I don't get enough vacation time. 3 weeks is all I have to work with - my wife gets one of them for a snowbird holiday somewhere warm in the winter, my kids get one of them for an annual camping trip and I get one of them to take an "extended" bike trip. I know a week hardly qualifies as extended, but there it is. I get lots riding in during the year, mostly on weekends and I stretch the season to the max usually involving some snow at both ends. But this one week in August has to count. My solution to this is to always have two or three trips in mind at any given time and I leave it quite late to make the call which way to head. In fact, if you'd asked me where I was going the day before I left I'd have said "through the States to Virginia and back". Newfoundland was "plan B" and the Trans Lab Highway would have been "plan C". This kind of thing is why I tend to do these trips solo, it's definitely not everybody that wants to leave this decision to the last minute. I loaded the bike on Saturday and began paying more attention to weather forcasts through the day. Things appeared to be getting hotter and wetter Stateside and drier and a bit cooler in Newfoundland - I paid very little attention to Labrador as it was still only "Plan B". Late Saturday I called Marine Atlantic and made a reservation on the 6:30 ferry to Port aux-Basques for the next day. As this ferry is scheduled to arrive anywhere from midnight to 2:00am I also made a reservation at the St. Christopher's Inn for Sunday night. With the bike all loaded I hit the road around 8:15 on July 29th, for the relatively short ride to North Sydney. This will be my second trip to Cape Breton this year and both times the skies looked exactly like this: I arrived at North Sydney around 2:30 and I didn't need to be at the ferry terminal for a couple more hours so I had some time to kill. I had lunch at the local and notorious Lick-A-Chick takeout and just took the next side road I came to, which turned out to be a nice gravel treat - hmmm, left or right? looks like most people go right...: so I go left,.. things got even better: After an hour or so of this it was time to head down to the ferry and get in line: Those who've been on this ferry know bikes are ushered to the front of the line so I joined a few bikes that had already arrived. I met most of the riders and they were from all over including Florida, Alberta, BC, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. We talked about riding, trips and other stuff until it was time to board. Squeezing them on: and we pulled away from the terminal on time: The ferry ride was uneventul unless you consider paying $9.50 for a hot dog and iced tea exciting. I didn't bother with a bunk but did pay the extra ($11.00 I think) for a reclining chair in the "quiet" section so I could get some sleep while crossing - I actually did catch a few winks. It was 2:00am when we docked and even though the bikes were nearly the first vehicles off it was still almost 3:00 before I was checked in at the hotel. It would be a fairly short night but at the front end of a week of riding that's no problem at all.