Scoot Commute

Canada Day Thirteen: Mira River to Caribou, NS (217 miles)

Posted in 2010 Canada, BMW F650GS Dakar (Maxx), Suzuki DR-Z400SM (Elsa) by sbahn on 2011/02/10
The view from the privy in Mira River

The view from the privy in Mira River

Today we say goodbye to Mira River. We had never intended on staying four days in Mira River, lovely though it is, but the boyfriend needed the time to let his body heal enough to be able to ride some real miles. At this point we didn’t know that he had a fractured scapula; I just knew he wasn’t doing too well but gave up asking him to consider another way home like a bus or plane.

We had no destination today. We just pointed the bikes in the direction of west. We rode Route 4 that skirts the southern side of Bras d’Or Lake. Man oh man, it was beautiful. No traffic. Slow road. Vista after vista.

Irish Cove, Nova Scotia

Irish Cove, Nova Scotia

We stopped for pics in Irish Cove because I liked the name. The weather could not have been nicer; sunny, warmish (I assume the locals were having heat stroke as it was in the 70°sF). A pleasant lazy ride. There was a car pulled over when we stopped for pics and a stretch. I peeked in and the guy was eating his lunch. Not a bad view with your sandwich, eh? I tried to take a panaromic photo but I’m the worst photographer to ever attempt the craft, so it didn’t work. The ride along Route 4 was gorgeous and I highly recommend it.

Tim Horton's in Saint Peter's, NS

Tim Horton's in Saint Peter's, NS

We stopped in Saint Peter’s as there was a drugstore and I definitely wanted to get some more codeine. I stopped in the drugstore and they only had 30 pill bottles. Oh well, it’s better than none. It must have been a sight for the pharmacist. This sweaty chick in hi-viz storming into a small town pharmacy and blurting out, “Do you have codeine?” like an addict.

When I came out, I noticed there was a Tim Hortons. We never did get to a Tim’s but this was my chance to at least get a pic with the bikes and a Tim’s sign. I hang my head in shame because I had no idea who Tim Horton was until I got back home. Something about a sport that involves sticks and hard plastic and ice.

Still with no destination in mind, we crossed back over the bridge and onto the main island of Nova Scotia. I apologize because I don’t know what or if the islands have different names. We found ourselves in Antigonish at yet another tourist office. Let me tell you, the people in the tourist offices are amazing. They actually know the local area, listen to your needs, and give good advice. What the hell is that?

It took us a while to find the office as it was in a mall area and the signage was confusing. But we got to scare young children as we walked around, robot-like, in our riding outfits. It was about 5pm when we stumbled into the office and were greeted by a young guy wearing a plaid tie and a remarkably similar looking, yet older, woman wearing a matching plaid vest.

Malignant Cove, NS

Malignant Cove, NS

“We need somewhere to camp. Are there any provincial parks nearby?” They steered us toward Caribou Munroes (is that not a great name?) which we could either get to fast or slow. We chose the slow directions and they did not disappoint. Again riding along the coast, through small villages and fir forests. It took several hours but we finally got ourselves to Pictou and then on to Caribou. As we’re riding through Pictou, we start to see bikes, a lot of bikes. We later discovered that the ferry to PEI is just up the road from Caribou and tomorrow is…wait for it…Canada Day, a national holiday! We were lucky to get a campsite.

We checked in at 8:40pm (I have the receipt). I made the mistake of agreeing to having our two bundles of firewood helpfully delivered. We rode into our spot and proceeded to set up camp. We had stopped in New Glasgow and picked up thick, juicy steaks and a bottle of red wine. I told the kindly ranger that I needed the firewood so I could start the fire so I could cook dinner. As we sat and watched the sun sink into the trees, my mood became a little bit foul.

“Ugh, I know they’re trying to help us out, but I need my wood. I can’t cook until I have some decent coals.” Poor guy, he’s heard this a million times. Finally the ranger guy comes in a John Deere ATV thingey filled to the brim with firewood. He dumps it near the fire ring and then starts to chat. He’s telling us about Pictou and his family and how everyone works in the summer and goes on the dole in the winter and are we going to PEI and where are we headed? He was a really nice guy, but I needed to get the fire started. I was getting very hungry. He worked at a security company in the winter, and we weren’t sure if he was a guard or oversaw the employees or what. But his family was one of the original families in Pictou which is pretty cool. Something about a restoration ship, but my hungry belly and hungry brain couldn’t concentrate on the details. Any other time…

We thanked him and headed back to the ranger station. I finally got around to starting my fire. It was late, at least 9:30pm and I had a boatload of wood to burn through. And a big bottle of wine. And steak. Mmmmmm.

Site 88 in Caribou Munroes Provincial Park, NS

Site 88 in Caribou Munroes Provincial Park, NS

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