August 26: Dieppe, New Brunswick to Borden-Carleton, Prince Edward Island, 113 km plus a shuttle
Part I: Entourage
Our New Brunswick hosts, Jocelyn and Marco, were great company as they guided us out of town on bike friendly roads.
They are avid cyclists getting ready for a Grand Fondo in a month and we struggled to keep up with our loaded bikes. Marco gave us perfect intel about the route, directions and advice. They made us feel as part of their family and removed Googlemaps route challenges, for a day, that New Brunswick surprisingly presented.
Part II: Historical Picnic
We met Chelsea, Jessica’s Girl Guide from an Arctic trip to Churchill, at Fort Beausejour, just about our halfway point for the day. Wind was blowing but the sun was out and we listened to Chelsea’s history lesson about the Acadian people’s resistance to the British while enjoying a delicious picnic with fresh fruit and veggies and homemade, still-warm banana bread. She interview us for her local paper and then toured us around the fort. This was an unexpectedly fun diversion in our day thanks to Chelsea.
Part III: The Fixed Link
We were cruising in the first 15 km after our picnic with wind in our backs, flat road and a wide shoulder for us to bike. It didn’t last long. The shoulder periodically turned to gravel and the wind shifted. Hello headwind!
Jess was somewhat crushed by it but I didn’t care. I was so excited to cross over to PEI and nothing was getting in the way. Through all the headwind in the last 26 km, all I could do was sing in pure joy. And what song? Don’t judge. Salt-N-Pepa’s “push it” – just the few key lines. You know what they are… “push it real good” It’s as if I was winning a bike race or something. I was singing and pumping my fist in the air as I approached the bridge and saw it arc up high into the clouds. Amazing sight.
The Confederation Bridge links New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island across the Northumberland Strait. This puts us almost at the Atlantic Ocean. And we biked here from Seattle. I felt as much excitement as reaching Ottawa and couldn’t pay attention to the shuttle location or anything else. I realized after that I yelled at Jess to take it all in when our bikes came to a stop underneath the bridge.
After a solid dose of pictures, we tracked down the shuttle phone, ate ice cream and waited. The friendly driver shared bridge facts and Island recommendations. By 8 pm only Subway was open in this little tourist town of Borden-Carleton. By 8:30 pm is almost dark. I think this is only the second time on this journey when we arrived at the campground after dark and put up the tent by headlight.
113 km into our eighth province PEI
Provinces crossed by bicycle: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick
Morning lattes with fresh bagels and strawberry cream cheese