Day 145: Fredericton to Waterborough

Today was especially tough. We left most of the hills behind us and the route flattened out, we didn’t have an especially long day, but it was a mentally challenging day for me. I didn’t feel like leaving the hotel, even after having a nice, relaxing and enjoyable rest day the day earlier, but I also didn’t feel like extending the trip by adding another rest day. There were a few tricky parts leaving Fredericton, getting on and off a bridge, but nothing compared to other places we had ridden.

It was good that we had great, sunny weather, were riding next a river, and generally had a relatively pleasant day, otherwise it may have been too much of a challenge for me. It’s also good we didn’t pass any train stations.

The afternoon brought better feelings, and the appearance of a great farm stand just beside our campground made all those past negative feelings evaporate. I bought corn on the cob, garden peas to be shucked, fresh yellow beans, small white onions, and even a small stick of butter to make the corn that much better. These are some of the things I enjoy most.

Day 143: Woodstock to Fredericton

Leaving Woodstock we did see a bit more of town, but didn’t see an area worth exploring. We went to The Log Cabin for breakfast which was recommended to us a couple times.

Immediately leaving town we had a really nice ride along the water on the old Trans Canada highway. Large shoulders, wide road, and hardly any traffic. However that did end and we had a large hill to climb to get to the current Trans Canada highway which we rode until we were able to find an alternative road farther on.

Today we weren’t sure how far we would go. Jesse had a lot of work to do so we were considering stopping early somewhere so he could work.

We decided the best option would be to ride to Fredericton and spend two nights there so Jesse could have a lot of time to work rather than continuing to have shorter days in the hopes of having time to be productive after arriving. Also being in the city would be a bit more enjoyable a spot to spend an extra day.

Day 142: Perth-Andover to Woodstock

Today brought a bit more of interest than previous days in New Brunswick. We passed a market in the town of Florenceville but unfortunately we weren’t hungry when we were there. There seemed to be a lot of good food and it would have been a perfect alternative to some of the other common food we find ourselves eating.

While at the market Jesse spent a while talking with a local guy who has been hired to take photos of the market throughout the summer, and he recommended Woodstock as a nice town to stop in, saying it was the oldest town in New Brunswick.

We then rode into Hartland and found the longest covered bridge in the world. A nice surprise after feeling like we hadn’t seen too much of interest in a while.

We decided to make Woodstock that our destination for the night. Not a long day but hopefully giving Jesse some time to work. However once we arrived we ended up staying at the campground in town, which was a bit too far from the city center for us to be able to explore it. Perhaps leaving we will have the chance to see a bit more.

We did choose to take the rough trail for a bit of the ride which gave us a nice waterfront view and also avoided some hilly areas, which made up for the slower going trail, so we did have some nice scenic spots along the way.

Day 141: Edmunston, NB to Perth-Andover

We were back on the highways today, but these highways may have been the best ones of the trip. We had a nice smooth surface, a large shoulder, a more or less direct route and hardly any traffic. We took highway 144 and highway 130. Both are the secondary highways to the Trans-Canada highway 2, so very few cars chose to take these slower roads, but yet they were still well maintained. It works out perfectly for cycling.

Food is still less-than-thrilling. We have become more and more comfortable with fast-food stops, which often have better offerings than the roadside diner, casse-croute, or chip stand that are other common options for us. We’ve discovered we can order McDonalds salads without any meat (Jesse still doesn’t trust their meat) and that their smoothies may actually have real fruit in them, as advertised. Subway’s breakfast sandwiches are often the only way to get a morning meal with some colour; I have yet to try Tim Horton’s granola, though I’m sure I will soon because it seems I’m finally tiring of their bagels (though now I know I can easily add lettuce and tomato to any bagel which may keep my interest a little while longer), and their fruit and yogurt is a good option that I’ve just discovered. A lot of time is now spent thinking of what I will be able to eat in a few weeks once normality resumes – usually it entails daydreams of large bowls of vegetables and fruit!

Otherwise, (returning to the topic) New Brunswick hasn’t yet made much of an impression. Many drivers let us go ahead whenever we’re waiting at an intersection, many people say hello, the landscape we’re seeing isn’t overly exciting, full of trees and small hills, but that may be our own fault in not properly planning for the coastal route. This route will take us through Fredericton and Moncton, so we should have a good feeling for the ‘real’ New Brunswick once we’re through.

Day 140: Degilis to Edmundston, New Brunswick

We didn’t plan on such a short day, but a late departure, a time zone change, Jesse having a lot of work to do, us still being unsure of which route to take through New Brunswick and then an intense rain storm all resulted in the decision to call it an early day in Edmunston.

The pathway continued into town, but just before we hit the border there was a lot of road construction, which also resulted in us having to ride on a really rough gravel road. When we returned to the pathway we were near the border, and once crossing the border the path was no longer very good for cycling.

We went to the tourist information in town to ask about two routes – one to Miramichi through the center of the province, and one going through Fredericton and Moncton. Immediately the girl told us we want to go the southern way, because of the road and also because of how barren going through the center is. We did know there wasn’t much if we took the road through the middle, but I thought it would be nice to go along the coast through the Acadian villages from Miramichi to Moncton, but I guess that will have to wait for another trip.

We didn’t find much to explore in town, but it is nice to have a chance to relax!

Day 139: Riviere du Loup to Degilis

There’s a pathway that extends all the way from Riviere du Loup to Edmunston, and we had heard good things about it, so today we decided to take it. From the moment we left the campsite however we seemed to go uphill. Having ridden through town to reach the campground the night before we knew this would be the case at least to leave town. We climbed and climbed, very steep grades, before things seemed to level out a bit and we reached the beginning of the path.

The path is made of crushed gravel and wasn’t too difficult for cycling. However, there was a slow and steady climb for nearly the first 50km it seemed, and combined with the gravel, made for very slow cycling. Otherwise there is absolutely no need to complain about this pathway. Though it was a rail trail, it had many turns and the climbs did distract from the sometimes monotonous riding. We road mostly through forested areas, and every 10km or so there seemed to be a rest stop with a couple picnic tables, a toilette, and even a couple spots which offered camping, a fire pit and a grill for cooking.

Late in the afternoon when we reached Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac we stopped for lunch. This was a great spot right on the lake. From here we rode along the lake until we reached Degilis. We had hoped to make it to Edmunston tonight but the slow riding didn’t make that possible, though still any 100km day is a good day.