Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 40 – Saturday July 10 – Cambridge Narrows to Hopewell Cape (165 km)

“The Scenic Route”
When I was little, I thought that “the scenic route” directly translated to “the long way”. This was thanks to many long drives with my Dad, including once a 6-hour venture to find a Christmas tree. I still remember the “aha!” moment when I learned the true meaning of the phrase (embarrassingly, in grade 4!). A few months ago, when planning the logistics of this trip, I was faced with two choices for New Brunswick: biking straight across the north (i.e. the direct route), or coming south along the River Valley Drive and Hwy 114, a CAA designated “scenic byway” through Fundy National Park (i.e. the scenic route... and in this case, also “the long way”). I am so glad to have chosen the latter, as it has been a beautiful ride. This part of New Brunswick is very rugged and rural – it feels like we’re in the middle of nowhere – and the scenery is amazing!! This morning, however, was a rough ride. I wasn’t on the road for 5 minutes before it started to POUR, and the first 50km were, well, pretty miserable (rain, fog, rough pavement, strong headwind, 100% humidity, and little black bugs). I gave myself a pep talk, and kept trucking away. Some of the hills leading up to, and through, Fundy National Park are absolutely massive – Dad even had to down-shift in the car to get up them! They were pretty fun climbs actually, and I know I have to get back down to sea level at some point! Dad found some wild strawberries by the roadside; they were very sweet..mmm. By the time we arrived in Alma, just on the east side of Fundy, I was completely water-logged (think prune-y fingers post-bath x100 .. all over...). Dad said a word that was music to my ears: motel. We checked in, and after a long, warm shower I felt like a new person. We went to a diner across the street for some fresh, homemade seafood chowder (yum!), and then took an afternoon power nap. Rain or no rain, we both wanted to go hiking in Fundy National Park this afternoon (one of the reasons for taking this route!), and miraculously it stopped raining! We hiked the Kinney Brook Trail, and it felt SO GOOD! We even saw a beaver swimming in the brook – so cute! After the hike, I decided to ride a little farther while it wasn’t raining (and then drive back to our motel) to knock some mileage off of tomorrow’s ride (there’s a “severe rain warning” for this whole area, and apparently Fundy doesn’t have a dry season). The conditions were SO much better than this morning (when it took me almost 5.5 hours to go 120 km... i.e. slooooooooow.. versus less than an hour and 20 mins to go 45 km through the hills tonight!). We got chatting with our neighbours at the motel, and it turned out that they’re from PEI, so they gave us tips on what to do and see while we’re there. We went into some of the seafood shops, and the lobsters here are huge! The biggest ones were 15-16 lbs, with claws bigger than my hands – unreal. Of course, now Dad is excited for a lobster dinner in PEI. Alma is home of the highest tides in the world (rising up to 16m against the shoreline), and we could see the tide coming in and going out right from our motel. What a full day!


  1. oooo sounds amazing...that hill looks HUGE must of been fun to ride down!

  2. I love it when there are lots of pictures. You can see the rain drops in the one with the sign!