However, it will be some time before I pull that creative effort together - even a modest travelogue takes weeks of stolen moments to develop, and I have something very different in mind for this year, with no idea how long it will take me to accomplish. There's no sense (or fun! or challenge!) in me writing successive headspace travelogues about the same place unless I'm seriously pushing the creative envelope each time I do it, is there?
Therefore, while that effort is pending, I thought I would sift out a few of the more family-oriented trip photos and post them here.
Cayley leaps triumphantly on Dominion Beach. With the ever-controversial Lingan thermal generating station as its backdrop, it may seem an unusual choice as a beach destination, but I spent much of my childhood here, and there's much metaphorical mileage in the intense man vs. nature gaunlet that this place represents (as well as quavering under the hulking shadow of this industrial behemoth, this beach just re-opened for the first time in years after being closed because of pollution from untreated sewage).
After discovering Inukshuks on a beach near Ingonish in 2008, Cayley and I thought we'd try our hand at constructing our own. It's harder than it looks and we concluded that we weren't very good at it. For this reason, we referred to our own efforts "Inuk-sucks".
There's nothing like a good pizza after a day at the beach, especially when it's from Napoli Pizzeria in Sydney Nova Scotia, which my Dad has been patronizing exclusively since before I was born. NOTE that there are THREE THICK LAYERS OF PEPPERONI underlying the cheese and veggie toppings - this provides a clue as to why this family micro-business has over 2,000 Facebook fans around the world who write loving Wall messages bemoaning the fact that they can't order delivery in, for instance, Azerbaijan. It is a constant source of frustration to us that the only pizza available through most of the United States is the cheap inedible cardboard kind for which the sole marketing goal is a $9.99 pricepoint. You can't pay more money for better pizza here - I don't know why.
Cayley's favorite thing to do in Cape Breton is to visit its many spectacular beaches. We had fun taking Kathy's daughter's labrador retriever named Brewer along on one trip to Mira Gut. They don't call these dogs "retrievers" fer nuthin'... that dog would rather die than stop retrieving!
Cayley enjoyed chasing herring gulls more than Brew did...
My travel theme this year ran toward creative construction, as reflected by man's novel interaction with the rest of Nature, and I have been influenced in part by sculptor Andy Goldsworthy (in contrast, Long Journey Chapter 1 focused on exploration and Long Journey Chapter 2 was more concerned with interpretation). I'm reserving most of that headspace for Chapter 3, but here's a pic of one of our artworks... this was built by all three of us but conceived and initiated by Lawrence who, being an engineer, tends to be rather literal in his interpretation of art (but it's no less enchanting as a result!).
We traveled to Ingonish again this year for the second week of the vacation, and widened our appreciation for its wild beaches.
"This is the most beautiful place I've ever seen!" Cayley exclaimed, and we returned to Kings Point beach over and over again.
Sea life teemed around those sheltered granite outcroppings, putting on a show unrivaled by anything on Discovery Channel (that's Lawrence out there on the far rock, and Ingonish Island visible in the distance).
We also hiked to lofty places, including the famous Skyline trail. I had waited until this trip to subject Cayley to its 7 kilometer length.
Lawrence and I ascended to the tops of Broad Cove Mountain (a short hike, pictured below) and Franey (a bit more exercise!).
For the record, here's an actual picture of yours truly that was taken on this trip! I'm the one behind the lens, so I'm almost never seen in the grinning postcard position!
Well, that's it for now! Be on the lookout for Long Journey Chapter 3!