Photo #1 shows the view, looking south southeast, from the “summit” during a rare moment of local sunshine. The mountains at the horizon are one of the edges of the “Great Central Interior Plateau” running from Whycocomagh to Wagmatcook to Middle River to Margaree Forks to Scotsville to Whycocomagh. The ridge in the middle distance is at Hunters Mountain; on its far side is the valley of the Middle River. The Cape Breton Highlands Plateau is mostly forested by evergreens, though occasional deciduous trees can be found, as here. A number of them are bare, stripped doubtless by the strong winds that buffet the plateau; others are oranges and yellows, none of them very bright under the dark skies. As this photo shows, Highland Road is wide and in very good condition.
Photo #2 is Big Bertha’s version of the scene in photo #1, taken a few steps further south down the road. No sun appears in this view, but it conveys a better idea of the significant elevation changes along this stretch of the road on its climb up to the plateau. And it adds enough detail to show that what appeared as a single ridge in the middle distance is actually two ridges, one along the Cabot Trail at Hunters Mountain and another on the north side of the Middle River valley. Here, the great majority of the deciduous trees are bare. Recent rains have left some muddy spots in the road, but they were easily avoided.
Photo #3, a bit further down from the summit, shows some deciduous trees in decent colour along a protected dip in the road, though bare trees predominate near the descending edge of the road. Highland Road is rarely deserted; vehicles happen along every ten minutes or so (and even more often when logging operations are in progress, when it’s not uncommon to meet logging trucks tearing along at the posted speed limit—80 km/h (50 mph)).
Photo #4, taken considerably further down, where the road curves to the south, shows a hazy view of the area near Wagmatcook and a sliver of St Patricks Channel. As best as I can make out from Google Earth, the mountain running across the left of the photo in the far distance is North Mountain in the Valley Mills area. The lower land across St Patricks Channel is the Washabuck Peninsula.
Photo #5, taken from a bit further down, looks across St Patricks Channel to the Washabuck Peninsula; as best as I can determine from Google Earth, this is the area north of Upper Washabuck and northeast of Sheep Cove, where the points and island seen here are found. At the bottom of the photo is Nyanza Bay, separated from St Patricks Channel by the long narrow peninsula ending in Morris Point. The towers seen in the upper right are near St Columba. The thin line of grey at the horizon marks the Boisdale Hills on the far side of the Great Bras d’Or Lake. There appears to be a fair amount of colour on the far shore; I did not get over in that area, so I do not know what the state of the foliage was there.
Photo #6, taken from still further down, looks across again at the Great Central Interior Plateau and the intervening ridges. The sun lit up the landscape, showing hints of fairly decent colours on the far hills, though many of those on the ridge south of Hunters Mountain are again bare.