Pictou to Cape BretonHighlands NP
Our drive from Caribou-Monroe’s Island PP to Cape Breton Highlands NP took just about 3 hours, but covered many types of communities and scenery.
Along the northwest coast of Nova Scotia were many small towns with groceries and other stores. Along the TransCandian Highway there were peeks out to the strait and lots of birch and spruce. The road bed, first on the westbound side, and then later on the east, is pink. Probably because of the iron rich rock used in the asphalt. On the mountain ridges there were wind turbines. Lots of farms.
After crossing the causeway to Cape Breton Island we took Route 19 as it is more scenic since it hugs the shore line. At first we mostly were driving through an Acadian forest, but after Inverness, a very lovely, but touristy town, we reached Whale cove with its cliffs topped with soft grassy fields. The sea was so calm it looked like a slab of polished granite. A far cry from yesterday’s rolling whitecaps. Lots of smaller, well-kept homes. Many may be summer homes, but that was not clear. Several flying the Acadian flag. But no trees around them and no foundation plantings except for a few hosta and day lilies (still in bloom). The entire feeling was stark and barren.
We drove through Cheticamp, another substantial town catering to tourists with motels and restaurants, but also a large harbor with commercial fishing boats. Saint Peter’s English Catholic Church is a notable fixture of the town and has a great view of the harbor. Diesel fuel was available there so we filled up.
The approach to Cheticamp CG in Cape Breton Highlands NP is through a gorgeous birch and spruce forest, but the campground itself is mostly an open field with a few trees sitting next to 1000 foot mountains. Some sites have electric, some have electric, sewer, and water. Some have firerings. All have picnic tables made with 2-inch boards atop a cement base — very substantial, attractive, and unmovable. We are supposed to have an electric site, but our electric is not working — David says it is a problem with their GFI. They promise that it will be repaired in the morning. We have moderately ok ATT data service. The upower supply on our cell booster burned out a week ago, so we are not pulling in as good a signal as earlier in our trip.
Like the national parks in the US, the Canadian National Parks are located in the most beautiful and interesting places in the country, but the campgrounds are designed to accommodate the most people without a whole lot of attention to privacy. We find that in both countries, the state/provincial park campground usually have larger, more private and treed sites. All are very efficiently run.