Charlottetown, PEI to Meadowville (Unincorporated Pictou County), Nova Scotia, August 29
The breakfast table of the Charlottetown hostel was full of travelers, passing the jam, or the fresh banana bread. We told of our journey briefly, listened to others, then pulled our final things out of our nautically decorated private room of the hostel.
We crossed the bridge of the Charlottetown harbor, snapped a few final photos, and grabbed some snacks for the day at the corner gas station. When we inquired about the route back to the Confederation Trail, the attendant showed us a map of this suburb and pointed to an alternative way. Then, a woman at the check out, in her colourful BIKE PEI jersey, turned her ears our way. Ruth is the Community Relations Coordinator for the Confederation Trail. She was wise with her route suggestions, handing a stack of a maps to the gas station attendant. Making note of the newly laid trail that she thought would be a challenge for our loads. “Take this [insert route number] road first, then connect with the TransCanada.”
She was our first angel of the day.
Next was Levi, the proprietor of the hostel. About 16 km into our day, Irena checked her phone and found a text from him stating that he had my passport at the hostel and wanted to get it back to me. Turns out that the guy who checked us in hadn’t returned it to me. Their bad, and “I’d like to make it good,” Levi told me on the phone when I called back. “This is so good!” Irena claimed. Better now than at the airport in Halifax, she rightly reasoned. “In a dream world, you’d drive it out to me, as we are trying to make a ferry,” I negotiated. “Sure, I’m coming right away and stepping on it.”
We were trying to make the 2:45 ferry to Nova Scotia. It was going to be closer now than we’d planned.
At 1:15, I put my legs to the test, and sang that good ole Salt N Pepper song, “push it real good”, as I went a serious push pace for more than an hour. Thankfully the road no longer climbed, and instead rolled slightly downhill to the water. Regardless, the race pace was on. I was relentless in the push. When I pulled into the toll both, I visualized a red ribbon, and raised my first with power pump. Made it! There was Irena, already having purchased the tickets, and stalling by talking with the attendant about how her friend was on the way. I felt a rush of immense joy.
In line behind the motorbikes, we pulled onto the huge ship, and the motorcycle guys all knew what to do, fetching the ratchet straps and hooking them to their bikes and the D rings in the floor of the vessel. Irena and I wondered what to do with our bikes and got a bit of assistance, either to stash it in a corner or secure it with similar straps to a pole.
Beautiful crossing with a lovely snack, but took less time than we thought. I could have used more rest. A little more than an hour later, we were in Nova Scotia, with Alana waiting for us in her orange Pictou County Cycles kit. She and Irena hadn’t seen each other in years since when they last both lived in Victoria.
She was our photographer for the momentous provincial sign. Number NINE! We have cycled to NINE provinces, and this is my last.
We followed Alanna out the ferry road to the round about, and continued on paved and dirt roads to her farm house home, in rural unincorporated Pictou County, all the while hearing stories of the local dairy, the family farms, and the community she has returned to for work in as a home health nurse.
Sipping beers and munching sugar snap peas right from her garden as the sun set behind the 80 acre property was another win of the day.
BE HERE NOW
Ceilidh (pronounce that!)
Awesome gifts from Alanna
And the seasons are changing: we can feel it in the weather and see it in the fields