Total Pageviews

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Conclusion 24August, 2011 thru 29Aug, 2011-08-31

Well, after yesterday the final leg of our adventure is beginning.  First though I need to say how proud I am of Anne completing her quest.  I had no doubt in my mind when this all began, that she would, and she did.  Way to go sweetheart.
After all was done yesterday, we headed for a small town known as Baddeck, Nova Scotia where we camped at Ventures East Campground.  So after a good nights’ rest, we got up to another beautiful day and took off on a tour of the Cabot Trail.  This time, Anne was driving the Toyota while Flo and the trailer were left behind.  The day long trip around the Cabot Trail was certainly worth it, the scenery was amazing.
We arrived back at the campgrounds around 430pm and decided we should go out for supper at “Baddecks Lobster Supper” Restaurant .  This was a different experience but one I personally loved.  Upon entering the restaurant you choose which main course you would like, only three choices, lobster, steak or planked salmon.  Prices range from 29.00 to 35.00 per meal.  Now that you have made that choice you are seated and the fun begins.  Unlimited fresh bread and rolls, chowder, mussels, salads, desserts and non-alcoholic beverages come with this meal.  Yes unlimited everything except the main course.  Wow what a deal!  After a very enjoyable supper Anne and I took a walk down to the Marina, where we met and visited with a couple from Puce, Ontario.
On the 25th, Anne and I decided to head to Truro, Nova Scotia for the day.  Anne spent a relaxing afternoon in the trailer, while I played 18 holes of golf at River Run Golf Course at 922 West North River Rd. North River, N.S. (on the edge of Truro)  We spent the night in a large lot in Truro.
On the 26th, prior to leaving Truro, N.S., we got the oil changed in the Rav4, at the Canadian Tire.  Then it was on the road for Moncton, N.B. to visit with Randy and Sue.  We arrived early afternoon at Randy and Sue’s and the visit began.  Always great to visit with friends, and this was no exception.  Sassy was so excited to have a house to move around in.  I think she hated to leave.  The four of us went to a great Restaurant in Shediac called the Greenhouse and had a great meal.  We went back to Randy and Sue’s for dessert. Sue had made a wonderful, cake/pie in celebration of Anne’s Ride.
On the 27th, the first thing we did was check on the progress of Hurricane Irene.  In Moncton the skies were clear and blue, barely a breeze.  The weather channel indicated that Irene should not arrive in the area until 2am Monday morning, so the decision is made to stay, as originally planned and leave Sunday morning.  Randy and I took off for golf, leaving the girls alone to enjoy talk and shopping.  The girls also shopped for supper.  Randy and Sue put on a fantastic supper, way too much to eat, (sliders, scallops, mussels, shrimp, mashed potatoes, green beans)  Thanks Randy and Sue.  We relaxed and just enjoyed the rest of the evening talking and laughing.
August 28th, we were up at 6am and on the road by 7am.  The weather channel was still saying that we could expect Hurricane Irene’s arrival in Quebec and the Maritimes late Sunday night, early Monday morning.  So we took off hoping to get west of Montreal today.  However Irene began moving over the land quicker than expected.  By the time we had reached Beaumont, Que (just east of Quebec City)  the weather situation was declining rapidly and the trailer was bouncing in the wind on the highway.  Anne pulled off the Highway by a petro Can gas station.  We filled the car up with gas, and in the large lot beside the Petro-Can we pulled the vehicle and trailer into position facing the wind.  I got out and locked the levellers into place and into the trailer we went to ride out the storm.  Lots of wind and rain, at one point I took Sassy out for her business and she was blown off the steps of the trailer.  The storm raged on throughout most of the night, but by morning the skies were clearing.
August 29th, 2011 we were on the road by 7am determined to make this our last day on the road.  1082 km later, 16 hours after beginning our day on the road, we arrived in Blenheim bringing us to the conclusion of our adventure which had begun on May 30th, 2011.
Anne rode her bicycle 6530 km from Vancouver B.C to Sydney N.S., Our total travel distance from the time we left until we got home we covered 14,542 km.
In conclusion, again Anne, I am so proud of you.  You did it, some days it was difficult, but you just kept going and did a fantastic job.
I also would like to thank, Blythe, Drew and Kate, Bo and Meli, and Rodrigue for all of their support, throughout this trip.  It was a great help.
To all our friends, old and new, who also supported us along this adventure.  Your texts, emails and phone calls were great support.  The kindness of people we met along the way was great for the soul.  Yes, there are many great Canadians out there.  Thank-you to everyone.



Cake for Mum
Love Blythe

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Day 77 - Big Pond, Nova Scotia to SYDNEY, NOVA SCOTIA (Atlantic Ocean)

Well we are! You have heard all about the rocks, the tree's, the hills and the suffering! I'm sure there was all of that again today, but it went by in a blur.  I had 37 km to think about all of the wonderful people who have supported me over the past 77 days.  It poured rain all night!  We had no intention of not getting on that bike, though!  It cleared up about 15 minutes after breakfast and Brian was out pumping up the tires and drying off the seat!  I was soaking wet, pretty quick, but honestly it felt like my feet were on fire! At 10:30 a.m. I was near the big fiddle in Sydney and dipping the front tire in the Atlantic Ocean.  The sun was shining...literally!  It turned out to be a fine day. 
Most of you know that I have dedicated my ride to bringing about awareness of impaired driving.  When I was 8 years old, my best friend, Brenda Jean Handy was killed by a drunk driver, while riding her bicycle to my house.  Brenda was almost 11 years old.  Brenda was my first role model.  She was an accomplished athlete at many sports, swimming, skating, baseball, and track and field.  She was the one, that told me, "Yes you can" at a very early age.  She taught me many things and one of them was to never give up.  Brenda has been gone for almost 44 years and I still miss her.  Yesterday I wished her Mum a Happy Birthday.  Her parents have been like parents to me. So to Brenda, I will always be grateful for the lessons she taught me.
I am also so very grateful to my family and friends, for all the love and support they have shown to Brian and I over the past 77 days.  More than you will ever know, your thoughts have touched us deeply.  Bo, Melissa, Drew, Kate, Blythe, and Rodrigue thank you for your special touches.  We have missed you all very much and look forward to seeing you soon.
And Brian, how can I ever thank you for EVERYTHING!  Not many husbands would give up their golf membership to follow their wife across the country.  Above and beyond the call of duty.  I could not have done this without you!  Thank you!
I have tried to give complete instructions about our route and the terrain, in case any of you want to do the same trip.  If any of you take complete leave of your senses and decide to make the trip, call me first.  I have loads of tips that may make the trip a little easier.  There will be one more blog entry from Brian when we get home.  But this is it from me....signing off from Sydney, Nova Scotia.  Anne
Flo gets dipped in the Atlantic

The Last Morning begins

Day 76 - 22 August, 2011 - Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia to Big Pond, Nova Scotia

Happy Birthday Aunt Eva~! I would have loved to have finished on your birthday.....but it was not meant to be.  I was on the road, by 8:10 a.m., on a beautiful, clear day.  I left Port Hawkesbury and headed to Hwy 104.  This is a controlled access highway; nice pavement and a decent shoulder.  Lots of hills to negotiate.  It was 40 km to St. Peters where Hwy 104 ended and Hwy 4 took over and from there is was downhill....sort of.  It was actually up steep hills on poor pavement with no shoulder.  Drivers were less tolerant of cyclists, too.  (Probably sick of the cross country cyclists by now!)  It was really pretty though, following Bras d'Or Lake.  Sailboats anchored offshore with a hilly, tree covered backdrop.  After 30 km of back breaking hills, I came to 5 km of construction.  Beyond the construction was great pavement where recent cnstruction had tried to take the steepness out of the terrain.  In Big Pond we came upon Rita MacNeil's famous tea room.  We were unable to get a campsite at the local campground, so Rita's son, allowed us to fill up our fresh water tank.  I indulged in tea and fresh, homemade lemon meringue pie.  Brian had a quick cup of tea then headed out to fill up the trailer.  After the break, I couldn't seem to get going.  We pulled off on a vacant lot, for the night.  I was a little disappointed that \i couldn't continue on to Sydney, but as usual, Brian said he was proud of the 92 km I got in.  Tomorrow will be the big day!

Anne in front of St. Peter's Bay

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Day 75 – 21 August, 2011 – New Glasgow, Nova Scotia to Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia (C. B. I.)

My last Sunday ride! A lovely, clear morning 19 degrees to start.  I cycled back to Hwy 104 and the adventure began.  Hwy 104 is part of the Trans Canada Highway.  The McDonalds in these parts advertise McLobster Sandwiches.  The hill climbing was unbelievable and they just kept coming!  Large tracts of forest lined the roadway, but at the top of the hills you could see the water.  All morning the temperature kept rising to 30 degrees by lunchtime.  We pulled over near Monastery and we made lunch.  Food always tastes so great, when you are starving! After lunch it was very hot and the hills kept coming, but we were getting closer to Cape Breton Island.  We had read horror stories of cyclists trying to get across so I really wanted to do it on a Sunday.  Once we reached the Canso Causeway to cross on to Cape Breton Island, it wasn’t so bad!  We stopped for the night in Port Hawkesbury at 3:20 p.m.  As you can see, we are almost done.  We have approximately 148 km to our final destination of North Sydney.  I am nursing a blister so we are planning on reaching our goal on Tuesday....stay tuned folks! Total today 116 km.  Total to date, 6400 km!
Scenic View, Hwy 104 Nova Scotia

What a Hill

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Day 74 – 20th of August, 2011 – Pugwash, Nova Scotia to New Glassgow, Nova Scotia

Since we were in a campground last night, we didn’t want to walk up the neighbours, so we took our time getting going this morning.  By 8:45 a.m. I was cycling the 11 km back to Hwy 6.  As I went along, the hills intensified and I had a headwind.  A lot of the roadway is bordered by forest and at one point, I saw a “Bicycle Rest Stop” but it was on Black Bear Lane, so I didn’t stop.  Brian saw a bear eating blueberries, about 1 km away!!  Occasionally there would be a break in the trees and I could see Prince Edward Island across the Northumberland Strait.  In Tatamagouche, I rode past the Tim Horton’s
Children’s Camp.  All in all, it was turning into a pleasant day.  Earlier cloud cover broke into bright sunshine.  There wasn’t a shoulder on the road, but motorists were careful to get by me and there were no tractor/trailers.  I finally made it to Pictou around lunchtime.  After lunch, I went back through a roundabout to get to Hwy 106.  After 11 km, I took Hwy 104 straight into New Glassgow.  Total today 101 km.

Dept. of Vacation


Day 73 –19 August, 2011 - Shediac, New Brunswick to Pugwash, NOVA SCOTIA!

Last night we “camped” in the Canadian Tire parking lot in Shediac.  Our friend Sue came by this morning, to see us off.   It was cloudy and cool but pleasant on the bike.  I headed to Hwy 15.  It is a busy highway but it has a decent sized shoulder.  Winds were blowing steady all day, usually across the bike.  After 50 km I came to a round-about and took the second exit, Shemogue Road.  The road is a meandering, country road.  There are marshy wetlands that follow the Northumberland Strait.  On firmer ground are beautiful old homes with vegetable gardens and laundry hung outside, blowing in the wind.  It takes you back to bygone days.  There was also, no shortage of barking dogs!  Eventually we came to the intersection at Hwy 970 and a sign, welcoming us to Tidnish, Nova Scotia!!  Hwy 970 boasts as the Sunrise Trail, “Scenic Route” and it delivers.  Around the Northport area, there are some serious climbs.  Before we arrived in Pugwash, I had to “fuel up” at a fish and chip stand.  Brian wandered over to a fish market across the way and loaded up on lobster! Sue had told us about a campground in Pugwash.  Brian called ahead and reserved the LAST site.  We are camped tonite at Gulf Shore Camping Ground.  It is right on the water...Good Choice Sue! Brian golfed at Northumberland Links Golf Course.  It was the most beautiful and difficult course of the tour so far. Seven provinces down.....1 left to finish! Total today 106 km.

Sue  and Anne

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Day 72 - 18 August, 2011 - St. Margarets, New Brunswick to Shediac, New Brunswick

I know New Brunswick (and most of the Maritimes) have not had a sunny summer, but we are enjoying another great day! After I got going this morning, the groundskeeper from the Golf Course, came over and invited Brian to join him for a coffee.  What a nice way to start the day! The first half of the ride was  great, nice terrain, pretty rivers and lush green forests.  Brian stopped in Rexton for groceries, then met up with me further down Hwy 11.  That is when I gave him the news about my was like riding a bucking bronco! Hard to keep your bum in the saddle. Brian got some tools and did what he could, but he couldn't fix it.  I just had to find a spot on the seat and not move!  I had 44 km to get to Shediac.  I was glad that I didn't have any big climbs.  However I came to a construction zone where the asphalt had been removed and it was like riding on an accordion!  That continued for 10 km.  Once I got to Shediac, I cycled to the famous giant lobster.  After lunch at Captain Dan's on the wharf we loaded up the bike and drove into Moncton to Fitworks Cycle Shop.  Rheal was able to fix the seat.  Merci Beaucoup!  Our friends Sue and Randy met us for coffee after supper.  We will be spending more time with them in Moncton after the ride is done!  Today's total 100 km and the Grandtotal is now 6077 km.  Nova Scotia, here we come!

Randy, Sue, Anne and Brian