"Did you see the moose?" No! We met a dozen people who saw the moose, but all we saw was a bunny. A cute bunny. But a bunny is not as cool as a moose. We are hiking the Skyline trail just north of Cheticamp on Cape Breton on the Cabot Trail. It's the day off before our big riding days into the Highlands of Cape Breton National Park. Andre - the local bike shop owner of VeloMax Cycles, has time on his hands with the end of tourist season. He has agreed to drive us up to the top of French Mountain to this trail and come pick us up a few hours later. The drive to the trailhead also happens to be the first big climb of the Cabot trail in the Highlands. This is useful, because the reactions of people when we tell them we plan to bike this route ranges from incredulity to sheer amazement. Reconnaissance seems prudent. Plus this area is known for its gorgeous hiking and we want a taste of the trails. The Cabot Trail is a famous road that loops the very tip of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. This peninsula is known for stunning mountains plunging into oceans scenery, magazine-cover wildlife including moose and whales, and the cultural depth of the French, Acadian and Scottish heritage that is still very prevalent and preserved here and reflected in the music and food and daily living. Cyclists know this route as challenging and infinitely rewarding with three big climbs that are steep - up to 15% grade - and weather that can be unpredictable. We have broken the climbing into three days - a manageable distance for some steep climbs that should still give plenty of time to enjoy the park while not killing ourselves and coming in exhausted. Yesterday we biked
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