2019 The Penultimate End of Year Ride

second from the last:

  • It's the penultimate episode of the series tonight

I'll give you a definite maybe on that, but won't commit myself at this time...

Paynter's Creek PE

Day Tripping - Charlottetown to French River PE and Return - 170 km - 2.75 hours
Charlottetown PE to French River PE and return
Meaning I hope the season never ends and I strike a delicate balance between the "Stay Puft Marshmallow Man" and swim trunks with flip flops while riding this Fall on Prince Edward Island.
I think the worst problem with Sunday rides is trying to fit one in after a nice long night of watching movies, then a lazy morning sleep in. Caroline joined me ready to go just after lunch, but it took me a bit longer to get ready to roll, and I was considering three layers on my legs, when I decided that it was simply time to haul out my insulated overalls and make do with my heated jacket, the overalls and a thermal layer top and bottom. Okay, time to see if I am still limber enough wearing all of that and still get a leg over my bike... 

Lean, Mean, Marshmallow Machine...
Err, perhaps "Lean" in a "nothing but Marshmallow" sense?
There was a huge mass of dark clouds low over the island, but we could see blue sky ahead and to the sides, and as the weather report called for cloudy and no rain, we were fairly sure that it was just a dark sky, but we could really feel the chill while riding underneath it.

We stopped off along the way to say hello to Caroline's mother, only to find that her brand new car had it's first dent in it, due to a loose shopping cart smashing into the passenger side door! What a let down! She'd driven her Kia for years without a scratch, but now her brand new Mazda gets marked up before it is even a month old, and by someone who was in such a rush, they couldn't be bothered to return the shopping cart properly! Grrrr.

We finally rode out from under the cloud cover, and wow did that make the fall colours stand out for us! Thankfully we had turned off of the Trans Canada Highway, and were heading North up to Stanley Bridge along the Rattenbury road, and just soaking it all in, until we turned north onto route 20 and I had to tell Caroline that I was turning around to get a few pictures of Paynter's Creek that flows out into SouthWest Rver, and on into the Atlantic Ocean on PEI's North Shore. 

Paynter's Creek

South West River

 Just up the road was a line of trees that had been brought down by hurricane Dorian, and it was a huge impact statement of quickly mother nature can shrug us off her shoulders...

Yes, that is a portion of the tree still lying on the roof of the cottage there.

Caroline casts no Shadow on the shore of the South West River
 We made our way to the look off for French River, and I got a snap or two of the colourful little harbour there, then proceeded through the small village and up to the New London Lighthouse.

French River PE
 This time of year we weren't getting off the bikes at each stop, as it is a bit of an ordeal to unplug from the bike, swing a leg over, pull off gloves for the camera, and schlep about all bundled up like Randy, Ralphie's little brother from that 1983 Christmas classic, "A Christmas Story".

[overdressed for winter] Randy I can't put my arms down![Mother tries to grabs his arms down, putting his arms back up] Mother Well, put your arms down when you get to school.[Mother putting his scarf back on, Randy bawling] 
Randy [is trying to catch up]  C'mon, guys! Wait up! C'mon, guys! Wait up! 
Sorry, I got a bit sidetracked there, but I think you now understand why there may not be as much movement on days where the daytime high is 8 degrees Celsius and that does NOT include riding in shadows or under dark clouds.

New London Lighthouse

 The photo below didn't turn out as well as I had hoped, but it does show you the contrast between the clouds that I've been talking about, but it is a bit sad that you don't see the same well lit view of the valley that we did.
Irishtown PE
 We trucked on through Kensington and headed out past Clinton View Lodge where I used to be employed as a maintenance man at the Lodge, so I dropped back of the building to take a picture of "Clinton's View".
The view from "Perrin's" Clinton View Lodge
Harding Creek and the South West River 
 Also known as Lot 20 according to the 1764 Survey of Saint John Island as it was then known then. Wikipedia has a great article on how the island was ceded from France to Britain in the Paris treaty of 1763. 

 "Never get off the bike"
That was my motto today, and we rolled up into Cavendish trying to take the Rue du Gulf Shore Parkway West along the coast, and I was floored by how hard the treeline at the Cavendish Campground got hit by the hurricane!

There was one stand of trees that seemed devastated, and could have been bulldozed, but for one in six trees still standing. One in Six! Of course, that was along the shore line where the soil doesn't hold terribly well, and the trees would have just lifted their roots and toppled over, like giant divots on a polo course, you chainsaw the tree trunk and tip the stumps back into place to replace your divot. Wow! 
It turns out that you can no longer get there from here, and we would need to head back out and do a ride of shame as Caroline calls it, and over to another intersection to get onto the Rue du Gulf Shore Parkway West, but that side was a bit of a loss, as the whole parkway is  closed to traffic due to construction, and very well barred off, I might add. We rode along the coast for about two kilometres before hitting the barrier, so all we managed there was to ride two kilometers of coastline and then do the ride of shame once again back out to Cavendish road where we turned left and headed in to North Rustico Harbour to snap a couple of pics of the area. 

North Rustico Harbour
The Hunter River as it meets the Atlantic Ocean

The Canada Geese are taking advantage of the respite offered in the bay. 

The Court brothers Mercantile Empire


Caroline spent many of her summers in and around this beach, and my friend Zac knows the area well.
In 1915, the federal government expropriated land around the lighthouse, including where Emard Court's house sits.
The Court family has been involved with court cases and attempts to settle the land title for more than 20 years.

North Rustico Lighthouse seen from the south side looking north
The sun wasn't as strong as it had been when we started out, both of us plugged in, but with our feet and knees now bearing the worst of the weather, we could tell that the day wasn't going to last much longer, and were content to amble out of North Rustico and opt to head through Oyster Bed Bridge and take highway 7 pretty much straight into Winsloe, where we gassed up, then took the bypass back to my underground parking where the bikes are both plugged in waiting for next weekend and a good clear day for another "Marshmallow Ride" so yes, this was the Penultimate season ender. And may it ever be so. :D


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