“Take up the kaleidoscope that is your life, shake it a little, then look again. Wow! A whole new perspective, an awesome view.”
Merilee Wheeler, quoted in Celebrating Time Alone by Lionel Fisher.
Much of the misery in the world is from people who take themselves to seriously.
A simple life becomes a serene life.
Cast off as much as one can.
Be careful about what is kept, for it is really keeping you.
What are you being kept from by what you have?
This is the good land yacht GETAWAY at an unscheduled stop along the side of the road in New Brunswick, Canada. 25 miles from the border crossing and five miles from the last campsite.
The Check Engine light came on at the end of the day before. Then went out. This was after 1,250 miles of Check Engine free driving. This light can usually be cleared by draining a bit of fuel/water out of the fuel/water separator. This was done the morning before departure, so we hit the road with the expectations of being home by early afternoon.
I’m an RV’er and I suffer from RV Anxiety. This affliction is caused by hoping that this complex system gets from point A to B without experiencing a catastrophic event. The tires, the engine, the slides and the everything else could fail at the most inconvenient moment, at the furthest possible distance from convenient resolution.
Is there enough fuel in the tank to get to the next refueling opportunity? Will there be adequate driving space at the fuel stop? My inner voice of conspiracy theory says that everyone else will selfishly deny me the space needed. Their inner voice of WTH wonder why I am denying them safe access to the pumps while topping of with 60+ gallons of fuel. Right now, this is big whopping creature due to trying to get into, through and out of Canada without a fuel stop. Poor planning causes anxiety.
Is the next site truly RV capable? Every site that says they are may not be until proven otherwise. This is based on an experienced sample size of once, nearly twice.
Will the tires not fail catastrophically? The left sides were slightly down last night. When topping them off, at first, no air was being accepted. Why? I forgot to turn the air on at the connection, one simple right angle turn would have prevented that outburst of Now What?
The route itself is reasonably stable. My challenge will to be not driving from behind. My inner voice of courtesy screams, get out of the way of others, quit holding up traffic! That mostly happened on the next to last leg inbound, a significant side wind and the alternating 1-2 lanes of passing were wearing at the end of along travel day.
Long travels – split them into two segments. Not 60% first on Day One and then 40% to get there on Day Two. Too late, reservations made.
This one became more real than ever expected. Stay Tuned for Fail Safe.
Today is Friday, the day of rest. The original scope of this trip was to visit Nova Scotia (NS). NS is huge with several obvious regions. The scope was readjusted from the whole province to just one region ~ Cape Breton Island (CBI). CBI is a large island!
After two travel days, with some rain, side winds, hills and bouts of significant traffic, we arrived at the North Sydney KOA, our base of operations for the upcoming week of daily road trips. The island is divided into scenic tourism trails. These serve as a good planning guide for the daily road trips.
- Saturday: Bras D’or Lake trail: Occassional scenic vistas, bridge, lunch in Iona and off to the Eileanan Brèagha Vineyards is the first and only estate winery on Cape Breton Island. This destination turned the day trip into an odyssey. The route from Iona is primarily on dirt roads with pot holes, swerves and other expectations. The unexpected was the closed bridge/detour which sent us way up almost to pavement and back down on dirt roads again. Then the long ride back to base camp.
- Sunday: The Celidh, pronounced (kay-lee) trail. First pavement and then deliberately chosen dirt roads. Scenic destinations along the way included Glencoe, the remote coast south of Mabou, lunch at the Red Shoe Pub, single malt tasting at Glenora, and toe dipping at the Inverness beach.
- Monday: Day one on The Cabot Trail. The intention was Whale Watching out of Ignonish, but off shore winds and waves nixed those plans. So it was off to the Cabot Trail along the way to Meat Cove ~ the end of the road at the top of CBI. Coastal vistas & villages along the way, through a mountain pass from the inland to the coast, and more dirt road, hills & turns. It was worth it, the remote vista overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and no place left to go forward. So we turned back anyways for lunch and completion of our first orientation trip around the rest of The Cabot Trail.
- Tuesday: The Marconi/Fluer de Lis trail: Through Sydney proper to score a picture of The Great Fiddle at the cruise ship terminal. Then off to the coast to watch the Newfoundland ferries depart/arrive – passing each other in the outer harbor. A coastal harbor defense/war memorial site. Windmills paired with a power plant and to the first destination/disappointment — The Marconi Site visitor center closed the day before for the season. BUMMER. A quick walk around the grounds, lunch in Glacé Bay and down towards the Fortress of Louisburg. The Atlantic coast was typically foggy. Arrived too late in the day for a bus tour down to the fort, we went through the deserted tourist town of Louisburg and went out to the lighthouse for some foggy photography of the lighthouse, shore and thrashing waves.
- Wednesday: After several longer, but necessary day trips, we stayed closer to base camp for the day, relatively speaking. Highlights include the Alexander Graham Bell museum in Baddeck, the salmon hatchery over towards Margharee, an organic brew pub for some tasty tastings.
- Thursday: The Cabot Trail redux. The argument is, which way is the best way to drive The Cabot Trail. The best answer is both ways! So we went back the other way and saw the trail from the other perspective. The bonus event for this day was hiking The Skyline Trail. Lunch on the road and home again.
- Friday. That’s today. Perhaps lunch over in Sydney. Time will be spent getting the coach ready for the two day return trip on Saturday and Sunday.
Every picture tells a story. Early on in this trip, I did spend some time posting an album up on Facebook. Those are the preliminary photographs only. With two cameras clicking away, time will be spent selecting and processing the best for an album to be posted on Flickr. Why Flickr? broader audience v the deleted audience of Facebook.
Last night, my phone rang. I receive very few calls, so took this one. It was our RV Winter Storage guy, calling to get our intentions for winter storage. Since we are still working, the coach goes into hibernation from late October to early May. The ideal winter storage destination will be warmer climes, but we are not there yet.
However, there is one final trip to be taken. In a month, we will be at Schoodic Woods campground in Acadia National Park.
YMWV – thank you for reading and stay tuned for more Getaway Chronicle.
Recap redux: Thursday/Friday: Travel
Saturday, Brad D’or scenic lake trail.
Sunday: Celidh scenic trail.
- Plan A: Whale watching out of Igonish, then The Cabot Trail with a side trip to Meat Cove.
- Plan B: The Cabot Trail with a side trip to Meat Cove, & then beyond, racin’style.
The weather forecast called for higher winds & waves beyond the margin of safety for whale watching = trip cancelled.
Plan B implemented.
A lot of views like this, the road disappears into either a hopeless abyss or continues on unscathed.
Beacons of hope.
Recap so far. Thursday and Friday were travel days. Saturday was the Lake Scenic Drive. That makes Sunday the Celidh (pronounced kay-lee) scenic drive. An overland route started the day. Instead of taking the paved route, we chose the back/dirt road route, less traffic, slower pace and ease for slowing & stopping for photography. We were not disappointed.
This scenic vista, a solitary church, was along the way to Glencoe. We have been to the other Glencoe, the one in Scotland. The Scottish Glencoe was were the code of was violated and broken. That was our 25th anniversary trip. The memory is haunting.
The CBI Glencoe seems to have quietly reset the code. The sense of place was peaceful, serene and inviting, certainly worth the overland journey away from hustle and bustle of paved routes.
From there, it was on to western coast, south of Mabou. Good access to the coast, like too many coasts, is not as plentiful as is needed. Good on the folks who share the views, above which Eagles soar ~ we saw several. Close enough to see the tell tale flashes of white head and tail feathers. To far away for decent photography. The mind will always remember.
Lunch was at the Red Shoe Pub in Mabou along the way to Glenora, the only single malt distillery in North America. A pleasant place with tasty food – 5 stars on the Facebook review.
The Red Shoe Pub has become a kind of “home away from home” for many locals and visitors over the years. After a brief closing, the Red Shoe Pub was bought by the Rankin family and was reopened in 2005.We look forward to seeing you this summer at”The Shoe” for good food, drinks and great music!
Glenora: LEGEND HAD IT THAT IF YOU FOLLOWED MACLELLAN’S BROOK FOR LONG ENOUGH, YOU’D FIND HEAVEN.
APPARENTLY, LEGEND WAS RIGHT.
The legend is right, after two+ decades of trials & tribulations, Glenora has carved out their space in the local and regional single malt market. Their story is one of persistence. Imagine a business model where it takes ten years to release the first product. They persevered and deserve their niche in the market for world class single malt.
After the tour & testing, it was on to the beach at Inverness.
Another delightful day was enjoyed.