FIRST FALL TOUR
The forecast was calling for great top- down driving weather on Sunday and Don suggested a run to Baddeck and evirons with a lunch stop at Charlene’s in Whycocomagh.
There are a number of reviews written about Charlene’s on the internet and the reviewers all agreed the seafood chowder was the best they ever tasted. Charlene’s restaurant is featured on the Food Channel network program “You Gotta Eat Here” .
The meeting time for the run was set for 10:30 A.M. at the old Value Village parking lot in Sydney River.
No sooner had I given the little blue Sunbeam a quick dust-off and backed it out of the garage into the bright, warm, morning sunshine when I head …“splat, splat!” TWO DIRECT HITS on the shiny, blue trunk. In the English language it’s called an “omen”, in Italian it’s known as “il segno di dio” (loosely translated “a sign from above”). In Cape Breton it’s simply referred to as “those friggin’ seagulls”.
As I was cleaning and re-polishing the trunk, I’m positive I saw the little yellow “bugeye” smiling. It was probably thinking, “home alone again”, and muttering to itself…. “ take that Mr. Sunbeam”. As we headed for the rendezvous point I was hoping the “omen” wasn’t a sign of more misadventure on such a glorious autumn day.
The Renzi’s loaded some flower plants in the back of the Sunbeam. Joe told some people because they don’t have kids they take the plants for a drive. Really they were gifts for relatives in Baddeck and were the first to arrive at the Value Village parking lot. Within a few minutes, we saw a glistening burgundy-colored MGB turning onto the shopping-center entrance drive. Jean said “that’s sure is a nice color, who is it?” I squinted past the sun shining off the arriving MGB and …”hey, it’s Jennifer and Alton!” Then Don arrived a few minutes later and followed shortly after by Sheila and Lee.
Prior to departing the parking lot, a few car lovers asked if they could take photos of our cars and we readily obliged. It is always a good feeling when folks ask to do this. I thought to myself, “seagulls be damned, this is turning out to be a great day!”
When it was decided no other club members would be arriving we headed off towards North Sydney. At Leitches Creek, we exited onto Seaview Drive and drove along the shore road.
A beautiful photo of the memorial to the crews who conducted anti-submarine and rescue patrols from the seaplane base here in North Sydney during WW2. This is a replica of a Catalina aircraft that flew such patrols. Nothing but blue sky and sunshine today
We scored the main drag in North Sydney before heading to Little Bras D’Or via the scenic Johnson Road. If you aren’t aware of it, there a lot of beautiful properties along this drive worth seeing, with more being built.
Climbing Kelly’s Mountain we were surprised to see a vintage Morris Minor sedan running ahead of us. We recognized the car as the one that joined a previous club outing at Ricky and Sharon Cousins’ cabin in Groves Point. We all tooted, and waved at each other. That great looking Morris turned off the main highway and head towards Englishtown .
We parked on the busy main street in the Village of Baddeck where our fine looking cars quickly became the center of attention. There were tour buses in town carrying cruise ship passengers from Sydney and it wasn’t long before they had their cameras focused in our direction.
While talking with the admirers our group took advantage of checking out the fine goods in the local shops. Sandi and Peter arrived in their classy and very shiny red XJS. We took this opportunity to go down to the waterfront for a few photos.
It was a picture perfect day. The water looked inviting enough that I almost felt like taking a plunge. No trunks, so no dice.
This is a great photo of Lee having a heated discussion with Mabel and Alex. I believe they were trying to agree on how the next invention should proceed.
Max and 99 had to leave the group at this time to attend a birthday luncheon and celebration with relatives in rear Baddeck. The convoy headed towards the Trans Canada for lunch at Charlene’s in Whycocomagh.
The traffic on the highway was not too bad and we arrived at Charlene’s about 20 minutes later. I lied and told Alton and Jennifer that it was only about 15 minutes away. Hey, it was their first run of the year and I did not want them to feel they were going on a long vacation drive. The parking lot at Charlene’s was full and I was afraid getting a seat would be a problem. We walked in through the front door, which by the way is the kitchen entrance not the public entrance. We were promptly seated at a table big enough for our little group of 7.
I have to say, no one had any complaints about the quality or the quantity of the food and the price was excellent. Alton had chowder and it was full of seafood. I think it was $9.95. My haddock dinner, complete with fresh carrots, broccoli, mashed potatoes, coffee and blueberry pie was only $18.00. Everything was great.
Just as were leaving, lo and behold a bright green “B’ with an adventurous young couple pulled into the parking lot. Alfred and Donna advised they were just coming from the distillery at Glenora and they were going to stop and savour some of the delicious food at Charlene’s.
Well this was the departure point for all. Sheila and Lee went around through Iona, Peter and Sandi headed home, Alton and Jennifer had other business and they went on their merry way. I, the solo person in the group headed towards home but had to make a stop at the Cedar house for a piece of chocolate cake,
As Lonnie always says, “If you weren’t there you missed it. Hopefully you will be able to join in on the next run around this beautiful island.”
Photos by Agent 86 and Agent 44