This hike was inspired by several things: Our own fascinaton with cartography, a suggestion from someone on the Internet, and an on-line article in Outdoor Nova Scotia (Take a Walk on the Wild Side by Kevin MacDonald).
Our wandering today was outside the national park and most likely took us across private property (although most is Crown land). A short drive down Red River Rd. - (The road in was being graded and hardly finished. ) The going was rough as it took us past Gampo Abbey-where a Buddist retreat was in progress-so we feel obligated to remind anyone following our tracks to be respectfull of the quiet, solitude and trail.
After passing the abbey, the road improved and came to an obvious end and small turn-around before a bright yellow camp cottage. The path began from here and was easy to follow. The ascent was gradual until we crossed a gate and the second stream. The path narrowed, the footing was irregular over rocks and roots and had a steep drop down a heavily wooded slope. We did not have a coastal view until we climbed .some. Moose droppings were everywhere, we guessed this was quite the highway for them. Sunlight filtered through the birch, maple and fir trees.
Noticed a ''fresh'' smell and wet cow patties. Wondered what in a moose's diet would account for the change from nuggets to patties. The strong and recent evidence made us some nervous- if there was a cow and her calf nearby we'd need to be cautious. The path opened up to a large sloped meadow, well grazed, right to the precipitous drop to the surf. And the smell...like a barnyard. We wandered all over, each new dale producing another photo opportunity. As we neared the 4th stream along our route we spotted the culprits for the manure at the end of Ca pe Breton, cattle! Mystery solved. This little bit of private land is being put into current use by cows of te domestic variety. The amazing thing is each one had to be led along the same trail we took to get here. Possible,yes, but how do they motivate them. Summer pastures-great views? Fraternize with moose?
The afternoon was getting on, we turned back and reveled in the remains of this outstanding day.