Unbelievable Kindness on the IAT

ECT Day 176&177

IAT Day 7&8 

Day 176: 30 miles

This morning I was up around 5am, which is actually 6am here because there is a time difference in New Brunswick. They’re an hour ahead, so I’m a bit messed up. I got up and out of the motel super early and walked over to a nearby Tim Hortons. There I got a breakfast BLT which was killer. All the food that I’ve had here tastes so much more real and wholesome. Even the fast food and gas station food has been notably better.

Tim Hortons in Perth-Andover.

I began yet another day of road walking after that. For a while I followed along 190, one of the main roads here. I could have taken an alternate route but going the way I did shaved off 6 additional miles of road walking. Why walk more road than I have to, right?

Crossing over the bridge in Perth-Andover.

The beautiful river in Perth-Andover.

Eventually I was able to get off the road and connect to a dirt ATV path which followed along a river for a while. That was an awesome change of pace and made for a much more enjoyable walk.

Walking the road!

Around 11:30am I veered off the ATV path to a main road where there was a general store. I got a chocolate milk inside and an ice cream. Then I sat out front to eat. The guy who worked in the store came out and talked to me for a while. He mentioned the other hikers he’d seen about 5 days ago and a couple weeks ago. I knew the most recent one must have been Trucker and the other guys were probably Lil Buddha and Out and About. It’s fun walking along knowing that they’re all up ahead somewhere. Though I know I’ll never catch OB and Lil Buddha. They’re way too far ahead and moving quickly. Trucker though is taking some days off so I think I’ll be catching up to him soon and hopefully walking together.

Drinking a massive jug of chocolate milk from a gas station.

A really beautiful tree that I passed along the road walk.

After that I got back on the ATV path and continued on. I passed by a group of ATV people a couple miles later who were hanging out smoking cigarettes. I asked if I could bum one off them which they happily agreed. They were surprised that I wanted a smoke because they’re imagine of hikers was a bunch of incredibly healthy people. But hikers sure do love their vices. When I was on the AT towards the end I definitely indulged in nicotine frequently. But I haven’t had a cigarette since I got off the trail.

The ATV path went right by an outlet for this lovely river.

I talked to them for a bit and then continued walking along smoking my cigarette. That got me feeling pretty damn good ironically. Then I packed out the butt and kept on cruising. After a while the mosquitoes got pretty bad. So when I got the next chance I got off the ATV path and began walking on the road again. There was no reason to suffer if I didn’t have to.

Some incredible flowers growing in a yard right by the ATV path.

I took another break when I connected back to the road. While my body was feeling good I was quite tired. The time difference combined with the massive mileage I’ve been doing is certainly wearing on me a bit. I laid on he side of the road and ate some snacks. Then just vegged out for a bit. At one point a lady drove by and asked if I was ok. I just smiled and said I was, I was just taking a little rest! I’m sure it’s an odd sight to see if you live in the area. A girl just laying on the ground next to the road.

Happy little road walker!

When I left my break spot and kept walking I only made it about a mile or so before a car pulled over. The guy inside was very nice and offered me a ride. I declined it if course, but he continued to chat me up. He asked what I was doing and where I was going. Realizing that I didn’t know anyone in the area he gave me all of his information in case there was an emergency. That was very kind of him and I appreciated it. He said that if I couldn’t find a place to stay tonight that he had friends who rented out rooms. I appreciated the offer for sure. It’s always nice having a backup plan.

Views from the bridge I crossed to get into Plaster Rock, NB.

Then I kept on going. I got into Plaster Rock, NB around 5pm which was nice and early. I was happy about that. Earlier I had a bit of service so I called to reserve a room. The lady was super nice to me when I checked in and the room was reasonable.

I got into the room and took a hot shower which felt amazing. And just as I had gotten dressed I heard a knock at the door. There was an older man standing there who I had never seen before. He mentioned the lady who worked at the motel and said that he lived across the street. Because he’s retired he likes to offer help to bike packers and hikers when he sees them. It had began to rain right as I arrived and was still coming down. So he offered to take me down the road to grab some dinner without getting soaked.

I grabbed what I needed and he drove me down to an Italian restaurant. The place was super busy so it was going to take 40 minutes to be ready. But Jeff said that was no problem at all. While the food got made me sat in his car and talked about all kinds of things. He spent his whole life traveling and adventuring. He’d lived all around the world and was probably the most interesting person I’d ever spoken to. His stories were never ending and each one seemed better than the last somehow.

Once the food was ready he drove me back to the motel and dropped me off. He gave me his information in case I needed anything at all. Then I headed inside to lounge and eat my food.

Homemade pasta for dinner!

I can’t express how grateful I felt today for all the amazing people here in New Brunswick. So many kind individuals have offered me their time and help. Even without knowing me at all. People will often complain back home or in “real life” that they can’t stand people or “don’t like people”. But the more time that I spend out in the world I realize how foolish that is.

The news and media portrays people as being so bad and makes you not want to trust strangers. Though I’ve been putting my trust into strangers for almost 6 months. And from what I’ve seen most people are kind and can be trusted. Even hiking alone as a woman I can’t report of a single bad encounter I’ve had. As long as you have your wits about you and listen to your intuition.

Back at the room I ate delicious homemade pasta in bed. There was nothing on the TV that wasn’t in French so I didn’t bother with that. I just lounged and have a relaxing rest of the night.

Day 177: 27 miles

This morning I woke up fairly early at the Settlers Inn in Plaster Rock, NB. Once again I had a big day ahead of me and needed the early start.

I got moving and hit up the gas station nearby first thing. There I grabbed some Gatorade to last me the day, a soda, and a chocolate milk for the road. I started calling places in Saint Quentin early on while I had a bit of service. It was tough because Saint Quentin is a French town so even booking a room was difficult. But eventually I got a reservation taken down and was good to go. I’m not going to be there tonight but still wanted to secure something for tomorrow before everything is booked.

Drinking a chocolate milk while I walked the road.

I packed out an appetizer from the Italian place last night which was a great move. While I walked I carried marinara sauce in one hand and a ziplock bag full of pizza bites in the other. I’m sure it was a wild scene to anyone driving by. I also cracked open a Sussex ginger ale, which I must say is hands down the best ginger ale I’ve ever had.

Eating the pizza bites that I packed out from Plaster Rock. Marinara sauce and all.

Sussex! Aka the best ginger ale known to man.

The terrain was super cruisy along the road so I made it about 9 miles before taking my first break. Then sat down for a bit to stretch and give my body a break. From there I only had about 16-17 miles to go! While I was sitting there a car drove by and pulled over. There were two guys inside and they chatted me up. Both were curious about what I was doing. And one of the guys gave me a Canadian flag pin! That was such a cool surprise. I put the pin right on my backpack with pride. How fun!

The Canadian flag pin that some guys gave me while I walked the road.

Then I continued along. I went for another 2-3 hours without stopping. It’s much easier to do on the road. But it’s also a mental game. After an hour or two I begin to get tired. My feet feel sore and the monotony of the road walking starts to get to me. My trick is that I keep telling myself to just continue on to the next good place to stop. The next dirt road or wide pull off. Whatever it may be. And in the end you always wind up walking for another mile or so before actually finding a good place to stop off. That works every time for me.

A pretty pond alongside the road.

I sat there along a wide dirt shoulder of the road for a bit. My snack bag was running low which encouraged me to eat some bars and things which I’ve been carrying since Shaw’s hostel but haven’t had the appetite for. After that I only had about 8 miles to go to get to Riley Brook. That’s where I planned to spend the night.

A mama deer and baby deer just off the road.

When I got into Riley Brook the first thing I went passed was the Bear Lair. Trucker had told me about this place and said it was a great spot to stay at. So I went right inside to see about securing a room. The lady inside greeted me with a smile and said, “We’ve been expecting you!” I was surprised because I didn’t call to let them know that I was coming. But apparently she drove by me earlier walking along the road. There is nothing else nearby so she knew I’d be heading over to the motel eventually. I thought that was pretty funny.

The man who owned the place said he’d give me the same deal that he gave Trucker, which was $60 CAD. That’s only about $44 US which is a killer deal for a private room with it’s own shower and bath. I’ve had to stay at a lot more motels in New Brunswick because there is very little camping. But the places are so much cheaper than they would be in the states.

I paid and then headed over to my room. It was perfect and had everything that I needed. Then I walked down the street to a nearby gas station to resupply and grab some drinks. When I returned I took a shower and got comfortable. Then went into the main building of the motel where there was a restaurant. The nice lady who ran the place made me a burger and poutine. Everything was so delicious.

The unique snacks that I got at the gas station in Riley Brook.

Some of their friends came in to visit while I was there. They all talked to me like I was an old friend and asked me about my adventures. I felt right at home. That’s such a lovely feeling. Then I laid and headed back to the room to chill. I plan on having a super early start tomorrow because it will be an extra long day. So I laid down nice and early to go to bed.

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Comments 6

  • thetentman : Sep 11th

    Chocolate milk and super nice Canucks. Now that is hiking in style.


  • tek : Sep 11th

    gotta love those crunchie bars!

  • Alex : Sep 11th

    Peg Legg

    Enjoyed you post. I agree with you about stranger’s kindness. I have found that if you get out of the big cities where everyone is rushing to get everything done nobody has the time to stop and smell the roses and enjoy one another’s company. Our daughter spent 2 summers in Trios Rivera in college. ( excuse my spelling). The people were very friendly and asked if you needed help.

    Enjoy your time on your adventure. When you get to be my age you will have wonderful memories.

    Remember it is the journey not the destination so take your time and enjoy

    Take care and keep on trucking.


  • John : Sep 12th

    The people are making your trek a memorable experience. Appears New Brunswick is a bi-lingual territory. All of your places you stay as you journey are also a great experience for me as I have lived in East Ky all my life. I am learning from these posts and enjoying each one….

  • RemmieArnold : Sep 12th

    I have followed all your posts and salute you for a journey well trod. Thank you for sharing.


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