After leaving the Pioneer Cemetery, I crossed the road and turned almost immediately onto Charles MacLean Road. The next junction was with Hilltop Drive, which I drove up, hoping to find a higher vantage point than that at the Pioneer Cemetery; the views from this street disappointed, not least because of the utility wires along and over the road, so I continued back to Charles MacLean Road and took the next right, which was Kings Road. I got no better views of the Strait area than I already had, but a few minutes later brought me to the top of the hill seen in photo #1.
I only began exploring the back country north of Port Hawkesbury during the past year, when I discovered glimpses and occasionally more of a magnificent landscape at various points in my travels. The Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 105) between Port Hastings and Glendale offers beautiful views of the area as it passes through Lexington, Queensville, and Kingsville on its way north, but there is no single spot along its course that presents a fine panorama of the entire area, though Exit 2 in Kingsville provides a very good start. Last year, I discovered a vista on Riverside Road in Princeville that was as good, but I continue to look for a more expansive one. So I was more than interested in exploring Kings Road, which I had not before travelled (nor even known about).
Alas, the view in photo #1, while very pretty, is still in the glimpse category. However, a field adjacent to the road at the top of the hill seemed to offer some possibilities, though it was covered with small trees as tall as I am. I crossed the ditch at the side of the road and climbed up the embankment, where I got the views seen in photos #2 and #3.
Photo #2 looks to the north (Kings Road goes to the northeast here), where the tall (340 m (1100 ft)) communications tower just left of the centre of the photo identifies it as that on McIntyres Mountain¹ west of Kingsville. McIntyres Mountain is part of a feature known as the Big Ridge, which is actually the eastern edge of a large (and now mostly unpopulated) interior plateau; that edge runs between Port Hastings and Whycocomagh and includes River Denys Mountain (perhaps its best known feature) north of McIntyres Mountain.
Photo #3 looks to the northwest, where the shorter communications tower (198 m (650 ft)), barely visible at the centre of the photo just left of the protruding tree, identifies it as that north of Horton Lake, west of Lexington. Here, the plateau edge is 100 m/yds lower than further north, though still higher than any of the surrounding terrain. The power lines visible in all three photos come from the Transformer Substation north of Port Hastings that connects the generating station in Point Tupper to the rest of the electric grid in Cape Breton; here, they head off east towards St Peter’s in Richmond County.
Not bad, but not exactly what I’m looking for either: I need something less encumbered by trees and a bit closer to the plateau. I’ll keep on looking…
¹ This spelling, without the ‘a’, is that given in both the The Nova Scotia Atlas and on the topographical map, so it’s the one I’ve used here. It’s one of the few exceptions to the general rule that Cape Breton place names in ‘Mac’ are spelt with an ‘a’, at least officially. However, the road is spelt as “MacIntyre Mtn. Rd.”, with an ‘a’ and without an ‘s’, on a road sign on the River Denys Mountain Road and, if memory serves, elsewhere as well.↩