Doin’ the Cabot Trail: Day One

Last summer Sunshine and I decided that we wanted to drive the famous Cabot Trail in northern Nova Scotia since neither one of us had ever done it before.  Unfortunately, the universe had other plans for us last year.

We wanted to do the same thing this year but again the universe seemed to be against us.

Last month we said to heck with it.  We were going to go drive the Cabot Trail whether the universe said we shouldn’t or not.  And on Saturday morning, we got up early and head out the door for a weekend adventure we’ll never forget.

So as we made our way to Cape Breton, we noticed a lot of road construction was taking place.  One of the unusual signs we saw really took us by surprise because it was mid-October…and we really don’t have any snow until AT LEAST November.  So I guess this sign was really perpetuating the Canadian stereotype that we live in igloos in the snow and ice all year round.

We stopped for a quick bite at a gas station close to the causeway before jumping back into the car.  We were both pretty excited to see that the rain was holding off (even if the clouds were still hovering above).

Even with some scattered showers and cloudy skies, the views from inside the car as we made our way up Cape Breton island were just beautiful.  This photo is just the tip of the iceberg…

After about an hour or so, we finally made our way to the entrance of the Cabot Trail.  There were two routes we could have taken, but we decided on going up the eastern side of the island on Day One and then come down the west-side of the trail on Day Two.  As it turns out, that really turned  out to be the best plan for us.

We drove for what seemed like hours (it was…about two, I think) before finally coming across a store/gas station.  We stepped inside and quickly realized that (1) it didn’t have a public washroom and (2) it didn’t have an ATM.  We were told that our accommodations that night only took cash so we quickly left Wreck Cove and continued on our way.

We really began to see some gorgeous scenery as we entered the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, which is where the majority of the Cabot Trail gets its appeal from. With multiple “look off” spots on the side of the road, we were eager to jump out of the car and take pictures whenever we could.

This sign really says it all…

So off we went…ascending in my hard-workin’ little Hyundai Elantra and made our way up to the top of Smokey.  The view, my friends, was breath-taking and honestly…these pictures do NOT do it justice.

As we continued our way to our accommodations for the night, the weather took a little turn for the worse.  The fog rolled in, the mist turned to rain drops, and the wind really began to pick up.  We were driving along when we noticed a “look-off” spot that just HAD to be photographed.  The waves were HUGE and were crashing against the rocks.  We were quite excited about the scene…

Again, our photos don’t really do the scene justice…but I think we captured it pretty nicely in this one photo:

And here is where Sunshine thought that she’d take a video of the waves instead.  Then she turned the camera on to me.  The only problem?  I thought she was just going to take a picture of me so I stood there like an idiot (lol).  THEN, to top it off, she missed the wave crashing against the rocks.  We find this funny…we may be alone in that assessment…

Here’s the deal with our accommodations…we were checking around on the Cabot Trail website for places to stay.  We wanted to stay at the top of the island somewhere and figured that we could get some great off-season rates.  We decided on the Hines Ocean View Lodge, which over-looked Meat Cove, Nova Scotia.

Meat Cove is about as far north as you can get on the eastern coast of Canada.  How far north?  Check this out…

Meat Cove is about as remote as you can get on the eastern coast of Canada.  How remote?  Well, the only way to get there is to drive through about 8kms of dirt road.

Seriously.

But you know what?  The scenery when we arrived was TOTALLY worth the trip.  Unbelievable…

The lodge itself was nice.  The view, as seen from the picture above, was spectacular.  The off-season rate for a room was $55…which really wasn’t too bad at all.  With five bedrooms, I could totally see this being a fun place to rent out completely over a weekend with a few other couples for a great time.

The only problem?  About two months ago, Meat Cove was hit with a horrendous rain storm that crippled them completely.  Y’see, there is only one road leading in and out of Meat Cove and the main bridge was washed out (it took a week for them to be reconnected with “civilization”).

Anyway…we didn’t even know about this before we visited.  Heck…we didn’t even realize just how remote they actually were until we got there.

Long story short (or is it too late?), we didn’t bring any supplies so we had to drive 30 minutes in the dark rain to another community to get something to eat at 7pm on a Saturday night.  We then went back (another 30 minutes in the dark rain) and settled-in for the night.

The last picture of the day?  Me excited to show my purchase of SOCKS in Cape Breton.  Sunshine, on the other hand, wasn’t so giddy about the whole thing…

Day Two of our trip to be continued tomorrow.

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6 responses to “Doin’ the Cabot Trail: Day One

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