Day 7
September 10th, 2005
Baker Motel
Summerside, Prince Edward Island

It felt good to sleep in this day.  No feeling matches that of being awakened by a bright morning sun, and saying to yourself, "heck I ain't gotta get up, if I don't want to." 
I pulled the sheet up in the chilly room. The temp dipped into 40s last night, and I didn't know how to turn the heat on the old baseboard heaters that ran the wall.

By 8am a bright sun had washed out the of bleakness of my motel room.  The place was old but neat, with a small fridge that tipped over on me every time I pried the door open.  The furniture didn't match, and the towels were pitiful.  Three had to be used to dry off after a shower.  But the price was right, and I'm easy to please.

By 9am I had dug all my needed running gear out.  My goal was a 10 mile run, using my Garmin watch to keep me on course.

The morning was breezy and cool.  I pulled the door behind me and took off on Route 2.  I stayed on the route for 2 miles till I found a smaller local road that looked promising.  It was narrow and I followed it for 3 miles.  About halfway to the turn around point a large farm dog made a move for me, but stayed away when I stopped to pick up something.
​A nice road for a 10 mile run.
The run was so so.  Just as I predicated I paid for the poor diet yesterday.  My legs were heavy, and had no turnover.   Thankfully, it was not a hot day.  I fought the wind on the way back in.  If crosswinds are tough on a motorcycle, they are cruel running or on a bicycle.   The scenery was good.  Pastures, and farms with no traffic, and no fences.  A good road to enjoy my trio of loves-running, cycling, and motorcycles.  

I completed the 10 miles in 86 minutes.  The longest run I'd ever run on the road.  I was glad to get back to the room and a hot shower.  

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich was called for, I needed one to help replace the 1000 calories I'd just burned off.  It would also bring my carbohydrate stores back up.
I found this church near the coastline.
After cleaning up I rode to the heart of Summerside looking for the library.  I found it, but all the PCs were booked to 1 pm.  I told the lady I'd come back later.

Now I was ready for a little exploring.  I took the first interesting road out of town and just rode.  Soon I was in farm country with the ocean on my left.  I can see why people live here, but its cold in winter.

A sign for Cabot Beach talked me into checking it out.  I rode in and took a few pictures of the water.  Several campers were on the scene.  A young lady with her boyfriend were swimming, on this cool, windy day.  Noway.  I don't know how they stood it.

Tall grasses bordered the beach, and the sand and water had a much different look and feel, than the beaches of Destin, Florida, my beach of choice.  I'm so spoiled to that warm water, white sand, and climate, I don't even bring swim trunks to a beach at anywhere else.  
​These hay rolls were cut and ready to be sold or stored
I left the park and found a few more local roads.  I wasn't really concerned about where I was going.  I knew all roads eventually lead back to some where.  The island is not that big.  

The highway followed the coast line, and the views were excellent.  I eased along at 50 mph stopping for pictures and just looking around.  The rich land looked full of crops and grasses and the sea breezes kept things tilted to one side.
​A quiet ride along the North Atlantic, a field full on flowers
overlooks the ocean.

Life was pleasantly slow on the island, and the people nice.  I made another turn and found a quiet road to the waters edge.  I shut the BMW down and looked around.  The North Atlantic seemed to call me, but Long Riding is my choice of freedom, not the water.

I was seriously low on gas when I found an old station in a small village I can't remember.  I asked the attendant how to get back to the highway.  My 50 miles of leisurely riding was near an end, and I wanted to get back to Summerside to take care of some errands.

"Just keep going straight, it dead ends on highway 2 in a few miles."

A young family from Ottawa, stopped for gas also.  They were in a mini van.  The father looked over the RT, as he pumped gas.  "Man that's a beautiful bike, had long ya had it?  "About 2 months."  Like I said, everywhere I go, the bike is the center of attention. I was getting a little jealous.

I got back on the main highway and was heading for Summerside when I saw bakery and latte shop. 
Sometimes you just KNOW  a good place when you see it  I remembered I hadn't ate lunch, it was too late for a big lunch now, but a high carb snack would be good.  I still needed to repack after the carb depleting run of this morning. 

A sign was stuck on the door.  "Ice drop off, do not park under the over hang."

Inside I saw one of the cleanest food service places ever.  Sorry, I forgot to jot the name of the place down.  But I can tell you, this place was something else.  I plopped my stuff down at a table that overlooked the parking lot.  
Before I could sit down, a pretty young blonde girl came for my order.

  "Can I help you?" 

"Baby, just bring me one of those big blueberry muffins and a Diet Pepsi out of that cooler right yonder,"  "K"
She came back with my order.  " So where are you from?"  "Guess sweetie."  Without hesitation she said, " Georgia."  "Close, Alabama, I'm impressed."

She went about her business of cleaning and sweeping.  She was a good worker. 

"baby cmere and sit down, you're making me tired."

She came back and took the seat across from me.  "So what's your name?"  "Nadia."  I asked her what life was like on the island and she told me.  She also told me she wanted to be a singer.  The other waitress added, " She's good, has her own CD out."  "Do you have one with you?"  She went to look but came back empty.  She looked at me sadly, "Sorry don't have one."

She chatted with me a while longer.  For a Long Rider a long way from home, it was a good way to pass the time.  "You're a sweet young lady baby, hold to your dreams of being a singer, you never know, might be the next Celine.  

The second waitress, was a middle aged lady with nursing shoes on and a stain on her right sleeve.

The waitresses stand as a pair in contrast.  On the one hand, you have a lady life has pretty much passed by, on the other, a beautiful young girl, apparently talented and charismatic with her life before her.  Nadia was fluent in French, and gave me an impromptu lesson.  I printed my name and asked her the correct pronunciation.  I knew it, but just wanted HER to say it.  "Don't let the name fool ya sweetie, I'm about as French as a French fry.  I'm true blue American, no hyphens in front."
​ Life is tough on the road, but somebody has to do it.
t is probably good I didn't write the name of this place down, or Long Riders from everywhere would be crowding in to spend time with Nadia.  "I better get goin ladies, y'all be good, don't let her break too many hearts m'am."  "I'll do my best."   "I'm countin on ya being the next Celine baby, so follow ya dreams."

More great riding followed after my muffin break.  The scent of fresh cut hay was thick.  Many of the fields offered ocean views.  
​The scent of fresh cut hay was everywhere
A short ride later I was at the Summerside Wal Mart picking up a few items.  From there I went by the Catholic Church to see what time Mass kicked off later.  My last stop was the library where I signed in for a PC.  Time had to be taken in one hour blocks, changing at the top of the hour, no matter what time you logged in.

It took 30 minutes to return a few emails, check my web site, and leave a few posts on the ST BBS.  I finished everything with 7 minutes to spare.

I went back to the motel and ran a load of clothes.  I was walking back to the room when a man stopped me.  "Is that your RT?"  "Yeah."  That's us down there."  As he pointed at the Gold Wings.  He was in his 60s, with a southern accent, but not deep south.  " So where ya from?"  "North Carolina, but we trailered the Wings up here."

I asked about a good place to eat.  " I dunno, been here 3 days, not found one yet."  "Really."  "Don't bother with the seafood, tried 3 different places so far, and not worth a quarter."  "I learned long ago not to eat fish coming outta cold water."  

The man left, and I went inside to my Spartan like room and watched college football.  Notre Dame vs someone I forget.  I dozed off, and when I woke up my clothes were ready for the dryer.  By now it was time to get ready for church. 

A long hot shower followed.  It felt good on my tight legs caused by the morning run. 

I got back on the RT and made the short ride downtown to St. Pius Catholic Church.  The church was packed, and at the age of 50, I was the youngest guy in the place.  A large section of middle pews were marked off and out of service, making the church more crowded.

A good thing about being Catholic is the uniformity.  Mass at St. Pius of Summerside is the same Mass in Prattville.  I shuffled on in and took care of my spiritual needs, making sure to give thanks for ALL my blessings, and for looking out for me.  I was back on the streets in less than a hour.

After church I rode down the dark streets to a cafe called Links.  A wisecracking waitress, with sad eyes, and wing tip glasses, was entertaining a table with tales of past customers.  The folks politely laughed after sitting through a 10 minute tale about a guy trying to tell his wife how to eat Lobster.  I cashed in one of the rebates I just picked by going to church, asking the Lord to keep her away from MY table. "Please God, don't let her come this way, I went to church tonight, spare me, and I'll be extra good this week."

Another, less theatrical lady came for my order of chicken and a baked potato.  I tried to strike a conversation with her, but had no luck.  She was not impressed with my "charm", and just wanted to finish her shift and go home.  With no one to talk to, I went to my Axim, and worked on my journal.  I missed calling home, but I told Debbie don't look to hear from me again till I got back in the U.S.  It is way expensive to use a roaming cell up here. 
After supper I made the short ride back to the motel to catch the late game.  I rode 61 miles for the day.
I went to a nearby con store for a bag of popcorn and diet drink.  The wind was still blowing.

Feeling isolated, because I was so far north and away from the sunny south, I asked the clerk, "does the wind blow like this often?"  "Man this ain't nothing.  Seen it in the winter cut right through ya at 40 mph ALL day."
The motel office was still open, so I went there to check the heat in the room situation.  It was going down to high 40s tonight.

"Look, I can't cut the heat on in my room"

"So what do ya need the heat for?"

"Cos its goin to be cold tonight"

"We don't fire up the boiler for another month"

I picked up my clothes from the dryer and packed, half watching the game on tv and stuffing the Moto Fizz.  When I finished I took out my DVD player and watched Ladder 49, for the 3rd time.

My time in Prince Edward was over, tomorrow I ride back into Maine to hook up with ST 1300 rider Andy Purmals in Augusta.  I was cold in the room and pulled my sleeping bag out.    Looking forward to a great ride the next day.