Summer 2015: The Cabot Trail

Day 19: Cheticamp to Pleasant Bay 43km.
Monday, September 7.
Sunny and warm. Strong SW wind. 26C.

Both of us were anxious to see what today’s ride had in store for us. We knew that there was at least one big hill between Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay and it started just after we entered Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

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We had to pay an entrance fee, but that made us feel more comfortable taking our lane through the park. At the crest of the first climb we were rewarded with this unbelievable vista.

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Although the next climb seemed to go on forever, we got into a bit of a rhythm. One pedal stroke at a time in our lowest possible gear.

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Sure enough after 90 minutes of climbing we reached the summit of French Mountain at 455m. Then there was a long plateau. It wasn’t long after that that I got a great view of a moose across the road. By the time I stopped and got my camera out, she was hiding in the bush.

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The wind was so strong today that it actually helped to push us up a few of the hills. Traveling across the plateau we barely had to pedal. On this straight stretch I was moving at 57.4 km/h and that was taking it easy.

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Before the descent began we stopped at a lookout overlooking Fishing Cove 355m below.

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Once we started going down we had to seriously apply our brakes. Mom smelled her brake pads burning rubber at one point so we stopped at all of the lookouts on the way down.

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The tire rims got a chance to cool down and we got to take in some amazing views.

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When we finally arrived in Pleasant Bay our fingers were tired from squeezing the brakes. The wind was howling behind us by this point and we found our motel at the far end of town. Our room wasn’t ready yet so we had a picnic in the shade. After we ate a huge gust of wind toppled both of our bikes and sent our dishes flying.

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After we checked in we did a whole lot of nothing. We had a satisfying supper in Mountain View Restaurant and then walked back across the lawn to our room.

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Tomorrow is another big climb out of Pleasant Bay and over North Mountain. We feel pretty confident that we will make it to the Atlantic Ocean tomorrow.

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