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  • The Cabot Trail and Beyond

    Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

    13 Aug 2009: After a week visiting my sister, we left Marble Mountain and headed for the Cabot Trail

     13 Aug 09: Our first night back on the road we spent at Whycocomagh Provincial Park in Whycocomagh. The next morning we drove to Baddeck, still on the western shore of the Bras D'Or. Guarding the entrance to the little harbor of Baddeck was this classic Maritime-style lighthouse.  cape breton167
     cape breton172  14 Aug 09: Our principal reason for going to Baddeck was to visit the Alexander Graham Bell Museum, which was truly fascinating - I had no idea of the breadth of Bell's interests and discoveries. Bell built a large home in Baddeck, "Beinn Breagh", and this is where he conducted many of his experiments. Principal among them was the first powered aircraft flight in Canada by the Silver Dart, represented in the front window of the museum.
     Bell was noted for the thorough manner in which he tested theories, building many models which he put through rigorous testing. He became enthralled with the strength of the tetrahedral.  cape breton170
     cape breton169 He also set a world speed record for boats with this hydrofoil that he designed at built. Although this is a replica, the remains of the original boat are also at the museum. 
     Approaching Cheticamp, we began to follow the beautiful coastline of northwest Cape Breton.  cape breton177

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     Just outside Cheticamp we came across Joe's Scarecrow Village, a field filled with more than 100 scarecrows in various dress and poses.

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     cobr18  We stopped for the night at Corney Brook CG in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. This is a special spot in our hearts, for we camped here 42 years ago on our honeymoon. On that trip we were traveling in a VW Beetle and sleeping in a small tent. We have a picture just about identical to this from that trip.
     15 Aug 09: This part of Cape Breton reminded us so much of our trip last year up the California and Oregon coasts.

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     cape breton224 Fishing Cove, seen from more than a 1000 feet above it, was once a thriving farming and fishing community, complete with a cannery. By 1915, it was deserted, and now is a peaceful back-country camping destination. 
     The rugged coastline extends into the hazy distance. It's starting to get rather warm for up here. Today it hit 31! (Celsius).  cape breton227
    cape breton234   The Lone Sheiling. The land this replica of a Scottish shepherd's hut sits on was the beginning of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. It was bequeathed to the government by Prof. Donald S. MacIntosh upon his death in 1934.
     In Neils Harbor, we passed this little stand of hand-crafted whirl-a-gigs and lighthouses.  cape breton238
     cape breton239  We paused for lunch beside the Neils Harbor lighthouse.
     Neils Harbor is a working fishing village still today, with classic lobster boats in the water and piles of old wooden lobster traps around the harbor.  cape breton240
     cape breton245  Cape Smokey.
     16 Aug 09: After a night at St Ann's Bay Campark, we took the Englishtown Ferry to save a few miles on our way to Sydney and beyond. The ride is a very short one, and is interesting in that the ferry is guided back and forth by a cable strung across the waterway.  cape breton252
    cape breton257   As we neared the other shore, Liz snapped this pastoral scene of a country house with horses in the field and the owners enjoying Sunday breakfast in their screenhouse.
     We're back on the Trans-Canada Highway and have climbed up the hills where we had this view of the Englishtown ferry, which we had just ridden.  cape breton259
    cape breton265 This lighthouse is another on the Bras D'Or, in the main northern channel into the Atlantic.
    Couldn't resist this one. cape breton266
    cape breton270 16 Aug 09: An easy day today to the village of Louisbourg, where we found the Louisbourg Motorhome Park, a great little campground operated by the merchant's association located right in town beside the harbor.
    The major attraction in Louisbourg is the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. This is the largest 18th-century village reconstruction in North America and depicts the French village and fortress as it was in the year 1744. Join us on a tour of the fortress and village. cape breton273
    cape breton286 After spending a good part of the day at the Fortress, we drove around the harbor to the Louisburg Lighthouse.
    This could be Maine or the Pacific coast. cape breton291
    cape breton294 19 Aug 09: We left Louisbourg this morning and followed the Fleur De Lis Highway down to St Peters for our last night on Cape Breton Island. Along the way we stopped at an old cemetery overlooking a lake, where we enjoyed our lunch. There were only about 4 family names that occupied most of the gravesites.
    The St Peters Lighthouse guides mariners to the ocean end of the St Peters Canal, which uses one lock to get boats into the south end of Bras D'Or Lake. cape breton295
    cape breton296 The ocean approach to St Peters Canal.

    20 Aug 09: The last picture before leaving Cape Breton Island. I didn't even notice this lighthouse near the Canso Causeway, but Liz did and snapped it as we passed by.

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