Monday, September 28, 2009

Finding Here And There

Posting a few more pictures from our Nova Scotia trip including one of Big Dave himself, if I may speak of myself in third person. I rarely like any picture taken of myself but this one isn't so bad, especially since I'm sporting my Michigan sweatshirt and my Wolverines pulled out a thrilling victory against Indiana this past Saturday.

Also pictures of the Green Gables farm on Prince Edward Island that inspired the popular book Anne of Green Gables, and the iconic Bluenose II schooner, very famous among Canadians. It is a replica of Bluenose I which is featured on the Canadian dime.

One thing I don't miss from my trip is navigating unfamiliar roads and fighting all too familiar traffic. Boston area drivers are particularly infuriating. While driving I-495 near Boston late one night a driver sped up behind me, flicked on his high beams and laid on the horn. He wanted me to move over so he could continue doing 80 mph in a 65 mph zone.

That was it. I said to Wendy, "Let's get a hotel for the night." I'd prefer dealing with I-495 before Monday rush hour the next day. Though we rose early then and were on the road well before six, I-495 was already becoming busy at that pre-dawn hour. The crazies were out too. No sooner had I come down the on-ramp when a car careened across all three lanes of traffic, slamming into the guardrail in a shower of sparks.

Traffic immediately slowed, some drivers laying on their brakes so heavily that the smell of burning rubber was thick. We passed one car flipped onto its top. I don't know if anybody was hurt. We didn't stop. Within ten minues, the radio station carried a traffic report of an overturned car. Never did find out how it all came out. I told Wendy later that my experience driving go-carts during our annual trip to Silver Lake helped me to dodge the wreck, the other cars involved, as well as the debris in the road. Think NASCAR.

It's moments like that which convince my wife to avoid a turn behind the wheel. She prefers map duty. She did excellent there too, from the busy downtown of Halifax to the meandering coastal roads by Nova Scotia's southern shore, we hardly made a wrong turn. Observation: I think about half of Nova Scotians in the rural south do not own a dryer, judging my the amount of clothes I saw hanging on lines there.

Not to say that we always got where we were going successfully. Returning through extreme northern Maine, I wanted to get a picture of the famous Quoddy lighthouse, the one with the candy stripes that's been reproduced in so many calendars.

While at a visitor's center in St. Andrew's, New Brunswick, a guide pointed out the lighthouse on an area map. Of course, it wasn't easy
to get there. Long drive, winding local roads, and lots of small towns to go through. AND surprisingly we had to go through Canadian customs again as the lighthouse lay on Campobello Island which is under Canadian control.

Though we had cleared customs twice already, the border guard this time reprimanded Wendy for trying to enter the country without a valid passport. Holy cow! Wendy an illegal?

"Wendy, your passport isn't valid until you sign it," the matronly woman scolded good-naturedly.

But then, after driving an additional ten miles to the tip of Campobello Island, I discovered that this lighthouse was not the one I had expected to find there. Apparently, there's an East Quoddy Lighthouse and a West Quoddy Lighthouse. The guide's directions weren't quite accurate. She took us to the wrong freaking island!

Well, that's not totally accurate either, but I've always wanted to use that line from the movie Captain Ron in one of my blogs. I may not get another opportunity.

I took a picture of the lighthouse anyway, what I could see of it anyway. Couldn't get too close though because it sits on a small rocky outcrop in the Bay of Fundy, only accessible at low tide for an hour and a half each day. And we were already running late. Not even time to find the lighthouse on West Quoddy.

Well, that gives me an excuse to come out this way again some day (with a better map).


Blogger jan said...

The UM victory didn't make up for having my heart ripped out on Sunday by Brett Favre.

Nice pictures though.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

I enjoyed the pictures, even the one of the funny looking guy. ;D

Your account of the traffic reminded me that one thing I do not, DO NOT miss since my move to the country, is that insane city traffic. On my occasionally necessary ventures into a more heavily populated area leaves me in wonderment at my former driving skills and well developed level of patience. Quoth the Lynilu, Never more!!!

9:31 PM  
Blogger TechnoBabe said...

If you go that way again to see the light house you REALLY wanted to see do you have to drive through Boston again? Like Lynilu, I too am soooooooo glad to live in sorta country area, at least where we live now there isn't a lot of traffic and only some drivers once in awhile are driving too fast or are discourteous. 98% of the drivers here are great! But what you described in this post, trying to find a place and the traffic and other nuisances are the reasons my hubby cannot go on road trips. Way too much stress for his bipolar, even if I drive. So I get to see the sights through the eyes of fellow bloggers. I traveled more than most people before I met him and I am ready to settle down and have a peaceful life with him so it all works out for the best anyway. It sounds like you and Wendy have good travel roles, you drive and she navigates. I'm happy that your trip was overall a good one for you both.

6:24 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

JAN--I'm in a Minnesota Vikings family fantasy football league, quite by accident. I'll get revenge for you against some of the Viking faithful there this season, I'm sure.

LYNILU--For me, that's almost reason to move out west. I do get sick of the traffic even just here in Ann Arbor.

TECHNOBABE--There is an alternative. You can sign up for one of those senior tours where they go by bus. The older I get, the more tempting that sounds.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Carine said...

love the pictures-and you're right, that's a good pic of you Dave.

being from CA, traffic is what we consider usual-if we have none, we wonder what's wrong.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My bet is the Michigander driving too slow was the cause of the accident.

7:25 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Big Dave and Anne of Green Gables all in the one post.... YAY

12:08 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

CARINE--Yeah, from what I've seen on TV, when there's no traffic around LA, it's because of something apocalyptic, like dinasaurs, alien invasions--stuff like that.

ANONYMOUS--Well, I know when in Rome . . . but I'm not going to drive like a maniac just because they're all insane over there.

PETER--Now if I could just write like Lucy Maud Montgomery.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Nankin said...

That's a great picture of you, Dave. And I know what you meant about driving unfamiliar roads.

I bought Jimbob a TomTom a couple of years ago,, but I'm the one who uses it the most.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need a GPS. They are terrific and they tell you exactly where to go and when to turn. That must be the next purchase for the family Talagas. Then your beautiful wife can sit back and relax while you meander the highways and side streets.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~~ I enjoyed this post and the photos are- good one of you, one of the island very amazing. and the candy striped lighthouse is kind of cute. I hope you get to see the other one.
Thanks for your comments about your mind wandering is your exercise. Good one and I liked your mental joke and will post it.

Under the Mauki virtual cat, there is a little sign that says "Get Widget" That is how I got mine, so try again. Take care, Regards,

4:46 AM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Big Dave ~ Nice pictures! I was hoping that I would see a little fall color, but I am not sure exactly when the fall color comes to Nova Scotia? ~ jb///

8:07 PM  
Blogger amarkonmywall said...

I loved it up there. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Bonnie is probably having a wonderful weekend.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

NANKIN--Didn't even know what a TomTom was. I had to look it up. It's a type of GPS device.

ANONYMOUS--Beautiful wife? Is this Wendy? Oh, this is Greg's friend, who named his fantasy football team after Wendy (and won the league championship last year). Jimmy's fantasy team is getting beat this weekend, just like his and my Wolverines.

MERLE--Really, one of my jokes is good enough to make your blog? I'm honored. I'll try again to get your car, but wasn't successful last time.

LZ--There were patches of color in Nova Scotia when we went, but it was a bit early. Maybe by now.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

VICKIE--Yeah, I know what you mean. At least my CMU Chippewas beat her Spartans this year. That's a rarity in itself.

6:29 PM  
Anonymous bonnie said...

On Vicki's heels!

You look great in the photo, Dave, except for that hideous sweatshirt!

I always vote for GREEN gables!

3:37 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home