Day 59: New Brunswick

​from the Lake Temiscousata, QB to Grand Falls, NB, August 21

Waking up wild. Stars, all of them and especially the constellations of the big Dipper and Cassiopeia, are bright overhead. Listen: the haunting chatter of loons and smooth slate stones clinking, shifting underfoot as I stumble out of the tent in the dark. Perks of getting up to pee in the wee hours. Awe. 

A few hours later I’m eating my first breakfast on the rocks, watching sunrise blush the trees to my left, still waters cut by an early morning boat. We continue to ride on the trail as blue Jays and redheaded woodpeckers catch morning snacks. Just kilometers to the marina and to the town of Degalis, like hobbits we take second breakfast.  

Trails in Quebec were simply fantastic. We had ridden a number of the Route Verte system, and the final push through the Interprovincial trail to New Brunswick was no different. Save for the lack of significance signage welcoming us to the new province. 

We biked to the visitor center for this photo. 

Then, after learning from the visitor center gal that bicycles were allowed on the freeways in New Brunswick, we biked against traffic on the freeway to get the better shot.

I also leaned that New Brunswick was first settled by the French on the north east side and the English on the south side near Maine. The English had more money, and wanted more land, so they went up to the coast burned all the houses in the French villages put the woman in one boat and the men and another boat and sent them away,” she said.  Some ended up in New Orleans, hence the Acadian/French culture there. 

We saw this flag everywhere (without text). 

And later learned it as the Acadian flag. New Brunswick is the only official bilingual province in Canada.

Pulling into the Esso at Edmunston a the man says in French “Those things don’t need gas,” but we certainly needed the fuel, and ice cream, for the body inside. It was a hot day @ 29 degrees, and gatorade was helpful. For days prior it had only been around 17 to 19 C.

Four flocks of Canada geese flew South across the St. John River into Maine. We were literally a stones throw from the border, our closest since Midway BC. 

Following the river down to the gorge of Grand Falls, was a pleasant, if somewhat hilly ride, on small local roads.  Crossing the bridge at Grand Falls was jaw droppingly awesome. The director of hydro noted the gates on top, but didn’t know if it was a power facility. 

Stats:

65 miles

Laundry/life lesson: try all the doors

Showing my elbows, for the first time, so as not to cause another blinding flare upon my return (eclipse day with the green machine!)

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