New France New Scotland
and the Cabot Trail on a Big Gray Pig...
1. For day tripping in New France skip to page 7. Lots of pics and spot report is on page 8 from FredGreen.
2. For South West Nova Scotia Trip planning that the collective may be up to go to this link - all welcome - Southwest Nova Scotia Riders Trip Planning thread (NEW)
3. Page 14 - Mahone Bay, Lunenburg, Bear River, Cape D'or
4. Page 15 - The Big Grey Pig passin Gaspe in Quebec.
5. Page 16 - Cabot Trail Fall Colours in October
6. Page 17 - New France again - Oct 2011 - it never gets old
Note: As of April 26th, 2011 this RR will be in Day Trippin' since most entries are from single trips. Thanks for stopping by...
Thankfully the day had arrived for my not often enough holidays. The plan was to leave home and drive to Meat Cove. That was it. Anything else was a bonus. The Cabot trail would be assaulted by default as it was in the way between my house and Meat Cove. The roads and a bridge or two had been washed away a few weeks back heading to the Cove, but I was confident that all would be set back in place for my arrival. There is no schedule or must do items other then go to MC.
Background info: Prince Sinclair discovered the New World in 1398 (yeah I know this is contrary to what you were told in school) :eek1 Meat Cove is at the top of Cape Breton in the province of Nova Scotia (New Scotland). If you care to notice the flag of Nova Scotia is suspiciously similar to the Scottish flag.
Day One enroute to Meat Cove
The plan today was to head to Guysborough to check out a nice little campground and local feeding hole that goes by the name Rare Bird Pub. I just put a google map together for day one - this was a long day and the temperature Bit in the morning. Overnight the temperature dropped to 11 celsius. Route 7 was scenic with some improvements and some rough patches. Don't buy supreme in Canso - the bike took a lot of convincing to start on day two, and this wasn't repeated anywhere else on this trip. Use the controls to check out the route.
<small>View </small><small>New Scotland - New France in a larger map</small>"><iframe marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?hl=en&gl=ca&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=10156142 3306185871046.000490d8c5b3c2765229a&ll=45.11405,-62.866544&spn=0.646495,3.746395&output=embed" width="425" frameborder="0" height="350" scrolling="no"></iframe>
<small>View New Scotland - New France in a larger map</small>
Sheet Harbour - Henley House Pub
Henley House is open at Noon on Sundays. Not 11:59. After rattling the door, I was let in to enjoy some stale coffee. Let me be clear on one thing. Mess the coffee up and it is an uphill battle to make me happy after that.
I ordered the Steak and Ale dish and was underwhelmed by the tiny morsels of meat and large fluffy tasteless crust. I should have kept looking for a pub as one down the street looked pretty busy and this one had one patron. Lesson learned - moving on.
Picture of the Gray Pig
In case you are not aware of what a Big Gray Pig looks like - here she is loaded for some mileage. The trip covered about 2800 km in the week. She glides well on the road but is a pig when dropped, which happened three times in one day :huh in New France.
So day one started with some slab and bad food for lunch. The afternoon got a lot better when I hopped on Route 7. Many signs looked promising including this one near Goldenville. Nova Scotia has a history of many small Gold mines, none of which belong to my family. Dang!
The dirt road was fun but it quickly turned into a trail, and so I turned around and resumed my trek on route 7 giving up on my quest for Golden Riches.
The road to the Port Bickerton lighthouses was recently washed out and replaced after a fine North Atlantic storm rolled through the area. I wouldn't recommend the road for too many vehicles as it was a rough one. As for the spot, they do a $3 info tour in lighthouse #1. Basically the locals are trying to support the upkeep of another Nova Scotia lighthouse.
Talking to one of the guides - she mentioned Country Harbour's Ferry and I joked about just driving through the water to the other side. She explained that the large shrimp boats cruised up their and it would probably be too deep. These boats sail to Greenland and catch up to 800 tons of shrimp on a single trip.
Just another Cable Ferry - Country Harbour
$5 - regardless of the load. Car, truck, motor-home, or Gray Pig. It doesn't matter - they are all the same price.
Bad Gas ...
in Canso. I fueled up with supreme at what might be the only fuel stop in town. It almost cost me the next morning. The G.P. had a very hard time firing up the next morning. This went away after the fuel load was depleted.
Rare Bird Pub - Guysborough - Closing night for the season - Sept 12 - I suffered through some fresh Digby Scallops wrapped in Bacon with a nice crisp salad. No pictures as I know no one likes seafood that much.
Nice atmosphere with lots of laughter and a fine scenic view over the water. Just minutes away from Boylston Campground - $18 - no shower and just 3 campers to the whole place. The temperature dropped to a balmy 11 Celsius overnight.
Day Two - September 13
Up early to make a dart towards Meat Cove. Here is a parting shot of the campground at 7 am.
Grabbed breakfast at the Irvings next to the Canso Causeway. Two ferries had arrived earlier from Newfoundland and the place was packed. The normal deal is everyone races off of the ferry and heads here for fuel and food before hitting the highway to get where their going. Since I have done the same it only made sense to eat here on the way up. The first thing greeting you in Cape Breton is Road Work. Lots of it. So after 20 minutes of chatting to the sign girl I raced to the next road construction site.
The scenery started to improve. Here is Black Brook Cove in the Cape Breton Highlands. The crashing waves were doing a great job of entertaining the visitors.
Funny Service in Neils Harbour
Take a load of this serving of Fish and Homemade Fries. This meal was tasty, which is a good thing because the cashier was yawning in my face while taking my order. She must have had a rough night for some unknown reason and didn't get enough sleep!
Funny story - an American couple relayed to me in the eating area that one cook asked the other to sample a spoonful of chowder. Then the first cook dipped the same spoon back into the chowder to try it herself. The tourist from the USA said despite this the seafood chowder was very tasty.
There is no Tim Hortons up Top so you have to bring your own. Good thing as the temperature would not cross 13 Celsius today.
The Cabot Trail, then Meat Cove, and then more Cabot Trail
Pictures of the wonderful grand roads and like.
The Big G.P. crossed 10k on the road into Meat Cove. Look at the temperature will you. Sept 13, 2010. 13C midday.
The new bridge going up the hill to Meat Cove Campground. There is major work and machinery on the road repairing the flood damage.
I ran into Jeff Smith aka moto-treks on the road. Shared a coffee and did some bike work. Great meeting folks on the road, although I think Jeff was lost because he was supposed to be going to visit his daughter who lives in the USA. Labrador isn't exactly the direct route from Seattle Jeff :lol3
Meat Cove - 13 September
At the top of Cape Breton you will find Aspy Bay, the St. Lawrence, and Meat Cove. The roads are pretty beat up from the flood and the continuing road work.
I don't think I would want to live here although the driving was good on the G.P.
One more of Meat Cove
Cabot Trail - Western Side
I took a Counter Clock Wise Route as suggested by the millions of ADV riders before me. The best part of Cape Breton is the drive. I did take my eye off of the road once - Definitely something you are better off not doing - since I am writing this report it should be obvious that the brakes work well on the G.P.
Notice that all the turns in this picture are to the left. There are no lack of turns on the Cabot Trail and two mountains (or very large hills) had wicked grades (Franks - 12% over 3 miles) Smokey was similar. Add lots of turns and it becomes a bikers dream ride.
Everyone stops here for their photo next to the memorial. There are always people handy to take your pic and visa versa.
I picked up a $60 per night room in Baddeck and woke up to this in the morning. The key safely held in the door to the room over night. Nothing missing, nothing robbed. Typical safe places to lodge in Cape Breton and I would expect nothing less.
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