It seems nearly all our friends knew that I was planning a surprise for Ruth's birthday, but somehow it managed to stay a secret! Little things were beginning to leak out, so she knew not to plan anything for that weekend, but thought she had things figured out.
The night before her birthday I gave her a card with a poem in it, telling her to get her clothing packed, and where we were going. Early the next morning, we flew to Halifax, where we spent a pleasant evening, and, in the morning, drove to Cape Breton Island.
There are several beautiful waterfalls along the Cabot Trail. We drove in on a dirt road to find our way to the short hike to Mary Ann Falls.
At Uisge Ban Falls, itself, there are two levels. What you are seeing in the first photograph, below, is the lower falls. From this vantage point you really can not even see the upper falls, which fall from the right, high above these lower falls, into a pool, and make a 90-degree turn to the left, to make the lower falls.
With encouragement from some (much) younger visitors, we scrambled across the stream and up the tiny path to the top of the lower falls, so we could see, and photograph, the upper falls. These falls look a bit odd, because they are at a diagonal from the camera, and come toward it, into the pool, and, turning left, fall over the lower falls. In fact, about three inches to the right of my feet is a sheer drop to the base of the falls.
The lake at Baddeck, Bras d'Or Lake, is home to hundreds of nesting pairs of bald eagles. We had seen one in flight while driving, and had hopes of seeing many more. We took a cruise on the schooner Amoeba in the afternoon. However, the day had been very windy, and the skipper said he had not seen a single eagle, all through the day. We had a lovely sail, seeing the summer home of Alexander Graham Bell (we had been to the Bell Museum in the morning), and were resigned to not seeing eagles, when, as we neared the pier for our return, the Captain called out, "There's one in the tree." We circled around, and he threw a frozen fish (frozen fish apparently float well) into the water. Sure enough, the eagle flew to the boat, but on seeing that the current had carried the fish back against the schooner, the eagle wheeled around and returned to his perch. A second fish was thrown, and this time the eagle retrieved it from the water. Shortly after we had sailed beyond it, a second eagle flew out and grabbed the first fish.