For the fourth time in one day, I am mangling the pronunciation of town names in Nova Scotia. Is it Why-COCO-maw or Why-COG-ama? Anti-GONE-ish or An-TIG-anish? Meredith and I have been in Canada for three days, but I haven’t gotten any better at this.
Meanwhile, our traveling companions, Jimmy and Janet, are wondering if another strategy might serve me better than my current foot-in-mouth approach. “You know,” Jimmy suggests gently, “as my grandmother used to say: Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.”
I can’t fault his logic. But a life of silent and seeming perfection would be so much less interesting, don’t you think? And so, I persist, butchering the local dialect in the tradition of traveling Americans everywhere.
“Why, yes,” I boldly pronounce in the next restaurant, “I’d just love the soup du jour of the day!”
Fortunately, everyone we meet on this eight-day, 1,834-mile trip from New Hampshire to Nova Scotia and the famed Cabot Trail is unerringly nice despite my frequent indiscretions. This corner of Canada is like that: It’s a place where tourism, farming, and the hardscrabble fishing life exist in equal measure; where picture-perfect ocean-side villages alternate with rough and odorous harbors; and where 1,500-foot peaks amidst the Cape Breton Highlands drop sharply down to their inverse—bogs and unending mud flats that are home to the most dramatic tides on earth.
Motorcycle & Gear
Helmet: Shoei RF-1200
Jacket: Aerostich Darien Light
Boots: Aerostich Combat Lite
Gloves: Aerostich Competition Elkskin Ropers
From “The Garage Majal” to the Bay of Fundy
Meredith and I are riding a new Indian Roadmaster, a reincarnation of a century-old motorcycle that bristles with amenities never imagined by Mr. Hendee when the brand was launched in 1901, including heated seats and grips, cruise control, Ride Command seven-inch LCD screen, and most important, 36 gallons of storage in the capacious side bags and topcase.