Located in the NE corner of mainland Nova Scotia, Canso is of historic importance and is the location of a Parks Canada National Historic Site. We knew the National Park Site closed at the end of August, and our neighbours at the campground reported Canso to be little more than a run down fishing village, regardless, we decided to take the scenic drive. The drive was scenic, the roads were generally in fairly poor condition and our neighbour’s impression of Canso was accurate, but we had a great time, with the dogs enjoying their time at a beach.
We set off about mid morning planning to take the longer route along Hwy 344 to Canso, rather than the shorter option of Hwy 16. Hwy 344 runs along the inlet between Nova Scotia mainland and Cape Breton, so we figured it would be more scenic. It is in fact quite similar to the roads we drove yesterday with single houses dotted along the road in clearings. While it headed inland at times, we did get some great ocean views.
Port Shoreham Provincial Park
Driving along and we spotted a sign for Port Shoreham Provincial Park, so off we hurtled down a short gravel road. The beach was a mix of course sand and gravel, was long, sheltered and had a few houses on the shore. Miles from nowhere it was quiet and peaceful. With only one other couple we let the dogs off leash and Duke immediately found a large stick, or probably more accurate description is a small tree.
Here he is bringing it back out of the water after swimming out to retrieve it. Kona, as usual was pacing up and down the edge of the water, up to her belly. Big improvement for a dog that 6 months ago wouldn’t even walk into the water. We threw it out a couple of times for Duke to retrieve, and Kona waits until he gets back to shore and then steals the stick.
The next time we throw the stick out in the water, Duke is swimming at his usual sedate pace, when boom, Kona launches her self into the water, with paws flailing wildly as she literally blows past Duke and reaches the stick first. This is the first time she has even tried swimming.
Wow, that’s impressive, but poor Duke is upstaged by yet another German Shepherd. Here is Kona proudly demonstrating her new found skill.
The last photograph is Kona proudly displaying the spoils of her new found skill. She carried it along the beach and back to the truck.
Driving through the small town of Guysborough we spotted a bakery with an empty parking spot on the street, so we pulled over and went in for a look. Bonus, they even have a restaurant, so we stopped for lunch. Excellent choice, great home style cooking in a very relaxed atmosphere. Andy had the Seafood Chowder, which was piping hot and tasty, and Judi – bacon & eggs with toast. Food was good and filling, so we resisted the temptation to try a desert.
Shortly after lunch we were driving through Queensport and noticed a small island offshore with a lighthouse on it and a layby with some information signs. Who would have thought that the information boards were tied to a church we visited in Scotland about 2 months ago. Wow, what a small world.
When over in UK, we stayed with an old friend of Andy’s from their deep sea days and they suggested checking out the Rosslyn Chapel in Penicuik. While touring the church, which dates from the 1400’s, we noticed some of the carvings in the stone contained ears of corn, which we believe were not grown in UK. We had always wondered where the corn came from, but were never able to rationalise it until today, when we read the signs.
The signs discussed the journey of Prince Henry Sinclair in 1398, who sailed from Scotland to Nova Scotia. This is the same family name that built the church at Rosslyn about 60 years after his arrival in Nova Scotia. It is also about 100 years before Columbus. He obviously returned corn or maize to Scotland, which solves our mystery of 2 months ago.
This is the Rook Island Lighthouse in Queensport, still a functioning light, but automated in 1967. The information board is informative and lists the names and service of each of the keepers. It also mentions a story from one of the lighthouse keepers with a young school age son, who every day rowed across to the mainland and back himself, to get to school. Quite a feat from a young lad.
A wide angle photograph of Queensport Bay
We then continued out to Canso, but it really is a slowing dying village, so after a quick drive around we headed back to the coast road. Planning to head South on the coast to enjoy the scenery, we gave up at the first exit, as the roads are dreadful. Even with air in the bags the ride was super uncomfortable.
Giving up on the scenery we took the direct route back to the campground.