Beating the Heat with Waterfall Fun

The past few days we've been escaping the heat at two waterfalls in the area, Henderson Falls and Wallace Falls.  Both are quite different from each other, but have their own types of fun.  The first day of three, we headed to Wallace Falls and enjoyed the warm water.

 

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Yesterday, we went with our cousin visitors to Henderson Falls.  All the kids enjoyed climbing on the two sets of falls.


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Here's Abby imitating a porpoise! 

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The group at Henderson Falls!  


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Rebecca was climbing a bit around the lower falls.


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Today, we ended up back at Wallace Falls.  The group was enjoying the water underneath the lower falls.


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The group at the upper falls.  Very relaxing apparently!


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The both times we were there, there were quite a few 'young' adults jumping off the falls.  Some were jumping off from the cliffs off to the right of this photo (Crazy!).  Wanting for my 'young adult' days, I had to try it out myself from the centre of the falls.

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Rebecca made the leap, literally!  In this photo, first she tried jumping from a lower ledge. 


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Following that, she jumped from the same ledge as I did earlier.  We were amazed at her courage!

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We just caught her in the photo before she hit the water.  There was a quite a bunch of people watching her on the ledge.  She was hesitant from the higher ledge for a while and said a few times, I don't know Dad.  Then all of sudden she jumped! We all laughed as we couldn't believe she jumped from the same spot as all the adults had.  

 


Catching up on Summer Two

 

 

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Here's a continuation of our summer photos! (See the first post here.) Above we see Rebecca playing with some of the chickens that Grampa sells at the store.  He receives orders and a couple times a year distributes baby chicks for growing!  Naturally, the girls love them.


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Sporting the boogie board!  They loved heading out into the water in the waves of Inverness Beach.

Below you see Sheena relaxing at one of the scenic points on the Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Highlands National Park.  Her and her cousin Karen took a camping trip and explored the areas of northern Cape Breton.  One of their hikes was to Fishing Cove, a popular destination for backpackers as well.


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Sheena took this photo of the view from Jumping Mouse Campground, near Bay St. Lawrence and north of Cape North.  Both her and Karen highly recommended this spot for camping outside the national park.
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On one of the cooler wet days in Brook Village (where we couldn't go to the beach), we took the girls to the Louisbourg National Historic site in eastern Cape Breton.  Fortress Louisbourg is a restoration of an 18th century French fortification.  There are actors that portray roles in costume and really make it interesting for those visiting.  

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Here's the entrance to the Fortress.  Shortly before passing this gate, we were interrogated by the guard to make sure we weren't English subjects acting as spies or smuggling weapons.


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The girls even had a chance to dress up in period costume.  This particular house was for a lord, where servants kept up with the house work and cooking.  It was neat to see how many layers of clothes they had to put on.  Clothes had to be warm in the 18th century with the wind and storms of the Louisbourg area!


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Louisbourg residents even had animals that they had to tend to, including sheep.  One of the residents let us feed the sheep some tasty weeds from a garden nearby.  


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It appeared that most visitors to Louisbourg visit the fortress itself, but what we found was there were beaches that were also part of the historic site.  These seemed little visited and were absolutely beautiful.  We walked the soft sand and explored for a while.  Rebecca didn't seem to mind the frigid Atlantic water.


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A fun day exploring the fortress requires a jump for joy! 


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We decided to spend more time in Louisbourg and explore a lighthouse at another part of the historic site on the other side of the harbour.  The lighthouse is built on the site of the oldest lighthouse in Canada.  It was mesmerizing watching the power of the ocean hitting the rocks all around the coast.  We also had near perfect evening light for our photos.


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Here is the Louisbourg Harbour lighthouse.  This view is looking toward the fortress.


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Another sunny day and we're back in Inverness Beach for boogie boarding in the waves.  These girls spent nearly an hour and a half braving the cold water and riding the waves.  


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Below you see the girls lined up for another fun run in Inverness, during the Inverness Gathering Festival.  This was quite the accomplishment for them.  Both girls ran in a 1.5 k fun run, then ran and walked the 5 kilometre race following the fun run.  

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Here's Rebecca running along the race track.


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Abby is keeping pace as well and almost finished!


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It was also Sheena's first 5 km race.  Here they all are after finishing the run!  Abby is a proud little one after her accomplishment.


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Here's Rebecca finishing her 5 km run.  She was signed up for the walk, but decided to run instead.  She ran with the adults and teenage kids.  Needless to say, they had a fun and complete day of exercise and Grandma treated them to a breakfast at the Coal Miner's Cafe.


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It was a busy day ahead for the girls as they were recruited to sit in the Legion truck for the festival parade.  It was a first to be in a parade float and they were excited to get T-Shirts as well.
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What did everyone do with their beach treasures afterward? Well, Sheena helped out making seaglass art.  This one below was made and designed entirely by Abby.  The blue glass a rare glass find.  The pots are made out of smooth pottery pieces also found on the beach.


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IMG_0400Sheena made the above picture with seaglass and small pebbles also found on the beach.  She really has a knack for this type of art.  

After arriving back home to New Brunswick, we had visitors from Virginia Beach.  Sheena's friend Lauren drove to Belleisle and brought her three children as well.  Sheena spent the days taking the group to local fun spots, including one of our favorite exploration beaches at Duck Pond Rd beach in Gardner Creek.  The below photos show some of the rocks you can explore and a freshwater creek leading into the Bay of Fundy.  

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Here's the gang gathered under our tree fort.  They spent a few days at their 'restaurant' serving dirt coffee, sand cakes and chocolate mud desserts.

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Catching up on Summer

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I'm finally posting a few photos from this summer as we've had a busy one so far.  With a colder spring, we had to get used to colder water for the earlier part of the summer.  This however, did not stop the kids from putting on their bathing suits and jumping in.  The above photo shows the kids playing in the Belleisle Bay with friends at their property along the shore.  It was a beautiful night for campfires.  The girls stayed up until 11pm those nights! 


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We also made our way to Cape Breton for some valued family time, which comes of course with beach time in Port Hood, Inverness and West Mabou.  We spent much time between those three beaches in our time in Cape Breton. Sometimes two beaches a day!


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On another day with the kids, we headed to Piper's Glen falls (Egypt Falls) in Scotsville.  The girls were very excited to see such a big waterfall.  Rebecca announced she was going into the water no matter what -- and we all quickly found that it was probably only about 8 degrees!  Again, this didn't stop them from heading in.  Below is Abby heading into the cold cold water!


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On another adventure with Gramma, we all ventured to Rocking Horse Ranch in Baddeck.  It is a rescue farm for all sorts of animals: from ducks to horses to minature ponies.  This one pictured below is 38 years old and quite the character.  He kept trying to knock the bowl down so he could eat all he wanted. Abby loved taking him for a walk around the barn.


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The girls were also given the chance to feed the horses with slices of hay.  Rebecca really got into it and fed most of the horses in the barn.  
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Here's Rebecca holding onto a little duckling.  There were a few wandering around with the mama duck outside of the barn. 

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We had a wonderful visit from Sheena's cousin Karen while we were in Cape Breton.  After Sheena and her returned from their highland adventure, we all took the girls on a hike in Cape Mabou.  While I was somewhat forgetful on the length of the hike, we managed to all make the huge climb to the top of Beinn Bhiorach (Steep Mountain), the higher mountain the the area.  We took many rest breaks, seen below and enjoying the views of the ocean.


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Of course, there was the well earned celebration upon reaching the top!


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Despite a chillier mid-July, we still wanted to get out and explore.  We found some waterfalls to visit in the Glendale area.  The falls were called Maple Brook Falls and had two nice areas for swimming and playing around.  Rebecca and Abby did some of their first climbing around waterfalls in the two times we visited.  In the picture below, the water is fairly chilly.  Rebecca kept taking the cold water and splashing me with it.  She's reaching down for more here.  


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It has also been a summer of firsts for the girls.  Sheena has been an avid runner since last year and wanted to participate in some of the fun runs that happen during the local festivals in the communities around Cape Breton.  The girls were also excited to try them out too.  Here they are below doing a run in Port Hood as part of Chestico Days.  Abby is happy to cross the finish line.  


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Grammy participated too in the walk.  All were happy to receive their medals for taking part.


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We also spent many days at Inverness Beach.  Inverness Beach is well known for its sea glass hunting.  We would head down at low tide and walk the length of the beach looking for the rarest pieces of glass. There's nothing nicer than spending the morning walking the sand.


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Another beach we frequented was Port Hood Beach.  While there in early July, the girls made friends with Regan and made beach dates with her to meet up for beach fun.  They spent quite a few days making sand castles, using the boogie boards and searching for hermit crabs.


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Ever since doing the airport run in Saint John, Rebecca has been interested in running all sorts of different races.  Sheena found that there was a kids triathlon in Port Hood mid July.  So, Rebecca registered and tried it out.  You can see her finishing her swimming below.  We should note, that the water was below 15C and she was only one of 3 kids to actually brave the water for the swim portion!


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Rebecca then took to the bike for the ride down the beach road.


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Here's a proud Gramma after Rebecca finished her first triathlon!  We are all proud of her.


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Remembering Nana

We are saying goodbye to a great woman this week, my grandmother and Rebecca and Abby's great grandmother, Nana Mary Elizabeth White (Beaton, Maceachen). I will always remember how kind she was to everyone around her. She loved caring for others and was still trying to serve biscuits and tea to visitors well into her nineties! She was an incredibly strong person and overcame so many adversities in her life. I can only hope to carry on her spirit, work ethic and traditions in my own life. We love you Nana.

Here is the writeup from her obituary:

It is with heavy hearts that we the family of Mary Elizabeth, 94, of South West Mabou announce her passing on July 3, 2015, at the Inverary Manor in Inverness. Born May 13, 1921, she was the daughter of Mary (MacDonald) and Duncan MacEachen. She was predeceased by her parents and husbands Angus Donald Beaton (1958) and John Robert White (2007). Mary Elizabeth, was first widowed at the age of 37, continued to operate the family dairy farm for another 10 years. She then worked as a cook at the cafeteria at Mabou Consolidated School until obtaining employment as a cashier at Mabou Co-op from where she retired. Mom dedicated her time to both her family and community. She loved to volunteer and cook for various parish events. She was well known for her biscuits and rolls, delicious fudge, afghans, and of course her beautiful smile.

She was a wonderful mother, Nana and great-grandmother to all her descendants. She leaves a great legacy of family values with her example of hard work and tenacity. We already miss her.

She is survived by her family Jeanette (Albert) MacDonald, Port Hood; John (Marion) Beaton, SW Mabou; Anna Marie (John) Langley, Port Hawkesbury; M.C.(Lawrence) MacDonald, Brook Village; Stanley (Margie) Beaton, SW Mabou; Claire (Gerard) Beaton, SW Mabou; Finley (Josie) Beaton, Westville; Martha (A.J.) Rankin, Ft. McMurray; Marie Cooke, Antigonish. Grandchildren: Jacqueline (Jeffery), David (Colleen), Lisa (Anthony), Denise (Adam), Stephanie (John), Shauna (Marc), Iaian (Susan), Gordon (Sherry), Elizabeth (Bob), David (Sheena), Laurena (Nick), Catriona (Kevin), Mairead (Travis), Christina (Brennan), Eilidh (Stephen), Brennan (Sandra), Andrew (Lindsay), Kyle (Krista), Erin, Jennifer (Steve), Michael, Allen, Natasha (Andrew), Brianna (Tom), Amanda and Amy(Chris). Great-grandchildren: Dylan, Mykaela, Alexander, Michael, Maggie, Emily, Rachael, Maddie, Raylene, Ella, Ciaran, Olivia, Katherine, Sophie, Alistair, Brien, Sarah, John E., Colin, William, Marcy, Norah, Rebecca, Abigail, Calum, Danny, Finley, Ryder, Jack, Charli, Nolan, Keaton, Kelsey, Duncan, Brody, Bradly, Emma, Dylan, Morgan, Jesse and many nieces and nephews who were an important part of her life.

She was also predeceased by brothers Hughie Duncan, Dannie and Alex Angus; sisters Agnes, Sarah Cassie, Mary Anne, Bessie, and her special sister and friend Elizabeth, and by her great-grandchild Jacob.

Her remains will rest in St. Mary's Funeral Home, Mabou, Wednesday July 8th from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. with funeral to be held on Thursday July 9th 2015 at 11 a.m. in St. Mary's Church, Mabou, with Father Angus Morris, P.P. officiating. Burial in the parish cemetery. Family flowers only. Memorial donations in Mary Elizabeth’s memory may be made to the Inverary Manor, Inverness Palliative Care, Mabou Parish Cemetery or other charity of your choice. Funeral under direction of Dennis Haverstock Funeral Home, Port Hawkesbury.
(Dia thoir fois dha h-anam.)

Remembering Nana

Remembering Nana


Paddling in Mabou

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This past weekend, we had the opportunity to head to Cape Breton for some visiting and a few outdoor adventures with the girls.   One of them was a day of paddling on the Mabou River.  The day was overcast with a slight wind, but there was just enough wind to take the bugs away.


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The river follows grassy marshes which we found were full of nesting geese.  As we passed through the area, lots of noise from the geese followed as the males tried to lead us away from the area.


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We also were able to paddle underneath a large eagle's nest in one of the trees overlooking the river.


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Our turnaround point was this rail bridge on the Transcanada Trail in Hillsborough.


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We stopped for lunch and the girls were happy to skip rocks on the water in a heavy competition with their parents for the 'cross the river' title.  


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There are a few overhanging trees along the river.  The beavers have been working away on this tree for a while now.


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We passed by a little island where we saw a nesting goose trying to stay hidden in the grass.  We spoke with some locals who said she's been sitting here for three weeks, through floods and other weather.  The next day, we saw that she had moved off the nest and the eggs were hatched!

After leaving the river, the girls asked to go to West Mabou Beach to pick sea glass.  It was 19 C, but a little bit of wind to keep it still a bit cool at the beach.  


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I brought my kayak down for some self rescue practice in the ocean water.  I had only practiced in a warm pool over the wintertime during my kayaking course, but today had a chance to do it with some supervison from the beach.  With a wetsuit on, I worked on 'randomly' tipping my kayak and then practiced a re-entry using a paddle float.  


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It was a slight shock hitting the cold water even with a wet suit.  It was good to find out how the cold played a bit of a factor in my ability to get things started to get back into my kayak.  But, it was successful after slowing down a bit and taking time to blow up my paddle float properly (see below).

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Tricky, but a successful attempt nonetheless!  It didn't take long to warm up again while paddling around the beach area.