“Living on the Riverside taking it all in my stride. Living on the Riverside, I’m taking life like a big long ride. “ America
- Day 20 Montague to Elmira 81km 245 m
- Day 21 Elmira to St Peters 45 kms 104 m
- Day 22 St Peters to Barkley Beach 66 kms 100 m
- Day 23 Barkley Beach to Summerside 62 kms 170 m
- Day 24 Summerside to Shediac NB 112 kms 200 m
- TOTAL JOYRIDE DEUX SO FAR 1859 kms 7915 m
Weather matters. And it continues to be good. Bonus? The leaves are just starting to turn and are beautiful.
We follow the manicured Confederation Trail until we get close to a recommended destination, then we get on quiet back roads or red “gravel” roads. Most of these backroads are smoother than silk. The Trail has enough interpretive signs to result in an average speed of 3 km per hour, so even I stopped stopping. Every kilometer there is a bench or covered picnic table so one can rest from the 0 elevation gain and non-existant traffic of any sort.
There are great seafood restaurants everywhere. Some right next door to where we stayed. Not that we planned that. Okay, maybe we did. But we also internet hunted for shelters with a kitchen of some sort, and fresh seafood from the grocery store has been amazing. Gear Guy, now Chef Guy, is the head cook and does an amazing Atlantic Salmon, cod and mussels! For dessert – the best, biggest chocolate chip cookie in the world at the Black and White Cafe in St Peters. Chef Guy obsesses over oysters where ever and whenever he can. We met Jake and Lisa. Jake is a fisher and was booked to go Wicked Tuna fishing the next morning. He and Jay got into all things tuna and beer and oysters.
Sadly, PEI is in seasonal close down. Closed signs are in many windows in each town. A bit strange, as there seems to be tourists everywhere, except on the bike paths. September long weekend seems to be the end of most everything. The higher end hotels are open til mid October, but not surprisingly, they are all full – and that’s before they even caught sight of us! Good restaurants require reservations. A shortage of staff due to “the CERB” since “the Covid” (island talk) continues to make it difficult to run a business even if they wanted to stay open (which they don’t).
We met Danielle and Bernie at one little seafood restaurant. Bernie is a long distant trekker. He’s done many treks and is now doing the the Island Walk, a 700 km walk around PEI. Danielle joins up with Bernie on his adventures. Intriguing…. Trekking is perhaps an obvious, but only recently initiated, brilliant idea in PEI. Check it out: https://theislandwalk.ca/about-the-island-walk/.
We rode along the north shore where the endless red beaches captivated us and resulted in many stops, snoozes and stretches. My collection of shells and rocks are carefully hidden in Jay’s bag.
We bumped into Katherine Dewar during one beach stop. Katherine is a retired nurse turned published author. She writes about under appreciated maritime female war heroes. Our chat was, well, mesmerizing. Of course, we forced her to autograph and sell us the only book she happened to have with her. We look forward to her next one, out soon. Look her up.
When we crossed from the north shore to the south, we encountered PEI farmland everywhere. The famous potato crop is being harvested, as well as delicious corn.
We departed ole PEI on the 25 year old Confederation Bridge. The curved, 12.9 kilometre bridge is the longest in the world crossing ice-covered water, and continues to endure as one of Canada’s top engineering achievements of the 20th century. Justifiably, no pedestrians or cyclists are allowed on the bridge, so a shuttle is provided. We were told that “only 4 boikers have used it this years”. It’s the Covid. Heard that alot.
So long PEI, we will return. Officially our 10th province on our cross Canada Joy Ride. Off to New Brunswick to close the gap to the scene of the broken pelvis… as Bond fans would say: ”Stay tuned for the epic conclusion”.