Yes Emily

Yes Emily, girls can ride motorcycles!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Mother Nature’s Bike Wash

I don’t mind the rain so much when the bike is sitting on the driveway and I’m looking at it from the porch. It’s actually quite peaceful.
Job’s done and I didn’t have to lift a finger. Well, maybe not. When it quits wanting to rain I will give nature a hand. Until then it’s going to stay right there.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Home Again, And Just In Time

Where did the 11 days go. I’m home again, the tent has been dried and put away again, the bags unpacked and the travel laundry done. All that’s left to do is a good wash job for theVStar. Home again, and just in time to catch up with life.
It’s baseball tournament season and I managed to get back in time to see the final games of the Battersea Bulldogs. (At least for granddaughter one, missed number two’s tournament by a week.)
This is little brother trying to decide whether or not to give up his NHL hopes for a place in the Major Leagues instead. (That’s an inside joke, as he slept all winter with his hockey sticks. Wouldn’t go to bed without them.)
Barbara, home indeed was where the heat was, and still is ... even the lake shore looks burned.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

But I Can’t Pass This Lady By ...

I took the scenic route this morning … funny though, I’ve shared this route so many times that I decided to simply enjoy it instead of stopping to take pictures for the blog.
But I can’t pass this lady by, ever, without stopping. Even though she’s aged since I first met her in 2010, something about the time of day or the lighting made her more beautiful than ever today. I simply love her attitude.
I did stop for one other picture. I found the trail head I had been looking for … yup, exactly 25 km from where I stayed. Today it wasn’t meant to be. I think this might be a hike to get at by car.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A View From The Top

Thunder and lightening woke me up very early and I finally gave up, got up and made some coffee at 5:30. The weather network was telling me the storm had passed. I wondered if anyone had looked out the window?
I got out my map and tried to estimate where the trail I was looking for might be (stall tactic). My estimate, somewhere in the Kamouraska area. My CAA map is Atlantic Provinces and Quebec, not really detailed, and Kamouraska is a very popular tourist area so thought I would look at hotel booking sites. Could stay in St. Andre again, no, I know the trail isn’t there. Look for cheap hotels and hope for the best. I missed by 25 km. I picked Saint Pascal, the trail head is closer to Rivière-Ouelle.
I finally found a map at the tourist information site, where the young man said, “But if you want to walk now…” And he convinced me to challenge the mountain (okay, maybe it’s not such a challenge, he says he recommends it to families with 5 year olds).
And this is what I found just 1.5 km from where I was staying.
A 1 km hike to the 150 meter summit. Considered an intermediate level hike, it was fairly easy as long as I kept an eye out for scraggly roots. And I confirmed I don’t like heights, so didn’t stay on the viewing platform at the top for long.
A view from the top of Montagne a Coton, and one last look over Kamouraska as the sun goes down.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Scrap Plans A, B, and C

“It’s not going to rain, I’m not getting wet! It’s not going to rain, I’m not getting wet! It’s not going to rain, I’m not getting wet!” Try out the power of positive thinking! Keep saying it over and over.
Plan A today, stop in Fredricton to do the riverfront hike from Hart Island Campground, along the St. John River to the city. Moncton, clear blue skies. Over the mountains ahead the clouds are forming … positive thinking, “It’s not going to rain, I’m not getting wet!” Email from a friend, ‘Big thunder storm last night in Ontario, looks like it’s headed your way.’
Plan B, scrap plan A, keep going, looks lighter ahead. &*%#! I HATE GETTING WET! Plan C, scrap Plans A and B. Pull off the highway. Woodstock New Brunswick. Get gas, check weather network, have coffee, ponder a plan D.
Hartland! The rain lets up a bit and off I go.
Yahoo, a place indoors to stay. Unpack, hang up wet gear, put on rain coat, go explore on foot.
And look what I found. Who knew? The Trans Canada hiking trail … if I keep walking in this direction I could, hypothetically, go back to PEI, or these places. Nope, raining again so back to look at the bridge (bridges).
Walk across the bridge.
Now that’s what I call a renovation. Stop (like all the locals) to watch the raptor cat eat a house.
Hey, a Tim’s on the hiking trail.
If I keep walking this way, hypothetically, I could walk home. Not happening. Go back to hotel to watch the weather network. No more room at the Inn, so the weather has to improve tomorrow. But for tonight – the view from here.

Monday, July 16, 2018

For Old Times Sake

Today I didn’t have plans for travelling far and I wanted the final hours on the Island to last. When you start heading home it feels like the vacation is over so I was in no rush. I checked the tire pressure, re-organized some packing and walked to Tims for a last Island coffee. Finally packed and ready, I  was on my way. I stopped for one last photo, then said, “Good-bye” to Prince Edward Island one more time.
The temperature was moving to near brutal on the thermometer and I was glad for a short day. For old times sake I found a Motel 6  (time for a ‘space’ break; to be able to stand up when I wake up). Although I appreciated the 400 steps to the bathroom, I will appreciate both the head space and the nearness of the plumbing even more tonight.
What I wasn’t expecting was the rough gravel parking lot. The large grader in front of the motel should have been my first clue. The place is under renovations, and I have brand new, recently revamped room that looks just like every other Motel 6 room only fresher. They just haven’t finished the paving yet.
Moncton wasn’t really my first choice of places to stop but fits best with what I hope to do on the way home. And I remembered the riverwalk trail. Hot day for walking, but the heat amplified a beautiful fragrance which I finally decided might be the field of milkweed in bloom. I spent some time looking for Monarch evidence but didn’t see any. That doesn’t mean they weren’t hiding there, I hope they are.
Along the way I noticed a brightly coloured building. I remembered it from last year, and in need of a shade break went inside the “Starving Artist Café and Gift Shop”. Glad I did. It was filled with the works of local artists, photographers and artisans. If only I had a side car! I bought my famous ‘trip ring’ and some trinkets for the little girls at home. Have I ever mentioned my ‘trip rings’ before? If I haven’t, I meant to and that’s a whole other post.
With a motel room, also comes TV and the weather channel. Yikes, looks like rain might be heading into my path. But I’ve seen that before. It must be ‘fake news’.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Dedicated To Foodies

This is my final day on the Island, and I decided I would dedicate this post to foodies, especially my friend Barbara who has been obsessed with finding out what I have been eating. To tell the truth, the usual camping fare is mundane and rarely worth talking about, so tonight I decided to go gourmet with a wood fired pizza from Piatto.
But because it is my last night on the Island the thought of sitting in a restaurant seemed like a waste of beautiful scenery so I asked for it “to go”. And for foodies everywhere I carried it 3km to the lookout on the cliff. The last tourists were scurrying off to find dinner for themselves and I had the cliff, and the ocean view to myself. I ate my dinner to the sounds of the cliff swallows and the waves gently lapping the shore, a cool breeze easing the heat from the day.
With one last look at the beach, I headed back to camp to pack as much as possible in readiness for my departure tomorrow. It has been a short, but wonderful stay on the Island.
To date: 1,385 km by motorcycle and just over 217,000 steps by foot (if my math is correct, based on today’s 31.7 km, that’s about 165.8 km). Today’s hike was the ‘Haunted Woods’ and ‘Lover’s Lane’ as described in the works of Lucy Maude Montgomery.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

A Three Hour Lunch

Holidays are all about (or they should be about) doing what you want, at the pace you want. Today I had a delightful 3 hour lunch with my friend Elizabeth an Islander who, to my delight, met me at Avonlea Village (a newly created tourist spot). We had a lovely meal at Samuel’s Coffee House and caught up on a whole year’s worth of news.
(Avonlea Village is what I’d call a commercial restoration. It has been created by bringing a number of historical buildings together in one new location, not to be historically preserved, but to be repurposed as commercial businesses while still keeping their historical facades. I suppose it’s a compromise, history and commercialism.)
Sadly our time together came to an end and Elizabeth was on her way, much later than planned, to take care of family obligations. At 4 o’clock the day was still young enough to take a walk, so I revisited part of the trail I walked yesterday.
The beach was much more colourful today as it’s the weekend, but the trail was still a beautiful, and peaceful place to walk. It was warm, but there was a refreshing breeze coming off the gulf.
It’s not raining, the forecast isn’t predicting rain, but the sky is beginning to say otherwise. If it rains in the night, I’m good with that. There’s nothing more relaxing than sleeping to the sound of rain on the roof.

After All These Years, How Is It That I Didn’t Know This Already

The temperature dropped and the dew was heavy last night. It was almost like rain it fell so hard and fast. But I was snug like a bug inside my little paprika cocoon. This morning the damp chill lingered making me put on every layer I had brought with me while I wondered what the heck happened to the “warmest summer on record” that had been predicted.
It took a long time to get moving (thawed out) but then a lovely young campground employee asked me what I was planning on doing for the day. I said I was going to walk around and she asked if I was going to walk to the beach. I said, I’d like to. (How is it that I’ve been coming here all these years and never knew this before?) She asked if I knew about the trail. No, what trail? All this time I thought the only way in to the beach was down the parkway, a drive for which there is (except for last year because of Canada 150) a fee to enter. It also meant gearing up, and who wants to spend a lot of time at the beach in their snowsuit?
Today I discovered how to enjoy a real PEI beach vacation … you walk to the beach, and if you walk to the beach you might discover about 30 more kilometres of costal trails, perfectly maintained and ready for the exploring. And if you tell someone about the trails they might tell you about 30 more kilometres of trails not far down the road. I am in heaven. (And I think I have become an official PEI tour guide, two people stopped and asked me how to get to the beach today … well, just let me tell you!)