We sped out of Wal-Mart in the morning, and made it to the Canso Causeway and into Cape Breton in the mid-morning. There was a delicious-sounding restaurant in Baddeck, so we went there, and because it was too early for lunch, we stopped at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. I was a bit disappointed at first that it wasn’t at his home, but it’s still owned by his dependents, and if I were them I wouldn’t be eager to be donating that to the government either. There were really excellent exhibits, organized by his interests instead of chronologically - which was nice because each of us could pick the area we were most curious about. I spent my time in “Home”, seeing hundreds of pictures of Bell with his father, wife, children, grandchildren, and colleagues. I was really impressed with him as a jovial and gentle man who loved his family and spent tons of time with them, yet still managed to work a tremendous number of hours in a day. The move to Baddeck from Washington must have helped that immensely. The rest of the time I helped Will finish his scavenger hunt - they had given him a clipboard with a laminated set of items and a dry erase marker, and he had to find them all to win an unspecified prize. It turned out to be a free kiddie ice cream cone from the team shop, so we tucked that away to come back and get after lunch.
We struggled a little to find The Water’s Edge for lunch, but the cafe turned out to be closed. When I asked “what hours is it open?” the woman just repeated “It’s closed”. She was not very nice about it, and I really didn’t need that on top of the disappointment, as well as feeling like we’d wasted time in town just to be there when they opened (not that the Bell site was a waste of time - it wasn’t). We ate our sandwiches in their parking lot, and I took a smidgen of vindictive delight in dropping my breadcrumbs on their property. After that we headed back to the tea shop for Will’s free cone, where it fulfilled its purpose by convincing Mike and I to get ice cream as well.
There was nothing for it but to head for the Cabot Trail, which we did. I had decided that counter-clockwise would be the correct direction to go, so that we were on the outside lane (just that little bit closer to the views!) and that both passengers would be able to see the ocean. There wasn’t much ocean until after Wreck Cove, but the views when they came were very nice (the weather is still great - 26 degrees and sunny!).
We stopped at a waterfall recommended specifically by the woman at the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, and Will was able to cool off by going swimming, and Mike and I amused ourselves by watching the teenagers jumping off progressively higher rocks. The waterfall was pretty, but I’m not sure it’s as cool as the Bridal Veil falls, where you can actually walk behind it.
At the Hideaway campground we got one of the remaining three sites, and settled in for an enjoyable evening of dinner (chicken noodle soup, cheese and crackers), showers, playground and a puppy (for Will, anyway), and watching a couple of bats who did endless figure-eights over our campground and the one across from us.