June 23, 2013 - July 5, 2013
It became obvious when we had entered New Brunswick because most of the street signs were also written in English. Campbellton, New Brunswick is situated on the south bank of the Restigouche River opposite Pointe-a-la-Croix, Quebec. We found a perfect spot to camp, located on the top of a hill, overlooking both coasts. Eastern Canada has no shortage of great spots to camp.
I contacted a guy, named Ryan, on couchsurfing.org and he welcomed us to stay with him in a small suburb of Moncton, New Brunswick. The Petitcodic River separates Riverview, New Brunswick from Moncton. In the late 1960's, a controversial rock-and-earth fill causeway was build between Moncton and Riverview to prevent agricultural flooding and to carry a crossing between the two communities. Before the construction of this causeway, the river had one of the largest tidal bores, which ranged 1-2 meters in height and moved at 5-3 km per hour. Ryan's backyard had a beautiful view of this chocolate coloured river.
The day after arriving in Riverview, Rocky and I made a coffee run in the morning while Ryan was at work meetings. About 300 meters from us returning to the house, the motorcycle lost all power and Rocky had to push it the rest of the way. After spending some time problem solving through the electrical, Rocky noticed that the exhaust had melted some wires. We were lucky to have been such a short distance away with a nice large garage to do the repairs.
Ryan is a charming character with an abundant storage of information. As the CEO/owner of Chatham Biotec and Mega Chaga, his background is in innovative forestry products. He lives with his dog Mocha, a pretty Shepard/Boxer mix. The four of us took a ride down to Caladonia Gorge, a protected natural area. We hiked through the forest until we reached a creek. The water squeezed and crashed down through a narrow slot, it's wake churning into a deep cold pool.
Ryan told us we'd be swimming at Crooked Creek, so I came prepared with my bathing suit. Although, I didn't come prepared to jump off a cliff into the water. I'm such a chicken. It took me quite a few minutes to mentally prepare for my pathetic attempt of a jump. But, I did it, and after I did, I realized that in order to get out of the cold water, I was going to have to climb up the cliff I had just jumped off of. Ryan made fun of me. He said that I was hugging the cliff all the way up, holding on for dear life. I'm such a coward.
Spending a few days at Ryan's was a lot of fun, but we needed to get back on the road to maintain some sort of schedule. We were on our way to discover Nova Scotia. Rocky's friend Kathy, who he had lived with in Taiwan, now lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with her husband Ryan. The both of them live with a few roommates in North Halifax, a great area named The Hydrostone. The moment we arrived, Kathy greeted us outside and embraced me with a big hug.
As I began unpacking the motorcycle, Rocky noticed a hissing sound coming from the front tire. It had a strange hole on the wheel wall where the air was escaping but after removing the tire, no hole was found on the inner tube. The tire was placed back on and seemed OK but we weren't comfortable keeping it. We had planned on getting a new rear tire because ours was low on thread but we then decided that a new front tire was also necessary. Although the front tire was fairly new, it was the same tire used when we were in our accident. Rocky and I agreed that there was a good possibility that the tire was unsafe and should be replaced.
We had planned to spend the long weekend with Kathy and Ryan. Ryan is in a band called Three Sheet and was booked to perform at a few venues throughout Nova Scotia. Ryan also owns a motorcycle and had the weather been better, the four of us would have gone on a great little camping road trip. Instead, Ryan went by van with his band members because the weather called for heavy rain all weekend. Rocky and I couldn't do much but wait for the sky to clear up. After relaxing all weekend, we finally decided to take our chances against Mother Nature and our faulty tire. We took a short road trip to Peggy's Cove and it was well worth it. The rain had stopped for a short moment and the scenery was incredible. It was definitely one of the prettiest coasts I have ever seen.
The following day remained somewhat dry as well. Rocky and I rode to the motorcycle shop to pick up our tires because they had finally arrived. Without any other choice, I placed each arm through a tire and held on tight as I sat on the back of the bike. We rode from the shop for just under one minute before lights began flashing behind us. We were being pulled over by an undercover cop. He asked us where we were going and said that carrying the tires wasn't the safest idea, we could get charged. He then asked for the tires, said that he would place them in his car and he would follow us to where we were going. Amazing! I laughed the entire ride. Especially at the thought of the paranoia Rocky must have felt from a cop following behind him for 20 minutes. Once we arrived at Kathy's home, we enjoyed a good chuckle with him. We exchanged info and he told us to call him if we had any troubles. In case you are reading our blog, Mr. Detective/Constable Upshaw, we did not inhale. ;)
Rocky and I spent a while changing both tires. With the bike ready, we were excited to get back on the road. It had almost been a full week spent with Kathy, Ryan, their roommates Andrea and Adrienne and the household dog, Jetson. The night before we planned to leave, Jordie Lane, an amazing musician from Australia, came to stay at the house with his beautiful girlfriend Clare. Although it was nice to relax and spend time in such an interesting household, we said our goodbyes and got back on the road the following morning. It was too bad that we didn't stick around to watch Jordie on stage. He is extremely talented.
Our next destination was Cape Breton Island. Although it is physically separated from the Nova Scotia peninsula by the Strait of Canso, it is artificially connected by a rock-fill Canso Causeway. We rode until we found a place to camp in a field near an industrial section of Port Hawkesbury. Just as I was setting up the tent, I began to realize that we were in the center of millions of Mosquitos. I tried to hurry but it was futile, I felt as though I was getting eaten alive. I was happy once we were in the tent, but I still spent a long time killing the mosquitos that snuck there way in. I don't like to kill anything but I felt no guilt as hundreds of them pressed against the mesh to watch the bloody massacre.
Located in Cape Breton, the Cabot Trail is considered one of the world’s most scenic drives. It truly was gorgeous. After riding for most of the day Rocky pulled over for a bathroom break. A gravel driveway led us to an outhouse but to our surprise, it also led us to a beautiful place named Neil's Harbour. A small river found its way into a larger body of water. A few meters away was a sandbank that separated the freshwater from the ocean. We set up our tent in the small, designated picnic area along side of the Harbour and listened to the ocean waves crash against the opposite shore. I didn't imagine it could get any better until some of the locals lit up some fireworks visible from where we camped. When the fireworks were over, the black sky was filled with billions of stars. It was a perfect place to admire.
We packed everything up the next morning and headed towards Sydney, Nova Scotia. We camped in a large field and planned on taking The MV Blue Puttees Ferry to Newfoundland the following afternoon. Everyone kept saying how amazing Newfoundland is, but I get really seasick and was not looking forward to the long Ferry ride.
We left the province of Québec and crossed into New Brunswick on June 23rd. Entering the town of Campbellton, we rode around and found a spot to camp next to a radio tower, atop a hile overlooking the town.
We awoke the next morning, packed up and headed for the city of Moncton.
We had contacted a guy on couch-surfing, named Ryan, and he agreed to host us in the town of Riverside, a suburb of Moncton.
Ryan took us to a great spot off the beaten path, called Crooked Creek.
The three of us took turns jumping into the river from the rocks on the bank. The water was cold.
Ryan's best friend was Mocha, his pet dog.
Ryan, Mocha & Paula
On June 27th, we said goodbye to Ryan and headed for Halifax, Nova Scotia. My friend, Kathy, whom I had met ten years earlier while living and working in Taiwan, was now living with her fiencé, Ryan, in Halifax. They had invited us to come and stay with them as we passed through the area.
Paula and I endured a long stretch of rainy whether when we arrived in Halifax. We had ordered and were waiting for two new tires to arrive, so we hadn't planned on doing much travel anyway. Ryan is a musician in a band called Three Sheet. They had several gigs on the Canada Day long weekend. Kathy decided to tag along with them.
Ten years prior, I had lived with Kathy in an apartment with many other roommates. Kathy and I quickly became good friends.
On Canada Day, the skies finally cleared up and Paula and I decided to ride out to Peggy's Cove. Peggy's Cove is a small fishing village 45 minutes outside of Halifax.
Peggy's Cove Lighthouse
Paula At Peggy's Cove
Adrienne was one of Kathy's roommates. She was the best friend to Jetson, the household dog. Adrienne planned on traveling to New Zealand and invited us to come stay with her if we made it that far.
We left Halifax on July 3rd and headed north, towards Cape Breton Island. The following day we rode along the world-famous Cabot Trail. The drive was certainly beautiful. We had heard so much about it that our expectations were set very high. It was a stunning ride, but it was a short ride, and Paula and I both agreed that we preferred the ride along Route 132 in Québec much better.
Somewhere Along The Cabot Trail
We decided to head off the main road along the northern tip of Cape Breton Island. It was a nice detour that lead to some great scenery.
Cape Breton Island
Nearing the end of the day, we found a great rest stop on the outskirts of Neil's Harbour. It had a beautiful stream and a fresh-water lake that was separated from the sea by a small strip of beach. We knew we had to camp there for the night, so, we waited until dusk, after the park ranger made his last round, and set up camp.
While waiting for the sun to go down, we took a dip in the lake to wash off. We headed out the next day for North Sydney, Nova Scotia, where we had planned on boarding the ferry to Newfoundland.