Archive for August, 2007

Day 8 – Home for a rest

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

Today: 16 km
Ride time: 58m

Track from Dovern B&B to Charlettetown Airport.

Track from Ottawa airport to home.

Today was pretty unadventurous. We rode to the airport in Charlottetown. It took us only 30 minutes to change and pack our bikes (much quicker than for our departure from Ottawa).

We arrived home to have all our luggage arrive with us.

Pretty uneventful. The weather in Ottawa is gorgeous (22 degrees and sunny).

My ride total for the week is: 461 km
With ride time totaling: 26h 13m

Scott’s totals are probably about 35 km longer and 2 hours longer, as he rode to East Point on Day 6 and I didn’t.

Day 7 – Back to Charlottetown

Saturday, August 25th, 2007

Today: 65 km (60 to the B&B and an additional 5 km running around Charlottetown.
Ride time: 4h 3m.

Track for ride from St. Peters to Charlottetown.

As Scott would say, today we cheated. More specifically, we took a ride from Souris to St.. Peters, which took oft about 25 km from our ride today. I felt that 85 km was a bit beyond what I could manage. I am glad we did take the lift, as I was rather beat by the time we finally arrived.

Becky on the Confederation trail just as we were leaving St. Peters.


Mussel farm near St. Peters. If you look closely you can see a cormorant.


When we passed this swampy area outside of Morrel (on the Confederation trail), I was reminded of those black and white photos with the single red rose. The red seemed so out of place.


I thought this photo gave a good sense of how straight the trail is, Notice the slight gentle. upward slope. The trail was a great way to avoid the hills.

We stopped for lunch at the Trail Side Cafe. The food was good, but a little bit pricey. It was very nice to have an alternative to the greasy spoon down the road.

After lunch we took highway 21 back to Charlottetown rather than continuing on the trail (continuing on the trail would add 10 km to our return on the slow going trail). Highway 21 was a back road with little traffic and a few nice sized hills. We arrived in Charlottetown at 3:30, so I took a quick trip up to McQueens to pick up our bike locks (which were accidentally left in their van) and to pick up some sandwiches at the Sobeys for lunch on the plane.

For dinner, we returned to the Piece a Cake to enjoy another good meal and what turned out to be Lawrence’s last night singing in PEI before heading back home to Manitoba. It was a great way to end our time in Charlottetown.

Day 6 – water and wind

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Today: 36 km
Ride time: 2h 7m

Track for ride to Singing Sands and back.

Today was wet. It is hard to look back at the pictures of the last few days and remember what the Sun felt like. Today is full of wind and rain. the picture is me ringing the water out of my socks.
We rode out to the museum near the singing sands beach (12km). After a break at the museum, Scott decided he wanted to continue the ride out to the East Point lighthouse. I decided I was too wet and just wanted to go back to warm and dry. So, I headed towards confederation trail and Scott proceeded further east. My ride back was more work then expected. The detour to the trail added about 12km (6 of which was into a brutal headwind). I’m not sure if I wouldn’t have been better off sticking to the main road and tackling the hills.

Some Pictures from Scott’s journey

Day 5 – The journey east

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

Today: 70 km
Ride time: 3h 51m

Track from Knox’s Dam (Montague) to McLean House Inn (Souris).

Today we journeyed from Knox’s Dam B&B in Montague to Souris. The journey began on a very nice part of the Confederation trail. I was quite happy to discover that the trail did have parts that were better packed than the part we had been on between Murry River and Flat River.

We paused on a bridge over a heritage river to visit with some cyclists that were passing by in the other direction. They told us they had the opportunity to see an 800lb tuna be brought into harbour. They said it took the fisherman more than 3 hours, with a hook that was only 2 inches long and 200lb test line. The tuna was estimated to be worth $5000. I can see way the deep sea tours say that the captain keeps the fish!

The river was very pretty and had several herons and other birds nesting in and around it.

We stopped for lunch at the Inn at Fortune Bay. It was only the second day they were open for lunch, so we were lucky. It was the best lunch we had for the entire trip (and possibly even the best meal … although, we really enjoyed Piece A Cake in Charlottetown).


We arrived in Souris a little early; that is, we arrived at the McLean House Inn and my GPS only read 67 km, and it was supposed to be a 70km day. I could see the Souris lighthouse from the Inn so I dragged Scott along for a short additional jaunt to see the lighthouse. It wasn’t nearly as impressive as the many others we had seen throughout our travels. I guess that is why it doesn’t appear on the list of lighthouses to see!

Day 4 – Beaches and lighthouses

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Today: 57.24 km
Ride time: 3h 11m

Unfortunately, I don’t have the GPS tracks for today because I forgot to plug in my GPS last night and I appear to have not turned it off at the end of yesterday (oops). Here is the

track for part of the ride out to Panmure Island.

Today we ventured out to the Panmure Island lighthouse and beach.

On our ride out (and many other times throughout the week), we saw herons. Scott took this great photo:

On the way to Panmure Island, we took a detour to see the St. Andrew’s point lighthouse. Unfortunately, the lighthouse was on private property, so we were not able to go an take a close look. We did continue along to a little park, and had a good view of some seals. While in the park, we met a gentleman that was traveling by motorcycle. He lived on PEI and had a bunch of huskies. He commented that he liked to run them on the Confederation trail in the winter time, but unfortunately, it was difficult, because snowmobiles used the trail and were often traveling at very high speeds.

When we got to Panmure Island, we passed by the park and continued onto the lighthouse. Since we did not see Catherine and Kurt at the beach, we wanted to check out the lighthouse before going swimming. We chose not to climb this lighthouse, because they wanted $4 each person! We thought that was a little excessive (specially since the Prim Point light was free).

Panmure beach is a long beautiful beach.

Scott and I did make a valiant attempt at swimming. We ran into the water and dunked our heads, before departing. Our ride back to the B&B was quiet and uneventful.

That night, we did get a chance to try out that new organic local restaurant in Murray River, Finnan Haddie, the one we missed on our way through the first time. We had a decent meal at a great price with great company.

Day 3 – great ride and great stories

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

Today: 38 km
Ride time: 2h 15m

Track for ride from Fiddle Farm to Knox’s Dam.



Today was a short ride day (38 km), and my muscles were very glad of it. My muscles were also very glad that the B&B had a nice soaker tub.
The ride was a series of rolling hills. The road was very straight so you could see the hills for many Kilometers ahead. The hills were exactly what my muscles needed after 2 long days on relatively flat roads. They say “variety is the spice of life.” Hills are the spice for cyclists.


When the hills ended, our route took us over a series of short dirt roads, some with loose gravel, others with hard-packed bright red clay.

We arrived to discover a beautiful B&B with gardens and nice spacious rooms.

Since we arrived at 1 pm, we headed directly to lunch. Unfortunately, food and town were not as close as I would have liked (2.5 km) especially without a car. We made dinner reservations and plans to ride our bikes into town for dinner. Town was just a little too far to walk.

The Stories

Richard Knox, he and his wife Janet run the B&B, has lived in PEI, all his life. He has many stories of his long history here. His father used to operate the power plant at the dam, hence Knox’s Dam.

Our Surprise

After lunch we had a chance to sit back and relax. Whilst relaxing, we noticed someone arriving. A closer glance showed it was Katherine, Kurt, and Rachel – for some unknown reason, I thought they were not meeting up with them until Souris. We were glad to share the beautiful B&B with them. And the added bonus was that we would not need to ride to dinner!

Day 2 – Tired after a long day

Monday, August 20th, 2007

Today 79 km.
Ride time: 4h 16m

Track for trip to Cape Bear.

The day started and ended lovely. The sun blessed us most of the day.

Our first stop was at the visitor information centre just outside the Wood Island ferry terminal (where the ferry from Nova Scotia lands on PEI). We were amused by the fish shaped bike rack.


Our first detour was to see the Wood islands light. The whole time both Scott and I were singing the Arrogant Worms:

Oh the Wolfe Island Ferry is a very nice ferry
It´s a very nice ferry it´s the Wolfe Island Ferry
The Wolfe Island Ferry is a very nice ferry
It´s a very nice ferry, it´s the Wolfe Island Ferry

As we recalled various portions of the song, it occurred to us that there was a reason the Wood Island Ferry reminded us of Wolfe Island Ferry (near Kingston Ontario) song. Apparently, were were not the first people to see the similarities. The lyrics include:

Well, they´ve got lots of potatos & Anne of Green Gables
Oh crap, that´s Prince Edward Island

The wood island lighthouse is on the southern most tip of PEI .

Wood island light


The Wolfe Island Ferry is a very nice ferry. It´s a very nice ferry, it´s the Wolfe Island Ferry.

After the Wood Island light and ferry we continued down the road to the Rossignol winery (the only winery on PEI). We sampled several of their wines and bought a bottle for dinner that night and a fish shaped bottle to take home.

We then continued along the road to the Cape Bear Lighthouse. Unfortunately, the lighthouse was closed on Mondays, so we did not get a chance to venture inside.



When we were finished out lighthouse visits, we stopped for lunch in Murray Harbour at the local greasy spoon. Unfortunately, we discovered during lunch that a new organic local food restaurant (Finnan Haddie) had opened up in Murray River (less than a 30 minute ride away). If only we had known :(.

After lunch we headed back to the Fiddle Farm via the Confederation Trail. This was our first experience with the trail. We discovered that it is no paved. The trail is packed stone in some places and packed clay in others. On the part from Murry River back to Flat River, it is packed stone. We found it hard to make progress, compared to the roads, so at one point we jumped off the trail a little early and followed an adjacent road (which started out as clay and quickly became paved). Throughout the rest of our trip, we would be debating between the flat slow going trail or the hilly smooth roads.

Day 1 – Adventuring forth

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

Today: 77 km
Ride time: 4h 2m
Fiddle Farm B&B 46deg 00.587′ N 62deg 51.612′ W

Track

for Charlottetown to Fiddle Farm.

The day started out a little chilly (about 12 deg C).

We began by making short trip out to see Victoria Park in Charlottetown before heading away from the city.

Along our travels, we came across an alpaca farm. I’m pretty sure I had never seen alpacas before. They are odd looking animals with cuddly heads.
After lunch we decided we had the energy for a 22 km detour, to see the Point Prim lighthouse. One of the signs showed a picture of a lighthouse and the number 8. I thought this meant the lighthouse was only 8km away. Scott later pointed out that the number referred to the attraction number on the provincial tourist maps. oops! The lighthouse was an 11 km away from the highway. The way there was mostly into a pretty strong headwind. Fortunately, it made for a nice ride back.
The Point Prim lighthouse is the oldest operating lighthouse on PEI. It is also the only one made of bricks. They let you go inside and climb to the top (for fee, it turned out all the other lighthouses charged for the experience of climbing to the top. The view was excellent.


Scott decided to play a little with the reflections on the glass of the light on the lighthouse windows.



Scott also decided that we needed to take this opportunity to taste the salt water of the Atlantic ocean.

When we were at the lighthouse the sun came out. That too made for a nice ride back. Unfortunately, the nice weather did not last. Five km before the end or our rides destination the rains started again. We arrived slightly before 4 pm nice and soggy.

Day 0 – All is well that ends well

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

Total distance: 22.5 km
Ride time: 1h 23m


Track
to Ottawa airport.

Track from Charlottetown airport to Dovern B&B and some touring around Charlottetown.

Departing
We got up early, but still didn’t leave the house as early as I to would have liked. We were a little surprised when the alarm went off at 5:30 am and it was still dark out. By 6:00 am, the light was better and we were packed and on our way by 6:15 am. So far, So good.
We arrived at the airport at 6:45 am. This was a little later than I had hoped but still lots of time for an 8:15 am flight.
Becky and the bikes
My approach to packing changed last night after a test ride, my original thought was that I would just strap my duffel and backpack onto the rear rack. However, when to did that, the balance was off. The century gravity was too high, making the bike difficult to balance and manoeuvre . My second approach was to place the contents of the duffel into my panniers, and place only my back Back and empty duffel on top. This worked out OK.

What I’d Change
For our next trip, I’ll rig the front panniers. Also, I will get a larger collapsible duffel bag. The front panniers would allow me to move the contents of my backpack onto the font rack, which would make the bike much steadier. We took turns going to the washroom to change into comfortable clothes for the flight.

Packing up the bikes
Once we arrived at the airport, we quickly began preparing for the fight. The gear was unloaded from the bikes and packed into duffel bags.
To prepare the bikes for the plane, the handlebars must be turned and lowered, the peddles must be removed, and some air must be let out of the tires. Finally, the bikes are rolled into large plastic bags and taped shut.
When I thought Scott hand things under control, I went to the line to check us in. I soon discovered that things were not running as smoothly as we had hoped.

Waiting
The line was not moving. It was not clear to me why, but the area did appear rather cluttered. When I asked an agent, he explained that the baggage belt was broken. He said not to worry as most flights would be delayed 1-3 hours as a result (the belt broke yesterday as well). We were thinking “oh well, we will get there when we get there. “

After waiting in line for what seemed like forever, I was finally next in line. The agent turned the sign to closed and left! We were stuck in a line with no agent!

After about 10 minutes, I mentioned to an agent that wasn’t helping any one, that we had bikes that we needed to pay for. She then allowed us to pay for the bikes and she checked us in. It was very much a relief to get to this point.

We had not had breakfast and I was starving. By this point, the time for our fight didn’t matter to me. I just want to get some food. We dropped our bags off at the oversize counter (the only belt that was working). They hand carried our bikes down to the luggage area and placed our duffels on the belt. We headed to security. Scott checked the departures board, which directed us gate 13. Gate 13 is at the far west part of the new airport. Upon arriving at gate 13, we discovered the flight was actually leaving at gate 21. Gate 21 is in the old part of the airport (to east!). Scott felt the need to rush to our gate. I figured all flights were delayed and I wanted milk for our cereal. So I sent Scott to get milk while I made a pit-stop. We the proceeded to the gate. Scott rushing and me progressing at a leisurely pace.

Half way to the gate, Scott decides to go ahead to see what is up and I figure I’ll take a look at the books in the bookstore before heading to the gate. A moment later we hear “Final boarding call for Jazz flight to Halifax” Ack! That is our flight. We run to make our flight, hoping our bikes make it. When we arrive at the gate, we are shown to our seats. We do notice our bikes being loaded onto the plane. We sigh with relief.

On the first plane
Our first flight is to Halifax. The flight leaves only 25 minutes late. There is actually hope that we will make our connection to Charlottetown. We relax on the plane and have our breakfast. Unfortunately, the milk Scott picked up specifically for Becky is Sour =(. Fortunately, Scott has enough of his milk to share!
We arrive in Halifax well, with plenty of time to transfer to Charlottetown.

In Charlottetown
We arrive to watch the baggage guy drive the truck into the ditch. He decides to move the baggage carts by hand; which was rather amusing.

Unfortunately, we were soon to discover that Scott’s bag didn’t make it. Fortunately, my bag did make it. so Scott borrowed some sending clothes and we setup our bites and headed out.
It was a beautiful afternoon in Charlottetown. We easily navigated our way to the confederation trail. At one point we observed some row houses that were painted in nice maritime colours. We enjoyed the short ride from the airport to the B&B we are were staying at. We arrived at the B&B, dropped off stuff and headed to the bike shop to check in. At treble shop we relieved our packets. Then it started to rain. Really heavy rain =(. Unfortunately, without Scott’s luggage, he didn’t have any wet weather gear or a jacket of any type. This made for a cold afternoon ride ,that was cut short due to weather.

A lovely dinner
After drying off and warming up, we headed out to the “Piece a Cake” restaurant. The food was excellent, the ambiance was excellent, and the entertainment was excellent. It was a thoroughly nice evening. During dinner, I got a phone call telling us the luggage had arrived.
So, as the title says, all is well that ends well. We are here, we are dry, and we are ready for a good nights sleep! Cheers.

more on technology

Friday, August 17th, 2007

Well, my new tablet arrived. I think the handwriting recognition will take some practice. I am debating whether or not I am going to need a keyboard. So this post is being done with my tablet and handwriting.

Here is what my old on the road blogging solution looked like:

As you can see, the screen is really small. What you cannot see is that the modem/wireless Card is really slow. As a result, I was unable to place pictures on my blog using that solution. The tablet has the advantage of being a PC, including USB Ports. So, I can transfer pictures from my camera to my tablet and then post them. The only disadvantage is that too not nave a keyboard. So l am limited to the pace that I write, which is slower than I type.

I am certain that at some point during the vacation Scott will take a picture or me writing on my tablet. When he does, I’ll add a photo here.