Monday, June 28, 2010
Antigonish to Baddeck
We take to the rainy roads again today with Jan and Jim. Our original plan was to get a start on the Cabot Trail, reputed to be one of the most scenic drives in
Along the way, we stop at St. Peter's Canal, which crosses a very narrow isthmus of land separating the Atlantic Ocean from
We are fascinated by the canal lock, which has two doors at each end, since both sides of the lock are tidal, and the water could be higher at either side, depending on the tidal cycle at the time a boat locks through. We have been through hundreds of locks, some of them quite unusual, and the St. Peter's lock was the first one of this type we had seen.
Just up the road from the lock, we see this little Dalmatian fire hydrant in front of the volunteer fire department garage. He reminds us of the New Carlisle fire hydrants we enjoyed last week.
On a larger scale, in Wycomagh we are greeted by a lawn covered with life-size wooden cut-outs of every character that has ever appeared on the Simpsons television show. Roadside attractions really brighten up a rainy day.
All whimsy aside, the best part of the day is our visit to the
Here are some interesting new things we learn about
While he was developing the telephone, he was a teacher for deaf people, and he eventually married one of his students, Mabel Hubbard. By then he had patented the telephone and had a major interest in the Bell Telephone Company, which he gave to Mabel as a wedding gift.
Not content to rest on his telephone laurels, he had lots of other patents, and in 1919 developed the fastest watercraft in the world, a hydrofoil. The remains of the original hydrofoil are in the museum. It is made of heavy wood, and it is hard to believe that it could have risen out of the water, given its weight. Too bad he couldn't invent fiberglass.
He also spent a lot of time developing massive kites in his pursuit of manned flights. He succeeded in flying people on his kites, and developed the first plane to fly in the
I particularly like what his son-in-law said about him: "He always made you feel that there was so much of interest in the universe, so many fascinating things to observe and think about, that it was a criminal waste of time to indulge in gossip or trivial discussion."