Monday, August 18, 2014

Day 61 - Atholville - Petit Rocher

Time change yesterday once we crossed into New Brunswick.  That threw a lot of people for a loop including me. 

After a decent night's sleep in a dampish, but still dry tent - I wasn't awake at the crack of dawn.  When I heard the truck door open - I looked at my clock and it was 6:11.   Normally I am awake at 5:30 at least. I thought to myself that it was a short day so why bother get up right away.  I lay there until about 6:30 then decided it was time to get up.   I think I am going to have to get my Thermarest checked out.  When I blow it up when I set up my tent - it needs a couple more puffs before I go to bed. And last night - it needed a couple more puffs in the middle of the night. It has served me well, but maybe it has reached the end of its life????   I know nothing about the longevity of the darn things, but I have gotten my moneys worth from it.

I must admit that when I looked out and towards the sky I had a pleasant surprise.  Yes - we were able to see blue sky.  Not a lot mind you, but we did see some.  It was refreshing but none of us wanted to get too excited about it.

I took my time getting ready this morning.  Was just in slow motion mode and that was OK since the day was going to be short. Only 100K.  I think my ideal bike trip would be 80 - 100 KM per day.  Anything more than that and it becomes work and really - we are supposed to be on vacation!   That is my physiological barrier - 100K.

Anyway - I finally took off alone  - Kirk went ahead.  I had a fabulous leisurely time riding for the first 50K.  I stopped to take all kinds of pictures - something that you just don't get to do when you are with someone else. Beautiful views of the coastline and some of the sky. And at one point - I even stopped to take a layer of clothing off. That was very pleasant indeed and although I didn't have room to store my big rain jacket - I rolled up the sleeves and that felt good. It wasn't a super hot day, but a few hills in there made for being a bit too warm at times.

Arrived in Dalhousie and that HUGE hill.   Since I didn't really need to see the water front again - I headed for the shortcut which intersects THE hill at the half way mark.  There was a bit of construction going on and the street was closed, but I managed to steer the bike through.  Some others coming through later had to detour down the hill and then catch the hill further down. Then I turned right and WHAM - that hill is right in your face.  It is pretty steep, but I cranked down into my granny gear and I was fine.  Just a whole lot of huffing and puffing!!!!

I stopped along the shore of Eel River.  It was absolutely gorgeous there - the sun was out - well partially out and it was gorgeous.   Back on the bike and made it to Nash Creek which was at the 63 K mark for the day.  There was pretty much no other places to stop.  Got some chocolate milk and sat outside the store on some pallets to eat my sandwich.  Craig and Alec caught up with me at that point.    I stopped to chat with them - then took off. 

At this point - I realized the sun had gone and the clouds were back and rain was threatening.  Good grief - could we not have at least one day without the rain?  Well it didn't rain much - just a shower, but enough to make me nervous.  I really really wanted to get to camp with dry shoes today.  Just once?   The shower didn't last long and in places I could see the roads were wet so it had rained before me. 

But we had a beautiful tailwind and for the most part - it was down hill or flat and I decided to race the storm.  I know - how stupid is that!!!!!   Well I put pedal to the metal and I just booted along that last 40 K. I hit another shower or two, but nothing that lasted long or that got me wet.  I made it into camp which was 3 K before it was supposed to be according to our map which was fine by me.  

The tent is set up and pretty much dry, we are right on the beautiful beach with a superb ocean view.  Had a shower and I am set for the afternoon to do nothing!!!!!

Actually there is a nice shelter and there is free Wi-Fi so I am going  to try and get some of the blogs posted. 

I have to say that the sun shine today was very welcome and so was the fact that I arrived in camp dry. It throws the whole routine off when you have to dry things - most campsites have laundry so that isn't a problem - just an extra chore. And then things all have to go back in the right spot - just extra work for this lazy cyclist.  But today - well a day like that restores your faith in doing out door activities. No idea what the forecast is for tomorrow - I am sure I don't even want to know.  Whatever it is - we will ride so just get on that bike and ride.

And I had great news when I got to camp.  M - yes - remember her?   Well she is going into second semester of Fashion Arts.  They need to do an internship for at least one semester.  She has been working hard at getting things lined up and today she learned that she got exactly what she wanted.  She will be interning at a fashion magazine in Toronto for this coming semester.  I am so PROUD of her.  There are many times when I could strangle her, but I have learned over the years that if she makes up her mind to do or get something - it usually works out.  I don't worry any more. Way to go M - awesome job.

At this point of the trip the countdown has begun. Actually the countdown began for some a while back.  How many days until we arrive in St. John's.  How many cycling days. How many rest days. How many days left for each cook team. How many times left to put up the tent.    I know that blogs like mine are read by people wanting to get information about the Tour du Canada.   Let me tell you that while the trip is a test to your physical side - it is very much a mental test as well.  You are away from home for a long time, the weather may be bad, you have to sleep in a tent and a whole lot more.  That is all part of the adventure.  You have to take the good with the bad. I hate the rain, but as someone mentioned today - no one likes to ride in the rain, but once you are in the rain - you just embrace it and keep going.  There is nothing more to (unless you are stupid like me and try to outrun it!!!!! - which of course - I didn't, but I didn't get wait so I feel like I won!!!!)

We have one more day before a well deserved rest day.   Then we will be on the last segment of the trip.  Wow - and before we know it  -it will be over.   

On that note - I am off to connect to the internet and see what happens.

Have a great day!!!!!!!


(blog is now up to date - minus pictures which just isn't going to happen with this internet connection)

1 comment:

  1. Having followed your blog last year I came to the conclusion that the mental effort is probably equal to the physical effort on a trip like this. I admire your ability to get on that bike day after day regardless of the weather or other irritations.