James Bay and Beyond

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by lakota, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Endeavor to persevere.

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    From Alabama to Newfoundland, it's all Appalachian
    :lurk

    Looking good so far!
    #21
  2. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Day 5 August 28 Radisson to Mirage Outfitters

    The forecast for today is cold in the morning so we plan to leave at 9 in hopes that things have warmed up some. We meet in the ding room about 7:30 and dig into some breakfast porn

    Western Omelet

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    Keith eats everything on the menu

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    Eggs Benedict

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    saved the best for last Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon

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    Then its off to the Esso Station (anyone besides me remember Esso?). While we are refueling bikes and extra cans the line grows. eventually there are 8 other BMW motorcycles in front of the station all doing variations on the theme of our ride. We are the only ones using Visa as our camping methodology.:wink:

    We leave the station and ride 44 miles back down James Bay road to the start of the Trans-Taiga Highway

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    As you can see it is 358Km to today's destination

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    Gotta air down those tires

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    The start of the road

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    the road surface (sometimes better, sometimes worse)

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    And now a slight digression to explain where my mind is at the start of the Trans-Taiga. As some of you are aware I totaled my F800GS last year on the Continental Divide.
    (picture here http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=19070604&postcount=12 )
    So I have a 20 minute or so memory gap surrounding the crash. I havve no idea as to what went wrong and what I need to correct. Therefore I don't know how I am going to react to some real gravel riding. I am very tentative as we start out. Fortunately I have good riding partners and they have a lot of patience (Bruce and Dana were on the Continental Divide ride and I was in the process of catching up to them when i crashed so they have some understanding of my problem). As we go along things get better and my "gravel legs" re-emerge so the ride goes well.
    Back to the ride
    First rest stop

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    Back on the road - view from a bridge

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    Here's what the road looks like some miles in

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    one of many dams along the way

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    Views from another break - note that this is like the Trans_Lab before pavement - you can enjoy the views or ride the motorcycle - trying to make that an and statement can lead to disaster

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    more of what we are riding

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    Neat bridge - kinda like the Rupert River Bridge yesterday

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    I ran out of gas again - this time covering only 56 miles from the time the fuel light comes on (yesterday was 59). This place was less than 2Km beyond where I stopped to empty the Rotopax. ( Nouchimi Outfitters next down was closed)

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    Everyone gets gas but me

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    Ice House

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    they have lodging

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    and seaplanes ( the Otter is $1175/hour to charter)

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    Rules for hunting

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    finally Mirage Outfitters

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    We have reservations for two nights and meals for both days ( they will provide us a with box lunch fol both tomorrow and Friday
    The room (don't share with Keith)

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    not a lot of choice for meals was forced to have steak and baked potato (since my mother wasn't here skipped the broccoli):D

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    Can 't go wrong at a place with rules like this

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    Today's ride was 261 miles in 9 hours

    tomorrow I will take a rest day while Dana, Bruce and Keith ride to the end of the road. I am looking at the days ahead and think is the right plan for me
    "A man's got to recognize his limitations"

    there will be some sort of report and pictures tomorrow - there is a lot to see here.

    In the small world department the guys 3rd and 4th from the right in this photo I met on the Ferry from Labrador to Newfoundland when I did the TLH in 2010. They had just come back form the end of the road and wer wandering back to Maine.

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    #22
  3. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Random thoughts on a rest day

    thanks to all of you who have been following along

    Karoo 3s take a long time to wear in. It was close to 1000 miles before I was comfortable with them at speed. On day 1 in PA there was a really strange wobble at around 80. It is gone now.

    Cardo Scala rider G9 is easier to sync then the SENA SMH10. Sound quality is very slightly better with the Scala. The SENA will allow clearer bike to bike chat at a higher speeds.

    Finding the right speed on the washboards can take you out of your comfort zone

    Choose good riding partners

    Airing down is a good thing

    KLiM Gear is the best

    There is no shame in taking a rest day, even if it means missing something that might be memorable. You can live with a little regret.

    Random signs I like without comment

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    #23
  4. chilango

    chilango super-user

    Joined:
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    NYC
    Ah, re-living some good memories with you. That was my first real long trip from NYC. We only made it to Radisson, and that was our day off. We took a tour of one of the hydros, and that was very cool.
    On our way back, we took the North Road, and camped right after the bridge that crosses the Rupert (saw it in all its glory - it was awesome.) The night we camped there (there is a very small road after the bridge to the left, we rolled right in, pitched a tent and voila) we saw aurora borealis. We were there around this time, so keep your eyes open.
    I am going back at some point to do the trans-taiga. I miss that area...
    Thanks for the memories.
    aa
    #24
  5. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Thanks - Glad you are enjoying it
    #25
  6. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Day 6 August 29 Rest day at Mirage Outfitters

    Today I will do virtually nothing while Bruce, Dana, and Keith ride to the end of the road. That doesn't mean much as I still get up to have breakfast with my mates and see them off.
    Dana is up early to check emails

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    There is a sunrise

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    Getting the bikes ready to leave

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    Breakfast - i like omelets

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    close to being ready

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    How do you pair these Scalas?

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    Ready to launch

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    Off at 0650

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    And they are back at 1820 - 360 mile completed

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    #26
  7. Wdwrkr

    Wdwrkr Long timer

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    Loving this ride report, thanks again for letting us share your journey. Wish I was with you, I can never find anyone interested in doing these things, so I end up traveling alone. Places like this however are a bit remote to to tackle solo. If something went wrong it could get get real bad real fast alone...
    #27
  8. joemck7

    joemck7 n00b

    Joined:
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    Marty: thanks for taking the time to post this ride report. I check out the groups progress each evening and really enjoy the narrative and pictures. I also like the Spot link to see exactly where you are along with the updates when you stop for a break. Have fun, be safe, and please forward this note along to my Dad (Keith).

    Joe
    #28
  9. max384

    max384 Bandaided

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    Thanks for the ride report. I've been eagerly awaiting updates, since I'm living vicariously through your guys after having to cancel my own T-T trip this year.

    Story of my life. I have lots of friends that ride. I have only a few friends that ride further than a few hundred miles from home. I have only one friend that does the type of riding that I do... and he lives halfway across the country from me. So, needless to say, I usually do these types of rides solo.
    #29
  10. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Thanks Joe
    Everyone wants to know what your ulterior motive is? A new boat?
    Marty
    #30
  11. nick949eldo

    nick949eldo Long timer

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    Excellent ride report and great pictures. I'll be back up there sooner or later (although having ridden to Radisson three times, its getting a little stale).


    Alone is good! You only have yourself to worry/think about. Too many people limit themselves thinking they have to travel in a gang. The more remote the environment - the easier it is to get help. You are far more 'alone' in the suburbs!

    Nick
    #31
  12. bullion

    bullion n00b

    Joined:
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    Espanola ON CAN
    just home yesterday from the James Bay Highway tour - see photos... This is a highly recommended trip. We did Chisasibi, but not the Trans Tiaga part, but did return via the roughly 250 mile Nemiscau to Chibougamau gravel road...

    The gravel portion was an enjoyable diversion, though we may have took the pot holes a little agressively and experienced the following:

    1. my BMW Vario top case (2007 1200GS) couldn't take the pounding and the plastic mount portion of the case failed somewhere around Nemiscau and ended up in a dumpster (my fault - the case was over loaded and the straps holding my tent caused a slight upward pressure which caused the failure),

    2. my front tire blew out (rock puncture \ km 66, north of Chibougamau) and I had to get flatbedded into town and sat 2 days waiting for a new tire,

    3. my oversized Cee Bailey windshield which was on the bike when I bought it shook so bad the mounting bracket failed and I had to ditch the windshield and came home naked.....I'll replace with a GSA shield which is the most robust I have seen...

    Steve's GSA made it through with no issues....

    Chisasibi is a must - the people are extremely helpful and friendly and camping on the shore of James Bay was an outstanding experience....!!!

    We only encountered 2 other bikes up that way - a couple of fellows from Maine (GS1200 and Tenere)

    Phil


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    first night out - Matagami


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    pumped up for a big day!!




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    riding hard - the GS can't quite make the 381km leg for the next fuel...



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    powerful rivers!!!




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    fire devastation - June\2013 - ravaged vast areas!!!


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    early morning coffee - camp out on the James Bay shore - Chisasibi



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    James Bay - Chisasibi



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    this is Hydro Electric country!!! power dams everywhere



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    a couple of adventure riders from Maine getting ready to push north from an overnight at the KM381 stop - we're heading south at this point


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    enroute Chibougamau from the KM381 stop - 400+ km gravel this leg




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    more fast rivers - on the road to Nemiscau from the KM381 stop
    #32
  13. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Day 7 August 30 Mirage Outfitters to Radisson

    Today is to be the same as Wednesday so we thought about just posting the pictures in reverse order but decided we would create even more enemies that way:D

    We have a relatively easy ride out of the wilderness so we have a leisurely pack out and eat breakfast when the dining room opens at 0700. It is cool and raining out so are not in a hurry in hopes the rain will stop. There is good news and bad news with the rain beyond the "it's raining" whine we all do all the while knowing rain has no meaning in the grand scheme of motorcycle travel. Good news - no dust on the road. Bad news - the camera stays in the tank bag most of the ride. Finally we have to move so we go out and climb aboard. The ride is very short - less than 200 yards as we want to take a picture of helicopters on the landing pads at Mirage. They have three pads -- here is one of them

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    At 0820 we are finally moving in the direction of Radisson.
    Good picture of the road and a large lake in the background

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    Better with a little zoom

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    We stop at KM268 to top off on gas. Keith doesn't want any

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    We stop for lunch at a picnic area along the way. This place has everything - picnic tables

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    and pit toilets

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    What more do you need?
    Nice Flower

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    Curious young wolf - other than some ground squirrels the first wildlife I have seen this trip

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    who didn't want to stick around and hang with us

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    At our next rest break Keith needs to work on his sore back

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    In case you need a reminder here is what the road looks like

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    Out in the middle of nowhere Hydro Quebec has a pretty big airfield

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    See the lovely skid marks

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    Dana's bike decides a dirt nap is in order. It takes Bruce about 30 minutes to get the side case to stay on properly

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    It hasn't rained on this section of the road in a while so the dust is up. The ride back out to pavement is uneventful and as we turn towards Radisson we discuss who if anyone will run out of gas today. I am positive it will not be me. But who didn't buy gas when there was opportunity at KM268. Tha would be Keith

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    Finally we are back to the Auberge Radisson which will be our home for the next two nights.

    Today's food porn

    Walleye and rice

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    Elk

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    Mussels

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    Carrot Cake

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    Today's ride 261 miles

    We are over 2100 miles for the week and my F700 has gone over 6000 (it had 15 miles on March 1)

    Tomorrow we finally go to James Bay
    #33
  14. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    right here on my thermarest
    Great sights. :lurk
    #34
  15. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    It's 37F outside. Looks like heated gear for the ride to James Bay this AM
    #35
  16. frazman

    frazman Post***ern Redneck.

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    Excellent RR! Loving the pictures - I ended up taking about three decent pics while I was up there. So much truth to the you either ride the TT OR look at the sights....not both...;-)

    I think rain is a fact of life in the Jam├ęsie.

    I missed out on Chisasibi due to horrible riding weather....went south to Waskaganish instead. While nice enough, I think I still need to see Chisasibi.

    That forest fire scar around Eastmain was something else wasn't it? That was the most interesting part of the trip for me. I scooped up a bit of the burned stuff and put it in a ziplock bag so I could smell it from time to time.
    #36
  17. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Thanks to everyone following along

    Sorry about no report yesterday. Photobucket was screwing with my head.
    We made it to James Bay and back. Bike got its wheel baptized in the Bay. Rode about 220 miles somehow.
    Will try to get two posted tonight after we ride the North Road
    #37
  18. ktjim

    ktjim longtime n00b

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    so. maine
    Great RR. Nice to run into you at the Mirage. My buddy and I made it back to Maine on Saturday night (31st). 500 mile day in the rain on Friday but great ride overall. Ride safe and hope to see you again 'cause that'll mean I'll be on another great ride!
    #38
  19. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    just shows how small the world is. it was really cool when you pulled your helmet off and there was a face I knew from previous adventures
    #39
  20. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Day 8 August 31 Radisson to Chisasibi to Radisson

    Today is supposed to be an easy day. We will ride out to Chisasibi, see James Bay, and be back to the hotel by 3PM for a nap. Good plan.
    It's 37F as we get the bikes ready to roll. But by the time we get started it is noticeably warmer and I will spend the day changing gear and gloves ( Dana rags on me because I brought 6 pair but I need comfortable hands to ride)

    We bomb down the road and find the turn to Chisasibi.

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    The road to Chisasibi is paved and and like most roads up here the speed limit is honored in the breach. As long as you are careful with the frost heaves speed is good as the road has a lot of fun sweepers. We have a bit of confusion when we reach the only intersection along the way. Remember speed? I was at the back and had time to recognize we wanted to turn right to go the the dam and a side road to the Bay. So I'm off by myself and take a wrong turn

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    this isn't it

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    So I loop back and miss everyone else as they have found the road to the dam. Eventually we find one another and play around on the damn

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    The spillway where they diverted the water as they built the damn

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    Monument to the builders

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    You can ride across the damn with no problem

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    We stop wherever we want to take pictures of what catches our eye

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    Downstream from the damn

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    Then it is about 30 miles of gravel to the bay (relatively easy ride that looks like a lot of gravel roads.

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    First view. All the cars are form hunters off hunting birds.

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    I'm here

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    Fishing boats

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    In the bay

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    Lots of these parked here too

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    Then it's off to Chisasibi.

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    We ride around sort of lost until we spot the Civic Center.

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    now that's a fireplace

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    This building has EVERYTHING including a restaurant

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    Lunch porn

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    Small fries

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    Interesting sign at the ladies room

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    How to spell stop in Cree

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    We ride through town to find another place where James Bay is accessible by road

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    People we run into at the Bay. The guy second from right is riding a red Ducati sport bike - interesting choice for the gravel

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    Bruce in the Bay

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    Baby eagles on the top of a power pole

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    High speed run to the hotel

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    We get back about 7. So much for 3PM. Everyone skips dinner except me - I load up on spaghetti in anticipation of tomorrow's long day
    #40