Journalist • Photographer

Bobby Magill is a journalist and photographer based in Port Jervis, NY and Alexandria, Va.

Talking Moose Hunting in 'the Province'

We cycled 68 miles on Thursday between Cape Sable Island and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, where we stayed at a campground outside town. Pulling out of camp this morning, a woman checking out our bikes told us a story of her recent trip to "the Province," by which she meant Newfoundland (pronounced Newfin-LAND), a moose-riddled odyssey through the isolated wilderness to play baseball. She wondered what would happen if we ran into a moose on our recumbents, and she was certain the outcome would be grim. I was, too. 

Before departure from Cape Sable Island, where we stayed at a tiny B&B in Clark's Harbor.  

Before departure from Cape Sable Island, where we stayed at a tiny B&B in Clark's Harbor.  

Into Yarmouth we rode on a narrow, busy and shoulder-free highway looking for breakfast, when Jacob's intensifying Achilles' tendonitis finally got the best of him. To this point, we'd ridden 134 miles in less than 48 hours. The pain was too great for him to continue, so we decided to bag the bike tour. No healing can be accomplished by aggravating it further 

Jacob checking the map before our last push into Yarmouth. 

Jacob checking the map before our last push into Yarmouth. 

This left us in a bit of a bind. Unable to bike back to where we parked the car two cycling days behind us, and unable to complete the loop around southern Nova Scotia, we needed other transportation back to the tiny town where we parked the car. There is no public transport between Yarmouth and Shelburne. Enterprise Rent A Car, the only car rental game in town, was booked up for days. (They called this morning telling me they couldn't honor the online reservation I'd made.) There is a shuttle service between Yarmouth and Halifax, but it leaves tomorrow. We reserved hitchhiking as a last-ditch option. So, like a good New Yorker, I called a taxi. 

Two hours and $140 Loonies later, I was driving my Subaru out of Shelburne and headed back to Yarmouth to pick up Jacob and the bikes. On the way to Shelburne, the cab driver, who was very proud to inform me he'd just switched to drinking Miller beer after 30 years of never deviating from his habit of drinking the same Keith's beer, told me of his upcoming moose hunt in NewfinLAND. With a spot-on Scotsman's accent, he pined for "the Province" where he'd spend weeks seeking his prized moose.

"What does moose taste like?" I asked. 

 "Ever eaten deer?"

"Best cut of meat I've ever had," I said, thinking of grilled Moffat County venicen I ate in a friend's backyard in western Colorado a few years back.  

"Moose is better, no restaurant serves it," he said, adding that his year sitting behind a steering wheel in Yarmouth is aimed at two things: Paying off his Dodge car and shooting that NewfinLAND moose. 

Loading up the bikes in Yarmouth.  

Loading up the bikes in Yarmouth.  

Back in Yarmouth, Jacob and I loaded up the bikes, filled up on Tim Hortons and hit the road up the coast, where we visited Smuggler's Cove, and I'm learning the virtues of Keith's beer, which the can claims to be an IPA, but tastes more like Bud Light.  

Now... time for the scenic route home via, well, we're not sure yet. We've got some time yet to kill. See ya back in the States, eh?