Denise Goldberg's blog

So near and yet so far away
An exploration of western Nova Scotia

Monday, January 26, 2009


Waking up from a long dream... decision time

Journal entry written on June 11, 2006

The winter months are usually my dreaming months. By early spring I have settled on my touring destination(s) for the year.

For some reason, this year's cycling destination didn't jump out at me in my normal time frame. My dreams wandered from eastern Quebec, across the ocean to southwestern Ireland, a little further into Europe to Denmark, and back across the Atlantic Ocean to Nova Scotia. Good dreams, and I'd like to think that at some point I will visit all of these places with my bicycle. But I can't visit all of these places in 2006; I need to choose just one.

I spent yesterday - a very rainy Saturday - dreaming of touring, reading about my possible destinations, exploring travel sites, reading journals of others who had cycled through my dream locations. And I think I have my destination.

A trip to Nova Scotia has been bubbling in the back of my mind for quite a while, but somehow it didn't come to the top of the list for a full vacation - until now. I'm so drawn to the western side of North America that I tend to neglect the places in the east.

Initially I was going to travel over the sea to Nova Scotia for a long weekend back in 2004. Those plans had to be canceled after my bike and I performed an unexpected flip during my commute to work. Last year's trip planning skipped Nova Scotia, although it did help me get over my habit of not planning tours on the eastern side of this continent. Instead of using my "sort of plans" to visit Nova Scotia, I ventured to a maritime province east of there, Prince Edward Island. But now feels like the right time for my bike and I to wander in Nova Scotia...

It's entirely possible that my mind will wander further between now and my tour. As of now though, my decision and my destination for September is Nova Scotia.

Table of Contents

For now, please use Blogger's list of posts in the sidebar to follow my trip in reverse sequence. I plan to flip this blog on its head so that the posts flow from oldest to newest (like the table of contents in a book), adding a real Table of Contents and a Page by Page sidebar entry, and adding (better) next and previous links at the bottom of each post.

I probably won't be able to make these changes for the next several weeks.

...Denise, January 26, 2009

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A look back a successful non-planned tour

Twelve days in Nova Scotia was enough to give me a taste of the province, and enough to convince me that more trips there are in my future. There is beauty there in both the scenery and in the people. My camera was very happy with the views, and I was delighted with the friendliness of everyone I spoke with.

I absolutely will visit Nova Scotia again, accompanied by my cameras, and rolling down the road on my bicycle. There are areas that I want to explore by foot or kayak, and I suspect I'll want the assistance of a motorized vehicle when I go back to see the Cabot Trail (which sports the type of grades that I'm not fond of riding) - but I can't imagine a trip there where my bicycle stays home. I know that I will ride there again.

The route that I actually followed as I wandering in Nova Scotia. And you're absolutely right, this doesn't match any of the possible routes that I'd sketched out before I left home. I'm glad that I explored the area from afar (via books and web sites), but I'm also happy that I let my desires of the moment dictate my wanderings. It was a wonderful trip.

Yellow line = ferry from Bar Harbor to Yarmouth (and back)
Pink line = the loop route that my bike & I actually followed
Green line = a side trip using a fossil-fuel-powered vehicle + my feet

Map courtesy of (and copyright by)
Published here per Google Maps Terms and Conditions

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Pictures? More pictures!

Sometimes I wonder if I ride so I can take pictures or if my playing with cameras is the excuse I need to explore new places on my bike. I supposed it doesn't really matter which is my driving force since both activities are things that I love to do. I came home to find that the CompactFlash cards that my cameras had been happily filling contained 1672 photos. And yes, I still had plenty of empty media space so I could certainly have continued cycling and taking pictures. I didn't keep all of the pictures, but there are still a lot of photos. A good sampling of pictures will be in this journal, with more in my photo galleries.

You can access the top level gallery for this trip here. I've split the photos into a number of galleries based on the location (where I was riding) or the subject matter (from my fascination with bugs and birds and animals). Here are the individual gallery addresses just in case you want to go directly to a gallery: Interested in looking via a slideshow? You can click the slideshow button (in each gallery) and let the photos scroll by your eyes. To jump back out of the slideshow, just move your mouse and then click Return to gallery in the upper right. Or you can return by simply clicking the Esc key.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Photos: Acadia on a gray and quiet day

What a difference a day makes! From yesterday's wild ocean to today's quiet waters, gray skies, and light rain...

Views of a quiet ocean

Acadia once more, then a long ride (drive!) home

Rainy gray morning
Bicycle resting today
Park views, four wheels home
My wish for today was one more ride around Park Loop Road before I hopped in my car for that long drive home. That wish was quashed by the steadily falling rain since my bicycle insisted that the riding conditions weren't ideal. Wet pavement, water falling from the sky, and temperatures in the 50s didn't appeal to my bike-riding desires, especially since I had a reasonable choice today.

Conversations again flowed around the breakfast room, and I continued chatting with Lynn and Robert into the morning. It was a good morning for relaxing; no one was moving too fast to attack activities in the rain.

In spite of the weather - or maybe because of it - I decided to do one more loop around the park before I headed for home. The ranger at the entry station recognized me from my entry yesterday on my bike. She agreed with my desire to see the park in very different conditions, and also thought that the car was a better form of transportation for this morning. It was definitely interesting to see the coast on two very different days. Yesterday greeted me with both blue skies and clouds, with heavy surf, and challenging winds. Today both the ocean and the wind were quiet while rain decorated the landscape. It was still beautiful, but definitely different.

After my short loop through the park, it was time to turn my car towards home. I had a quick stop to make as I passed through Ellsworth though. I am absolutely addicted to Maine wild blueberries, and my B&B hostess told me that she purchases hers from a local company that picks and flash-freezes the berries. She purchases 30 pound packages, but she told me that the company also sells 10 pound packages of berries and she thought they would be willing to sell direct to a consumer like me. I stopped and picked up a blueberry supply, and hopefully the berries survived the trip home and retained a bit of their chill. I figured it was worth a try.

When I started my trip I chose to exit I-95 in Augusta and wind my way towards Route 1 and the coast. Today I follwed Route 1A to Bangor before I hopped on I-95 to head (relatively) west towards home. From Augusta, it looks like I-95 veers pretty far inland, but driving the two paths seemed to take about the same amount of time. After I got home, I checked the distances following each of the two paths and found that the total distance is very close. It's 18 miles further going all of the way in to Bangor, but there are fewer miles of back roads to traverse. Since it seemed to take the same amount of time I think I'll let my mood direct my vehicle again the next time I head for Acadia National Park. And there absolutely will be a next time.

Home again... My bicycle jumped out of the car and absolutely insisted on going for a ride. Of course I listened, and my bike and I wandered off for a quick spin on some of the flat roads near home.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Photos: Twice around Park Loop Road

The parade of the eider - these birds came towards the shore in a line, surfing, diving, enjoying the waves.