Biking Across Canada Day 57 — Matapedia to Bathurst: Incident at Restigouche

Morning along the Restigouche

I spent the day riding along the Restigouche River and the Baie des Chaleurs, finally back in the Maritimes after exactly two months away.

It was cold when I left the campground, cold enough that I wore my jacket, toque, and mitts until I warmed up. I had my choice of when I entered New Brunswick this morning, and opted for another twenty kilometres of riding la Route Verte before crossing over at Pointe-à-la-Croix into Campbellton.

Restigouche national historic site, where I saw a fox cross the meadow.

When I went by the national historic site at Restigouche, the interpretive centre was closed, so I can't tell you more about the 1760 naval battle you may have learned about in high school. Instead let me tell you about the police raids on indigenous salmon fishers that happened in 1981, where the separatist government of the time, advocating for independance and self-governance for the Québécois was working to deny those same rights to the Listuguj Mi'gmaq people. Alanis Obomsawim made a documentary, _Incident at Restigouche_, about it. Incredibly, she was told by the NFB to only interview natives, not white people, which she thankfully ignored, otherwise we wouldn't have the unforgettable interview with Lucien Lessard, fisheries minister at the time of the raids.

Incident at Restigouche , Alanis Obomsawin, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

The bridge to New Brunswick
A new province! Reason to celebrate.

After stocking up on peanut M&Ms in Campbellton it was a nice ride along the shore to Dalhousie, where I mailed my Route Verte guide home. It's been the only paper guide I've relied on this trip, and I'll miss having knowledge of where all the places to get water are along the route. From now on I'm back to riding blind, though I still have fellow cyclists' GPS tracks to follow.

Fortunately not the Dalhousie I work at. Still have nearly two weeks before I have to go back.
The view from Charlo

It rained on-and-off in the afternoon. I sheltered under a church awning for the worst of the rain. Normally I ride through the storms, but I had a relatively short amount of distance to cover today so I was able to take my time.

Sea corn in the Belladonna
Lots of inspiration for my rain garden back home.
I was struck by how empty the smelter looked despite how noisy it was. Then I rode by the picket line of locked-out workers.
This beachside park in Petit-Rocher would be lovely on a sunny day. Picnic tables, snack bar, water fountain, bathrooms, outdoor showers, a playground and a stage for musical acts.

Just after suppertime I arrived in Bathurst. I'm staying with Jane McCullogh, the trail consultant and advocate from Saint John, who heard about my trip from Twitter and invited me to stay at her parents' cottage. How could I say no? She pulled some strings at city hall and surprised me with a bag full of Bathurst swag which her dad collected and presented me with. It was so flattering I didn't know how to respond. Fortunately Jane offered to mail it to me so I don't have to carry it. (I carefully weighed everything I packed before leaving on this trip since I didn't want to carry any more weight than I had to, so that offer was greatly appreciated.) I'm staying in a lovely old farmhouse tonight, with a beautiful old quilt on the bed. It's charming and homey and a testament to the friendliness of people who I'd never met in person before wanting to support my journey. I'm extremely grateful.

Jane’s dad Brian carrying out the traditional passing-of-the-swag ceremony.

Today's Distance: 137 km

Cumulative Distance: 6797 km

John Kyle @JohnKyle