Friday, July 13, 2007

Cape Smokey to Cape Breton National Park

We are at our destination. Hip, hip, hooray. And it's so beautiful here. But, instead of writing about where I am I'm posting a few pics of our one week trip here.

It was cloudy and grey when we arrived to the northeast. A month later it was still cloudy and grey with a forecast of three days of rain on the way... We decided it was time for us to go!

Here is a series of photos taken last Friday, the day when we left Cape Breton (pronounced Britain) Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia. This mountain is the mountain that gave me insomnia for three nights solid before we left. Boy was I a worried. Turned out, going down was not as bad as I thought it might be. We went between 1 and 15 mph hour the whole way down.

I checked with the visitor's center and the grade is 15%. That is steep.

I so wish I had a photo of the sign on the other side. That one says 1000 foot climb in 1.3 miles. Trip out on this. As we approached this mountain, thinking we were driving around the base of it of course, I saw a heavy duty dirt dump truck inching down the mountain side. I said to my husband, "Uh, we're not going up there are we?" (I thought perhaps there was some sort of contruction going on) and he said definitely not. I said, "Whew, good thing." Next thing we see is a sign. It says You are at the base of Smokey You will climb 1000 feet in 1.3 miles. Do we see a turn-around anywhere? NO! So the sign swishes past me before I can finish reading it and I can't tell you what I was thinking. It would be all the characters from the top row of your keyboard! Our trailer hitch creaked and growled near the top. Generally this is not a sound passengers wish to hear. Never have we gone up such a hill with this trailer! The other scary mountain driving we've done is the road to Skagway, Alaska, but we had our smaller trailer that weighed half as much then. As soon as we topped Lil' Smokey (as she's affectionately called by some locals) we pulled over and husband greased the hitch. I can't say I was frightened but I can say that I thought the person in the car that drove right on our tail all the way up was of questionable intelligence. I wouldn't be driving so close to us if I were them!

I am deliriously happy that God made it a foggy day at the top of Smokey. I didn't have to see the sheer drop to the Atlantic Ocean over that railing. It's also nicer being on the inside lane going down. People ascending the mountain are in the outside lane!

Next, here is an upcoming hair pin curve. On the way up we didn't take it wide enough and our back end scraped the narrow shoulder.

We descend further down the mountain. What does the sign say? W-r-e-c-k Cove? That would give anyone warm fuzzies, right? lol!

We are at the bottom. Whew! Color me happy!

We exit over the Canso Causeway, in the Strait of Canso, the deepest causeway in the world, and drive off of the island.

In the afternoon we enter the beautiful province of New Brunswick. They have an awesome flag by the way. It has a ship on it symbolizing its history in shipbuilding.

That's all for tonight! I have some miscellaneous shots of the following days of travel to post next.