Sunday, August 2, 2009
Cape North, New Breton to Strait of Canso
Ok, I have Internet access tonight, so I'm doing several posts. I've been without it for 3 previous nights, and I'm behind in posting. I've written something for every day, but sometimes I can't post as I want.
Today was another good day. We got up and rode to the convenience/gas/grill/bakery store about a quarter of a mile to the south for breakfast. They had coffee and pastries, so we had a blueberry turnover and coffee. Not bad!
From there, we headed south on the Beach road to White Point. It was reached by riding a curving road that terminated at a boat launch in a small village. Well, village is too big--it was just several houses and some fishing shacks. At the end of the road was a trail leading towards the water. So, we got off the bikes and started walking down this penninsula towards the water. We walked for about 25 minutes or so to a very beautiful place.
The trail curved and changed elevation, first going uphill, then downhill. I can't fully describe it, but if you close your eyes and picture Scotland, I think you'll have some idea of what it looked like. Green everywhere there was land, but rolling up and down to the cliff's edge, where the green stopped and the rocks began. Just beautiful.
Just before we got to the point, we came across a cemetary; a cabled off place with several headstones and many rocks. One plaque said "The Unknown Sailor". I did not count the stones, but I would guess there were maybe a dozen stones, with two definite headstones there. Above the cemetary was a white cross to mark the cemetary. Somehow it was very fitting; a rugged, rock strewn shore, and a peaceful place for the bodies to rest.
We walked on to the end of this piece of land, and I had to get my feet in the Atlantic Ocean. So, I climbed down to the water (not easy, but not dangerous) to a layer of rocks ground round and smooth by the never ceasing waves. Then down to the water. Got my boots wet and put my hand in it; not as cold as I imagined it to be. Now, I've dipped my hand in the water of the Atlantic Ocean as far south as Key West and as far north as White Point, Cape Breton. That's about as far as I'll probably ever go. Of course, I have dipped it in the Gulf of Alaska, probably my northernmost point, but in an other body of water.
Walking back, I felt serene, knowing I had been to a very special place where not a lot of people have been, and where some will remain forever.
We continued to ride south (about 5 miles) to Neal's Harbor. There, we found another lighthouse and another chowder restaurant. So, we had lunch. Mine was a fish chowder, which was very good. We ate at a picnic table out on a point just 150 feet or so from the ocean. The sunny skies, coupled with a sea breeze, the waves crashing on the rocks below made for a delightful lunch. I could have stayed there the rest of the day. The place was perfect!
But we needed to make some time, so we headed on southward, towards the south end of Cape Breton Island.
The rest of the day was unremarkable except for the motel. We got the last room at the Cove Motel near the Canso Causeway. On the water, it was the first regular motel since leaving Halifax. It's nice to have in-room coffee, a real restaurant, coin washer and dryer for a change. The meal was excellent, and I'm a happy camper tonight.
We rode about 188 miles today. My mileages are pretty inexact; I'm too lazy to go out to the bike at night to get actual mileages, so don't hold me to correct numbers.
Tomorrow--Over to Prince Edward Island