Saturday, September 19, 2015

9/18 Driving the Cabot Trail Around Cape Breton, NS - Part 2

I got up early this morning and headed out for the second half of this drive.  More trees, more ocean, more rocky coastline, more mountains, more spectacular scenic vistas--not much needs explanation. 

Well, except for this.  I drove down a small road upon recommendation at the visitor center, and ended up here.  A lady and her husband were just getting out of their car and saw my predicament.  She walked up the "road" and found room to park a car there, so offered me their parking space.  Her husband drove up and then helped me park in the only possible place.  This was actually the beginning of a trail that went out on a very narrow and wild peninsula at the very northern end of the Cape.

As you can see here, I had a choice of driving down a very steep path to a boat launch area or driving into a tiny harbor where there was no room to turn around.  Hence, the couple in the grey car to the left, gave me their spot. 

After the couple parked up the hiking trail path, two more cars joined them.  Note the rock in the road in the photo below?  An older man on a four-wheeler came by and ranted for a while wanting to know who moved the rock.  I had no idea, but apparently someone hit it and that moved it.  He mumbled incoherently for a while and left.  Strange.

I decided not to take the long hike and to return to my vehicle and drive to the next scenic spot, hopefully with better parking.  I waved down a smaller RV and suggested he not drive up the hill either, which he was considering doing.  So he parked in the marina/harbor to the right. 

Very pretty place, however.  Only a small scattering of homes here and rental cottages.
Onward, over a couple of more mountains that ran all the way down to the ocean.  However, now we are on the other side of the peninsula that is the Cape, and the water you see here is the Gulf of St. Lawrence where it is very wide and meets the Atlantic.  This side of the Cape seems to be more mountainous.  Mostly the road runs along the ridges, slightly inland, but still within views of the Gulf.  There are absolutely no roads in the interior! 

In this photo, you can see a bit of Atlantic at the end and what you can't see is the Gulf to the next.  I am facing north taking this photo.

There always seem to be cloud banks hanging in the distance.  Actually, this was a very warm and sunny day, even hot, especially for September.

A peek of the Gulf between these mountain ridges.

I noticed several of these little building before I had an opportunity to take a photo of one.  They are always at the tops of mountains, near hiking trails, and are labeled "Safety Houses."  The intent is for them to act as shelters in snow storms.  Notice how they are up on stilts.  I assume that is to keep them from getting buried.

This is looking back at the road I just took. 

Finally headed downhill to Cheticamp, which is a small town on the Cabot Trail.  The towns here are a little strange as I keep looking for a cluster of businesses making up a "downtown."  In reality, businesses are spread out so that there is really no town center.  Houses are widely spread apart also.

Finally, we have left most of the mountains behind.  There is only a steep cliff dividing these farmer's fields from the Gulf.
The rest of today was relatively flat, but with narrow twisting roads.  I drove a total of 280 miles today, which is a lot considering the first 100 was 45 MPH winding and twisting.  The last 150 miles was mostly the Trans-Canada highway, which felt good to drive after all the steering in the Cape.
I am headed now to Bangor, Maine, and should get there by Sunday afternoon late, if I keep moving.  I am anxious to get back in the U.S. and also to try to get my bad left-front wheel bearings fixed. 

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