Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its fifth year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

August 3, 2016

HALIFAX WANDERABOUT

... along a rather deserted stretch of the trans-canada liz spotted a sign, "homemade ice cream ahead" ... we exited the highway onto what must be the "norman bates road" ... a few hundred yards and we came across "mccabes" ... ignoring the faint strains of dueling banjos echoing from the dark forrest, we entered the little prefab at the edge of the woods ... $8/scoop, but one of my special wanderabout rules is "give it a try anyhow," so i got a single scoop of maple and liz selected the dark chocolate ... expensive, for sure, but it turned out to be absolutely scrumptious ...

... after arriving in halifax we decided to spend the evening exploring ... a few miles from our hotel we came across this most famous cemetery ...

... buried in halifax are the majority of the approximately 300 bodies that were recovered and brought back to shore after the sinking of the titanic ...

... "each man stood at his post ... and showed once more to the all world how englishmen should die" ... great copy, inspirational, but we know now that it's not exactly a truth that can be applied to the behaviors of all the members of the titanic's crew ...

... donald (thanks for the fix, john and sarah) james cameron says that the naming of his central character was a coincidence ...

... a few years ago modern forensic science was applied to three sets of remains ... two are still mysteries, but, after over a hundred years, d.n.a. analysis has given the "unknown child" a name and a face ... little sidney goodwin can now fully rest in peace ...

... i'd booked us in the "harbourview" holiday inn in dartmouth, across the water from halifax ... perhaps a tiny bit of a stretch, but, seeing as the room was nice and the beds were extra comfortable, i'll allow it a by ...

... we were in the older part of the hotel ... from our balcony we could watch the sunset reflecting off the windows of the new high rise structure ...

... when the noise began we thought there might be a group in the room next to us raising hell, but it turned out we'd arrived for "natal day," nova scotia's official birthday ...

... luckily, i'd paid the extra $10/night to get the harbour view ...

... the next day we went to the maritime museum to see several exhibits ... the first was of the great "halifax explosion" ... on the 6th of december, 1917, over 2,000 people died when an ammunition ship and a cargo ship collided in the harbor ...

... at approximately 2.4 kilotons, the blast was the equivalent of a tactical nuclear weapon ... 
UNKNOWN SOURCE
... the massive explosion was felt over 120 miles away ...

... even as it became apparent the burning ships were going to explode, vincent coleman, the port telegraph operator, remained at his post sending details of what was happening to the world ... he was still tapping at his key when his dockside office was disintegrated and incinerated by the 9,000°f shock wave ... his last transmission: "goodbye boys" ...

... almost unbelievable, a year later his morse key was found in the rubble ...

... the twisted remains of the s.s. mont-blanc's stern post support was dug from a hill miles from the center of town ...

... an almost foot-thick segment of the rudder ...

... we studied this explosion in nuclear weapons school ... until the first atomic device, the "gadget," was detonated in 1944, this was the largest human-made explosion in history ...

... the model of the "mauretania" is interesting ... it was originally a model of her sister ship, the infamous "lusitania," but when that ship was torpedoed by the germans in world war I the shipping line changed the name on the bow of this model ... if i could have gotten the camera to the proper angle you would be able to see the name "lusitania" was left on the inner sides of the lifeboats ...

... some of the woodwork from another ship that sank ... this is one of the pieces of the titanic found floating by the rescue ships ... it's the only segment remaining of the grand dining room ...

... this photograph was discovered in the pocket of one of the unidentified bodies ...

... a cutting board from the titanic ... the wife of the salvager was adament that it remain as it is, and that the cutting marks never be sanded away ...

... almost all of the people on the titanic were alive when the great ship slipped beneath the waves ... the 1,500 who ended up in the water, however, would have succumbed to the extremely cold temperatures within a very short time ... survivors spoke of the screaming, and how within minutes the voices began to slowly fade until all was silent except the sobbing in the lifeboats ... something to think about ...

... the exhibit had some rather unusual items ...

... including sidney goodwin's shoes ...


... we then boarded the "c.s.s. acadia," the only canadian ship to survive both world wars ... further proof of her luck, the ship also was still afloat after the great halifax explosion ...

... two years after the titanic disaster, the "empress of ireland" sank in the st. lawrence river just north of quebec city ... in a tragedy that took place within sight of the shoreline, and lasted only a few minutes, over a thousand people lost their lives ...

... the empress went down so quickly that the force of the air within her hull exploded this porthole, which, it seems, is the only one of its kind left in the entire world ...

... the tiniest of artifacts speak of the elegance of that age ...

... how remarkable, that this little egg cup remained intact ...

... the bridge annunciator, set as it was when the empress slammed into the s.s. storstad—or, if you turn the page over, when the storstad steamed directly into the side of the empress ... there's still great disagreement concerning the issue ...

... we took a little drive along the coastline south of halifax, an almost surreal landscape of bogs, blueberries, and glacial erratics ...

... "peggy's cove," i think, was probably very rustic and quaint about thirty years ago ... that's the little fishing village portrayed in all the photography books ... it's now a rather tour-bus touristy place ... despite that, we, like many others, found it a most remarkable spot ...

... "i want to take it home for the garden, pa, will it fit in the trunk" ...

... in this singular place mother nature laughs at us ... if we're smart, we very carefully listen to her ...

... back in halifax we greatly enjoyed an exhibit of works by kate church ...

... her little people speak for themselves ...

... sunday evening liz and i were locked into a "contaminated hospital room" at "trapped halifax" ... it cost us $57 to have this done ... were given one-hour to escape ... despite several offers via the walkie-talkie we had been given, we refused any clues ...

... we died ...

... i'm saving up for another try ...

... halifax, nova scotia, highly recommended ...