Following a surprisingly restful night at the Margaree Riverview Inn we loaded the car, checked out of our room, and headed on up the Cabot Trail. First stop was for breakfast at the Belle View Restaurant in Margaree Harbour. Coffee was the biggest requirement but breakfast was good too.
The next stop was at a grocery store to replenish the ice in our cooler. Of course we made many stops along the way so Marilyn could take more photos but if I included full 1800 she took on the trip I would need several blogs. I took a few hundred myself before my camera battery died, but of course I neglected to bring the charger with me. Have to forget at least one thing on every trip, right?
While planning this trip we had seen several mentions of the Aucoin Bakery in Cheticamp including on Google Maps so you know we had to stop there and check it out. We ended up having to use GPS to locate it but soon discovered all we really needed to do was roll a window down as one could smell the delicious aroma all the way from the highway. We picked up a few treats for later in the day and then proceeded on our way.
It wasn’t long before we got to the entrance to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park and had to stop to pay the entrance fee. The poor lady in the ticket booth was being swarmed by some sort of insects so how she kept her sense of humor and friendly attitude was hard to fathom. We were still killing the darn things in the car for the next few miles.
The scenery had been pretty nice up until now but the grandeur that is the Highlands was on full display from here on. At one point we came upon a young moose trotting along side the road. I slowed down immediately as I know from first hand experience how unpredictable these ungainly creatures can be. I had just told Marilyn to roll down her window to get a shot out the side when the thing veered across in front of us and she was able to get this rare shot.
We eventually encountered a rather long section of road construction but as it was Saturday the crews weren’t working. We did however pass a large tanker truck watering the roadway to keep the dust down which we certainly appreciated. We stopped at a lookout on top and while we were taking pictures of the valley below the truck pulled up, shut off the water, and continued on down the road.
Finally around noon we pulled into a roadside parking area near Neils Harbour which turned out to be at the head of a hiking trail. I was puzzled when a car on the way out of the parking lot stopped and the driver hollered out to me that I would find large portions of the trail covered with water. Apparently it had rained heavily the night before and they found the hiking trail a bit too wet for their taste. I felt like saying, “Do we look like hikers to you?” But refrained and merely thanked him for the information.
While we were standing at the back of the car eating, we could hear a sound like wind blowing in the trees across the road, but upon wetting a finger and sticking it in the air I discovered there was nowhere near enough wind to cause that much noise. “I do believe there is a waterfall nearby,” says I. “Why don’t we investigate?” Marilyn politely declined but gave her blessing for my foray into nature.
So across the highway I ventured and to tackle the wilds beyond. After beating my way through the underbrush and stumbling over many rocks and bushes I got near what was indeed a fast moving stream. I then proceed to work my way downstream looking for some way to get close enough for a decent look. Eventually I found a spot where I could leap across a narrow channel and out onto the rocks in the middle of the raging water. What? You don’t believe it was raging? I have video for you doubters.
When I’d had had my fill of raging water I made my way back to shore and attempted to find a more stumble friendly path back to the car. Sure enough there was a trail. Duh.
I arrived back at the parking lot to discover Marilyn bragging to some visitors from Ontario about her moose picture. She’ll take every opportunity to grab the spotlight. 🙂
We carried on up the trail for the rest of the afternoon stopping regularly whenever a particularly picturesque view showed up on our radar, including a stop at Black Brook Cove Beach. Who would have believed people swimming in the Atlantic in September? Certainly not me and I didn’t join them but we took plenty of photos.
We also stopped for a bit of a break at Hawley’s Cove on Ingonish Harbour with a view of some fishing boats and some young people fishing off the pier.
Finally we came out on Hwy 105 which we’re both familiar with from our trucking days back and forth to the North Sydney ferry. We had many pictures of the Seal Island Bridge from up on Kelly’s Mountain but decided on one more for good measure.
Arriving at North Sydney we checked into our room at the Tartan Motel then backtracked to the Bras D’Or View Restaurant for supper. Following that we did a tour around North Sydney taking yet more photos in the late afternoon sun, including the Newfoundland ferry which was in port, before heading back to a much needed rest at the motel.