The Terriy's TDC 2011 travel blog

August 28 – Day 66 – Lower Barneys River – East Lake Ainslie, Cape Breton

No map locator for Lake Ainslie but a lovely spot in Cape Breton

K’s 157.47

Time 6h 34m

Average speed: 23.94k/H

T to d 7256

We left camp early this morning expecting a very hard long ride in bad weather as hurricane Irene was beginning to blow in. We knew that we would only be on the fringe of the hurricane but expected lots of rain and high winds. The route map took us on quiet secondary roads but with the weather threatening and a long ride forecast to be 167k we elected to take the shorter, faster highway route down #104 to Cape Breton then #105 to the turn off to Lake Ainslie. This shortened our ride by over 10 k and that was very just fine with Fred, Terri and I.

The usual stops for coffee, this time at Antigonish, for a “seniors coffee” and food then on to Cape Breton for a lunch stop and then to camp. A good workout even on the main highway as there were plenty of challenging hills all the way to camp. Fortunately we did not get the expected rain and the light wind we had was friendly, like on our back not in our face!

We arrive at what turned out to be the best campsite of the journey. The campsite, MacKinnon’s Campground is located on the largest fresh water lake on Cape Breton Island. The Mackinnon family that run the camp welcomed us just as the rain came. The first sign of a warm welcome was that they had a nice cold bottle of water for each of us with their compliments. That was a first of any campground and you can’t believe how good a cold drink is after riding almost 160k! They had given us good campsites with some protection from the wind that was now blowing very strongly off the lake. A number of us who arrived early due to our taking the shorter route got to work and set up our tents. Then the wind came on more strongly and the rain came in shower after shower. The next very unexpected event from the MacKinnon’s was that at their office and store they have a very large recreation room. In this room they, camper friends in the campground and neighbors put on a superb potluck dinner for all of us. They had enough food to feed an army and all of it was great including some wonderful deserts. Then as we finished dinner and the weather continued to deteriorate they suggested that anyone who wished could sleep in the rec. room. Many did but those of us who had set up tents elected to use them and that made for an interesting night with the wind howling around us and the rain coming in waves. That meant sleep was not always possible but the night was still a good one.

One recommendation: If you ever travel to Cape Breton and need a campground MacKinnon’s is the place to stay. They run a great campsite and are the finest of folks and will treat you very well!

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