Day 72: Sherbrooke to Spry Bay (98 km)
That was nice. I’m glad I had a nice day near the end.
Today was a reminder of how wonderful cycle touring can be (when the weather is good).
As it’s my penultimate day on the road, I followed the coast south west towards Halifax. The coast is beautiful. Not in a big, showy way like the mountains, but in a gentle way that reflects the coast’s glimmering, smooth waters. The road swung to and fro between the hills and the natural harbours of the coast. The land was thick with Christmas trees and ferns. The ocean bays were framed in bronze and rock.
I was treated to the sound of loon, their mournful call evoking memories of the Ontario wilderness. I crossed rivers rushing down to meet the sea, and glassy bays where a cormorant perched on a rock drying its wings. (Which, oddly enough, reminded me that my tent fly was wet and needed drying.)
By mid-morning the clouds had lifted, revealing a ceiling of perfectly blue sky. It was now hot enough for me to peel off my layers and hunt for the sun cream.
Cycling on days like today is refreshing and invigorating. Over breakfast I was getting annoyed by the man from the camper next door who talked at me for an hour, asking me endless questions. He did not get the hint from my monosyllabic answers that I didn’t want to chat. But soon enough my stuff was packed and Monty and I were on our way.
However annoying a person is (and, trust me, I’ve met some annoying people en route!) you know you can always pedal off. The difficulties of bike touring arise when you can’t pedal off (injury, broken spokes, awful weather, flat tyres etc). Problems that arise get fixed and the pedalling continues. I’m sure there’s a life lesson in there.
Certain moments today – the loon calling, an attack of bugs while I ate Second Breakfast – reminded me of other parts of Canada. It’s been a long journey and it’s hard to believe it will soon be over.
There are some things that I am, quite frankly, a bit bored of. Crackers and Kraft dinner, for example. Packing up wet tents. And answering the repetitive questions about my trip.
But there are things I love and appreciate even more deeply than before: sunshine, tailwinds, wildlife spotting, M&Ms, the crackle of a campfire, the silky darkness of the night sky.
But the best is this: that feeling I get when cycling along with the summer sun warming the skin on my back and the wind pushing me gently along. I’ve experienced that moment countless times on this trip. I believe I will never get tired of it for that feeling is called Pure Joy.