Paradise Lost

Friday, June 11, 2010 Road Junkies 1 Comments

Day 42: Ingonish, NS to Stellarton, NS
To ease the withdrawal as we left our little paradise in Ingonish behind, more beautiful scenery awaited us today as we drove south on the Cabot Trail to begin our journey toward Georgia. 
Completed in 1932, the Cabot Trail joined previously isolated fishing villages along a 186-mile loop around Cape Breton Island. Today the Cabot Trail connects eight communities with intriguing histories, ranging from the Acadian Region, to Irish and Scottish settlements.

Stopping at the Red Island hiking trail near Indian Brook, where the road makes a turn west, we planted a Cabot Trail letterbox honoring this spectacular highway.
In Baddeck, on the shore of Bras d'Or Lake, we visited the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, where we found two letterboxes and ran into a couple of women from Rhode Island who were searching for the same boxes. 

With our well-ingrained elementary school lessons about Alexander Graham Bell as a famous American inventor, we were surprised to hear that he was Canadian.  In fact, Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and moved to Canada at age 23 with his parents and other family members.  Twelve years later, he became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. but later built an estate near Baddeck, where he spent much of his later life and where he died.

With all his accomplishments, it's no surprise that in addition to Canada and the U.S., Scotland also claims Alexander Graham Bell as a native son.  Some other interesting facts we didn't learn in elementary school:
  • Bell is credited with the invention of the metal detector. Quickly put together in an attempt to find the bullet in the body of assassinated U.S. President James Garfield, the  device worked flawlessly in tests but did not find the assassin's bullet partly because the President was lying on a metal bed frame.

  • Bell was one of the first to develop hydrofoil boats and in 1919 set a marine speed record of 70 miles per hour.

  • The bel (B) and the smaller decibel (dB) are units of measurement of sound intensity invented by Bell Labs and named after him.

  • Upon Bell's death, during his funeral, every phone on the continent of North America was said to be silenced in honor of the man who had developed the means for direct communication at a distance.

  • Bell designed a piano, which, by means of electricity, could transmit its music at a distance.
We enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Yellow Cello Cafe in Baddeck. All the decorations in the cafe are yellow, of course, and some clever art work on the theme was on display. After lunch we were feeling so mellow, we began singing Donovan's song from the sixties, with a new title, of course.
Sticking with the color theme, we made a short visit to a rail museum in Orangedale, where we found another letterbox.  Then we logged the miles to Stellarton, NS, where we're spending the night.  Tomorrow we'll say goodbye to "New Scotland" (Nova Scotia) and briefly say hello again to New Brunswick before making our way to Quebec.

Daily Stats
Miles driven:  199
Letterboxes:  3F (found), 1P (planted)
Gnat & Mosquito Bites Itching:  8 (all on Dianne)
Lotto tickets purchased:  5
Bald eagle sighting:  1 (really!)