The Ballad of The Time Ryan Let Me Drive (and some other rad stuff)

We’ve spent the passed week following the winding coastal Highway 7. Short excursions into fairytale Blue Rocks and sunny Mahone Bay were inspiring and perhaps too short-lived. If we were to visit the south shore again, I’d definitely rent a kayak in Blue Rocks. It was other-worldly. Giant granite mounds leading out to sea, houses precariously plopped over the rugged landscape, and a thick fog that would make you believe in ghost stories. 

Not far away, Peggy’s Cove swarmed with tourists. We opted to wait-out the crowds in a highway pull-off nearby, nestled in yet another mystical landscape: mammoth boulders strewn at random among salt marshland, alive with birds and sweeping grasses blowing in the sea breeze. We made dinner and waited for the sun to start setting. There were only about fifty people (and a bride!) left wandering the grounds of the lighthouse when we pulled in around 8pm. Perfect.

We took our obligatory photos and then sat on the sloping rocks to watch the waves slop and crash in the setting sunlight. Life living out of the van has had its good moments and bad moments. This was a good moment. We stayed for a while and left just in time to finish our evening in Halifax.

We woke up to good weather and a list of chores - luckily, we had just landed in a big city. You all know the dance by now: laundry, floors, dishes, fuel up, find water, yadda yadda yadda…

What I was most looking forward to in Halifax was catching up with a childhood friend whom I hadn’t seen in over ten years. That night, we made plans and had the world’s best double date at 2 Doors Down followed by drinks at The Bicycle Thief. We capped the night with a walk on the harbour front and eventually said our goodnights. We headed back to our stealth camping spot by the harbour ready for bed but missing them already.

The next two days were filled with a few big-city ‘luxuries’. Ryan spent an entire day mountain biking while I treated myself to a day-pass at the Canada Games Centre where I took full advantage of their sauna, jacuzzi, lap pool, and *angels singing* (((showers)))) for only 12 bucks. Glorious. Thoroughly pampered, I floated out of the aquatic centre to an equally happy Ryan. We had downloaded our favourite YouTube shows at the local laundromat and resolved to enjoy a ‘movie night’ as a small rainstorm moved in. The next day was a self-guided walking tour through downtown ending with drinks on the wharf. Our still-aching bodies are a testament to how much we saw and how many times we circled back to find my sunglasses. Halifax is awesome.

As with every multi-day stop, we suddenly felt the pull to move on. We woke up Wednesday morning and skipped our normal routine. We crossed the Mackay Bridge into Dartmouth to feast on giant croissants and espresso at infamous Two If By Sea before heading straight to Lawrencetown Beach to survey the swell brought up by a recent hurricane in the far tropical south. We probably stared at the waves for an hour. Ryan finally decided to go for it, and honestly, he killed it. I kept an eye on him from the beach while he surfed the cold water and made sure he didn’t get lost in the thick fog (girlfriend points). I’m mega proud of him.

Then something incredible happened. Ryan - for the first time since we left STRATFORD - was TOO TIRED TO DRIVE. I almost couldn’t believe the words coming out of his mouth “would you like to drive?” Um, yes. Yes I would like to drive haha. I drove us all the way to Taylor Point for a hike only to find everything clouded in dense fog. We’re sure it was a beautiful hike. With nowhere to park legally overnight, and having had it up to our gills with FOG, we decided it wasn’t meant to be and enjoyed an eerie and awesome drive along the remainder of our Highway 7 route, serenaded by The Hip, turning north (and high-fiving) in Liscomb, and ultimately ending our day with a special stay in Sherbrooke. But that’s for the next blog… ;)