After a restless sleep under the stars due to humidity and excitement I was packed up and ready for the last leg of the tip-to-tip! I stopped in at the information centre to ask where along the way I could pick up some snacks and any highlights on this section of the trail and was bluntly told that there was nothing. "Just farm fields" she tells me. Not great so I head to the town's gas station for some coffee, orange juice and some blueberry pastry things to fire up the engine for the day's ride.
The trail is actually much like the rest: awesome. Long stretches of tree lined trail and a bunch of spots open to the fields beside. I hear all sorts of birds and crickets galore.
Just before Harmony Junction I stopped at a huge conservation area. Two other cyclists were already there and we start chatting and I learn that they are siblings (probably in their late 50s), born and raised in the area and they cycle together whenever possible on the trail. We talk about other parts of the trail I've seen, the wildlife and bugs. I learn that the Island had a significant bat population that was struck with a disease that nearly killed them all. They are slowly coming back but the effect of losing these key players in the local ecology created a huge influx of bugs that were no longer being eaten by bats. I had noticed a lot of dragonflies while cycling throughout the trip and wondered if the lack of bats surged their population to try and keep some balance. It was a great talk and I get back on the trail and take a photo at the junction trail marker just around the bend.
At my cycling pace the final 15 km would take me just under and hour. I felt all sorts of emotions about finishing and posted the trail marker sign to Facebook and Instagram to share my location with all who have been following me along this journey. A few minutes later my phone rings and it's my biological father (aka bio-Dad ;), Gerard, calling from England to tell me he had seen my recent post and wanted to let me know he was proud of me. Oh man... the waterworks were in full effect. It's just a quick call and we say our goodbyes so I can finish what I started and the last few kilometres did not disappoint! The overhanging trees were gorgeous and I even saw a hawk of somesort flying overhead for a stretch. So cool.
Just when I think there couldn't be anymore surprises along the trail I come across an information placard describing a natural spring that is accessible from the trail. So I lean my bike on the placard pole and go for a little walk up a sandy dirt road to find the spring. I'm not 20 paces in and I hear some cyclists come up behind me and it's the brother and sister I met at the conservation spot before the junction! We find the spring not far up the road and I get my thermos out to use the lid as a cup. The water was so refreshing and exactly what I needed to finish this trip. I couldn't capture the bubbling of the water up from the earth in a photo but this place was certainly magical and I hope to come back!
The three of us head back to the trail and the siblings go off ahead of me as I was slower than them with my gear and I wanted to experience the last of the trail solo.
From the springs it was only 9 km to Elmira. As I neared the end I felt sad that the tour was coming to an end but was so pumped that I actually did it, in my own way and enjoyed every moment to the fullest.
With the trail behind me I only had a few kilometers left to reach the lighthouse at East Point. I wasn't sure what to expect when I got there as many tourist attractions shut down after Labour Day weekend. Happily I found this place was hopping with visitors and the shop and cafe were busy! Also, the couple I met in Greenwich who were cycling on tandems were there too! They were a bit shocked that I'd make the whole leg in a day and I guess 56 km is a bit of a stretch but after all I'd done it didn't feel that far at all.
First order of business when I arrived was to get food! Lobster Mac n' Cheese and a celebratory beer... Yes, please!
After my delicious lunch I walk around the grounds, take some pictures and see the ferry that goes to Îles de la Madeleine round the point.
My awesome cousin Laura comes to pick me up, we pack my bike and gear in to her vehicle and headed back to Charlottetown. We chat about the trip and how the last two days went. It feels like we're travelling at lightning speed after being at a bike pace for so long. Ha!
This adventure is technically over but the stories and memories will last forever. It's taken me a few days to write about this last tour day as it didn't seem real that I did it or that it was over. I had set out on a goal, asked for help when I needed it, had the love and support of wonderful friends and family throughout the whole process and I cycled over 400 km on this bike tour! It's been quite the journey and I'm excited for what's next :)