“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.” – Hugh Laurie
I love Hugh Laurie’s quote, it speaks to all of the times I sat there and wondered, “am I ready to do this?”. I think the majority of us do that, but I find now that as days pass so quickly I know in my heart that my best course of action is to take those steps forward and do it. If it’s something you dream about, something that is a passion in your heart, something that you hope to do someday-make today that someday. You really never know how many more tomorrows you have, make the most of the present moment.
When we were planning our trip to the Maritimes we didn’t know anything about Cape Breton. That is until I started getting the Visitor Information from the web sites I had contacted. When I saw the gorgeous pictures in the brochures and catalog I knew we had to put this at the top of our list. This was a place that couldn’t be put on the “someday” list. And when a good friend of mine said: ” You are doing the Cabot Trail, aren’t you ?”, it was a done deal.
This time last year we were heading for the Canadian Maritimes. It seems like a dream. We loved the Maritimes and we loved Newfoundland and Labrador. If you are even thinking about doing this trip, I highly recommend that you go !
The last time I blogged about our Canadian trip we had just left the area of Port George and Dawson the beautiful draft horse. We were heading towards Cape Breton and the Cabot Trail. We were unsure of what direction to take once we came to the fork in the road at the Visitor Center in Port Hastings,Nova Scotia.
The flow of traffic directed our choice. It was a beautiful sunny day and everyone was heading up Highway 105, the East Side access to Cape Breton. So of course we took the road that appeared less traveled and that was Highway 19 up the West Side of Cape Breton.
Our first experience was on the Ceilidh Trail,considered Canada’s musical coast. It was a beautiful drive and it’s where we discovered that boon-docking at fishing wharfs rocks ! You are on the water and the wharfs are pretty much deserted during the day and night. Most of the activity occurs between 3 AM and 5 AM and about 4 PM. Our experience has always been that Canadian fishermen are very very quiet ! We never heard them during those early morning hours. Our friend Yvette had suggested to us that wharfs were very good boon docking spots and she certainly was right. We just followed the signs-this one outside of Mabou pointed to a beautiful wharf for boon docking.
Our boon-docking site at the Marysville Wharf, just north of Judique.. Click here for a map
We stayed here for two days, met some really nice local fishermen and then sadly left and moved north up the coast. As we were heading up the coast we made the decision to stop at Inverness. I had read about MacLeods Campground on someone’s blog and it sounded and looked like a great place to stay. The road into the campground is gravel and then at the end it turns into the campground. You end up on the hill overlooking the campground and the sea. It’s beautiful, then our practical side came into play, and we both thought this isn’t the type of campground at the top of our list. Side by side RV’s and a little hike to the beach. But we were tired and figured we would stay one night,shower and do laundry and move along.
After we settled in we took a walk down to the beach. Our best decision of the day, because as we were walking, we ran into a group of campers who were in the area below the hillside. We spent the rest of the afternoon talking to them, playing with the dogs and learning that where they were camped were the best spots of the campground. So after scouting out a new site,we headed back to the office , and booked a few more days at our new site !
While camped here we looked over our maps and decided to take a little detour before we got to our next campsite. We originally planned on heading to a campsite on the Cape Breton Trail, but Jim being an ardent fly-fisherman, decided we should explore the Margaree River and the Margaree Valley area. So when it came time to leave MacLeods we headed a little north and took Route 19 on the Cabot Trail. We were headed to a restaurant some road workers had spoken very highly of: The Dancing Goat.
Once we had our bellies full from lunch, Jim wanted to find a fly fishing shop to get the local scoop on fishing. We had passed a place called The Tying Scotsman so we headed back that way. It’s easy to find right off of Route 19. We met the fabulous owner, Alex Breckenridge. Jim asked Alex for recommendations on where to fish and he said let me put you touch with someone who can take you around. He made a quick call, put Jim on the phone, and Jim made arrangements with Patrick (the fisherman on the other end of the phone) to meet up at The Tying Scotsman the next day and Patrick would show him the ropes so to speak. Show him the ropes was understatement, again that wonderful Canadian hospitality kicked into high gear.
Patrick spent the entire day taking Jim around to all of his favorite fishing holes-unbelievable. Jim went fishing the next day , a few bites, but still no Atlantic Salmon. On our final day we stopped by to say good bye to Alex (Jim picked up a new rod, of course) and we went in search of Patrick’s cabin along the river to say our goodbyes. We caught up with Patrick at a gorgeous cabin on the Margaree River (Jim was in heaven ). He showed us around the cabin and he and Jim went down to the river. Two huge Atlantic Salmon jumped in the air directly in front of Jim, as if to say, catch us if you can. The salmon had their day but the fishermen didn’t. Jim and I left with a bittersweet sadness. So happy that we had met and connected with both Alex and Patrick. So sad to leave friends we won’t forget.
The incredibly beautiful Margaree River and the Margaree Valley-worth the detour.
It was still early in the afternoon when we said our goodbyes to Patrick so we decided to make a beach stop and fuel stop in Inverness. It meant we would back track 10 miles but it’s the beach what’s 10 miles ?
Make sure you stop and enjoy this beautiful , walk for endless miles,sandy beach. The boardwalk follows the beach and the golf course.
While at the beach we took a look at the map and we spotted a wharf at Margaree Harbor and figured that could be a good boon docking spot for the evening, then we could take off fresh in the morning for the Cabot Trail. We took the scenic Route 219 in the general direction of Margaree Harbor.
It was a gorgeous day, we made a random stop at a cemetery turn off that was incredible. It sat at the very top of a hill that had a 180 degree view of the sea,just breathtaking. We were slightly tempted to try and boon dock there, but the cemetery boon docking gave me the heebie jeebies , so we continued up the road.
We arrived at the site and out of courtesy we went into Laurence’s Grocery Store and asked if it was okay to stay overnight. The welcomed us with that outstanding Canadian hospitality. It was a beautiful spot-and early in the evening there was a party across the cove and we listened to the music into the night. We walked along the beach, enjoyed the wild roses and the ancient wooden lighthouse. Perfect boon docking under the stars.
Margaree Harbor Boon-docking, doesn’t get much better than this.
We felt so blessed that we had enjoyed such beauty in the Margaree Valley and met such wonderful people. I wish you the same while you are on the road, good friends, good food, and incredible beauty. Happy trails and safe travels.