Friday, August 9, 2013

Parks and recreation​: Nova Scotia.

Did you know that Nova Scotia is on "Atlantic" time? We didn't even know such a thing existed until we lost a precious hour crossing the border.

but cross the border we did

Halfway to Cape Breton, we stopped at Caribou Provincial Park where we got the second to last campsite and the car was in full view. This led to lots of friendly comments ("you're a long way from home, yuk yuk") and an extended conversation with a really nice Scotsman who shared some great advice about our next stop. (And if we had three weeks at our next stop, we totally would have taken his advice.)

This was also the town where the clouds looked like marshmallows as the sun was setting...

and the water looked like glass

... and coincidentally the town where we purchased our first (and last) bag of marshmallows. SUCH a bad idea...

but adding peanut butter, chocolate and granola bar?
GREAT idea

The next day we finally reached our easternmost point, Cape Breton Highlands National Park. This whole journey has been amazing, and different places have stood out along the way for very clear reasons, but Cape Breton - for lack of a less hokey way to put it - totally moved us.  And we can't really explain why.

perhaps this is why?

Here are some recommendations for enjoying the park (and surrounding area) in five way-too-short days and 30 miles of hikes.

Day 1: A pod of pilot whales in the bay greets you as you cross the border. You stop for lunch at a small provincial park where a friendly couple exchanges two beautiful cookies for the use of your frying pan. You set up camp, watch the rainclouds come in, cook dinner in the kitchen shelter and amaze the Quebecian family with your astounding shoe box o'spices. You play cards and Scrabble, and go to bed when the smell of your camp neighbor's wet dog permeates the shelter.

oh hai, pilot whales
(apparently very rare in this area)

not gluten free
oh darn, he got to eat both

we could've used some tumeric though

Day 2: Hike-o-rama! First you hit the Coastal hike (3.5m) to Jiggling Cove Lake (1m), then you walk along the road to your car (1.5m). You lunch at uber-touristy Black Brook beach, then walk up Jack Pine trail (1m) and along the Coastal trail where you watch meatheads jump off a big rock, but sadly miss the moose. Next up is the short but sweet Broad Cove Mountain hike (1.4m) followed by Mary Ann falls, dinner, stars and marshmallows. 

perfecting the panorama

making Bob Ross proud

we don't recommend this option -
it was quite boring

not pictured: hordes of people


the view from the big red chair

hi, MAM!

Day 3: You break camp, meander up the Franey hike (4.6m), drive to Lone Shielding for lunch, visit MacIntosh Brook and find the waterfall (1.1m). Then you stop along the coast for amazing views before you set up new camp and tackle the Corney Brook hike to a nice waterfall (4m). Finally have dinner, watch the sun and Mercury set (YOU WATCH A PLANET SET!!), and stargaze. With marshmallows.

edge schmedge

sheep go here
when it's cold

the creek was almost prettier than the waterfall

beachside property

like fairy falls (PDX) on steroids

worth tearing away from our sausage nachos for a peek

Day 4: After breakfast, hike the Acadian (5.2m) and pick wild blueberries, have lunch and rest with the eagles before setting off on the Skyline hike (5.7m). Dinner, beach time, and - of course - marshmallows.

as recommended by locals

a dime a dozen to us now
but still awe-inspiring

there are itty bitty people up there on that ridge
where we were itty bitty at one point too

Day 5: Stop by the Alexander Graham Bell historic site on your way out of town.

we're working on it, sir

Wish that you had about six more weeks to explore. Vow to return someday...

If you joined us from the New Brunswick post, return to that here.

1 comment:

  1. i knew about the Atlantic Time, also Newfoundland Time (which is even earlier i think)