Woke up to the sounds of ducks, and a number of unknown bird calls, and the shadows of the trees from the early rising sun on the teepee walls. I took an early morning walk around the grounds — the ice skating pond, the glider by the ocean, the private boardwalk — and watched the northern gannets and cormorants on their early morning fishing runs (the gannets tactics are to go up high and dive bomb their prey). We joined Anne for coffee and breakfast while Gui was out on his pre-kayaking bike ride. She recommended Richard Power’s book The Overstory about the connection between people and trees. It’s on my list for the fall. Did I mention Gui was a Phys Ed teacher and has a full gym in one of the buildings “on campus”? He joined us after the ride and we continued our conversations from the night before about touring, longevity and staying in shape and, of course, our two countries approaches to health care and education.

43 miles today with a tailwind and only 1443 ft of climbing, and we took our time getting to Maria (Ann pronounced it “Mariah” but Charles said “Mar’-ee-a). Rain was not forecast until 11 tonight, and tomorrow might be a washout, but we’ll be looking for the breaks in the weather to head to Campbellton, New Brunswick and an hour jump forward to the Atlantic time zone.

Our WS host tonight is Charles and he’s a delight. He’s from Rimouski, a big(ger) city on the St. Lawrence we visited earlier in the trip. He’s a chemist by training, but left the big city for the quiet life in Maria and is now a cook at a cantine in Carleton, about 15 km south of Maria. He’s also a massage therapist and does that on his days off from cooking. We had a great evening with him and he baked us a cake for dessert!

I just can’t say enough about the warm showers network of touring cyclists. They all know what you need because they’ve been on the road themselves. It saves money over hotels and campgrounds for sure, but the people connections are what makes it work. That’s how John and I met last summer, when we traded hosting in State College and Torrence, CA. There are hosts we’ve met on this tour who I’m sure I’ll see again or we’ll at least be in contact. Off to bed for an early rising to check the radar!