Cape Breton National Park

I had been really looking forward to visiting Cape Breton Island National Park and I wasn't disappointed. The ocean scenery was magnificent. The Park is pretty large so we camped for a couple of nights on both sides of the Park.

Before I go on about the Park, we did make another stop on our way – the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. Did you know that he used the money he made on the telephone to fund all kinds of other research and experimentation, particularly around flight?

Most of the easily accesible part of Cape Breton Island National Park are on the coast, you can also enjoy a gurgling brook in the woods.

I don't drive often but I did this day and got a great Airsteam in the Rearview picture from the driver's side:

We were safely stopped at the time I took the picture!

Camping the second time in the Park was not without controversy. Apparently, not everyone finds our beautiful Airstream trailers to be worthy of an ocean-side campground (that is mostly filled with tents.)

We enjoyed some fabulous hiking and even spotted a moose in the woods.

Alan and I came back to this trail before pulling out on our last day to run and almost ran into a moose! She stopped and looked at us but darted into the woods before I could get my camera out to take a picture. That early morning was amazing!

 

 

Leaving Nova Scotia

We took a few days leaving Nova Scotia. First, we spent an hour or so enjoying the warm sun at the beach while Tucker romped around, then we learned how they make single malt whiskey (aka scotch). This stuff is too expensive to mix with anything and I didn't like it straight.)

We dealt with some chores and ate with the locals in town at Westville. We could see the Ferry cross to Prince Edward Island (but we took the Conferedation Bridge.) It isn't a very scenic bridge but it is long and they have an interesting Program at the Visitor Center showing how it was constructed.

 

This was our last stop in Nova Scotia – lunch on the beach!

 

 

Fortress of Louisburg

The ferry ride back to Nova Scotia was very nice. We had terrific weather and this time we weren't on the “freight” run so there were a lot of people and the boat had open restaurants. We paid for assigned seating and got a great view for the whole trip in a quiet area.

Our first stop, after the WalMart (and my run past the local landfill) was the Fortress of Louisburg. It was originally built by the French and then rebuilt by Canada. When the coal mine closed, the government used this as a kind of jobs program and they reconstructed a large part of the town to how it would have looked around 1750. To get a sense of the scale of the Fortress, consider that it took us all day to walk around!

As was typical for the area and time period, the Fort passed into British hands twice and was finally abandoned.

This National Historic Site employs a lot of people in period garb and they do reenactments and demonstrations of typical activities.

Lace Making

 

Public Humiliation

The structures were all very impressive and they had excellent displays about the construction techniques. I took a lot of pictures so I'm going to wrap up this Post and save the rest of Cape Breton Island for my next.

We are back in the States now (and should have internet access most of the time) so hopefully I can get caught up and finish documenting our trip before we make it back home to Texas.

 

 

Leaving Newfoundland

I keep saying that I'm going to wrap up my pictures from Newfoundland but then there are always more! Our last few days were a mixture of rain and beautiful skies. After Blow Me Down Provincial Park, we went to Cheeseman Provincial Park, near Port aux Basque where we would get the ferry back to Nova Scotia.

We started getting serious about running again here. We started our 18 week training plan to be ready for the Dallas Marathon in December. That means 5 days a week. Only one week in and I remembered how much I love having a “plan” to follow. No thinking about whether to run or how far – just follow the plan. Luckily, we had some beautiful (although with some puddle obstacles) places to run.

One day, when the sun was shining, we drove out to the Rose Blanch Lighthouse. At one point the all granite structure was mostly just a pile of rocks but it was lovingly restored by locals in the late 1990's.

 

 

Then, once again, we would board a ferry! This was a much nicer boat with services and nice seats – kind of like a small cruise ship. There were a lot of trucks that made the journey with us that day. It is the only way to get supplies to and from Newfoundland.

 

Next stop: Cape Breton Island

 

Blow Me Down

We are in New Brunswick now with only a few days before we split off from Brian and Will. (I still have a lot of photos to get posted, hopefully sooner rather than later.) We have found that many things are closing already so it seems right to start heading south.

 

These pictures are from Blow Me Down in Newfoundland. I really loved this Provincial Park and the views on our hike were fabulous. I will say that the hike to the Southhead Lighthouse was harder than I expected and the Lighthouse was gone but it was all worth it.

Not only did we hike at this Park but we also got up early to run before leaving. Alan and I went separate ways because I wanted to run up and down the Governor’s Stairs.
He was rewarded with a fox on the road and I was rewarded with amazing views.
We are at Kouchibouguac National Park in New Brunswick. There is some wifi in the area, so maybe I will get caught up. Next stop is Fredericton, NB. We may turn North for a few days after the guys leave or spend some time in Maine/NH/Vermont. We should be home by October 1st – just about 7 months after we left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newfoundland

I am going to wrap up our remaining stops in Newfoundland with one big post since I'm so far behind!
Terra Nova was all about the rain and the blueberries. We hiked a very wet trail but were rewarded with a big blueberry patch – there were a lot of baked goods to come.
Next stop was Gander. I really liked this little town. It had a nice quilt shop but that wasn't the only reason.

Gander took in thousands of air travelers stranded on 9/11 and made them as comfortable as they could – opened their homes, made meals – all on a moments notice. They gave from their hearts without expecting or wanting anything in return. This felt like a town of nice people!

 

We stopped at a very interesting aeronautical museum and learned about the role Gander played in the development of transatlantic air travel.

Dinner at the Bistro on Roe was terrific and we loved having Brian and Will with us to celebrate (although I had actually forgotten to invite them to come along.)

Next stop was Blow Me Down Provincial Park. The name comes from the Blomidon Mountains. (You can get a little sense of Newfoundland speak from this “translation.”) It was a beautiful area with only small coastal villages and a cove with a fabulous sunset.

 

I took so many photos, I finally had to make Alan choose his favorites.

 

 

 

 

Tucker even anjoyed a romp on the beach in the setting sun.

Our last stop in Newfoundland was Cheeseman Provincial Park, near Port aux Basque where we would get the ferry for our return to Nova Scotia. I may post a picture or two from here later … this post is already too big!

As I write this, we are in Nova Scotia at Caribou-Pictou Provincial Park. We will be heading across the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island today. It looks like we will make it home to Texas by the end of September or very early in October. I'm looking forward to seeing all my friends again! Miss you all!

 

St. John’s

View at Signal Hill

We spent a couple of days in the very interesting city of St. John's. As I write this, we are in Terra Nova National Park. Here are a few pictures from St. John's but it mostly rained while we were there. It was nice to have “unlimited” electricity and water in the trailer. We've been without hookups a lot of this trip and many campgrounds only have pond water with limited treatment so they tell you to boil it (although all the locals drink it without issue.)

I left off a couple of pictures from Labrador that I took at Point Amour. The Lighthouse was closed already when we got there but that was okay – we've seen a lot of lighthouses and they are best viewed from the outside. The clouds were rolling in but that didn't stop us from exploring the coastline. They had several shipwrecks in the area and there is still a lot of debris (aka rusty, old metal) around.

 

 

 

On our way to St. John's, we made a layover near Twillingate. It was a quaint town but a little touristy, compared to the rest of Newfoundland. It had it's own Polar Bear and there were still icebergs floating off the Coast.

 

Iceberg (just a tiny spec to the left of the island.)

We are booked on the Ferry back to Nova Scotia a week from today (Tuesday.) It looks like we will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary in Gander or Grand Falls-Windsor.