The Cabot Trail (August 10 & 11, 2019)

As promised: following my dear friend’s wedding at Grand Narrows, the happy couple graciously invited us to join them for a scenic tour of the Cabot Trail, a picturesque route along the cliffs and shores of the Cape Breton highlands. As we were leaving Grand Narrows we were confronted with a hectic downpour that made us slightly nervous about the sight-seeing conditions, but thankfully things cleared up in the course of our lunch in the cute town of Baddeck. (Of note: all the towns were cute; I’ll lose that adjective.)

We camped the night of the 10th at Ingonish campground (and I got a nice time lapse of Ingonish Beach the next morning), then were off for a leisurely drive to the northernmost tip of the island, whence our whale watching tour was to commence. While it was cool to get the new perspective of the island’s rocky cliffs from the water, and while we saw a number of seals, alas– the season was wrong for whales and they eluded us. But the tour was guaranteed, so next time I find myself in the Maritimes I’m coming back for my whales!

From there the group parted ways. I pushed my gas tank to the absolute limits (read: I discovered it has two mountains’ worth of fuel in it even after the final bar in the gauge starts blinking, which only happens a good amount of time after the gas light goes on!) before finding a station in Chéticamp. I also grabbed some pizza and a beer there before making the six-hour slog to Saint John for the night, which was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of slogs.

The next day, after checking out what was visible of a new Sean Yoro mural I’d happened to hear about on the radio (which was painted according to and now only makes appearances at the whims of the record-setting tides of the Bay of Fundy,) I high-tailed it for my parents’ house in Virginia (a cool 900 miles/13.5 hours away). I rested there and got some more time in with them and my brand new nephew for a day, and another 1100 miles/15.5 hours later was back home in New Orleans.

cabot trail to saint johnsaint john to new orleans

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