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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Schilaty

Coast to Coast: Nova Scotia to Maine

After Prince Edward Island we hopped back into Laura’s CR-V and drove to Nova Scotia. We weren’t particularly pumped for Nova Scotia like we had been for Prince Edward Island (since going there hadn't been a childhood dream for anyone on the trip), but there was plenty of cool stuff to see. On the way to our house we stopped at Parrsboro, NS to see the world’s highest tides. The tide there fluctuates about 50 feet every 12 hours. When we first got there it was kind of a letdown. It just looked like an uninteresting rocky beach. Then I walked down to the water and the tide was going out so fast that I could actually see the water lowering. It was nuts! I shouted for Laura and Lindsay to come down (the tide was already quite low at this point) and Laura didn’t want to walk all the way down to water because it was so far, but I told her I’d carry her back if she didn’t like it. No piggyback rides were necessary because both of them thought it was so cool they took videos of the receding water.

The house we stayed in was far from everything. Like, really far, but it was perfect. It’s the kind of place that I wish I could have just hung out at for a week. It was super-old and had creaky wood floors. The house had been redone and it looked like the after version of a HGTV remodel. There was a beach right across the street from the house and a tiny graveyard overlooking the sea with headstones dating back to 1836. It was pretty neat. The only issue with the house was that my bedroom faced east and at dawn the sun shone through the white curtains making my room at 5:30 am lighter than noon day. 

We visited the old fishing town of Lunenburg which was kind of cool, but not nearly as cool as Peggy’s Cove. My mom has been fascinated by rocks this entire trip. Maybe she was always interested in rocks and I just didn’t notice until this trip. We all loved the rock formations and took too many silly pictures.

The next day we woke up bright and early to head to Maine. Laura’s car had been leaking oil the entire trip thanks to a mechanic who did a very bad job changing her oil. We checked the oil every day and kept it topped off and there were no issues. As we were driving through Nova Scotia we smelled burning oil so we pulled over, opened the hood, and the engine was smoking. Now, I’m no mechanic, but that seemed bad to me. A super-kind gas station attendant called a nearby mechanic who offered to see us right away. We were hoping for a quick fix, but it turned out that the engine block was cracked and we’d be stuck in Nowheresville, NS for at least eight hours.

Laura was understandably worried and the three Schilatys tried to figure out how to proceed with our trip now that we were stuck in Nova Scotia. We looked up flights and ferries and realized that getting out of town was going to be very expensive. Danny the mechanic and Joann the receptionist were absolutely phenomenal and tried every solution they could think of so that Laura wouldn’t be stuck in Canada for the rest of her life. Danny had Joann order a part and so it would arrive quickly she wrote “for stranded tourists” on the invoice. I don’t know exactly what Danny did, but four hours after arriving at the mechanic shop we were back on the road. As we drove away I said, “I did not expect to be driving this car today. I thought we were gonna be stuck here forever.”

As we were driving down the freeway a small car with one passenger pulled up next to us excitedly waving a small American flag. We all waved back, of course. As he passed us we noticed his Louisiana license plate. This fellow American must have seen Laura’s Colorado plates and decided to greet us with a small American flag that for some reason he had on hand.

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The four of us cheered that afternoon when we crossed the border into Maine. We had made it home and had avoided being forced to start new lives in Nova Scotia.

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