Welcome to our Adventure!

Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Homer, Alaska

Saturday, September 21, 2013

More Nova Scotia

After a quiet night at Ingonish Chalets (where we stayed in a pet-friendly cabin), we had a hearty breakfast at the Bean Barn Cafe. I short aside here, I have started using TripAdvisor to help make decisions on lodging, campgrounds, restaurants and attractions. I have found it most helpful. It was an invaluable resource for this trip, and we enjoyed every place we stayed and ate during our stay. Try it, you may find it helpful as well :-)

Our first destination this morning was a short backtrack to MaryAnn's Falls. This was another drive-in site, down a much longer, 7 kilometer dirt/gravel road, with a short hike at the end. It was extremely bumpy, we almost felt like we were back in Colorado for a few minutes :-). What a beautiful area, though, well-worth the side trip.

Top of the falls...it looked like the road used to come down further, and over the bridge that I was on taking this picture, but from the looks of the bridge it isn't safe to drive over it any longer! So the parking area was made about 1/4 mile back, and you walk the rest of the way.

View from the base. A stairway leads to a viewing platform, and then you can clamber down the rocks to the base of the falls.

The water then flows down through this beautiful canyon.

Exploring a trail further down, we found this viewing area above the falls, which is even nicer. It's good to see where unknown trails lead :-).

Back down the bumpy gravel road, we headed to our hiking destination for the day: Middle Head Peninsula Trail.
Map - Middle Head
 The guide says it is a 2.4 mile combined loop/ out and back trail, but our gps tracker clocked it at closer to three miles. We took water and planned to go slow, at Chelsea's pace, and see if she could manage the entire distance. 

The trail alternated between wooded...

and open areas.

Views of Cape Smokey across the water

You really shouldn't go close to the edge, see how sheer the drop-off is?

The path veered to the edge of the peninsula, back into the woods, back and forth several times.

We made it to the point, and sat for awhile for a well-deserved rest. Bonus points for the eagle that flew by!

Heading back to the parking area. The round-trip took us about two hours going nice and slow.

After a delicious lunch at the Main Street Restaurant and Bakery, we continued down the coastline, doing a little geocaching and stopping at a few overlooks. The weather started going downhill from lunchtime on, and was becoming quite cloudy. By the time we arrived in the cute little town of Baddeck, on the shore of the Bras d'Or Lake, it was spitting rain on and off and the fog had the great views of the lake socked in. We had a light dinner at the local pizza place, Tom's, as we had had a big lunch, and turned in early at our chalet at the Silver Dart Lodge. In what turned out to be a harbinger of bad things, Al said he was extremely tired and just wanted to turn in early.

The next morning he seemed to feel better, and we headed off Cape Breton Island towards New Brunswick. We were planning on visiting Hopewell Rocks on the Bay of Fundy. This is a fascinating area where the tides have their most dramatic change, with 40+ feet of difference between high and low tide. The Hopewell Rocks, also called the flowerpot rocks, are a unique geologic formation caused by the eroding power of the water. 

Along the way we had seen signs for the Bluefin Tuna Interpretive Center in Ballantyne's Cove, on the Northumberland coast of Nova Scotia. As Al has had many a happy day fishing for bluefin tuna, we thought it would be a pleasant diversion for the drive.

Nova Scotia boasts that it has the largest concentration of bluefin tuna in the world, and the world's largest bluefin tuna caught was recorded out of this marina, at 1496 pounds, in 1979

Unfortunately, the Center was closed, so all we have is a picture of the outside :-(.

The obligatory lighthouse picture, this one the Cape George Lighthouse, the third one on this site with the original built in 1861. 

Our original plan was to see the Hopewell Rocks Wednesday night at high tide when we arrived, then return in the morning at low tide when you can actually walk on the ocean floor at the base of the rocks. We missed high tide by about an hour, and the tide had already receded by about 10 feet. It was also quite foggy! We settled in our cabin at Broadleaf Ranch, and went to have some dinner. It was at that point that Al informed me he was pretty sure he was coming down with a "bug", and felt that the next morning was not going to be very good :-(. His diagnosis proved to be spot on, and I ended up getting us packed up and headed straight back to Bar Harbor rather than visiting Hopewell Rocks again. 

And that's pretty much where we've been at since then. He was feeling pretty lousy for a few days, and we did take a trip to the Trenton Clinic just to make sure nothing more serious was going on. The doctor is fairly certain it's a virus, and it will take some time before he's feeling up to par. Improvement is slowly occurring, and he is back to work again, although its a good thing things have slowed down from the peak season. We still have quite a few guests coming and going, but it's a more relaxed pace. It is still busy in town, as there are several cruise ships in port each day this time of year. 

Hitch itch is starting to set in! We have less than four weeks left to go before we leave, and we have our start date of October 28 for Amazon. We are starting to firm up plans for our week long visit with family and friends back on Long Island. And we're also thinking about where we're going to be next summer, and lining up interviews. Plus, the last few items on our list of things to see and do before we leave the area. A busy time,all in all. Until next time...have a great day!!


  1. I didn't realize you were heading back to Amazon before Florida this year. Hope Al is feeling better and back to par soon. Hope to catch up with you later in the year!

  2. We just got back yesterday from Saint John, New Brunswick. We saw the reversing falls, the fundy trail, Hopewell Rocks, The Caves at Saint Martins, covered bridges, lighthouses. What a great trip. I hate we haven't seen each other since we are so close. We will be leaving here around the 20th of October. Hope Al is feeling better soon.

  3. So sorry Al got a bug that made you cut your Nova Scotia trip short. Your pictures are beautiful. I laughed at your leisurely pace for your 3 hour walk - Chelsea should walk with us we walk slower than her pace, about 1 mile an hour. Too busy looking I guess. Love that waterfall and the lighthouse. Feel better Al!

  4. Hope Al is feeling better. We arrived at your park today. I think we see your site out our back window. We'll be sure to meet. We are here 5 nights.

  5. Oh so sorry that Al is not feeling well. What you got to see was beautiful!!! Get well soon and hope this is the end of you medical crap for awhile;o)

  6. That is some beautiful country! Hope Al feels better soon. I hope we can meet up with you guys in FL this Winter.

  7. Something about boats in port...Water RVs I guess.