Quit our jobs, sold our home, gone riding...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by lightcycle, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Taken from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/8.html

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    The Cabot Trail is the jewel of Atlantic Canada's tourism industry, especially if you're a motorcycle rider. It is considered by many to be a destination highway, like the Tail Of The Dragon in NC, Sea-to-Sky highway in BC, and the Stelvio Pass in Italy. We were camped the night before just outside of Cape Breton island and only had a couple of hundred kms to reach the beginning of the Cabot Trail in St Anns, after circumnavigating the south-east section of the island. The decision was to ride the coastal road of the Trail counter-clockwise so we would experience the scenery of the coast to our right.

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    Back to group riding!

    We left most of the planning and ride leading to Khanh, on his custom-painted VFR800, as he led us into the heart of Cape Breton. It was a really big change in rhythm as we rode with 6 other riders and at times we split up into two groups of four to keep things manageable, but the light traffic on the island meant stayed together as a group for the most part. The dynamics of group riding also changed with this many riders, as we had to make changes for different paces, following styles, endurance and also personalities.

    Fortunately, we had all ridden with each other before and it was a quick adjustment to find a group order and pace that we were all familiar with. Neda and I met these guys at a group ride last year and we found it very enjoyable and comfortable to hang out and ride with them, and we were really looking forward to spending 10 days in the Maritimes with them. Like dating, finding good riding partners is sometimes hard to do, but over the years we've managed to find some really cool people that we love touring and doing day rides with.

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    Damn you, Toronto riders. Brought the rain with you...

    As predicted by the weather apps (who watches the Weather Network on TV anymore?), the rain started coming down in the afternoon after our lobster lunch in (where else?) Lobster Kettle restaurant in Louisbourg. We head directly to the Cabot Trail and it's too rainy and foggy to see any of the promised sights. Annoyingly, the Pinlock insert on the inside of my visor broke it's seal and water slowly filled up between the fog-resistant plastic and the visor like an aquarium. All I needed was a couple of goldfish swimming around in there to complete the effect! :)

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    Rain falls overnight on the Cabot Trail

    We booked into a 4-bedroom cabin that we found in South Harbour, right in the middle of the Cabot Trail. It's nice to share a whole place like with a bunch of people, besides the social aspect, it's cheaper than what we've been paying for campsites the rest of the trip! With wet riding gear and rainsuits strewn all over the place, we waited out the rain for the night and prayed for better weather tomorrow.

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    Meat Cove - off the Cabot Trail

    Our prayers were answered with a beautiful day on the western leg of the Cabot Trail. We were recommended to take a side-trip up to Meat Cove, with magnificent views off the cliff of the north coast. Meat Cove road is gravel for about the last 10 kms, but our street bike brethren did well!

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    View of Meat Cove

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    It's not a race, Neda...

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    Meat Cove

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    Posing on the Cabot Trail

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    Our motorcycle gang!

    The twists and turns were a welcome change from the slabbing we had been doing the last few days. And set against the backdrop of the blue waters of the Gulf of St Lawrence and the clear skies above just made the riding day perfect! Scenic pullouts regularly line the Cabot Trail every few kms, offering picture-taking opportunities of the coastline, but we pass those up, gobbling up the curves with unbroken rhythm!

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    Irene takes the curves on the Cabot Trail

    We ended the day at the Caribou and Munroe's Island Provincial Park, just outside the ferry that would carry us to Prince Edward Island tomorrow morning.
    #81
    BugSpatteredJacket likes this.
  2. selkins

    selkins No hay banda!

    Joined:
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    Great stuff! I'm loving your balance of great pics and narrative. Looking forward to keeping up with your adventures.

    :clap
    #82
  3. Ben Carufel

    Ben Carufel Boxer Addict

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    San Diego
    Awesome RR!
    #83
  4. vintagespeed

    vintagespeed fNg

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    nice place to be homeless. :)
    #84
  5. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

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    Temecula CA
    I just returned from a trip and kept thinking I want to do exactly what you're doing! Keep safe and enjoy!
    #85
  6. dreemrider

    dreemrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
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    EASTERN IOWA
    Your RR has been wonderful and I have been following all along. I was in Nova Scotia and was within about 200 miles of the Cabot Trail but could not get my fellow riders to head that way as they were too tired!!

    ****Reminder note to self: Find some younger riding companions or ride by yourself!****

    Anyway, I will continue to live vicariously through you until I can do it myself. Thanks!
    #86
  7. HighTechCoonass

    HighTechCoonass Living the Dream....

    Joined:
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    Location:
    land of the swamps!, Cajun Country LA
    wow ... fantastic.... pictures.... i love it all:clap!
    #87
  8. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

    Joined:
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    Location:
    tucson, AZ, It's a dry hate.
    Greenery and water, goodbye tucson.
    #88
  9. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Yup, I'm a girl.

    Joined:
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    Visalia CA
    Still loving this RR!! Look forward to seeing where you go next. :freaky
    #89
  10. RestlessRider

    RestlessRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Palouse
    Excellent photographs. Great reports. If you are in Eastern Washington state give me a holler.
    Safe trails ahead.
    #90
  11. 99 svt bolt

    99 svt bolt Adventurer

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    Looking forward to live vicariously through you guys. Good luck and have fun!
    #91
  12. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Looks like good times and great pics...
    #92
  13. rwavaktm

    rwavaktm Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Braselton,Georgia
    My son and I rode to the Cabot Trail in Sept 09. Fantastic ride!! Thanks for the great pictures to rekindle the memories.
    #93
  14. ping

    ping Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
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    184
    Enjoy reading of your journey. Our life in this world is short...James 4v14..You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away...Have a good journey..
    #94
  15. Scooterchick

    Scooterchick And then what?

    Joined:
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    Very true........:thumb
    #95
  16. thewxman

    thewxman Adventurer

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    Bryan, TX
    Wow! Great writing and pictures. Have a safe journey! I'll be following along from my couch:lol3
    #96
  17. scootertrash

    scootertrash Mobile Homie

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    "My leg's tired, let's live here."
    subscribed..this thread is going to light a fire under me..
    #97
  18. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/9.html

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    We woke up early to catch the early ferry across the Northumberland Strait from Caribou, NS to Woods Islands, PEI, about 75 minutes from dock to dock. The only thing I knew about PEI was that we grew a lot of potatoes because of the fertile red earth.

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    Early morning ferry trip to PEI

    We spent most of the day riding around the coast of PEI. Unfortunately, the "scenic" route was a bit inland from the coast so the scenery consisted mainly of road and tree. We broke a bit from the scenery a bit to visit a lighthouse on the north-east corner of the island and to have a quick lunch.

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    East Point Lighthouse, PEI

    During a gas stop, an attendant asked us if we were all here for Atlanticade. We had no idea what that was. Apparently this weekend, over ten thousand bikers would flock to PEI to cross the Confederation Bridge to raise money for MADD. The rally centre was Summerside, just a half hour away from our campsite that we were staying that night on the north shore.

    Again, our hectic East Coast schedule prevented us from staying the weekend. This pace was not what we wanted for our real trip and Neda and I agreed that we would take every opportunity to dawdle and lag to our heart's content when we wrapped things up in Toronto.



    After lunch, we rode down to Basin Head, just outside Souris, PEI where we heard the sands sing when you walked along the beach! And they did! A loud squeaking noise as we shuffled our boots up and down the sandy shore. The sound occurs when the quartz sand is very rounded and spherical. As it rubs against each other, it makes a distinctive squeaking noise like you're rubbing two pieces of wet rubber together.

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    Irene and Mel singin' in the sand - Photo by Ed C.

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    All this squeaking is making Neda tired

    Neda has bad allergies to the mosquito bites at all our campsites, so she's taking Reactin to counter the swelling. Unfortunately, the non-drowsy medication is making her drowsy (happens in a small percentage of people). Not good when you're on a motorcycle!

    We set up camp on the north shore just outside Cavendish, as dark rainclouds rolled in. We've never put up our tent in the rain yet, and we were hoping to get the fly up before the waterworks started. As it turned out, we watched the rain fall from the comfort of an all-you-can-eat seafood restaurant, our tents already battened down.

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    The view from our tentsite: morning sun on the north shores of PEI. Glorious!

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    On the way out of PEI, I finally see red earth! And mutant giant broccoli on the left! :)

    The next morning, we rode out of PEI via Confederation Bridge to New Brunswick. The 13 kms bridge's claim to fame is that it's the longest bridge in the world to cover ice-covered waters, not that there were any on this warm late July day. The Atlanticade motorcycle rally was set to ride this bridge a couple of days from now, and I could just picture 12,000 motorcycles riding back and forth. A lot of tired left arms waving to that many motorcycles!

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    Our motorcycle gang approaches the curve on Confederation Bridge

    We're spending a bit more time in New Brunswick on our way back to Ontario. This is truly the only bilingual province in Canada, almost everyone we meet along the way here speaks both languages fluently. Like PEI, I didn't know much about NB before coming out here, but what we really wanted to see were the Hopewell Rocks located in the Bay of Fundy, the inlet of water that's shared by New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

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    The Bay of Fundy is home to a unique phenomenon - the largest tides in the world. Over 100 billion tonnes of water flow in and out of the bay during each tide. And the tides happen twice a day, high and low tides occuring every 6 hours and 13 minutes on average! The tide differential may be anywhere between 10 to 14 meters!

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    Flowerpot rocks at Hopewell

    These bizarre rock formations called flowerpot rocks, are created by the erosion of the twice-daily tides. The larger heads of the rocks are the parts untouched by the high tide. During low tide, it is possible to walk on the sea-floor and between the flowerpot rocks. When low tide is not low enough to walk the floor, visitors often rent kayaks and canoes and paddle around the rocks. Very beautiful to see!

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    A precarious situation at Hopewell Rocks

    There are signs posted all over to be back on shore before high tide hits Hopewell. If you find yourself out on the rocks during high tide, the only options are to wait the 6 hours until the tide washes out, or swim back to shore!

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    Walking along the sea floor

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    Posing at Hopewell Rocks
    #98
  19. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Hi Billigan, glad you found ADV Rider!

    Hope to see you out here eventually! :)
    #99
  20. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    beautiful scenery!! and so easily accessible