Cape Breton Island

For the next leg of our adventure we took the ferry from PEI to Nova Scotia. It was a relatively quick boat ride, and saved us some drive time. Once we got to Nova Scotia we made our way over the Canso Causeway into Cape Breton.
Here we are, following a lumber truck over the Canso Causeway. It smelled like Christmas.
Welcome to Cape Breton
Atticus studying the plaque closely
What a lovely island! The views on our drive were spectacular. We followed the Cabot Trail and went into the Cape Breton Highlands National Park to do some exploring.
The views took my breath away- and not just because we got to see a moose!
Look you guys- it's Bullwinkle!
I must have taken a million photos as we drove around and stopped at the various look out points. Here are a few of the best:
The natural beauty of this place is so difficult to capture in photos- it's view after view of green valleys, ocean bluffs, scenic villages with lighthouses and farms in equal measure- there's just no way to seize the magnitude of its majesty. I'm so glad I got to experience it firsthand- and I'd definitely like to go back with more time to meander through the park and enjoy all the pristine wildness and magic of the place.

Though by far the loveliest and most serene part of our trip, we did do more than just visit the Cabot Trail. Since Matt's grandfather was a coal miner, we decided to check out the Cape Breton Miner's Museum while we were there. It was so much fun! We got to visit a replica of a typical miner's house, as well as the company store in the village.
Exterior view of a Miner's Home
Living room- check out that yarn swift!

An old time spinning wheel
Piano in the Parlor

The Kitchen area- with a stove powered by coal (of course!)
Inside the Company Store
Some early mining tools
We also got to go on a tour of an actual coal mine and experience the life of a miner firsthand! The tour was led by a retired miner, Sheldon McNeil, and the stories that he shared were fantastic. We even got to wear hard hats and capes. It was so much fun!
Wearing our hard hats!
Down in the mine- we went 1/8 mile underground to be precise
Fred, one of the mine ponies
An underground garden- how cool is that?

We all really enjoyed our time at the Miner's Museum. If you even have the chance, definitely check it out- it was really interesting, and the tour of the mine was one of the coolest things I got to experience on vacation. I even got a souvenir lump of coal to take home! So neat!!!

Well friends, no trip is ever complete without some yarn. I managed to convince Matt to come with me on a pilgrimage to the legendary Baadeck Yarns- bless his heart and his patience. I drove the hour on the winding roadways to the tiny town of Baddeck, taking in the gorgeous views of Bras d'Or Lake.

Baadeck Yarns, like their website says, is a knitter's dream come true! This little shop definitely lives up to the hype that the Yarn Harlot wrote about on her blog. I was so impressed with the vast selection of yarn, especially the local yarns, and the beautiful samples. Pat, the owner, does an excellent job of curating the yarns and notions, and is so friendly and welcoming. I was overwhelmed and overstimulated, and therefore overspent. I couldn't help myself! Behold the glory that is Baadeck Yarns!
I nearly swooned before I even made it in!
The Knitter's Nook (and some local goods)
Opposite side of the Nook, and more goodies- just look at all that Turtle Purl!!!
Be still my beating heart


After seeing these pictures you can imagine how difficult it was for me not to spend my son's inheritance here. I think I did a fantastic job showing restraint in the face of temptation such as this. Seriously. Spending anything less than a mortgage payment would be a resounding success, in my humble opinion. Enough patting myself on the back. Check out the lovelies I got to bring home with me.

See? A totally modest haul. Per my usual modus operandi, I tried to stick to local yarns and dyers. The three top skeins are Hand Maiden, which is produced in Nova Scotia. And all of these were actually specially dyed for Baadeck Yarns. The top two are Casbah Sock a MCN blend in Lupins and Baadeck Pinks. The third skein down is Sea Silk, which is 70% Silk and 30% Seacell, a fiber made from seaweed, in Blueberry Mist. On the bottom is Turtle Purl's Striped Turtle Toes self striping sock yarn in Baadeck Light- another Baadeck exclusive colorway.

I am so lucky I got to add these beauties to my stash. I make sure to pet the Casbah regularly- just to make sure it's as soft as I remember. I can't wait to knit up the Turtle Purl into some super sweet socks! Thanks, exchange rate, for making me feel less like an addict and more like a thrifty shopper.

Only one more leg of our Eastern Canadian tour. Stay tuned for details on our quick trip to Fredericton to see the last of my great Maritime yarn haul.

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