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Cabot Trail redux plus a French fortress.

August 2022

There are several interesting golf courses in the area and Jim made a tee time for the on in Ingonish right by the Keltic Lodge. It is designed more in the Scottish way. We drove back up the Trail and had a delicious lunch at the Main Street Restaurant and Bakery in Ingonish Beach. I unwisely ordered the two taco plate - my fish tacos were so flavorful I wished I ordered the three!

Then while Jim golfed I drove up to say “hi” to Giovanni Caboto again, this time at the Cabot’s Landing Provincvial Park. I didn’t expect much more than a statue but it fronted a miles long beautiful beach with, by US standards, very few people. Several like me had dogs so I looped the dogs leashes to the roots of a heavy tree trunk to hold them until after a dog passed. Next thing I know both pulled at once and rolled it like a wheel, fortunately burying their leash handles in the sand. After getting the okay from the dog owner I let Jackson go and he had a grand time frolicking with the other dog. Chloe I waited….but then we had the entire side of the beach to ourselves for awhile so I let them swim and run off leash a little.

On the way back I stopped at a store that sold goat’s milk soap….goats on premises! Plus- bonus for me, a graveyard. (I’m working on a series of paintings called resting places building on my love of old cemeteries. )

The next day we drove over to historic Louisburg fortress. Since this kind of thing is a bigger thrill for me I went in while Jim drove off to find trails with the dogs. It was a blustery day, with the lighthouse gleaming through foggy sheets of rain and the waves sending up spray. You start at the visitor center with it’s exhibits then they bus you to the entrance to the fort where they introduce you to it….but on this day she sent us on to the guardhouse to shelter from the rain. I walked all over and stopped to listen to the costumed interpreters. I especially enjoyed the Captain’s wife explaining her lace making and the two men in the inn for rough hewn sailors and workers. At one point a gaggle of children dressed for the times followed a women representing the nuns that taught the children of the fort.

There is some fascinating history related to a free black woman of the time who was a notable person there and a whole building devoted to Mi’kmaq history. A woman was working a basket there as well. There is an interesting way these provinces deal with the complicated history - most signs and tourist flyers include a paragraph noting that it is all on unceded Mi’kmaq territory and there seems to be an effort to incorporate the First Nations history and bedrock origins, most probably due to the resilience and efforts of today’s First Nation members. I ducked into an eatery very much in the historical design….but I did not chose one of their authentic offerings, opting for a delicious poutine style roast turkey offering and a glass of wine. When I met back up with Jim I discovered he had been questioned by a Mountie after he got to the truck as to anything he’d seen of an apparent vagrant. Luckily he and the dogs, though soaked, were already in the car.

We also drove into Sydney on evening to see the giant fiddle - which was eclipsed by the giant cruise ship! We walked the dogs along the waterfront and discovered an effective and affecting statue honoring the merchant marine as well as a tricked out camper expeditionary vehicle that had been shipped over from Germany.

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