2006 Canadian Atlantic Maritime Provinces Model T Ford Tour

This is a brief account of the 2006 Canadian Atlantic Maritime Provinces Model T Ford Tour. This was a 21 day, 2,200 mile driving tour conducted by the Model T Club of Southern California in August & September 2006. The 10 California cars were shipped by truck except for a 1915 Touring Car that returned by driving across the entire United States to La Mirada, California. We also had one car each from Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Washington and Ontario Canada for a total of 16 vehicles.

Aug 26 Portland Maine – Yarmouth, Nova Scotia (225 miles, 25 miles driven) – We picked up our cars at the local warehouse and loaded them onto a high speed catamaran known as “The Cat” for a 5 ½ hour, 200 mile trip to Yarmouth. The Cats turbines discharged the amount of water held in an Olympic Size swimming pool every 33 seconds. The Cat provided a restaurant, 3 movie theaters and slot machines for passenger entertainment.

Aug 27 Yarmouth – Digby (68 miles) – We departed north on Highway 1 known as the “Evangeline Trail” and for several days passed 250+ beautiful Craftsman and Victorian era churches. We drove along the Bay of Fundy famous for having 50+ foot ocean tides (the largest tides in the world).

Aug 28 Digby – New Minas (85 miles) – We spent the night in Digby, home to one of the world’s largest scallop fleets. This is a major fruit growing area also known for its wineries. We passed many large well kept Victorian and Craftsman homes resting on large, well manicures lawns that stretched for acres.

Aug 29 New Minas – Truro (100 miles) – In this area, at high tide the rivers flow inland. We visited the Tidal Power Project, at Annapolis Royal, a plant that sits at the mouth of a lake. The lake fills with sea water at high tide and as the ocean water empties back towards the ocean turbines generate electricity for 4,500 homes.

Aug 30 Truro – Amherst (115 miles) – We had dinner at a beautiful restaurant overlooking a river that began flowing inland with such force that a local tour operator provides a raft trip to ride the 4 to 6 foot waves inland up river.

Aug 31 Amherst – Charlottetown (120 miles) – We were guests at the local city hall. As we traveled I had a great time photographing some of the several hundred Craftsman and Victorian homes we passed. We crossed a corner of New Brunswick and stopped for lunch at a beautiful nature center located at the south end of the Confederation Bridge. This bridge is the longest bridge in the world over waters that freeze in winter and is said to be one of the most significant engineering achievements of the 20th century. It was out connection to Prince Edward Island (PEI).

Sep 1 & 2 Charlottetown – Cavendish (40 miles) – We spent 2 days exploring and photographing historic buildings, theaters, and the historic Legislature building where Canada’s Fathers of Confederation met to form the country of Canada. We spent part of Saturday afternoon listening to an amazing 16 year old female fiddler and her group.

Sep 3 Cavendish – New Glasgow (100 miles) – Explored Sea Coast National Park and the home of Maude Montgomery author of Anne of Green Gables. This area is known for churches that host lobster dinner fundraisers. In the afternoon we departed PEI on the Woods Island Ferry, a 1 ½ hour trip to New Glasgow.

Sep 4 New Glasgow – Port Hastings (100 miles) – On our way we made a wrong turn and ended up at a small fishing harbor. We met the harbor master who was a woman and she explained we had arrived in the middle of the 3 week tuna catching season. She went on to tell us that the tuna are highly sought around the world for sushi. The economics are heavy; a 800 – 1,200 pound fish sells for between $40 to $80 per pound and re-sells in Tokyo for $160 – $180 per pound (that’s right one 1,200 pound tuna is worth up to $216,000 as sushi). Then it was on to Port Hastings which claims to be “home” of Celtic Music (fiddles, bagpipes and sometimes a piano). Actually the Celtic Music influence covers a very broad area.

Sep 5 Port Hastings – Cheticamp (85 miles) – Our favorite overnight place turned out to be here; the Cove Motel which was built on a beautiful peninsula jutting into the bay. We visited a fascinating place called the Coal Mine Museum and the Inverness Distillery at Mabou.

Sep 6 Cheticamp – Ingonish (75 miles) – Our tour through Cape Briton Highlands National Park began here. We started with a 5 mile morning hike to an ocean overlook and watched a pod of feeding whales from the cliffs. The park is full of spectacular scenery, views, rocky coastline and we even encountered a moose on the road. Some of the mountain roads were challenging to our Model T’s and if there was a highlight to the trip, this park was one.

Sep 7 Ingonish – Sydney (120 miles) – We used several cable driven ferry boat crossings while driving through beautiful countryside back roads. This area is fairly undeveloped and services are far apart.

Sep 8 Sydney – (120 miles) – We visited the Fortress of Louisbourg, the crown jewel of the Canadian Park Service, and the largest historical re-construction in Canada. We followed the Canso Causeway that goes along one of Nova Scotia’s most unspoiled and beautiful stretches of Atlantic coastline. Along the way, 6 or 7 times the road narrowed to one lane and we crossed way wooden bridges.

Sep 9 Port Hawksbury – Sheet Harbor (112 miles) – We departed for the historic town of Sherbrooke. This 150 year old town had changed the date of its annual antique car show to coincide with our arrival. The town of Sherbrook in not a re-creation; it is a real 150 year old town and with the exception of indoor plumbing and electricity has no modern conveniences, We displayed our Model T Fords on main street and visited the fascinating historic buildings, antique shops and restaurants.

Sep 10 Sheet Harbor – Halifax (70 miles) – We visited the very picturesque Peggy’s Cove. Along the way we stopped at Mahone Bay, Memorial site of the Swiss Air Flight #111 crash that claimed 229 lives in 1998.

Sep 11 & 12 Halifax, Capital of the Maritimes – Lunenberg (75 miles) – There is a 75 cent ferry that crosses the harbor every 20 minutes and we visited Pier 21 (Canada’s Ellis Island), Historic Properties downtown historic walk, a large French Fort, the Maritime Museum and the Titanic Cemetery. The history of the Titanic sinking and wording on the headstones is very sobering.

Sep 13 & 14 Lunenberg – Yarmouth (115 miles) – Lunenberg is an extremely interesting UNESCO World Heritage Town and is very much as it was originally designed 250 years ago. We sailed on the famous sailing ship, Blue Nose, known as the fastest sailing ship in the 1930’s (it won several international competitions) and visited the huge Fishing Museum (hard to believe you could spend several hours at a place like this but it was extremely interesting).

Sep 15 Yarmouth – Portland Maine (225 miles, 25 miles driven) – We had our farewell dinner and departed the next morning back to Maine via the Cat. Until next time have happy and safe travels.

To view a map of our travel please click here.