Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Where in North America is Uncle Rod? Day 11

Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
320 miles (2,537)
Baddeck, Nova Scotia
I left PEI this morning at about 11:00 in very heavy fog. I arrived at my campsite at about 7, under momentarily clearing skies. It’s 10:00pm now and the sun as finally ceased to show its colors on the clouds over the hills. Once I experienced the “four-lane” again, 55 miles from Summerside, I realized I wanted to find a back way until the “four-lane” disappeared. I took NS hwy 6 all the way to New Glasgow. It was about 90 miles, all in driving, beating rain. Just as I entered New Glasgow, the rain stopped, the road was dry, and the temperature was 10 degrees warmer. I stopped at a Tim Horton’s to stretch my legs and struck up a conversation with a guy at a picnic table beside his Goldwing.
He was a talker, he was, eh? We talked for a long time about bike trips, pretty places, rain, hills, and National Parks.
Back on the road, I made it 1 mile before a detour took me back through the country again, and into the rain. The rest of the trip was intermittent with the showers, and I arrived with only residual soak. That 90 miles presented the hardest rain I’ve experienced so far. Actually it was the first “cloud shower” (as they call them here). For a week I’ve been riding through this gargantuan weather system that just pours a consistent rain on all the earth. Today, I rode through a little of that, but mostly just thunder storms that popped up and went away. But when they popped up they obscured the road, soaked me all the way through, and chilled me.
I stopped in Baddeck, the last town before my campsite, to gas up and get a snack before settling in. Baddeck sits on the water and has a charm between small town and tourist destination. Perhaps tourists are recognized and accommodated, but not pampered or catered to. I enjoyed passing through here.
Tonight I’m sitting by a fire beside the Great Bras d’Or, hoping that the rain holds off tonight and tomorrow. As I settled into the campground at sunset, the clouds broke a bit and beautiful colors and formations occurred over the mountains behind my campsite. I’m tucked down into between high hills on either side facing the ocean water that flows between and splits the island with the Bras d’Or.
Tomorrow, I plan to ride the 186 miles of the Cabot Trail around Cape Breton Island, and through the Highlands National Park.
Tomorrow’s riding will be solely for sightseeing, and I will arrive right back here where I started, beside the Bras, d’Or, lighting a fire if it is not raining, and lying on my back thinking if it is.