August 30th – September 4th: Road to Recovery, the Petite Province, and Homebound Heeds.

Free of sickness, I’ve returned to consistently covering ground along the home stretch of my journey. Like a marathon runner first seeing the finish line, I am sure momentum will propel me Eastward from here. It seems the provinces are flying by at this stage, with my return date suddenly not so far off.

Recharged from a full night’s rest indoors, I was packed up to leave Miramichi… Or so I thought. I just couldn’t find the energy to straddle the saddle all day, as I had for 95 of the past 119. Food poisoning sucks. Good news was my hosts were kind enough to have me for a second night. So Wednesday became a true rest day of writing, researching, and forcing down bland foods.

Thursday I was still fatigued, but carried myself back to the road, well stocked with my “food poisoning recovery kit”: plain oatmeal, rice, saltine crackers, juice, ginger ale, sports drink tablets, and bananas. Good thing I had flat terrain ahead – I sure wouldn’t be up to climbing many hills!

Despite a stormy afternoon forecasted, I detoured into Kouchibouguac National Park on the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

As far as pronunciation, the best I can do is wish you good luck.

And despite the forecast becoming reality, I enjoyed exploring the park.

Smooth gravel trail winding through the park.

Eventually reaching the perfectly flat horizon of Kelly’s Beach, I burrowed in the initially dry sand as the drizzle intensified. As all other beach-goers ran for cover, I stuck around to rice it out. 

Jasmine and I had a wet Kelly’s Beach to ourselves.

There’s something extra exquisite about being alone on a beach. When the only sound is the trampolining tide, and the world vanishes… I’ve been lucky enough to collect such pristine moments several times this summer.

Friday I was within striking distance of PEI, advancing near the coastline and uncovering occasional glimpses of the gulf. It was also the first – and hopefully last – day of my life consuming over 1200 calories in saltine crackers. 

New Brunswick coastline view.

I didn’t quite make it to the bridge, slowed by a cross crustacean in Shediac.

I’d been informed of the Atlantic Lobster.
Good thing I had my helmet on!

While I managed to wiggle out of the lobster’s vice grip, New Brunswick wouldn’t let me escape without a few more helpings of Acadian pride… Such as this creature, which I believe they call a Minion.

Could a lawn decoration possibly be more awesome than this?

So it was Saturday when I found the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre, where pedestrians and cyclists are serviced across the Confederation Bridge via shuttle.

Final trail leading toward the bridge.
And there it is, the Fixed Link.
I occupied one seat, and my gear another.
Hello, PEI!

Across the 12.9-kilometre bridge, I was suddenly on the little island province. Time to beeline North for a couple PEI musts: the Green Gables house and Cavendish Beach. Cavendish was pretty neat.

There I am at the Green Gables house.
Yep, I went to the Green Gables house.
Still decked out in rain gear at a cold Cavendish
Riding along the Cavendish coastline.
The cliffs really are red!

Figuring I may as well make the island trip worth while, I rode across to its East coast via the Confederation Trail – PEI’s section of the Trans Canada Trail, which essentially covers the whole island West-East and branches out North-South into many areas too.

Confederation Trail gravel, you are mighty fine.

The trail showcased the island’s colourful plants, diverse farmland, and luscious lakes. Its great gravel is popular among local runners, walkers, and cyclists, and with good reason.

Nice lakeside stretch on the trail.

In PEI, the locals’ standard greeting is more than a simple head nod or smile. It’s “Hi, how are you?”, an open door to further connection. The few locals I chatted with were very proud and ecstatic I made their home province part of my journey.

When it comes to potatoes, this island doesn’t mess around.

A long day on the trail carried me to the beach at Basin Head Provincial Park, just as the Hurricane Harvey aftershock gusts rolled in.

High winds created some impressive waves.

On Monday those gusts were slapping me in the face as I targeted the Wood Islands ferry terminal. Luckily I’d returned to full strength, able to push my way on to the ferry that afternoon.

Looking back on a fast and furious couple days in the smallest province.
Heading back across to the mainland.
Found a creamy ferry treat.
According to this, I had the world’s best ice cream. It was yummy.

For the second time in three days, I’d crossed a provincial border by a means other than bicycle.

Nine of ten.

Before long I was back on the trans-Canada highway, which I’d long neglected since Ontario.

Atop the highest in a series of rolling Nova Scotia hills.

My return flight is booked for September 15th (yikes!), giving me under two weeks to complete the Cabot Trail and mosy on to St. John’s via the overnight ferry to Argentia. Thoughts of home life are steadily growing in my mind, as I ponder what post-cycling-Canada life will be like. As the clock ticks faster, I’m becoming more wide-eyed as I was setting out from Vancouver, soaking in each moment as I know I will soon cherish.

The “return to reality” schedule.

Strava:

Aug 31 – Miramichi to Kouchibouguac National Park.
Sep 1 – Kouchibouguac National Park to Cap-Pelé.
Sep 2 – Cap-Pelé to North Rustico.
Sep 3 – North Rustico to Souris.
Sep 4 – Souris to Sutherlands River.

4 thoughts on “August 30th – September 4th: Road to Recovery, the Petite Province, and Homebound Heeds.

  1. The Cavendish Trail looks beautiful. I hadn’t realized PEI soil was such a rich, “Burnt Sienna” shade of red. Maybe due to iron ore? New Brunswick: too funny about the giant lobster. Love the charming “Minion.” Amazing how far you have cycled!

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  2. Wow Cameron…you continue to amaze!!! So sorry you were sick but glad you have made a speedy recovery. We have many happy memories of the places you have visited including Kouchibougiac!!! We camped there in the 70’s and it was one of our favourite parks. Hard not to be proud of our gorgeous country, isn’t it? We know you will cherish your last 9 days and all the very best as you complete your epic journey!!! Xoxoxo

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  3. Love this Cameron! You are so close to your goal, which is still hard to believe…………cycling across our vast country!
    Glad your strength returned, and you are on target! Enjoy the coming days, the 15th is not at all far away! love Anthea

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  4. Hey Cameron. Just thought I should drop you a line to say I’ve been following every step (or pedal) of your journey on this blog. It is really exciting for me to read about your travels, as a cross-canada cycling trip has long been on my bucket list. I wish you a speedy and safe journey the rest of the way.

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