Monthly Archive October 2013

2013 The Hopewell Rocks ride

I looked at the google map of Prince Edward Island, and it slowly sunk in that I’d ridden to every cape and along every coastline on the island. What now? I’d find myself in familiar territory if I rode out in any direction. Then I thought of Hopewell Rocks provincial park on Shepody Bay in New Brunswick and google informed me that it was a mere two and a half hours away! A quick check of the tide tables and I was delighted to find that if I left the island in the late morning, I’d arrive at the park in time for low tide at 12:19, and be able to walk the beach for the following shots. Perfect!
The flower pot rocks of Hopewell Rocks
Crapaud PE to The Rocks Provincial Park NB
Those blue lines on the map above do nothing to indicate how cool it was in the morning, and as my brother-in-law Kirk and our friend Mike was meeting me at 0930 in the morning, I showered up and looked at what gear I had laid out the night before, which included some insulated coveralls that I eschewed in favour of wearing three pairs of pants. That proved to be a mistake as our first hour saw us riding in temperatures of three to four degrees, and while my heated grips and jacket made my hands and core nice and toasty, I could definitely feel the cool wind on my knees, thighs and calves. When we crossed a very windy Confederation bridge, I found that I’d left behind something very important to the ride, as I tried to snap a photo of the Cape Jourimain lighthouse and the camera failed to turn on! I tried again with extra care, and realized that I knew exactly where the battery was… In the charger beside my bed where I’d left it last night. Bugger! That meant that the only camera I had with me was my cellphone, and although it takes some great pictures, I’d have to stop for every shot, open up the tank bag and pull off a glove in order to operate it, and the sensor isn’t as good as that of my Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3
We rode off the bridge, and took the first exit off of the Trans Canada onto NB 955 that is a truly beautiful ride along the coast of Cape Jourimain, through a small slice of Acadian New Brunswick, that is a delightful twisty stretch of road that is a bit of a shortcut towards Port Elgin from the foot of the Confederation Bridge. The fall colours and light in the area made me curse the lack of my camera, but I consoled myself with the thought that I’d already photographed much of the coast earlier this summer.
NB 955 along the coast
I can be such an idiot, but I warned Kirk and Mike when we stopped at the Dieppe Tim Horton’s that they may lose me from time to time taking pictures, but I’d do my best to catch up, which wouldn’t be terribly hard as Mike found that stator on his KLR didn’t like the load placed on it by his heated vest if he rode over 104kph. 
Tim Horton’s stop

Entering and leaving the city of Moncton simply reminded me of how much I detest traffic and the whimsical actions of cagers. Once we were across the bridge and heading south on NB 114, I relaxed and enjoyed the sweeping progress of the road that parallels the Chocolate river.

In the distance, the Petitcodiac river fed by a tributary 

A tributary of the Petitcodiac river

The tidal bore of the Petitcodiac river is one of the largest in the world, with ranges from 1 to 2 metres in height, as you can see from the photos. It’s nicknamed the Chocolate River for good reason.

As you leave Moncton and ride south on NB 114, you’ll see many sites like this, but it may be impossible to stop for as they tend to be curved stretches of road with narrow shoulders, and I was fortunate enough to be able to park for them in the light traffic that Saturday afternoon.

NB 114 is a wonderful bit of road, although fairly well travelled with towns up and down its length, I found it a bit rough on the Versys suspension in places, but a fun scenic jaunt, and I wasn’t feeling like pushing it that day which is probably a good thing considering how cold the asphalt was. It was certainly more entertaining than our ride out from PEI with the exception of NB 955.

How much time do I have?!!!

Signs like this tell you that the tide rises high enough to strand you on the beach if you don’t make it back to the ladder on time, and the tide can be swift as it rises to a height of 1-2 metres high.

We arrived at the park, and as it was late in the season, the gates were closed, the parking area closed up tight, but not tight enough to keep out those who braved the cool autumn temperatures and closed gates to to see the sights on this lovely October day. It’s about a kilometre from the gates to the Flower pot rocks, and there were more people there than I thought there might be.

The overcast sky played hob with my pictures.

Someone had placed this ladder for determined site seers such as myself. Thanks!

But not quite. Enter at your own risk

So that’s where they are!

The intrepid explorers await my return…

I think the tide is starting to come back in now

NB 114 has this and much more in store for you

It was a great ride, and our stop at the Homestead restaurant in Riverside, was the perfect place to take a break and stuff ourselves with homemade bread. Try the french onion soup, it’s bound to please.

The rest of the ride, we could feel the temperature drop, and our butts begin to burn, just to the point where you start moving around trying to ease the pressure. By the time I got back into Crapaud, I was cold, tired and elated at a wonderful fall ride, and perhaps the last full day ride I would be able to do at these temperatures, for I’ve seen -1 in the forecast for this coming week, and that doesn’t bode well for a bike with a rear tire that is almost on the wear bars.

If that’s it for the season, then I’m happy that I ended it this way. No regrets with the exception of leaving my camera battery behind. DOH!

2013 The East Point ride

Stewart Pond at low tide

 Saturday was a perfect day for riding, so of course I spent the day lazing about the apartment. When the forecast calls for rain on a Sunday, that’s when I roll!

And I’m very glad I did, for I had a wonderful ride that had me stopping time and time again for just one more picture. That to me is the perfect ride, and fall on the Island brings with it an incredible beauty that awes me every time I experience it. That, and being on a well designed 650cc adventure bike, and you have the perfect day.

More later, I’m off to work on a Monday!

Crapaud PE to East Point PE via Greenwich Prov. Park
looking up river towards Route 13


This is my nephew posing for the picture before heading home across the empty potato fields

    The view along the Clyde River near Cornwall PE

It’s an Eagle, one of four I saw on my ride today.

Blueberry fields in October

This road pretty much leads to potato fields and provincial parks

The boardwalk leads you through the sensitive dunes to the beach on the East shore of the Provincial park

These wind swept pines had me reminiscing about my trip to Newfoundland 

Gazing out towards the dunes from the boardwalk

There is so much more colour at this time of year

The grass keeps this sand in place, otherwise it gets blown further inland

Are they rose hips?

Route 16 is a fairly fast run with sweeping curves and beautiful fall colours

Don’t kid yourself, as I cropped out the fish factory to make it look isolated like this. 

The camera barely captured the ocean in the distance

Priest Pond Creek

Campbell Campground off of Route 16. Oceanside camping

East Point lighthouse

The Pirate Cafe is closed as of today, and i watched the last bowl of chowder being served up as i sipped my coffee

The Isle de Madeleine ferry out from Souris

If you want the following shots, you have to climb down this

Yours truly

This is what the sea does to concrete. Notice the rebar?

The lighthouse as seen from the beach

My fiance would have loved this ride. 

Getting back up to the top wasn’t as bad as I thought.

Basin Head Provincial park

Perhaps it’s stopped raining over there?

Victoria, I’m almost home

2013 The North Cape Ride

Thanksgiving weekend arrived, and with it some spectacular weather that had me out on the bike on the Monday to spend a day touring around the North West side of the Island. I’d been saving it up for a special day, and here it was! 

North Cape PE
Summerside is a pinch point on the Island, so of course you have to hit the main roads to get there, and as soon as I got through it, turned North up towards Belmont Provincial Park to take a few pictures, then the intent was to stay on Route 12 as much as possible to get to North Cape, then follow route 14 down and around to Cedar Dunes Provincial Park, then back through Summerside and home.
You need to be alert for farm equipment in this province. Always.

The view from Rattenbury road

I think the fall colours are a week past their peak of the season, but there were still enough left on the trees to make this a splendid fall ride.

PEI has a lot of birch and pine trees, so yellows and oranges predominate, with the odd splash of red to liven things up for you.

The view from Clinton PE

Extreme close up. Once again, I need a better lens

My trusty steed, 2009 Kawasaki Versys 650

So now I needed to head west and a touch south if I was going to get this ride down before sunset, and fall rides tend to be shorter as the available daylight is less, and the temperatures can get down near the zero mark at this time of year. Average is about 7 degrees Celsius, but it’s hit 0 and 1 over the weekend as well for overnight temps. Daytime is still about 10 degrees for the most part.

Belmont Provincial Park

Belmont Provincial Park

Belmont Provincial Park

Belmont Provincial Park

Belmont Provincial Park

Belmont Provincial Park

Belmont Provincial Park

The black dot in the water is a Blue Heron

I need a better zoom lens.

I have no clue what they are fishing for. Oysters? Quahoggs? Anyone?

Bud the spud with a full load bound for the storage sheds

The potato harvester in full swing

These are a very common sight around this time of year

Pecan tart with ice cream. It is as good as it looks, better in fact!