Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Cape Breton Highlands

We spent Monday mostly in and around the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. We left North Sydney, where we stayed the night Sunday at a lovely B&B, at about 9:00 AM. The weather was glorious, by the end of the day it was in the 70s. From North Sydney we took 312 and the Englishtown Ferry across St. Anns Bay and picked up the famous Cabot Trail just north of there. Shortly thereafter we entered the park.

There is not a lot to say about it. We began at the visitors centre and came away with a helpful lists of must see's and short walks. And then we set out. Early in the trip while looking out from Green Cove I remarked to a fellow Californian who noticed our license plates that I thought this among the most beautiful places on Earth. He agreed.

We spent a long day in the park, did some driving and a little bit of walking. Sharon, it turned out, was coming down with a cold so we did less walking than we might have liked. At day’s end we stopped for dinner at Le Gabriel in Cheticamp. I had not yet had my lobster supper for this part of the trip, so I did. I knew the lobster was big, but my lord! When I asked, after barely finishing it, the server grinned at me and said, “about 2 ½ pounds." Yum!!

From there we undertook the rest of the drive back to Halifax, arriving at the Macdonald Bridge about 10:00 PM only to find it closed. Beginning March it is to be closed Sunday through Thursday nights for a couple of years. GPS was singularly unhelpful, so we picked our way around the bay and fell into our room around 11:00. Not a great way to end a lovely excursion.

Interestingly, I did not find it easy to photograph the spectacular terrain of the highlands, despite favorable weather and light. I’m not sure if it is the terrain, the softness of northern light and mist or me or what. But here’s what I got.

This image of The Bog, from later in the day, may have been my nicest shot
It's hard to remember all the stops and what was shot where (I don't keep a notebook nor mark metadata, which I should). This is from Green Cove, I think.

The shores crawl with lobster boats

One of the most striking things is that the park gives ocean access and great mountaintop vistas, often within only a few miles

The Buelach Ban waterfall is much more massive than it appears to be from across the valley

A stream and sugar maple forest near Lone Shieling

Note the Cabot Trail

At The Bog we found ourselves ankle deep in snow to complete the walk around the bog itself

This shot gives you a great sense of how the road snakes through the shoreline

Tuesday will be a rest day in Halifax before we head out toward Quebec and the last stage of the trip.

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