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.
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.
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.
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.
His 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.
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.
Once again, a beautiful, heartfelt story with many adventures, although some of the them could have been tragic like the one in Moncton. The motorcycle museum would have been interesting too. Where is that located? I have a friend in my complex who enjoys driving his bike to local places, like yard sales, as well as Port Dover on the special festival day. He does not bike with his wife but with a fellow male friend.
Thanks, Helen. Good to hear from you again.