Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Our Pick Up Truck

Canadian Dream - Revisited

We thought we'd try something new. Nova Scotia is a big province and to make the most of our time there we decided to hire, what Brits call a camper van and North Americans call a RV. This is our little baby, a skip chained to a Ford pick-up truck, but it was great fun.

We trundled up to Cape Breton to experience the famous Cabot Trail. We found our first well positioned and well equipped camping spot at MacLeod's, situated between Inverness and Dunvegan. Cape Breton was weird for us because all the place names are identical to those in Scotland and all the road signs are in Gaelic, as they are in the Highlands here.

The highlights of Cape Breton were;

The freedom of the camper van. It was fantastic to pull off the road to admire stunning views of crashing waves and snaking roads, put the kettle on and grab a ring side seat for lunch.

Meat Cove; This neat little community sits on the Northern tip of Cape Breton. The road is windy, steep and rough in places, and at times our trusty pick-up lurched and groaned, but despite the protests we made it.

Four Mile Beach, begins at SugarLoaf, Cabot's Landing, where John Cabot landed and discovered North America. This thin stretch of land forms a pristine beach, embracing the calmer East Coast Atlantic waves.

Hideaway Campsite, Dingwall. Along side MacLeod's this was one of the best campsites we stopped at. As the name suggests this site is sheltered within a wood, but its raised position awarded us spectacular views toward the Atlantic. As with all the sites we visited the facilities are clean and adequate.

The National Park. Cape Breton National Park maintains the environment around the Cape Breton Highlands. Like Kejimkujik Park, they have designated walks for tourists to tramp.

At the visitor centre we were warned of the high moose population. We thought, like the red deer in Scotland, the moose may be observed from a safe distance. Not so. In the park we had four encounters with moose on the Skyline Trail. One moose, having a grand feed on the trial, refused to move at our approach. We tried to skirt round her, but she began to look agitated, so we make a swift retreat. These beasts are huge and not to be messed with.

One night there was a fierce storm and our wee home morphed into a rollicking boat. Although it was a surreal experience I felt secure chained down to the sturdy truck.


From pick-up to classic

My brother Mike loves everything American. The music , the country, the people. Unlike me he has no need to pour over an atlas to find his holiday destination, the US is large enough for a lifetime of holidays.

His over-riding love is American cars. Ever since I was a wee lassie with skint knees and a pony-tail I have been aware of Mike's obsession. Now being in need of big toys he can indulge himself.

He recently sent me this rare shot of his current car and his previous car separated by the yellow car. They are all General Motors F-bodies: his old Chevrolet Camaro 3rd generation ‘80s, the yellow Pontiac Transam 2nd generation ‘70s and his current Pontiac Firebird 4th generation ‘90s. His ambition now is to become a real redneck.

Mike has agreed to become a guest blogger on this site, so look out for more 'Redneck News'

PS. Look out for ET in this photo!

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