Cape Breton Island - Nova Scotia's masterpiece
(or at least that's what the travel brochures call
Cape Breton is where I grew up. Learned to walk, learned to read, learned
to ride a bike... hitchhiked the 105.
As far as I can count, I've managed to live in twelve different parts
of Cape Breton. Some of those times have been as short as a few weeks,
others were over a year, and one was over 10 years. Scroll down below the
map to see a list.
1. Rear Big Hill - It is not written on the map, but if it was, it would
be behind the 105 sign, between Baddeck and St. Ann's. Big Hill is where
my father lives, and my whole family lived for over 10 years. It is still
my favorite place in Cape Breton. It is quite remote, reached by a dirt
road from the TransCanada Highway (105). Although it has a name and a fancy
stop sign at the end of the road, it is not a community, with only three
families living on 3 miles of road. I spent my childhood roaming the forests
of Big Hill.
2. Big Baddeck - The farmland a wee bit north of the town of Baddeck. (no,
not everything in Cape Breton is called "big") My father looked after a
house belonging to some friends, while they were on vacation for a few
weeks. I went to school from there, so I considered it "living" there.
It is at this house that my father became involved with his first girlfriend,
after splitting up with my mother.
3. Pleasant Bay - My father's new girlfriend had a house in this beautiful
northern part of Cape Breton... we spent a summer there.
To give you some idea of the distances here, it takes an hour to drive
from Baddeck to Sydney, and about 2 & 1/2 hrs to get to Pleasant Bay
4. St. Ann's Bay - The Meadow Road - Father's girlfriend looked after another
vacationing friend's house over the winter, and we spent a lot of time
there... again going to school from there.
5. Big Harbour - The first house that my mother got after getting on her
feet. A mess of a house, but in a beautiful area, and close to Big Hill.
You can't see it on the map, but it is only about 10 min drive from Big
6. Hill's Road - Marion Bridge - The second place my mother inhabited (this
time with her disagreeable boyfriend). Jessica and I spent weekends there,
taking the bus from Baddeck.
7. Irish Cove - Here sat the disagreeable boyfriend's house. A dump with
no running water and no flushing toilet. Unfortunate weekends were spent
there too.... necessary in order to spend time with Mom.
8. Iona - This is where my father's second girlfriend (now his wife) lived.
We spent a lot of weekends there, and significant portions of summer.
9. Englishtown - My mother's next place of residence. Jessica and I spent
equal amounts of time there and at Big Hill, where my father was. We went
to school from there. ... I keep saying that. I don't mean that we kept
switching schools. We never did that... all these places from which I said
we went to school were all in the same district, so we could take the schoolbus
from wherever we were.
10. Baddeck - My mother then moved to Baddeck (yes, I am leaving out the
reasons here; they are for a different story) Jessica, Rachel, Mom
and I all stayed in a small basement apartment. I slept on the couch all
summer. This was 1993.
11. St. Ann's Bay - The other end of the Meadow Road. - Mom moved again,
and this is where she is now. She is renting a small house. She has fixed
it up, and planted a gorgeous garden all around it. I stayed there in the
summer after my second year of university. Rachel still lives there, as
did Jessica until she went to Dalhousie University in Halifax.
12. Little Anse - Close to Louisdale on the map. This is where Pam grew
up. Last summer, in the time that led up to our wedding and moving out
to Alberta, I stayed with Pam's family instead of living with my parents.
Pam was anxious to spend as much time as she could with her elderly grandparents,
since we would soon be going so far away, so I stayed there, rather than
have us living apart. (We had lived together while at University in Halifax,
so we were not about to move apart and back in with our parents)
And that is the end of the Cape Breton story for
now. I intend to retire there (possibly). But for now, we are in Edmonton,
I hope this was amusing and a little bit informative.
Now you know a little bit more about me.