23.9 mi / 9.6 mph / 892 ft. climbing
Home: Cavendish KOA
I was kept awake by obnoxiously loud campers. Not any of the nearby people in the close-together sites, but by a yammering middle-aged Quebecois couple all the way in the next loop, who seemed to be having an endless series of phone (or maybe even video) calls well past the campground’s quiet hours. Yapping, guffawing, squealing, and oblivious to the fact that the rest of the packed campground was silent. All somehow made worse by their heavy-boned French-if-spoken-by-a-Neanderthal (maybe something about the language triggering cultural expectations in my brain that then conflict with reality?) Eventually they must have shut up, and we woke to a morning with enough condensation (presumably from their slack-jawed mouth-breathing) to make the picnic table wet, but otherwise everything was dry.
We were greeted on our westward ride with strong southwest winds. Early on, the National Park bike path, on the south side of the road, helped us by placing a tree screen just to our left. But whenever we would cross a bay, the landscape would open up, granting the winds plenty of running room to tear at us. They had Rett screaming and cursing in frustration and fear, but it was also important to note that, in contrast to where she was a couple weeks ago, she was still able to start the bike without incident!
We had a luxury-lunch, something we haven’t treated ourselves to in a while, at the Blue Mussel Cafe in North Rustico. Beer, cocktail, a seafood-cheese-pot for Rett, and a chance for me to see why everyone is all about the haddock around here (I get it now, it’s good!), and dessert. The place was very crowded on this Tuesday noon, proving that we were definitely in the midst of the high tourist period. But unlike so many places we’ve been to this summer in both the U.S. and Canada, this restaurant had plenty of staff members constantly buzzing about to keep the operation running smoothly. I guess they must have realized that they can pay whatever is required to get the workers, price their meals in order to pay those rates and still make a profit, and still do plenty of business. Genius! Being a half-open-air harborside restaurant, I kept expecting one of the servers to be Joey Potter (as I always do at places like this), but alas, this was not The Icehouse nor Dawson’s Creek.
Cutting across a boardwalk and up a gravel road (alongside some iconic grass-covered coastal dunes) connected us with a continuation of the roadside bike path. Near the end, we made a turn putting us directly into the wind, but by that point Rett had already seen the sign that told us we were within spinning distance of Green Gables, so no angry screaming ensued this time.
We rode past some of the ‘Anne…’ sites that we would be exploring tomorrow, and pulled into the KOA, where we had to proceed (me riding, Rett walking) three-quarters of a mile down a potholed gravel road, uphill, and into the wind, before we got to the office. When Rett arrived she got us each a Mr. Freeze blue-ice-in-a-plastic-sleeve to eat and cool us down in the 80-degree heat. I wasn’t quite as exhausted as her, so I got our laundry going in the on-site laundromat, and went back out a mile or so for a beer run, and a simple dinner for us to cook in camp.
After much hemming and hawing, we’d booked two nights at this KOA (rather than the National Park campground), figuring that it would give us the most walkable way to see the ‘Anne…’ sites tomorrow. And since there was rain predicted for tomorrow afternoon/evening, we got one of the “premium” tent sites that includes an open-sided shelter that would hopefully split the difference between camping and an expensive motel/cottage.