We invited ourselves up to help celebrate The True North’s 150th anniversary of Confederation and toured 920 km, 117 of them by sea, across the three Maritime providences, and were joined by my parents for the tail end of the adventure in Halifax. The Maritimes are long on lore, and Nova Scotia in particular has always been a misty and stoic enigma to me. The landscapes and seascapes we found were stark, valiant, and plenty.
The scenery needed no adornment beyond the lonely lighthouses whose loyalty has long outlived their demand. Commercial roadside signage and billboards are largely outlawed. They were not missed, and I never felt I missed out on any opportunities for commerce or consumption. Not once. It was a clear and present reminder that improvements are often and best made by removal and reduction. Unadultered land and centuries of complex history filled our trip, and we enjoyed literal and metaphorical cleanliness, full of deep breaths of fresh air that satisfies all our senses.