Tour de Pictou 2000

Better late than never, I relate the Gonzo's 1st annual tour of the Northumberland Straight area July 7, 8, and 9. I also attach the VIKING's personal Saturday morning adventure.

Rendevous time Friday night, where better than a Timmies somewhere in Nova Scotia. Therefore at 7:30 vehicles started circling the Pictou Rotary in the NE part of the province. A particular scarey part of the adventure was already imminent. Our loving PC government had hired a Quebecoius company to do our maps this year, why they would ask a foreign country to do this I don't know.

All I know is they forgot to put Pictou on the map.

After a bit of orienterring, bushwacking, and star gazing, Gonzos slowy started to fill a corner of Timmies. After having a brew we were off to Munroe's Island for a 1/2 Moon night hike. What a beautiful night as our hosts Low Maintainance of Pictou area and Popeye and Olive Oyle of New Glasgow led IMAX, SpellChic, Sungod, BIRDER, our new, as yet unnamed friends we met in Baxter State Park, Gordon and Carol Young with their daughter Rebecca just in from TEXAS., VIKING and Hardware Helga.

The K9 crew included C.S. Lewis, Printer, Chelsea, Hero, and Timber. They were met by a beautiful Dalmation on the beach and it was into the water,out of the water ad infinitum.

Even with a partial moon there was more than enough light for our stroll over the dunes for an hour to a roaring fire prepared by our speed demons LM and V.

Dogs were Bar B Qued, Marshies were browned, and Gatorade was quaffed. What a magical night.

Now it was back up the beach and off to Low Maintainance's cottage for the Birder and I while others went off to different caves for the night, some to re-rendevous the next day at LM's for some paddling eating and socializing.

Saturday's sun was a bit late in rising, actually it may have already been up a while when I heard LM out the door for a morning run. I then received a call from Hardware Helga that she MAY? be a bit late for our bike ride. May?, she was already late. Off I went on my own for a short, quick, but very pleasant15 mile spin, leaving the BIRDER to bird. Mid morning Helga and Olive arrived and we went down to the water with canoes and kayaks to go see if we could find Popeye and VIKING who were paddling over from New Glasgow (read attached). We found them with our binnoculars way out there looking like small beatles on the Straight. For the next couple hours it was play time across the bay etc. and then time for serious eating.

I have seen a new side of Popeye.Up to this point I have seen endless energy, lets do this, lets do that, sort of don't just sit there, 'do something'.

The man is soooooooo patient over the BBQ. My idea is to get the flame up, get the meat on, burn it, and eat it. This man actually had the burner on low, slowly turned the meat, put on sauces in a tidy fashion. Needless to say this was not a negative calorie weekend.

Sat around the deck, had a few brewskies, diet cokes, etc. and lots of nice conversation, disturbed only by the two little old ladies from the 'home', reminicing a lot.

Just as it was time to leave Mae West and Mime arrived from Montreal and it was eat all over again, at least Mae had a nibble or two.

By now it was time to return to our kennels in the real world and start thinking about our next adventure in the Gaspesie two weeks away

Thanks are in order for our hosts and hopefully this can be fit into our schedule on a regular basis. Tooooooo much fun.

Read on to Vikings story

Viking Reminisces

Saturday morning, we awake to the smell of breakfast a la Popeye--Eggs and pasta, toast coffee fruit. Hard to beat that. At about 9:45 the women, Helga and Olive Oyl, set off on a dog walk. This after Helga decided that maybe the early bike ride with the Sun God might be a bit much. Popeye and yours truly Viking decided that a short paddle to the cottage Low Maintenance was the way to start a Sat.After only about 5 minutes I got my skirt on and we were off. This is a 45 minute drive so we knew it would be a couple of hours or more. Less that 1 foot waves and a bit of a swell . Actually great conditions. We passed a herd of seals and the big bull had to come out to challenge us. But we proved him a hero to his cows as he managed to drive us away towards Pictou Lodge. We soon passed by the start of the previous night's hike at Munroe's Island and then to where we had o ur fire. I went ashore to rescue Helga's Plastic sandwich container and back into the Kayak. Now only about 30 seconds toget the skirt on.

Around the tip of the island and into the ferry channel and the PEI boat comes roaring by. Oh boy Waves! Oh boy no waves not a ripple. Then 3 or 4 local fishing drag boats come by WAVES like about 6 or 7 feet high. When I looked up and saw them, I immediately turned so as to get 90 degrees into them. Gee- not bad. By the time the last boat went by I was accelerating into them and it wasn't bad. Quite fun actually. Now where was the direction Oh yes "second cove past the ferry terminal".First cove -- a long paddle second cove Oh we can see people walking dogs and playing on the shore. Ah a little bit of energy and off we go.But wait that isn't any dog that we recognize. So we slow and ask if they know of th e Bill Fraser cottage "nothing - never heard of them" "might be way down under and past the bridge"

Geeze around the corner and there it is. Kind of nice when your neighbours haven't even heard of you. A great paddle not that far or long about a two hours and 45 minutes and just easy the whole time. Of course now a little paddle across to Caribou Island and back. Then rest, food, talk, and the Kaufman's show up from La Belle Province. More food talk You are getting the story. Really a great weekend A special thank you to Low Maintenance and Popeye and Olive Oyl for talking the Gonzo's into coming up to that little bit of Paradise on the Northumberland shore, and of course even more for being such wonderful hosts/hostesses.

Viking and Helga and Hero and Printer and Chelsea