Maritimelog II: Who Needs a Campground?

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082007

I woke up pretty early and got straight to figuring out how to do the dumping and other such RV chores.  Stuff came out – I can attest to that – but the black water (aka sewage) meter on the camper read like there had been no change.  My mother had mentioned that the gauges weren’t always completely accurate so after a head scratch and a shrug we walked down for a quick tour of a nearby cemetery before plowing out of Seafoam Campground with nary a hint of concern. 

We stopped in Pictou to gather ferry information for upcoming adventures but aside from that we kept a slow and steady pace on the scenic highway that brought us northeast up the coast.  We stopped briefly at the lighthouse at Cape George and continued down along the western edge of St. Georges Bay to Antigonish where we met up with the TCH.  

Cape George lighthouse

After our first fillup of the trip ($124) we carried on along the highway until we were stopped at the fringe of mainland Nova Scotia by the rotating swing bridge of the Canso Causeway, which happened to be swung open for the boats when we pulled up and therefore closed for happy, freewheelin’ Sunseeker RV’ers like m’lady and I.  We gaped at the starkly beautiful rolling hills of the huge island that lay ahead as the Grateful Dead rang out of the cd player singing to us of sunshine and daydreams.  A few tranquil moments later the bridge spun on its axis and returned to its highway position.  We revved up the engine and turtled our home-on-wheels across the short bridge, officially arriving on Cape Breton Island as we powered up the first hill on the other side of the causeway.

The Canso Causeway swing bridge

Before hitting the Cabot Trail we pulled into a picnic area where m’lady made us a super soup ’n sandwich supper.  (Okay, it was lunch, but sometimes I just can’t resist a good alliteration.)  As we turned left to leave highway 105 the panoramic beauty of Cape Breton gave way to the ever-stunning Cabot Trail. 

(Even though I grew up in nearby New Brunswick, it wasn’t until I was several decades old that I learned that the Cabot Trail is, in fact, a highway.  I had always assumed it was a hiking trail.  As a teenager I used to pump gas at a Petro-Canada near the TCH and I can’t tell you how many time I stared in awe as one elderly tourist after another would tell me that they had just finished the Cabot Trail.  “What an achievement!” I would think, shaking my head in wonder.  “And in only three days!”  I could hardly believe it, but I did.  New Brunswick’s budget for public education was notoriously low when I was a kid.)

We drove through the gorgeous hills that flanked the winding highway and as soon as the road met the ocean we pulled into the first rest area we could find and hung our hats for the night.  The camper was well equipped for stand-alone ‘dry’ camping without any electrical or water hookups so we could sleep anywhere.  I pulled the camper around so the side door and the main windows faced the water, affording us an uninhibited view of the ocean from that stretched from as far as we could see to the left to as far as we could see to the right.  We laid on the bed together and watched the sun sink slowly into the sea through the open window.  When it got good and dark outside we made dinner and got drunk like we owned the place (or was that just me?), eventually falling asleep with the crashing sound of the ocean coursing through our bedroom window.  

Postscript:  When we woke up the next morning I had a hankerin’ for an omelet.  I puttered around the camper making a fabulous breakfast carefree and oblivious to the countless tourists that pulled in and out of our little turnoff to take pictures of the spectacular view.  Eventually the two of us enjoyed our omelettes, bacon, coffee, and toast while sitting in our underwear with the dining table window open to the expansive, infinity of the sea just a few metres away.

Try pulling that off in a tent.

Two of us

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