Ten years on

A decade after the three of us drove a rental car (with air conditioning!) from Berkeley to Wheeling, WV,  we got back in the car (ours–with air conditioning) to get from Halifax to Cape Breton.

getting on the road: HFX

getting on the road: HFX

and heading east across the old bridge to Dartmouth

and heading east across the old bridge to Dartmouth

Inside the car a lot has changed (except, quite literally, the dungarees I had a decade ago and wore yesterday as well): the driver then was loathe to take any interstates and we had a glorious tour of the west–hewing north to Boise and St Cloud–via Sturgis a day before the motorcycle rally–and south to Hannibal, MO, where the youngest traveller had asked to spend his ninth birthday (which we did). Now, the driver is loathe to leave any twinned roadway but at the last minute consented to take 107 along the East Shore, the road that goes from Dartmouth to Musquodoboit Harbour and on to Sheet Harbour (no, not a tour of far flung HFX public library branches!).

And since the shortest person gets the back seat, that has altered across the past 10 years, of course. But by sitting in the middle, I had a bit of a view.

crossing the causeway to Cape Breton

crossing the causeway to Cape Breton

And this time, as last, the one riding shotgun controlled the playlist, which was far longer and richer than the measly dozen CD’s we’d had last go round. Oddly, his choices, in large part, could well have accompanied us then:  Green Day, Queen, the Doors, Proclaimers–but inercut with the Killers, the Wombats, Natasha Bedingfield and Daughtry.

When we finally crossed the Antigonish (accent on final syllable) county line, town signs along the road became bilingual–Gaellic as well as English.  Many of the “English” names are simply orthographic renderings of Gaelic names so the assortment of letters may morph just a bit.

In Wreck Cove, we stopped for more gas, which–for the first time in Fred’s experience?–was pumped by an attendant, a Dutch woman who declared with little invitation that her two years in Cape Breton “changed my life so completely. I do something different.”

Eight and half hours of driving later, we arrived at the resort of Bob’s choosing.  Ten years ago we wouldn’t have cared about lack of wifi. On the bright side, on arrival, the only internet working was within a foot of the registration desk; this morning it’s merely a ten minute walk up the road and comes with a decent chair!

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