail.  Maybe we’ll come back someday to cycle it.

Day 20 – Continued = More Train Stations

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               Welcome to the McAdam Railway Station Museum and visitor centre                                     in McAdam, New Brunswick.

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We were really sad that this museum wasn’t open but we looked through all the windows we could reach.

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Opa and I were in awe as we drove up to this amazing building.  I learned that it was built in the Chateau style and resembles a Scottish castle.

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There was a 2.5 km walk around the lake in front of the station and since it was another beautiful day we decided to stretch our legs.

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We are so glad that we did.  When we came back to the station to have one more peek in the windows there were workers opening it up and they invited us in to look around.  Our mouths dropped open with a ‘REALLY!! Can we??”

This beautiful building was not just a train station but contained 20 hotel rooms on the upper floor (no longer open to the public) and on the main floor a dining room and a lunch counter as well as the waiting room and ticket area.

Opa and Nana had fun spinning on the stools and pretending to order their lunch.

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There was so much to see and we were delighted to take in as much as we could.

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From McAdam we continued on to St. Stephen then along highway 1 overlooking the Bay of Fundy where we found another set of red chairs.  Loved that these had two little chairs alongside so the whole family could sit together.

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From there we did a scenic drive to end up in Hillsborough, which is about 30 km south of Moncton.

This museum was also closed but it had a lot of rolling stock to look at it.

We were lucky to meet up with a gentleman who volunteers in many capacities at the museum.  He told us the history of the museum and how it has changed over the years.  You can learn more about it on their website.

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They even have a plane on display too.

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The view overlooking part of the town was worth taking time to enjoy.

Day 20 – New Brunswick

Today we crossed into New Brunswick and found our first train station in Florence-Bristol.

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This isn’t the original Bristol station but the Florenceville station, built in 1914 and moved there in 2000.  This building is the mirror image to the original and the only remaining one of its type east of Montreal.

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What is unique about this historic site is that the train cars have been converted to a permanent restaurant.  It would have been lovely if it was open for us to dine.

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Driving down the highway we arrive in Hartland which is famous for it’s longest covered bridge.

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It is 390 meters long and was officially opened in 1901.  The story goes that young men trained their horses to stop half way to give them time to have a few kisses with their sweetheart before continuing.  Covered bridges are often referred to ‘kissing bridges’.

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We continue on our drive and stop in Nakawic to see the world’s largest axe.  The axe stands 15 metres tall and weighs over 55 tons. The axe-head is 7 metres wide. The concrete stump is 10 metres in diameter. It was commissioned, designed and built in 1991 by a company in Woodstock. There is a time capsule embedded in the head of the axe

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It’s definitely the day to find many of the longest, largest, biggest.  As we were driving on highway 3 I shouted for Opa to stop the car because there on the side of the road was a huge fiddle.

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It is a tribute to Don Messer.  Both Opa and I remember the tv show called The Don Messer Jubilee.  The village of Harvey had a big celebration for Don Messer’s life in 2009.

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These may not be big to you but they were to us.  We are so enjoying seeing all the pumpkins, fall and Hallowe’en decorations here on the east coast.

Oh No! Where’s Nana and Opa?

That was the question asked today!

We started the day off with a drive to our first stop.  Pictures were taken, we chatted and went for a walk.

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Back to the station for one more picture and then they were gone!

Not us little guys but the real Nana and Opa!

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Where did they go and why did they leave us behind sitting on the railroad track?  We are usually grabbed up and put in our carrying bag.

We have no idea what was to become of us.

All morning we waited, ducking out of sight when a dog and his big person walked by.  We didn’t want to end up as a chew toy.  Where could our big people be??

Oh the sun was shining hotter and we heard steps coming closer.  Could this be our rescue?  No it was a herd of teenagers walking the tracks.  They smelled of pizza so we think they came from the restaurant up the line and were heading back to school.

This could be the end of us!  What if they spot us?  What will they do?

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But wait we hear a car racing down the road.

We try to yell to let them know but fear those big feet walking closer will hear.

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The car tires crunch on the gravel as it pulls into the parking lot just as the big feet walk by.  Whew the teenagers didn’t notice us but wait now there is another set of shoes coming.

Yay! Our big people have returned and brought us a treat.IMG_4031

We are very happy to be reunited.

Day 19 – Quebec and Fall Colours

Last night we stayed in Levis and decided to check out the waterfalls at Parc Des Chutes-de-la-Chaudiere.

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At the top of the falls, overlooking the suspension bridge.  We love all the bright autumn colours.

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A view of the falls before we walked across the bridge.

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The suspension bridge was pretty intimidating but we made it across.

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We took a break to sit, enjoy the falls and let the rainbow shine on us.

Driving on through Quebec we found beautiful wayside spots for us to relax and take in the views across the St. Lawrence.

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No trains today but we did find a church just the right size for us.

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Walking in the leaves can be a challenge.

Day 18 continued – Into Quebec

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Last stop in Ontario, this time. was to the Parliament Buildings downtown Ottawa.

It was a crazy time finding parking but we managed to sneak into a spot, grab this picture and take off.

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Heading out highway 17 towards Quebec we see a community called Cumberland.  We found that interesting because there is a Cumberland, British Columbia in our valley.

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What was really interesting is that they have their museum in their old train station so of course we had to stop.  The station is just the beginning of the museum as there is a whole historic village behind it.

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We had a fun look around then were back on track.

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At Hawkesbury, Ontario we crossed the border into Quebec.

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Driving through Quebec the one thing we enjoyed seeing in every little town was their beautiful churches.