Monday, August 30, 2010

Summer of Fun Continued: Cape Breton

Bras D'or Lakes, Cape Breton
This past weekend the fam went to Cape Breton Island camping. In the three summers we've been here, we haven't camped, not once.  We've taken our camper and used it while visiting family, but not actual CAMPING for various reasons.  It was great to go this weekend but being out of practice we forgot some things.  Like aluminum foil for wrapping potatoes.  A corkscrew.  Kleenex.  All things that are normally in the camper all the time but that we'd cleaned out and I didn't think to replace in the rush to pack on Thursday.

The kids had never been to Cape Breton before so I was really excited to go. It is a beautiful island.

Friday morning we got up and after a camp breakfast of bacon, eggs and fried potatoes, headed to the Alexander Graham Bell Museum.  It is heavy on the science aspect of things and there are tetrahedral/triangle designs in everything.  Bell worked with the deaf and linguistics first and then as you know moved on to the telephone, flight and hydrofoils. 

East Coastline
One of my favourite things though is the story of Alexander and his wife, Mabel.  When he was young and working with the deaf, Mabel was one of his students. They fell deeply in love. When you see the pictures of the two of them throughout their lives together, it is easy to see the affection between them.  Mabel was right there with him through all his crazy inventions - I think as much a pioneer as he was in some ways - definitely in spirit.
West Coastline

After the museum we started around the famed Cabot Trail.  We stopped and had a picnic lunch and carried on to Smokey Mtn, Little Smokey, Lakies Head, up around Ingonish and then you REALLY hit mountains on the other side. We're talking 13% grades for 4 or more km. We were actually getting a little worried as our brakes smelled VERY hot and there was some smoke when we stopped for a few minutes. Did I mention we stopped at shops along the way? Glass artisans, bakeries, pewter, gift shops.  It was 6:30 before we got back to the campground, and then still had to cook dinner etc....

On Saturday we headed to the Fortress of Louisbourg. It was really hot, so the dh opted to hang out with the dog - they did some walking trails near the visitor centre and then hung out in the truck with the windows down and a supply of water.  The girls and I took the shuttlebus to the Fortress, and made do with a quick tour.  It is amazing to realize that while it is huge it is really only about 1/4 of what was actually there in the 18th century.  At certain times it housed up to 5000, and had batteries on either side of the channel so if anyone tried to sail in they would get it from both sides.

We drove back to the campground and I had a nap while the dh relaxed and the girls swam in the pool. Then it was dinner and a campfire and packing up a few things as we left early yesterday morning. Good thing too, because we came home and spent the rest of the afternoon in the pool!  This is supposed to be the hottest week of the summer....

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