Summer 2015: Cape Breton – The Cabot Trail

Day 20: Pleasant Bay to Ingonish Beach 76km
Tuesday, September 8.
Fog, scotch mist and heavy drizzle. 20C.


We were psyched for climbing North Mountain (457m) today and the weather was perfect for it. Although it was wet, the temperature was much cooler than yesterday.

Before our ascent began we stopped for a short walk at Lone Shiel where there is an old growth hardwood forest…


And an old croft used for shelter by exiled Scottish settlers.


Then our climb began. 4km of 13% grade took us nearly an hour to climb.


At the top we were in the clouds…


And then the descent was 13% for 5km and we squeezed our brakes the whole way down. We passed several other cyclists on their way up and yelled encouragement at them.


We kept stopping to change clothes as the precipitation started and stopped and depending on whether or not we were climbing or descending.
We arrived in Cape North and picked up a few things for lunch from the grumpy people store. Leaving Cape North we were surprised at another climb – South Mountain.

This ascent was only an 8% grade for 4km. After we reached the summit we almost coasted down the other side for what seemed like 10km. Then we reached Neil’s Harbour.


There was one last gentle climb between there and Ingonish, but by this point we could handle just about anything. We met another cyclist traveling our direction and after chatting for a bit had him follow for awhile. We stopped again for another break and watched the waves of the Atlantic pound the coastline.


We found a small grocery store to purchase our supper and then carried our food the final few more to our place in Ingonish Beach. After a short walk to the bakery we were home for supper in our room by 7 pm. We are both pretty tired now and ready for bed.


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