And that was North America, or at least it will be after this stage is complete. Two hundred and fifty six stages after setting out from Anchorage on stage 482, the journey rolls into Halifax International Airport ready to set off for Lisbon and the final sixty three stages of the journey around the world. The stage is relatively flat until nineteen miles then all hell breaks loose: Canada, and indeed North America is going out with a bit of a bang and a four hundred foot climb.
The rollout from Stewiacke is straight and flat for three miles as Highway 102 heads south/south west alongside the Shubenacadie River before crossing it on a right hander after Fox Hollow Golf Club. The road then loops around the western fringe of Shubenacadie while the river meanders its way around the other side of town. The two are almost reunited at Milford after eight miles, by which time the road has negotiated a couple of up/down lumps of a hundred feet apiece, but they manage to stay apart.
After Milford, everything’s relatively calm and featureless to fourteen miles where the Nine Mile River crosses under the road flowing west to east before merging with the Shubenacadie at Elmsdale a mile later. The Shubenacadie River eventually flows into Shubenacadie Grand Lake at nineteen miles, by which time it’s crossed back under the highway (a mile earlier) and it’s there that the fun starts.
Halifax International Airport sits high up on the hill overlooking the rugged north Atlantic coastline and the city of the same name some fifteen or so miles to the south. The section from the second crossing of the Shubenacadie River to the airport chucks in a beast of a climb between miles nineteen and twenty two. It’s severe and it will really test your legs. The climb starts in Enfield, just after the intersection between Highway 102 and Highway 2 which crosses it running east/west. The initial part of the climb takes the road to the perimeter fence at the end of the east/west runway at twenty one miles then it runs alongside the airport boundary to the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum where a slip road swings right and crosses over H102 into the terminal building area and the end of the stage. Canada is complete!
Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres
Ascent: 1010 feet / 308 metres
RGT Magic Road: U3nQzq8LYsVO
Max elevation: 362 ft
Min elevation: -63 ft
Total climbing: 994 ft
Total descent: -620 ft
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