The next chapter in our life together

Cape Breton Reflections

5 days is not enough to do justice to this magical isle at the northern and eastern most part of Nova Scotia but we gave it a good shot. Highlights for me were the 3 hikes, one on each coast observing the lobstering near the coast and the extreme cliff drop offs, bird life (seagulls, cormorants mostly) and similarities to both New Zealand (ocean culture) and rainforest like forests with ferns, heavy undergrowth, Japanese Bamboo without the humidity of Borneo.

Squeezing in 15 holes on Highland Golf Course designed by Stanley Thompson (my Dad’s name) at sunset and then watching the heart of Canadians broken with their Game 7 loss in the Stanley Cup Finals. Hockey at the end of June?  With Florida winning the title?  Maurice Richard is groaning in his grave.

We did not go kayaking or whale watching but hopefully planted lots of climate conversation seeds with our Simple Steps handouts and renewed awareness on how little the average person talks about climate change. We learned at the CCL conference that Climate is 12th on the list of reasons to vote in the 2024 election. Looking forward to passing out the “Talk About Climate Change” caps that I’m bringing back for our CCL and ECA warriors to encourage a deeper level of infusion into the current culture. This election season promises many surprises…..thanks Joe for your service, time to mentor the next leaders and step aside….my fervent prayer to the Democratic Party. Just heard that Angie Craig is the latest MoC (member of Congress) to politely request Joe to step aside. I’m asking YOU to step up and speak up on what matters to you outside of your comfort zone.

Back to the EVenture…The Whale museum in Pleasant Bay is worth a visit, they are doing a lot of good education of protecting our oceans and their largest residents. The sperm whale brain is 20 times larger than the human brain, can dive over 3,000 feet deep and hold their breath for over 2 hours. Try one minute.

Heading on I saw a sign “Gompa Monastary 9 km” another “next time” visit to see where Pema Chodron, a wonderful Buddhist teacher lives. Instead we had our ‘bog walk’ on the top of the Cape Breton plateau with amazing views of the coast line and the famous Cabot Trail that guided our journey around Cape Breton. Cheticamp was our last night’s stay on Cape Breton. A tourist haven with French Bakery, music venues, light house tour and Mindy’s fav; learning about the art of hooking, making rugs, portraits and scenes. See photos of the museum and Lola’s Hooker shop. Another sad story of a rich cultural tradition dying from loss of practitioners.

Early morning coffee with John Begin and his fair trade Sea Wolf coffee shop and crossed the Canso causeway to the mainland of Nova Scotia.

– Paul


We had one more day to explore the tides in the Bay of Fundy – the highest tides in the world – which we decided to do along the Minas Basin.  It was a rainy morning, but we decided we wouldn’t let that stop us.  No such thing as bad weather only bad equipment.  Unfortunately our equipment failed to meet our expectations with disastrous results for Paul’s phone and our good camera.  Though both were “protected” in our raincoat pockets, those pockets leaked leaving internal puddles of water that ruined both of these electronics.  Unfortunately that memory distracts from the great interpretive trail we found that follows some of the archeological evidence found of the early indigenous inhabitants of Nova Scotia.

We carried on and the weather did clear to cooperate somewhat – at least the pouring rain had stopped though visibility continued to be limited.  I did get my chance to walk on the ocean floor at low tide – such an amazing experience to watch how quickly the tide was rising with every wave.  One has to pay careful attention to the tide timetables and water levels so as to to get caught unaware in rapidly rising water, but when well informed it is magical and powerful.  Our exploration continued and included Five Islands Lighthouse lookout and Cape d’Or until we found a local campground for the night.  The next morning we squeezed in just a bit more experience of the tides of Fundy before saying goodbye to Nova Scotia and heading inland.  I found myself strangely emotional to leave.  Was it the pull of the tides?  Or the winding down of our vacation time?  Who knows, but we took one last chance to say thank you to the waters and people of Nova Scotia before moving on.

– Mindy

1 Comment

  1. Paul Thompson

    great photos

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