Sunday, 6 August 2017

On the Guysborough Line

Today featured rain in one of its most annoying forms: variable and intermittent. To boot, the wind was in face much of the time and the road was up and down on short hills. As well, the Apple Google Maps app is proving hard to use when applied to Nova Scotian back roads. Consequently, I had only an approximate idea of the distance to Guysborough.

This part of Nova Scotia is off the beaten track to say the least. To get here you have to carefully look for the turn-off to route 344 near the Canso Causeway (it is opposite the Irving Gas Station). This brings you around the backside of the quarry at Mulgrave. Once you get to Mulgrave, it was almost too easy to go past the rather good local museum they have there, designed to superficially ressemble the Scotia II ferry which used to ply the Canso Strait carrying train cars. The person working there said I was the first visitor of the day.

This general area is Stan Rogers country, his family coming from hereabouts and according to the less than 100% reliable though knowledgeable Garnet Rogers ("Shriner cows") the source of at least a few of Stan's songs. In fact, the choice of Guysborough as a place to stay was partially a result of his relatively obscure song "Guysborough train". When I visited Guysborough's local museum, I had to ask if there had every been a rail line to Guysborough. The answer was interesting. Apparently, there had been a line under construction to the town but after a change of government, the project was canceled. This doesn't surprise me. Railways are odd beasts in many respects. They are profitable to build but not easy to run profitably. Given that the railway to Sydney wasn't in use the last time I was through these parts and that it had been running trains every fifteen minutes during the Second World War, canning the Guysborough line was almost certainly a wise idea.

My bed for the night is in the Osprey Shores Golf Resort. I had moral reservations as golf represents to me a very unenlightened industry. I rolled down the lane to it and saw there was a combined brewery and distillery on the same lane. I stopped at it to what its hours were. Well, it was closed. Not on account of it being Sunday, but because of the arrival of a baby, at least according to the handwritten note! There was a second note with room numbers on it with names, including mine. The resort might better have been described as motel next to a golf course. From subsequent observations, the brewery-distillery also roasts coffee beans and makes baked goods. (I don't believe they do everything at the same site.) I can't help but suspect that ythis represents a few, possibly even one, person(s) with more money and enthusiasm than hard business sense.

Sherbrooke tomorrow.

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