White Point, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Or, Very Possibly the Most Beautiful Place on Earth
After leaving Dingwall in the morning I continued south, deciding to take the road that followed the coast rather than rejoin the more popular Cabot Trail that runs through the inland hills. Following a recommendation from a local woman, I turned off at White Point, a community of a few houses and a small harbor. I parked and began trekking along an ATV track out to the point, enjoying the beautiful views out into the cove to my left and the rising, forested headland and lowbush berries to my right. As I neared the mouth of the cove I crested the final hill and suddenly the headland was spread our before me, an emerald green carpet draped over fractured pink rock, both ringed by vivid blue water. My breath caught in my throat and I stopped to gape; I felt mesmerized, transfixed, by the sheer beauty. I don’t believe I’ve ever witnessed such saturation of colors and such perfection in the contrast of forms between rolling hills, perfectly fractured rock, and wild, rushing water. I’ve seen an incredible amount of stunning, amazing, and generally beautiful things in the past year and half of traveling, but this place instantly became one of my favorites.
I followed one of the many tracks that crisscross the headland out to the end of the point where I was able to not only get a closer look at the islands and the channel but – most importantly – view the layered outcroppings of gneiss and schist. What makes the metamorphic gneiss here so unique (and gorgeous) is that it is formed largely of hyper-pink feldspar and dark granite; layered with the schist, it is incredibly dramatic looking. I spent quite a bit of time climbing up and down the cliffs admiring the ancient rock before walking some of the various paths across the headland and eventually exploring the surrounding forest and coastline. I can’t adequately describe how impossibly beautiful White Point was that day or how deeply the place spoke to me, but my visit was an experience I will never forget.