2021 Ye Olde Timey Sherbrooke Village Ride

 Our first ride off of the island in 2021, and a complete muddle. The rain on Friday was bad enough that neither Caroline nor I wanted to get started in that miserable stuff, and the forecast for Monday was dismal as well, so we opted to leave on Saturday morning, and planning? One minute it was to mid New Brunswick straight through the Irving Re (de) forestation project on 108, then Meat Cove on Cape Breton Island, then we opted for a trip along the coast of Nova Scotia and see where that took us. 

Joe McLane Blacksmith
Sherbrooke Village Nova Scotia

The map on Google Maps

Ze ole shebang:

Charlottetown PE to Sherbrooke NS and return
approx. 650 km

Day 1 - Drive 452 km, 6 hours, 30 minutes

Charlottetown PE to Sherbrooke NS
We finally did get away on Saturday morning, and I arrived at Caroline's place hungry, but in time for an earlyish start for the two of us to perhaps beat some long weekend traffic over the confederation bridge. 

I wasn't really feeling in the mood to snap too many shots, so when we turned the corner out onto NB 16, I asked Caroline if she wouldn't mind stopping at the Cape 16 Market for a late breakfast to which she agreed. 

Cape 16 Market breakfast
We've stopped here for a supper once before, and really enjoyed the food, so this go round it was the breakfast meal, and it didn't disappoint at all. The potatoes and onion home fries were perfection. 

Outside the building sits an older lady selling felt, some homemade preserves, and sweaters made under commission by some older ladies. There was a lovely white cable knit jumper that was beautiful, but alas, not in my size and if I'm smart, I never wear white. We bought a bag of her salad greens and a bar of her soap to whisk away with us, and provide a lovely salad for later that evening. Quite a lot of it is forage, so local to area such as mint and burdock leaves (I think it was burdock). 


This is Caroline's first multi-day tour on the KLR and she isn't completely in love with it yet, in fact, she still prefers her Honda Shadow, but that has a shifting problem and won't be on this run. 

Well what do you know? Caroline had found us a bit of an interesting route, the Old Pictou road that headed us in the correct direction, and seemed to be gravel which was fine by me, although my suspension needs some TLC so I was going to behave. No wheelies or messing around until I get the fork seals replaced at the end of the season. It was fairly well groomed, so we enjoyed the change of pace. Caroline hasn't done much gravel up to this point, and was looking forward to getting used to the loaded bike and how it behaved on the loose stuff. Me, I know my bike and I'd have no problems on groomed gravel unless I invented them myself. 

Heading south on Truro Road

Time to change direction and start heading towards Pictou... Err, south I guess, but with a hint of East to keep you on your toes. 
Old Pictou Road

There were a few more potholes further down this road than I was expecting and I was hoping that it wouldn't get any narrower as we sped along. The road got narrower, and less frequently used. A decent lane and half, but you'd have to yield to oncoming or lose yourself in the branches of the shrubs in the verges. 

Looking out over the Salmon River from Riversdale Road bridge. 
We'd decided that we were going to head to the Eastern Shore over to Sherbrooke Village, Nova Scotia's living museum for another visit as Caroline and I had enjoyed our brief tour there last year. when we spent our vacation doing a COVID circle tour of Nova Scotia and parts of New Brunswick The quick tour of last year was going to be repeated but this year Caroline was going to do most of the talking and I was going to keep it zipped, mostly. I'm in love with girl who likes riding and visiting museums, how cool is that? Okay, somewhere on NS Coastal 7 lay the village of Sherbrooke and our destination for the day. 

Riversdale Road bridge

Caroline had settled down to a nice mile munching 60 kph over this stuff, and seemed well able to control the bike, but every once in a while, I'd hear her say "Whoops" or something over the intercom. She wasn't used to so much movement over the loose stuff, so I challenged her to lower her speed to say twenty or thirty in second gear, and aggressively roll on while in a straight line. I figure she trusts me or something, for she roosted a time or two and I heard a giggle or two over the comms. Hahaha. Okay, time to teach this girl how to hop over some puddles, and maybe even a power wheelie if the moon and planets were aligned. 

"Caroline, when you see a pothole, I'd like you to roll onto the throttle again just before you hit it and see what happens. Cover the rear brake and if the front comes up, just push down with your foot and roll off the throttle." I could almost see her with her tongue between her teeth as she tried this a few times. Then she started aiming for potholes that were larger and filled with more water from the recent rains, and the giggling started again. I figure she was like a three year old with a new set of wellingtons and was happily jumping up and down in a puddle. Delighted that her feet were staying dry. Well, that isn't going to happen on the KLR, as the front tire parts the red sea, splashing both halves of it up and onto each boot, left and right, playing no favourites and soaking them all! 

So that had me following her for another 30 kilometres while I gingerly avoided that largest of the potholes, and she aimed straight for them and sped up!!! It was fun for both of us, after all. 

Dirt road Selfie time! 
Burnside Road
Destination, Sheet Harbour NS

That road was getting tighter and bumpy. I was thinking that with the recent rain, I might hit some patches of mud that this Versys wouldn't like at all, and from past experience I knew that while Carolines tires would be better in the mud, they turn into slicks as well, and I'd hate to see her struggle with that fugly bike loaded down for touring. I'd rather she experience that with the right gear and my sister's CRF230L, something a whole lot easier to pick up! 

Sheet Harbour Road
NS 224 Just south of Mill Lake

Just when looked like the puddles were spanning most of the road, it gave way from hunting camps and cottages to some groomed gravel, and finally, blessed tarmac! I had had enough of being bumped around and was very happy to take the lead and fling the mud clean off my tires! Still I'd take it easy before hanging off the seat until I was sure that slick coat of mud was gone from the whole tire profile. 

We beat it down the road into Sheet Harbour where we stopped in at the Info Centre and local museum to use the washroom ands take some snaps around the site of the old mill. They had locked the washroom, so you needed to queue up and sign the contact register to obtain the key. One at a time. I had time to view a few odds and ends, like this carved whale vertebra, donated to the museum by Mr. Arthur Turner.  

"I can fly"
Whale bone Sculpture
Donated to DMHS
by Arthur Turner
The flowers out side in the garden were vibrant and in full bloom. Beautiful! A variety of the Black Eyed Susan I think. 

Just outside the views are wonderful. Just down the hill lay the river, and the site of the old mill, that had to be closed when a hydro electric dam was built up river at the head of Seven Mile Stream, part of the Malay Falls Flowage from the dam. I understand that the water levels dropped as a result. 

Sheet Harbour was home to Canada's first Sulfide mill in the 1860's, located on the East Branch River, and in 1925, a ground pulp mill went into operation on the West Branch River, the subject of these photos, and was in operation until destroyed by a hurricane.

Looking North West over the West Branch Sheet Harbour River
From NS 7

Looking South Looking over the West Branch Sheet Harbour River
From NS 7
I believe the old foundations of the 1925 mill are pictured below Highway 7 here. 

Gratuitous selfie time!
Photo credit: Caroline Kelly 

We did our Six O'Clock Charlie (fuel and food) at the Foodland in Sheet Harbour, and pretty much came away with four litres of water, some milk for my morning cuppa, cherries for dessert, and a salad to share between us that would go well with our evening of ramen and tinned chicken, with fresh onion. 

Port Dufferin Nova Scotia

Moosehead Cove
Moosehead Nova Scotia

Moosehead Cove Nova Scotia and Seal Rocks
Moosehead Nova Scotia

Moosehead Nova Scotia
She has to lead as I keep stopping for pictures.

Northwest Arm Brook

Caroline chose Nimrod's campground, and when we pulled in, they were celebrating Christmas in July, and I admit to being a bit disappointed at being the only kid that didn't get a sack of candy canes and chocolate from old Saint Nick. Maybe I was on his naughty list and would be getting a lump of coal later on? Most likely. The site we got was decent, although we were tired enough not to get any firewood for the evening, as once you start the fire, you have to stay up and watch it burn down, and neither of us were feeling particularly enthusiastic at this stage of the day. 

Driving in a few tent pegs
Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly

I've been motocamping for a few years now, and I've grown attached to certain bits of gear. One such is a hammer/hatchet multi-tool that I bought at Canadian Tire years ago, it's sole purpose as far as I am concerned, to drive pegs into the ground at the end of a day of riding. What do you use for this? And before you say "my foot", I've a couple of bent pegs to show you. I really should ditch this and come up with something a bit more dual purpose. My friend Willie had an old adjustable wrench with a wee hammer opposite the jaw, with the handle end beaten into a tire spoon. I'd use that if he ever wills it to me. ;)

Anyhow, if I'm giving you the impression that we've got our shit sorted, I'd be lying to you, but when it comes to parking the bikes and getting the tents up, we are pretty good at what we do. I like to think that if their were on lookers watching us put up or tear down, that they'd be impressed with the speed and ease of familiarity and long use. In reality they would pull a beer out of their RV mini fridge and relax in their lawn chair to see what the wind had blown their way for entertainment, no doubt.  

We got a fairly remote site without service and off on the far perimeter which suited us well, and once the tents were up and we found a moment to relax a bit before starting supper. 

That plate is completely visible officer!

I think this might have been the first time i've had salad while camping.
Certainly in this decade. Caroline adds value. :)
Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly

And thanks to her uncle Carl and aunt Mary, we had a tin of Costco chicken to add to our ramen for tonight, and finished off with a bag of fresh cherries, it was a lovely little campside meal.

Those dog food bowls have paid for themselves now. 
Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly

So I've used a ton of different KFS (knife, fork, spoon) sets of utensils at the campsite over the years, but my favourites so far have been the GSI Cutlery plastic set that we picked up for about six dollars before tax. They're extremely light, durable, hard wearing, easy to clean, and they work like a spoon and fork should work. If you've used some camping utensils, then you know why I would say that. Caroline packs along her chop sticks and loves them, but I'm a mere tyro with them. 

Day 2 - Drive 193 km, 3 hours, 40 minutes

Sherbrooke NS to Charlottetown PE

Sherbrooke NS to Charlottetown PE

I slept well that night, and didn't find myself starting breakfast until close to 8 o'clock in the morning, but as Sherbrooke Village wasn't going to open until ten in the morning, we had plenty of time to shower up, clean up the campsite and get our gear stowed. I was very happy to sit back and have a large cuppa tea and some instant apples and cinnamon oatmeal to start my day. 

The Breakfast of Champions, 
and lazy motorcyclists.

Cherries with breakfast was an unexpected pleasure. I think we are going to continue this trend of adding fruit to our supper camping meals as it travels well, and really makes the meal. 

Mmmm! Cherries!

This year people were a bit more complacent about COVID, so there were more people in the village then we had experienced last year, but even then it meant we had a another lovely tour of the buildings. I won't say too much about what follows. 

Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly

Animals may bite!
That horse looks pretty sketchy too. 
Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly

Looking south along Saint Mary's river
from the shore of Sherbrooke Village NS

North towards the Village wharf and shipyard

Selfie time! Or is this a Couplie?
Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly

And now into the village proper. Remember, it was Caroline's turn to do all the talking, so I took a backseat and too many photographs. lol. 

Joe McLane
Sherbrooke Village
Nova Scotia

The women's suffrage movement seems to be congregating at the post office and print shop. 

Sherbrooke Drug Store

We ducked into the drug store and chatted with the museum guide who went on to inform us about the operation of the chemist in this small village. It was fascinating and entertaining. 

The law is in force against all fast and reckless horse driving on the Streets of Sherbrooke, dangerous both to man and beast. J.M. Mckeen, esq., Jotham B. Archibald and David McDonald, have been appointed to put the said law in force. 
The Court of  General Sessions

Outside they have some pens for fowl, hens, ducks etc. Apparently the doctor's wife also had a chicken concern in the village iirc. 

We had quite a talk about the steamer, the Steam Ship Dufferin, that would leave Sherbrooke bound for Halifax, it's passengers, both men and women lining the rails as it would set sail for the south. I was pleased to see a model of it later on within the village. 

The Steam Ship Dufferin

Above the general store was the photographer, where you can pay a small fee to dress up and have your photo taken in period garb etc. The studio camera then doesn't look very portable, does it? 

The schoolroom

Simply to Thy Cross I Cling

The hearse

Wooden down spouts and eavestroughs

Our visit was winding down, Caroline and I opted to have lunch in the Village so sat down to sandwich on freshly baked bread with a lovely sticky date pudding to share afterwards. 

Chicken Salad sandwich
Sherbrooke Village

Sticky Date Pudding
One of Caroline and my favourite desserts
It was warm now, and it was about three o'clock before we finished lunch, visited the souvenir shop where we bought some wooden soups and the like, then headed north on NS 7 Marine Drive out of Sherbrooke, bound for the Caribou Ferry and home. 

Sunday evening, waiting for the ferry. 

We're getting pretty good at this "Leave via the Bridge and return via the Ferry" routine. In fact, we have it pretty much down pat. I can't remember what ferry we ended up taking to get home, but this picture was taken at 17:06 

I dropped my bike off at my apartment on the way through Charlottetown, tossed some clothes into a bag and headed off about a half hour behind Caroline to join her in Tryon for the night. 
The car is so meh after riding a motorcycle. Don't you agree? 

Sunset over New Haven PE


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