We arrived in Yarmouth on September 1 after a nice drive on a sunny day. We are staying at Camper's Haven for four nights. We took a brief drive through downtown Yarmouth. They are celebrating 250 years this year. It is a fishing town but it is not as lucrative as it once was. Lobster is still the mainstay.
September 2 we drove back along Highway 3 as far as Pubnico. About halfway, in Tusket, we visited the oldest Courthouse and Jail in Canada built in 1805. We then came back to Yarmouth and spent some time at the harbour and at Tim Horton's. As in every Tim Horton's across Canada, there was a constant line-up at the drive through.
On September 3 we drove down to Wedgeport to see the Sportfishing Tuna Museum. Unfortunately, after driving 10 km down the road, it turned out to be closed. We then came back to Yarmouth and out to Cape Forchu. This is an applecore-style lighthouse built in 1840. We have since learned that the father of a friend of a friend of ours from White Rock was a lightkeeper here years ago. Thanks Marilyn! We saw a headstone here marking the place where two girls were swept off the rocks in 1991 by a rogue wave as a result of Hurricane Bob. After that we went to the W. Laurence Sweeney Fisheries Museum. This was a great hands-on museum which includes a simulation of a traditional fishing wharf, processing and ship repair sheds, wharf decks and a coastal freighter. About 90 percent of the material used is authentic. The Sweeney family preserved all the artifacts. Nothing is roped off - you can touch anything you want. They had even saved every photo and newspaper clipping related to the family's operations. Amazing!
After the fishing museum we toured around Yarmouth a bit. There are over 400 houses here built at one time for sea captains. Very nice! While driving along we came across a detour sign. The road was closed because of a battle re-enactment - British against the French. It was fun to watch and the "actors" were quite funny. They really got into it going so far as to drag a "body" off the field. A woman walking by in period costume (she was their official videographer) pointed out that the injured person fell in such a way as to be able to see the remainder of the battle! The medic came out carrying a small saw. On the night of the 3rd at the park, the owner set off some fireworks after dark.
On the 5th we headed up the coast and stayed the night in Aylesford. We thought we would have a look at the Aviation Museum which is at CFB Greenwood. Again, after driving 10 km down the road, it was closed. Nearly every store we saw was closed for the Labour Day holiday. We enjoyed the rest of the day outside - there were no bugs! The Annapolis River runs (slowly) alongside the campground. Most of the sites had seasonals in them. One man we talked to had been coming there every summer for 12 years. He winterizes his trailer and then returns to Cape Breton for the winter.
On the 6th we went to Amherst. We are at Loch Lomond Campground for two nights. The first afternoon we drove into town. There are several historic buildings there as well as beautiful Victoria Street which is tree-lined and full of old mansions.
The 7th was sightseeing day. But first we drove up to Moncton to check out a couple of campgrounds with doubtful reviews. We found them both to be ok so we booked one of them. We then went to Springhill and visited the Anne Murray Centre. Anne is a world-renowned singer born in Springhill. On display there is a lot of memorabilia of her life as well as her many gold and platinum albums, Grammy, Actra and Juno awards. Her music was playing throughout.
We then went to the Springhill Miners Museum. Larry wouldn't be able to do the walk so Maureen went anyway. There was a small museum to start that included old tools and equipment, plus many newspaper articles documenting the three mining disasters and the huge fire that destroyed much of the town. Not an easy life! Maureen's tour guide was Russell. He has been doing the tours for many years and one day he was down in the shaft 14 times in all! The tour begins in the washing shed. At the end of his shift the wet, coal-dust encrusted miner removes his clothes and showers. He brings a hook down from the ceiling on which he hangs his clothes and boots, his lunch pail and water jug. It is then pulled back up to the ceiling where it is left to dry overnight. From there he goes to the other shed to pick up his identification number. He returns it at the end of the day to show he has come back up the mine. (Maureen was given a tag when she first paid her admission. She handed it in at the end - it belonged to a 35 year old man with four children who died in the "bump" of 1958.)
Maureen donned a hard hat and yellow jacket for the trip down the mine shaft. A miner would get on board the transporter. By the time he sits down his knees are up to his chest, he puts his gear between his ankles and lowers his forehead to his knees. This is how (six to a car) they are transported down the mine on a huge cable. The men worked mainly on their knees all day. The tour only goes part way. The shaft itself is over 2 miles long. It is very steep and does not have the rails in it anymore. Russell at one point turned off the lights so you could see how dark it is when the power goes out. All the miners have at that point are the lights on their helmets. The tour had been shortened a few years ago because of flooding and the ceilings were raised so you could stand up. Pretty creepy place! Russell picked up some pieces of coal for Maureen to take as a souvenir.
Then back to the campground. We were leaving the next day for Moncton.