Cape Breton, Some More

For some reason, after our whiskey beach night we didn’t manage to wake up super early in the morning at go find moose.  I have no idea why not… (smile)

After I work up I went to the beach, clambered up a rock and ate a Cliff Bar while watching the waves roll in. We then actually *got in* the water, but I don’t have pictures of that, need to get them from G. While in the freezing cold water that actually felt great (like a mountain stream, perfectly clear, yet salty since it was the ocean, or a bay, technically), I looked up at the bright blue sky and saw a bald eagle soar over about 30 feet above our heads. Killer moment.

Eventually we did get a bit numb, so we hopped out, were immediately swarmed by the biggest horseflies I’ve ever seen in my life, and ran like mad for the campsite to change and get the heck away from the mutant bugs. We didn’t have a ton of time because we needed to make it to Sydney, the 2nd biggest city in Nova Scotia, by 4 in the afternoon, but we did stop off for a quick tromp around the boreal forest.

While I may not have seen any live mooses, I did, at least, find a moose track. It was about as big as my hand, which is pretty intense. One day, one day I’m going to see a live one.

The trail we were on was next to a bog area, so there were plenty of pitcher plants and other carnivorous plants that were neat. I didn’t see any sundews, but they must have been around somewhere (they’re my favorite carnivorous plant).

On the drive through the park there were approximately a million amazing views–from the boreal forest, to the mountains, to the ocean. It was all breathtaking. We took turns driving because each of us wanted to be able to look as much as possible, and we turned off at quite a few overlooks to soak it in.

At one section of cliff rocks that you could walk out on, this sign was posted. I find the drawings morbidly hilarious–watch out for giant waves!! I can only imagine how awe inspiring the cliffs must be with waves crashing out on them. (Un)fortunately it was a calm day, so no giant waves for us, just crystal clear water, blue skies, and lots of tourists.

During the drive we were fairly starving and since it’s a national park there aren’t exactly any places to stop and get a bite. For some gross reason I just had to buy a bag of Roasted Chicken Chips at some gas station so I decided to break them out. No, there isn’t any chicken actually in the chips (thank god), but the package advertised “Guaranteed Flavor” on front and then on the ingredients list, the 4th ingredient was “flavor.” Seriously? I want to know where I can buy some flavor. It’s so essential! (The chips were disgusting, in case you were wondering.)

We finally made it to Sydney, post-industrial wasteland town that it is. Not that there weren’t cool people there, or even pretty places (nothing compared to the area around it, of course), but it was not our favorite place on the trip. Our host, N., was great and we had a fun time hanging out with him, drinking beer and eating chicken wings. First wings I’d had in years. Not convinced they’re worth the work, but it was a fun night overall.

The reason why we were in Sydney was the reason for the whole trip, actually. On Friday, August 20, I presented a paper entitled “The (Wild)Life Corridor: Fragmentation and Reconciliation in Janisse Ray’s Southern Ecosystems ” at the Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada’s 1st annual conference. I had a blast at the conference and my paper went over well (I hope), but I think the rest of the trip overshadowed my time there. I definitely met a ton of really intelligent, friendly folks there and made some good contacts, so that’s a plus!

Two nights were spent in Sydney, with multiple trips to admire the giant fiddle (yes, the giant fiddle), the waterway, and the coffee shop. We ate some kick ass french fries from a bright blue food truck as well as some mediocre pizza, but those pictures are on G.’s hard drive and I haven’t gotten them yet. Soon! Soon we’ll discuss those french fries. They were such a highlight!!

9 Responses to “Cape Breton, Some More”
  1. feerlessfood says:

    Haha cool chips! That’s a huge fiddle…

  2. Kiersten says:

    I hate horseflies! I swear, they are evil. I agree with you about those signs. The pictures are hilarious. Those chicken chips sound pretty gross. I don’t think I even want to know what kind of “flavor” was in them. lol.

  3. rebecca says:

    Jes – your pictures all throughout this series are just amazing. Really inspires me to put a trip like this on my list of “things to do soon!” And as a former violist I must make a trek to the giant fiddle…

  4. Beth says:

    I’ve really enjoyed reading about your trip, Jes, and seeing the gorgeous photos. Makes me want to take a road trip of my own.

    I simply must see that giant fiddle some day. Someday I’d love to take a trip just to see the world’s largest everything. I grew up near the world’s largest frying pan in Rose Hill, NC. :-)

    Those chips sound even nastier then pork rinds (which means my husband would probably love them.)

    The killer wave sign is hilarious—I’m surprised that people don’t steal them.

  5. Oooh! Carnivorous plants! I think that sundews are in Florida or Georgia, so it’s not surprising that you didn’t see any. That plant, there, though, is pretty neat looking.

    When you come to Scotland, you’ll have to try the “ox flavoured” or the “cajun squirrel” or the “flame-grilled steak” potato chips. Yes – all those are fairly normal around here. Bleh!

    • OK, there’s a post at Whitney’s blog about interestingly flavored chips; I went out today and took a few photos at the supermarket of the various flavors they have here (no Cajun Squirrel today).

      This part of the world regards “crisps” as a food group (for when you can’t have deep-fried fish), and thinks that flavoring them in odd ways is entertaining.

  6. I love the Boreal Forest picture! Amazing! I am glad you are having fun!

  7. Ricki says:

    Gorgeous scenery (love that fiddle!). And ewww, chicken chips?? I’ve read that Dutch brand has a whole host of weird flavors (is it dill pickle, or something–can’t remember now). Yikes! ;)

  8. BitterSweet says:

    Wow, what breath-taking scenery! Your photography is just gorgeous, and you’re making me want to take another vacation, asap!

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