We had a nice morning at the Fortress of Louisberg here in Sydney are of Cape Breton. We explored the property and saw all the historical buildings and the small fort. It was neat to see all the people in period costumes.
I loved making a wish in the well with Canadian money!
There were ducks, chickens and sheep. We really liked the animals and the blacksmiths shop.
We went shoe shopping afterwards and stocked up on some essentials. We are going to sleep in the motorhome at the ferry terminal as we have an early ferry to Newfoundland!
Today we had a down day. We went to town and did laundry and got a few groceries. We cleaned the motorhome and prepped for departure towards Newfoundland. Internet isn’t that reliable and wifi is nearly non-existent lately. We will update as we can.
In the evening we went to a Kitchen Party. It was lots of music and we stopped our feet and clapped along with the tunes. There music was Gaelic, Scottish and some from Cape Breton.
Today we slept in as much as we could. Dad and Breighton went for a long hike around Warren Lake and were gone the entire morning. Mom and Emmerson ran a few errands, scoped out wifi and played at the playground on the beach. It was nice to have a day where we split up a little to have some space.
After lunch we headed to the beach at the campground. It is a 15 minute walk through the woods to get there. We played in the river that leads out to the ocean. The rocks are huge and polished. We made lots of fun stacks of the rocks.
Mom sat and played with the rocks too and made a heart and then tossed pebbles at a larger rock for target practice. We were the only ones on the beach for the longest time.
Breighton wanted to take some photos for 4-H next year and practiced with the iPhone and the rock sculptures.
While moving rocks an eel slithered out from underneath a larger one. This led to a “eel house” being built so the eel would be safe from other kids.
It was a fun time on the beach and we were glad to see sunshine.
We all got cleaned up, had a small campfire and headed out to another evening program called Seeing in the Dark.
This program was no lights allowed. There was a group of about 10 people on the hike. We started by watching the sunset over Warren Lake. We listened to sounds and adjusted our senses to darker and darker and quieter and quieter. Soon we began our hike around the lake trail as the night turned dark. We head loons, frogs, squirrels and even an owl. It was scary walking in darkness with no flashlights. It was amazing how much you could see though. We had to walk in high steps as not to trip and use our hands to guide the path edges. We had white scarves on our backs to help people see behind us. You would really see the white stand out when it was so dark.
We even head fireworks off in the distance as we were finishing our trail. Happy 4th of July! They don’t celebrate here but someone out there must have been celebrating!
The hike lasted from 9pm until 11pm and then we ended at a picnic table for oat cakes and blueberry tea. The oatcakes were AMAZING! Mom and Dad enjoyed the hot tea.
We got back to the motorhome around midnight and all settled in for a good nights sleep.
We drove the Cabot Trail through the northern part of the park and to our next campground, Broad Cove. We have a lovely site along the woods. The bugs are terrible in the entire park but we are adapting and have upped the bug spray and full bod coverings.
We got the campsite set up and Dad had work so we went out to explore. We scrambled on the rocks overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The cliffs are very stunning.
Mom wandered around and found all the little flowers tucked into the rocks.
We watched the lobster boats pull up traps and the shorebirds dive into the water to catch fish. The wind was blowing and the sun actually came out!
In the evening we went to a program called The Beach is Alive. We learned how the beach moves around with the tides and the high and low energy waves. We learned how the creatures have to adapt to the sand and will burrow down to the tide line or to find moisture in the changing tides.
We dug through the sand and found lots of sand shrimp. We even hot to hunt for treasures to show the others int he program. It was a lot of fun.
After the program we ran by the motorhome and grabbed raincoats as it was drizzling again. We headed out for a Lantern Walk Through Time. The guide showed dressed in a black cape that Dad likened to the Grimm Reaper! She was just as eerie and spoke in a soft voice.
We followed and learned about the people that first lived in the area. There was spooky tales but nothing terribly frightening.
We each carried a lantern as we walked to light our path. It was very historical!
We were out very late and got home after 11pm.
Today we took Dad to hike on some of the trails that we hiked plus a few more. I think we hiked 4-5 trails.
We showed Dad all the pretty flowers on the Bog Trail. Pitcher plants and sundew were our favorites. Also, the yellow bog flowers.
We showed Dad all the sugar maple trees on Lone Shieling.
We even found some cool fungus and dead trees we missed last time.
Then we hiked Benji’s Lake. It was a fun trail through the woods to a freshwater pond. We sat for a while and looked into the water and around the pond. It was very peaceful. Except us kids were bickering and talking loudly and being generally disagreeable.
We ended the evening with two campground programs. The first was a Discovery Program were we learned about the animals of the park.
The last program was called Bringing Back the Boreal. It was all about the changing forest and how they are trying to help return the boreal (northern) forest trees like spruce and fir. The moose population, with no natural predators, went unchecked during a redevelopment time in the forest and have started to turn the forest into grasslands. They are working now to reduce moose herds, plant more trees and help recover the forest.
Today is Canada Day. It is similar to the 4th of July in the USA. It celebrates their independence as a country. There are lots of little celebrations around the area, including the campground. To pass the time until the celebration we decided to try our hands at geo-caching. We were able to borrow a very unreliable GPS handheld unit from the front desk.
We started out very well and found the first three clues with no issues. It was fun to learn to navigate with a GPS. We would find boxes with the next clue and move on. The 4th clue proved to be a hassle. The GPS unit suddenly lost its accuracy (accurate to 30+ feet vs the accurate to 2 feet from before). We got all twisted about and finally realized what was going on. We opted to call it quits and went to turn it in. The people at the desk were nice enough to tell us where the 4th box was but we still never found it. We climbed all through the woods with no luck. We went to turn in the unit and they gave us a special prize for all the effort we put into it.
We had a quick lunch, cleaned up the motorhome for Dad’s arrival and headed to the Canada Day celebration in the campground. The quiet campground was all a buzz with hundreds of people celebrating. The campground access roads were closed as that is were the celebration was held.
We played bean bag toss, a fishing game, learned about kites and listened to some music. Soon there was traditional dancing which was really fun to watch.
We had a great time celebrating Canada Day and even got free cupcakes!
We headed 2.5hours to Sydney to pick up Dad at the airport. We are glad to have Dad back.
Mom bravely drove the motorhome through the rain and narrow winding roads along the Cabot Trail to our next stop, Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia. We spend 3 nights at each side of the park. We arrived at the campground and took some more twisty roads to get to the campsite.
Once we got the campsite set up we headed out on the Cabot Trail to explore. We opted to drive north on the trail and see where it took us. We picked up our XPlorer books at the visitors center and were off.
Our first stop was on a long rocky beach. We braved the drizzling rain and went down nd skipped stones and hunted for treasures on the beach. The little storefront was just sitting on top of us making it foggy and very dreary.
We drove along and hiked park of Skyline Trail. The views were spectacular! we learned about exclosures and how they are experimenting to see what would happen if the larger animals like coyote and moose weren’t in the forest. It was cool to walk through the largest of the exclosures.
We saw ample moose evidence but never a moose.
Up next was our favorite trail, the Bog Trail. There are carnivorous plants all along the boardwalk in the bog. We greatly loved the pitcher plants and the sundew.
We ended the day at Lone Shieling and hiked in a mature sugar maple forest. We had a hard time doing the bark rubbing but managed it after we found an older golf pencil in Mom’s bag.
The trail was pretty and we saw several woodpeckers and a few other birds we hadn’t seen before.
There were even little tiny fish in the river.
We finished up enough activities in our books to go get our badges when we got back to the campground.
Tomorrow we go to the airport and get Dad!
Today we drive to Baddeck (pronounced BA-Deck). We arrived early so headed out to the Alexander Graham Bell Historic Site. The grounds were beautiful. Across the street there were a few people playing bagpipes wandering around. People were tossing frisbees and flying kites. It was a gorgeous day.
We took a tour called “the Measure of a Man”. We learned a lot about Bell. He was homeschooled through age 10 and then tried public school but didn’t do well. He was an accomplished pianist and found a great passion working with the deaf. He was very interested in sound. His parents thought he would never amount to anything. His two brothers died at a young age and his parents moved thinking that would make him healthier (he was showing sickness signs as well).
He invented the first telephone. He was friends with Thomas Edison and purchased the patten for the photograph from him, improved it and then sold it back for $200,000. He used that money to open a school for the deaf. We learned about finger spelling and his unique phonetic language based on tongue and breathe.
He went on to have an obsession with tetrahedrons and created some very unique flying machines like the Cygnet, Silver Bullet and the hydrofoil.
We did out XPlorers book and earned our dog tags.
His simple structure that made his kites and the Cygnet fly.
We had to design our own kites.
Then we borrowed kites from the center and went outside to fly them. I picked the largest kite there was telling Mom the more surface area the better it will fly.
I was right! Well, that an some really great winds for kite flying.
Can you see my kite up there? It is at the end of the string! I ran out of string! Mom helped real it in later and it took her a good 20 minutes of hard work to get it down.
We came home and went swimming in the heated pool at the campground.
Oh, yesterday Mom was doing laundry and was reading a newspaper laying around. She was laughing that one of the major cities they report on is Clearwater!
Today we ran a few restocking errands and then returned to the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site to finish exploring. The weather was terrible compared to yesterday so we planned a day of inside activities.
At the Bell NHS we saw different models of telephones through the years. We even got to see the original phone that was used for the first transmission. The first line ever said over a telephone was “Watson, come here. I need you.” said by Bell himself. He had accidentally spilled battery acid on himself and needed Watsons help!
We saw several other inventions by Bell including hearing machines, water condensers, a iron lung like machine and a cool machine that transmitted sound using light waves.
We enjoyed seeing some of his original furniture. The owl painting is very unique and had a cool story with it. The lady that painted it was painting a portrait of Alexander Graham Bell and wouldn’t let him see it until she was done. She actually painted an owl since AGB was known as the “night owl” since he was always up until the wee hours tinkering and inventing.
We played in the discovery area for a while and build all sorts of contraptions and discovered a new game called Tut’s Tablet.
This morning we stopped by Maccan Wetlands Park to check the time posting for the tidal bore today. A tidal bore is when the river is running its normal way and the tide is coming in and creates a wave of rushing water into the river from the bay. The time said 4:40 give or take 20 minutes. We arrived at 4:10 and walked a short trail and then say at the picnic tables going over some of our treasures. E has been collecting pieces of pottery he finds on beaches.
I am collecting beach glass. I have quite a collection of larger pieces now. I even have one piece of blue!
We were looking at the tide chart and saw it was put together by a man named Gordon Boss.
As we sat waiting for the bore a gentleman walked up and starting talking to us about the bore. It was Gordon Boss! He is 88 years young, still drives, and loves to share information about the bores. He comes almost every day to see the bore. I guess I would too if I lived at a hill over looking the area it can be seen.
We saw the water slowly enter around a curve and then push into the river.
This was a really neat experience that I am really grad we got to have today. We came back to the motorhome and cleaned up, cooled off and rehydrated. We opted no swimming tonight. We got journals caught up, laundry finished and the motorhome tidied for tomorrows departure towards Baddeck, NS.