Port Clyde, NS to Shelburne, NS

29.8 mi / 10.4 mph / 976 ft. climbing
Home: The Islands Provincial Park

Trish was off to work, so it was Shaun making breakfast (which may have been one of his main roles on the boats?) of French Toast. He joined us, where we bonded over mutual love (Rett) and skepticism (Neil) of HGTV. At one point he asked if we’d have use for a pound of skahllups (or “scallops” in landlubber pronunciation, but I’ll say that his pronunciation is the correct one!) You mean probably our favorite form of seafood? Um, yes? When he handed me the frozen bag (of gorgeous, golf-ball-sized scallops) as I was packing up, I asked “what do I owe you?” and he says “fer wot?” “For the scallops.” “Wot are you talkin’ about?” Ok, ok, I get it. Thanks for going above-and-beyond to help make this morning feel so much better than our last morning!

Our crow-flies distance was pretty short today, and it was a nice sunny day, so we were able to take the “long way” out and back on one of the lobes. Route 3 was essentially empty, so it definitely gave us a more-relaxing and classic bike-touring ride. 20+ miles with no businesses, only some small settlements and coastal views. Exactly the kind of route where bicycling is the best way to experience it.

The island- and peninsula-filled bays of southwest Nova Scotia are rather gorgeous.
This fella was just hanging out in a boat in front of a shed on someone’s property, with no further explanation.
Empty Route 3.
Riding through one of the small settlements, with another example of that stupid no-overhang Maritime architecture!
This type of graveyard, with its very-thin and randomly-leaning headstones, looks more like a cartoonish Halloween decoration than a real cemetery to me, but we’ve been seeing them from Vermont to Nova Scotia, so I now realize that the Halloween setups are actually accurate reproductions of a real thing!
Maybe 30% of the houses around here have lobster traps sitting around the yard.

Rett was even feeling confident enough to take Trish’s recommendation for a lunch spot: Roseway Beach, a mile-and-a-half off-route down a gravel road. She walked a couple sections, but was able to get back on and riding again with only minor difficulty.

Somehow the trees and rocks that seem to comprise 99% of Nova Scotia made me think that sandy beaches would not exist here, but in fact they do! And when we arrived, there were only a couple other people on the whole beach, and they were mostly-obscured by the sheets of sunlit fog rolling in off the water. We set up our blanket and made some lunch, and just enjoyed the cool breezes on a day when inland areas were facing 100℉ temperatures.

Sun, sand, fog, and trees. A unique combination at Roseway Beach.
Returning from my trip to dip my toes in the Atlantic water. (©Rett)
A few more parties eventually showed up, presumably searching for relief from the heat. And at least here in Nova Scotia, Canadians seem to display their patriotism even more than people do in the US these days!

Unfortunately our way back out to the paved road wasn’t as easy, as Rett got struck with another case of really-difficult bike-starting. She eventually stuck with an attempt long enough to get going, and then I think we didn’t stop again until we reached the campground.

The Islands Provincial Park, our first “state park” in Canada, is one of the best we’ve ever stayed in. Our large, secluded, waterfront site unfortunately was not well-optimized for shade, and it was probably 10 degrees warmer than the sites a quarter mile away facing the water on the other side of the bay (that’s how extreme the microclimates are around here), though that did make it a good place to hang a line to air out our sleeping bag. Worse, there was a day-camp with 30 screaming kids who largely used our area of the park. But they cleared out by 4pm, and one of the teenage counselors I talked with was incredibly apologetic and thoughtful.

Beyond that, the rest of the campground was amazing. With the kids vacated, we brought our kitchen over to the now-empty group campsite to cook our dinner, where we could have shade, and enjoy our incredible meal of scallops with an iced-down bottle of Rett’s favorite Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc that I’d picked up on a ride over to nearby Shelburne. The scallops tasted as good as they looked, or even better, especially with the generosity and thoughtfulness that brought them to our table.

Setting up for dinner at the group site.
Scallops, ready for the pan!
An amount that fit perfectly into our pan, and made us realize we should cook this sort of dinner more often!
Scallops served on top of some greens with bacon. And wine. Fuck yeah.

After dinner we took a walk across a small causeway to “Sandy’s Island” (the only actual “island” in the park) and reveled in the gorgeous sunset views while finishing the last of our wine. A day like this normally would be one where we say “ah, this is why bike touring is the best thing in the world!” Given Rett’s depressed state-of-mind, it wasn’t nearly enough to bring us up to that level, but at least it seemed like it prevented our state from deteriorating further.

More of the islands at The Islands?
Dock Street in downtown Shelburne, across the bay from The Islands Provincial Park.
Shelburne waterfront, across the bay from The Islands Provincial Park.
If you zoom in, you can see a group of redcoats(!!) performing a ceremony (we could hear their drum across the water). Shelburne became filled with “loyalists” during the American Revolution.
Rett still able to have some fun in the beautiful surroundings.
The largest, fanciest bathrooms we’ve ever seen in a campground. There were six of these in the bath house!!


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