Summer 2015: Cape Breton – The Cabot Trail

Day 21: Ingonish Beach to Baddeck Bay 88km
Wednesday, September 9.
Cloudy with sun bursts. SE wind. 20C.

When we got going today after a chatty breakfast the sky was split in two. One side was stormy grey, the other was sky blue.

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We were eager to get our last big climb underway – Mount Smokey. It started off long and slow, just how we like it.

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After 8km of slow and steady pedaling we reached the top. Climbing Mount Smokey was sort of like climbing out of bed. At first you don’t want to, but once you get up you feel better for doing it. At the top we stopped in the park to celebrate another empowering ascent.

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Next was the descent. The view was breathtaking and we could see a tiny ribbon of road way down below. There was light and shadow on the ocean and just enough sunlight to set off the red, rock cliffs.

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We stopped at several points on the way down to enjoy the scenery and also to cool off our brakes. At the bottom, after half a dozen “S” turns, there was one final hairpin corner. That was Big Smokey.

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The other 68km we pedalled today was another endurance test, into a headwind and with countless other hills and valleys. A few of the highlights were…

Road construction – that was a welcome distraction at the time.

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Stopping to help push a broken down Camper off of the road. In exchange for the push – Mom steered and braked – he agreed to give us a ride if they were fixed before we got to Baddeck. They passed us and stopped about 3km from our final destination. We declined the ride in the end.

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And finally arriving at the Auld Farm B&B on a nice 2km downhill stretch. The place is great. Really friendly hosts, KC the dog, chickens, cookies and a screened in porch where we ate our take-out supper from the Lobster Galley in South Haven.

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We have our feet up in our room now and are pretending to watch TV.

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