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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Day 63 - Rest Day - last set of pictures

OK - One last set of pictures.   Then I will be up to date.   We have 8 days of riding ahead of us and three provinces.  Not sure how easy it will be to update the blog. I will do what I can.

Enjoy!

The Centenniel Bridge over the Miramichi River.  A high bridge with two single lanes for traffic and a sidewalk with a regular heigh railing.  I rode the sidewalk.  Thankfully there was construction on the bridge to help slow down the traffic. 


Acadia land!!!!


Cy with our mackeral from Murraywood campground


Day 63 - Rest day - a few more pictures

OK - last post for today with pictures.

Enjoy

Ciao!!!!!

Craig and Alec as they zip past me on a hill



Our lobster dinner



Jacques just chilling on our rest day


Day 63 - Rest Day - more pictures

It takes a while, but I think three pictures is the maximum I dare post at any given time. Otherwise the upload fails.

I am being amused by Peter and Gavin who are attempting to outdo each other climbing the poles of the swing sets.  Nuff said!!!!

Remember the purple door to nowhere on the Thousand Island Parkway?   Well how about this garage door to nowhere!!!!!   Pretty bizarare

Nice shoulder on the road



No shoulder on the road


Day 63 - Rest day - pictures

I am not sure how many pictures I can upload so will do several posts with pictures.

Enjoy!!!

Ciao!!!!

Alec's tent after the huge down pour in St. Damase



Covered bridge in Rothierville


Welcome to New Brunswick!!!


Day 63 - St. Louis de Kent - a rest day

Slept in this morning.  Didn't crawl out of my tent until about 7 AM.  Aw what a luxury!   Although technically I don't have to get up at 6 on the other days - I could stretch it out a bit since I am pretty organized and it doesn't take long for me to get ready to ride.

Had breakfast - cereal and John made up yummy toast in the frying pan.  Couldn't beat that - it was almost better (ok - so it was better than the toaster back home!)  A nice table spoon of marmalade would have been nice, but strawberry jam had to suffice.

After breakfast - our camp site resembled a bike shop.  It seemed that everyone got into the bike cleaning mode.  There were bike parts strewn all over the place, cleaning, new chains, new tires - you name it - people were busy.  I just managed to clean my chain and cleaned the rims of the wheels again.  Pretty dirty. 

This is the last rest day of the trip.  I think a number of people are getting antsy to get the trip over with.  I know at this stage that it was hard to believe that we had all come so far.  Another eight days to ride and then we will all go our separate ways.  Yikes - that seemed to go quick!

After I cleaned my bike - I vegged out in a lawn chair and read.  This is an old Micheal Crichton book - maybe his first.  I picked it up in the laundry room of one of the camp sites - copyright - 1968.  Craig accurately guessed the year.  How did he do that????   Anyway - it is a good book and probably will finish it tonight.  Although I may take up some knitting this afternoon.

The sky started up blue, but has clouded over although we still see bits of blue here and there.  The important thing - NO RAIN.   Although there is a bit shelter that we could sit if the rain starts.

I was going to walk into St. Louis de Kent to get something to eat for lunch and dinner when one of the girls from the camp site office drove past and offered me a lift.  SURE - I know - my Fitbit groaned!!!!!    But she was on her way to town for lunch and I went to the Co-op to get something to eat and then she gave me a life back home.  How lazy can you get.   Yes - I have really done NOTHING all day and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I am going to try and load some pictures this afternoon.

Have a great day!!!

Ciao!!!!!

Craig updating his blog.  He had to sit by the electrical box!!!!

Day 62 - Petit Rocher - St. Louis de Kent

Wow - I felt like a little kid with a super hero cape today.  I can FLY!!!!!

Although we did not have rain in the night - it sure sounded like it. Apparently it was just the wind blowing some dampness off the trees.  Yeah - what a nice start to the day although the sky did not look promising. 

Last night some of the regular campers at the camp site got out their boats and went fishing. I didn't know what was going on, but apparently they went fishing for US.   Yes - they came back with a whack of mackerel that they had caught. Apparently it is very simple - just throw out a line with a hook and presto - you get a fish.  They are that abundant in that part of the ocean or bay or whatever was there.  The fish was given to us all gutted and ready to cook up.   Of course - the guys had to whip out some flour, salt and pepper and a frying pan and cook up a piece to try.  I did have a piece and yes  - it was pretty good. You sure don't get it any fresher than that!!!!!   The rest was saved for breakfast.

I am sure that most campers at these camp sites would be a bit intimidated by us and think that we are going to be noisy.  No so - by 9 PM - the camp site is a dead zone and everyone is in their tent and most likely asleep or soon to be.

Anyway - I ended up not having any fish for breakfast - I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to handle that so I passed. Had a banana and cereal and I was fine.  It was early but I was ready and so I left.  We had 149 KM to ride that day and well - you never know what the roads and weather will be like.   I headed out alone and what a glorious day.

The first bit of good news is that we had favourable winds for almost the entire day.  And not just favourable winds but VERY favourable winds.  Like I said - I felt like a kid on my bike with a super hero cape!!!!!   Don't have my average  - haven't downloaded the data yet, but I made the 149 KM including stops in 7 hours.

There are two things that I miss on this trip. Having a LEISURELY tea from Tim's. I  mean - get a cup and let it sit for a half hour, then slowly drink it while reading.   I miss that!!!!!   The other thing that I miss a lot is a nice fluffy towel.  I brought one of those quick drying towels - well yes - it is quick drying because it doesn't really dry you off so of course it dries quickly!!!!

I did pass a couple of Tim's today, but I don't want to hurry the process so I didn't stop.  Did stop at a grocery store and got some chocolate milk and then I was off.  Most of the roads were in not bad shape so that was good although some of them were missing shoulders which isn't my favourite thing.  Still the traffic was pretty good and I guess I am just getting good at having trucks and cars whizz pass within a couple of feet of me! 

The other thing I won't miss is the damn mosquitoes.  I have no idea where they are coming from, but I have bites everywhere and they are itchy like crazy.  It is sad when you have to slather your legs with Afterbite after a shower instead of lotion.

Today we went over the bridge in Miramichi.  This is not my favourite bridge as it is high and it is best to ride on the sidewalk with just a regular railing on the side.  I just focused on where I was going and didn't bother to look down.  It helped that there was construction on the bridge. So as I went up the steep incline, the traffic was stopped. Perfect.  As I got close to the top - the traffic started and then the sidewalk was blocked so I had to ride on the road.  Then just past the blocked sidewalk part - the oncoming traffic started up towards me.  Ooops - better get back on the sidewalk.   So that wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Thanks to Neil last year - who made me do things that I wouldn't have thought I could.  This year - it was easy!!!!!

Had a quick bite on the side of the road and stopped at the Tourist Information to use the bathrooms and then I was off again.   Alec and Craig who always ride together kept catching up to me and then I would pass them.  We tagged each other all day.   I did stop in the morning to take a LOT of pictures.  The area we left was very much Acadian country and almost all the houses had some sort of red/white/blue combination of decoration on it.  Flags, decorations and a lot of telephone poles were painted in the red/white/blue with yellow star. OK - enough pictures - time to get moving.

There weren't a lot of places to stop today which was fine - like I said - when the conditions are good - you just want to ride and ride I did.  However when I left in the morning - I had no idea what to wear.   I started out with my bolero, my rain vest and my big rain jacket.   I ditched the bolero at 50 K, ditched the rain vest at 100K and had to wear the big rain jacket for the rest of the day.  I did pull the sleeves up, but if I had my choice - I would have ditched it too.  But no room!!!!!
It wasn't so bad, but at least the good news - the sun was out for most of the day.   Now the sky wasn't clear - there were lots of clouds around and in the morning, the ground was wet.

I see big clouds coming and knew that I wouldn't be able to outrun them.  I did get a bit of a drizzle, but not enough to get wet.  Yeah!!!!!    however I was a couple of KM from camp and the road got really wet.  It appears that Craig and Alec got caught in a down pour which I missed.  My feet got a bit damp from the water that was on the road.  No big deal.  Got to camp, helped unload the truck and got the tent set up.

Next on the agenda- have a shower and then laundry.  There are four washing machines and ONE working dryer so I see a bottle neck happening there.   But I managed to get everything done before it was time for cook duty.   We had FRESH lobster for dinner. It came precooked - yeah.  I made a yummy bean salad and we had some stir fry for the vegetarians amongst us.  Well I decided to try the lobster - I am not a huge fan of sea food, but why not.  So Gavin (one of our vegetarians and our truck driver) decided to share the lobster with me. Fine by me - since he took it apart. Stuart had made some yummy butter/lemon sauce and it was awesome.

Another birthday - Kirk's today.  I think I joined the tour at the exact right time - I think this was our fourth birthday?

Oh yes - let's not forget the couple of down pours we have had since we have arrived in camp.   Will this crazy rain ever go away?????   The nice thing - we do not have rain this evening although he sky is not clear, but partially clear. We have a rest day tomorrow so let's hope that we will have some nice weather to just hang out.

Had a chat with Stuart last night - the bike guru.  AFTER I cleaned my bike.   Then I cleaned the rims of the wheels as my brakes are wearing fast.  My chain was very happy today, but I think it is going to need another cleaning tomorrow.

So yes - everything is done - a complete day of rest tomorrow.  I'm on my fourth book that I swapped for the one I finished at the last camp site.

I see some of the gang is going to go lobster fishing with the fellow who brought us the lobster today.   Apparently he is a TdC vet of from a couple of years ago.   They have to be up at 4:45.  Yep - they can go fishing - I will hang out here and do nothing.

I must admit that I love to ride by myself.   I know - that makes me unsocial but I love being able to ride fast when I want, slow when I want, stop to take pictures when I want and basically do what I want!!!!!!   It is very freeing to not have to keep up to anyone, although I do miss some of the goodies we had last year.  I don't really miss them - my waist line doesn't miss them either!!!!!

That's it for today.

Have a good day!!!!!!!!!!

Ciao!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Day 61 - Atholville - Petit Rocher

Time change yesterday once we crossed into New Brunswick.  That threw a lot of people for a loop including me. 

After a decent night's sleep in a dampish, but still dry tent - I wasn't awake at the crack of dawn.  When I heard the truck door open - I looked at my clock and it was 6:11.   Normally I am awake at 5:30 at least. I thought to myself that it was a short day so why bother get up right away.  I lay there until about 6:30 then decided it was time to get up.   I think I am going to have to get my Thermarest checked out.  When I blow it up when I set up my tent - it needs a couple more puffs before I go to bed. And last night - it needed a couple more puffs in the middle of the night. It has served me well, but maybe it has reached the end of its life????   I know nothing about the longevity of the darn things, but I have gotten my moneys worth from it.

I must admit that when I looked out and towards the sky I had a pleasant surprise.  Yes - we were able to see blue sky.  Not a lot mind you, but we did see some.  It was refreshing but none of us wanted to get too excited about it.

I took my time getting ready this morning.  Was just in slow motion mode and that was OK since the day was going to be short. Only 100K.  I think my ideal bike trip would be 80 - 100 KM per day.  Anything more than that and it becomes work and really - we are supposed to be on vacation!   That is my physiological barrier - 100K.

Anyway - I finally took off alone  - Kirk went ahead.  I had a fabulous leisurely time riding for the first 50K.  I stopped to take all kinds of pictures - something that you just don't get to do when you are with someone else. Beautiful views of the coastline and some of the sky. And at one point - I even stopped to take a layer of clothing off. That was very pleasant indeed and although I didn't have room to store my big rain jacket - I rolled up the sleeves and that felt good. It wasn't a super hot day, but a few hills in there made for being a bit too warm at times.

Arrived in Dalhousie and that HUGE hill.   Since I didn't really need to see the water front again - I headed for the shortcut which intersects THE hill at the half way mark.  There was a bit of construction going on and the street was closed, but I managed to steer the bike through.  Some others coming through later had to detour down the hill and then catch the hill further down. Then I turned right and WHAM - that hill is right in your face.  It is pretty steep, but I cranked down into my granny gear and I was fine.  Just a whole lot of huffing and puffing!!!!

I stopped along the shore of Eel River.  It was absolutely gorgeous there - the sun was out - well partially out and it was gorgeous.   Back on the bike and made it to Nash Creek which was at the 63 K mark for the day.  There was pretty much no other places to stop.  Got some chocolate milk and sat outside the store on some pallets to eat my sandwich.  Craig and Alec caught up with me at that point.    I stopped to chat with them - then took off. 

At this point - I realized the sun had gone and the clouds were back and rain was threatening.  Good grief - could we not have at least one day without the rain?  Well it didn't rain much - just a shower, but enough to make me nervous.  I really really wanted to get to camp with dry shoes today.  Just once?   The shower didn't last long and in places I could see the roads were wet so it had rained before me. 

But we had a beautiful tailwind and for the most part - it was down hill or flat and I decided to race the storm.  I know - how stupid is that!!!!!   Well I put pedal to the metal and I just booted along that last 40 K. I hit another shower or two, but nothing that lasted long or that got me wet.  I made it into camp which was 3 K before it was supposed to be according to our map which was fine by me.  

The tent is set up and pretty much dry, we are right on the beautiful beach with a superb ocean view.  Had a shower and I am set for the afternoon to do nothing!!!!!

Actually there is a nice shelter and there is free Wi-Fi so I am going  to try and get some of the blogs posted. 

I have to say that the sun shine today was very welcome and so was the fact that I arrived in camp dry. It throws the whole routine off when you have to dry things - most campsites have laundry so that isn't a problem - just an extra chore. And then things all have to go back in the right spot - just extra work for this lazy cyclist.  But today - well a day like that restores your faith in doing out door activities. No idea what the forecast is for tomorrow - I am sure I don't even want to know.  Whatever it is - we will ride so just get on that bike and ride.

And I had great news when I got to camp.  M - yes - remember her?   Well she is going into second semester of Fashion Arts.  They need to do an internship for at least one semester.  She has been working hard at getting things lined up and today she learned that she got exactly what she wanted.  She will be interning at a fashion magazine in Toronto for this coming semester.  I am so PROUD of her.  There are many times when I could strangle her, but I have learned over the years that if she makes up her mind to do or get something - it usually works out.  I don't worry any more. Way to go M - awesome job.

At this point of the trip the countdown has begun. Actually the countdown began for some a while back.  How many days until we arrive in St. John's.  How many cycling days. How many rest days. How many days left for each cook team. How many times left to put up the tent.    I know that blogs like mine are read by people wanting to get information about the Tour du Canada.   Let me tell you that while the trip is a test to your physical side - it is very much a mental test as well.  You are away from home for a long time, the weather may be bad, you have to sleep in a tent and a whole lot more.  That is all part of the adventure.  You have to take the good with the bad. I hate the rain, but as someone mentioned today - no one likes to ride in the rain, but once you are in the rain - you just embrace it and keep going.  There is nothing more to (unless you are stupid like me and try to outrun it!!!!! - which of course - I didn't, but I didn't get wait so I feel like I won!!!!)

We have one more day before a well deserved rest day.   Then we will be on the last segment of the trip.  Wow - and before we know it  -it will be over.   

On that note - I am off to connect to the internet and see what happens.

Have a great day!!!!!!!

Ciao!!!!!!!!!!!!

(blog is now up to date - minus pictures which just isn't going to happen with this internet connection)