top of page

What do you do when you can't find fresh water? Day Five

Home for the night: Shelley's yard, Fox River, under a beautiful, old sugar maple

Distance: 51.7 km

Weather: sunny, hot until mid afternoon. Some clouds rolling in and a building southerly wind. Steadily increasing cloud cover

B: oatmeal supreme with coconut milk and a protein bar sprinkled on top. COFFEE X 2!

L: two mushed cheese wraps with the other half of the can of smoked mussels mushed in too. Trail mix, fresh beans. Delightful!

D: ramen noodles with an instant garlic/herb sauce pack mixed in. Two packs of ramen to be precise. Who eats just one?! Chocolate, tea

BONUS: single sized pumpkin pie!!!!!


it's roll baby roll,

down memory lane and back



Hi all! First off, it means so much that so many people are reading my musings. Not that I think they're not enjoyable, but you are all busy folks with much to do....thank you for sharing your time with me and this journey. The comments, emails and texts are wonderful to receive! I truly feel like you are all with me...and bringing you along doesn't even weigh down my bike!

Today started with a huge shock. When I slid my way gingerly out of my very condensation filled tent fly, I discovered a crime scene! There, splayed out on the ground was poor Black Beauty, covered in sand and my pannier bag with all of my food nowhere in sight. The pannier cover was under the picnic table and the bungees on my rack were in the dirt.

*""$2&&#!!!!!!?!!%$%@!!!!!!!?!????!!!!! **+:;!!!!

Completely forgetting how badly I needed to pee, I began searching for any sign of my stuff. My mind was already envisioning an eviscerated pannier, ripped to shreds, rendered useless. I already was brainstorming how I could fix it, who I could call, what I could do in the meantime to just get to Chignecto. Food be damned, I could figure that part out no problem.

Feeling pretty confident it was the work of a raccoon or two, I knew things wouldn't be far....likely dragged into the thick spruce trees.

Around the corner I spied my little wooden spoon. And then my pot.....and further on still, the lid of my pot. Still no pannier. I circled around my campsite checking the spruce thickets pretending I was a raccoon. Aha!! Oh no, shredded black material....I'mdoomedhowdidisleepthroughthenoiseicantbeleiveI'msuchadodo....oh WAIT, that's just someone's old, nasty T-shirt. Gross.

Search, search, search...and THEN!!!! THERE IT WAS!! my pannier!!! Surrounded by the remnants of all the other pillagings of the bandit. Corn cobs, lobster shells, chocolate bar wrappers. I nervously grabbed the bag and was absolutely stunned to find it unbuckled, but with all of its contents still inside. Untouched. Unscathed! Not a thing out of place, ripped or even pooped on. Not even the open smoked mussels that were squelching around in a ziploc.

HALEFREAKINGLUJAH!!! I laughed and laughed and laughed and walked back to my campsite. Now I could see the sandy footprints all over the table, my towel and water bladder. The clincher? This all unfolded about 8.5 feet from my sleeping head. It's never bears as people always assume that mess with your stuff. It's always mice or raccoons.

Finally urgently remembering why I'd woken up in the first place, I said my thabkyous to the raccoons for not trashing my stuff by peeing all over the doorway into their lair. Deciding to follow adrenaline with coffee inlit the stove and tried to puzzle out if I was relieved or offended that they didn't eat my food. I guess they're well fed and prey on all sorts of hapless campers in the park. They caught one whiff of my trail mix, pita bread and dried beef and went in search of doritos, kitkats and maybe some ribs. Lesson learned!

Three out of the Five Islands from the park!

Feeling pretty slow from the late night and everything I experienced the day before, I took the time to charge the phone and battery pack, stretch, catch up on my writing and go to the beach. The tide was coming in and the water was brisk! What a view of three out of the five islands from the park beach. I have some foggy memories to the Mi'kmaw story of how the islands came to be. Something about Beaver pestering Glooscap and in annoyance he hurled hunks of clay in his direction, creating the 5 land masses? I'll do some homework and let you know....or feel free to tell me if you remember the story!

Eventually I was jazzed up and feeling rested. Packed and back on the road I went through all of the familiar sights from when I lived in Five Islands. The little campground was still there where we stayed, the gravel road up to a monster waterfall was right where I remembered it being (lazily, I didn't bike the several kilometres uphill sidetrip to go see it.) and so were Diane's and Granny's restaurants!!!

Deciding to go to the site of Tony's weir I found Blue Sac Road just as I had done one hundred times in the past. Eegad!! I didn't remember it being such a gut buster of a hill to get to the beach!!!! F!! Totally worth it though, and I'm not really complaining. The view knocked my socks off and I thought back to my times in the mud, tagging striped bass, straddling huge sturgeon so we could sample bits and pieces from them and being amazed at the underwater world brought to the surface for 1.5 hours at the most. Blessings to Tony, his life's work and all the millions of hours of his life and the men in his family before him who have fished in harmony and peace, taking only what they could use from what sea brought them.

A blissful ride to Parrsboro from there. My touring legs feel like they're officially back! A stop for groceries (hence the bonus pie!!) And then onwards to the west through blueberry fields by the hundreds of acres. There was a steady stream of pickup trucks and trailers filled with the telltale yellow berry bins trying to get the harvest in. I imagine the potential rain tonight has them jumping. I could tell which trucks were full by the overwhelming smell of blueberries that would waft by me as they passed. Mmmmm. All the roadside bushes were sadly empty...they must have known I was coming!

Roadside PIE!!!!!

Eventually deciding to look for a campsite, water proved to be exceptionally scarce. Large culverts bone dry. Watching for telltale plants that point the way to water....even they looked parched. Aiming for Fox River I hoped there would be some tributaries trickling if it turned out to be intertidal. It was. And there wasn't so much as a trickle of water to be found. Not really wanting to continue into the fading light, I felt myself be pulled up a little side road. Old sugar maples beckoned me and the sight of bird feeders and gardens always lead me to believe that the inhabitants are the nurturing and attentive type.

Cautiously calling out a friendly halllloooo, I was surprised when a car pulled in the driveway. Embracing the awkwardness I smiled and said "surprise!" when a young man got out of the car. He didn't seem put off by me in the slightest and welcomed me into the house to fill my water bladder. His mum, Shelley was inside along with Snoopy, the coon hound (where were you last night Snoop!?) And Cody settled himself on the couch as two humans kindly and generously opened themselves to a stinky stranger who appeared on the stoop. We chatted effortlessly and the invitation to stay in their yard was happily accepted by me. I'm now nestled under a nice, big tree next to the house Shelley grew up in. Cody will go to work early in the morning and us ladies have a coffee date with WHIPPING CREAM (!!!) Real cream!!! Best day ever!!

And now, to sleep. Be well, sending love from Fox River.

49 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All

2 комментария

Glad to hear all is well, except for your nighttime visit! Where’s Osa when you need her?


Diane Terry
Diane Terry
03 сент. 2020 г.

You vs raccoon = karma

bottom of page