Cape Breton Highlands National Park

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And these moments are why we we came…all 3,300 miles round trip…to see and drive through the Cape Breton Highlands and capture these views. I have never had a trip exceed my expectations as much as this drive. The wow factor was in full effect – rich colors and stunning surroundings; I want to return and experience it again.

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Single Malt

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The last thing we expected to discover on our road trip was a distillery. The grounds and building seemed inviting, so we stopped in for a tour. Nova Scotia translates to “New Scotland” and many Scots settled in Cape Breton, along with their desire for good whisky. In 1990, the first single malt whisky in North America was bottled at the new Glenora distillery. A key ingredient is water, and some of the purest water is produced in the highlands of Cape Breton. The interesting twist to the story is the use of American oak barrels to mature the whisky. (Those would be used Jack Daniels barrels from Tennessee!)

Port Hood

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We made it to what I consider the ultimate destination in Nova Scotia, Cape Breton. Our first stop on a whirlwind 275 mile day trip around Cape Breton found us in Port Hood. It sits on the Ceilidh (Kay-lee) Trail, and has lots of sandy beaches on St. George’s Bay – the warmest waters of Eastern Canada…I did not test it. Just off the coast is Port Hood Island, which has become a place for summer residents only.

Halifax Harbor

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Halifax is a successful port city due to its natural harbor. Not only is it one of the deepest in the world, its length protects is from harsh weather, yet it is wide enough at its inner most point to manage large ships. As we watched the Holland America Veendam cruise ship pull away from the dock and head farther down the harbor, I wondered where it was going. Ah…the harbor is wide enough to let the ship take a spin around Georges Island!

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Georges Island boasts yet another Nova Scotia Lighthouse, but it was also used as a fortress for defense of the British Empire. Its history includes time as a detention center for Acadians during the Seven Years War 1755-1763. When some of those Acadians left Halifax, they moved on down to Louisiana in the United States.

Proceed with Caution – High Tides

Fully immersed in Nova Scotia, it was time to travel along the Bay of Fundy. I had heard the Bay was known for high tides, and we came upon Burntcoat Head Park for our first stop. While we were there at high tide, this image from another photographer shows the same area a low tide.

HighTideSign

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On the property, is this replica lighthouse used as a little museum describing the significance of the tides and the local area. “Brag of your country. When I am abroad I brag of everything that Nova Scotia is, has, or can produce, and when they beat me at everything else, I say, “How high do your tides rise?” Joseph Howe, 1804 – 1873

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Watch Your Step…Crevice Ahead

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While hiking along the trail to High Point, watch where you step! As pretty as they are with their moss covering, a misstep could have you stumbling into one of these crevices when you least expect it. While researching what causes them, I discovered the history of their evolution. High Point is part of the Helderberg Escarpment, which is made of limestone. Limestone erodes over time due to water, and the proximity of the crevices to trees, indicates the tree roots took that erosion up a notch causing cracks. Continued rainwater flowing into the cracks not only expanded the cracks into these significant crevices, the dampness became a breeding ground for the lovely green moss.