After much humming and hawing about where we should go yesterday, we finally made a decision for today. Like I said, we didn’t have that far to go to get to Halifax. 210 kilometers, to be precise. Our options were either drag it out over two days, or finish with a bang. We chose the latter. Despite the consecutive 100km+ days, I was still itching to do a looong day.
We woke up nice and early – by this trip’s standards – to get started so that we wouldn’t be too late getting to Halifax. We were on the road shortly after 8am; probably our earliest start, on par with the Coquihalla day. The early start also meant we could ride a significant part of the day in the cool 18C and cloudy weather. A nice change since we were supposed to be seeing more 30C+ and sunny weather later in the day.
The first hour passed uneventfully as we made our way over one big hill then down into the town we talked about stopping at last night. A quick bathroom break later and we were on our way up into the hills that surround the town of Truro. While we had great wind for much of the trip, it seemed out luck would run its course here as the winds blowing in off the ocean are consistently coming from the south-east – exactly the direction we’re headed.
As we climbed our way up a headwindy rolling road from sea level to 250m, the weather got cooler and greyer. When we eventually crested the surprisingly long climb, the skies opened up and we were soaked in our first rain since Manitoba. The view from on top of this climb was unexpectedly beautiful as we looked out over the rolling hills and the tip of the Minas Basin. Unfortunately, the rain kept me from taking any pictures as we sped our way down the long straight descent.
A wet but fast hour later we rolled into Truro, the scheduled end destination for the day. The weather had cleared but it was still pretty cool, making for a refreshing, almost spring-like, atmosphere. We sought out our final fast food lunch of the trip just off the highway.
With only 100km left to Halifax, we came back outside into what felt like a different day. Here was the 30+ weather, stifling humidity, and heat warning that we had been expecting. Luckily the road was pretty sheltered from the wind so we were able to make decent time despite suffocating weather.
The next 80km passed with frequent breaks to cool down and eat lots of salt to keep the stomach working properly. We made it to the outskirts of Dartmouth none too soon as we were both feeling some light heat stroke effects. The road winding into town had us riding right along the edge of lakes and through what looked like cottage country, despite being only 20km from downtown. Unfortunately, the car traffic was quite high here – but very polite – so taking pictures while riding was beyond my risk tolerance. The beautiful meandering road for our final kilometers had me as reflective on the past two months as the sidewalls on my bike tires.
The clocks were stopped and the ride was completed when we reached the ferry terminal in Dartmouth. Taking the ferry across the Halifax gave us a bonus view of the city that you couldn’t get elsewhere.
In Halifax proper, we made our way to Point Pleasant Park at the very top of the city. The bikes were dipped in the water and many photos were taken (including a mini photoshoot by an aspiring pro-photographer we met there).
Tired and with the evening getting on 7pm, we crawled our way back into the city and up the ridiculously steep city streets to find a hotel. While not very Nova Scotian, we celebrated that evening with some fresh sushi and ice cream.
With 6250km covered in 198 hours of riding, we collapsed soundly and contently in Halifax.
I now have almost a week of hanging out in Halifax and Oliver has a couple days less. We’ll be on our own for a couple of days before some of my family makes the trip out for the weekend. I expect many bike shops will be visited, many beers will be consumed, copious amount of seafood will be eaten, significant hours will be slept, and perhaps a bike ride or two will be had.
Once I get to Toronto I’ll have a couple more posts about the trip to put up including some extra footage/photos that didn’t make the blog in time and probably some fun stats. In the meantime, thanks for following along with this journey! I’m still in a bit of disbelief that it’s over but I’m sure it’ll be all too real soon enough. Eventually I’ll think of another crazy adventure that I can share here, but until then…
Cheers and Ride On!