In anticipation of a road trip with lots of camping in Nova Scotia, I’ve been reading The Tent Dwellers, a droll 1906 travelogue about a fishing trip to Nova Scotia. It rains most of the time on his trip, which inspires me to pack two raincoats, waterproof pants, and two tarps.
Here’s a good passage about when the author gets poison Ivy on his face:
Many times a day I bathed my face in the pure waters of the lake and then with the spirits—rye or Scotch, as happened to be handy…And I wish to add here in all seriousness that whatever may be your scruples against the use of liquors, don’t go into the woods without whisky…
Alcohol, of course, is good for poison ivy, but whisky is better. Maybe it is because of the drugs that wicked men are said to put into it. Besides, whisky has other uses. The guides told us of one perfectly rigid person who, when he had discovered that whisky was being included in his camp supplies, had become properly incensed, and commanded that it be left at home. The guides had pleaded that he need not drink any of it, that they would attend to that part of what seemed to them a necessary camp duty, but he was petrified in his morals, and the whisky remained behind.
Well, they struck a chilly snap, and it rained. It was none of your little summer landscape rains, either. It was a deadly cold, driving, drenching saturation. Men who had built their houses on the sand, and had no whisky, were in a bad fix. The waves rose and the tents blew down, and the rigid, fossilized person had to be carried across an overflowed place on the back of a guide, lifting up his voice meanwhile in an effort to convince the Almighty that it was a mistake to let it rain at this particular time, and calling for whisky at every step.
It is well to carry one’s morals into the woods, but if I had to leave either behind, I should take the whisky. — Albert Bigelow Paine
Yes, I am bringing whiskey. I’ll tell you later if any morals survive.
I hope to post pictures and stories from the trip. Next week, I’ll be taking the ferry from Portland, Maine, to Yarmouth, exploring the Southwestern coast, and staying in Dartmouth, which I read is the Brooklyn of Halifax.
Then I’ll meet with my camping friend Jennie and her miniature Schnauzer Lilac, and their little truck. We’ll camp all around Cape Breton Island.
In New Brunswick, we will stay in Fundy National Park where we’ll see the 50-foot tides.
If you know of places I should see, please do tell.