I know, your wondering, why Arichat again? We were here a few short weeks ago but it was a short trip. Well, to tell the truth, Arichat and the surrounding area deserves yet another visit as there is a lot to Ilse Madame yet to be discovered. We still have to take a peek at Petit-De-Grat but that will have to wait until our next visit to this area. The reason for this visit is to find a lighthouse that was recommended to me by a friend to search out, oh by the way.... he mentioned to take the low road, something I have never done. Here is our story.
The weather person was calling for 28 degrees and Paula was working so I was home alone... Never a good thing. The last thing out of her mouth was "don't touch any power tools while I am gone". What to to? So! I sent out an email that I was heading to Arichat to seek out the lighthouse and the frequently passed but never driven on.,,. Low Road. The email read that I will be departing our normal spot at 10 sharp if anyone was interested in coming along. There was only one reply, Jean and Joe Ranzi. We gathered at Value Village and at 10 sharp we left. No one else interested in this run I guess, not a problem, away we went. Today we have the Italians and the French representing a British car club. I don't think anyone will notice. Off towards the old #4 we went.
Along the way we stopped by at Joe and Jean's Friends house. Maureen and her friend Maryann were home gardening. Laughing they welcomed us and were pleased that we dropped by, this gave them a reason to take a break from the garden. We chatted for about an hour and I have to say, it sure didn't feel like a hour. This place is so very relaxing and along with the great company this afternoon, I for one was content to stay for a while longer but we had things to do and see. Thanks Maureen for the hospitality. Here's hoping our paths cross again.
Leaving Maureen's, and about another half hour down the road we crossed over Lennox Passage, which by the way use to be crossed my the Lennox Ferry until the bridge was erected in 1919. Then into West Arichat and finally Arichat. On our last visit here I turned down a few side roads along the way just for a look and there was some great scenery. I love seeing different things. Today we passed all that as we had another agenda. Above you see that we are just approaching the Acadian Village of Arichat.
Pretty much everyone continues straight on route 206.... "The High Road", I have done it myself. One can look down at the Low road from here but for some strange reason we seem to take the most direct route. Anyway, I checked Google Maps before I left to see where to turn off, and sure enough, there was the turn off to Veteran's Memorial Dr. ... "The Low Road". I think the British Car Club Of Cape Breton should do up the "what to see in Cape Breton" book as we searched out every nook and cranny of this beautiful Island. Did I say every? Trust me, there is still more to explore. The first two pics are just past the turnoff onto the low Road.
I just checked the Fleur-de-lis trail route and the map says that route 206 is the trail, boy oh boy are you missing some great scenery by not turning off. There should be more signage pointing to the Low Road that leads around the harbour because if you choose not to go down here.. you miss an awful lot of scenery. I think the straightest road here was someone's driveway. Great driving.
We now rounded the Harbour, which by the way is one of the three deepest natural harbours on the eastern seaboard of the North America, and the search for the lighthouse was on . We turned off the Low Road onto Robins Road, passing the Yacht Club and some other great sights. Just look at the house we passed, the picture doesn't due it justice, you have to see it for yourself. We continued down the road and came upon a private man made causeway leading to the last house on the road. Once we figured this was a private driveway we turned around. I am sure the owners didn't want us snooping around. Back along the same route we went, still searching.
Next road to check, Cape Auguet Road. Beautiful windswept rugged coastline. Maybe this doesn't appeal to everyone but myself, Joe and Jean, we sure enjoyed it. The are temperature was to be 29 but the ocean breeze kept us very comfortable. Lets press on shall we.
What the heck is this. Due to the location of Ilse Madame, I am sure this place is ice free, so this structure had to be toppled by winds and tides. We should have made a quick detour to get a better look. Next time.
What a great drive along this road, again it should be a little more publicized, it's beautiful. What is this? The end of the road perhaps? My buddy did say that there was a bit of a dirt road leading to the light house. He said that if dirt roads weren't your thing, the lighthouse is within walking distance and at the end of the pavement you can see the lighthouse.
There it is! The road doesn't look very promising and the distance to the lighthouse is a little far for walking today so I asked Joe and Jean if they were up for a little off roading. Why not was his reply. If we take it slow we will be fine. My B has a few inches on the old Bugeye so I blazed the trail. If I hung up, there was no way the Bugeye was getting through. Slow and steady we drove on.
Oh man doesn't this look great, and dangerous. Barely moving and believe it or not, using extreme caution we are not even bottoming out. our goal is not far from us now.
We didn't quite make it. The stream that crossed the road wasn't deep but there was a couple of large rocks that we would need to be very leery of. Also the road beyond this point was in even worse shape then the first part... if that was possible. As Joe and I accessed that situation, good ole Jean was off on her own adventure.
Yes, we abandoned our cars in this windswept wasteland. There was no one around for a fair distance so we knew all would be well. There were however many screeching birds flying overhead, maybe they had nests nearby.
With Jean blazing the trail before us, wearing a hat so no birds drop anything on her head, we are mere meters away from our destination. My buddy did say that this place was once as nice a Peggy's Cove, It fell very short from that description but I think a few dollar should be invested here. The way navigational technology is going, scenes such as this are fast disappearing. I feel that lighthouses should be saved and maybe become a heritage buildings. What's a few dollars from Parks Canada to developed this area. Joe snapped this next photo of me with the jagged shoreline behind me. Might be nice in a storm.
Nice picture of Jean at the shoreline just below the Lighthouse, while Joe had to go off on his own climbing to the top of a little peninsula that jutted out into the harbour, just below the Lighthouse.
We made it! As you can see the Lighthouse is in very good shape, someone is looking after it but the surrounding grounds aren't fit. The grass is truly waste deep and pretty difficult to navigate through. Good ole Joe and Jean inspected the old Lighthouse, Jean even checked the door.
In loving Memory of Harry and Bernadette Leblanc. Last Lighthouse Keeper 1970. I looked on the internet for a little history of this lighthouse but I couldn't find any. I did find plenty on The Green Island Lighthouse but for some reason very little about The Cape Auget Lighthouse, or Cape Auguet Lighthouse as there is a bit of a spelling issue between articles I read and what Google Maps call this place. We had seen what we wanted and there is now another check on the BCCCB / Cape Breton Map to show places we had been. Time to negotiate the cow path back to the main road.
One inch at a time we drove, very cautious avoiding any obstructions along our way. I was surprised by the bugeye, it handles this road very well. If you look closely. the weeds are just under Jean's elbow.
Great Scott! What a thing to do to these cars. I best be careful, I am sure for every scratch I put on Paula's $2000.oo paint job she will put one on me. I have a feeling the scratches on me will be deeper. She is very proud of her car.
Back on the main road, thank heavens, now to find a place to eat and something cold to drink. We're now back on the Low Road and I see that there are almost no places to eat but driving past the old buildings that lined the road made to forget about the rumble in your belly. Looking around one can almost feel the history.
Once again Shirley's Spud Wagon to the rescue. we had great food here the last time and service was quick, so why not try it again. Maybe it's good old BCCCB timing or we just attract people but when we arrived there was nobody in the p-lot, we walked up to the window and ordered our food. Within moments a car rolled in and started taking pictures of the cars and before she left there were another four of five cars and the place became quite busy. I like to think that it's us who attract customers to places we visit. I must take note on our next outing. Now we're leaving Arichat behind us, it was time to get home. I told Paula we would go swimming after she got off work, time is short, I am not going to make it. Maybe she will get tied up at work for 30 minutes I thought.
She was home waiting when I got there, all was well. I told her of our day and she had wished she went along. Work always gets in the way but a necessary evil it is. Anyway it was a hot day but the costal breeze of Arichat made it a very pleasant day. Stopping off at Maureen's beautiful house along the way was a treat. My heavens what a nice lady and the house and view is amazing. I am hoping the lottery comes my way to purchase that amazing place. It's for sale you know. Traveling with Joe and jean is always a pleasure. I learn more about these two every time I spend time with them. Joe has had more life experiences that I could ever dream of. Folks, this was one amazing day. You know how it goes. If you weren't there you missed it. Come along next time.