My plans and route for this cycling adventure was simple:
1 - Start on the North Cape on the morning of Friday, Sept. 2nd.
2 - Head east.
3 - Go with the flow.
Leading up to today's departure wasn't just planning routes and purchasing gear... There was also a memorial I spoke at and family connections to reestablish.
So at the memorial I reconnected with a bunch of the Aucoin side of my family that I hadn't seen in quite some time and plans were made that I'd meet them for dinner on Friday night in Mont Carmel. I was asked what I wanted for dinner and I said anything Acadian... And oh boy did I get my fill! But before I get to the foodie part of the day I'm going to backtrack with some trail tales :)
Part 1 - North Cap to Marker 24km on the Confederation Trail
- My aunt Claire dropped me off at North Cap and I started from the point just after 9:30 am. It was super windy and cloudy but it wasn't long before the skies cleared and the day warmed up nicely. Wind was pretty consistent throughout the day but kept the bugs away!
Stopped in Tignish to take a start of the official trail photo and quickly realized that the trail was going to slow me down much more than the weight of my panniers. The trail is small gravel and sand so speed no longer was going to be a factor for the trail... Slow and steady would get me to where I was going.
Stopped for a lunch break at around noon and stretched a bit. Was feeling good and once refueled I was pumped to make it to O'Leary for the next big break!
Part 2 - Marker 24 km to O'Leary
I came across a trail caretaking crew not long after lunch as they were cleaning up the fallen branches last night's storm!
The skies cleared up and the day was so awesome. Lots of road crossings and information placards along the way with interesting historical or nature knowledge information.
O'Leary was only 20 km from where I stopped for lunch but that didn't stop me from indulging in a pop and candy bar from the gas station that was next to the trail! Also, they had free wi-fi!
Part 3 - O'Leary to Richmond
Not long after getting back on the trail with a solid sugar high a local fellow caught up to me on his bike and we rode together for a few kilometers. His name was Jerry (sp?), was probably mid-60s and I could barely understand anything he said through the thickness of his accent but we had a nice conversation nonetheless. He turned around after the next road crossing, wished me well for the rest of my journey and we shook hands.
By the time I reached Ellerslie I knew I didn't want to push through to Wellington even though it was only about 9 km past the next trail/road intersection. My legs and body was getting really tired and I needed to keep some energy to enjoy spending time with the family for dinner. So I texted my aunt Norma and asked if I could be picked up from Richmond and luckily the timing worked out really well. I felt so slow by the end of the day reaching 98 km for the day's ride which is a much longer distance than anything I've done in quite some time!
Part 4 - Acadian feast!
I had no idea that when I asked for something Acadian I would get a multi-course feast!! Everything was so delicious and reminded me of my childhood in the East so much. Of course, my appetite was huge from such a big day on the bike I impressed the family that I could actually eat as much as I did. Ha!
After dinner a bit of a walk was needed so ventured down to the shore as the tide was just starting to come in. Sun was setting on the most wonderful first day of this bike touring adventure and I couldn't have been happier.
Tomorrow will be a much shorter day but will bring some fun detouring adventures and more family visiting!