The chorus of tent zippers begins a little on the early side this morning. I take my tent down one last time, have my usual breakfast, pack my usual lunch and leave camp at my usual time. Having a solid morning routine really helps on this trip.
It’s so cold when Jim and I start out that we look forward to the first climb so we can stop shivering. We take a hilly scenic route through Smelt Brook and Neil’s Harbour and then rejoin the Cabot Trail at 24 km. The beautiful views seem to take my mind off the nasty headwind.
After 45 km, we take a short break at a convenience store in Ingonish and continue to plod on.
An hour later we hit Cape Smokey, the biggest climb of the day. It takes longer than I expect to reach the top, but it’s definitely worth it for the scenery. Lots of switchbacks require a very cautious descent.
We take another break after 90 km at The Clucking Hen since it’s the last place to stop on this route. The clucking wind is really wearing me down at this point.
We reach the Englishtown ferry after 100 km and follow Route 105 from there. Jim and I take turns drafting for 20 km until we can switch to the much quieter Route 205.
I ride as fast as I can for the last 10 km. The excitement of finishing the tour taps into an energy reserve I didn’t know I had.
We arrive in Baddeck at 2:45, check-in at Telegraph House and relax on the deck with a cold drink and a huge sense of accomplishment.
To those of you who followed along, thanks so much for your support! It was an awesome ride!!