33 1/3 N C S + Cuba

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Throttlemeister, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Had to take a break in Effingham, IL because I was hot and the mule was tired:
    [​IMG]

    So I wimped out and decided to break for the afternoon and regroup and do the nighttime shift instead, seems it will be easier to make quality time, less heat and traffic to deal with.

    I left the house late last night and made it up to Springfield, MO for the first night. Stopped by one of the worlds largest McDs on my way, the glass house over the Will Rogers:

    [​IMG] and bush camped right in town across the street from the BPS
    [​IMG]
    sleeping on rocks means nothing to me now, thanks to the little cot that I love:
    [​IMG]

    and woke up early because the store was opened at 7am:clap and I wanted to make the most of the day, so I thought.
    [​IMG]

    Went in and checked the store out, going under lots of changes right now. The big tank with the biggest fish was even empty for rennovations. The big alligator turtle was still there:
    [​IMG]

    He's a beast:
    [​IMG]

    Starting to run out of room on the bike but I found a spot for my new little camping mat here:
    [​IMG]

    After I loaded up this is where I first noticed something amiss. I started the bike and it bulked and acted like the battery was low. Had a recent battery that I put in not long ago but it was a Westco so I was wondering a bit. The starter was taken off and cleaned up last time I did a major overhaul in the spring before SLAP so I thought I was alright.

    I went on to St Louie to check out the arch.
    [​IMG]

    Getting closer, it is one cool looking SS piece
    [​IMG]

    I was thinking at this point it would be could to pick up some oil for a needed oil change sometime before Wed and thought why not stop at the local shop for some lubricants and have a look around, I've heard good things about the place anyway.

    Pulled up to the place and I was impressed with all the bikes, they even got white ones now:
    [​IMG]

    It was pretty busy and took a little to get some oil and crush rings gathered up but they had wifi so I took it easy and made a quick post to stay current with the world. I met Justin aka Muddbutt'n who really went all out to take care of me. Here's The Man:
    [​IMG]

    I got hooked up with the oil and some swag from the GM, who's name I forget but was a gs-ing fool as well, and loaded the oils and got ready to roll when I cranked the bike smoke rolled from the starter and the smell of something bad filled the air. Damn, so much for making good time today.
    Turned out my little old starter gave up its ghost, better here than anywhere because these just happened to have one of the high-dollar little bastards that I was very happy to get my hands on, what are the odds?

    So out with the old and in with the new:
    [​IMG]

    That back bolt is a real SOB to get at and Justin hooked me up with an unknown mechanics wobble socket to get it, note to self, need one or have to remove the CAT to get it best I could tell.
    [​IMG]
    Wobble in there out of sight.

    Man I didn't know it should be that quite starting up, awesome. My only complaint now is the the top end of the throttle is hanging up or something going on with the TPS that lets in stumble at high speeds, maybe it will keep my out of trouble but its aggravating in heavy traffic where I need it most to stay out of the way.

    I changed the starter out front in the parking lot and in retrospect I should have taken the offer to work in the shade of the shop but I thought I would give a short exercise in the servicability of starter exchange in the hot parking lot for the hell of it. I like picking good places to have problems and this was the absolute best place to be in the world today. Thanks Gateway BMW, I will speak highly of you guys and special thanks to Justin to helping me out, the dude said he would give me the starter off his 1150 if need be and I believe him:clap

    I finally got loaded back up with the fresh starter in place and was ready to roll. I had some packing issues with the backpack that I've been running for the first couple of trips this year, and had lunch at another McD and sorted the load by strapping the backpack on top, what a difference. I think I would still be going if the throttle thingy, the heat, and the traffic hadn't got to me a little and make me want to take a break and ride at night. Fixed a couple things on the bike with the handle bars where they got tweaked from the mule napping and still sorting the packing like I always have to do during the first part of a big trip.

    Getting ready to take a shower and take off in the cool of the night and see what we can do about chopping some miles down tonight.
    #21
  2. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Well after fixing the bent up bar from the parking lot lay-over and working over my turtle pac tank so it would stay together I got underway. It was much better traveling at night, cool and just me and the trucks and a handful of cars scattered.

    At one point there was some short cab over box truck with Indiana plates that came up quick on me and shortly after passing went into black out mode for a long time, I was interested so I sped up to watch all this. The dude would get out in the open and then go drug runner blackout for a few miles even more than once passing a big truck with no lights on:huh
    Never could figure out what he was up to but I went on around when we got into some traffic West side of Indianapolis and that's all I know about that.

    I was making really good time running in the cool night until I had an urge for some waffels and pulled over for at the first waffle house I came by for an early morning breakfast which turned into a gong show. I should have known better than that with all the Sat night drunks who got the muchies after getting their drink on.

    Two waffels I got that where a screwed up earlier order:
    [​IMG]

    Most of the meal less the toast:
    [​IMG]
    The girl working the late shift was in over her head and got the order all jacked up, I was eating in stages all that I ordered plus an extra waffle give-away that ened up costing $10:huh with the a dollar and change for a tip that wasn't deserved but surely expected with no apologies. Oh well, money sure seems to go too easy sometimes. Such is life.

    One of the worst WH in the country:
    [​IMG]

    After the little WH breakfast I head on down the road until I need to take a stop at a rest area right East of Indianapolis called Greenfield. I went in to take a piss and have a stretch and then hopped back on the mule and got lights and fuel pump start-up just for a moment and then blacked out just like a blown fuse or something, great I'm really not liking loading and unloaded all the gear for each problem that comes along.

    I got everything off ~3am at the rest stop that was thankfully well lit and started working on a diagnosis. Went to the fuse box first by mistake with the fluke getting ready to give er hell but then snapped back into reality and checked the most obvious, the battery connections, and sure enough the positive cable that I took off to change the starter had worked its way loose and was barely making contact. Easy fix but I had to pop the tank which was recently just filled, SOB. Got that all fixed up and off again after some extended time.

    Keep on riding some nice easy miles in the early morning hours and was ready for a little cap nap on a rest area somewhere to the West of Columbus and found picnic table with my name on it around 5:30am my time. Slept really good for 1 1/2 hours and then cranked it on up again through Ohio.
    View from my little table top bed:
    [​IMG]
    Ohio has more than its fair share of Highway Patrol covering 70 and 71, more than once I was in a tight spot. Staying in the slow lane saved me and sacrificed the fast lane guy once for sure, red car didn't help much either.

    Head on north towards Cleveland on the big roads still trying to make some time to get to the boat with some time to spare. Did have one fuel stop that cost me my glasses, seems I went in to pay and get a small bite to eat and somehow left them or someone snatch them up. I first noticed 1 mile down the interstate and turned back to look for them and came up with nothing, damn, least I can still see some.
    Last known location of my specs, forever gone:
    [​IMG]
    It will give me something to do on the island during the week between the ferry rides when I'm not riding.

    One of the few stops that I was going to try and make was see Niagara Falls for the first time. All I remember is watching in on Superman and how he saved Lois Lane from going over the edge with his laser cutting eye beams. Was neat to see it and even better to walk down into the spray.

    [​IMG]

    I stayed over on the American side and left goat island and the Canadian side for next time around maybe with that someone special:wink:

    Lots of water going over the edge:
    [​IMG]
    Really don't like the tourist thing that much any more but these are pretty neat and they are going to draw in the people. Looking forward to those big ones down the SA later on in the trip.

    Very nice shade of blue green down below:
    [​IMG]


    I got to check out the water proofness of a rally pro, works well from a stranger:
    [​IMG]
    best I could do:
    [​IMG]

    Waterproof camera working good so far, this might have looked pretty good had it not been for the extra mist:
    [​IMG]

    I did find me a free place to park the mule while I went to have a look around:
    [​IMG]

    Another thing I love about riding a bike, you can park it just about anywhere.

    I loaded back up not really wanting to head on down the road just yet and found a nice little curry house to load up my palate on some foreign cuisine that was quite nice here:
    [​IMG]

    One of my plates:
    [​IMG]

    I met the owner Jag and his pal Walter and they told me a little about town and the neat little museum across the steet with the Niagara Falls daredevils and their history. They had some really neat displays and timeline of events of people trying to be famous, the guy that owns the shop is good friends with one of the more famous repeat offenders.

    Here some pictures from there:
    [​IMG]
    This worked well for Steven Trotters's first solo attempt.

    Here's his second duo attempt for a Father's Day present that cost him around 20K:
    [​IMG]
    Him and a girl went over it this beat up one and got stuck in the wash for about 90 mins before they got hauled in.

    This didn't work out well at all:
    [​IMG]

    Apparently his chute didn't open when he really needed it.

    Here's to Jag for letting me hook up on his secure wifi and do this upload. He's a very nice native born American of Indian decent(really) who's family owns and operates the curry house. He grew up in LA and then ended up out here running the family business, he's good people:clap :
    [​IMG]

    Glad I got to met him.

    I'm thinking about running out across NY and get over to Mt Washington while I have a little time before the boat that leaves Wednesday night out of Sydney, NS.

    I hope this gets better than just hammering down the interstate stopping at the tourist destinations. Looking forward to the riding out on the islands and what's yet to come. Its been good to be on the big mule so far. I've been getting lots of nice compliments about her condtion, makes me smile every time.

    Been good time so far. Adios for now.
    #22
  3. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    vermont is so cool that they have free wifi at the rest stop in the middle of the mountains!

    Stayed outside Syracuse, NY last night right off the NY thru-way in a commuter parking lot next to the Boxing Hall of Fame. Got up and had some McD's burritos and started off for Albany and then headed North up into Vermont where I finally got off the interstate system if only for a little bit.

    Going to the spot with the highest ever recorded wind, Mt. Washington in NH to check it out. On my way and I saw this hotspot and had to pull in and try it out. Typing a update in the shade on a nice cool, lush, green grass is awesome. Going to cross into Canada possibly tonight or stay in Maine somewhere with good lobster and cold beer.

    Upload pictures later. Here's one good one that is worth thinking about:
    [​IMG]

    Temperatures here in the moutains are much better, I did see 92 this morning in some town in NY:eek1 , I thought that would be gone when I left OK.

    Try to get another hotspot this evening if possible.
    #23
  4. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Short update, will do a proper one when I get to the big island later this week. In Fredericton NB with free downtown wifi coverage- all towns should be like this.

    Yesterday I had a big day starting in NY and ended early this morning just inside the Canadian border where I sack out after having some problems being a little tired in Bangor, Maine where I needed a little catnap to keep me going.

    I was glad to cross the border, it was by far the easiest crossing I have ever done, didn't hurt that it was 3:30am either I'm guessing. No wait and no passport needed.

    I went to Mount Washington and it was totally awesome, I enjoy seeing stuff like that and on the way up I only had one car to deal with and thankfully they used to the first pull out they came up on.

    I accidentally went to the wrong side of the mountain and took some backwoods loops to get around to the other side, lots of fun.

    Then went to Portland to have some dinner, lobster rolled and the Portland Lobster Company, quite tasty and pricey as well.

    Went on North to the border and found a spot to take a break for a few hours before coming on in to Fredericton, NB to get some wifi

    Need to upload pic but my parking meter is running out some I'll get them later.

    Wanting to swing Prince Edward Island but don't know about the costs of the bridge and ferry.

    More to come.
    #24
  5. CodyY

    CodyY ADVenture Capitalist

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    :lurk

    :wave Hi homie
    #25
  6. tomski74

    tomski74 Silesian American

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    Location:
    North Tulsa where adventures happen every day
    France. Look at the "F" under the European Union stars.

    Nice trip, keep posting!
    #26
  7. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Hey dude you still riding the stairs?

    We need a DFW GTW back at the ole peaks sometime coming up in Sept before I head down to SA.

    Eat you some more corn, this should take a while.:lol3
    #27
  8. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    The things you learn from others, thanks man on the insight least I got the continent right:wink:

    Glad your liking, I was beginning to think it was just me and 5 others watching this thing.
    #28
  9. MikeBike4

    MikeBike4 Hacked

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    We're watching...just don't want to interrupt!:lurk Great report.
    #29
  10. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    There are no interruptions just one of life's many tangents that come are way. The feed back it nice.

    The best part about riding solo is that you can stop and set up shop at a wifi whenever the hell you want without pissing off anyone who wants to ride.

    I'm just trying to get a routine going with this quasi up to date stuff.

    Have some corn dude, and a beer for me if you care to.
    #30
  11. johngs

    johngs wanna b adventurer

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    :lurk I'm here!!!!!
    #31
  12. bobcat

    bobcat recalculating

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    Good stuff Throttlemeister. :thumb

    :lurk
    #32
  13. mtndragon

    mtndragon Traveler

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    John-
    Great stuff man. Very jealous. I ended my three week tour two days ago, and I am in serious withdraws. You arrived in CO just as I was leaving. I really hope you make it this way at the end of September, and I can escort you down through Baja for a couple of days on your way south.

    One piece of advice-

    Lay off the McDonalds or you won't live to see South America.
    :puke1
    Just sayin.

    Ride on man, ride on.
    #33
  14. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Bobcat funny thing you posted up, I was thinking about you username some recently thinking its a good one too. I stopped at a Bobcat dealer in New England somewhere the other day and added a bobcat sticker to the mule's tank. This is all good considering you know what a Bobcat is, now I'm looking for a DitchWitch and I'll complete my favorites.
    #34
  15. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    The plan at this point is a loop into Baja and back out after we tire ourselves. You still got that hook up down their with the Bueller thingy?

    CO is always just fine.

    McD is what I remember as a child, the F-french frys call my name.
    #35
  16. mtndragon

    mtndragon Traveler

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    My Bueller Baja hook up has moved back to the States. No worries, who needs hot chicks in Baja...right? :cry

    I understand the fry thing, just messin' with ya...sorta. That stuff will kill you. It's more dangerous than motorcycles.
    #36
  17. PSYCLOPS

    PSYCLOPS Diduseedasizeofdatchickin

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    Hell yes!

    Man, John, you're livin' the dream brother.

    will be stoppin' by daily for sure.

    :thumb

    Ride safe my friend.



    :lurk
    #37
  18. bobcat

    bobcat recalculating

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    Oooh, good idea, I need a sticker like that... And a coincidence, since I noticed the Bobcat dealer in Austin just a week or so ago. Their sign would make a good avatar also, it says "Bobcat of Austin". :lol3

    Looking forward to reading about your travels as you go. :thumb
    #38
  19. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Where was I on the big stuff, lets see the the evening of the Aug 16 coming out of Niagara Falls NY.

    I left the town and got back on the NY thru-way aka turnpike as its called in OK. Got .50$ down the way and decided I need fuel, the darn gauge only works from half full on down, but at least the low level indicator helps clear up some of the mystery.

    I got off the pike and had to drive quite a ways into the burbs of the falls to find a station and then met up with good ole Eddy, 80 young 80 just living life and looking for a cold drink. We get to talking and stuff and then low and behold a pretty girl walks by in some shadow of distress.

    Eddy and I continue on our serious discussion and that said girl comes back out of the station and asks for assistance. Her problem stemmed from a child custody issue with her referred to 'dickhead' exboyfriend, husband, lover wth ever ex. He was supposed to meet her and exchange her son at the gas station and a predetermined time which previously mentioned dh did not show up and produce her child.

    Seems she took the understandably hard and stormed out of the station parking lot and quickly was apprehended by local johnny law dog and giving some sort of aggressive/hazardous driving ticket. First questions from Eddie and I are 'Have you been drinking" Short answer was a little so we replied similitaneously your a lucking SOB and life is not that bad.

    Her problem now was that her vehicle had run out of fuel and was stranded at the bar near where her encounter with the LEO occured caddiecorner to the station myself and Eddie are BSing. She needed a little fuel to get her on her way and I offered to do the baja siphon thing to get her going, just trying to be a super-hero and all, but first we suggested that she check insdie the station and see if they have a community jug just for these situations.

    No luck with that so I being the decent person I think I am bought her a spanking new $10 jug that the station was selling so she could get on along. I'm just saying she was an attractive girl in a little dirty kind of way and I got the feeling she wanted more support but unfortunatley I had places I thought I needed to be more so I left it at that and I think it is right, however as she crossed the road in front of me with her new fuel jug recently topped off I couldn't help to think and rethink as I drove down the road to Albany. She seemed very nice and I hope she does well with her life because I know Eddie will be just fine. Here's that pair:
    [​IMG]

    I'm just glad I could help a little.

    I got the tank topped off and headed off East into the night. I pulled off at an unknown location that turned out to be the home of the Boxing Hall of Fame among other things.

    Picture with the town location:
    [​IMG]

    My digs for the night in the local commuter parking lot, I'm starting to really feel at home camping whereever the hell I feel like laying down. Damn I love that cot:
    [​IMG]

    I got up the next morning when I wanted to and continued on my way into new lands that I've never been to before by moto or anything else. Maine, Vermont, NH are going down and it leave ND as the last of my 50, most are by bike now at this point. I think:clap

    The plan for the next day the 17th was to head to Mt Washington because of what I've read on here and the known highest recorded wind speeds well above 200 mph'es.

    But first there is Vermont.
    [​IMG]

    I jumped off of I 87 north out of Albany at Glen Falls area and think it was HW 4 that passed me into Vermont for my very first time. Vermont is a nice little state that care about the safety of motorcyclists, it is the only state that I know of that warns you of the potential dangers of the little bumps in the shoulders that keep the drousy people alive and lets the rest know its time to kiss their ass goodbye. Here's there helpful signs for those of us that don't already know, I've never spun out after hitting any:
    [​IMG]

    Random gas station sighting in Vermont, some kind of armory I think:
    [​IMG]

    I crossed over Vermont passing a few of the ski areas that I remembered hearing about, Killington and Pico and some of their nice high and cool roads which was neat to finally see their locations and even passed through Woodstock, maybe the real Woodstock there seem to be so many I not sure where it really happen, before my time anyway. Got over to I 91 and the Garmin headed me North along the border of NH where I found the sweet little rest area lit up with wifi which should be mandatory for all rest areas + 115v outlets scattered liberally thoughout the grounds. Here's one of the best rest stops in the Eastern US:
    [​IMG]
    I was right there in that nice lush green shady spot surfing away, technology is crazy like that.

    It took a long time to get away from Woodstock, it seemed like every body and their dog are cruising through driving slow trying to re-live it all. Somewhere it there I stopped and got the mule a new bobcat sticker that the nice dude just gave me, it could've been too cheap. Came from this place:
    [​IMG]
    Here you go Bobcat, thinking of you. Its a cool sticker and I love running a bc.

    Finally got to Hew Hampshire and went along HW 10 to keep from going all the way up to Littleton. I worked my way down to where I thought the road was for going up to the top of the mountain but ended up just being the train side. I would have to go aways around to get where I could drive up. Before I took off for the other side I stumpled down the road to the maintance shop and BSed with a grumpy old mechanic who seemed intested in the mule and curious if I could make it up the moutain and just in general grumpy about this and that. Told me have to go long way around to the other side, I guess he figured I didn't know how to use autoroute.

    I went back up to the cog station and went down near the employee parking and met up with this little named John as well.
    [​IMG]

    Turns out he's been a conductor for ~5years running the rails up and down the mountain. So me being little inquisitive about the whole thing started talking him up about the job and he obliged for my benefit.
    The steamer needs roughly 1000 gal of water for a round trip and ~ton of coal to work itself up and back. Turns out that have started using the diesel version of the cog machine and it uses roughly 20 gal for its trip, do the easy math but you miss out on the historical value. I'm unsure what they run on Pikes Peak but one day I'll make both the trips I hope.

    Some of the real cogger:
    [​IMG]

    The little coal yard slash track yard:
    [​IMG]


    Mt Washington is alright, but imperative that you know what side the roads on or you will have to skirt the mountain to get to the road. The cog RR on one side and the the fun road on the other. Unfortunately all the information I was armed with was Garmins location of Mt Washington Resort which happened to be on the wrong side, the West, of where I needed to be.

    Its alright because the first off road experience of the trip happened here, the Jefferson Notch:
    [​IMG]

    Hardly a HW:

    [​IMG]
    Was a nice little skirting road that comes off the main road to the cog station that allows you to cut some miles off the trip to the other side and then another short gravel section that jumps from HW 2 to HW 16 bypassing Gorham. It was a nice trip to the other side for the road to the top that I'm glad I got in on. I have been running way to many interstates but sometimes that's just the way it is, stupid boat schedule.


    The cog train was very interesting none the less, and expensive I might add. But since I was riding a more than capable bike I would save my sixty for another day and have a nice dinner with part later on in the day.

    Impressive so that I might also add that it was the very first of its kind and the second highest in the world, Pikes Peak cog maybe the top honor.

    The road going up the mountain was still $14 with included free sticker with list of rules on the back side included for your protection. After riding up this I think this would be a much better venue with lots more action than the Pikes Peak race to the top. This was one fun road, that is unless the yea hoos in front of you don't want use a provided turn out. I luckily only had one car I met up near the top. I had to be on of the last of the day going up so it worked to my advantage.

    The mule up high in NH:
    [​IMG]


    Lot of neat stuff up here, so much that I shouldn't post them all but here's a small selection of the neat stuff up top.

    The summit proper:
    [​IMG]

    The benchmark:
    [​IMG]

    What happens to your bike if caught in a storm:
    [​IMG]

    They have to chain the roofs down:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thank goodness there was a pretty at the top to take my picture for me or this is what I'd have:
    [​IMG]

    And the diesel cogger at the top getting ready to go down:
    [​IMG]

    Now for the neat part about going down, they kick you off at 6:45pm and hopefully most everybody else has headed down by then and your ready. If your bike's got good brakes this works pretty cool. You just start off and go stealth mode all the way down, its fun to ride with no sound, must be like flying in a glider after flying a regular plane all your life. I made it all the way out to the road and scared the hell out of the older lady at the gate, don't think she expected to see anyone whooshing by.

    Before I left NH I had to take a picture of one of these because there where a lot of them, one example:
    [​IMG]
    Even got a spot for the people walking, how nice.

    Time to find that dinner. Picked up some more fuel down by Glen, NH somewhere and met another unknown guy that used to work up on the North Slope and we started talking when he saw the mule's stickers. He talked about driving a belly dump semi and how they found the remains of a mamoth in a pond they where dredging from and how it shut the whole project down in a heartbeat. Maybe there is some truth to the propaganda video they show before the tour up there. Oh the stories and how I enjoy them most of the time.

    I ended up going over to Portland to look for some lobster and found it here, duh:
    [​IMG]

    I was charging the camera battery so no food pictures but I assure you it was a good lobster roll and local beer, blue moon-like clone.

    Menu front, they even had little light em up lobsters when your order was ready. It was right on the wharf and there where some very nice boats tied up for me to check out.

    [​IMG]

    It was late after eating but I not wanting to be stuck in Southern Maine in the morning having to drive up to the border and possibly run into lines at the border decided to move on up the road. I got to Bangor and just about called it. Was wanting something or maybe just needed to get off the bike for a while. Its amazing I didn't get thrown in jail driving around town well after midnight looking around for I don't know what. I had a couple of mountain dews and talked with one of the late night c-store workers before taking a siesta on the side walk next to the station to get built back up for the trip North.

    I got some good rest and decided to go for it, didn't see any rather large animals but saw many of their kills spots. I did end up seeing two small kit foxes or something of the type, that have a pretty decent handle on how its supposed to work and they moved along with little worry.

    I came into the border crossing off I 95 and rolled right up to the window and it was easier than ordered a grilled stuff burrito at Taco Bell.

    After this I was feeling pretty tired and ended up pulling off near Woodstock, NB for some much needed sleep at another one of my fine free sites, this one right near the highway at a terminal branch in an industrial area, again no problems and no quesitons only waves from the workers as I pulled away from here:
    [​IMG]

    That wraps up Aug 17th and starts me off for today for the next installment to get this thing back updated.
    #39
  20. MiddleAgedMissile

    MiddleAgedMissile Long timer

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,059
    Location:
    North Tejas
    Mr T! I didn't know you had already started your ride report.
    Consider me subscribed. I'm ready for a few dozen Shiner Bocks at the cabin and you telling the stories.
    Barb says hello

    Be Safe...but have fun first!
    #40