There is no place more capable of washing away the stresses of school than Highlands Hostel, located in Cape North, Cape Breton. 24 DOS members made the trek up to the highlands over reading week on the first overnight trip of this distance, length, and size since at least 2019 !!!
Day 1: November 6th, 2022. Weather: 22C, sun and cloud. Participants and drivers met at the SUB at 5:30 am, with only one casualty to daylight savings alarm confusion (picked up en route). Six cars made their way to Antigonish to grocery shop (no easy feat for 24 people), and marvel at the town that hosts one of the Maritimes' most well-known cults (St. FX). We then went our separate ways and made our way to Cape North, stopping along the way at viewpoints, beaches, short hikes, moose sightings, and even breweries! Once arrived and settled at the hostel, we headed out to hike Tenerife Mountain. Winds were gusting easily 100+ km/h at the summit — a truly wild highlands experience. After we made our descent, the group went for a dip at North Harbour Beach. Dinner on day one was chili and garlic bread, followed immediately by merriment and s'mores at a raging bonfire.
Day 2: November 7th, 2022. Weather: 18C, cloud, mist, downpour, sun, cloud. A delicious breakfast of banana-oat-chocolate chip pancakes was served at 7 am sharp, with most of the group hitting the road by 8 am to hike Pollet's Cove. A smaller group broke off, opting instead to hike the Aspy Trail. The group was surprised to complete Pollet's in less than 2 hours in each direction (16km total), with incredible views of mountains, ocean, and seals the entire way. Ahead of schedule, the rest of the afternoon was spent deep in cards, massage guns, and tea. Dinner on day two was burgers, veggie burgers, and Rob Tremayne's signature big dirty salad. Another classic bonfire was held late into the evening, with many staying up to witness the night's lunar eclipse.
Day 3: November 8th, 2022. Weather: 4C, sun, cloud, mist, rain, hail, snow. A lazy morning, marked by cards and a full dinner-style breakfast. We were sad to pack up and leave but excited for the completion of the Cabot trail. The group said their goodbyes and split up, with many coincidentally reconvening at lookouts along the road, and even the Frenchy's in New Glasgow.
I love Highlands Hostel. I love the Dalhousie Outdoors Society.
Note: This trip never made it to the stages of being advertised/ tickets sold on Eventbrite. Unfortunately, due to the nature of needing so many drivers volunteering their vehicles and time, priority was first given to friends of drivers and those who had reached out offering their vehicles. It is our hope that trips of this scale will be offered to the DOS community at large in the future.