We leave our new buddy Halifax about 9AM, with loving hugs to sister Darcy who has just returned the night before from canoeing the Yukon River to Dawson. We are accompanied today by my cous. Rob Grant, who knows a cool backcountry route to Truro. For safety's sake we motor over a couple of bridges through Dartmouth and drop the riders on the other side. Again we have dodged the rain and a sunny day awaits. Although the road is single lane, there's not much traffic and the cruising is top notch. We weave through rural Nova Scotia and unless you have a good guide like Rob along you'd miss the points of interest. He points out the plethora of dairy farms. "A lot of Dutch dairy farmers here." "On the right is the biggest gypsum mine in the world." "Coming up here is Grand Lake where hockey great Sidney Crosby has his cottage. Big security gate at the entrance, only young hotties in bikinis allowed through." "Now Logan Drilling here on the left has cornered 90% of the geo-tech work in the province", etc.
We spin past hamlets like Wellington, Lantz, Milford, Alton and through a Mic Mac reserve, with names like Stewiacke and Shubenacadie. Rob challenges us for fun..."Kerry how would you pronounce that?". Soon we roll into Truro. Rob knows it as he had had a few cases there and directs us to The Split Crow Pub, for some fine fare and a pint of local Propeller Ale. Afterwards we do some banking and grocery shopping at the local Sobeys store. Sobeys are clients of Rob's firm and for those who read the paper, know they have just acquired Safeway. Rob says that old man Sobeys started off with a small butcher shop and then began to carry a few staples...voila...now a giant coast to coast. I don't know whether it's because it's a Nova Scotia store where the whole thing started but the service is exceptional. A butcher actually follows us eavesdropping on our palaver down the meat isle, until he is satisfied we have picked out the juiciest lamb chops. From the fish counter Quinn and I go for the fillet of haddock, but Gin gears down to the salmon. Haddock is s white fish, kind of a cousin to the codfish and because of the decimation of the cod stocks is now the replacement in the province. To my way of thinking discerning the taste of whitefish is similar to discerning the tastes in white wine, subtle but definitely discernible.
We check into the Elm Ridge Campground, a large well kept friendly affair with a beauty swimming pool, good power and sweet well water. Out come the solar powered Chinese lanterns and the pots and pans. Q Dawg, who is a very good cook in his own right, volunteers to be the chef tonight and it turns out to be one of our best meals yet. Pan fried haddock, simple, s and p, butter and lemon, accompanied by a delicious cherry tomato and buttered spinach stir fry, baked potato side. Cuppa tea, frozen chocolate chip cookie (sorry Hurl, we like all things chocolate frozen) and tuck with our novels, completes our 82nd day.