Coast to Coast to Coast in Canada

jeckyll

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May 11, 2016
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569
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Lotusland
Trying to get caught up a little bit today... (actual location is Saskatchewan, but we're still in NB for the report ;) )

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Day 17

"Precious time"

A guy I knew used to hang out at the beach close to where I used to live. One time I commented how he seemed to be there with his friends every weekend in the summer and he said "that's because this is precious time". Well that's how today felt.

We took our time in the morning and then headed over to the beach in Alma. Picked up desert first, and had desert on the beach. Dayna and I wandered around and took some photos while my dad enjoyed his cake and coffee.






Boats leaving the harbour


Neat rocks









Then we went in to the Alma Lobster Shop and enjoyed some excellent seafood (the Lobster roll was amazing).

One the way out I saw a very young moose bull on at the exit of the park, dad saw the same one and we laughed about it after, because both of us thought it was a cow first until we saw the tiny antlers.

After dinner, we went down the road for some delicious ice cream.

What a nice day!
 

jeckyll

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Lotusland
Day 18 PEI

My dad was feeling much better than when I arrived and we decided to meet up in PEI. I wanted to check out PEI anyway and ride the Confederation Bridge (13 km long!)

Newfoundland was out due to timing, so this would be my last Atlantic Province. The ride out wasn't too far and easy navigation. Soon I was on the bridge.

Such a long bridge! 13 km of bridge riding really gets you thinking about how long it is. Luckily not a lot of wind on the way there, but I can just imagine what it's like when it's blowing. Probably not a whole lot of fun on a bike.










I had left earlier and was going to check out Charlottetown and then we would meet up in Victoria and have more seafood.

I wandered around Charlottetown but couldn't do the city thing. It's a weird experience, to see things that you would normally enjoy, but due to the heat and carrying my jacket strapped to my backpack it wasn't super. I did take a few photos and enjoyed what I saw, but there was major work on the one place I wanted to go into to learn more about Confederation was closed due to major renovation. I knew that before heading over.


That's all you could see, but at least the noticeboards were up






Tourist traps ;)






(why is it 2020 on the plaque and 2022 in terms of the actual "piece"?)


Since being there wasn't really working for me I decided to go to Victoria early and ride around a bit, trying to find a spot to take some photos.


Ended up on a two track following my GPS :D




<splitting due to image limits>
 

jeckyll

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May 11, 2016
Messages
569
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Lotusland
Back in Victoria I got a call an hour before I was expecting, Dad and Dayna were already there. So we went and had a very late lunch (or super early dinner, you decide). More amazing seafood!








Afterwards a bit more walking around and taking photos.










The red sand


Then back to NB. It was time for me to do laundry and prep for my departure! 10 days go really fast.
 

jeckyll

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May 11, 2016
Messages
569
Location
Lotusland
Day 19 - Back to Quebec

Well, it was time to leave. Of course, not an easy thing to do, both leaving my dad and then facing the 9 days back across Canada. I was hopeful that I'd get to stop and see more of the things that I'd been hoping to on the way out.

First though, we sat down for breakfast again


And then I packed the final items and got everything sorted on the bike.

One more photo with dad.


The forecast was not great, some rain and some thunderstorms. Which I really do not like.

Five minutes after getting on the highway it was drizzling.

Luckily there was no great rain until close to Edmonston and then the skies opened up, it was bloody dark and the lightening started hitting the hillside next to the highway.

One biker took shelter under an overpass, but I wanted to get right off the highway. Cars and trucks were driving with the 4 way flashers on, I power past at 130 to get to an offramp.

I missed one due to being in the wrong lane with lots of slow traffic in the right lane, then got off at the next one. They had a Timmies and I walked in, dripping everywhere. People were definitely looking at me but didn't say anything.

After a coffee and a muffin, I waited until the skies looked better where I was going and got back on the bike, still wet. It was still raining slightly, but the black clouds were behind me.

Off into Quebec. Got some gas which was even more expensive in Quebec than New Brunswick, and then after a short trip on the trans Canada, I turned off in St.Pascal and rode route 230 through some beautiful little towns. It also gives a better view of the St.Lawrence.

I did the same on the other side of the highway, taking route 132. If I'd spoken French it would have been great to spend some time in a cafe or just hang out a bit in one of the little towns, some had a very European flair.

When I got to Montmagny I got a hotel. Luckily the woman at the front desk spoke some English and was very helpful. Then I got some beer, but didn't realize what I got.

7.1% ... hmm, OK.


I bought two, but really, one was enough.

The next day would be tough again, it looked very wet past Quebec City and Montreal. But, what are you going to do?

Some stats:
Total km: 8,937
Daily km: 650
Soakings: 1
Spirits: Decent
 

jeckyll

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Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
569
Location
Lotusland
Day 20 - F**king rain!

When I woke up, a bit early due to the hour I gained changing from Atlantic to Eastern time, it wasn't bad out, just some light drizzle and I felt OK for the day ahead.

By the time I got outside with straps and bags, it was raining solid and I put some layers on to not start wet.

Well, once I started riding... it was pouring rain, driving wind and I was sharing the highway with drivers who liked cutting right in front of me and covering me in additional heavy spray on top of the rain that was falling. I'd seen 46 F on the bike thermometer when I started, it 'warmed up' to 50 F (i.e. 10 C) during the ride.

I pushed hard, trying to stretch my tank as far as possible, feeling myself get wetter and wetter. My feet were 'squishing' in the boots, my hands were wet through the 'winter' gloves and all my heated vest was the only thing keeping me from having to pull over and stop riding.

I got past Quebec City, and the forecast had said things were supposed to improve weather wise closer to Montreal.

They lied.

It kept dumping down.

Crossing the last bridge out of Montreal I could see 'white caps' on the river, that's how strong the wind was.

Just about out of Quebec and the dumping continued, I pulled off to get gas and visit a Timmies to get warm, but the Timmies was closed. Drive through only :(

I was done, close to shivering. So, I decided just to cross into Ontario and find somewhere to stay as soon as possible.

On the way out of Quebec I flipped the 'Leaving Quebec' sign the bird.

But then, within another 5 minutes it stopped raining. And got much lighter towards the horizon!

So I rode on, and stopped at a Tim Horton's in Renfrew to finally get a small bite to eat (I'd not had any real food yet and it was after 2 pm).

And I met Tim (hope I got the name right :D ). Just when I was really needing to chat with a real rider!


We must have talked for 20 minutes or more, sharing stories of long trips, him telling me about some riding in Ont, comparing stories of riding in the states etc.

Great guy, really good to meet him and share stories.

Note the great motorcycle only parking!


I had a coffee and a muffing and decided to ride to Pembroke where I'd found an affordable Motel. Sure, I was still in soaked boots and socks, but I had fresh (dry!) gloves on and it was sunny and I was feeling much better.

Got a room and the heat wasn't working (it was shut off because normally by this time people need AC, not heat) but I got a little space heater, which was perfect, I pointed it at my boots to help dry them out (I'd also stuffed paper into the toes and set them outside in the wind as soon as I arrived).

Since I was pretty bushed, I walked to the closest food, Little Caesar's, and got a pizza.


Was it good? Well, it tasted great given I was starved and it was warm! :D

I went to bed early, just taking some minor notes on the computer about the day.

The return trip was off to a helluva start...

Stats:
Total km: Not 100% sure as I didn't take a photo of the GPS that night
Daily km: about 650
Wildlife spotted: 1 wild turkey in a field away from the road. Quebec drivers (many)
Spirits: Decidedly mixed, very low in the morning, improved in the afternoon. But the forecast was not looking very good, I'd be battling more weather based on what I was seeing...
 
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