Saturday, September 23, 2017

"I LOVE IT"

 It was a wonderfully sunny day... my partner exclaimed loudly with gusto... "I LOVE IT"

The start of the Sunrise Trail

I don't often get a chance to ride with Brenda, what with her political interests and commitments, trying to keep a teen age daughter interested in school etc or some other time consuming requirement.  Too bad because she is actually a pretty good passenger.


Tidnish and route 366

There are people that make good passengers and then again there are those that don't.

Not every pilot likes to fly two-up so getting a good combination can be a challenge especially if you are married to them.  Back in the years I was single, I had many a woman riding pillion (not bragging but women are attracted to men that ride and I am certainly attracted to women that ride!)

A bald eagle high above the water



There were a few that did not like the sensation of being so vulnerable and hey... maybe some of us riders get some sort of unconscious thrill of being so open, after all... we don't have embedded steel barriers, seat belts and air bags surrounding us.



Fish and chips at McMahon's in Wallace, one of my fave places.  Good food service view and not to costly

When an opportunity presents itself I do like to take it.  Even though we are essentially retired, there is precious little time available with all the chores and outside interests we have.  Recently I planned out a unique outing that can be done in the Eastern provinces but would be a major hurdle if we were still living out west.


The Citicom 300 turned out to be a very good Maritime touring bike, lots of storage and 90 mpg!
 
Much as I like riding around on the Island, it is after all an Island and a pretty small one at that, barely two hundred road miles from North Cape in the west to East point, well... in the east!

I can't say I've ridden every road and trail on PEI but certainly a lot of them.  The mainland which is in view from our southern shores beckon constantly, over there I find history fabulous riding opportunities and given 10 lifetimes, couldn't do it all.



Nice old Silver Wing

 
Given the limited time frame to work within I planned out an over across day ride with the potential of an overnight if we could find respite for Anna.  Ultimately we were successful and I put "PLAN A" into motion. This would be a bridge departure to the rotary at Port Elgin and instead of the usual Trans Canada highway we'd sneak through the little village of Baie Verte and cross into Nova Scotia via the little traveled route 970 to 366 at Tidnish.


McMahon's on the waterfront in Wallace NS


This is the humble beginning of the Sun Rise Trail that traverses the north side of NS along the coast through very cute and historic villages. During the sunny day, we would ride the Trail through Northport, Pugwash, Wallace and Tatamagouche!  At that point we'd decide to return via the Strait ferry at Cariboo or head inland and see where that leads us.


Tons of bikes of every type on the Sunrise Trail rte 6


There is a great little waterside eatery in Wallace. McMahon's is one of those little gems you find in the rough and I keep coming back here bringing riding buddies. Today was no exception.  Brenda and I took a table overlooking a magnificent Bald Eagle perched high up on a pole above the harbor.  It was a bit breezy but hey... we're next to an ocean right!

Joining us a couple of tables over was what I would have imagined a typical Harley couple.  Certainly in their late 60's he with graying longish hair, her the same.  The T shirts, like the one I myself was wearing, some type of MC logo of a ride or something similar.



Museum at Bass River, worth a stop!

Upon our departure, I found an early 80's HONDA Silver Wing 500! Interesting contrast between my scooter and its unique storage system and the old Honda.

After a leisurely lunch of, what else... fish and chips (this ride was all about leisure) we mounted up and continued east to Tatamagouche. We weren't in a hurry and although the Citi 300 is easily capable of getting several points on my license and a hefty contribution to the Province, our road speed were often 5km below the limit. 



Lots of history here

I've always liked riding these back roads of the Maritime provinces, traffic is generally following the Trans Canada highway which paralleled the Sunrise Trail about 30 minutes away.Me... I was happy tooling along on these secondary roads where the scenery was not only much more enjoyable but also could actually be viewed at length unlike in a blur at 140 kph.  Things were going good, the weather was excellent, Brenda doing okay and after a brief confab I decided to head south and cross the peninsula catching highway 4 just above Folly Lake.

It had been decades since I was through here and looks much different in summer.  During the winter months skiers flock here where there are significant rises in the Wentworth valley, enough to have road signs warnings of steep climbs, me... I'd rather be riding my bike, or on this day, my scooter, than a pair of skis.



Bass River

I had a bit of a deja vu moment at the crossroads leading to Debert, where in 2007, visiting with internet gal friend, Gail... we were T Boned by a senior driving a car and having gotten confused or something, she pulled out right into us, sending the Dodge van into a spin and nearly over a substantial embankment.  Only the thick vegetation and soft soil prevented us from rolling over and likely killed.

I mentioned 'likely killed' seriously, as I found out that a decade before, at this very intersection where there is a slow country road intersecting a major route, she had done the exact same thing!

Both people in the car she plowed into died.



Found on display in Parrsboro at a little town park.

We caught up with provincial highway number 2 at Glenholme and began our trek to Parrsboro pretty much convinced by this time having not received any emergency text message that we were home free on the road for the night!

This is the north shore of the Bay of Fundy on Cobequid Bay and having been here before, we knew the ride following the bay to Parrsboro was on a well maintained, two lane highway passing Five Islands and Bass River.  Very scenic.  I stopped for fuel at Great Village and met two couples from New England riding Harley dressers.  They weren't interested in my "Trump" jokes; Lord knows why not, they were funny, but were interested in the Citicom 300i.  Both couple would have been in at least their late 60's and more likely half way through the 70's and clearly the 900lb beasts were maybe getting to be a handful.



Pretty

At Bass River, a lovely historic crossroads, we spent some time exploring the nooks and crannies of the General store (I love those places where you can actually find widgets in abundance!) and at the local museum across the river.. 

C'mon... it really doesn't get better than this and biking is the way to experience it.

Following a detour on the outskirts entering Parrsboro and a stop to view a few old cars and rail equipment (there is something very visceral about mechanical things isn't there?) with the sun beginning to head into the west we figured we could make it to Oxford (blueberry capital of the universe)

As the sun was setting and we were traveling north in shade much of the way, I had another unexpected detour following the advice of Brandy my GPS "guide" which of course saw us onto the TCH fully 15 south of town.  I had wanted to pick up rte 321, the back way into Oxford but instead ended up joining the traffic stream at 125 kph. 

The most boring part of our day!



They don't make them like this anymore!

Once off highway 104 we traveled the entire length of Oxford passing right by the two massive processing plants and as it turned out, the only Motel in town!  Realizing that was it, I did a 180 and hightailed it back knowing full well that we were pressing our luck at 7 pm in finding a room.

As it turned out it wasn't a problem and we checked into the Parkview Family restaurant and Inn. 

The Motel was tidy, upgraded some and the blueberry cheese cake was really, 'to die for'.  Hmmm, that could be a new James Bond movie shot right here in the maritimes.

"Cheese cake to die for!"

After our exceptional desert, I asked the waitress about a walk through town?

She said, 'sure I get off in 15 minutes...'  

A bit of confusion no doubt.

She did come back and offer the 6km of the local ATV trail that, if we didn't get lost... would give us a square route from one end of town and back again. 



No attempt to streamline these babies.
We actually managed the walk, found a porty potty when needed (trust the Universe eh:) and dropped off to sleep after along and very hot shower together, saving water of course, right!


Something appealing to me about things mechanical!

What a lovely day it had been! 

We'd covered a fair bit of ground (over 700kms) along both the Northumberland Strait shore and the Bay of Fundy, the weather was gorgeous, exceptional history, the Citicom did very well and I wouldn't hesitate to take her on longer tours, had a great meal in the morning but as these things often happens, we rode pretty much the entire following day... in the rain!

By the time we'd recrossed the bridge and hit the Island, it was torrential.

Even that however, couldn't 'dampen' our spirits from our rare overnight east coast adventure.





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