Day 16 – Borden-Carelton, PEI to Charlottetown. Total 50km. Total to date 1317 km.

This morning we awoke to windy and rainy conditions in PEI. Suffice it to say that they stayed that way for the entire day.

In really short today was brutal and by far our worst day of cycling yet. My knee was in constant agony and there was no way PEI was planning to take it easy on me. With the hills and wet pavement it was very slow moving. With the insane winds it was a fight to stay in the side of the road or to maintain any semblance of momentum.

My knee was in such a bad state that I ended up walking several hills that I should be able to cycle without problems. The issue now is with my right knee sore (which is my lead leg)  I am having to rely on my left leg to do 80% of the work. This is of course not sustainable.

I did manage to grab a photo of the confederation bridge as we got a view early in the morning:

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Also notice how angry the sky looks…

So Julie and I spent some time discussing my knee situaton the last few days. You may or may not know that last year on  a 2 week trip Julie had similar knee issues, and on the 2nd to last day her knee entirely gave out. A dislocated kneecap, 2 weeks of barely being able to move, 6 weeks of physio, and almost 2 months of the.summer she couldn’t cycle. All of this to say that I am worried that I am bordering on exactly that.

As Julie and I have said from the getgo is we have to listen to our bodies, and that health is the most important priority for our trip. For these reasons we are making the very sad and difficult decision to postpone the remainder of the trip for the time being. One day we plan to tackle the West Coast, but in current state it is not wise.

We will be taking a couple days in Charlottetown to prepare to fly home and drop off our stuff. Then we plan to vanish for a couple of weeks and fall off the grid. We need a vacation to process all of this and to celebrate our wedding anniversary.

This will likely be the last blog post for a while. I may start a new blog for our cycling and other adventures, as I am really enjoying writing and sharing photos and fun.

Thanks to everyone who replied to the blogs and on facebook. We really enjoyed hearing from you, getting your well wishes, and support :-)

Here is a big cheers to all of you out there!!

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Day 15 – Moncton, NB to Borden, PEI. 115 km. Total to date: 1267 km.

This morning started as a rainy then a misty day. Packing in the mist and rain was interesting to say the least, then departing in it was tough. After saying goodbye to Mark and Austin we hit the road. After a short jaunt through Moncton we caught our route north toward Shediac. The route was fairly flat compared to recent days and we made good time to Shediac for a buffet lunch! Pasta and pizza buffet was awesome and 2 hungry cyclists sure did some damage there :-)
Oh and Shediac is hoome to the world’s largest lobster! See the pics:
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Back on the road we had a long and rather uninteresting stretch of highway toward PEI. We did get few good views but overall I felt like I just focused on the pavement the whole day.
My knee started as sore and got worse and worse all day. Hills were hard but I was able to use my other leg. All was ok until we hit some rough roads and I took some really rough bumps. That just set up my knee for some grinding pain that would last the rest of the day.
After what felt like forever we started seeing the crazy long bridge to PEI. After a ling approach we got to the route to the bridge. Now it is important to note that you cannot walk or bike across the 13km bridge. You have to exit and catch the shuttle across. When we arrived someone had already paged the shuttle and it took no time for them to arrive to transport us across the bridge. Here is a pic:
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Oh and remember my wonky seat that I had yet to replace? Well luckily Mark lent me one before leaving Moncton. Damn good thing cause look what happened 10 km from PEI..
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Broken rail!!!

So with my knee in a bad state I am stuck making the decision to listen to my body. My knee is really aching and pushing it hard is going to result in a bad situation. It is looking inevitable that we are going to have to postpone the rest of the trip for the time being. Tomorrow is another day and we are heading to Charlottetown. With my knee as it has been today and the last several days we are taking a few days to evaluate the situation.

For now I need some sleep to process my thought and elevate my leg. Will be back with another blog :-)

So excited to be in PEI!

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Day 14 – Day off in Moncton.

We took Friday off in Moncton to rest sore muscles and aching knees. Set up to camp with our hosts Cat, Mark and Austin we had a place to stay and some cool people to hang out with.

Julie and I went for a couple of walks to get the muscles stretching  but my knee was aching pretty bad. I walked with a limp all day. Clearly there is something not right going on with my knee :-(

After a nice supper date we got to meet a few people that I have only chatted with on facebook. It is really cool to out a face, voice, and have real contact with people you have only interacted with online.

Oh and after a really dry start to the trip it finally rained on Friday. When we were out for supper it started spitting a bit. When we left it decided to open up. We tucked into a grocery store for shelter. Luckily I remembered MY sweater… so JULIE was nice and warm ;-)
And of course we left and the rain had stopped… until we were half way back and the sky opened up on us. By the time we got back I was soaked to the bone. There was nothing at all dry on me. Nothing…

Oh well a day off is a day off right? :-)

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Day 13 – Sussex area to Moncton. 82 km. Total to date 1152 km.

Just a short blog for today as I am tired sore and lacking brain power to write too much.

For the most part today was a relatively easy day. We decided to take a later start as we knew it was to be a short day of 80km compared to bigger days lately. Julie and I have both been wanting to sleep in and today we got to for a bit. We then had breakfast and departed at our leisure.

Here is a view of the green pastures we were following for the first part of our day:
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Today we certainly saw less hills than we have recently. Even for a bit we had something of a tailwind for a bit, that is until we got close to Moncton and had to battle with a strong crosswind that wanted to feed us into traffic.

Tonight we are staying with Mark and Cat in Moncton who are great hosts! They even prepared us supper, vegi burgers (awesome thanks guys!!) And Mark even mowed the lawns sk we would have a nice space to camp :-)

Tomorrow we are taking the day off to get a few things done and hopefully relax a bit. I still need to replace my broken seat from day 8. The duct tape has held up but my seat has no cushion anymore.

Sorry there are not much photos today, we passed lots of wooded.areas today so not much opportunity for good shots. More pics soon I promise!

We are replanning a few aspects of the trip due to time constraints, and also monitoring both our physical conditions closely. My knee is being a jerk so will have to see how that plays out over the next few days..

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Day 12 – Fredericton to Sussex area. 120 km total to date 1070 km

Last night we camped out in Mike and Ashley’s yard in Fredericton (thanks again!) And got off to bed early. I fell asleep rather well but it didnt really last long. There was a lot of noise in the neighborhood and I think my mind stayed awake all night.

In the morning we packed up and finally had a few minutes to catch up with our host and hostess as we were packing up the bikes. It was nice to see them again and I just wish we had more time to hswng out and chat. Alas we had a long day ahead and had to hit the road.

The first part of the day was really smooth as we were following the river for the final time. The road as really flat, very quiet and smooth. We made really good time through some really interesting terrain. At one point I had not noticed but Julie shouted up to me to look at the eagle! Well there it was perched high on a tree in the middle of a swamp. I still cant get over how huge eagles are. I got a pic but heavily zoomed in and could not really capture him as I wanted. Here is what I got…
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And here is a peak at that swampy area, very fascinating:
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Unfortunately just after that area our day would start going downhill. Figuratively of course cause from that point we were back in rolling hills. Rolling might be generous… hilly as hell is a bit closer. It just seemed to get worse and worse as we continued. On route 10 we encountered hills that just kept going and going up, and not down. We got a few downs but in all some major climbs.

So I already mentioned the eagle but we saw some other really cool wildlife, which eluded photos of course. At one point I turned the corner and about 100 meters ahead a bear was crossing the road. My guess is it was about a year old give or take. We stopped to let it cross and make sure there were no other bears waiting to cross :-)
A bit further ahead we saw a fox cross who then stopped just off the side of the road so we got another look!
And roadkill. Man so much roadkill. Stangely enough 80% of it was porcupines. I was really surprised to see so many, not something you see so much in Quebec.

So today was a long day again, 2nd day of 120km. Today we hit a milestone too! We broke our first 1000km!! Hard to believe we hit that already, but we have been rolling for almost 2 weeks.

Tomorrow we have a short day to Moncton then a day off Friday. Apparently it is supposed to rain a bit the next few days. We have been fortunate so far weatherwise so I really can’t complain.

Another awesome thing in the area is the cool antique stores. We dont stop to go in cause I would want everything. Makes me wish we had a van :-) we did stop to use a washroom at a resto / bakey / antique store. I couldn’t get over place, such cool antiques and a 57 chevy, parked right there in the store. I should have grabbed a photo!
Here is a different antique shop, we pass tons of them!
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For now I need some sleep and hope that my muscles repair quickly for one final day before a break. My poor knee is really creaky today :-(

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Day 11 – Woodstock to Fredericton. 120 km. Total to date 950 km.

Here is the information board outside out b&b in Woodstock:

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Today started with breakfast at the b&b. Our host made a fresh fruit plate then eggs Benedict. I am not sure if it is because I am fussy, or the ones I make are infinitely better, but they just didnt cut it. Probably a big part due to the use of processed cheese; Kraft singles. I am prob spoiled but I like real cheese and I am appalled at how many times I have been stuck eating fake cheese since we left…

Anyhow today was another hot and sunny day in New Brunswick. The hills were still hilly and the wind was still windy. Not much one can do about that.

After a half day of rest we were feeling a bit more optimistic about our day and tthe trip in general. After some advice from the owner of the b&b we headed out for a long haul following the 105 once again. Julie and I noticed for the first time really how green the trees were getting. Looking at pics from a week ago all the trees just look like twig bushes. Now all the trees are openjng their leaves and coincidentally sending my allergies into overdrive.  Here is a pic of the greening of the hills:

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So as I mentioned it was a long ride today,  rounding out at 120km. This is our longest dsy so far and I have to say I am really feeling it. My knee started aching a couple days ago and is really sore tonight. I am hopeful it is just from exertion,  and not cause it plans to blow out. That wouldnt be cool!

As a result of the dsy I didnt take many photos, partly cause we were trying to get where we were headed and partly because everything looks the same as it has for a few days. Kinda looking forward to a new type of scenery soon. That and less rolling hills…

At one point we were grinded out by hills and starving so we had a break for snacks. This was another of many days that we were in such remote areas that we didnt havea real meal until supper time. Here is a shot of Julie relaxing for a few minutes from the road:

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We finally arrived in the Fredericton area but sadly at rush hour, so we had to bike very carefully in traffic. It is probably the route we followed but sadly didnt see much scenery. Also a big problem with long days is you run out of time to be a tourist.  We left at 9 am, and arrived at almost 7pm to our hosts place (thanks Mike and Ashley!). By the time we tok a quick shower and ate it was past 9pm. Very long days indeed!

So tomorrow we get back to the grind and go halfway to Moncton. Stil not 100% sure of the route, I wouldnt be against a shorter day tomorrow then a push to Moncton Thursday with a day off cued up Friday.

Oh and here is a sign that I couldn’t stop laughing about. How are the poor deer supposed to feel if they see these signs making fun of their intelect?

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Day 10 – Hartland to Woodstock. 44km. Total to date 830 km.

As promissed in yesterday’s blog here are a couple pics of the world’s longest covered bridge!
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Today is one of those days that proves no matter how much or well you plan, the day has a different plan for you. After planning and replanning the route today we left feeling confident of having a good route to Fredericton. As it would have it Google maps sent us on a comolete dead end. Picture following a regional road waaay uphill for almost 20 km, just to have the road unceremoniously END. But not just end… it turned into an ATV path. Well not one to back down from a chalenge I recheck my map and determine that path has to end up at another road. We follow this path, strewn with shell casings, and with what looks like old garbage dumps in the woods for a kilometer. We are just about to where it should come ot on the next regional road and BAM. Flooded. No way around. We ended up hwving to turn around and go back to within 3 km of our starting point. 25 km later and it’s almost noon. At that point I made the executive decision to just bike about 20km to get to Woodstock. Here is a pic from the peak of our pointless climb:
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So on tired legs and bad mood we struggled through hilly and windy terrain to get to Woodstock. To make matters worse in this are no one seems to tie up their dogs, not all anyway… so we pass this place and I see one big F’n dog (tied thankfully) that went ape and ran to the end of his chain freaking out at me. What I didnt see is this little bastard of a dog with him not tied. Well if he didnt take after me, and this little bugger was fast! To make matters worse he was keeping right up with me and taking snaps at my legs. I was yelling at him and keept pushing left to not get bit, putting me right into the lane. I was so busy fending off attack that I had no idea that a suv was coming up behind me. The drivers honked and finally the dog backed off of me and I got out of the lane. At least the driver saw what was going on and I avoided getting bit or hit.

Here is a view from the bridge to Woodstock:
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After a bit more weird terrain we finally made it to Woodstock and went out for a good lunch and beers (happy birthday to me!!). Aftet that we retired to a bed and breakfast (camp sites still not open) and went for a bit of a nap. The B&B is a nicely restored home and the owner is quite nice. He is very protective of the place and it iinda gives a bit of unwelcome feeling. A note in the room mentions a $25 fine if you bring in and eat outside food like pizza, etc?? I get it but strikes me as weird still. In any case all I need right now is some rest and yope like heck my muscles are ready for tomorrow. I am running on exhausted and nursing a sore knee. Still 3 days from a full day off gotta be tough and hope for the best!!

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Here is a shot of me in my awesome Pink Floyd jersey Julie bought me. Been saving it for a special occasion :)

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Day 9 – Drummond to Hartland. 104 km. Total to date 786 km.

Today again was a later departure time. With the change in time zones disagreeing with our natural sleep cycle that we worked so hard to establish before leaving, we cant seem to get up in time for early departure.

Last night I was suffering from some major muscle spasms in my legs I didnt get much sleep. Starting a long day already tired is a recipe for disaster. Add to that some insane hills, headwind, and terrible road conditions. I know people say Quebec roads are bad but if ever you cycle the 105 in NB you may draw the same conclusion of roads here.

All this to say that today was a rough day on the roads, again every kilometer was hard earned. 104 kilometers was quite a challenge in these conditions.

As a result of this I didnt get many photos though we did see some daffodils growing, a true sign of spring!
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Much of the day was spent in forested hills and following the St John river. Below is a pic of a hydro dam I got on a little break:
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One highlight was meeting a friend Charlie on the road. We have been chatting on Facebook for several weeks, and unfortunately missed him in Grand Falls, but he caught up with us on our way to Hartland today. Charlie is also a crazy cyclist and doing a trip soon from Moncton to Halifax. His trip is a fundraiser and you can get all the details or.make a donation here:

http://iwktelethon.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1046145&lis=1&kntae1046145=A36160E74D7740DC9EB61ED5AD1EB2C1&supId=379316594&team=0&nmv=true

Tonight we relax in Hartland at a cute hotel waaay up on a hill. Seems appropriate after our day. Here we have a nice view of the world’s longest covered bridge. Here is a distant view:
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Julie took more shots with her camera so will have to wait to share.
Tomorrow we hit the road again for another 104 km to Fredericton. Hopefully the terrain is less hilly and being away from the river we will have favourable winds. I guess we will find out tomorrow!
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Here is a rough pic above of our morning view, the vast potato fields in Drummond.

Until tomorrow thanks for reading and all comments! I am off to bed to hopefully repair my muscles for tomorrow :)

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Day 8 – Dégelis, QC to Drummond, NB. 90 km. Total to date 682 km.

Well I must appologize this is going to be short. I just wrote a ling blog and something screwed up and my phone ate everything, no waved draft so starting over…

Today we got off to a late start. Partly due to the change in time and the frosty morning we had several delays. When we got up the inside of our tent tarp was covered in ice as was our bikes. Tsking time to let everything thaw and dry off the tent meant we left after 930.

Taking only a very short time we got to the QC & NB border. I was a bit disappointed with the NB sign, as the Quebec side had a grandiose diaplay and New Brunswick lookal like a cheap billboard.

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Nevertheless we were both excited to croas our first provincial border and time zone!

Cycling went smoothly today especially once we got off the trans Canada highway and on to the 144. This gave us some great views and some reprieve from vehicles whipping past and loud transports.
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Once again we were in rolling hills albeit less than the day before, so we made great time. Here is a panorama to give you an idea of our views today:

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Once we arrived in Grand Falls we contacted our host for the night (thanks for the contact Danielle, you mom is a great host and really sweet) who
came to guide us back to her place. The bit hills here are much faster by
car but she made strategic stops to make sure we didnt get lost.

After a shower and some food we even got a tour of Grand Falls where I got a couple pics of the falls:

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What I really found interestint is this area has kilometers and kilometers of potato fields for McCain foods. I have likely had fries that came from here without knowing! Behind ou hosts house these span out for as far as the eye can see. I didnt get a shot but will tomorrow. Here is a sunset shot from the same spot though:
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So tomorrow will bring us another 100km to Hatland, which is halfway to Fredericton from here. Hopefully we can find a good place to stay!

Thanks again for reading our blog! I really do appreciate all the comments even if I havent had time to reply to all of them.

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Day 7 – Riviere du Loup to Dégelis. 105 km . Total to date 592 km.

Today started early with the sun peeking through a crack in the curtains well before 5 am. We are noticing already a big difference in the daylight hours compared to Montreal. Soon enough we will be going through our first time zone change!

The eary start came after a restless night of sleep again. I ended up tossing and turning quite a bit and had “busy dreams” where it felt like I had to keep doing things or fixing things or the such. Not sure if that makes sense but if you get the same you know exactly what I mean.

The day started off with a considerable climb out of Riviere du Loup just to get to the start of the Route Verte 8 bike path. It was a real workout with fully loaded bikes and by the time we made it over the hills I was overheating despite the 2º morning.

So we forged ahead on the route verte 8, which turned iut to bbe a packed crush stone path. These are notoriously dificult for touring bikes because of the extra weight and skinny tires. Couple that with spring conditions on the path, so it was really soft and loose stones, and it was very slow going. We were rolling at about 9-10kmph. Not good. The redeming factor was the natural scenery. It was beautiful!
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It wasnt ling before we made a final decision to get off ths path and on to the highway. A big part of that decision? Snow. On the path!
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So we eventually found a driveway that led to the highway vut of course at the end was a locked fence. There was a tiny.way around it but meant fighting the bikes through a bush and over a rock. As you can imagine I was thoroughly pleased. To top it off I must have grabbed my seat wrong and managed to pull the top off the rails. At least we always carry duct tape and it proved worth it once again.
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So finally on the highway and I neglected to mention but this whole area is rolling hills. We had some major work over the whole day with some real climbs. In all we climbed 890 meters and descended 806 meters. There were some crazy fast downhils too and I hit over 50kmph more than once. The biggest stress overall was a few construction sites and constant transports passing by. The drivers in the trucks were great though leaving us lots of room. We were treated to some magnificent mountain views today.
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Oh and I couldn’t help grab a pic of this sign for obvious reasons:
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The biggest nuisance of the day was construction. For the most part it meant being rsally careful and riding slowly. We ended up going into Dégelis for supies hoping to get back on to the trail and stealth camp. Of course there was a series of detours that vrought us to a sand covered path that we had to walk, then sent us kn a 5km detour on a loose gravel path that we could barely bike. I kept feeling like it was a bad joke. We bitched and cursed the road and eventually it fed us right back beside the highway we got off. At this point hungry and tired, we were looking for a good spot to set up for ths night. I told Julie that I was daydreaming all day about a spot near a quiet lake with access to a washroom and picknik table. I wws giving up hope when I spotted a bunch of tables. Well lo and behold we were pulling up on a rest stop with washrooms, tables, and a spot where we could stealthily set up a tent. Even better? Right next to a beautiful lake where as I write I can hear frogs chirping. The universe gave me the spot I was hoping for! Here are some oics of our little camp site:
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It was funny because I felt like the evening had passed fast then I realized we are only a few kilometers from New Brunswick. My phone must have decided to switch time zones so we are now officially on Atlantic time, 1 hour ahead of EST. Tomorrow morning we will hit the NB border and start our 2nd province.

One kore pic of a hitchhiker I picked up along the way (a little ladybug in my back):
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Thanks again for reading and to those who like the posts and comment. It is nice to hear from friends and to know people are enjoying reading about our adventure!

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