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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Shadows and the shore: Cape Breton Island








In 1967, my brother joined the navy. It is purely coincidental that the Royal Canadian Navy is now celebrating its centennial in 2010.
In the 1960s, and perhaps to this day, the navy took boys from the west coast, shaved off their hair, put them in uniform, and sent them to the east coast by train. I was living with my parents in the suburbs and working in Vancouver, so I was the one who went to the train station in the city to wave goodbye to my brother.
It was also a coincidence that there was a red carpet leading out to the train. It certainly wasn't there for Clint Davies, or for any other naval recruit. (The Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, was traveling on the same train. The carpet was for him.)
It wasn't the red carpet that caught my imagination, however. It was the train. I love trains. For almost 40 years after that day, Mom and I talked about what a thrill it would be to cross Canada by train. We intended to do it, we really did, but we kept putting it off for most of those years.
In 2007, Mother died.
This year, wearing Mom's gold watch and Mom's gold ring, I rode a Greyhound bus to Calgary and another Greyhound bus to Edmonton, Alberta, so I could board the first in a series of trains to take me to the east coast of Canada.
One of the places I visited was Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, where I rented a car in the town of Baddeck, and prepared to drive the Cabot Trail. I wanted to drive the whole trail (a long day's drive) but accepted the fact that I might not be able to do it all. I only managed to drive 100km (about 62 miles) before I had to turn back, but the pictures above will give you a glimpse into the beauty that is Canada's Cabot Trail.

Photos by Kay Davies.
Posted for the Shadow Shot Sunday meme.

17 comments:

nana_ang_poppaphil said...

What a beautiful spot, and how cool that you have been able to make this journey.

Ann said...

Would be a very sentimental trip esp when your mum was around to be with you.

In 1977, I left Windsor to return to Borneo, I had a choice to use the train or fly. I flew to San Francisco instead.

Sylvia K said...

Great shadow shots for the day! You do have interesting travel adventures! Hope your weekend is going well!

Sylvia

chubskulit said...

Beautiful photos Kay!

My Shadow Shots

Hey Harriet said...

I love these photos you took on your adventure! Canada looks so very pretty. Enjoy the rest of your weekend :)

Kebeni said...

beautiful post Kay, thanks for sharing

Kay said...

Gorgeous photos, Kay! We were in Nova Scotia several years ago and fell in love with it. We brought home some dulse (dried seaweed) that we gave my brother and he absolutely fell in love with it. We ended up mail ordering more for him.

Kate said...

The shoreline photos with rocks reminds me of both Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. Your journey is both sad and joyful because of the memory of you and your Mother's wish, but how wonderful that you finally did it with her momentos. PS. Thanks for visiting my camera critters post yesterday.

Crafty Gardener said...

We love trains too and a couple of years ago rode the train across Canada to Vancouver (from Toronto). I love your photos of the Cabot Train as that is where we went on our honeymoon 41 years ago. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Ralph said...

A rugged beauty is all about the island. The rocks fortend a rough place, but the blue sky and water don't make it seem so. A beautiful place.

Nice train travel - these days, a couple of plane changes and a ferry ant you are there - alas. The view from a train is more expansive and beautiful. A plane for convenience, the train for scenery...

Francisca said...

A few things in your post resonates today, Kay. First, your mother and the trip together you never took... except that I traveled a LOT with my mother over the years, and I knew last year's road trip with her through Italy and the Balkans would be our last. Second, I've driven across Canada between Ontario and BC at least seven times, but I've not yet taken the train, and have always wanted to. And I've yet to see the east coast, and the Cabot trail is on my list. Nice post, Kay!

anka said...

Such a great scenery, I would love to wander those places sometimes.

Ebie said...

Beautiful Island Kay. I love your adventures and train rides!

Rambling Round said...

Really pretty area. So glad you went there.

ruthi said...

this island looks amazing. looks like there are lots of awesome things to do there.

Linnea said...

What a lovely journey that must have been. I've always wanted to take the train across Canada. I took it across the U.S. once, but that was many years ago, so I hardly remember! Thanks for sharing...

Rambling Woods said...

I am sorry about the loss of your Mother..I'm sure she was with you in spirit...I too have always loved trains....