Saturday, August 1, 2009

Whitehead, Cape Breton to Cape North, Cape Breton

What a day! It started with a great breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, and an orange marmalade scone. All very good. Especially after a dinner of peanut butter crackers and peanuts.

The hosts, Linda and Dave Monro were very friendly. We talked about the house, 101 years old that had belonged to her grandfather, having been built by her great-uncle. They have lived in it for 10 years after Dave completely remodeled it. He did an excellent job in his work. Each bedroom has a floor that is painted a different color.

After talking and visiting with them for a while, we packed the bikes and hit the road.

It had rained overnight, with some continuing drip from the heavens as we traveled north. After a while, the roads started to dry, and the temperatures climbed from 62 to 67 degrees. Not a bad start for a ride!

We rode to the causeway leading to Cape Breton Island, home of the famed Cabot Trail. I had heard about the Cabot Trail many times, and wanted to see what it was about. It reportedly was created by Henry Cabot long, long ago, and is in the Cape Breton Highlands.

As we rode along, the views are stunning. The St. Lawrence Bay was on the left side of the road, many miles wide. At places along the way, you can just barely see wisps of land on the other side. A few ships, mostly cargo-style dotted the waters.

We finally came to the Cabot Trail. What a road! It is in the northern part of the island, with mountains that run to the sea. The road is carved out of the side of the mountains, winding its way back and forth and up and down for many miles. Gorgeous vistas of mountains and seashore and blue skies. Just stunning!

At one point, Gary and his wife spotted two moose in a roadside ditch, but by the time I got there all I could see was the tail end of one as it entered the woods.

Speaking of wildlife, we’ve seen very little on this trip. I’ve seen two turkeys, one deer, and one moose. Of course, there have been some other common animals like squirrels and crows, but I’ve been disappointed at the quantity and diversity of wildlife on this trip.

We had reserved a room at Cape North, the MacDonald Motel, so having a place to stay was not a problem. We rolled into the motel at around 6pm, unloaded the bikes, and got back on them to ride to Meat Cove, a place where some riders on the big ferry had told me was a neat place to go. They spoke of a long, winding road that terminated in several miles of dirt road. At the end of the road is the Chowder Hut, a place that we were told had good food.

So, we did the road, 28km long, with the last 8km in dirt. While potholed, it was not a hard ride. At times, the road was almost directly overhanging the ocean.

At the Chowder Hut, the view was fantastic. We had dinner on the deck, overlooking Meat Cove, the northernmost spot on Cape Breton Island. How neat is that! As far as you can go, with great fish chowder overlooking the ocean. A perfect way to end the day.

After dinner, we rode back to the hotel for the night. A very very good day indeed.

Today’s ride was 225 miles.

Tomorrow—more of Cabot Trail and off Cape Breton Island towards Prince Edward Island.

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