Canada 2018

Day 12

August 1

  Alain and I head out for the Happy Clam so we can be there at the proper time.  
  There's a pretty good group that shows up this morning.  
  When we walk in, I see this sign and think it's a pretty good rule. It seems 'nice' has fallen out of favor and 'rude' is the rule. People seem to have lost all sense of decency especially on the Internet. Maybe if there was more real face to face time instead of 'thumb' time, some of the 'nice' would come back.  
  They seat us outside on their patio which has a great view and nice umbrellas to shade us delicate beings from the sun.  
  I get my usual cholesterol boosting breakfast just to keep my internal parts well greased and functional. We talk about riding options today and Alain and I decide to head south instead of north back over the Cabot Trail with all the construction. The construction has been pretty hard on my recently repaired right hand and I've still got four more days on the road. Also, we want to spend some extra time at the Alexander Graham Bell museum as the last time we got there close to closing.  
  With our plan in our feeble noggins, we bid the rest of the group a pleasant ride and make our way through a very quiet Cheticamp proper.  
  It's a nice ride with great views of the Saint Lawrence up close ...  
  and not so close from the high hills ...  
  and dense forest scenes that appear to be free of the human species except for us.  
  As we make our way toward the west side of Lake Ainslie, we get behind a truck hauling a trailer load of lobster traps. If they are all for one boat, I have to imagine it's a pretty serious boat.  
  Our plan is to go down the west side of Lake Ainslie and then come back up the east side on our way back to Cheticamp. It is the largest natural freshwater lake in Nova Scotia and the source for the Margaree River.  
  It's a lovely lake that we only get brief glimpses of as we pass through dense forest growth.  
  Another reason we want to come this way is that Alain knows of a big yard display of Homer Simpson figures in the village of Whycocomaugh.  

We don't know exactly where it is located, so when we stop for gas I ask the lady behind the counter -

"Whereabouts is that Simpson display?"

She tells me -

"Just about two doors up the road. Take all the pictures you want and she doesn't mind if you walk in the yard."

I thank her and we head that way. I'm not a particular Homer Simpson fan, but I can appreciate the amount of work that went into making all the figures in the yard.

  With this checked off, we point our steeds toward Baddeck and the Bell Museum. On the way, I see this sign and sort of wish it was something to be concerned about given the temperature today.  
  Baddeck is where we stayed the last time we were here for NovaScotiaSToc back in 2011.  
  Just on the edge of Baddeck is the Bell Museum that is another item on our short list of stops today.  
This time we have arrived early enough that we have plenty of time to look around and watch some of the historical videos that the museum offers.  
  On the way to the exhibits, I see this picture of Mr. Bell and Helen Keller. One of Bell's passions was teaching the deaf and improving their lot in life.  
  But what he is best known for and what made him rich and famous was his invention of the telephone. Here a display shows the progress of the devices in the early years.  

In the center of another display is the "Photophone", a telecommunications device that allows transmission of speech on a beam of light. It was invented jointly by Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant Charles Sumner Tainter on February 19, 1880 and the initial transmission was about 700 feet away. In Bell's words -

"The photophone was the greatest invention I have ever made, greater than the telephone."

This device proved the basic principles needed for the fiber optic circuits that are so common today but did not come into use until the 1980s. So one hundred years before, Mr. Bell had a working wireless phone and had the technology patented.

  Mr. Bell was also very much interested in manned flight and was a founding member of the AEA - Aerial Experiment Association in 1907, four years after the Wright Brother's successful Kitty Hawk flight. They built several successful flying machines and the museum has a replica of the last one - the Silver Dart.  
  He also designed the hydrofoil that would allow rapid transportation across the water for the military forces. But with the end of World War I, interest waned and the project shelved.  
  The original craft set a world's speed record on the water of over 70 mph. The museum has a carefully reconstruct replica on site and ...  
  pieces of the original one that languished on the beach for years after the project was abandoned.  

Mr. Bell also developed an x-ray machine to try to find the assassin's bullet that was lodged in President McKinley but the attending physician misdirected him and he was not successful and very disappointed.


Inside the museum is a picture of the Bell house taken many years ago. He often had parties for folks in the area at his house. Mr. Bell, unlike many of the successful and wealthy men of his era, was well known for his kindness, generosity and love of children. He was very concerned for those around him, especially those who were less fortunate. He asked one of his workers, who had eight children, why he did not own a home. The man's response was -

"I have eight children to provide for and cannot afford one."

Mr. Bell instructed him to build the home that he needed and Mr. Bell would take care of the payments for a while. The man did so, but it took over a year to get it done. At the next Christmas, Mr. Bell passed out gifts to his workers as he always had done, and handed the man an envelope. The worker figured it was a check as usual, thanked Mr. Bell and stuck in his pocket. When he got home and opened it, it was the deed to his property and house, fully paid by Mr. Bell. This story was told in a historical film by one of the sons of the man that still lived in that house.


When I get back to the front desk, I ask the lady exactly where is the Bell Mansion located. She tells me -

"Ask that young ranger right outside and she can show you."

I thank her and the young lady points to it across the cove. You can barely see the towers and chimneys as they rise a little bit above the tree line. Members of Mr. Bell's family still live in the house to this day.

  It's been an interesting, relaxing day but it's time for us to head back toward the motel. So we pick up the Cabot Trail to head towards Cheticamp.  
  On the way in, we decide we'll stop by the Harbor Restaurant and see if we can make a reservation for the evening. We are successful this time because we are a lot earlier so they put us down for 6 PM. We head on back to the motel and get cleaned up a bit and relax before super.  
  This time we are in good shape and a get a nice table near the window.  
  I give their seafood chowder a whirl and it is mighty fine to me - flavorful and chocked full of all sorts of seafood.  
  I do, however, refrain myself from licking the bowl so I don't embarrass Alain in front of everybody. I figure I ought to show some proper raisin' every now and then whether I need to or not.  
  And what would a good meal be without just a little sweetening? Since we just happen to have to pass by Mr. Chicken and they just happen to have an ice cream bar ...  
  I see no reason why not. I get a chocolate sundae with chocolate ice cream and chocolate syrup and it is mighty fine on all accounts.  
  I put Frost to bed and begin to sort things out a little bit. Since Alain has to be in Roanoke, Virginia for a rider's rally in a few days, he decides that he will leave out in the morning and head back home so he has a few days with his lovely wife. The group has got a nice fire going in the fire pit, so I wander over to spend some time with my friends watching caveman television.  
  Miss Cherie, of chocolate making fame, hands me a box of chocolates to hold. But that's a bit like like letting a fox watch a hen house. I do my best to discharge my duties, but the stuff just keeps disappearing right before my eyes. Soon the rack monster is calling my name and the box is empty, so I head back to our room and succumb to his call.