Baddeck is the “Beginning and End” of the Cabot Trail. We took the southern route in the coach, avoiding the two large mountains and extra 100 miles going the northern and much prettier route. We set up camp in Baddeck Cabots Trail Campground, a former KOA , with pleasant people and very nice facilities. We set a new record for shortest day’s drive, 55 miles. We set up, had lunch and went off to see what we could find. One of the objectives was to see the Perlman’s house on the Cabot Trail. For those who don’t know, we have friends from Rochester who prefer that there second home not move about, so they built a house up here. The report is it is gorgeous, both the house and the setting. I would show you David’s pictures, but I can’t find them on line at the moment (see two pictures in the posting above). We had been given the access code to get in and tour the house, but the batteries in the lock failed. I called David and he answered and told us how to get in anyhow. While talking to David I mentioned that I could probably fix the lock and he told me I could find the batteries in the top drawer to the left of the large cabinet upon entering the kitchen and that a large white notebook containing instructions for all aspects of operating the house could be found in the bottom of that large cabinet. It was so. Took me three passes through the book to find the necessary brochure because it was on the second or third page and I went by it too fast.
While driving there we had stopped at a gallery along the road “Iron Art and Photography” and met the photographer whose name is Carol. We spent some time and had a nice conversation. We had taken the “shorter” road up though Englishtown and took the cable ferry across to the Cabot Trail. We stopped by the Puffin tour boat in English town just to see what it was about and decided to take the tour in the morning. We worked our way back to the campsite and made dinner on board.
On Tuesday we got up sort of early and drove out to Englishtown to take the boat ride to Bird Islands, Puffins guaranteed. Well we did see two puffins floating on the water in the distance. The breeding season had ended the week before. When the season is in swing there are thousands of them lining the shore and in the water. We saw one bald eagle and when Donelda, our guide, tossed a fish for it, it dove on it and plucked it out of the water right in front of us. The picture is off center and blurred, but it is posted, see above. On the return to shore we set out over the ferry again and turned north to get to a restaurant called the Clucking Hen. It was very nice, the best we had on the Baddeck side of Cape Breton Island. We visited several galleries along the road and found one leather crafter where I bought a couple of belts I needed. We returned to the coach and had a late dinner on board.
Wednesday was dedicated to a complete circuit of the Cabot Trail. This is one of the premier scenic drives on the continent. We deviated to the north at Neil’s Harbor and took the lesser road along the shore. This took us through White Point and Dingwall, small communities that depend on the sea for a living. As we drove through Dingwall, I noticed that the GPS indicated that the road we were on continued back around to the Cabot Trail, time to find out how good this software is. I set a destination as back on the trail where this road seemed to come out. As we proceeded the road condition deteriorated from dirt to double track (one track for each side of the car) and became so narrow that the RAV barely fit though the brush. We came to a fork and Melanie (the GPS has a female voice, now renamed Germaine) said to take the left, I did and we found ourselves on the floor of a limestone quarry. There seemed to be a track that concurred with the route Melanie was touting so we continued on eventually into the back of the Victoria Recreation Center parking area which lead out on to the Trail.
Nothing could phase us now so we headed for Meat Cove, this is way out of the way and is and out and back over miles of paved road and 7 kilometers of dirt. We pressed on, stopping at a small Provincial Picnic Park for a picnic lunch we were carrying. We resumed our trek and arrived in Meat Cove as expected. The road just ends and there is some parking on the road, otherwise it is necessary to pay $2 for parking space in the campground. We wandered about a bit remembering a high viewpoint that did not seem evident. Looking up at a passing eagle we saw people on a headland above us. Having the trail head pointed out to us we set out on a fifteen minute very strenuous climb to the head land where we could look out over the entire area. We climbed down and resumed our circuit.
We were looking for one more hike, somehow we missed the turn and continued on a bit to a grand overlook. As we pulled in I noted that we were next to two other cars with NY license plates. While getting our bearing a gentleman approached and asked what part of Monroe County we were from as we both had bought our cars from Hoselton. We did a double take and realized that we were talking to Joyce and Robert Herman. It turned out further that they had just been visiting mutual friends in Cape Cod, the Tuckers, and had also stopped to see the Perlman’s house. We were unable to get together for dinner as our schedules just did not work. We will have to try in Rochester. We had dinner at Lynnwood Inn, better we should have eaten elsewhere.
Today , Thursday, we got up and did a lot of stuff around the coach all morning. After lunch we set out to mail a bill (how archaic) and go for a hike to be followed by some shopping, mostly for food. We drove out to Uisge Bahn Falls (Ush kah Bahn) Park and took a 2 ½ hour hike before returning to Baddeck. I stopped at the Alexander Graham Bell Museum to replace my old hat, but they were out of stock. We bought supplies as we will be dry camping in Fundy National Park in NB tomorrow and Saturday, the reward for failure to plan ahead. Still don’t know where we will be Labor Day. Maybe NB and maybe Maine.
You will know almost as soon as we do.