The Home Stretch
I woke up early – not due to sunlight, because I was in the middle of the woods, but because as I’d feared my air mattress almost completely deflated, and the gravel under my tent was hard. Clearly I was going to have to fix this. But it had been my last night of camping on this trip, so it could wait until I got home. Another part of the camping scam here is that you only have until 11am to leave the campground, and noon to be out of the park unless you pay for another day. So one positive thing about being awake so early was there was no chance I’d run out of time in the park.
When I’d told the guy working admission at Hopewell Rocks that I was camping at Point Wolfe, he told me that I HAD to go to Kelly’s Bake Shop and try their sticky buns. I figured park rangers know their stuff, so I followed his suggestion (plus a coffee, of course), and was glad I did. It’s a tiny little place, but the sticky bun – more like a piece of cake soaked in some sugary something that’ll probably kill me – was soooooo yummy. I sat outside at a picnic table and enjoyed my morning treat.
Then I hit the road, back into Fundy National Park and continuing through it and beyond on 114. I stopped at a scenic area not too far past Point Wolfe, where the Canadian and United Nations flags flew proudly. Where do you ever see a United Nations flag in the US except… well, the United Nations? Unfortunately, it was so hazy and humid that the bay was almost invisible through it, so I rode on. The road was in good shape and rather fun through the park, lined by miles and miles… I mean, kilometers and kilometers of pine trees on either side.
As soon as I emerged on the other side of the park, I was back on typical New Brunswick pavement – meaning, awful. I made my way to Trans Canada Highway 1, and picked up the superslab for a little while. However, while waiting for my food at Saprano’s the previous night, I’d studied a map of the area that was on the wall, and made mental notes of some of the scenic routes I might enjoy some detours on. That’s exactly what I did. I took the exit for Route 111, which took me on a nice loop back to the coast down to St. Martins, then hooked back into 1 soon before Saint John. It was time for a gas stop, so I took an exit in Saint John that had a gas sign on it. Once off the exit, there was no further guidance on where gas might be found. My GPS also played tricks on me, sending me on a wild goose chase throughout the center of town, until I gave up and hopped back on the highway. A couple of exits later, still in Saint John, I spotted with my own eyes an Irving station just off an exit, despite there not being signs for gas at that exit. I managed a last minute departure from the highway, refueled, and carried on. Sadly, I did not spot a church steeple to photograph there and, in a cheesy Doctor Who reference, title “The Bells of Saint John.”
Not far after Saint John there were signs for another Fundy scenic route. There was no route number, but I took it, confident that my GPS could get me back to the highway if it wasn’t well marked. But it was well marked, and aside from the pavement conditions (even fresh pavement there isn’t that great) it was a fun, pretty, scenic ride through Chance Harbour and Dipper Harbour. Back on 1, I saw signs for Route 175, another non-highway route I’d seen on the map, but at that point I felt more like making time and getting across the border in time for lunch, since I was getting hungry and it was about that time. So I stayed on 1, all the way to the US border. Once again, it was a very easy border crossing.
It seems like a dream now, but every time I look at my pictures and read about the trip in other places I’ve written about it, I’m reminded that it really happened. Increasing commitments at home have prevented me from long distance touring since then, but regardless of the method of conveyance I want to go back to Cape Breton Island and the Bay of Fundy someday. I highly recommend both of these places for scenic motorcycle getaways.