Miles: 3779 - 3819
Location: Dingwall to Cape North
Weather: Iffy-sun cloud mix with low ceilind of moisture laden big grey clouds
Roadtime: 11:29 am - 7:00 pm
Raven and sea waves
An awsome day. Had studied several maps in preparation, knowing finding the correct access road was crucial to finding our way. Weather looked "iffy" as we climbed into the highlands ( we drove, actually). A dark grey ceiling of clouds, so close you feel you can reach up and touch them, hedged our course.
We parked brave little miata at the communication towers, road clearance and turn around space being a gamble.
From the Canadian Coast Guard tower and hiltop we could see the blue ocean and clearer skies- it seemed a long walk but we embarked for Money Point, eager for a challenge.
We were not disappointed. A long hike along a level hilltop access road followed by a steep descent down a rocky cart path. Steep. From mountain top to sea level over a few hundred feet. We bruised our toes.
But what a reward! Feeling like we were at the end of the world when arriving at the clearing. Grass and low shrub extended gently to a cliff, while the ocean met the rocky shore in active conversation. Spotted a seal playing in the waves. We followed the road and telltale powerline around a bend until we spotted the profile of the Cape North lighthouse . A raven ckan and a pair of eagles appeared to be having a terratory or food squabble.
Fully around this point of land, the landscape became even more dramatic. Towering mountains meeting sea.
The scattering of small sheds and buildings we had expected to see have all burned down to the foundations - only a lighthouse and adjoining building remain intact. Our theory is either no photographer is up to the long hike down, or more likely the older photos are more picturesque and quaint- what the public wants to believe this lonely outpost still looks like. No matter, the cellarholes were fun to explore, and appear to provide some shelter from the wind on cooler days.
Hating to do so, we finally decided to work our way back. We were almost to the steep cart trail when we sighted a black bear halfway up the meadow. It was feeding on berries and turning over rocks for insects. When the bear accidently sent a small boulder tumbling down the hillside, it spotted us. A curious stare and it kept on its way and us ours- in opposite directions. We were thrilled.
As we drove to Dingwall I urged Dave to drive a short way beyond our turn to the Markland. Sure enough, a sign for a campground/oyster bar was all we needed to direct us to the best deal in town. Aspy Bay oysters. Can't get any fresher than this, a small number on the cooler only means the owner-goes down to the river and hauls up more!
All in all a fabulous day where it all came together.