What a day!!!!! We are leaving Prince Edward Island today but decided to go north to the shore to a town called Cavendish first. Randy and Barry had their GPSs already programmed to go to Cavendish but Bob asked someone at the front desk for directions for a scenic route. We wound up getting lost twice on our way by missing a turn and going down a dead end street and having to turn around.
The last problem we encountered for this ride was turning into Prince Edward National Park and discovering that the city was repaving the road into the park so the road was all gravel and mud. Bikers hate gravel and mud. So, again we had to turn around. We did, however, see the cemetery were the author of Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery was buried as we were leaving town.
Thwarted from seeing anything of interest in Cavendish we headed to the Confederation Bridge to leave Prince Edward Island and enter New Brunswick. The Confederation Bridge is a 12.9 kilometer-8 mile bridge across the Northumberland Strait connecting Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. The speed limit on the bridge is 80 kilometers (50 miles an hour) and it takes about ten minutes to get across the expanse at that speed.
I was not looking forward to crossing the bridge. I had heard from other travelers about the bridge being closed periodically for high winds and knew the walls on either side of the bridge were not very tall. To say that I was tense the morning we left would be understating my state of mind. Of course, it was very windy when we left. I was not looking forward the crossing at all.
As we crossed the bridge we had a steady strong wind and then Randy had to deal with gusts that were challenging to say the least. Add to that a truck passing by on the opposite side of the road and you were buffeted by winds so strong I couldn’t believe any biker could hold their own. But they do and Randy did. The first gust of wind we were hit with I grabbed his sides scared to death. Trust me when I tell you that Randy did not like that. He said, “Don’t do that. I am having enough of a challenge with the bike without having you panic”. Ooops! I did not grab him anymore but I do remember saying a bad word or two during the rest of the trip across. Everyone else thought it was cool. I guess I’m just a scaredy cat. Although I did try to get a few pictures while we crossing. Not one turned out they were all blurry from my hands being whipped around so much by the wind.
We stopped for a bathroom break and asked the proprietor about the road to the Bay of Fundy and she told us that it was a bad road and mostly gravel. This was not good news. We then asked her if she could recommend a good place to get some lunch. She told us to go down to the next exit and go to a restaurant called Patterson’s Family Restaurant in Sackville, New Brunswick. Think of Bob Evans in the states except that everything is homemade especially all their desserts.
The menu was filled with comfort food like hot turkey and roast beef sandwiches, hot beef sandwiches, many other favorite sandwiches, fresh mashed potatoes. When the waitress was taking our orders she asked, “Do you want our French fries or frozen French fries?” I don’t think I have ever been to a restaurant where they had a choice of fries. Very interesting. We all choose theirs and were not disappointed. They were much better than frozen. The service was very friendly and quick. You could tell it was a popular spot because while we were at the restaurant there was a steady stream of customers.
Shortly after we left the restaurant we pulled off at a little spot to get gas and determined that we missed our turn for the north entrance to Fundy National Park so we made a decision to go back two exits and take the south entrance to Fundy National Park. The road to get to the front gate of the park was terrible. When we finally got there the park ranger at the gate let us in because we were driving through and not staying. It started to rain so we pulled off onto an observation lookout and put our rain suits on. Literally two minutes after we did the rain stopped and the sun came out. No matter the view was well worth the time we spent at the observation point.
We made it to the administration building at the park and once again could not decide which way to go. Bob went into the administration building to get some directions. When he came out it was decided to make a left and go to a little fishing village called Alma. We arrived at Alma just as the last remnants of the tide was going out to sea leaving large fishing boats tied to the docks on the Bay of Fundy. Alma has the distinction of having the largest tidal effect in the world. According to Encyclopedia of Earth, “the highest tides on earth occur in the eastern extremity of the Bay of Fundy, where the range approaches 17 meters or 56 feet when the various factors affecting the tides are in phase”.
While we were waiting for Bob to get directions I discovered a garden on the side of the building. The rangers had planted a representation of some of the wildflowers that the landscape in the park. They were so pretty I just had to take some pictures. I went inside the building to see if they had any information to identify the flowers but they did not.
We parked our bikes on Main Street and walked down to the dock to see the affects of the tide leaving. It was an amazing site to see boats sitting on the bottom of seabed. The boats were equipped with stabilizers to keep them from tipping over when the water went out to sea. You could see the water had gone down at least thirty feet and you could see the watermarks on the pilings. We walked around for a while taking some pictures. At one point we entertained trying to find a room in Alma but the price was very high so we decided to push on St. Johns.
On the way we took what we thought was a scenic route to St. John’s. Again the road was terrible. Some of it was gravel dumped over tar, some it was very bumpy and some was loose gravel. A few times when a car went by we were hit with loose gravel. The road was not a biker’s dream for sure. Add to that the road was at least sixty kilometers and there were no gas stations or any other amenities for travelers, which led to an emergency bathroom, stop in the woods. (I won’t mention any names.)
By the time we reached civilization we were worn out. We spent eight hours on the bike making it a very hard riding day. We were all very tired when we finally reached our hotel and decided to order pizza and eat at the hotel. Char ordered the pizza from a restaurant called Romano’s. The pizza was okay, however, we ordered pepperoni and got Canadian bacon instead. The delivery person must have turned the salads upside down because the dressing from the Greek salad had leaked all over the boxes and was soaking through the paper bag. It was a mess. Today was not a very good food day hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Tomorrow we are head for the border at Calais, Maine. We are on the way home. YEA!!!