Camping on Two Wheels, final installment

Returning Home
Day 5 = Baddeck, NS, CAN to Cobscook Bay State Park, USA

We’re heading home.

It was back onto the TransCanada, with our first stop at Truro to gas up. The day was humid and overcast with gray skies. We planned to get back into the US of A today, so wasted no time in getting back on the road. It felt as if it was going to rain. We all agreed that our next stop would be for a late breakfast at the very same restaurant we enjoyed on the way over to Nova Scotia.

It did rain. There’s a section of the TCH between Amherst, Nova Scotia and Sackville, New Brunswick that is always cold and windy. Here, the TCH passes over a huge marsh that sits between Chignecto Bay and Northumberland Strait. Not only did the rain increase in force, but the combined effects of the horizontal wind, gusting up over 40 MPH, and the thick fog, made steering the motorcycle downright frightening. At one point I was struggling with muscling my bike back to upright as the power of the elements combined to push against the left side of the motorcycle. Hard. The surface of the road was awash with water. I was relieved that I had mounted a new set of tires on the bike just before the trip, the narrow patch of rubber holding steady. It was very hard to even see, but the head and taillight in front and back of me helped guide me toward the center of the travel lane. At this point it was every man for himself; deep survival mode. I managed to view Pat’s bright headlight in my rearview mirrors, but couldn’t make out where Steve was.
Eventually we moved past the flat marsh onto a gentle uphill where I found the exit for the restaurant. Pat and I pulled in about the same time, and 5 minutes later Steve came in, after taking the wrong exit and finding his way here. I was relieved that we made it without an incident.
The rest of the ride was uneventful, banging off the mileposts of Moncton, Sussex, and St. John before we finally reached the border crossing at St. Stephen/Calais. We also gained an hour, as we moved from Atlantic to the Eastern time zone. There was hardly a wait at the border, and again, tourist numbers seemed way down on both sides of Customs. We were quickly waved through.
In Calais, we took a left turn on Route 1 and eventually arrived at our destination for the afternoon, Cobscook Bay State Park.

It is always easy to find a site at this excellent state park, sited right on Whiting Bay. The price was half of what we paid to camp in Canada, as well, just $14.95 for the three of us. Due to the slack numbers of campers, we had our pick of the best sites. We chose one large site right on a cove off of the bay.

A water spigot was at the end of our driveway, and although it was a bit of a walk back toward the entrance where the single wash house was located, he hot showers were clean and free, although the only swimming pool available here was way too big, way too cold , and was called Whiting Bay.
The evening was mostly pleasant, although we were forced into our tents while it was still twilight due to the unrelenting onslaught of both mosquitoes and no-see-ums. I hadn’t felt like cooking, was still full from lunch, so I made out just fine by placing a can of Campbell’s Italian Wedding Soup soup up against the exhaust headers exiting the BMW’s engine block. Enough residual heat remained to heat the soup to “almost piping hot”, it was eminently palatable, and eating out of the can meant I didn’t have to wash any dishes.
I put major trust in tightness of my tent, and opening up the storm flaps all the way so that I received unrestricted views of the night sky. I awakened in the night and focused my vision upward. The North Star and the Big Dipper were the first objects I saw when I opened my eyes in the dark. It was just the sort of scene that will define this trip for me, as I drift back to it in the months to come.

Day 6

Cobscook Bay State park to Lincolnville, ME
We were up early again today, with the morning sun golden as it framed our activities in dismantling the campsite and heading back home. The energy shift that happens when you turn the handlebars and head for home has now completely taken over.
It is easy to get up early when you go to bed as it is just getting dark.
In the morning, we caffeined up, and I recorded a exit summary video from Steve, with background from Pat.

We eventually fired up the bikes and headed back down Route 1 to our last destination before home, Helen’s Restaurant in Machias , where the pie is so good you eat it for breakfast.
Canada worked its magic again. The Maritimes delivered the good stuff.

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About tjamrog

I'm sixty-seven and live in the Maine woods. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007, the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010, Vermont's Long Trail in 2011, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013 . I am outdoors every day. I offer guided backpacking trips and classes in Maine, through "Uncle Tom's Guided Adventures".
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One Response to Camping on Two Wheels, final installment

  1. Paul wilson says:

    Tom: Really related to your description of the hellish ride over the Tantramar marshes (not sure i have the spelling right). I drove a Volkswagen bus over that stretch of road back in the late ’50’s and was quite convinced that at any moment we would be on our side and at the side of the road.
    The telegraph station that is there is worth a visit sometime.
    Great log!! and a wonderful reminder of many good trips Linda and I have taken to that part of the world.

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