Top of the Island and Back
I took a drive last Saturday to the end of the road. If you’ve ever thought of heading to Cape Breton you’ve probably heard of Meat Cove, yes, that’s the name. There is a campground at the end of the road, but it’s only for tents and maybe vans, as it’s a bit tight for anything else, though they do have cabins. Oh, did I mention the cliff? Your at the edge of the world and down is the sea. There is a nice arial video at their website. http://meatcovecampground.ca
You have to want to go to Meat Cove, because it’s way up there and some of the way is on dirt roads. Many do it as a day drive like I did. Its sort of one those “notch on the belt” drives. I’ve got to say its beautiful up there.
If you come this way to Dingwall, you’ll be at the top of Cape Breton Highlands National Park. There are many hiking trails to take. I thought in the past there was backpacking, but I didn’t find anything on the website. This is a very thickly treed area and finding a camp might be tough.
If you lean to the pampered vacation, there is Keltic Lodge http://kelticlodge.ca outside of Ingonish. They have a golf course, spa amenities, lodge, cabins, and restaurants. This is on par with the great lodges of the US National Parks.
The town of Dingwall is on Aspy Bay. John Cabot was sent by Henry the VII to look for a western route to Asia. He landed in Aspy Bay after landing on Newfoundland.
Another history lesson about Aspy Bay is, this is where the TransAtlantic telegraph cable made landfall onto the mainland of North America.
I made my way to the western side of the island. Many seaside campgrounds are on this side. I stayed at Sunset Campground in Port Hood and there is a public beach just across the road. If I didn’t know better this could be California…without the crowds!
As I’ve wandered around Cape Breton, I’ve seen real estate signs. I looked a couple up just for the fun of it. Near Port Hood there were two parcels next to each other. One was about nine acres the other twelve. Both are C$19,000 which comes in under $15k US. I really seriously thought about buying one. Then that little voice in my ear told me about the drive it would take to get back here, and the fact that family lives in California. Still, it’s an interesting idea to own property in such a beautiful location.
More reality hit me when I went to the Co-op food store in Port Hood. They are really the only place to get food staples on Cape Breton. I was out of peanut butter and found only the smooth style and they contained hydrogenated oils. I’m thinking again about the land. If I can’t get healthy peanut butter I’ll pass on living here.
I left the island on Wednesday and found a camp in Pictou (pick-toe). I was lucky to find any campsite, as tomorrow is the 150th anniversary of Canada. There are flags all over the country and at every store, flags, t-shirts, bags, and hats emblazoned with “Canada 150.”
While I celebrate Canada Day, I wish you all a happy 4th in the states, eh?