2021-10-17

2021 The Fall Colours of Prince Edward Island

 Caroline and I had been out for a day of riding the preceding weekend, stopping and taking the odd picture of the fall foliage, but I thought the colours would be closer to peak this coming Saturday, and as Caroline wanted to stop for lunch at the Home Plate diner in Murray River, I thought this a great excuse to get out for another ride and sample what mother nature had in store for us, and I was not disappointed in the least. 

Klondyke Road
Prowses aka Mike's Pond
Prince Edward Island

Day Tripping:

Charlottetown PE to Murray River, Cardigan, Mount Stewart and Crapaud by every back road we could find.  -  270 km 4 hours

Charlottetown and points East



Google Maps Link:
 

I asked Caroline where she wanted to go today, and her first thought was "Home Plate?" I countered with an idea of heading up to Cape North, and riding up the 12 through Alberton, and then home along the 14 on the opposite side of the island. It's a long day, but fun riding. Then I sat and thought about it, and said to myself, "Self, there are some lovely leaves out Montague way, AND we can grab some cider at MacPhee's Orchard while near Cardigan so I have something to share with the Clements at brunch tomorrow. Fabulous! (Plus I could see a plate of fish n' chips sitting in front of me while I do my best to drain the teapot). Now add in that lovely scenery that we'd sampled a bit of last weekend, and I think we were pretty much ready to hit the road, all except for meeting up as I'm a townie and Caroline moved further down the road to Crapaud, so I had all the time in the world to sit and drink finish my cuppa while I... Crikey! Is that the time?! I've got to start hopping if I'm to meet her on Water street for eleven! 

Riding across the Hillsborough River and through Stratford was pretty much uneventful but for my desire to get ahead of all the cars so I was in front. Caroline not so much, so it was a combination of hold myself in check while she caught up to me. I was going to take her on a mini adventure once we got closer to Uigg and Orwell... Or so I thought. 

Ummm. Did you know that there was a wedding in the historic village of Orwell and that the road isn't actually a road, so much as way to get to the parking area... I thought it shot below the village and would let Caroline and I hook up with Kinross Road, then I'd pilot us onto 23 or 24 and bob's your uncle...Nope, it was the ride of shame. 

The ride of shame. 
You can't go that way
(Well, I could, but Caroline's bike is too loud, and I had no bail money)

 We ended up riding back out to the TCH and over one more to Orwell Corner, where we got onto 23 PEI and headed over to the Iona Road (206) where we headed north until the 24 PEI... 

 And now for the bit about the fall colours et cetera...

The potato harvest is still going on
Looking east along the Selkirk Road near Iona PE

Ben's Lake Nature Camping lies on the other side of that fence
Prowses Pond
I'd seen what might have been some rich colour across the lake, and I thought a U-Turn while Caroline waited for me just at the crest of the next hill, was a great idea, but sadly the shot I'd framed in  my mind didn't work out with as much impact as I thought it would, but then I opted to scout a short ways down Klondyke Road (205 PEI) just to see what I could see, and I was in such a hurry to get my phone back out to get some pictures, that I even came away with a few that were surplus to requirement. 

oops!






I asked Caroline to come down and join me, but she wasn't having any of it, so I was forced to take a selfie or two. 




Prowses Pond as seen from Klondyke Road (205 PEI)






I think this was the best of the day. 

Klondyke Road (205PEI) at 24 PEI

It seemed like ages, but the exif data on the photos tells me I shot the first one at 12:53 and this last one (above) at 13:03, so I have to thank her for waiting so patiently for me at the top of the hill. Come to think of it, she had something of an agenda, as she was determined to take us off the direct route of Dover Road (24 PEI) and onto MacPhee Road (317 PEI) over to wet greasy County Line Road (325 PEI) that had me wondering how I was going to get Caroline to make a u-turn on this muddy clay road to come back and help me pick my bike up? I didn't like the answer so opted not to drop it in the first place, even when the mostly used up Shinko 705s that had been fresh 8,000 kms ago started to go into a two wheel slide once in a while. As I was following Caroline, I pretty much stood up when I saw her standing, up and giving it a bit of throttle while looking where I was going. She apologized for taking my Sport Utility Bike SUB (See what I did there? Do I need to put "X5" and "Four wheel drive" to draw you a better picture?) through the mud and promised me that it was only about 2 K until the end. I do exaggerate a bit, but I think it makes for a better story, and I'd happily trade up for a more off road capable adventure bike, provided I win the money in the lottery. :)


Back out onto Dover Road, and now only a short distance to the restaurant, I found another reason to stop and slow things down when I saw a flock of geese paddling sedately through the waters of Upper MacLure Pond just off to my right. The wee beggars fled my motorcycle though! Cowards! 

Can you see the Geese fleeing from me? 
Upper MacLure's Pond
Dover Road (24 PEI)

I love seeing the geese this time of year. 


We arrived at the Home Plate Restaurant in Murray River to find the parking lot full, but thankfully the diners were leaving and for once, Caroline and I were the lunch rush for a brief moment in time :)

Caroline's friend Caroline was there to smile at us and quiz us about our "Vax Pass", showing your papers to a restaurant before you can be allowed to dine within. This a new thing encouraged by the federal government, and they've also used their emergency powers to become dictators for life and levy fines to those restaurants caught in non-compliance of the latest orders to descend from their ivory towers. **sigh  I'll not descend into why I think this is undemocratic and violates the charter of rights and freedoms. Yeah, I've been poked twice, but don't you think our economy has been kicked in the arse enough without people need to be put on leave without pay and disciplined for opting out of the vaccine? The food was definitely worth flashing the pass though, so we got it out of the way and sat at our favourite window seat and began chatting with the staff about how much milk I expected to drink with my pot of tea. Lol. 

Caroline had trouble deciding, as she too loves the fish n' chips, but when I said I was going to get the fish, I think she decided to go for the special knowing that she was going to get some of my fish too. She ordered the special of the day, Chicken and Pork pie with a coffee. (No milk, so the owner might yet still come out in the black regarding the whole dairy situation at our table. I was going to do my best to get my monies worth.)


I agonized over my choice, but it had been so long since I had sampled Caroline's wonderful fish 'n chips, so it was a done deal. 


Then Caroline and I patted our tummies, asked for a takeaway box for our leftovers and made room for some dessert. There is always room for tarts, they're so wee! I was bad and ordered two kinds, a custard tart, and a lemon "cake" tart. Fabulous! 

Clockwise starting at three:
Banana Toffee
Custard Tart
Salted Caramel
Lemon "Cake" tart

I like to talk. And I like to talk about things I'm passionate about, and for whatever reason, I want to other people to get into something good as well, so I've made it my duty (habit? obsession?) with telling other patrons of the restaurant that the Home Plate serves "The best fish and chips on the island." In fact, the owner now turns to me and asks me if I have anything to add when she informs her clientele of the "special du jour". When I think back on it, I get sheepish and tend to stare at my feet, while grinning, but I'm only trying to share the love!  If you are undecided, or more to the point, I think you are undecided, be forewarned that I will leave you in no doubt about my high regard for the dish. 

We were bantering with Caroline (the owner and chef not to be confused with my Caroline, the not owner and not chef, but a very good cook and servant of the public in her own right) and a couple of ladies at the other table, discussing the desserts, and we were told about the mince tart and why it was so special, as if I recall correctly it was mince fruit with an extra blend of apple and toffee with whipped cream cheese topping. My jaw dropped. As we'd already ordered and consumed our sweets, I gallantly stepped up and ordered a mince tart cut into quarters to be shared out among the guests. Caroline refused to take my money and shared a wee piece of heaven on earth with us. Oh that I had this when I first sipped my tea! Cinnamon, nutmeg, perhaps some allspice and mace? Ginger? Wonderful and somehow creamy in texture. Everything autumn that I love in one little tart shell. If you think you get good pumpkin spice at Tim Horton's, then there is nothing for you in Murray River, so move along please. :)

We paid up, smiled a fare thee well and parted with a wave and headed off to our next stop, the apple orchard up north of us in Cardigan. 


A wee tributary of the Cardigan River
Cardigan PE

We gassed up in Cardigan before heading east along the Cardigan river, where I had to stop again just a wee bit off of the highway on Water Street (311 PEI) and grab this picture before heading further east along where Water street meets up with Launching Road but remains the 311 PEI just to keep you on your toes. 

I warned Caroline that I wanted to stop near the blueberry fields to get a picture, well to recapture a shot I'd made in November of 2012, but I'm a few weeks early I think. You can see why I might want to visit this again. 

Taken November 2012

Blueberry fields of Cardigan PE

Another reason for us to head back this way in future, right? 

We grabbed four two litre jugs of freshly pressed cider at MacPhee's, and loaded Caroline's topbox (green milk crate) with them, then headed off again, but this time north along Woodville Road (334 PEI) but I had to stop when I the colours bordering Fitzpatrick's Pond

Fitzpatricks Pond PE
Looking north from the bridge
Woodville Road







Fitzpatricks Pond PE
The view to the south of the bridge
Woodville Road


And north once more, because I just can't help myself!

Caroline was leading us back out towards Fortune Bay, sort of in search of some nice gravel roads to play on, but her real goal now was the desire to repeat Sunday's ride from last week, and take all back roads south of Morell PE all the way into Mount Stewart, if she could retrace the route I'd taken her on last week. 

I had to stop and take this one, but sadly the shadows made the finished shot darker in this media. I should really tweak the shot one day. A Rolls Royce parked out from of the Inn at Fortune Bay. 

The Inn at Fortune Bridge

I did cut out some modern vehicles off to the left. :)


The Inn at Fortune Bridge

Now we were riding into more shadow, I was leading but Caroline was telling me the directions she wanted us to be going, and if she was happy in back, I was more than pleased to be ripping the odd corner and seeing if I could keep the Versys upright and well ahead of the KLR that Caroline was piloting today. 

Our short term goal was to cross the Morrell River on the Indian Bridge Road, a gravel road that would serve as our kick off point for a long stretch of unpaved roads that Caroline is finding a passion for with her "new to her" KLR. Earlier this spring she admitted to being intimidated by the bike, as it's a heavy sucker to pick up, and she can only tippy toe that toxic green tractor, so she gets her kicks riding in company, provided that company is capable of helping her pick up her tractor if the need arises. I think the big things she's working on this fall is controlling the bike in sand and mud. Guess what I'm working on? Avoiding sand and mud because I lose control of my bike. Hahahaha! 

There were a lot of turns but the roads were fun, and the colours had much improved over last weekend along these same roads. We noticed a few parked cars just before crossing the Morrell River, and there was the reason, three fly fishermen out trying their luck. 


Caroline crossing the bridge on her KLR 650, followed fairly closely by a pair of ATVs as well. 


Fly fishing the Morrell River

Looking south west off Indian Bridge

I knew the ride was coming to an end shortly as Mount Stewart was up ahead of us, and we'd land in Pisquid or Mount Stewart proper, but I don't think I've ever followed Barr Road (352 PEI) from end to end, and we had to scooch over to let some machinery get past us, then a bit later we saw a hunter with his dog on the roadside, and he was kind enough to hold the dogs collar until we were safely past him. I wish I'd had a camera to take that picture, but it is going to be one of those remembered moments, the dog, the shotgun, the road, along with all colours and the season. I find if harder to describe the moment and the feeling than it should be, so call it my pumpkin spice of the moment. ;)

Warren's Pond and the last shot of the day as the shadows grew longer

The shadows were lengthening, and we were headed into the light, as we continued on our way to New Haven to drop off some fresh cider with Caroline's mother, and from there it was a dark ride by headlights and the Trans Canada Highway until we pulled into the driveway where Caroline discovered that an exposed zip tie end had eaten it's way through one of the jugs of cider, so we were forced to drink half a jug of it right then and there. Oh my. 

From there it was a quick change and a quick meal made of our Home Plate Restaurant takeaway, then off to celebrate a birthday with some fellow riders. 

The bikes aren't being winterized just yet as we hope to get a few more rides in before the bitter end, but it's getting there. The gear you wear at 1000 in the morning just won't hold up past 1800 in the evening any more. Winter is coming. 

Cheers!






2021-09-12

2021 The Taco Bell Tour

 Caroline enjoys camping and riding her motorcycle and we've been having fun since 2019 camping and riding together. Last year we stayed at a lovely little campground on the Sunrise Trail in Nova Scotia that sits on a body of water called Linwood Harbour adjacent to McCall's cove near Havre Boucher NS.  We enjoyed the experience so much that she thought to invite her son and his friend to join us for a camping only weekend. We'd ride, they would arrive in the cage, but we would stay at Hyclass Campground just for the camping experience. It was fun, and we thought it worth repeating this year as well. 

Now that's a fire!

This year Caroline picked the 11th and 12th of September to reserve the campground, but as she needed to sign up for a welding course she will be taking this fall, she had to be in Summerside while the boys headed to Truro to dine at Taco Bell, a simple matter of driving 2 hr 40 min (234 km) to Truro NS for this, then why not add in a stop in New Glasgow because it's on the way?! 

Le mappage du la google:


Day 1 - Charlottetown PE to Linwood NS
Day 2 - Linwood NS to Charlottetown PE
630km, 9.5hrs approx.

Day 1 - Charlottetown PE to Hyclass Campground, Linwood NS - Drive 354 km, 4 hours, 28 minutes

Charlottetown PE to Linwood NS
along the Sunrise Trail and Rte 256 NS

Meanwhile, back on the Island, Caroline had succeeded in signing up for her welding classes, and I'd managed to shift my lazy butt on down the road to "Not Anna's", our new name for an old local restaurant in Crapaud run by my friends Anna & Sandy, but they had retired and sold the restaurant to Bakers Dozen Donuts. It's been give a coat of paint and they've made some changes inside, but sadly the food isn't quite as good what Anna would have served. The bacon was wafer thin, you could almost read a newspaper through it. Oh well. When I finished up I headed up the road to get some gas and saw that Caroline had just pulled into Ceretti's and was on her phone to someone... Then my Scala started ringing to announce an incoming call, I wonder who would be calling me on a Saturday?! 


We topped off our fuel tanks, then headed over to the Confederation Bridge toll plaza to find that we might be following a large camper and truck over the bridge, but lucky for us they got confused and tried the truck lane only to change their minds at the last minute and opt for the auto booths, by which time Caroline and I had scooted up to the agent. "I'll pay for both, She will go first." to save her from having to tell us that she was only allowed to open the gate for one at a time. We may have done this a time or two... :)

It was cooler today than much of the summer, and I had done up all my vents in my leather jacket back at the gas station, but the breeze was ever so chill on my knees, and I sort of relished the colder air, as we'd had quite a hot summer this year, when it wasn't raining. Murray Corner awaits! 

Murray Corner, Little Shemogue, Port Elgin, then Tidnish Bridge
and onto the
Sunrise Trail

This little route of ours is so much nicer than queuing up behind a tractor trailer or an RV heading west on 16, one right after another, with cars packed in so you aren't able to safely pass, and have to follow like sheep. Baaaaaah!!! Sure this route adds a few more miles, but they are quality sMiles. 

We followed the Sunrise Trail until I whinged to  Caroline that I would appreciate a lunch stop at some point before we hit the campground itself. She is adept at skipping meals while riding, so it's my job to suggest that we stop before late afternoon turns into an early supper. lol. That worked out well as she wanted to stop in Wallace at McMahon's restaurant to see why their parking lot was so large. The East Coaster burger was appealing, as was their large selection of diet soda. I was pleasantly surprised that I could enjoy a diet ginger ale as opposed to the usual diet cola, and Caroline wanted to add a side of potato salad to the order as well. Fine by me. We placed our order at the take out window, and retired to a picnic bench to chat up some fellow riders that were out enjoying the weather and roads. 

The East Coaster

McMahon's family restaurant
 Wallace NS

After lunch it was back onto the Sunrise trail and Eastward towards Tatamagouche where we turned south on Rte 311 NS then east again on Rte 256 NS that I was eager to try as a means to avoid the highway and the coast. 

Route 256 NS

That was a fun little romp through the interior of Nova Scotia. For the most part that route is well paved and maintained, with lots of turns and elevation changes that keep you interested in the road and your surroundings. As you can see we managed to avoid taking the highway out of Pictou, but it was later in the day, and time to make some miles and get to the campground, or rather get to our gas stop in Monastery where we had planned to do our "Six O'Clock Charlie" and top off the tanks, get some water for supper and breakfast, and add to our meal with some dessert or similar. I guess Caroline's cell had lost service at some point, for she received a message while riding from Shamus to say that he and Daniel were at the campground waiting for us. Oops. We were still about thirty minutes out, but we had figured they might have announced themselves and registered knowing that we would be joining them shortly, but they chose to wait instead. 

Just after leaving the highway and now back on Highway 4, the Sunrise Trail, I spotted a sign "Sweet corn" and thought some corn would be perfect with the hamburgers we'd planned for that night, so while Caroline waited up the road for me, I swiped a bit of cash from her and headed back to find four kids sitting around a big pile of corn on a picnic table, eager to sell me a dozen cobs of freshly picked corn for $5. I strapped the corn on top of the tent and lit out down the road after depositing another $5 in their tip jar. :)

We pulled up into the campground to find Dave in the office, and he was only too happy to take our money, offer us some firewood, and talk about the site we had reserved and the motorcycle that he had almost bought from someone in New Brunswick. Apparently his 1100 VTX isn't as exciting as an 1800 VTX could be. We chatted for a bit, then headed down to the campsite to start setting up. 

Caroline and I have our procedure down pat. Take off some gear, then get the tents up as our first priority. Caroline enjoys it when I do the camp cooking, so seems quite happy to inflate two air mattresses and our pillows, while laying out the sleeping bags. Meanwhile, I'd be setting up our kitchen and getting the stoves going, cooking hamburgers, ramen, chicken and rice, whatever we had on the menu for the meal. For tonight it was going to be the luxury camp stove that the boys had packed along in the car. Real pots and pans tonight, so I wouldn't need to fire up my stove all except to make some hot water for tea or similar. Maybe get something going for washup? We reminded the boys that having a tent up during daylight was a "good thing", and they efficiently set to work erecting the four person tend Shamus had bought on sale last year when camping here. They had that up fairly quickly, so we cracked open some bevvies and thought to check on the sunset for today... 

Whoah! Sunset was now 19:30! We normally start on supper while there is still light, but the tents were up and it was only fiveish, and Caroline offered to go canoeing with me as she knew I loved it, but I opted out as I figured that if we did head out, that supper would be made and eaten in the dark, and that is not nearly as much fun as it sounds. Thinking back, as a kid dad would always light the coleman lantern and get that going to shed light. I knew how to pre-burn a mantle and how to light those old lanterns like a champ, as we used them quite extensively while in the militia as well, but on a bike our lights were only headlamps and led flashlights, and while they work great in a tent or heading for the washroom, they tend to suck when eating at night. Sunset was was less than two hours away, so it would be a great idea to sort out what we were doing for supper before we lost our light. Caroline had planned for hamburgers and had sent the boys with a shopping list for them to get in New Glasgow where they had planned on stopping to check out a pawn shop in the area, similar to the one in Charlottetown where you can find Daniel most days. 

Daniel got to light a campfire for the first time, but only I called off Caroline who has snuck in and tried to get the fire going herself. I'd prepared for this by collecting some dryer lint into a paper bag, then smushing a bunch of vaseline into the lint. You unroll it from the ziploc bag, tear it open a bit, get it lit then build your kindling and fire wood above it. Done like dinner. Daniel was very pleased to have the fire going, and it was better entertainment than a television set. 

The hamburgers were fun to help out with. I got to husk four cobs of corn, then cut them in half so they would fit into the pot, and then slice up some onion on the dollar store cutting board that I haul everywhere with my moto camping gear. In fact, Caroline had forgotten to pack utensils, so we made do with my miniature weight saving tongs and spatula for the weekend.  Caroline had baked a loaf of homemade bread to come with us, so the four of us enjoyed cheese burgers with onion, fresh bread and butter, and sweet corn on the cob. Fantastic! All while drinking my "No Boats on Sunday" cider. After dinner, we boiled some water, cleaned up from supper, then put away the kitchen for the night, while Caroline got the marshmallows going over the fire and her chocolate covered cookies ready for S'mores, while I got some hot water going to share out the hot chocolate packets that I'd hauled along with me, complete with mini marshmallows. 

The sun sets over Linwood Harbour, Nova Scotia





The boys were reluctant to cover the tent with the rain fly, and Caroline was keen to swing from the trees in her hammock tonight, and I was completely out of cider now, so there was nothing left for it but to head over to the washroom, then roll into my sleeping bag for the night. Caroline figures we were in bed at 2115 and I was snoring fifteen minutes later. Hahaha. 

Day 2 - Linwood NS to Charlottetown NS -