As promised, Joseť got up at 7:00 to make buttermilk pancakes. Morning revealed the first casualty of the trip - at least one cat had leapt onto my glasses in the night, and broken one of the nose rests. That's why I have two pair with me. I'll get a new nose piece next week in Fredericton.
Traffic is busy but fast into the harbor. Because of my brother's scouting trip yesterday, I have no problems getting to the terminal. As I recalled, bikes go to the front of the line. Although there are no other bikers, I chat with a tourist from England, and a couple of guys from Maine. Everyone loves motorcycle touring, and motorcycle tourists.
On the left, looking into the bow from the dock. On the right, same thing from the ship.
As the ferry leaves for Digby, Nova Scotia, from Saint John, the morning fog burns off over the harbor. But the trip over the bay of Fundy is completely obscured. The mournful cry of the foghorn is our only accompaniment through the gray. The whale watchers are very disappointed.
The nice tourist information lady (Donna), ensconced at the bow end of the lower deck, gives me a motorcycle tourist book for N.S. It's a great thing, and small enough to not be annoying. I wonder if other provinces have these?
After typing out the above stuff, I go for a wander about the deck, seeking the cool breezes. The fog has lifted a little, and the bow has a number of eco-tourists, bird- and aquatic-sea-mammal-watching. I watch with them, spotting harbor porpoises, various birds, and a Minke whale. I keep hoping for a humpback or fin whale, since they spout, and I could shout "Thar she blows", but it was not to be. I chat with Doug, one of the tour guides of Field Guides, about our respective tours. Doug has an international group he is shepherding around the Maritimes, spotting fauna. Doug is also kind enough to lend me sun block, since I have left mine (Class?) "In the tank bag, on the motorcycle". Sigh. Someday, I'll learn.
As we pull into Digby harbor, the breeze from on-shore becomes hot. And something is burning my eyes (that turns out to be smog). We head in a long line of vehicles away from the ferry, and onto route 101. Why a long line on a 4-lane separated highway? Construction. Sitting in all my gear, in the noon-day sun, on new asphalt. I need more water just remembering.
After a couple of delays totaling about 10 minutes, I proceeded to Bridgewater. I get off of 101 here, and on to Rt. 1, which was the only highway last time I was here (1984). I traverse Paradise (really. That's the name of the town) and come to Lawrencetown, where I last attended college. Another snap of a house in which I lived. It is stupidly hot out, at any speed under 80KmH. I get back on 101 at Middleton, and head for Halifax, playing the sleeve lottery. What's the sleeve lottery, you ask? When it's hot, I leave my jack sleeves open, and my glove cuffs tucked inside the jacket cuffs. That way, I can move my left sleeve into the windstream around the fairing, and the wind blows through my jacket, cooling me off. The lottery is whether any stinging or biting insects are picked up, and deposited on my spine. So far, all trip, zero insects.
Gosh, it's hot. The wind is like standing outside an oven. Oh, and near Kentville, more construction. 20 minutes, sitting on the bike, baking in the sun, waiting for the crews to move cones. They get moved, then moved back, then someone else comes. Urg. More water.
On down 101 to Dartmouth. I get off on 7 (Windmill Row) where I lived for a month in September of '84 while working at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. But the apartment building is gone. No picture. Just before 7 becomes 107, I stop for gas and water. Note - no bathroom break required. Hmmm.
Now I'm on Rt. 7, out of Dartmouth, heading up the Marine Trail, 5 feet from the Atlantic. At Pope Harbor, minutes west of Sheet Harbor, I stop for another liter of water and an ice cream cone. The road is getting rough, but scenic and twisty. The locals are delighted with the bike, and my trip.
From Sheet Harbor, I'm east on 7 again. Passing through Spanish Ship Bay (Hey. I just report the news) I see a dark cloud, and a faint rainbow. I run into a pop-up thunderstorm, but it's light and only lasts 30 seconds. And it's blessedly cool in the shade. Rt. 7 has now turned north, following the Moose river. It's not quite as twisty, but has some smooth curves, And the surface has smoothed out as well.
I stop in Sherbooke, and have a liter of lemonade. And, finally, a tiny bathroom break. It's not as hot as Halifax, but it ain't cool. I follow 7 to Antigonish, and from there 104 to the causeway. Just before the causeway, I stop and gas up, and get more water. There are lot's of bikes heading west, and everyone seems very happy. I cross the causeway, and stop at the first motel. I drink water, and shower, and write this missive you are reading right now.
Cheating of Death - 3. Had a spare pair of glasses, got sun block from Doug, and getting re-hydrated. Traffic was great. 575 hot Km today - 2237 total so far. All is well.
Almost. I will not be able to upload the big pictures until later - the NS Sympatico connection is 19.2Kb. What year is it here?