As we turn off the 105 onto the Cabot Trail, the fog lifts and we see the first patches of blue sky. In five minutes, it’s clear and we’re picking up speed. It’s Sunday morning. R says, “In this church we pray for good roads and sun,” so it appears that someone has been up early at mass. And because it’s Sunday morning, there’s hardly anyone else on the road. In fact, through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, we neither come up behind any other vehicles, nor does anyone pass the group when we all stop at a lookout for photos. There simply isn’t anyone else out here. There’s a hare and a little later a chipmunk but these cars are loud so they have plenty of warning. I’m watching for moose because I know that they’re our biggest hazzard today but they’re likely warned away by the engines too. It sounds like the apocalypse has come to town and though moose are stubborn and have been known to hunt and then attack cars, they’d have to be in a really bad mood to seek us out.
The drive is technical–lots of sharp turns and twists. Just past Indian Brooke, there’s a hairpin turn that sends us up the side of a mountain through a series of winding turns and though I don’t like to talk to S when he has to concentrate so much, I look at him and say, “You’re having fun right now, aren’t you?” and the grin on his face is all I need.
Most people come here to camp and hike or to cycle this spectacular road. I’m getting the scenery at a quicker pace than most. Some people will later say that good memories are a bit of a blur. In this case, my memories are starting out as a bit of a blur because the scenery is going by about three times faster than it does for most people, but there’s still time for me to be awed by the landscape of the Cape Breton Highlands and time to catch my breath after I gasp when we come around a bend and see a long open stretch of road.