Sunday, August 23, 2009

August 25 North Sydney and the Ferry

August 25

“What’s the bracelet for?” asked Sylvia from behind the counter in the gift shop. We were in Rita’s Tea Room , a one room schoolhouse in Big Pond, Cape Breton that had been converted and expanded to accommodate a restaurant, gift shop and display. Lindsay handed her a couple of our brochures and explained about The Ride and I continued to look around at all the photos, awards and memorabilia of singer/songwriter, Rita MacNeil. As we were heading to the door, Linda came bustling out of the kitchen, “How does everyone take their tea?” Lindsay and I looked at each other, “We,uh, didn’t . . .”
“We want you to have it.”interrupted Barb. “How about some cinnamon rolls too?” Goodies in hand we thanked them for their kindness. “Not at all,” was the reply,”That’s just the way Rita is.”

Meanwhile Mel and Ben were making slow progress through a lengthy construction project which included just about every kind of surface imaginable, except smooth pavement. When the traffic was stopped by the flagperson, they chatted with other drivers about the Ride. It’s amazing how crisp and clear we have all become in telling our story. We reconnected with the riders down the road a ways to share our respective experiences and of course to refuel on peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Then off we went to complete the second half of the 100K ride to North Sydney. We had selected a route along Hwy 104 travelling between the coastline and Bras d’Or lake. Although a little longer, it was to be quieter and a little flatter than the TransCanada. Quieter yes, flatter not so much. It was a tough ride but the beautiful sunshine and temperatures in the low 20’s made it a perfect riding day

The day’s ride came to a finish at the ferry terminal in North Sydney. As we are not booked to sail til tomorrow evening we headed to the campground. “ What’s all this on your RV?” asked Bob as we checked in. Again, we were happy to explain. “I never believed mental illness was real,” he said, “ till it happened to me”. Then he briefly shared his story.

Talking about the ferry I don't mind telling you I'm afraid - very afraid. No, not about that, I'm so over the driving the RV on and off the ferry thing. It's the ocean, more specifically the waves, really big, rolling waves, up and down and up and down waves, especially after a hurricane waves. A little merry-go-round makes me queasy. So I went to the pharmacy - got every known anti nausea product; gravol of course, some kind of patch for behind my ear that lasts for three days, some cute little wrist bands that apply pressure or something and good old crackers.

Stayed tuned - I'll let you know what works. We board the ferry at 9pm Wednesday and we arrive in Argentia, Newfoundland around noon Thursday. We'll head for the campground to rest up for the last two days.
Hard to believe we have almost reached the end of our trek across Canada. You can imagine how excited we are. Friday we ride to Holyrood and Saturday is the final ride into St. John's and the ceremonial dipping of the wheels in the Atlantic.


  1. What a fantastic job you are all doing, didn't get to see you in Toronto but have been following all the way. Congratulations to Lindsay that is one heck of a distance to bike and my sympathies on the rolling waves -I felt queasy just reading about them!
    Anne Marlow HO

  2. Enjoy the Ferry ride, do some whale watching, maybe have an adult beverage. We have been watching with interest and pride for your accomplishments and sense of humour and adventure. There is not doubt you have accomplished what you set out to do.
    Congratulations...Dave Luce

  3. I can't believe you have almost completed the trip. It seems like only a few days ago that you left Vancouver....but it was actually on May 19th!! You and your team have done a fabulous job. When you get to the end....I think you should ride your bike as far into the Atlantic as possible. It would make a great picture. Congratulations....Andy McKilligan

  4. I feel like I'm right there with you! We were in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland earlier this year, and had many of the same experiences -- Rita's Team Room, the Bras d'Or Lakes, and the ferry ride to Newfoundland. And Carol, if you managed to get that RV on and off that ferry (which I'm sure you did by now), you deserve an honouary trucker's license! Keep up the great work!
    Deborah Deacon