Monday, August 3, 2009

Strait of Canso to Goose River, Prince Edward Island

The day started with rain showers. Lots of them! So, we piddled around with breakfast at the motel and taking our time with getting packed up.

About 10:30am the rain stopped up, so we quickly got on the bikes and headed west towards the ferry for Prince Edward Island. By asking the right questions, we learned that it costs to leave PEI, but not to go onto the island. But they charge to leave the island! Isn’t that wild. And the good news is that leaving the island via ferry would have cost us about $60, but leaving the island via bridge (which we plan to do) will cost $17. So, we’re getting our first bargain of the trip.

From the Straits of Canso to where the ferry leaves is about 86 miles or so. We headed due west fot the ferry landing. Traffic was light, and the showers did not pick up again, so it was a good and easy ride.

We knew the ferry left at 12:30pm, so we wanted to make that one if possible, because the next one would be two hours later. But we had no idea whether or not we’d make it in time.

Just a few kilometers from the landing at Pictu, a rush of traffic from the opposite direction started, so we knew the ferry was unloading. And, we had an idea that there would be high demand because today (Monday, August 03, 2009) is a national holiday (Natal Day), and people would be ending a long weekend.

As we got to the ferry landing, they pointed to a lane with no vehicles in it. The other lanes were full of cars, trucks, vans, RVs, busses, and big trucks. We had no idea if we’d make this ferry or not.

After waiting in our lane about two minutes, they waved us forward. They put us in the lower deck with the big trucks, which was fine with us. What luck! We made the 12:30 ferry with no delay or problem.

We tied the bikes down and went upstairs to wait out the 75 minute ride to Wood Islands. The ferry ride was uneventful.

Once in Wood Islands, we went to the Information building to find a place for the night. The people were helpful, but not as helpful as at Cape Breton Island. Lori at CBI was very helpful, making recommendations and actually making our reservations earlier. At PEI, they would answer questions, but we had to use the Internet to find possible places and then make the phone calls.

After a bit of searching, we found a place that met our criteria. A cabin on the shore, with water in-view of the cabin, and at least two double beds. We found Warren Cabins near St Peters Bay on the north shore of PEI that met our criteria. So, we found and secured lodging.

After that, we basically rode east, then north, and then west to the cabin. It met our needs.

Some unique things about PEI. It is an agricultural area, at least on the northeast portion. . Potatoes are grown, along with wheat and some other crops I couldn’t determine. This part of the island is almost flat, with deep red soil. It appears that people own farming land to the ocean’s edge, with no road right against the beaches. The beaches are sandy, but the land drops straight off to the beach, and above the beach is deep, loamy red soil. The waves on the beach are very small, making me wonder why, with so much water out there. Looking at the maps, now I think I understand; the St Lawrence Bay is big, but there is a fairly narrow opening between Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island, providing a large protected area. Nothing like this in North Carolina!

We found food at a restaurant about 10kilometers away; a good dinner of fried clams, seafood chowder (I’m getting addicted to the seafood chowder up here) and a salad. Because the restaurant does not serve breakfast, we bought biscuits with jelly and butter while there and borrowed coffee from our hostess.

Oh, and there was one very concerned moment. When we arrived at the restaurant, I noticed that the loose ends of my RocStrap straps were down and entangled with the rear axle of the bike. Not a good thing; down in that area, they could do real damage to the rear brake assembly. I tried pulling them out, but they were clearly wrapped around the axle mechanism. I then rolled the bike backwards while Gary pulled. Thankfully, they came loose. That could have been a huge problem if they had gotten tightly wound around the rear wheel/axle.

After dinner, we went over to the nearby docks to see any fish being brought in. We were told that someone had caught a 600 pound Tuna that would be brought in very soon. No boats had any fish, so we rushed back to the cabin to watch the sunset over the ocean. Beautiful.

When we got back to the cabin, it was almost sunset. So, we rushed to the shore, where there were some chairs, and watched the sun dip into the ocean. It was very pretty. One neat factoid; once the sun touches the sea, it is gone in almost exactly five minutes.

After sunset, back to the cabin for the night.

A good day, with interesting things going on most of the day and a sensational sunset over the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Mileage for the day was 188 miles; an easy day in the saddle.
Tomorrow: More of PEI and who knows??

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