A Few Days on Prince Edward Island


The next morning I enjoyed a leisurely shower before Jim and Dave got up. After a stop for breakfast, we had a good ride to Prince Edward Island. Although dark clouds circled around us, we didn’t have any rain until after we crossed Northumberland Strait via Confederation Bridge. On the island, we stopped at the Tourist Centre where we discovered internet connection, so we took the time to catch up on emails and check for orders on our online stores. It was with mixed feelings that we learned there were no orders, which are more difficult to process while on the road, but help pay for the trip.

The sun had been shining when we entered the building; black clouds greeted us upon our exit. We rode for only about ten minutes before the rain started, forcing us to pull into a gas station to struggle into our rain gear, and fill up the gas tanks, and by then the rain had retreated. But, we caught another deluge in a few more minutes. It lasted only five minutes and that was the end of it.

At 4:00 p.m. we were knocking on the door of our friends’ cottage at West Point, and were quickly immersed in Maritime hospitality when neighbours began showing up and bottles of rum or beer were broken open.

The Cottage

Friends and Neighbours relaxing on the porch after a day of renovation work

After dinner we all went for a stroll along the beach and watched a beautiful sunset. We didn’t need to strike our tents for the next few days, as beds were offered in the cottage.

PEI Beach

Beach at sunset

In the morning we decided to ride the bikes to Skinner’s Pond, home of Stompin’ Tom Connors. We visited a fishing harbor, and enjoyed a lunch of mussels and Seaweed Pie at the Seaweed Pie Café. We learned all about the harvesting of seaweed and it’s uses, before continuing on to the Tourist Centre and the Windmill Farm on the most westerly point of the island.

Skinner's Pond, PEI

Skinner’s Pond, PEI

Home of Stoppin' Tom

Home of Stompin’ Tom

Fishing Boats

Fishing Boats

Mussels

Mussels

Eating Mussels

Dig in, Jim!

Seaweed Pie

Seaweed Pie, not what you’d expect,

Our last day was a hot one. Our friend Meg and I went into O’Leary to do some grocery shopping before Jim, Dave and I headed out on the bikes again. We left the jackets off when we rode to Summerside to the Tall Ships Festival. Having endured a half-hour of sitting in the blazing sun at a road construction site, upon our arrival in Summerside we were disappointed to find that only two of the ships had docked, one being the Bluenose, which we’d all toured before. So after a stroll along the shore, a light lunch, and another stop for ice cream, we returned to the cottage in time for the delicious scallop dinner that Meg had prepared.

The evening ended with us clapping our hands and stomping our feet at a Gaelic music concert in a nearby church.

Exploring New Brunswick


The next day we just enjoyed the ride, taking our time, stopping along the way. Our only tourist stop was at St. Jean du Joli to show Dave the Motorcycle Museum that we had discovered on a previous trip to Quebec.

At around 6:00 p.m. we stopped for dinner and looked for a campground within an hour’s drive. We called to reserve a spot at Sunset View Campground in New Brunswick, about 60 kilometers west of Fredericton. So far the GPS had been doing a great job, but it wasn’t enough up-to-date to include the new road rerouted that had recently been done in the area and it got us a bit lost! Add to that the one-hour time change and it was 10:00 before we drove through the gates.

Sunset View Campground

Sunset View Campground

It was dark and dewy, and mosquitoes swarmed around me while I waited for the guys to check in. The thought of fumbling around in the dark, swatting at our attackers while trying to assemble the tent had me eying the cabins and wishing we could rent one for the night. I have night-blindness so it was difficult for me to find my way around in the dark, but I did my best to help with the tent. Jim and I were both a tad grumpy by the time we got done. Then, after tramping off to the restrooms to get cleaned up for bed, we discovered upon our return, that mosquitoes had invaded the tent during the minutes when we had the flap opened to put our gear in. We spent what seemed like hours swatting and scratching before we finally drifted off to sleep.

I was awake and showered before the others stirred in the morning, and quietly enjoyed some alone time at that very clean, tidy and well organized camp ground that overlooked a lake or river – I’m not sure which.

Tenting

The Cabin and the Condo, as Dave would say.

Sunset View Campground

Sunset View Campground, morning view

When Jim and Dave awoke and were ready, we repacked the bikes and trailer and were off once more.It was another perfect day for riding. We soon left the new Trans-Canada Highway to take a more scenic route along Old Hwy # 2, which took us through Fredericton with its beautiful Victorian clapboard houses, and along the St. John River. We stopped at Camp Gagetown, where Jim and Dave had fun climbing on the tank outside the gates.

Camp Gagetown

Camp Gagetown

DSCF1658

Camp Gagetown

Boys will be Boys

Then we rode for another twelve miles into the Village of Gagetown, a quaint little place on the river. We had fresh-made clam chowder at a rustic café, eating on the back deck overlooking the marina. I poked around a pottery shop while Jim engaged the restaurant owner/cook in conversation about the best way to get to Moncton on some more biker-interesting roads.

Lunch in Gagetown, N.B.

Lunch in Gagetown, N.B.

IMG_1867His advice took us on Route 24, an excellent twisty road that crosses the river via a cable ferry from Evandale on the west bank to Kars on the east bank. It took all of five minutes to cross, and, like all the provincially operated ferries in New Brunswick, was toll-free.

Riding the Ferry

Riding the Ferry

Evendale, N.B.

Nearly there

Nearly there

A short stop in Sussex to look for an air mattress for Dave (he’d forgotten to bring one) and then we were back on the highway to Moncton.

Sadly what had been a beautiful day ended on a bit of a sour note. The campground that we found just outside of Moncton (Stonehurst Camping) was not really built for motorcycles and tents, although we weren’t told that when we checked in. The driveway was steep and the office was at the bottom of the hill, where the more level sites, apparently reserved for RVs, were also located. On the hill the paths between rows and sites were rough with rocks and tree trunks. It was difficult to find a spot that was anywhere near level enough to pitch a tent, but Jim saw one that looked better than where we’d been put, so while Dave went back down to the office to make sure it was available, Jim began to turn the bike and trailer around. The helmets were sitting on the top of the trailer and I ran to grab them just as Jim pulled out onto the driveway and made a left turn onto the upper path. But when he put his foot down to ease along the rough terrain, there was a drop off. In a split second I watched the bike go down, the trailer come unhitched and Jim roll down the hill toward a tree. I was too far away to do anything but hold my breath. Thankfully Jim got stopped before he hit the tree. He got himself up and we made a futile attempt to raise the bike. The fully dressed Yamaha Venture is not a light bike. Soon traffic was lining up on the driveway, blocked from their descent by the trailer which was still attached to the bike by the safety chains. The first in line was a middle aged woman in a truck, who wanted to help. Then two younger men, assisted by Jim, managed to get the bike up righted, much to Jim’s embarrassment. It was all over by the time Dave returned. Fortunately there was only a minor dent and a few scratches in damage to the bike, and Jim complained of only a sore toe, but he was badly shaken and it put a damper on the rest of the evening and partway into the next day.

After a careful ride into town for dinner at The Pump House, we were back at camp. Jim wasn’t settled enough to sleep so we looked at pictures of Dave’s trip to Asia, until 1:00 a.m. Of course the restrooms were nowhere to be seen in the dark, so we had to make do. I was glad to finally lay my head down on my pillow and hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Exploring Canada’s East Coast by Motorcycle


We’ve been sticking pretty close to home since our return from Arizona, but plans are in the works. We will be leaving to return there earlier this year, in September, to include a trip across Central and Western Canada, before crossing into the U.S. on the west coast.

Before that decision was made, I had hoped that we could accept an invitation from friends to visit them at their cottage on Prince Edward Island, on the east coast of Canada, but we can’t do it all at once. We did that trip in 2007, before I started this blog and before we started RVing. That trip was done on our Yamaha Venture, pulling a small cargo trailer containing tent, sleeping bags and all necessary gear for a month long journey.  We were a few years younger then!

This week I thought I’d share that adventure.

July 21, 2007

After stopping for the night in Brockville to spend some time with family, and having a late, leisurely breakfast, we finally got on our way around 11:00 this morning. Jim’s nephew, Dave, joined us on his 650cc V-Star with all his gear strapped to the back. The rain from the day before had cleared and the weather was perfect for riding.

I’d promised my former mother-in-law that we would stop in to see her on our way through Quebec, but my estimated time of arrival was way off. I felt badly when we arrived at 1:45 in the afternoon to find that she’d been saving a big lunch for us since noon. It was 3:00 pm before we felt it appropriate to leave.

Three and a half hours later, we rounded a corner in search of our pre-booked campground near St. Nicolas Quebec and were shocked to see a giant Santa Claus and Snowman bobbing in the wind at the entrance! While we checked in at the office we heard French Christmas Carols blasting from a loud speaker.

Campground Greeters

Campground Greeters

Along the path to our campsite we passed more Christmas decorations, including a miniature Christmas Village and what appeared to be another Santa, sleeping it off in a pup-tent, empty beer cans strewn around him. Apparently the Canadian Snow Birds who summer here celebrate Christmas in July.

Christmas Decorations

Christmas Decorations

IMG_1849We set up our tents before riding further down the road to catch the ferry at Levis, which took us into romantic Old Quebec City.

Two Bikers

Dave and Jim with bikes, on the Ferry

Ferry boat at sunset, Quebec City

Ferry boat at sunset, Quebec City

There we enjoyed some French Cuisine on a patio, and admired the artwork of the street vendors, before heading back to the Christmas celebrations at St. Nicolas. We even joined in on some of the dancing while a family band performed country and folk music. Since no one spoke English, we didn’t get to know anyone. The party lasted until 1:00 am. It was a very long day!

Weekly Photo Callenge – Symbol


Entry into Daily Post Photo Challenge

Freedom Ride

Freedom

Motorcycles on an open road have always been a symbol of freedom  These bikes are on another type of freedom ride, the annual Freedom Ride for Cancer that takes place in New Liskeard Ontario at the Bikers Reunion the first weekend of July.