Wednesday, August 5, 2015


I have returned from a short staycation which means I didn't go very far from home. But to me a staycation really means staying home. The better word in my mind to describe what we did is closebycation. It has a certain ring to it too if you say it quickly. Could be the name of a place in Newfoundland if they'd like to use it.

For our closebycation we headed to Kouchibouguac National Park which is a beautiful place on the east coast roughly a two hour drive across the province. The adverts say it is difficult to pronounce....impossible to forget.  It is both those things. 

We do a little trail biking each year usually with a group of friends or family. This long weekend was to be a practice ride since we haven't been on our bikes since last fall.

I am always envious of the people we see in our age bracket (60's) and older racing along the trails with their tight biking outfits and their tanned muscly legs. (pause for envy). It spurs me to think next year that will be me. The trail where you will meet large packs of these types is on the Mont Tremblant trail. But then winter sets in and I forget that I intended to train like I need to and off I go in blissful ignorance of how little training I have done.

 Preparation for lift off!

We headed out on the trail that runs along side the ocean which was an easy one. Sunshine but shade too. We saw lots of this:

Our first day we saw lots of families biking together and other folks like us and the day ended with good results. I didn't have to get off and walk once and the derriere survived without the bike shorts.

We had reserved a room at the Rodd Miramichi in Miramichi City. We had not been there in many years and had heard  that it was a depressed area. I have to learn not to believe the gloom and doom on the news. It sells papers but is not always fair to a place.

The location was gorgeous, the room spacious and comfortable, service and food friendly and tasty. It was about a 45 minute drive from the park.

The exterior of the Rodd Miramichi
Side view from our patio table in restaurant
Sunset as we ate our dinner.

Fun businesses in town

Lobby art: Area famous for forestry

Restaurant wall art. Sport fishing very popular here.

The washrooms are a make or break for me when I travel. This public one
at the Rodd was lovely.

The next morning we were ready to go back to the park and have another go. I was proud of myself since I didn't once suggest that we not go to the Park again or that we do something else (secretly hoping he wouldn't realize I couldn't bike any more). This time we decided to do an interior trail. The beginning of it was great--lots of flat terrain and shade over the trail. It was a very hot day. We saw fewer bikers and the ones we did were the very fit folks I referenced above. Not one family of little ones gamely biking with their parents as we had seen the day before.

It started out like this:

And then as we went on it got more like this: I was doing my best to shift gears for the hills ( my husband referred to them as inclines) so wasn't able or had the breath to take photos so these are not mine.
This would be the "incline".

I am exaggerating here but this is what it began to feel like to me

When I am on a trail lined with woods in a national park my thoughts naturally turn to wild things. It is the lack of oxygen and the heat that often brings this on. I start to wish I had thought to put my buck knife in my pack. I found one in the playground at my school and kept it just for such events. 

From park website
We didn't see one of these but I was sure we heard at least a dozen on the second trail.
When I was lying flat out on the grass trying to cool down and get my breath back I had a moment or two wondering how I was going to get away from some predator when I wasn't sure I could even sit up. This young lady looks happier than I did. But eventually my temperature went back to normal
 and I got back on the bike and did the "inclines" all the way back to the car without having to walk.
We took frequent water breaks and I learned how to use my right hand gear to my 
You're supposed to put your feet up higher than your head to get the heart to rest for a bit.

And I would definitely do it again, inclines and all.


  1. Looks like a great "Closebycation" to me. I love the trails at Kougibouquac (sp??? . No autocorrect for that word!!!) although I haven't been there for 15 years. Are you training for another bike trip????

    1. Not sure I could call it training??It was more like I am when I go on a bike trip!!

  2. Ah good for you! I love to bike but hate it, too, thanks to a) being out of shape (now making a plan to solve this) and b) stick thin legs that are not meant for biking! Beautiful photos!

  3. Love this post...these make beautiful memories