Michael's alarm went off at 6am this morning. He probably would have slept in longer, but Agnes and I freaked him out. We were under the impression he was supposed to LEAVE at 6, but he was under the impression he was supposed to WAKE UP at 6. He got up quick and got ready so as to not miss his ride (and potentially his only option to get to North Sydney). Turns out, he was right, and Mike didn't wake up or leave until well after 7am. Before leaving though, one of the guys on the new shift made us an amazing breakfast of sausages and eggs and toast! It was so nice of him! Nicole, one of the EHS workers, told us to go to a cafe along the way, which, she said, has the best coffee and baked goods on the Cabbot trail! It's called the Clucking Hen, and she said it's about 50km away, not too far after Smokey mountain.
Agnes and I hit the road at 7:30 (nice and early!). It was gorgeous, and it was mostly a tail wind (or at least a cross tail). We had a great time, and it's too bad Michael missed the ride!
Alas, we got to the infamous Smokey (the last peak to summit on the Cabbot trail). We couldn't quite figure out if we were on it yet or not. Everything pointed to yes, except that it was such a gradual ascent that we weren't quite sure. When we (easily) reached the summit, there were a bunch of truckers at the top (waiting for the rest of the trucks to catch up then they were going to hit the road in convoy again). They seemed VERY impressed with our hard work to get to the top of Smokey. We got more praise for this summit than we did for North mountain, which was actually hard! It wasn't until the descent that we realized why people along the way have been warning us about Smokey. It was incredibly gradual in our direction, but would have been ridiculously steep had we gone the other way (another fact the info center woman failed to mention. Like seriously, how does the info center not know about the ONE and ONLY ONE road of the cabbot trail? That's ALL they need to know about, and they don't!!!). But after the lookout, it was essentially all downhill for the rest of our time on the Cabbot trail!
After the steep downhill, we started looking for signs of the Clucking Hen. It was in vain. We finally saw a sign saying the restaurant/cafe was 18 minutes away. I hate when signs say that, because we don't know how fast they are assuming the cars are going. We have seen signs in the past saying something is 'x' minutes away, and sometimes that turned out to be 'x'-5km away, sometimes 2'x'km away. So we were hungry and unimpressed! We couldn't WAIT to get there and eat!
Turns out the cafe was close to the turnoff to the ferry (all the locals along the way recommended taking the ferry across to Englishtown instead of continuing the long way around (ie continue along the Cabbot trail) until the road met up with the Trans Canada). So, needless to say, we were on the lookout for the cafe for what seemed to be an eternity! Finally we arrived and had a really long, extended, chill lunch. It was amazing! We started with a sandwhich and a tea (Agnes had coffee), and a desert (I had a brownie and Agnes a turnover), then, we extended our stay with some more cookies (they were on sale, day old cookies, that we bought for Michael, so he didn't have to feel like he had to miss out too much on the day. We left him a couple, but definitely ate most of them).
After about a 2hr lunch, we hit the road again. Today has been (and continued to be) such a nice, chill ride! We finally made it to the ferry crossing and it was really funny. They built a cosway almost all the way out, but stopped JUST short of the other side. That's where the ferry crossed. It was maybe 3 times the length of the boat. I'm sure we could have walked across even! It was a little ridiculous to have the ferry, and not a bridge or a continuation of the cosway. But alas, we took the ferry and then met up with the Trans Canada.
Right when we met up with the Trans Can, we immediately started to climb our last mountain (Kelly's mountain). If possible, it was even easier than Smokey. The downhill was nice and long too! It took us right to a bridge, which was a touch scary to go over. There wasn't much room AT ALL for cyclists (although cyclists are allowed to cross). So we went as fast as we could to get off the bridge ASAP!
When we got into North Sydney, we were much earlier than Michael (who cycled out to meet Frederique at the airport, then was going to cycle back and meet us at the ferry terminal). So, we had time to kill, and we were hungry. We didn't know what food options there would be around the terminal, so we thought we would stop off and eat now. We stopped at "Lick a Chick," which was incredibly fried chicken. It was essentially KFC, only (if possible) I think KFC was probably better for you! But, it did the job and we were full (and felt a bit disgusting). But, across the street was "Lick a Treat" and with a name like that, we couldn't say no! So we went across for some ice cream for desert!
We cycled the last remaining 4km to the terminal and waited for Michael. In the meantime, we showered (which was amazing!). Michael and Fred arrived much earlier than we thought. We updated the blog and hung out for a bit before retiring upstairs to sleep. We laid out our sleeping matts on the floor, and slept! It wasn't a good sleep at all, but we took what we could get! After all, we had to wake up around 4!