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Alison's Blog

Entries in Nova Scotia (6)

Tuesday
Mar242015

I've got it covered

Ta-da! The cover for Scotia Sinker (Sketch Publishing, May 2015) is complete. I'm thrilled with illustrator Joel Duggan's image, which sets the stage for Cameron and Erin's next fridge box adventure without giving too much away.

We're just putting the finishing touches on the interior drawings then it's off to the printer. Please check back for an official announcement of a launch event and pre-ordering information.

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Monday
May192014

Oot and Aboot in Herring Cove

Ready, set, launch! This is the first in a new series by moi, #DeLoryTheExplorer, in which I'll blog about my favourite things: hiking, running, cycling, paddling, eating and drinking at some of the best places in and around Halifax. Hopefully I'll inspire you to get outside and do some exploring of your own. 

For years I'd driven by the Herring Cove look-off, sometimes parking in the small lot on John Brackett Dr., gazing at the dramatic coastline, listening to the waves pounding on the massive rocks, and letting the sea spray dampen my face. I'd seen a footpath through some brush and scrub but never walked the length of it until yesterday. Better late than never did I discover that this trail, a meandering 2 km path through the Herring Cove Provincial Park Reserve, is one of the more striking coastal trails I've traversed and it's just 10 minutes off the Halifax peninsula.

The first kilometre walking south provides views across the Halifax Harbour to the Maugher's Beach lighthouse on McNab's Island and Dartmouth's Eastern Passage behind it. You can feel the power of the Atlantic Ocean crashing against the rocks every few seconds, a sound punctuated by the clanging of buoys, cries of egrets and seagulls, and (sometimes) the blaring of foghorns — hey it is Nova Scotia, after all.

The path is narrow but easy to follow. It winds around tidal pools to the water's edge, then cuts slightly inland through scraggly woods where the scent of cedar fills your nostrils, and up to the top of cliffs with sheer drops down to swirling white-capped water. It's not a long or difficult hike (total hiking time about 75 minutes without stops) but neither is it a walk for the faint of heart or for anyone with unsteady feet or a fear of heights.

There are some unusual sights to behold such as a single huge boulder on an otherwise flat rock, and another pile of boulders stacked in a circle (how did they get there?). It's possible to spot seals in the water but bring your binoculars if this is your goal, and on rare occasions you could even be lucky enough to see a whale.

To get to the Herring Cove Provincial Park Reserve, drive from Halifax through the Armdale Rotary and out Purcell's Cove Road past Frog Pond and York Redoubt (both excellent destinations for future #DeLoryTheExplorer posts). The road becomes John Brackett Dr. and when the houses thin out on your left and the ocean view opens up you'll see the small parking lot. For the car-less, the 20 Herring Cove bus will take you there from downtown Halifax.

Should you find yourself wanting a snack or drink after your visit, get back on John Brackett Dr. and continue driving south to where it intersects with the Herring Cove Rd. There you will find the marvelous Italian-styled Pavia café and gallery. Everything here is delicious, including the rich and frothy hot chocolate.

You only need a few hours for this outing, and nothing more than comfortable shoes and a windbreaker. Enjoy and please report back if you go.

Links:
Get Outta Town, The Coast
Halifax WanderersHalifax
Hiker Tumblr

Sunday
Jul212013

In an oTENTik in the woods...

When I learned Kejimkujik National Park has oTENTiks I knew I had to check them out. oTENTiks are spacious A-framed cabins with a bunk beds so you can camp in comfort. As someone who loves sleeping in the woods but also appreciates a leak-proof dwelling and hardwood floor, all my needs were met.

We loaded up the Volvo with our sleeping bags, bikes, clothes, kayaks and food, glad to have the extra trunk space that would normally hold our tent and air mattresses for a small beer cooler. Unpacking and setting up was remarkably fast, and the kids were off exploring the fantastic bike trails around Jeremy's Bay less than three hours after we left Halifax.

Our site (#328) was perched right on Lake Kejimkujik, the namesake lake in this glorious park.

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Thursday
Sep292011

Day Three: St Ann's and Scenic Bras d'Or Lakes

NOTE: The Extreme Group and Destination Cape Breton have contracted me to tour Cape Breton Island and blog about my journey for four days. I have editorial control of the content and promise to write honestly and openly about the things I see and do. I hope you will accompany me on this adventure by reading my posts and commenting as you see fit.

Artisans' loop

Traveling and writing are two of my favourite activities. Paired together into a paid work assignment—even better! This might be the best "job" I've ever had.

On day three, I sadly bid adieu to the delightful staff at Keltic Lodge and drove south to the St. Ann's Bay section of the Cabot Trail known for its many artisans.

My first stop was at Wildfire Pottery. I chatted with owner and potter Sarah Hake, who apologized for low inventory levels—she's had a good season. Her clay puffins were my favourite item. Sarah's inspired by the live puffins that nest on the small rocky islands that dot this coastline. Sarah also displays her art on locally sourced driftwood and stones. At the back she has a sizable used bookstore.

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Thursday
Sep292011

Day Two: The Cabot Trail

NOTE: The Extreme Group and Destination Cape Breton have contracted me to tour Cape Breton Island and blog about my journey for four days. I have editorial control of the content and promise to write honestly and openly about the things I see and do. I hope you will accompany me on this adventure by reading my posts and commenting as you see fit.

Hiking in the Highlands

Walk loudly and carry a big stick. Sound advice when you're hiking in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. For extra safety I also carried a bell—it is coyote and bear country, after all.

I drove from Chéticamp into the west park entrance and started my clockwise journey. I immediately faced a steep incline and seconds later was lured to a roadside lookout point that offered a sweeping view of green mountains, rocky beaches and the Cabot Trail. A minute further, there was another lookout and another stunning vista. Than another. And another. Like a fly to light, I couldn't resist the temptation to stop at each one. Every view took my breath away. (So did the highway's hairpin turns that required slowing down to 30 km/hour!)

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