Day 89: Cape Breton - Nova Scotia's Masterpiece

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Beautiful Cape Breton and the Cabot Trail - named after Italian seafarer John Cabot, home of whales, whitecaps and windswept plateaus, fiddles, festivals and famous beaches, sailboats, soaring eagles and Scottish pioneers, coastal towns, coal mines and cultural diversity, surf, seabirds and soldiers, the town of Baddeck, home of Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of not only the telephone but the first airplane to fly in Canada, a tourist's delight with whale watching, seal and puffin sightings, motorcycle and bicycle heaven, riches of the sea and historic sites, Fortress Louisbourg, captured by the Americans, pre-revolution, Gaelic language, Acadians, links golf, The Rankin Family and more. As my good pal Bill Skelly would say, "Ker, you know what I like about this place? Everything."

The Cape's vistas are spectacular, and cruising the coastal mountains in a rent-a-car is one thing - this crew is on bikes! Gin and Darrell start out with trepidation, as they know the first climb leaving Pleasant Bay is North Mountain. The day is not as hot as yesterday, but they face a gruelling 8 km uphill with grades 8-13 percent. Gin grinds hard until gravity and inertia overwhelm and she pulls over. D helps her and walks her bike for a spell and carries on ahead. Gin, like me the day before, is determined to do as much as possible, and after a couple of good rest periods, jumps on and manages most of the hill. Sue and I have a lighter go of it and certainly better sea coast views, but enough terrain that our thighs are burning too.

We pick a nice beach for lunch and not long after, pull into to Joyfull Journeys Campground, where the kind owner (from BC) has not only comped our place but a rented trailer also for Darrell and Sue. With burgers on the Que and corn bubbling in the pot, we pick teams and battle it out on the bocce field. Following dinner we accept an invitation from our Cape Breton neighbours to join their campfire. They are friendly as can be and very interested in our trip and our cause. This is a part of Canada you must add to your bucket, people.

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