Enough photos are now present on this site that even I am having trouble finding specific ones that I know are there; I can only imagine how difficult it must be for a visitor to this site to locate a photo that lodged in the mind on a previous visit. During the winter of 2014, I devoted significant effort to automating the production of a catalogue of the Cape Breton photos on this site from the data already assembled to create the photo essays and hiking trail descriptions themselves, thereby making it easier for both the visitor and myself to quickly get to a remembered photo. The catalogue in this section of my web site is the result of these efforts.
With some exceptions, the photos in the photo essays are from all over Cape Breton Island and those on a given page of one essay may be related to those on a different page of a different essay. It would be nice to see all of those related photos together on the same page. Another way of saying this is to observe that this catalogue may have more than one use.
- many visitors to this site are not familiar with county boundaries
- given the transformation of counties into municipalities, the boundaries between localities, particularly rural ones, are no longer very precise
After considerable thought, I have decided to instead organize the catalogue by road/trail and within a road/trail, by GPS location, depending on the overall direction of the road/trail. In order to make finding a given road easy, I have used its name, if it has one, and its provincial highway number otherwise. Scenic routes such as the Cèilidh Trail also have an entry, which leads to the roads of which it is comprised. Since many, perhaps most, of Cape Breton’s road names incorporate locality names (e.g., the Meat Cove Road, the Louisbourg Highway, the Grand Mira North Road, the St Peters Fourchu Road, the Whycocomagh Port Hood Road, the East Margaree Road, and the Strathlorne Scotsville Road), those who know the island well will infer its general location in Cape Breton from the road’s name; the visitor who is unfamiliar with the localities in these road names would not be helped by the county/locality organization in any case. Other roads, such as the Coady Road, the two Salmon River Roads, the Duggan Mountain Road, and the Bourinot Road, will not help much in determining the general location unless one is already familiar with those roads. I have provided short descriptions on each page that should fill that gap and you can also use Google Maps to quickly locate any of the roads listed here–just type in one set of the GPS coördinates given in the search box on the referenced Google Maps page. (You can also type in a road name in the search box, but that does not always work.¹)
The major problem with this organization is that it does not scale well for long roads: the Cabot Trail, the Cèilidh Trail, and the Trans-Canada Highway, among others, are long and very picturesque highways and their pages would therefore be impossibly long were something not done to subdivide them. In these cases, I have done considerable splitting, as you will discover when you visit the catalogue pages for any of these roads.
A second, less difficult, problem is that some photos in the photo essays were taken from the water and not from any road or hiking trail; such photos are catalogued under the body of water from which they were taken.
For some time, I have thought about providing brief descriptions of Cape Breton’s roads, many of which are off the beaten track and generally unknown, but still very worthy of exploration. This catalogue organization gives me a chance to do this. Moreover, the photos in the catalogue will generally give you a very good feel for the road and why, if you do not already know it, you might want to travel it.
So, let me invite you to explore the catalogue as well as using it as a way of locating a remembered scene. Click on one of the road names in the subordinate topics list at the top of the page and visit the road/trail described there. I will be very interested in your feedback and comments.
As of this writing, this catalogue is inchoate: it contains entries only for the photos in the first two photo essays, as a proof of concept, and the initial photos from the last photo essay. Over time and as other commitments allow, I hope to complete the cataloguing of the last photo essay and eventually to add in the photos from the remaining photo essays and those in the hiking trail descriptions.
¹ Both local usage and the signage sometimes differ from the names Google Maps uses; moreover, Google Maps does not name some roads/trails and some it does not show at all. On each catalogue page for a road, I have given Google Maps’ name where it exists.↩