From Alberta to the East Coast

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by thedopplereffect, Jul 8, 2021.

  1. Possibly Certifiable

    Possibly Certifiable Verified Bing-nut

    Joined:
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    New Brunswick Canada
    HA! I went up that same lookout in Point-a-la-Croix on Saturday evening as well. Hit the end of the pavement on an elderly touring bike and decided discression was the better part of valour. Bush camped a couple km up the same road.

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    I think we both probably wound up in the same seaside village around Le Bic, just a couple days apart.

    [​IMG]
    #41
    Bors, kamtherider, B10Dave and 2 others like this.
  2. thedopplereffect

    thedopplereffect Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Alberta, Canada
    Nice! Yeah lots of bikes out that way when I was going through there. Easy to see why though, it's a beautiful area with lots of good riding.
    #42
  3. thedopplereffect

    thedopplereffect Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Alberta, Canada
    August 5, 2021

    The dawn broke with clear skies but a 100% chance of rain over basically the whole island at some point in the day.

    I took off around nine and just as I did the rain started to fall. I rode out to North Cape and it rained the whole way there. At times just a misting trickle and other times a total downpour, but rain nonetheless.

    Thankfully it was still fairly warm out because I discovered how truly inadequate my rain gear is. The arms and legs of my rain suit don't sinch closed so after a couple hours of riding I was soaked through.

    I had lunch at North Cape at the restaurant there. After about five cups of tea I felt like I was ready to go again.
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    The lighthouse isn't overly showy but they have a wind installation there that's pretty cool. The turbine closest to the parking lot was really humming. There were beware of falling ice signs all over the place so I imagine sometimes the wings ice up and then they fling it up into the stratosphere.

    If it was still raining, I was fully prepared to go as straight back as I could. But just as I was leaving the clouds were starting to pull up and there was even a tiny little bit of blue sky poking through.

    I followed the south western coast down to West Point, which has an iconic black and white lighthouse with a great little self guided tour that showcases the history of lighthouses in PEI as well as the changes in technology over the years. You can climb right up the lighthouse into the light room, which makes for a good viewpoint to look up and down the coast. There's also a few rentable rooms in the lighthouse, which made it the first lighthouse in Canada to be turned into an inn.
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    The last two photos here are looking left and right out of the top of the lighthouse.

    After that stop I made my way back to Brian and Patty's house where they had been kind enough to leave me some halibut and salad for supper. And to top it off, they took me with them into town to an ice cream place that's inside of an old mansion.
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    The spaghetti and meatball sundae is their specialty. (Vanilla ice cream extruded through a strainer, with strawberry sauce and a Ferrero Roche on top)

    Definitely not my most favorite day of riding due to the rain but I learned some things about proper preparation and the second half of the day really turned out to be enjoyable.
    #43
  4. Trainee_adv

    Trainee_adv Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Regina SK
    Thank you for taking us along, I cant wait to venture further on 2 wheels.
    #44
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  5. thedopplereffect

    thedopplereffect Adventurer

    Joined:
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    August 6, 2021


    Rain fell heavily all morning but things finally cleared up around 11 or so. Brian offered to take me on a Ride through North Central PEI for a few hours. We set off from Darnley and rode along the north coast through Cavendish and into North Rustico. Beautiful scenery and views out over the ocean. Cavendish seems to be the tourist epicenter for that area so there were lots of little restaurants and shops with all kinds of trinkets and crafts.
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    At North Rustico we turned south. Brian was even trusting enough to swap bikes with me for 25 or so kms. So I rode the GSA and he rode the Versys until we got to Victoria by the Sea. What a difference there is between those two machines! The GSA is 150 or so pounds heavier and is much wider between the knees. It's much more comfortable to stand up on than the Versys, with the higher bars and lower foot pegs. I still love my little Versys though. It's treated me well and I'm not quite ready to trade it away.


    At Victoria by the Sea we stopped in for a coffee at a shop that I believe was called Island Chocolates. It's run by a fellow biker named Eric. He had his KLR parked out beside the building and stopped in for a chat. Really seems like a great guy and quite the avid motorcyclist!


    After the coffee break Brian headed home and I continued on to Charlottetown. I got into Charlottetown in the late afternoon and spent a few hours walking around downtown.


    I also stopped in for a haircut at Ray's Barber Shop on Kent Street. While I was waiting my turn there was a fire call and I was able to watch all the trucks across the street at the fire hall mobilize. Pretty cool to see how quick it is from when the call comes over the loudspeaker to when the trucks are rolling out the door.

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    I also stopped into the most perfect little used book store. Books everywhere! I loved it.


    I also stopped in at the wharf and watched people fish. After that I stopped in at a spot called the Confederation Arts Center where there was a free Caribbean and hip hop dance performance going on. Really high energy and impressive emotion portrayed through it all.


    There was live music all over the place playing at different restaurant venues, which just made it a pleasure to walk around and take it all in. I eventually stopped for a bite to eat at a spot called Beer Garden and tried out my first raw oyster! I mostly just tasted the lemon juice to be honest but it was still an experience.
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    Overall, I found Charlottetown to be a wonderful city. It’s about the same size as my home town in Alberta but feels very different. The downtown is vibrant and safe. The people are very friendly and I really enjoyed my time there.


    August 7, 2021


    Today was supposed to be the day I caught the ferry off the island to Nova Scotia, but it was also supposed to be the first sunny day that I have been here, so I elected to push my departure back one more day.


    Thank you so much to Brian and Patty for hosting me while I’ve been on the island! You made me feel incredibly at home and it was absolutely a joy to spend these last few days with you. And like you said, one day I’ll have the chance to return the favor to some young kid like me. Again, thank you!


    I retraced the route that Brian and I had taken yesterday and followed highway 6 along the north coast. Instead of going down to Charlottetown though, I continued on into the eastern end of the island.


    I stopped in at Greenwich National Park, which is an area that features a forest, salt marsh, sand dunes, and beautiful beach. I swam for a while and then walked the beach and the trails as well. The wind was quite strong so it made for some very nicely breaking waves.
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    There was also a wigwam set up in the traditional style by Mi'kmaq commnity members.

    Overall I had a very relaxing day and I’ll be spending the night in Souris. The plan for tomorrow is to catch the ferry early and make my way into Nova Scotia.
    #45
  6. thedopplereffect

    thedopplereffect Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Alberta, Canada
    August 9, 2021


    I'd registered for the ferry leaving at 9:30 am, so I was up and on the road early. It was threatening rain for the whole hour drive to Wood Island but nothing fell.


    This was my first ferry experience as an adult and my first ever with a motorcycle. There were five other bikes that were all on their way to do the Trans Labrador Trail, so I was able to watch and copy a little.
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    The Versys looked right at home with the big ADV bikes.

    All the bikes were first on the ferry and stuck right up at the front. Everyone got tied down while all the cars and trucks loaded up and then it was up to the passenger deck for breakfast.


    After an "Islander Breakfast" I explored the ship a little. It seemed to me that it was almost identical front and back, which makes sense for it to dock at both sides without having to turn.
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    I was just sitting down to read my book when the call came that we would be arriving shortly. So back down into the hold, unstrapped the bike, and donned all my gear again.


    I was warned the docking is when a lot of people end up dropping their bikes so I was careful to brace myself as we made our approach. Then it was time to disembark and get through Nova Scotia customs.
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    It really ended up being no big deal. I had to show proof of a second vaccination dose and then they sent me on my way. It took all of two minutes.


    I ended up crossing from Caribou to Truro and then meandering along the Fundy coast for the rest of the day.


    I stopped at the Fundy Tidal Interpretive Centre, on the bank of the Shubenacadie River, to pick up some tourist information for Nova Scotia. It's quite a nice spot. It sits beside an old rail line, so they still have a caboose you can take a walk through. There's also a few hundred metres of trail that leads to all the old pilings for the rail bridge across the river. This was my first high tide and the Shubenacadie was flowing in reverse because of it. It's also one of about 100 rivers around the world that experiences a tidal bore, which is a tidal wave that kind of announces the beginning of the river's reversal. But, because the river was reversed, there were all kinds of eddies, and other turbulence where you could see parts of the water trying to flow downstream so it made for a really interesting viewing spot!
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    Old pilings on the left, new vehicle bridge on the right.

    The lady at the tidal centre pointed me up the road to Burntcoat Head Park. It's the official location for the world record highest tide, a staggering 70.9 ft difference between high and low tide. It was high tide while I was there so there wasn't actually much to see, unfortunately. I told someone I met a few days ago that I had never seen a high tide yet, and they told me that it's just like low tide, except there's more water. That was basically true… At low tide you can talk around, but at high tide all you can do is watch.
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    The island on the left is a flowerpot island that's fully on display during low tide. I was told there's about 7 or 8 feet of water in the channel that separating where I'm standing and the island. Or maybe that was right of the drop off from where I'm standing. Either way it was pretty deep.

    After that I just cruised along for a few more hours until I got to Windsor. In Windsor I met Neil and Tina, who are part of the Bunk a Biker group and had agreed to put me up for the night. Very kind people. They both told me how relaxed and welcoming people in the Atlantic provinces are, and I fully believe them.
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    I also found this cool tunnel that I think was someone's drive way. It went under the 104 highway, which is part of the Trans-Canada.

    Tomorrow I'll make my way to Yarmouth while cruising along the coast. Lots of good riding ahead.
    #46
  7. thedopplereffect

    thedopplereffect Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    August 9, 2021

    My goal for today was to get from Windsor to Yarmouth. I actually ended up getting further around the southern point than Yarmouth and I'm calling it a night at The Islands Provincial Park, near Shelburne.

    I left Neil and Tina's place this morning around 9. Right away the road was just beautiful. Tons of curves and hills and just fantastic riding that continued all day long.

    My first stop was in Lawrencetown at Shakes on Main. I thought it was just a milkshake shop but it ended up being a full on 50's style diner. It was still before noon so I had a second breakfast, but I couldn't help myself. You can't go somewhere called Shakes on Main and not get a shake! A dozen cavities later and I was back on the road.
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    My next stop was at Port Royal National Historic Site. Port Royal was a French colonial settlement and trading outpost that dates from the beginning of the 1600's. The original site was burned to the ground in 1615, but a replica has been recreated in what is thought to be approximately the same spot. It's near a town that's also called Port Royal.

    The great part about it being a recreation is that you're allowed and even encouraged to interact with the exhibit as you walk through it. Everything was made as true to history as possible, so the wooden timbers were shaped with traditional tools. It's really quite fantastic to walk through.
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    The Fundy shoreline was also fantastic to take in as I made my way south and west towards Yarmouth.
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    About 50 kms before Yarmouth I stopped in for gas and while I was filling up a gentleman named Scott stopped to ask me a few questions about my Versys. It turned out that he and his wife Gail have a B and B that was just up the road from where we were. I was starting to consider stopping for the day so I followed Scott back to his house in order to see if there was space to throw my tent up. I was a hair's breadth from calling it a day and going golfing with the remaining daylight, but I ended up hitting the road again.

    Shortly after that I rode through Yarmouth. On the south eastern tip there was a gravel road that led out onto a peninsula. I ended up following it for a few kms until it got a little too soggy for me to continue. Lots of fun and an unbelievable amount of mosquitoes!
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    Then after Yarmouth I made my way along what's called the South Shore, in Nova Scotia tourism parlance. Up the shore a short way I found myself in Shelburne. I'm writing this in a place called Scotia Lunch, which is a local favorite. A heavy fog has settled on the town outside the window, but hopefully there won't be any rain while I set up my tent in a few minutes...
    #47
  8. thedopplereffect

    thedopplereffect Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Alberta, Canada
    Another couple pictures from yesterday.
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    I came across this old stone bridge on the side of the road and it would have looked so good with a little yellow motorcycle on top of it. A car full of photographers stopped in shortly after me though and I didn't want to taint their photos with too much adventure.
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    August 10, 2021

    There didn't end up being any rain overnight, thankfully. When I got up around 8 my tent was perfectly dry, despite all the fog, so I packed up camp and headed out.

    The fog from the previous night stuck around through most of the day. Along the coastline especially it was only clear in a few places. Even with all the fog though it was still somehow very sunny and bright. It made riding through the trees almost an ethereal experience.
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    I followed the old Highway to a spot called Rose Bay, where I stopped for a bite to eat at the Rose Bay Bistro. They had a very cozy patio with a nice pergola and old sails draped over the pergola for a little extra shade.

    My next stop was at LaHave, where I crossed the river on the cable ferry.
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    LaHave is only a short way to the road from Lunenburg, which is the home port of the Bluenose and now the Bluenose 2. The Bluenose was a fishing schooner that won the international working fishing boat race I think 18 years in a row. It's also featured on the Canadian dime. This happens to be the 100th anniversary of the Bluenose so this summer it's doing a tour of the Maritimes. It was in Lunenburg yesterday and was supposed to be in Chester today.
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    I don't know my schooners very well so from a distance I thought the ship on the right was the Bluenose 2. This was the waterfront in Lunenburg.

    But alas, when I got to Chester it wasn't there. They had a booth set up to showcase the history of the ship and I was told that it wouldn't be arriving until later in the day. Bummer. I'll have to try to find it on my return trip.
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    The Bluenose 2 was due to drop anchor out there somewhere by the islands.

    After Chester I ended up going straight to Halifax. I'll be back tracking over the next couple days to go to Peggy's Cove and ride some of the roads that I missed.

    In Halifax I met with Sam, a friend of mine who moved here a few years ago. We went to the beach for a while but it was completely socked in with fog. The water here also felt much colder than it was in PEI.
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    So much fog that the horizon was essentially indistinguishable.

    After the beach we went to a micro brewery called Good Robot. Beer generally just tastes like beer to me, so I won't comment on that. But, the crispy chicken sandwich there might possibly be the best one in the world. Wow.

    The plan for tomorrow is to see the sights in Halifax and possibly do an oil change. I was tracking the kms on my Trip B, and should have hit 10000 today. I think it only has room for 4 digits though because at some point it rolled over.
    #48
  9. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

    Joined:
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    north vancouver bc
    awesome. - like a tourist brochure, for the wise.
    thx for posting.
    #49
  10. thedopplereffect

    thedopplereffect Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2021
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    Alberta, Canada
    August 11, 2021


    Halifax has a citadel much like the one that's in Quebec City. When I was in Quebec City I got to the citadel too late in the day to go for the tour inside so I wanted to make sure that I was able to check this one out.


    They had an excellent exhibit that showcased military history and advancements in military technology during the citadel's active service. It has existed in some form for around 200 years. First it was built as a wooden fort and then later the stone citadel was constructed. Either way, it was very cool to see how things have changed and also to see the important role the citadel has played in Canadian history.
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    There were also soldiers in the yard doing drills as I was walking around, so that was interesting to see as well.

    That took most of the morning so for the afternoon I had planned to go to a motorcycle dealer to pick up some better rain gear and also to look into getting an oil change.


    I picked up rain gear at Freedom Cycle but they weren't able to help me with the oil change. I was planning to go to Peggy's Cove and that took me right by HFX Motorsports. They were happy to let me borrow an oil pan and let me change my oil in the parking lot. Managed to do a pretty quick change and then get back out on the road. The Kawasaki MOM says that the interval for the Versys is 12500 kms but I think this is about my halfway point so it'll be nice not to think about it again till I'm home.


    After the oil change I followed the road leading out to Peggy's Cove. It's a very nice ride that follows the shoreline part of the way but also dips through the trees and goes through the Peggy's Cove Preservation Area. The Preservation Area has an almost trundra-ish appearance to it. There's lots of peat moss and small shrubs, and the trees that are growing there are all very stunted.
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    The town surrounding the lighthouse was strangely deserted. All the shops were closed up aside from one restaurant, but there were still tons of tourists there.
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    It was a lot of fun to just explore around the rocks as well. There was something that may have been a whale just a little ways off the shore but it's hard for me to say definitively.

    While I ate supper a thick fog rolled in, making the whole area seem very eerie. After supper I made my way back to Halifax again. There's so much to see along the shoreline that you could spend months stopping in at every little shop and taking pictures at all the little towns and beaches. And on top of that, the riding is so good. The roads are in good shape with tons of sweeping curves and twisty sections. I am really enjoying my time here in Nova Scotia.
    #50
  11. thedopplereffect

    thedopplereffect Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2021
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    Alberta, Canada
    August 12, 2021

    Today I didn't actually ride at all, I just spent most of the day walking around Halifax.

    I meandered through the public gardens and stopped in at a bookstore before having lunch on the rooftop patio at Your Father's Mustache.

    After that I walked down to the waterfront. Halifax was a major port of entry for immigrants up until the advent of commercial air travel, so there's a museum dedicated to the history of immigration. Two of my grandparents actually arrived in Canada at Pier 21, so it was really cool to be able to stand where they would have stood and to learn a little more about what they would have gone through in the first few hours here.
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    There were a lot of Dutch families that emigrated after the second World War. In order to keep as much money in Europe as possible, they were limited in the amount of possessions and cash they could bring with them. So each family would be given one box like this one too pack their things in.

    Then I walked up the boardwalk and just took in all the sights and sounds. You can tell that the tourism industry is very much on the rebound now, which is good to see.
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    I walked back up through downtown to the Public Gardens again and sat under a beautiful tree and read a book. The ducks, pigeons and starlings must get fed pretty often though because they were very curious about what I was up to and had no fear about coming up and inquiring.
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    For supper I ended up going to Salvatore's and enjoyed some authentic Italian thin crust pizza. There are so many restaurants here that I think you could probably go out every day for a year and not go to the same place twice. I suppose it makes sense with it being such a tourist town but I was blown away by the selection. The city only has half a million people but it is packed with culture and art and history.

    August 13, 2021

    Today I ended up leaving Halifax and making my way east, along the coast. Huge thank you to Sam for putting me up for the few days while I was in the city!

    My first stop was in a suburb of Dartmouth called Lawrencetown. It's the surf mecca of Atlantic Canada. I stopped and watched the surfers for a while before moving on.
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    For the rest of the day I was mostly just riding along the coast. In some places there would be relics from industries that have come and gone, and in others there was evidence of new industries springing up. And everywhere there's fishing.
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    I ended the day in Canso, at the furthest Eastern point of mainland Nova Scotia. There is a national historic site here in Canso that I'm hoping to go see tomorrow. But for tonight, I rolled into a place called AJ's pub. I started talking to a lady named Julia and she offered to let me put my tent up in her backyard for the night. She even invited me to sit with her and her husband Harold in the pub. I had some fish and chips and took in some live country music from a few local gents. They even paid for my supper too. Just incredible hospitality all around.
    #51
  12. thedopplereffect

    thedopplereffect Adventurer

    Joined:
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    August 14, 2021


    I said goodbye to Julie and Harold and left Canso at about 9 and it was already obvious that it was going to be a very hot day. I had hoped to go out to the National Historic Site on Grassy Island but when I arrived at the museum in town I found that it was closed. The reviews said that there wasn’t much to see on the island anyway, so I considered it a blessing in disguise.
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    I thought it was interesting to see this building in downtown Canso. I don't imagine that the Canso customs office seems very much action these days but when traveling by boat was the only way to get overseas then they could come in all over the coast.

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    A lighthouse that was looking over at a little town that I forget the name of. Still on the mainland here though.

    Shortly after that I was over the Canso Causeway and onto Cape Breton. 20210814_112502.jpg
    The day was really turning out to be a hot one. I'm still not used to the humidity at all so even though it was only 29, it felt warmer than that. I stopped in for lunch at Sandeannie’s Bakery and Tea Room in Port Hood. There I met a fellow named Lenny. He recommended a little backcountry lane out of Port Hood that went by a very nice beach. It was called West Mabou Beach Provincial Park and is one of five beaches in the Port Hood area.
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    I'm told this is a lion's mane jelly fish. Google says that they can get very large, but this one is about the size of a softball. I acidentally stepped on the remains of another one that had gotten torn apart by the crashing waves and can confirm that they sting, but not very badly.

    After spending some time at the beach I stopped at Glenora Distillery. I have taken a number of brewery tours but I have never toured a distillery before. The distillery has a very nice pub attached to it that had some live celtic music playing. It also had air conditioning, which really sold me on the whole experience. The tour itself was also very interesting. I’m not a big whiskey fan, but I appreciate the mechanisms that make things like breweries and distilleries work.
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    It was late afternoon by this point so when I got to the turn-off for Mcleod Beach and Campground I was already mostly committed to staying there for the night. Overall it’s a very nice facility both for tenting and RVing. The beach is beautiful, if perhaps a bit lively. There are lots of crabs and little lobsters crawling around on the ocean floor that scare the bejeezus out of you when they crawl over your toes unexpectedly. Pretty cool though when you are expecting them. Just a kilometre or so off the shore is an island that had actually been the site of a shark attack the day before I was there, so there aren’t just crustaceans inhabiting the shallows. That didn’t stop me or many other people from enjoying the cool water on such a hot day though.


    While I was down at the beach I met Matt and Cait with their two kids Noah and Hailey. They were camping for the weekend and were very friendly. So friendly that they even invited me over to their campsite for a supper of steak skewers, mac and cheese, and salad. Thank you again! Cait even sent me away with a bag of snacks. So good to meet all these wonderful people so far from home.
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    Trying out the night mode on my phone camera at Mcleod Beach. It was a wonderfully calm night so a few groups were having fires out on the beach.
    #52
  13. thedopplereffect

    thedopplereffect Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    August 15, 2021


    Before I left this morning Noah and Hailey came over with a breakfast wrap and some more snacks for the road, so thank you once again!
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    Just down the road from campground.

    My first stop was at Egypt Falls, which Matt and Cait had recommended to me. It was a good trek down, but it was worth it! A beautiful cascade down through the trees.
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    From the top.
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    Shortly after that I was onto the Cabot Trail. The Cabot Trail passes through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. I stopped at a picnic area shortly after crossing the park boundary and Lenny from Port Hood pulled up! He gave me a t-shirt to commemorate my time in Port Hood.
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    Both of these pictures are at that same little rest stop. The brook was running in behind where the washroom is.

    The park itself is incredible and the road is exquisite. There’s elevation gain, twists and turns, beautiful hikes, more waterfalls, and more viewpoints than you can shake a stick at. I was planning to hike the Skyline trail but there was a lot of fog at the trailhead, and when I asked a few of the people coming down they said that it was foggy the whole way. I’ve heard it’s a great hike so I’ll have to hit it on the way back.
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    I also stopped in Pleasant Bay. Eventually I’m going to go for a whale watching tour, but for today I stopped in at the Pleasant Bay Whale Interpretive Centre. I feel like now I know more about whales than I ever could hope to learn on a whale watching tour. For example, did you know that a humpback whale’s pectoral flippers can be up to 4.7 metres in length, making them the longest appendage in the animal world? Well now you do! Really though, whales are very cool animals, and I’m looking forward to my eventual whale watching excursion.
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    The life size pilot whale hanging from the ceiling was a big draw for me. Pilot whales are what you are most likely to see around this part of Cape Breton.

    I’m writing this now from a restaurant in Cape North called Morrison’s. I’m going to continue north towards Meat Cove for the remainder of the day. Then tomorrow my plan is to do the rest of the Cabot Trail and go down to Baddeck and check out the Alexander Graham Bell museum.

    Attached Files:

    #53
  14. thedopplereffect

    thedopplereffect Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2021
    Oddometer:
    88
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    The evening turned out to be absolutely gorgeous. Meat Cove is about a 30 minute ride out past Morrison’s in Cape North. It’s called Meat Cove because it’s the only place that the great northern speckled prosciutto still thrives in the wild. At least that’s the rumour I heard...


    The ride out goes down a narrow road, through the town of St. Lawrence Bay and then along a narrow winding track that alternates between gravel and pavement. The views were spectacular in the slanting rays of the setting sun.
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    20210815_195919.jpg

    The campground itself is set up right along the edge of the cliffs above the Meat Cove beach. I thought I was even seeing porpoises in the water below my tent, but it turned out to be a seal and some barely submerged rocks. In order to get a better look though I ventured into the site of two folks named Michael and Dimana. They were up this way from St. John, and invited me to hang out with them around a fire later in the evening. They were headed the opposite direction around the Cabot Trail as I was, so if you guys end up reading this, safe travels and best of luck with the next steps of your respective architecture adventures!


    August 16, 2021


    Meat Cove is facing almost due east, so I felt like I almost had to get up and watch the sunrise. The sun was due to pop over the horizon at exactly 6 so I was up a little beforehand and was able to witness it grow from just a sliver to a full sphere, emerging out of the water. Then I went right back to bed for a few hours. When I woke up again at 8 or so it was quite windy, which made it a little bit of an adventure taking my tent down, especially with me being perched on the edge of a precipice.
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    I stopped in St. Lawrence Bay to try to do some whale watching, but unfortunately it was too windy for the boats to go out. But, the gentleman who was running the whale watching stand recommended that I stop at the Gaelic College on my way down to Baddeck. He also taught me a little about their whale watching boat, which has a hull that is a copy of Alexander Graham Bell’s design on his hydrofoil boat.


    The Cabot Trail didn’t disappoint today either. The sky was clear, which made for some incredible vistas from three or four hundred metres up on the side of the mountains. 20210816_095828.jpg 20210816_110306.jpg 20210816_123346.jpg


    I did end up stopping at the Gaelic College, which aims to educate people on the importance of the Celtic influence here in Cape Breton. I didn’t see all that much that stuck with me, but there was a young fellow playing the bagpipes in the parking lot and he was doing a fantastic job. I have only really been exposed to bagpipes at Remembrance Day Ceremonies, so to hear a different tune that was meant to be happy and uplifting was actually a very cool experience.


    My next stop was in Baddeck, at the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. There’s no doubt that man was a genius in the same way that Leonardo Da Vinci was. He had quite the range in different inventions, and the way he was presented in the museum was in a way that suggested that he did it out of a pure love of creating and tinkering with things, and a love of helping people. His work with the deaf community was very extensive and he was also credited by Hellen Keller as being instrumental in helping her learn to communicate. Overall just a fantastic exhibit, and very cool to see that someone like that was so in love with this beautiful part of Canada.
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    Another thing I didn't know about Mr. Bell is that he was part of the race to bring powered human flight to reality. This is a replica of his successful flying machine from 1909, called the Silver Dart.

    After getting through Baddeck I mostly just rode aimlessly for the rest of the afternoon. 20210816_172952.jpg The view from Marble Mountain, out over Bras d'Or Lake. Fun fact about the lake, it has pockets of salinity that enable it to be a full life cycle home for some Atlantic Salmon. Usually salmon spawn in fresh water and then mature in salt water, but because of the nature of Bras d'Or they can live their full lives within the environment of the lake.

    I’m ending the day here in St. Peter’s. Tomorrow I’m planning to make the ride up to Sydney, or possibly just lay on a beach somewhere. I’m not totally sure yet...
    #54
  15. AngusMcL

    AngusMcL Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    197
    Location:
    HRM, NS, Canada
    Glad to hear you're enjoying your time on my island! :-) I'm from Baddeck originally and there are very few prettier parts of the world!

    I was out of town when you came through Halifax and sorry to have missed you. Give a shout if you're retracing your steps through Halifax on your way home.

    A.
    #55
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  16. thedopplereffect

    thedopplereffect Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2021
    Oddometer:
    88
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    August 17, 2021


    I started the day late and wasn’t out of my campsite until close to noon. And I’ve been blessed with yet another beautiful day here in Cape Breton. It was hot right from the get go and there wasn’t much more than a breath of wind all day.


    I didn’t take too many pictures today because I guess you could say that I didn’t go too many places of note. But wow, what a ride I had up the eastern coast of the island. I was mostly following the Fleur De Lis Trail, with some gravel roads thrown in for good measure. Even where the road is paved though it was mostly quite rough, which made for some engaging riding going through the twisty sections.


    My first and only real stop was in Louisbourg at the Railway Museum there. The museum is housed in the old station building and features artifacts from the history of the railroad, the history of the town, the history of shipping routes off the coast of Cape Breton, and the history of communications equipment. There are also quite a few models that were built by an employee of the railroad in Louisbourg after he retired. I had a tour guide named Aaron, and I was the only person on the tour so he was more than accommodating in allowing me to touch some of the artifacts and explaining things whenever I had any sort of questions (whether relevant or not). His grandfather was the first curator of the museum so he had been around the building and the artifacts since he was just a little kid. He even was gracious enough to show me some of their artifacts and things that aren’t on display yet. There was a temperature and humidity controlled vault in the basement of the one building that he showed me inside of. It had one wall filled with old books, a few racks of authentic uniforms from the early 1900s, and a wall of shelves filled with files, records, pictures, tools, and anything else relating to the history of the town. He told me that they received a lot of their artifacts as donations when elderly townsfolk passed away and their homes were cleaned out.


    I personally found that the books were the most interesting part of the room. The vast majority of them were handbooks relating to railroads or early diesel engines. One particularly gripping title was “On the Advantages and Disadvantages of Private Versus Publicly Owned Railroads”. But, there were also some more general reference and entertainment books. One that I picked up was a written and illustrated guide to life in New York City. It was dated from 1886 I believe and had a personal note in the front from the author. Such an interesting book to page through!


    Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to delve too deeply into the books as I was hoping to get to the Louisbourg Fortress before it closed. Also unfortunately, I arrived after the last shuttle had taken people to the Fortress itself. I was able to drive by but I will have to go back tomorrow if I want to get in and see the inside.
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    This handcart was used for maintenance on the railways. Two men would pump the handles up and down to propel it down the rails. It still functions, and it's pretty quick too! Aaron and I went up and down the warehouse just for the heck of it.
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    This rail car was a coach used for transcontinental travel. I was informed that it is made form mahogany, which was a very cheap wood at the time. This car was in use until about 1940 or 1950. My grandparents would have traveled across the country in something very similar after landing in Canada at Halifax.

    I made my way instead to Glace Bay, where I’m staying with a couple named Terry and Sharon. They are the parents of a coworker of mine from back in Alberta, and they have been nothing but welcoming. I was even able to go for a dip in their pool as the sun was going down.


    Tomorrow I’m going to head back to Louisbourg to visit the fortress and possibly see if I can take a look at those books again, and then come back to Glace Bay, where there’s a coal mining museum. Then tomorrow night is my ferry to Newfoundland!
    #56
  17. bjor1978

    bjor1978 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2019
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    Cromwell, CT
    Great ride report, thanks for sharing.

    Appreciate your honesty in respect of your feelings of unease at an earlier point.

    What books did you bring with you, did you buy any in the book stores mentioned?
    #57
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  18. nails1

    nails1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    365
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Thanks for sharing so many details. I'm from New Mexico, planning a long loop to Maine, across Canada, and then back down here. You've certainly given me a lot to look forward to.
    #58
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  19. fasteddiecopeman

    fasteddiecopeman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    227
    #59
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  20. thedopplereffect

    thedopplereffect Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2021
    Oddometer:
    88
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    I am normally a very avid reader and I really enjoy non-fiction. Lately I've been doing a lot of soul searching so that's involved more self development kind of books but I really enjoy reading real life adventure. Bill Bryson's travel books have been a big inspiration for me both in doing this trip and in taking the time to write about it.

    But with all that being said, I haven't actually bought any books at any of the book stores I've been in because I haven't finished the first book I brought with me, which is The Gifts Of Imperfection by Brene Brown. I really only have room for one book so as soon as that one gets done then I'll look at picking something else up.

    When I go through book stores I rewrote down titles that interest me and might leaf through a few that catch my eye. But mainly I just appreciate the ambiance book stores have. And I have dreams of being a writer one day as well and I feel like I know some of the work that goes into putting together a polished written work, so to be surrounded by countless hours of work all condensed into one room always amazes me in much the same way that walking through an art gallery does.
    #60
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