Day 70 – Edmundston to Springwater Campground, Four Falls

It rained and rained through the night, making me very glad to be in my nice dry motel room watching episode after episode of M*A*S*H on tv. By the morning it had cleared up and I decided to keep moving rather than take a rest day.

  • Today’s Distance (miles/km): / 94
  • Time in saddle: 4h 18
  • Max/min temp (°c): 36°/18°
  • Climb/descend (feet) : 2513 / 2522
  • Calories used: 
  • Cafe time: 2h 19

(New map today)

I woke up a few times in the night and had the only dream I’ve had so far that I’ve remembered (I don’t seem to recall many of my dreams, which I regret). For what it’s worth, since it has such a Canadian/cycling theme, here it is:

A white-haired Canadian Mountie, in full regalia, on a bicycle, was taking notes from an old lady in her car. He shouted over to me “Hey, you’re even greyer than I am!”, at which they both laughed. I was a bit taken aback, thinking “Surely he’s way greyer than me!”, but had to cycle across a canal (in the water), remembering too late that my iPad was in my back pocket.

So, that’s it. Interpretations on a postcard please, packet of Minstrels for the one that least makes me look like a 53-year-old twit on a bicycle.

The tap in the kitchenette in my room (I got a posh room) was dripping all night, very musically changing note with every ‘plip’, or ‘plop’, but I was too tired to do anything about it:

I think I might have discovered a new twenty-two note scale syStem.

Back at the campground in Saint Antonin, by the way,  I had the nicest neighbours, Jean-Maurice and Helene. They had a great sense of humour, a beautiful small caravan, definitely the cutest one I’ve seen so far (didn’t get a picture – doh!) and played wonderful jazz in the early evening (Miles, Billie, Bill, only the best) to accompany my cooking and eating. They were heading for the north shore of the Saint Lawrence (it already feel a long time ago…), taking the ferry across from Rivieres-du-Loup. I hope they continue to have a great holiday, making other neighbours as glad to meet them as I was.

Picking up a thought from yesterday, about having pieces written for you, I once saw an interview with the great British oboist Leon Goosens, who said:

“Why is there an oboe concerto by Richard Strauss? Because I asked him to write one!”

We (Guildhall Strings) had many pieces written for us over the years but you always knew that the public were not as keen on hearing them as we might be. It sometimes takes years for an audience to start to feel comfortable with a style of music that is so, well, unfamiliar. Familiarity changes everything. When did anyone last describe Debussy or Stravinsky as “modern” music?

My friend David Alberman (he probably doesn’t follow this blog but his sister Catty, one of my oldest friends, may still be out there – Hello Catty! X) used to play with the Arditti Quartet, who play exclusively modern/contemporary music. He used to say that, for them, Ravel’s String Quartet was early music. I once asked him what they were playing in their concert that evening in London, and he replied:

“Several new pieces for String Quartet and Empty Hall”

If you listen closely to catch that distinctive “doo-dle-doo-dle” opening of the Strauss, it makes you wonder if John Williams, never one to shy away from borrowing the odd musical idea, had the oboe concerto in his CD player when he wrote “Catch Me If You Can”?

I had my 2nd breakfast/lunch today after 50km of TCH at Tim Horton’s in Saint Leonard, where I ate pretty much the whole menu. Some days, I JUST HAVE TO EAT. Plus two large dark-roast coffees and a chocolate milk. Blogging is much more fun on a full stomach. After phoning Susie in Toronto her Aunt Mayta reminded me that I’d lost an hour when I crossed into New Brunswick, which is why the TV Guide was so confusing last night, so my stop here at Timmy’s was for even longer than I realised. Time to leave…
After feeling a bit subfusc for a while, I think I partially got my mojo back on the ride from Tim Horton’s to my lovely campground, called Springwater. I’ve decided to stick more with the TCH so I have fewer decisions each day and cover more miles, and I  find that I then enjoy the cycling more, too.

In an uncanny echo of Day 1 of this blog (can anyone remember what theywere doing on May 29th, 2017?), this is what I saw, some way apart, on the hard shoulder this afternoon – first , the photo from back then:

I inadvisedly put my destination into my Wahoo GPS today – I’ve long since stopped using it for this function, since it insists on taking me anywhere but the TCH, which is a real pain in the global positioning satellite – just for curiosity, and it wanted me to spend the whole day cycling along a rough, sometimes non-existent gravel track that ran by the highway:

The only other people using it today were on motorbikes and quad bikes. As we both made our trouble-free way through a long section of construction (with me in my ‘private’ lane of cones) I got into a race either side of the stationary traffic with this little feller on his off-roader. I couldn’t tell if he was laughing or taking it deadly seriously because of his helmet. I was laughing. He won, but I’m much too mature to be miffed. A truck driver was very amused and gave me a huge, toothless grin and a ‘thumbs up’.

It’s another great campground tonight, but with no wifi which means I can’t say a proper farewell to Susie. She flies home late tonight, back to a different time zone. At least today I’ve closed the gap to just 4 hours.

This campground hosts a regular music festival. Joe, the old guy who runs it, was the perfect campground host. He took an interest in the people staying with him, was full of interesting stories himself, and when I asked if there was anywhere nearby that I could by a couple of beers, said “I’ll sell you a beer”. I said “ok, what have you got?”

“Bud lite”
“How much?”
“I’ll bring ’em to you tent”

Signs – today we have a submission from our Jacob, back in idyllic Dorset, England, who spotted this and got to work:

Another one – now this is a bit of a curiosity. If you zoom in on the moose you will clearly see that it is two people in a moose costume. Why they didn’t get a real moose to pose for the sign is beyond me, but perhaps it was to save money? Does everyone know the Woody Allen moose story?

So, Woody Allen was on his way one night to a fancy dress party, and on the way he hit a moose in the road. It was still breathing, but unconscious, so not knowing what to do, he tied it to the front of his car. As they arrived at the house it woke up, and joined him for the party. At the end of the evening there was a prize for the best costume, and the moose came second. The winners were an elderly Jewish couple, in a moose costume. So he said his goodbyes, tied the moose back on the front of his car, and set off for home. Suddenly he hears voices shouting, and he realises that it’s not his moose – he’s driving along with an elderly Jewish couple tied to the front of his car.

5 thoughts on “Day 70 – Edmundston to Springwater Campground, Four Falls

  1. OK dream analysis guidance, £ 60 a dream.but much better and cheaper is to make your own associations instead of following mine….

    Bike – balance in life, going at your own pace under own power
    Grey hair – age wisdom insight
    Uniform – structure/ rules/ authority, being part of a group
    Old woman – something to be replaced or jettisoned.or maybe fear of ageing
    Making notes. – keeping track of something important?
    Parked car – same thing or maybe a message to slow down
    iPad – connection with others, getting ipad wet in river – danger of losing connection
    River – emotion,going with the flow, and wading – power over emotions?

    Definitely not a picture of a 53 year old idiot!
    Interesting that you’ve not remembered dreams, too busy being in everything.xx


  2. just spoke with Susie, safely home
    re dreams: the spark between dippidy dousing in pacific
    and dippidy dousing in atlantic, stirring with a stainless-
    strung bicycle wheel, aided by 4 strung ukelele, lubricated
    by poutine, pedalling by huge (pictures of) meese sign
    (canadas hugest non-political creature)
    making friends and keeping it all alive and going strong
    you had a dream: and now you’re in it. Interpret that.
    bon voyage

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Ben,

    My name is Ronny Michaud, I just stumbled on this blog through a Google search today. The old man running Springwater Campground is my dad, Joe. I enjoyed reading your story about your encounter with him, thanks for a good laugh. Every customer loves my parents, and my dad seems to be a good bootlegger! hahaha, glad you got a cold beer!

    My parents built that business in 1964, it was a major truck stop, gas bar and restaurant during the 1980’s (My mom spent countless hours in the kitchen :-)). Now with the major highway is diverted, there is less traffic and the focus is now only with the campground (Mostly seasonal campers).

    Thanks for the kind words about our campground, take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great to hear from you Ronny. I so glad you took the time to get in touch. It was a pleasure to meet your dad, and fascinating to hear your story of how they built the business up. The story of losing trade when a new highway was built was one I heard countless times right across Canada. Like your dad, people just knuckled down and changed the business, and as it turned out people like me do like to get off the beaten track!
      I’ve just finished writing up the blog as an ebook, so if you’d like to join the mailing list by signing up to receive my blog, I’ll make sure you know when it’s available. My brief meeting with Joe is in the book, as a contrast to the sort of impersonal greetings I sometimes got, where hosts couldn’t get their eyes off the computer screen. Anyway, take care Ronny, and thanks again! Ben


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