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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 32: Tues., July 14: North Sydney to Charlottetown, PEI

Holey Mazoley -- I CAN'T BELIEVE IT, but I'm now in my 10th of 10 provinces!!!!

YEE-HAW, I did it, I did it!!! Helped hugely, along the way, I must add, by a bevy of generous Canuck Chicks and a select few Cabana Boyz! T'anks to you all from de bottom of my heart :-D I think we ROCK!!!

And PEI is no exception -- a phone message was waiting for me at my hotel from Sue of the Steeletto's Lady Riders -- I called her back and she picked me up and whisked me off to a fabulous place called the Dunes for dinner -- it's also a combo art gallery, pottery, decorative garden all in one, so an absolutely fascinating venue -- we had a great time over a meal and then adjourned to her home for a Canuck Chicks Cooler.

I got to tour her wonderful heritage home (150 yrs. old), which has been in her family for generations, meet her wonderful mutt, Skye, and see her gorgeous Vulcan 1500 - the yummiest metallic purple you can imagine (Tanya would go nutz over it!). Oh yes, and how apropos, find out she is related to PEI's L.M. Montgomery - very kewl!

Sue provided me with some phone numbers of other Steeletto's, so hopefully will be able to hook up with one/some of them for a ride while I'm here :-)

My entire day was pretty fantastic. I packed up and headed for checkout from my hotel in North Sydney, expecting to have a chat to the manager about the rotten restaurant service yesterday, when what to my wondering eyes, my dinner bill had been comped for me -- pretty hard to make much of a fuss after that, so I just rode off on my merry way.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous -- I intended to take highway 4, to take me via Big Pond, so I could visit Rita McNeill's tearoom, but I ran into a bit of road construction on the outskirts of Upper North Sydney, which sent me down a different road -- 223 West, which was one of the most fun roads I've ever been on -- up hill and down dale, left-hand curves, right hand curves -- miles and miles of it, through villages like Ironstone (with the gaelic below it on the sign) and Highland Village, culminating at Little Narrows, with a ferry to take me across (what I believe to be) a section of the Bras d'Or Lakes, west of Baddeck onto Hwy 104.

I really hate that highway, as it is horrendously windy all the way -- across the Canso Causeway and right up to New Glasgow, NS. But that was the price I paid for a fabulous morning ride on 223, I guess ;-)

Just after the turnoff at Exit 22 for the PEI ferry, a huge raincloud came over and pounded me for about 5 km, then disappeared as quickly as it had arrived, the sun came out and beamed down on me and I arrived at the ferry, steam coming off my damp jacket and pants, just in time to head onto the boat -- talk about good timing, eh?

The ride to Charlottetown was not too bad -- many parts of the TCHwy were in rotten shape, frost heave and patches everywhere, so it made for a lot of 'slaloming' or lowering of speed, but I made it. GPS even located my hotel in a reasonably timely fashion too, so all was good. :-)

Tomorrow I plan to explore a bit in town and around, I think. And I believe there is a Steeletto's ride somewhere tomorrow evening, so hopefully I can hook up with the gals to do that. Looks like the weather is going to stay lovely for awhile, so all is good :-)

Now, I just have to think a bit on my revised route home. I'm fairly positive at this point that I will NOT do the Gaspe and Quebec, but will head down south through New Brunswick to Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Upper New York and thence over to Dottie's in Ontario and carry on down through Kingston, London, Windsor etc. Have to get out the maps and think on it!

Anyway, time to get to bed -- night All!


Anonymous said...

Im sitting here reading about your trip over to my adopted home and Ive got tears in my eyes! I wish I was there with ya i could show ya some really nice back roads. Im sure the gals from Stilletto will show ya a good time. Enjoy the prettiest country side i know and the wonderful people on the island. Ride safe my friend and hopefully you'll come back my way.

Rhonda said...

Wow.. sounds like you had a great day...kind of cool too that you rode over the same roads the Bob and I were riding just a week ago when we were on the Island. You're gonna enjoy PEI.. nice roads.. low traffic (once you get out of the city) and wonderful people. We just love riding on the Island.
10 Provinces.. you must be very proud of yerself girl!! and you should be. That's quite a feat and yer the envy of a lot of lady riders who'd love to be doing what your doing... Ride safe, ride happy... Miss you ..

Canuck Chicks Conga Mini-History said...

I'm really lookin' forward to all those back rodes, goils :-)

Bikerhen said...

I am so delighted for you Willi... 10 provinces. You have done what you set out to do, no small feat what with the challenges of Canadian weather and roads.

May the sun shine and the wind be at your back.