Jun 17, 2013
|Cape Breton is rated the #1 island in North America. Cape Breton's Cabot Trail is one of the premier scenic highways in North America. Today a tour bus picked us up at the campground at 7:15 AM and took us on the 185 mile drive. It was named for the early explorer John Cabot. The Cabot trail goes from river valleys to mountain tops, to pounding surf, to mist-covered barrens. The trail snaked its way up the side of the mountain then plunged rapidly down again to meet the sea.
Some of things we saw and did on the trail were:
We saw many many lobster fishermen bringing their catch into shore. We got to stop at Neil's Harbour and watch them unload lobsters and repack them in crates, 100# to a crate.
We stopped at a village called Cheticamp for breakfast at the Restaurant Arcadian. They normally do not open until 11 AM but they welcomed us at 9:30 AM with a fiddler playing galetic songs while we ate a wonderful breakfast. It was a unique dining experience.
We then went to the co-op store next door that had everything for sale from groceries to nuts and bolts. The residents of the community buy into the co-op, which makes the prices of the goods more reasonable. At the end of each month, they get a dividend check.
We then went to St. Peter's Catholic Church which was built in 1893. This is a large church and the steeple is so high that it can be viewed from every direction as you enter the village either by land or sea. The inside of the church was beautiful. Father Fiset was the priest back in 1875. In the early 1900s he knew he was very sick and was going to die. He paid off the debt of the church and told everyone it was from an anonymous donor. Everyone in the church knew it was him so after he died, they got permission to have him buried under the alter. The picture above the tomb is actually a hooked rug of him. The church is a gorgeous church. After the guide explained about the church, one of our caravaners "Buz" sang Amazing Grace and the acoustics carried his beautiful voice through the church.
Our next stop was the Hooked Rug Museum. The museum tells about the settlement of Cheticamp and the evolution of rug hooking. We saw the tools that they use and were given a demonstration of the different techniques used. We had a tour quide telling of the antiques on display and the hooked rugs made by their local craftspeople and world renowned hook rug artists. Some of the rugs were so artistic and shaded that you would think you were looking at a painting.
We then went through the upper part of the trail into the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. It was like riding a roller coaster through a mountain of trees, then we would round a corner and see a beautiful sandy beach or a cliff overlooking the water. Our guide was telling about the different animals and birds especially in the National Park. He said that coyotes were becoming a big issue. There have been hikers that have been hiking by themselves and were killed by a coyote. Because of the coyote becoming so plentiful and aggressive, the government has put a bounty on them.
We had a group picture taken on McKenzie Mountain overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Our last stop was at Katherine Keltic Lodge, Spa, and Golf Course that is perched high overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. What a breath taking view. We had no spa or game of golf, but we did have wonderful homemade ice cream.
The weather was a little drizzly and foggy when we started and we had some rain but there were times of sun but all and all it was a nice day. We got back to the campground at 5 PM. It was a long day and we were tired but it was a "good" tired. Roxie was glad to see us. I'm sure she slept most of the day or looked out the window, but it was a long day for her and she really, really was glad to get her feet on grass.