Atlantic Maritimes &
Denis Kertz, ©2007
I arrived at the airport in plenty of time to check in for
my one-way, non-stop United flight to
It was an uneventful fight to
I tried to exchange some money for Canadian dollars in the
airport but the exchange computer was down.
However, I was able to buy a ticket on the Airporter Shuttle to
After settling in my room I walked a couple blocks to The Old Triangle, an Irish bar the shuttle driver recommended. I had a decent meal but it was pricey for a sandwich and beer at $20. However, there was live music with a lone guitarist singing Irish folks and other popular songs and that made the meal cost somewhat more palatable.
Back in my room I assembled my bicycle which went well except it appeared I left my cable ties at home. I would have to hunt up some replacements tomorrow, Labor Day Monday, when most stores were probably closed.
walked down along the wharf in the morning, headed to the casino, where I
expected to be able to get Canadian dollars, and looking for a breakfast
place. The casino claimed they had a
competitive rate but I only got $101 CDN for $100 US. Then I walked up the hill to the Citadel, at
one time a fortress protecting the city and harbor. It had good views of the surrounding
area. On my walk back down the hill I
didn’t see any breakfast place so I stopped at a Tim Horton’s,
Near noon I called United and was reassured to learn my
panniers had been located in
We already had a passenger, picked up another on the way to
the airport who we had to wait 15-20 minutes for, and picked up 3 more at the
airport with a final pickup planned in Middleton. From the airport we rode across
We made one stop along the way for a break and then the
driver forgot his Middleton pickup.
South of Digby we left the main highway and dropped off 4 of the riders
in 3 stops. These folks were Acadians
who spoke French and English and this area was Acadian. Then we rejoined the main highway and dumped
the other passenger to a waiting car along the road. I was the last passenger and got dropped off
at the Yarmouth Backpacker where I had a single room reserved for $38, about
half the price of any motel in
After getting situated I called United again and got the
same status as earlier. The attendant
told me the luggage was marked to be expedited so I asked why it wasn’t in
After that mixed news, I walked to the Ruddle’s bar on the waterfront, one of the few places open for food on this Labor Day holiday.
slept well despite the uncertainty of my panniers. The backpacker was conveniently located near
downtown and I walked to a breakfast place I had spotted last night. I had a so-so breakfast and read the
newspaper. One of the interesting things
on these trips is to read newspapers and see what is going on in other areas of
the world. Since this is the start of
school, one article noted there was a 10% decline in school enrollment,
After breakfast I returned to the backpacker and then headed
out on a shopping tour. First, I needed
some cable ties since I somehow managed to leave what I had packed at
home. I stopped at a hardware store on
Yesterday, I discovered my sunglasses were missing the left
nose piece and one of the lenses was scratched.
A visit to a Wal-Mart got me a decent pair of polarized sunglasses for
$27. Close by was a Sobey’s, a major
grocery chain, where I did my first food shopping. Then I walked to
Not having walked enough, I walked back downtown to the
At least encouraged, I stopped by a used book store and
picked up a book for $3. I walked to the
library for an Internet session. On my
way back home I exchanged the rest of my
Back home I completed getting my bike ready. I put on the front rack and fenders and used my new cable ties to secure my rear fender. Then I locked my bike up in a shed where I had stored it over night. Then I walked downtown a final time and ate at a Subway but it wasn’t cheap. It cost $10 for a foot long and drink. I decided there was no great breakfast deal in town so I bought some milk and bananas on my way home, planning to stay put for the rest of the day.
My panniers arrived by shuttle just before 7:30 pm. I had visions of them arriving damaged but
they looked OK. They were tagged with an
“expedited” baggage tag from Air
Earlier, I paid Cathie, my backpacker hostess, $38 and got a
receipt to charge United for an extra day of lodging due to their baggage
mishandling. Cathie and her husband, who
was in the movie production business and out of town, had been running the
backpacker for 4 years. They typically
shut down at the end of October but were thinking mid-October since this has
been a slower year. I learned Cathie was
Australian and from
For the first day I was surprised how fast I got away. I ate breakfast at the backpacker and then packed my bike. I was off by 8:00 on a cool morning, wearing my tights and windbreaker. It was an easy route out of town with no traffic until I picked up the road that went by the airport. There was no shoulder but once I got past the airport traffic was not an issue.
I started riding on what is called the
I was dragging some at this point. I had some headwind and there were some modest hills on a roller coaster ride to Shelburne. Not too far outside of town there was as sign for a campground at a turnoff but it was 10K further so I continued into town. Shelburne had a visitor center and I learned as I expected that there was no nearby camping. Since Shelburne was a tourist area, the best I could do was a $60 motel.
After checking in at the motel I walked to a place that had pizza. It was crowded, usually a good sign. They had a lasagna special so I chose that for a decent meal.
A harder day than I wanted for a first day.
I learned a couple of interesting things last night. First there was a campground almost in town but it closed the day after Labor Day. Second, the weather channel was predicting heavy rain for Monday, so that sounded like a good choice for a layover day.
I packed up and rode to breakfast where I ate last night since I knew they had pancakes and I had a 20% off coupon from the motel. The pancakes were fairly large and OK and with my coupon I got away for $5, the first good deal of the trip.
I was off by 8:00.
When the first U loop made it back to the main highway there was an antique store with snacks so I bought some milk and had a 2nd breakfast of cereal. The 2nd U loop took me down to Lockeport where I stopped for a little lunch at a convenience store. Then I rode through town before continuing the loop on a continuation of nice riding with little traffic.
Before returning to the main highway the loop junctioned
with another road where I expected to turn right based on my map but a
When I got back to the main highway I was stuck on it for
about 25K. Like yesterday, it was harder
riding with some fair sized hills and noisy traffic but a decent shoulder. I left the highway at Summerville Centre on
the way to
Just up the road I stopped at a campground and got a tent
site for $25. From what I had seen, tent
sites cost $20-25 so camping was a bargain only compared to $60+ motels. At least the campground owner had a droll
sense of humor. But so far
I packed up and rode into
I left at 9:00 and immediately found a McDonalds and a Tim
Horton’s around the corner. It was cloudy
with the sun trying to break through.
The road was still nice with little traffic. I detoured off the route slightly at Port
Medway and saw another lighthouse. After
continuing on I came back to the main highway.
led to a more touristy, resort type of area with larger and better looking
homes, some of them probably vacation and second homes for folks from
As I rode to Lunenburg, a historic site, the traffic picked
up quite a bit, partly because of the area and partly because it was a Friday
afternoon. With the increased traffic
riding deteriorated somewhat on a road with no shoulder. I stopped in Lunenburg for some groceries and
then moved on. After Lunenburg I started
the ride around
It was a pretty uninteresting ride the rest of the way to
Since I started riding I have been plagued with some wrist
pain. This started right off the bat
riding out from
It was very foggy in the morning and my clothes that I had
rinsed in the shower didn’t dry out overnight.
The humid conditions also attracted mosquitoes in camp and later I saw a
guy mowing his lawn while wearing a mosquito net. I rode out, not knowing how far I would have
to go for breakfast. I ended up riding
20K to the small town of
I lingered over breakfast, hoping the fog would lift but no
luck. Blandford marked the end of the
I headed east across the top of the bay with too much traffic for a shoulderless road. The rest of the way was fairly scenic as I rode by small coves and nice vacation homes. There were 3 campgrounds near Peggy’s Cove and none past it so I hoped to find a spot at the one closest to Peggy’s Cove. I stopped at the campground around 3:30 and got a site on the water for $20, a little surprised the campground wasn’t more crowded on a nice Saturday. I unpacked quickly and grabbed a few things.
As soon as I started off to check out Peggy’s Cove I discovered to my dismay that I couldn’t shift. I could turn my gear shifter to no effect. I was guessing a cable might have broke and hoped it wasn’t anything more serious. Fortunately, I was in a decent gear and rode the couple kilometers to Peggy’s Cove.
Not far from Peggy’s Cove there was a memorial to a Swiss Flight 111 that had crashed off shore in 1998 which afforded a good view of the town and the lighthouse. The lighthouse is famed as one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world. The lighthouse sits on a rocky enclave that is reachable by a short walk. Of course, there were lots of folks checking out the place and it was hard to get a decent photo without folks in view. One chap insisted on posting himself in front of the lighthouse to insure he would be in as many photos as possible while everyone else had the good sense to visit and move on.
Eventually, this guy moved behind the lighthouse and I got my photo without him. Then when I walked to the lighthouse and went to take a photo from behind, the same guy was posted up against the lighthouse, determined to get in yet more photos. When he finally moved, I got another decent photo. I lingered a little longer but in the back of my mind I knew I had to get back to camp to fix my shifter, and hope it was something I could fix. I ate at the restaurant near the lighthouse and had a salmon burger for something reasonably quick. Then when I went to unlock my bike, I noticed the gear box that attaches the shifter cable to the internal gear hub was loose. All I had to do was tighten it and I was back in business, a major relief.
It was a nicer short ride back to camp where I cleaned up and enjoyed a nice sunset. I also got to chat with a couple neighbors. It was also a warm night and I didn’t need to zip up my sleeping bag.
It was nice waking up to water lapping against the shore and
nicer still to be able to see it, after yesterday morning’s fog. I stopped off at Peggy’s Cove
again and had the place to myself on a quiet Sunday morning. But there was nothing open for breakfast so I
headed on to
The route to
From there I wandered down to the wharf where a pedestrian
ferry took me across the harbor to
With the slow start in the afternoon I figured this would be
a relatively short day. Being unfamiliar
with the area, I managed to stay on 107 when 7 split off and I spent a fair
amount of time listening to cars zoom past me on an expressway. At
There was a campground at
It was later than normal and darkness was setting in by the time I set up and cleaned up but I was glad I had pushed on to this point.
Sometime around 3 am I felt a few sprinkles through my tent’s mesh door so I closed the flap. When I got up I was pleasantly surprised to see my tent was dry. I left before 7:30 and headed the 4K back to the main road. I was told there was a nice breakfast place back about 6K but I didn’t feel like backtracking so I headed in the other direction. There was a convenience store shortly but I passed by, which turned out to be a mistake.
It was a cloudy morning.
After the early rush hour I had the road pretty much to myself. There were some nice water front views but no
breakfast places, just one other convenience store that I bypassed. Eventually, I ate a granola bar, giving up on
finding breakfast until
When I stopped for breakfast it was still cloudy and when I
left at 11:30 it was sunny. 10K later I stopped
at the visitor center in
It was about 1:00 when I left and I had about 80K to
I checked a campground that had cabins but could only get $48/night although I could have gotten a 4th night free if I stayed 3 nights. That didn’t work so I checked out the St. Mary’s River Lodge (www.riverlodge.ca), a B&B, where I got a $55/night rate compared to the normal $80 seasonal rate. I was fortunate because the town had just been full for an antique car show that lasted through the weekend. A day earlier and I would have been out of luck.
My room was very nice with hardwood floors and ceiling and a
private bath with room for my bike. Two
of the 4 restaurants were closed and the restaurant in
I got up early and had to wait until 8:00 for
breakfast. I had hoped to use the
B&B Internet PC that was for resident’s use but it was being used by the
proprietor. When breakfast was served, 3
other couples showed up including a couple from
After breakfast I walked through the Sherbrooke Village Restoration, restored to the late 1800s, wanting to do the stroll while it was not raining. I saw a young couple riding their touring bikes through the village. It was possible to buy a $9 ticket to get access to the buildings and interact with folks dressed in period costumes but I passed on that.
Next on the agenda was wash.
I walked to a laundromat and got that out of the way. When I got back I waited a bit to use the
Internet PC. After checking email, I
researched some alternate cycling routes.
One was a possible visit to
The more difficult issue was figuring out my return
route. My original plan was to cycle the
Gaspe Peninsula in
So an alternative plan was to head south in New Brunswick
after PEI and ride through Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont on to some place
like Albany, NY, where I could catch an Amtrak train back to Chicago. But that meant determining reasonable cycling
routes through unfamiliar areas. It also
left open the possibility of visiting
Around 1:00 a cycling couple showed up from
My plan tomorrow was to ride halfway to Antigonish and then
cut across to Guysborough. So I checked
In the evening, Andy, the owner’s son and my host last
night, showed me his recording studio upstairs.
He plans to expand his studio and start serious recording this winter
when the B&B closed for the season but only as a hobby. He had a pretty extensive setup and had taken
courses at the
After that I went back to my room and packed up for leaving in the morning.
In the morning I met two couples who were traveling together on tandem bicycles. We were all ready for breakfast around 7:30 so we got breakfast a little early. The two couples had started from Halifax and were doing a loop back to Halifax and then renting a car to tour Cape Breton, apparently unwilling to tackle the big hills of the Cabot Trail, somewhat understandable since they were some where in their 60s age-wise.
I packed a few more things and headed north towards
Antigonish on Highway 7, away from the coast.
The coast would have been more scenic but quite a bit longer than my
planned route with relatively few services.
After 40K of mostly forested land with a few farms, I turned off to
Just after continuing I turned on a road to take me back to the coast near Guysborough. There was road construction underway and I had to ride gravel for about 5K before hitting pavement again. The pavement quality was uneven but I had the road to myself with virtually no traffic and it was easy to avoid the bad spots. It was also preferable to riding gravel, which I thought for a while I was going to be doing for quite a while.
After a little over 80K I stopped at the visitor center in
Guysborough where I learned my planned campsite at Boylston was closed for the
season and there wasn’t anything else close.
At a store in Boylston, the proprietor suggested I wouldn’t be bothered
if I rode a little further and camped at a picnic area on
I set up my tent around 7:00 with no one around. Not long after, two cars pulled up separately while I was inside my tent. They sounded like teenagers out to have a little fun on the beach. When it was dark they left and I had the place to myself.
I packed up and left at 7:00. I didn’t know it but I would have to ride all
the way to Aulds Cove, some 40K, to find food or drink of any kind. The first 20K were rather uninteresting. Then I gained sight of the
From Mulgrave I had to climb a fairly long hill to get to Aulds Cove and the Canso Causeway. There was a restaurant at the intersection where I needed to turn to ride across the Causeway. It was part of a service station complex so I didn’t have great hopes but I wasn’t about to ride the other way into town and take my chances on finding something better there. As it turned out they had decent pancakes and breakfast was OK.
The Causeway was only about a 1K ride to get to
I waited for the traffic backlog to clear and then rode across the bridge and turned left to pick up 19 up the west coast. Riding was fairly scenic for a while with views of the coast line. After about 30K I stopped in Judique for my 2nd breakfast. When I took off I noticed the trip distance on my bike computer was zero. After a little checking I discovered the entire unit had been reset somehow. Very perplexing. I don’t think anyone could have done this while I was in the store in town and I don’t know how the unit could have reset itself.
I rode on and found some nice views at a park by Port Hood,
I rode the few kilometers back to the campground and checked myself in since the owner wasn’t around. There was one other camper in the unit, John and Mitzy from upstate NY, who were touring in an RV. They invited me over for a campfire and treated me to a glass of sherry and a chocolate chip cookie. They were both in their 70s, John a neurologist and Mitzy a psychiatrist of some kind. We spent an hour chatting around the fire and then we hit the sack.
It was chilly in the morning. I packed up and left $20 in the office for a camp fee since the owner never showed up. I stopped at a little bakery/café in town and had multi-grain pancakes which were good but they were much too small.
The road headed inland from Mabou on a bright, sunny day
with some scenic farms in the hilly area.
After 20K I stopped in
As I continued on to Cheticamp, it was such a nice day with rain predicted for tomorrow that I debated starting the real Cabot Trail and heading to Pleasant Bay. However, some simple time calculation convinced me that would be a risky race against nightfall. Just before Cheticamp I stopped at a store for a break. When I resumed I noticed that once again my bike computer was reset. Since this was very similar to yesterday, my computer resetting after stopping at a store, I could only guess that some electromagnetic radiation was confusing my wireless computer into resetting itself. If it hadn’t involved retracing uphill, I would have returned to the store to try to reproduce the event.
About 3:00 I rode into Cheticamp, a small Acadian,
French-speaking town. There were two
campgrounds in the area but with rain forecasted I decided to check indoor
accommodations for laying over. Although
I didn’t need a rest day I really didn’t want to travel on a poor visibility
day, particularly in what promised to be one of the most scenic spots in
Talking to the proprietress, Susan, I noticed the TV/library
room had a bunch of paperbacks and I needed a new one, having finished my
current paperback last night. However,
Susan pointed out that most were German books.
Susan and her husband were Swiss and their native language was
German. I mentioned my B&B in
I checked out the visitor center up the road and checked email. Then I cleaned up and ate at a nearby restaurant. Finally I walked the town looking for a paperback. I found some in a couple places but they were not interesting. Then a guy in a gift shop suggested checking the pharmacy and there I found a paperback by James Lee Burke, a very good writer. Having achieved my goal I called it a night.
The morning was a dilemma since there were clear skies. Susan got me a weather forecast off the Internet and the prediction was rain in the afternoon and evening with some fairly strong winds of 25-35 kph by my standards but Susan didn’t consider that windy. I finally decided that although I could probably make Pleasant Bay OK I would feel rushed and not enjoy the scenery like I wanted. So I decided to lay over.
Breakfast was at 7:30 and was billed as a light breakfast so it was fine. It was actually enjoyable to hear Susan talk of experiences with customers and hear the plans of folks staying at the motel/B&B.
After breakfast I walked up the road to the visitor center again for some Internet browsing. Interestingly, there were 2 PCs for Internet access, one with a small screen and the other a larger screen. So I picked the PC with the larger screen and discovered screen controls and directions were in French. Most of the time it wasn’t too hard to guess the right button to select but a few times it was a challenge.
Just across the street from the visitor center I met a group of 8 cyclists from Baddeck who had ridden from Ingonish yesterday and were returning to Ingonish today. They were getting a rather late start, 10:00, given the weather prediction but they had a support vehicle so they had a bailout option. Next, I checked out the golf course next door. It was very nice but it was already very windy and some of the holes would have played really hard. Later, I set up my tent to dry out from quite a bit of condensation yesterday. With the windy conditions it didn’t take long.
The sky was mostly clear in the morning but quickly clouded up by noon. Then the wind started picking up with some serious gusts. At that point I was glad I wasn’t cycling even if it wasn’t raining. It wouldn’t have been fun and even dangerous with the strong crosswind.
I cleaned my bicycle chain for the first time and oiled the brakes. I found my front rack arm was loose at its pivot point so I used some loctite and tightened it, guessing that was the cause of some squeaking I had been hearing.
Around 2:00 I walked to a tavern where a guy on a piano and
a gal on a fiddle were playing energetic Acadian music. The guy was really foot stomping when the
beat was strong. They played seemingly
endless songs, one lasting about 20 minutes.
One hefty guy from the audience did a short dance gig and then enticed a
younger, more nubile lass to do her gig, obviously both locals as were the
musicians. In this part of
I ordered pizza from a takeout and then watched some football. It finally started raining sometime around 6:00 with an uncertain morning weather forecast.
When I got up it wasn’t raining but it was overcast and it
looked breezy. The morning was supposed
to be a little iffy but the afternoon fine.
At the continental breakfast there was a
Cheticamp is at the foot of the highlands so it was a short
ride to the
Once I was in the park the wind didn’t bother me. I rode along the coast with some great coastal views of waves lashing the rugged coast. On one short hill I met a German couple who took my photo riding up the hill and asked for my email address so they could email the photo to me. Unfortunately, I never got it and possibly accidentally deleted it along with all the spam I was getting. I met other travelers who were impressed that someone would ride the Cabot Trail.
After a stint on the coast I headed inland to climb
I reached the top near noon while it was still
overcast. On the top it also misted a
bit and visibility was a little marginal.
Then the road descended steeply to
I took off again just after 1:00. In a short while I started the climb of
A little after the climb there were a couple moose in the
woods, tipped off by cars stopped along the road. It wasn’t a great view but it was a wildlife
sighting. More exciting was the descent down
the other side of
I could have traveled further but I would have had to go
much further to reach services so I stayed at a campground just down the
road. I got a site for $20 and met a
fellow touring cyclist, Dave, from
I packed up quickly and left at 7:00. I took the alternate scenic route along the
The road followed the coast to Ingonish with several nice
coves along the rocky coast. Then there
was a great view of
When I reached Ingonish I left the park but as I rode around
the bay I re-entered the park for a short distance. My 1-day pass for $6.90 was good until noon
and I exited the park for the final time at 12:06. Continuing around the bay, the bay was
surrounded by hills and the only way out was to climb
I used my braked extensively on the steep descent. This was no place to turn a bike loose. I measured 2.5K to the bottom for the steep
part. That wasn’t sea level but it was
probably at least 200 meters compared to the 270 meter climb in the other
direction over 6.6K. I guessed this climbing
what I descended had to be at least as hard as my
After the descent the scenery was relatively uninteresting. I rode to 312 and took 312 to the ferry across to Englishtown. As I neared the ferry some cars went racing by. Since it was close to 4:00 I figured that was the ferry time and I pushed myself. I got there right at 4:00 and the ferry pushed away just after I rode on. However, the crossing was only a few hundred meters, almost over before it started. Then the ferry only took a few minutes to load up and head back as I rode away. So I may have saved 10 minutes by making the 4:00 ferry.
I rode on until the road leaving the ferry ended at 105, an
expressway. I took 105 east towards
North Sydney and immediately had to climb Kelley’s Mountain, a fairly hard
climb but with a couple of nice views, one of
There was a 4K, 8% descent that I enjoyed followed by a sharp U turn and the road descended easily the rest of the way to the bridge. Near the bridge there was a good shoulder and a ‘Share the Road’ sign and I thought I was OK. But the shoulder disappeared on the bridge so riding across was dicey. With a gap in the traffic I pedaled as fast as I could and thought I had lucked out until I heard the diesel whining behind me. Fortunately there was no traffic in the other direction and crossing was not a problem, but it could have been interesting otherwise.
After the bridge I started looking for campground
signs. I rode a ways and thought I might
have to go all the way into
I made a disappointing discovery some time during the night – I noticed my Topeak tire pump was missing. The last time I remembered seeing it was in Cheticamp when I used it to pump up my tires. I was pretty sure I recalled packing it up. But if I didn’t leave it there, it either fell off or someone stole it, which seemed unlikely.
In the morning I packed up and rode just up the road to a breakfast place and had decent pancakes. I got directions up the road in the other direction to a grocery store but when I started riding I realized it was farther than I wanted to go. So I returned to the campground and tried to call the B&B in Cheticamp on a pay phone but the cost was $4 which I didn’t have in quarters. I couldn’t see any way to charge the call to my credit card so I gave up and headed out. I could do that because I had a mini-pump as a backup.
It was 9:00 when I left. When I woke up there was a heavy fog but it was clear now. The rural 2-lane road was fine with a little rush hour traffic from the other direction. However, I apparently needed to turn off to ride along the lake shore but never saw any sign. Eventually my road ended at 223 and I took 223 almost all the way to Whycocomagh.
After I picked up 223 I started riding closer to the long
St. Andrews Channel of
Further on I approached the
Leaving the school the road had deteriorated sections over the next 10K. Further on I reached the Little Narrows where a cable ferry took me across the narrow channel for free. Then it was back on 105, the main road. Immediately I was reminded why I hate these expressways as I was inundated with noise. But it was only about 15K to Whycocomagh so it wasn’t too bad.
I rode through Whycocomagh where I thought there was a
backpacker but it turned out to be outside of town in the wrong direction. I had fish & chips and then rode a couple
kilometers back to a
I rode the 2K back to town and had breakfast at the same place as last night – the only option. The pancakes were fine.
I left around 8:30 on another nice looking day but I wasn’t too excited about the morning’s ride of 50K to Port Hastings. It was all on 105 and would be noisy. The ride was fairly easy with about a half dozen modest climbs. Shortly after leaving Whycocomagh I also left the Bras d’Or lake behind and only trees remained so it wasn’t very exciting scenery.
I made Port Hastings by 11:30 and rode across the Causeway
where police were stopping cars in both directions and talking to each
driver. I suspected this was a sobriety
check and I got waved through, probably because I was riding a straight
line. I stopped at the same service
station complex where I ate breakfast just before I rode across to
I left again by 12:30. I thought there was more to Auld Cove but it only had a few service related businesses and a motel. I immediately took the exit to 4 which was the start of the Sunrise Trail. And it was nice to leave the noisy traffic behind although 4 pretty much paralleled 104.
There were some views of the coast but mostly I rode through a rural area with a number of farms. Near Tracadie I saw a beautiful church and was surprised to see the parking lot lined with cars. Then I saw a hearse backing up to the church entrance and realized this was not a happy occasion. A little further on I had to pick up 104 again. I had an option to get off again but only for a short loop and decided I might as well complete the final 17K to Antigonish on 104.
I stopped for a short break at a service station and then
took an exit where I picked up 4 the rest of the way into town. When I reached town I guessed left when 4
dead ended and I rode through downtown on
Well I missed it, probably because the guy didn’t tell me
whether to go right or left at a V intersection. After pedaling around I got directions at a
job help place. I thought if they can
help folks find jobs maybe they can help folks find bike shops too. I got good directions and found the bike shop
but it only had one pump that was overpriced at $40. I was now sure my pump was lost because I
recalled seeing it at the town of
I went back to the job help place and got directions to the visitor center. I was afraid they might be closed at 5:00 but they were open until 6:00. I learned the cheapest motel was $70 so I opted for the campground that was surprisingly located inside town, near downtown. I was a little leery of camping in a college town with an enticing bicycle but I was won over by a bike rate of $15 and the location near downtown.
After setting up I walked downtown looking for Internet access. There was an Internet Café but it closed at 5:30. The library stayed open until 9:00 on Tuesday/Thursday but closed at 5:00 on Wednesday. I gave up and ate at a Chinese restaurant. I bought a few groceries at a drug store on my way back and wrote my notes in the campground Laundromat.
When I got up in the morning, all I had to do was pack up and ride about a block for breakfast at the Sunrise Café. This café had a nice ambience and I ordered the pancakes, which were described as “fluffy lite.” They were awful. They were small and anything but fluffy. My breakfast came to about $10 and was hands down the worst of the trip.
I got a breakfast sandwich at a Tim Horton’s to augment the mediocre breakfast. Then I stopped at an Internet Café that opened at 8:30. I tried reading my email and had to lower the security level of the browser to get my email. Then I found sending an email just locked up the PC. I gave up after a half hour and told the attendant so he didn’t charge me anything.
Leaving town was easy.
I just rode down
It was just over 30K to
Leaving the Point, the scenery was pretty unexciting for a while as the road passed through a forested area. There was a long steady climb of about 15K before descending to Malignant Cove where 337 terminated and joined 245. There was a nice harbor at Arisaig where a short side trip brought me to another lighthouse. I had hoped I might find a small store but found a soda machine instead. I had a couple sodas at $1 a “pop” and a short break. Arisaig’s claim to fame was it was the first Nova Scotian Catholic settlement.
Scenery was fairly nice after Arisaig with some farms and
some coastal views. It was also possible
I also thought I might need the chocolate milk boost. There was a campground nearby but this wasn’t
a great location and it was only 3:30.
However, the next campground was in
By the time I started riding again it was almost 4:00 so I
was a little concerned about daylight and I was also riding into a fair
headwind as well but the map served me well.
245 ended at 104 where I had to get on until the net exit, which was
4. I rode this on a curvy road with some
It was 6:00 so I rode through town and found a diner where I had lasagna. I also met an older guy at the counter who was also a cyclist. He gave me directions on how to get to Pictou in the morning. I’m not sure the lasagna was real lasagna but I was hungry and it tasted good.
Then I rode about 2K back to the campground and discovered a sign on the office door saying it was closed until October 1. At that point I really didn’t have an option with darkness looming so I rode around a gate, picked out a spot, and set up. Later, 4 kids walked by and left when it was dark.
Copyright Denis Kertz, 2007. All rights reserved.