Posted by: mckenzie68 | July 29, 2010

Finishing the Cabot Trail with a big bang! July 28 or Day 101

Ray here.  Rae’s been posting lately, but with Rae so sore, I had to do this one.

We got up early as the little cabin we had rented outside Ingonish was not equipped with sufficient drapes to keep out sunlight.  So it was up and at ’em, pack the bikes and then off to New Waterford.  The Cabot Trail was nice with some outstanding vistas and I was hoping for more.

We ran into construction almost immediately and then it was car after camper after motor home.  It set the tone for a very long and trying day.

We reached New Waterford around 1100 hours, and found the street where my dad lived when he was a boy.  I took lots of pictures so he could pick out his house if it was there.  I also noticed some coal cars and took pictures of them as well.  I really liked the small town feel and it’s coastal charm, definitely what you would expect in a Nova Scotia town.  We found a Timmies, had breakfast and then hit the road heading for New Glasglow.

There was never ending traffic which seems to be our plague as of late, with challenging drivers, and guys that drive slowly then race you when you get to a passing lane.  It just got old, fast, and both of us were tired so I found a HIE just south of New Glasgow, in a little town called Stelarton.

We could see the HIE from the highway, however there was construction which prevented me from taking the road I needed to get on in order to reach the hotel.  Rae was behind me, the Garmin was chirping directions non-stop, construction was everywhere, and  all of this made our riding so challenging.  I had to drive around trying to find an alternate route to the HIE and when we reached a secondary road, Rae stalled her bike.  She was calling me but I did not hear it (we have had communicator problems for a bit), so I continued on, and shortly thereafter saw her coming behind me.   While travelling slow, I made another right turn to find the HIE, and I saw Rae coming, but what I did not realize is she had lost sight of me (I didn’t realize that she had fallen so far back) once I had completed the turn.  I guess she caught sight of me and tried to take that last corner in an attempt to catch me.  It was as she negotiated the corner she washed the front end in loose gravel while traveling about 50-60 kph.  (If I had taken the corner tighter to the right, I would have been fine, but I turned into the center of the lane.  Big mistake.  Rae) Suddenly I hear Rae yelling.  I was already on the highway, so I immediately stopped, and tried to turn around.  Let me tell you it was an event itself as I used the dirt off the highway to get back to Rae, needless to say I was not there fast enough.

By the time I got there, Rae was standing up, she appeared be OK and there were 3 young guys who had helped her lift the bike.  So nice to see people step up to help someone out.  The stress of the entire day, my fear for her, and driving the wrong way on dirt shoulder of a highway caused me to boil over, I had so many emotions, my heart was pounding, but the predominant feeling was anger. I had spent a great deal of time on multiple occasions speaking to Rae about riding, accidents, etc.  One of the points I had harped on was if you are behind or lose the  lead rider, DO NOT  try and catch up.  We had discussed the plan should we lose each other, just stay in one spot and I would find her.  I emphasized the fact that crashes happen on group rides (I am quite familiar with this as I have been to a rally or two) and in many cases it is the riders who are slow in the corners and use speed to try and catch up on the straights, huge danger factor in riding like that.

We finally got to the HIE and I knew something was up when she wouldn’t take her jacket off.  Then when she did, she was hiding her right arm.  She finally showed me the cut after she unsuccessfully tried to clean it.  The gravel was ground right in.  I could tell that she needed hospital treatment.  I tried to get her to go, but she is stubborn, and tough.  I finally convinced her to go as she was starting to get really sore, and I think that concerned her.

I was so upset, I can always fix the bike but my liebling had bruises, and a big scrape on her elbow as the pavement had worn right through her jacket, not to mention she really knocked her head.  Thank God we always wear our gear or it could have been so much worse.

The cab came and Rae jumped in and headed to the nearby Aberdeen Hospital, leaving me to sort out her bike, I kept myself super busy working on her bike so I won’t have to think about things.  Even though her injuries were minor I was still pretty afraid.  I called the hospital several times, but they said she was OK and just waiting to see a doctor, suffice to say the anxiety only got worse.

The HIE was abuzz regarding Rae’s crash and I spoke to many many people who were concerned about Rae, it was amazing how the word spread around the hotel like wildfire.  Everyone bugged me for info, while I was trying to work on the bike.

Finally a cab pulled up at about 2300 hours, and out stepped Rae 5 hours after she had left.  She was obviously stiff and sore and was sporting a new bandage  on her arm.  I was so relieved and I broke down like a little child, and I just hugged her not wanting to let go.

She was sore, bushed, but starving – in all the mayhem, neither of us had eaten all day.  We found the one place that was still open (thanks to the fantastic woman at the front desk) and ordered in.  The food came shortly after mid-night and after a really good feed, we went to sleep.  I feel very sorry for Rae, I know how sore she’ll be in the morning, but the meds will help her sleep tonight.  Tomorrow, I need to finish fixing her bike and test it. Hopefully we can continue on.  Otherwise…well, we’ll see.

Ray

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Responses

  1. Wow, sorry to hear about the accident, I hope you are ok. I was talking to you in the Tim’s in New Waterford – I was the guy who said I read books about people like you. It was nice meeting you both and hope you have smooth sailing from here on in 🙂

  2. Hey ~ We’re in New York now and have hit the first rain since the Gaspe Peninsula. Sounds like you guys took all the rain storms for us because we’ve had nothing but blue skies on our Maritime adventures until today. I just had to say that we drove by this restaurant too and then went back to take a picture and then back again to eat there – just to say we could. Logan thought it was a dumb name for a restaurant. Brayden just snickered – the difference between 11 and 13 year old boys.


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