The following day, before the lunchtime cèilidh at the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre in Judique, the weather was mostly overcast, but some sunny breaks did occur. I drove over the back country between Whycocomagh and Judique, a route I took most of the days this week and sometimes more than once. Photo #1, a view to the southwest taken from the Whycocomagh Road east of its junction with the Glencoe Road in Glencoe Mills, shows St Josephs Church in Glencoe Mills below the ridge which runs to its south in a more or less west to east direction. The parish hall, site of legendary square dances by the likes of Buddy MacMaster and Natalie MacMaster, sits to the left of the church, but is strangely invisible from this vantage point; bits of it can be made out in the original, but it is mostly blocked by trees. A fine burst of sunlight beaming through otherwise resolutely grey skies illumines much of the ridge and the field in the foreground, showing early changes in the deciduous trees on the ridge and a few more brilliant hues nearer at hand. The Mull River traverses the width of this photo, hiding behind the row of lighter evergreens in the foreground; it passes beneath the Glencoe Road on a small green bridge known, I’m told, as the White Miller’s Bridge, because a miller was once located there who ground grain into white flour. The Mull rises in the hills not too far from here, southeast of the MacKinnon farm in Upper Glencoe.
Photos #2 and #3, taken at the same time and from the same place as photo #1, form a connected panorama, with the right of photo #2 overlapping the left of photo #3. It is one that I never tire of: I frequently stop here to admire the open view, one of the few easily accessible in the area.
In photo #2, the green field carved out of the forest on the hillside at the centre of the photo marks the MacKinnon farm in Upper Glencoe, seen here from the Alpine Ridge and seen again later in this essay. None of the prominences here have names on the topographical map and all belong the southern interior plateau that includes the Big Ridge and River Denys Mountain. Dunakin, the place name given to the locality at the far left of photo #2, is where the Whycocomagh Road descends into the valley carved by the Kewstoke Brook. Also at the far left, you will see a ridge that extends to the right across much of the photo; if you look about a quarter of the way in, you will see a stand of trees, isolated by logging in the recent past, at the top of that ridge; just to the right of that stand is the summit of Churchview Road, which offers a fine panoramic view of the area to the west and north, with views extending to Rocky Ridge and Cape Mabou. The MacKinnon farm is just off the MacKinnon Road, which runs from the parish hall in Glencoe Mills to the Whycocomagh Road; the junction of Churchview Road and MacKinnon Road is at GPS 45°57.393'N 61°17.267'W, about 1.9 km (1.2 mi) southwest of the junction of MacKinnon Road and the Whycocomagh Road (at GPS 45°58.129'N 61°16.315'W). Driving MacKinnon Road in a car requires some caution; driving up to the summit of Churchview Road is not recommended based on the conditions I encountered there the last time I did it (successfully, though only barely, although it should be OK in an SUV or a truck), but it is only a short twenty-minute hike from the MacKinnon Road and one with excellent views on the way back down making it well worth the walk up.
Photo #3 continues towards the west, picking up the church at Glencoe Mills at the far right; there is rather more colour in this photo than in photo #2, because the sun is breaking through and lighting up the trees, though the skies remain generally dark. The source of the Southwest Mabou River lies behind the hills at the far left of the photo up on the interior plateau. The field that spans much of the middle ground of the photo is under cultivation for blueberries and is private property.
Photo #4 was taken later than the first three photos and from further east along the Whycocomagh Road, where the view of the houses and farms below the ridge in Glencoe Mills along the Upper Glencoe Road come into clear view. This was in much better weather, with a lovely clear blue sky.
Photo #5 was taken on the same day as photo #4 and looks across to the ridge above Glencoe Mills from the Whycocomagh Road, though a good bit further west; there is a slight overlap with the previous photo, as indicated by the rightmost utility pole which also appears at the far left of photo #4. The lovely red tree in the centre middle ground stands out from the rest of the scene. In the original, I can make out one small spot of red part way up the ridge, but here it has been lost in the compression; what strikes me most about this scene is how few reds there are at a point where the colours were approaching their peak. Although there is definitely some mottling of the colours due to the distance—the ridge is about 1.6 km (1 mi) away—the telephoto lens makes it clear that yellows and oranges and browns predominate on the ridge, just as they do in the middle ground and foreground.