Tuesday, August 16, 2016

OMG Call out the army! They've escaped the Island and are loose on the mainland!!!

Obligatory bridge photo.

SINCE he picked up the KLR 2 years ago,TREVOR and I have been talking about a ride across (as Islanders put it)  We'd hoped for a two day, two night adventure but duties being what they are, settled for 750 kilometers and an overnight.

Snack break minus the banana's

KLR and XT 600 were gone over, chains lubed, tire pressures adjusted for bad road and dirt road pressures, granola bars stowed and gear checked. We had a plan (stop chuckling sometimes I do plan things).  We would pick up the Murray Beach coastal trail as soon as we got off the bridge at the first exit right and just follow the red starfish! 

How cool is this!

That would set the tone for our two day ride. Sticking to coastal routes, hugging the ocean, as little highway as possible and only when unavoidable.  We were going to head up to the three digit roads to Rexton area north of Bouctouche and find some dive to overnight in there.  The return leg would be inland, again sticking to the three digit roads (there are no four digit roads) and wind our way back the following day.

These are the things you find when you're not looking for them.  "Bet the trout fishin' is great" Stretch quips.

Leaving on high tide (just kidding we have a bridge now so it really doesn't matter) I rode my trusty Big Blue to Kinkora where the KLR actually sat running on the driveway.  Weather was looking good with only a possibility of late afternoon thundershowers late into our route.  Having paid the $18.50 toll to cross the bridge, signs announce it's FREE to enter the Island but like the Hotel California, "You can never leave..."  that is unless you pay your dues!

Log jam!?

After a short stop directly off the Confederation Bridge at the tourist information building, tourist map in hand, we ran the 2 km down the highway at 100 kph which I hoped would be the fastest portion of the entire trip.  Once onto route 955, we were on our way!!!!!

The coastal routes are all bypassed now by modern highway, which suited us just fine.  There would be little traffic on the triple digit roads and we could leisurely bide our time, stop for interesting photo ops of defunct lobster boats, abandoned farms and tiny bridges over ocean inlets.

The old road to Cap Pele had us literally crawling along at 60-70 kph.  By the time we got to the Tim Horton's * we were ready to shed some clothes as the sun was definitely turned to 'summer mode'

This bike has been to Baja/L.A. The AZ desert, the east coast from the west coast, around Lake Michigan and just turning 40,000 km age... 26 years! Big Blue still works great.

* For my American friends, the older the better, Tim Horton was a defenceman on the sixties Stanley Cup Toronto Maple Leaf hockey team.  The days when goalies didn't wear masks nor players helmets!  Old Number 7 started a coffee and doughnut franchise and of course they are on every street corner in the entire country now.

The place was packed and it took us quite some time to get our order filled.

We meandered south and after a very slow crawl through the very busy summer tourist town of Shediac we turned right up the coast. 

By mid afternoon we had covered some 300 kilometers, doing exactly what we'd set out to do.  With "No particular place to go" we'd reached Rexton, pulled over and had ourselves a little confab. 

It went something like this:

Me:  "So what do you think Trev, having a good day"
He:   "Yeah man, this is great!"
Me:   "So should we pull off the road here?"
He:   " I dunno... I think we should keep going."
Me:   "I do believe you are right."

... and so we did.  As often happens when you plan something, you will either voluntarily or involuntarily alter them. 

We were headed for the Miramichi!

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