Friday, August 31, 2012

Cabot Trail

While visiting in Cheticamp, NS, at the edge of Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Hailey had a chance to meet a new friend Fleury,


who also was an expert on the harness/leash arrangement.  She also scared off a couple of loose cats in the area.


One night we went out for supper, in this lighthouse style restaurant, with a view of the harbour, and even had a private room part way up the ‘tower’. Afterwards, it was a short drive in the park at dusk, where we saw about 6-7 moose coming out of the woods.  No photos though, because it was dark. This swimming area provides options of a fresh water dip in the Cheticamp river lagoon, or a salt water experience in the ocean.  We did both, but Hailey preferred to wait in the camper with swimming not being on her bucket list!  But at only  2.5 years old, she has now been on beaches on the Pacific ocean, the Atlantic ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico!


Like everywhere else, staff cuts in the National Parks have hurt Cape Breton, where 25-year staff have had their positions cut to seasonal, and the park is offering up the Keltic Lodge and golf course for private operators.  No doubt the short-term savings will prove costly and detrimental to the park and the communities in the long run.  So much for the sections of the National Parks Act referring to ‘preserve and protect’.

Friends there have started Sugen Wind Energy Research and are testing the use of these innovative wind generators in the notorious winter winds of the Cheticamp area.  These generators were all imported from France, and if the tests are successful, these turbines may soon be available in Canada through Sugen.  They seem to be more effective at higher wind speeds than the large models you see in southern Alberta, and Palm Springs area, and do not appear to have some of the negative effects on birds and nearby residents that those models incur.  These ones are so far proving very durable with the strong, gusty winds in this area that regularly exceed100km/hr.


Soon it was time to head into the park for real and check out the world famous Cabot Trail.P8245949

The parking lot for the Skyline trail was pretty busy, and I was not looking forward to hiking in a herd of other hikers, but actually it turned out to be not that bad at all for crowds.


Next: Pleasant Bay, and Fishing Cove in CBHNP.P8266057

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cape Breton Island

We searched all around Bayfield for the Bayfield Bunch without success.


Perhaps we were a couple of provinces too far east?  Undaunted by this disappointment, we sought out the causeway leading onto Cape Breton Island.


We got a ‘green light’ at the CBI border checkpoint!P8225893

In Whycocomagh, our timing was off to meet up with a friend from about 20 years ago, but ended up tracking down addresses for a couple more up in Cheticamp area, so that’s where we headed.

After a bit of slow driving and sleuthing, a lakefront campsite presented itself on Lake Ainslie, and we could not resist.


The next day, it was back to the coast and up to Cheticamp, at the start of the famed Cabot Trail.

There are a number of small villages in the Cheticamp area, each with it’s own post office.

P8235896 P8235897 P8235898

Here’s the one at Grand Etang.  Quite the view while checking your mail here.


Across the bay there was a herd of cows that seemed to prefer life on the edge – or at least, on the point.  Perhaps there were less flies there?P8235902

I managed to invite myself to a party the next night, but in the meantime, a bit of driving around in likely area was required to find a suitable night location.  This spot filled the bill, and the price was right.


More Cape Breton to come …