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What's a Fundy anyway?! Day 3

Home for the night: MacElman pond, Debert

Distance covered: 59 kms

Weather: chilly and VERY windy this morning, skies threatened rain until almost noon. Sun came out, wind stayed up and bow crystal clear with a HUGE moon.

B: oatmeal supreme, coffee

L: hunk of sweaty cheese, jerky, trail mix, dried apricots, half of an energy bar

D#1: cold wedge of sobeys quiche and energy bar

D#2: soggy, squished deli sandwich from sobeys, half of a coffee crisp and the other half of yesterday's sponge toffee. Tea!

 

Shubenacadie?

No, try Sipekne'katik

"where the ground nuts grow"

 

I had no idea! After all of these years driving over this river, to and fro...lo and behold it's named after a very interesting (and tasty!) plant....the ground nut or Apios americana for you botany nerds :) A member of the pea family, these ambitious vines climb up anything they can get their tendrils on, sometimes over 15 feet tall! The flowers smell most peculiar, kind of like paperwhites, those little spring daffodils you buy in a pot at Easter. Nice smelling because it's a living flower at the end of a long winter....but kind of gross, like a cat peed on it.


HOWEVER! the little nodules created along the roots of the plant are delicious! The size of small potatoes, when roasted in the oven with lots of butter and salt they are a real, foraging treat. Clearly, I've settled into trip as all I'm talking about is food.


I had a beautiful ride from Selma all the way to South Maitland where the visitor information centre has a great intro into what makes the tides SO huge in this area. I was very happy to see a greater effort put into explaining the pre-european settlement history of the area dating back over 10,000 years. A timeline was displayed describing the presence of the paleo Indians, the predecessors of the Mi'kmaw. The oldest known archaeological remains of these peoples were located in the very area where my rump is seated on the moss! Debert!


I had a sudden thought within the first few hours on my bike on the first day of this trip...."what does Fundy even mean?! Am I the only one who doesn't know this?" Feeling slightly sheepish as it must be common knowledge, I asked the woman at the visitor info site how the Bay got its name. She stared at me, scratched her head and started digging through her file folders. I felt relieved, she felt embarrassed. I assured her I was in no rush and went to take in the exhibit. When I reemerged, she handed me a printout saying that "Fundy" was likely a corruption of the French "fendu" meaning to split. Apropos of the crazy geological happenings that gave the bay its unique shape, but I felt dissatisfied...what was this place called before the French?? My quest continues.


Linda, my info site friend gave me a good laugh when she pointed to a large group of people gathering in the parking lot with their towels. They were all going mud sliding, having paid $29 PER PERSON to a local outfitter. I hope they get cake or popcorn out of their ticket price, because there's lots of mud around and no one owns the intertidal zone.


The ride to Truro was beautiful! Just perfect temperatures and rolling hills. Eventually, the hills gave way to a smooth and winding descent down a valley to the southern shore of the Shubenacadie River. A rail trail appeared, the Cobequid Trail and it carried me all the way into down town Truro.


The glorious Cobequid Trail!

My rear derailer had been acting funny all morning and I noticed that one of my high/low screws was sticking out further than I remembered. Not much of a mechanic I decided to ask the pros at Hub Cycle in Truro rather than messing it all up myself. As affirmation of this decision, the zipper on my ancient handlebar bag completely disintegrated when I tried to pull out my sunblock in the first 5 kms of riding.



Finding the shop no problem, I was met by Mike and helped by Bruce one of the owners. They were superb! The store was as busy as all bike stores are these days and I didn't expect to get much done to my bike. Not only were they curious about my trip, but Bruce put my bike on his stand, sorted everything out and they gave me the traveller's discount on a groovy new bag! Such lovely folks. Bruce even offered some sweet insider tips on a sneaky campsite, a quiet access road to the nearby Mi'kmaq interpretive trail I was curious about AND a very crucial detail that my original route as planned to Masstown is impossible right now because the bridge is out! I would have had to go all the way around the way I'm already positioned to go to the trail tomorrow. Thanks Bruce!! To top it all off, Daisy who's Bruce's partner and also a bike fiend did a marvelous job of entertaining us all by capturing an errant pigeon that flew into the store. Hub cycle: you rock!


It was almost 6 pm by the time I got out of the store and I was starving. I already had planned my route to go by a grocery store on my way out of town. So, to sobeys I went. I've not been in a large grocery store since before the pandemic....between farmers markets and our little store in Wolfville I do just fine to provision. A big store is overwhelming in the first place, let alone when you're a super hungry cyclist who is being mindful of how she might be riding in the dark if she doesn't hustle! Fortunately I know myself well and made a list. I even stuck to the list!!


While repacking my bags I scarfed dinner number one. Flustered, chilled and waiting for my blood sugar to stabilize I pedaled out of town...yes, off into the sunset! Which meant ladies and gentlemen...I was FINALLY headed west, towards Cape Chignecto!!!! Wahoo!


I had to wait for a train to pass!!!! It was awesome!

Feeling like I was being watched, I looked over my shoulder to see the moon rising over the horizon. Huge, orange and beautiful. Gadzooks!!! Sunset in front of me, moonrise behind and I could see where I had come from earlier in the day on the opposite shore of the river. And now, here I am, magically sitting where I stared across to from my tent this morning. Just. Like. That.


Thanks for reading everyone, be well!


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Scott Murphy
Scott Murphy
Sep 01, 2020

Agree with Silas... I'm vicariously bike touring, while drinking coffee. Great route! (thanks for the link, Silas)

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Morning, honey! Food and beautiful scenery , what more can you want? Thinking of you ALL the time, stay safe. I am a botany nerd, loved the info!XOXO Mum

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First we find out how beans are picked, now the Fundy question. We are inquisi little bees aren‘t we. You’re doing great. Be safe

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Silas Hanavan
Silas Hanavan
Sep 01, 2020

This is the best morning reading ever. It's like I'm there with you...kind of. Sun set in front, full moon rise behind, sounds magic. Your killing it. Go Adrian go!

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