It is almost impossible to resist the open road; to ignore the whisper of a stream as it slides over moss-covered rocks; to disregard a wink from the tallest tree in the forest; to snub the open arms of a sandy shoreline. Every year, undiscovered dioramas of crooked rivers, sparkling lakes and mountain vistas entice us to explore their beauty. This year, Canada Post pays tribute to the beauty and diversity of Canada with the first of a new stamp series, "Scenic Highways". The stamps will be issued in sets of four, one set per year for the next three years. The opening set, scheduled for release on June 30th, features a visual delight of contrasting scenery; Cape Breton's Cabot Trail, Ontario's Wine Route, Saskatchewan's Big Muddy, and British Columbia's Sea to Sky Highway.
In his first work for Canada Post, designer Lou Cable has just juggled several elements to give us a striking photographic image of each of these, the first four stamps in the Scenic Highway series. Each combines four elements: a landscape photo; a depiction of one local cultural, historical, economical or recreational aspect; an official provincial road sign; and one area of a map showing the specific piece of the road.
The trail snakes north of the Bras d'Or Lake, runs northward along the Atlantic Ocean to Cape North near the tip and then turns southward to run along the west side of the Island. Here, it swings inland at the Margaree area to complete a rough circle and returns to Baddeck, one of the largest communities on the Trail. This picturesque village is home to the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, a museum that captures the genius of the inventor who summered here from 1892 until his death in 1922. He is buried at nearby Beinn Bhreagh, his long-time summer residence. Perhaps Alexander Graham Bell described it best. "I have travelled around the globe", he wrote. "I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes and the Alps and the Highlands of Scotland; but for simple beauty, Cape Breton out rivals them all."
The contributing photographer for the Cabot Trail is Terry James of Nova Scotia.