After a restful night’s sleep in the grounds of the Beechwood power station, we set out reasonably early. Did a bit of maintenance on our bikes before leaving though, as the dusty NB trail had really left its mark on our chain, gears, wheels. Everything was covered in a fine powder. I think it’s safe to say we wouldn’t recommend this part of the trail, between Grand Falls and Woodstock. It’s a real disaster for all except maybe the hardened mountain biker who likes to tango with ATVs.
Taking to the roads, we encountered plenty of hills on the way to Woodstock, which was great for the downhill runs but going up them we were glad we’d started early before it got too hot. Our early start meant that a second breakfast sounded like a pretty good idea so we stopped for bagels and cream cheese and coffee at Tim Hortons in Florenceville.
Carried on and arrived around noon in Hartland, home to the world’s longest covered bridge, where we stopped for lunch. It was so nice we had a meal that would have fit perfectly in July, fresh cucumbers and tomatoes from the local farm shop, cheese, bread and potato salad.
It was also scorching hot by this time, 26C, so as usual the last 20km or so were a bit of a killer. Thankfully we’ve found no shortage of friendly people to fill up our water bottles.
Stopped at a campground just outside Woodstock, on the banks of the Saint John river. The cost was $20/night. Wild camping is great for the money saving but sometimes you just want the ability to put your tent up at 3pm and relax, not to mention a hot shower in the morning and electricity to recharge the laptop and cameras.
Being on the banks of the river, we spent the afternoon watching the birds, inbetween chapters of our books. It was a very enjoyable way to pass the last few hours of the day before filling up on a supper of macaroni, tuna and a cheddar cheese sauce. We watched the sun set behind the hill across the river and then played cards till it was too dark to see. Heard the results of the NB election, Liberals oust the Tories!