June 29-30, 2010
The Cabot Trail on
The trail begins in Baddeck, where we stayed overnight in a luxurious beach vacation resort. It had nice looking, though flooded, tennis courts, and it rained the whole time we were there, so our tennis racquets remained in the car.
The rain was often a fine mist that seemed to float in the air, reminiscent of the ubiquitous precipitation we have experienced in our rain forest adventures, but colder. Fog rolled in from
We refused to be defeated by weather, and got out of the car to hike to two different waterfalls—Mary Ann Falls and Beulach Bann Falls. This is Mary Ann—although she is not large or dramatic, her tannin-tinged water flowing over reddish rocks has a chromatic quality that makes her memorable. Beulach Bann is a classic tall fall, with water that falls crystal clear.
The Trail gave us an appreciation for the many ethnic groups that proudly maintain their heritage on
At Green Cove, the views of waves crashing against the craggy shoreline were soft focus misty, and although interpretive signs encouraged us to look for whales, our opportunities were limited by the lingering fog. As Jim said, "I told Jan this morning that our views would be Monet today, not Ansel Adams."
The lack of long views focused our attention on wonders close by. The rocks of the point we stood on were a marbled mixture of dark gneiss and pink and white granite, shot through with strikingly straight veins of white quartz and light granite. An amazing array of flowers grew in their cracks and hollows. My favorites looked like dwarf irises.
At White Point, we looked down on a dozen colorful fishing boats moored in a sheltered cove, and we found our way down to the wharf to get a closer look. We took pictures of them, and of their colorful wooden tenders tied up to the docks (some badly in need of bailing, we might add).
We saw several cars stopped beside the road, and of course we stopped to find out why. A moose was grazing on ferns in a boggy area very close to the road, and Dick and Jim were able to get great pictures, while Jan and I stayed a safer distance away and gazed at the moose through our binoculars.
Even though several activities we planned were rained out, we still couldn't finish the 186 mile drive in one day. We stayed overnight in the small Acadian
Our final highlight of the trail was a roadside attraction—Joe's Scarecrows. Back in 1984, Joe Delaney decided to plant a garden on a plot of land next to the Cabot Trail. He put up three colorful scarecrows to drive away animals, but instead they attracted tourists, who stopped to photograph him and his scarecrows. They suggested he drop the garden and just make more scarecrows, which is what he did. His scarecrows now number 100. Some wear uniforms—miner, security guard, EMT; others wear celebrity masks—including several American Presidents. Lots of them are just plain wacky and colorful. Each one wears a tag telling its name and a comment or philosophical insight from that scarecrow's unique perspective. My favorites:
"Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open."
"What a great place to work. Nobody talks."
As we neared the end of the Trail, Jan and Jim headed west to
We end with a picture from one of those moments when the skies cleared to reveal the glorious vistas of the Cabot Trail, and we recall the words from a particularly apt Gaelic blessing:
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the warm rays of the sun fall upon you,