Ingonish to North River Bridge - Cycling Into Retirement Folly - CycleBlaze

September 10, 2020

Ingonish to North River Bridge

Day 5

We started with a delicious and hearty breakfast of blueberry pancakes with maple syrup, and  eggs and toast with lots of coffee.  The Island B&B overlooks Ingonish Beach so we left our panniers at the B&B to explore this lovely beach which has a fresh water lake just behind it.  We were surprised to see the perfectly rounded granite stones on the beach that bumped up against the soft sand that disappeared into the water.

Apparently, hardy locals like to swim in the ocean and then jump in the lake just behind the beach to rinse off in the much warmer water.   Nobody but us there today and it wasn't hot enough to inspire us to swim.

Famous Ingonish Beach
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Famous Ingonish Beach
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Heading up Cape Smokey
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After that enjoyable delay, we were off and heading uphill to Cape Smokey.  Once past the ski hill we noticed the peculiar traffic pattern; the cars coming off the mountain towards us seemed to be in bunches.  At the top, we came onto the long construction site on the western side of the mountain where the traffic was  one-way only.  That explained why we were meeting a bunch of cars at once and then nothing for 15 minutes.  When our turn came, the cars quickly went ahead and we had the road to ourselves (excepting for a few dump trucks) and could admire the stunning views.

When we heard the next group of uphill vehicles coming towards us, we pulled off the road and watched them go by and then we happily continued on our way.   

At one point over the noise of the graders and dump trucks, Steve was cycling too close to them so I was yelling at him to get out of a truck’s way.   Then I realized that he was yelling at me to take a picture of him while he was cruising by one of the huge construction vehicles.   It was exciting but  nerve-racking.   However, it wasn't long before we were past the  construction zone and all was quiet again.  Steve and I then cycled along enjoying newly paved roads. 

 

Top of Cape Smokey waiting for our turn to proceed down the hill.
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Playing chicken with the construction vehicles.
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Views off Cape Smokey
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At the bottom, we found the Dancing Moose Cafe and it was open.   Delicious date squares that were still warm from the oven revived us for the next uphill section.  

Dancing Moose Cafe
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Coffee break at the Dancing Moose Cafe
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Although tempting, we did not try more of the delicious goodies as we had been told by our last night’s host to make a beeline for the Clucking Hen.   Yes you guessed it, it was closed.   More energy bars were eaten at The Fancy Hat store’s picnic table before we continued on to North River Bridge and the Chanterelle B&B.  

The Fancy Hat Store
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This was to be our last night of the trip so we splurged a bit on a nice room and a gourmet meal at the Chanterelle.  There was one last climb up a steep driveway before we could shower and change.  That evening we sat on the peaceful screened porch, admiring the wonderful views out over the hills and patting ourselves on the back for having climbed them, and then tucked into a fabulous meal of local crab and scallops while sipping wine as the sun set.  

Dinner at the Chanterelle B&B
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Delicious!
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It was another excellent day. After yesterday it almost felt like it was all down hill.  However we did climb 680 meters with balmy weather temperatures of 26 degrees.

 

Today's ride: 60 km (37 miles)
Total: 280 km (174 miles)

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Comment on this entry Comment 2
Rich FrasierLooks like a great trip! Kudos to you for adapting to the pandemic situation. Thanks for sharing this - I've added it to our list of possible destinations.
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1 year ago
ann and steve maher-wearyYes, it was a great trip. We had the weather on our side for sure but the scenery and the locals made the trip.
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1 year ago