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 - 


2021 I don't know what to call this

 Caroline provided the name for the ride while I supplied the means. She's been having some soreness in her throttle hand, and the KLR is not the best bike to be riding unless the doctor ordered vibration as an effective treatment for it. Nope, so the ride we had half planned for today was cut a bit shorter as she elected to leave her toxic green steed at home in its stall, while I lowered my passenger pegs for her use. 

Hazel Grove Road near Millvale PE


Day Tripping - Charlottetown to Millvale and return (slow and lazy route)

Charlottetown out to Millvale PE

I did take the newly repaved Route 13 or Dock road from Kinkora road into Carpaud. It has some wicked curves, and until it gets broken up again in a few years, it's in perfect condition for a a bit of hanging off the bike as you sweep from left corner to right corner. I kept my speed down but had a lovely run nonetheless, thank you very much. 

A quick stop at Harvey's general store for some after lunch treats, and I headed over to Caroline's place to pick her up and take her out for a wee picnic lunch that we'd planned that morning.Caroline had purchased some of that precooked rice, with beans and lime that she thought might make a nice lunch meal along with a tin of Kirkland chicken that Uncle Carl supplies to her all the way from Dieppe New Brunswick. How does he get it onto the island during the pandemic? Well this is the genius bit, he brings it across the bridge BEFORE the bridge gets closed... ;) I'd changed the plan a bit, as I thought to cut up some vegetables and bring a lightweight camp kitchen along to saute the veggies in some desi ghee. Onion, garlic and green pepper, that were to go with some cooked in the bag basmati rice that I had in my cupboard, along with a jar of butter chicken sauce, all Caroline had to bring was her smile and the chicken. 


Only the best for my girl!


By the time you get it all ready,
It's larger than I'd have thought.

She was pretty excited that she had sorted out the pump and filter for her Koi pond, and was eager to show it off, but I had plans to be on the road and moving so I made some polite noises, asked a few pointed questions to keep her wondering if I'd been paying attention to it all, and when invited to follow her into the house where she planned to get her socks and boots, I declined and made it clear that "time was a wasting." :)

We left her driveway and headed back to Crapaud, then short turned onto Old Town Road that I was fairly certain would bring us out close to Inkerman road to the north, where we opted to instead head north on County Line road that is a mixture of paved and clay road that is less than ideal in a wet spring, but this time of year is rock hard and fairly smooth. 

County Line road gazing out over the young potato plants in their neat, ordered rows

I was in a mood to go slow and stop to smell the roses, or rather, the Lupins that are peaking this week here on the Island. This time of year is absolutely gorgeous, and I spend a good portion of each ride looking at the roadsides where the Lupins fill the ditches and unmowed areas around the many farms. 

I didn't get very far up County Line before stopping and taking a few pictures. I try to find the Lupins growing with all three colours, the blue, white and pink bordering on a red. I think there are yellow as well, but more down East than around here, if I recall correctly. 

Yeah, this was going to be a slow lazy ride with lots of butterfly watching, I could tell and I warned Caroline that this was how I was rolling this afternoon. Lol. 

We simply kept heading north on County Line, and i knew that we could turn to the right and be out onto Highway 2 along Number 8, but I was at a bit of a loss as to whether my reference point, the Route 2 Diner was East or West of us, and Caroline pointed me off to the right, so I made the turn and we headed back East along highway 2 while I kept looking for the Diner on the hilltop to the right, as I knew the road I was looking for was further East and off to our left. 

Unfortunately, it was NOT the Hazel Grove Road, but I took it anyway, and it kept going when it changed from pavement to groomed gravel and clay, up and down the hillsides until we got to the bitter end, or rather a sign that said "Here be Dragons" 

Bridge Out
Here be Dragons

Uhoh Toto! We're not in Kansas anymore! The road got tighter, and I noticed that the driveways were far behind us, and we were on a one lane farm access road that was heading downhill. It makes me very happy we were on an "adventure bike".

Hazel Grove path... lol

I'm not going to lie to you, I did some of the downhill sections in first gear with the clutch out, and tried to avoid some of the more obvious rocks sticking out of the roadway, and was pathetically grateful that the roads were dry, and the very bottom had not a single bit of mud or build up of sand. Perfect, except that we were on the wrong road, and it had taken us back west, then south again to dump us out onto highway 2 again. Lol. Back to the drawing board. 

It was the next road I should have turned onto, that is listed as 239, headed North towards St. Patricks, but out idea was to prepare and enjoy our lunch by the spillway in Millvale, where there is a little parkette near the pond. 

The Lupins growing around the pond were amazing, but the Prince Edward Island Air Force, aka Horse Flies nearly carried us away before we even sat down to open the picnic bag! Caroline fled while I fought a rear guard action, trying desperately to give her enough time to get her jacket and helmet back on, before putting the key into the ignition and hightailing it out of there, and back out to highway 2. I did risk taking a could of extra snaps though, but Caroline suggested I remove the one that showed the flies in all their glory. 

The Versys is looking good at 110,000 Kilometres
I still can't believe how much I enjoy riding it.

Well, I sort of wanted to to have lunch out anyway, this was the perfect opportunity to twist Caroline's arm and invite her out to lunch at the Route 2 Diner at the top of the hill. I did manage to stop and get some more photos on the way back out to the highway, as the Versys had left the kamikaze horse flies far behind.  

Just inside the door is a shelf just for "Crash" helmets, but someone scribbled in "safety" helmets on the sign. Lol. Please, they are for the crash and slide. 

My plate shows the salad, while Caroline's had the fries. We shared both the fries and the salad, and left nothing, just smears of ketchup and zesty Italian dressing on our plates.

The owners are English, and Caroline have enjoyed everything we've tried from their menu, including the English Breakfast with the owners home cured English Bacon. Lovely!
Today we opted for the special, a bacon cheeseburger, and we ordered a western sandwich with a salad instead of fries, just to make us feel better about it all. Everything was served fresh and hot, and the service really was fantastic, although we had slipped in their doors during a slow period, an older lady enjoying a late lunch.

Bacon cheeseburger to the left, garden salad, and western sandwich to the right

That was it. Caroline was "done" being a passenger, and I was quite content to head south through Fredericton Station and out to Kinkora road, then along Inkerman where we met some more of the ever present farm equipment. It must have been a great weekend to harvest hay, as we say wagon loads of it being hauled here and there about the island. 

 Be careful passing them, especially later in the year when you will meet wider and odder vehicles.

Back into Crapaud to end the ride at her place, where she opened the doors to the shop, and I rolled my bike into her huge shop and parked the Versys in good company with her KLR and sadly, her broken Shadow.

In the back of the shop is her son's project car, a '96 Corolla and the bits that are coming out, and going in. It's sure to be an adventure for him, and he's pretty psyched up about it, so I hope it goes well, and with a little help from his friends and colleagues, they're making some headway. 

It's probably going to need a power plant at some point. I wonder if the Honda could be used as a donor engine? lol. 750cc into a Corolla, they'd never know the difference.

Oh, the cats were fairly happy to see their Lady and Mistress, and Caroline decided the Strawberries needed weeding, so tonight we feast! 

Tonight we are going to have the picnic luncheon that I prepared this morning, sans Horse flies, while her two cats, Opal and Minnie Pearl play. (Yes, I am in love with a cat lady :P )

Cheers from the Island!


2021 The Lupins are out on the Island

 You don't have to weed Lupins, in fact, Lupins are weeds here on Prince Edward Island, and in June they can be found growing where the plows and lawn mowers can't reach them, so our ditches and roadsides become a sea of Lupins for a short period of time, but it's a beautiful time to be a motorcyclist as the weather and the scenery is breathtaking. 

Lupins at the roadside, Founds Mills PE

Day Tripping - Charlottetown PE to Cavendish PE and Return. 


2021 The Almost Elmsdale Ride

 If you didn't already know, I'm a bit of a stove nut. No really. Anyhow, this fella was advertising an old Coleman single burner classic on USED PEI, and he was only asking five bucks for it, so I figured it was broken or suspect. Anyhow, I wanted one, so I jumped in with both feet and said I'd buy it, before realizing that he was located not in Charlottetown as I had assumed, but in St. Louis which is only 138 kilometres away up West. **Sigh, that is only a 276 kilometre round trip if I stuck to the fastest route, and you know that wasn't going to happen. 

Well, once I'd apologized to Matthew for asking him to hang on to it for me until the weather turned for the better, it was another three weeks before I headed up to Crapaud and the Red Rooster Restaurant to meet up with Caroline for a late breakfast to start what would be our first full day ride of the 2021 season.

A Kelly at Kelly Road, or rather, 
C Kelly at Kelly Road. 

Day Tripping - Charlottetown to Elmsdale PE - 350 km - 4.75 hours

Charlottetown PE to Elmsdale PE - 351 kilometres - 4.75 hours

Caroline was eager to show off her new upgrade to the KLR, a lovely green milk crate zip tied and roc strapped into place on the back end of the bike, already carrying a few bits and pieces that would see her through the afternoon ride up West. She was really quite pleased with it, possibly as it appeals to her quirky nature and it is considered a very red neck accessory, not sold in stores. lol. She is a keeper! 

On a KLR, a milk crate is a wicked Mod. 

As it was only the second week of May, and that is usually still plenty cool if you are idea of fun is sitting on a motorcycle for a few hours. We both made sure to gear up for the weather, and headed out, bound for Miscouche the fast way... Straight along the Trans Canada highway. until we hit the center of Miscouche, and turned West onto Lady Slipper Drive, and out to the coast where we were going to follow highway 11 as far north as it would take us. 

Acadian Supreme Inc, located on the Haldimand River

I used to be able to drop my feet off the pegs of my KLR and ride like this without hitting the ground. I'm sort of envious at the moment when I saw Caroline doing the same. 

I won't bore you with the details, but the riding go a lot nicer past Miscouche on on 11 North, but the road is still a bit busted up and I found I was scanning for pot holes ahead as much as I was enjoying the scenery, although I suppose I was still running a bit too fast, and simply enjoying the day. Okay then, slow it down and take it easy!

The KLR was having no trouble keeping up to me, and I really enjoyed following the coastline, and the curves of the road, even though it slows as it goes through some of the smaller towns. 

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Parish Church
We took a moment to enjoy the view and let Matthew know we were in earnest and on our way up to see him. (sometime this afternoon). 

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Parish Church

I love this old derelict of a boat out by the roadside. I think I've stopped three times to photograph it. 

You get stuck back out onto Route 2 at Portage PE where the island pinches in a bit, sort of a corset hereabouts, with the good bits elsewhere, like the road to Alaska PE! Caroline has been down this road on her Shadow while there was a good inch or so of mud, and the only dry bits were the tracks of the previous truck that had cleared some of the mud out from under the tires. Today was EASY in comparison, and her speed was a lot higher here. I had to catch up to let her know I wanted to get some shots of the bike on the dirt road. 

Everyone is going to want an Adventure Crate! 

Alaska is civilized and shows you a paved road at it's North end where the Beaton road crosses over Beatons Creek. 

Caroline and I have some adventures out this way in Brae Harbour from last year or the year before. Wow, that was 2019, so a couple of years back, but today we were on a mission and headed on up the road across the Brae river and on up into Colman. A lot of Caroline's family come from this area, from her mother's side. 

We shot back out to Highway 2 and headed North again, and arrived at the roundabout that said O'Leary is that a way, but I wanted a nice hot cuppa, so pulled into the parking lot beside a couple of cruisers and headed inside for a pee and a tea. AND a New York Cheesecake. I bought one for myself, and later on was terribly pleased that Caroline ordered a coffee and a donut all to herself, for one bite of this donut told me that it was wroth the premium $1.99 as a Saturday afternoon treat, soaking up some sun while sitting on the Tim Horton's patio. And yes, after three years of riding with Caroline, I finally got that tea she promised me! (But the joke is on me, as I paid for it.)

They fail to say "RASPBERRY" Darn this thing was a nice treat. 

So I sort of challenged Caroline in the parking lot, and I taught her how to spin the KLR on it's kickstand to make those quick getaways... with a caveat of course... "Don't do this on a driveway if you like the owner." It's a bit harder for her to shift five hundred pounds of tractor, I think possibly because she isn't nearly as efficient a counter weight... 

My caption is "Wide Load"

Um, yeah, so speaking of donuts, did I mention that I'm trying to lose some weight as well? 

Part two of the challenge was to hop the KLR over a conveniently located curb. She could even choose which height she wanted to bump over, completely optional and I was very pleased when she grinned and bumped her way over her first curb. LOL. Hooray!

Right, I have to run orf and get some supper. I'll be back to finish this later! Cheers!

After our coffee break I got in touch with Matthew again, when he asked me to stop short of St. Louis and meet him just up the road at Profits corner. No worries, it's a short hop away and we met him in the parking lot of the Church of the Nazarene where the money and the stove exchanged hands. I paid a bit more because I felt so guilty taking up so much of Matthew's day with my adventure. It made me feel better. 

The Toronto, Canada made Coleman Pocket II gasolene stove

This is similar to the stove I bought off of Matthew, although mine shows a bit more rust and love. 

We now had to visit Summerside where Caroline wanted to get a couple of things done, so we shot over to Dock Corner on Dock Road PE 150, then headed south along 12, a familiar route that would run us past the homes of a few more of Caroline's family. It dumps you back out onto highway 2 for a spell before you can head back out to the coast again and wander your way along a lovely stretch of the island. I love doing this route in the fall when the colours start to turn. 

St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Grand River

traffic was horrible!

I tried to stay well clear of the brown stuff when we were passing this gentleman and his precious cargo. 

I still get roasted over not taking Caroline's photo at Kelly's Mountain on Cape Breton Island, so to make up for it, I pose her now and again at signs along the wayside. 

A Kelly on Kelly's road, 
C Kelly on her road. 

Summerside was a dash into Canadian Tire for some vacuum cleaner bags, then around to her friends house to pick up some market lobster for supper that evening, and we left Summerside along the Blue Shank road, then made our way into Freetown, then across the Newton road and onto County Line road south, that would put us back onto a bit of gravel... Photo opportunity!

Did I mention that I sort of live in fear of the day when she heads down a road that I follow her on... The KLR is a lot more capable in the rough sloppy stuff than the Versys can ever be. So far so good. 

That milk crate adds class, and it's functional!

A brief stop at the homestead to regroup and reload, then it was off to Mom's place for supper. 

So I'm not big on shellfish, in fact, I tell folks that I got most of my fish out of a blue box that had "highliner" on the label, but back before they invented minced fish, or pollock/sole. :'( 

Yeah, so I'm not much of a lobster fan, but I can appreciate that others like them almost as much as I enjoy fresh island beef. I'd dropped into Gass's General Store on the way over, and got a couple of last day sale pork chops, some fresh mushrooms and a wee porterhouse steak. While they were busy scarfing down the lobster, I had dressing stuffed pork chop and a wee beefsteak. 

There is more to this story, oh, so much more... and I've been permitted to present a redacted statement of events for your perusal, immediately following the end of my shopping trip into Gass's General Store. 

...and that is how she dealt with dropping her bike, and I'm to speak no more of it. 

Surf or Turf?

That was it, but for to ride back to Caroline's house in the dark, although watching the sun set was a lovely experience. 

So Sunday was a four wheeled adventure for Caroline, while I opted to mess up her system by sorting out her tools and throwing them will ye, nill ye into that red box behind her. ;)

I hope your weekend was at least as much fun as mine! Stay tuned for adventures in plumbing! ;)