Monday, September 25, 2017

My Bike Trip to Nova Scotia, NB, coast of Maine

Day 8, Digby/St. John Ferry to New River Beach

Thursday June 22, 2017, 30 miles (48 km) - Total so far: 388 miles (624 km)

What a lovely morning, almost hot and I didn't need to be anywhere until 11. But I left early for the ferry. Probably only a handful of times I've actually been early for a ferry. The last coupe of times I've just caught it before the doors closed. Had a nice chat with a wonderful woman, age 86, touring NS with a group. We had a lot in common--opposed to the fact she was a psychoanalyst--yet we agreed: neither of us dreamed. I'm usually too tired at night.

I got onto highway 1,and let me tell you that was hectic. It is a super highway that allows bikes. There is a wide shoulder that keeps me out of the way of traffic. Yet the trucks just barreled past me making me nervous. On top of that the wind was a huge factor. I rode right into it. With the sun and the wind and riding uphill, I was constantly parched. I had to plan drink breaks because I didn't dare drink while cruising. The wind made it such that I had to gear down going downhill.

I was so happy to turn off and ride to New River Beach Provincial Park, right by the Bay of Fundy. I arrived at low tide and took a 2 hour walk exploring the exposed shoreline. Right now at 10 pm the bay is completely submerged.

Still haven't decided if I'll take an extra day here and ride into the States on Saturday. The 1 is so stressful maybe Saturday will be less traffic. On the other hand it's a lot of miles on 1 and maybe I can break it up by riding to St. George tomorrow and rough camping. Rain is also in the forecast.

clear seas ahead

exposed rock, Bay of Fundy

exposed rock, Bay of Fundy

exposed rock, Bay of Fundy

wide beach, Bay of Fundy

wide beach, Bay of Fundy

Friday, September 22, 2017

My Bike Trip to Nova Scotia, NB, coast of Maine

Day 7, Yarmouth to Digby

Wednesday June 21, 2017, 68 miles (109 km) - Total so far: 358 miles (575 km)

Last night my motel room was a drying factory. There was so much--even if it wasn't wet it was damp. I aired out my sleeping bag and all the contents of my handlebar bag. It literally took all night for my riding shoes to dry. Every surface was scattered with items in various degrees of wetness.A couple of times I opened the door wondering if I was just being a baby and each time the wind and rain confirmed my instinct to stop.

This a.m. there was no fog. No rain. Nothing but sunshine and birdsong. The motel offered a continental breakfast and the clerk insisted I take extra for the road. I did.

Now let me say today was one of those days, so perfect, that it makes you love riding. You can ride and ride forever. There was sun and some clouds, low humidity, not a lot of traffic. Wind at my back. I cycled uphill like a pro. I didn't get lost or have to worry about making my destination.

I stopped at Church Point in Acadia country to tour the largest wooden church in North America. There were 2 other churches and will add them here later. St. Alphonse, St. Bernard, and Eglise Sacre Coeur.

A beautiful ride past St. Mary's Cape and on up the Evangeline Trail/route 1. Really a perfect ride. I got on 101 which doesn't have a lot of berm. But, again, traffic was courteous. I stopped for a blueberry and cream ice cream about 6 miles out of Digby. I'm staying the night at Digby campground about 2 miles from ferry.
camping Digby Campground

Saint-Alphonse de Clare Church, near Mavillette
Sacre Coeur Catholic Church, near Saulnierville
Church Point, I saw the spires a mile away, biggest wooden church in North America
St. Mary's Church, which is located on the campus of Université Sainte-Anne, was constructed between 1903 and 1905 in the form of a cross 58 m (190 ft.) long and 41 m (135 ft.) wide and the spire rises and impressive 56 m (185 ft.) above the surrounding countryside.

St. Bernard

working fishing/canning port

Thursday, September 21, 2017

My Bike Trip to Nova Scotia, NB, coast of Maine

Day 6, Yarmouth, Lakelawn Motel

Tuesday June 20, 2017, 18 miles (30 km) - Total so far: 290 miles (466 km)

Well, I didn't get very far. I packed up dry--yet everything felt damp. The humidity. The first 13 miles were great though windy. I took a great pic(to come) of St. Anne's church and the interior of a Baptist one. It was the first time I'd actually seen one open. Even Sunday they all looked dead. After coming out of the church I noticed it was spritzing, not even half a mile down the road it was raining so I put on poncho.

I crossed several causeways to get into Yarmouth. The wind was pushing me off the road. It was scary and my poncho was ballooning. I finally made it to a Tim Horton's, my life raft. I had them fill my thermos and ate a sandwich. All the while I was checking warmshowers and CouchSurfing, looking for a host. At one point the rain came down so hard the hardy lobstermen inside commented on it. Meanwhile I'm in soaking wet clothes, squishy shoes, wondering what to do.

I got back on the bike. It would only be 17 miles to a provincial park and the wind should be in my favor. Then I saw the cutest little motel with gingerbread details and I stopped and asked how much. Silly question: I was prepared to pay almost anything. I've been carrying underwear for 2 days hoping to dry them. Lakelawn Motel is an oasis. I plan to give them a great review. With tax it came to $139.15, let's hope there's a good exchange rate.

So now after an excellent HOT shower and a chance to clean clothes, I'm snug, things are drying and airing out around me. There's TV and Wi-Fi and my thermos is full of tea. Life is good. Tomorrow I hope to make it to Digby in if not sunshine then at least not a hurricane.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

My Bike Trip to Nova Scotia, NB, coast of Maine

Day 5, Shelburne to Argyle Historic Anglican church

Monday June 19, 2017, 60 miles (97 km) - Total so far: 271 miles (436 km)

Yesterday it wasn't just cloudy but cloud-bearing, and at the last moment there was a cloud burst. The air was saturated. The same thing today plus strong winds. Throw in occasional fog.

I left the campsite about 8:30. Very relaxed. The night before I'd stayed up with Jerry and Wendy the campground host's talking around the fire. Lovely people, and so good to talk and hang out.

I hit the 103, and hated it the whole way into Barrington, which was nothing but a cluster of museums. The visitor centre was very helpful and directed me to a place where I ate lunch. The wind was against me the whole way. But after I left the wind pushed me 30 more miles. I knew I couldn't make Yarmouth, maybe I could, but with the fog rolling in I thought better of it. I just didn't want to be stuck with fog and low energy during rush hour traffic. Tomorrow it's supposed to rain all day, so basically all I wanted to accomplish was setting myself up for a short ride tomorrow to a campground where I could possibly dry some clothes. We'll see.

Anyway, I stopped at just 60 miles at a beautiful clapboard Anglican church in Argyle. The graveyard was established in 1790. I'm in a fantastically beautiful spot. I am perched here awaiting the rain.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

My Bike Trip to Nova Scotia, NB, coast of Maine

Day 4, Rest in peace, Liverpool to Shelburne

Sunday June 18, 2017, 62 miles (100 km) - Total so far: 211 miles (340 km)

Maybe not so much in peace. The winds picked up and it rained hard. I needed a strategy for keeping things dry. It's hard to set up in the rain, load in in the rain, and then decide what do do with the soaking wet clothes. Above all I needed to keep the sleeping bag from getting wet in all my manoeuvring. Also must sacrifice having wet socks on until last possible moment. Between the day before and the ride yesterday I had 2 pairs wet socks and only 2 dry ones left. I had to save one for sleeping in.

The rain pants were a joke. I put them on because I needed something for running to bathroom in and they were dry. But in the night the coating came off on my skin and the seam seal tape came apart.
I might need to find a laundromat for a dryer. I rode today in my spare bike shorts and they simply do not have the padding. They're pretty worn.

So the weather: the sun only came out once. It was overcast, humid, and at one point misty. So I couldn't even dry stuff I'd attached to the back of the bike.

I started at Tim Horton's where a gaggle of geezers gave me route advise. I rode route 3 into Port Mouton (Moo-ton). Where I bought a home baked good from the craft/hostel. Wish I had ridden 13 miles more to get there, but with the rain and dusk-like visibility, it couldn't happen. I then got on the 103. Shoulder was generous and traffic wasn't much and they were courteous. I got off at Sable River, actually I wanted to keep going on 103 and save time. I even rode up a huge hill, but the shoulder disappeared and the speed limit went up to 70. I turned around and did route 3 into Lockport, Jordan Falls, etc. I stopped at a picnic spot and ate and 15 miles later stopped again for fried paddock and fries. Only 4.95!

I made it to Shelburne--in a passing shower, and to The Islands provincial park. This place is beautiful. Very special and peaceful. I love it here. I took a HOT shower and can stay I side office and grab WiFi. Perfect.

Now just hoping stuff can start to dry out.

The Islands Provincial Park

Monday, September 18, 2017

My Bike Trip to Nova Scotia, NB, coast of Maine

Day 3, Liverpool graveyard, rained all day

Saturday June 17, 2017, 56 miles (90 km) - Total so far: 149 miles (240 km)

Last night I got rest. I had a great campfire, charged my phone, and read until sleepy. Far off I could hear the waves beating the cliffs.

Then in the night the rain came. Not entirely unexpected. Also I was prepared from my 2 spring bike campouts. Both were really wet. Plus I knew I'd have to expect rain in Nova Scotia.

I packed up wet and hit the road. About 5 miles later I was in LeHave. I took the ferry over and the salty sailor called it a miserable day. I went to the bakery there and ordered a pot of tea and a scone with butter. I had plenty of energy. The hills were not so bad. I was following my Warmshowers host Steve's recommendations. At one point though I went onto Green Bay Road to eventually connect with the 331. There was no way. I kept passing a circle of trailers where a woman emerged with her baby and went to sit under a torn tarp where there was a fire. The photo of the migrant mother came to mind. She said the road didn't go through.

I turned around and went back. That was 5 miles.

The rain never quit. I made it to Port Medway where I ate a bowl of chowder. I knew I'd only make it to Liverpool. Even though it was only 4 in the afternoon cars had their headlights on. Back when I did 2 K on 103 I was freaked out by the traffic. There was a wide shoulder, but with the rain I wanted to play it safe. I went to turn on my rear reflector and it wasn't there. It must have fallen off somewhere.

So when I got to Liverpool I stopped at a hardware store and bought a cheapy blinky one and some chain lube. It might not be the right kind but I'll need something. I'm afraid my chain will rust.
Hoping tomorrow no rain and that I can post this. Not a lot of WiFi at night.

Tonight I stealth camp just outside the village of Liverpool at the edge of a cemetery next to some woods.

Friday, September 15, 2017

My Bike Trip to Nova Scotia, NB, coast of Maine

Day 2, Lunenburg to The Ovens

Friday June 16, 2017, 41 miles (66 km) - Total so far: 93 miles (150 km)

Today was low energy. The mileage doesn't reflect the effort. Sometimes the trail is sandy and slurry, making progress twice as difficult. My thighs were burning.

Last night it got down to the mid 40s. Not terrible cold. Still I found cold spots when I rolled over.
This a.m. bright sunshine. I took my time getting off. About 9 a.m. and immediately got back on the bike path, Bay to Bay Trail. I know the trail saved me some hills and car traffic--the trade-off is boring and sometimes an unimproved bumpy ride.

I made it to Lunenburg in 3 hours, which by that time I was starved. I ate lunch at the first place I saw. The Dinghy Diner had an eclectic small menu. I got a cabbage roll and 2 sides for 6.95. Everything was excellent, I left full. Outside of shops and tourist stuff there wasn't much to do. It is a UNESCO site, I think because it represents a typical NS fishing village--back in the day.

When I left the sky had clouded over and the wind chilly. Now I was onto roads and was hoping to make it to LeHave where there is a ferry over the river. Then onto Risser Beach Campground. But somehow I missed a turn and when I checked my map I was already too far to go back. But there was a sign for The Ovens which I'd read about. Soooo I decided to quit early 4:00 p.m. and wind my way back. Hoping this wasn't a mistake.

It cost me $35 and that was with a 20% for coming on a bike. I took the map and went to my campsite. I'm like the only one here. I'm on a bluff overlooking the ocean. YET here's the great news: this place is awesome. There is a nature walk along the cliffs where I can descend into sea caves and tunnels. The tide is low but by 10 pm it should be coming back in and the tunnels will fill up.
So about to start a fire, put up tent, and relax, and get strong for tomorrow.

PS I found a tick crawling on me.
Lunenberg, NS, St. John's Anglican Church, a masterpiece of community spirit to restore after a massive fire

view from trail, Chester Connection, Little Eddy river

basalt cliffs, The Ovens

basalt cliffs, The Ovens

sea cave

inside a sea cave

camping The Ovens