SQUIDVENTURE Climbs Mt. Washington

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by High Side, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. High Side

    High Side Squidventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    179
    Location:
    Squidventureville (heart of Nova Scotia)

    We are off here again with our third ride report. We have returning squids, new squids, squids long distance touring with co-squids for the first time and even a "mystery squid" ! This trip has me (High Side) returning on my KTM 990 Adventure, Carrie (Wheelie Hot) on her Ninja 500, Amish (Scotia Squid) on his V Strom 650, and Mark (Squig) on his SV650

    Our gang of four (and sometimes 5????) traveled from Nova Scotia Canada to Maine, New Hampshire, Mt. Washington, Vermont, and back home. This trip awarded us with great weather, great food, fantastic booze, amazing sights, bike repairs and just a little jail time, with a ton of laughs and sweet memories. Our excursion ran from August 20/11 to August 27/11. Its taken me eight months to post bail (kidding), collect everyones photos, sober up (not kidding), and collect all the info to write this ride report.

    For those of you who have read our :

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=618436

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=559451

    Know how we roll. Those that haven't will see that our adventures are all about fun, good humour, acting our shoe size and not our hp, and "sampling" all the amazing drinks found across the land. This trip was no different so prepare for take off.


    Saturday August 20th, 2011 (6:07am YIKES :yikes)

    The ferry that runs from Digby, Nova Scotia across the Bay of Fundy to Saint John, New Brunswick, loads at 7:00am, we leave the driveway at 6:07am all needing four more hours of sleep than we got. From home to the terminal is approx 130kms (80miles) so we had to hit the tarmac running.

    Sun just coming up

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    Opening odometer shot

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    We arrived at 7:10 without a parade of lights and sirens so all was good. It was a cool, smooth and sometimes foggy (sounds like good party description) ferry ride across the Bay of Fundy.

    Arrival at the dock
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    Boat loading

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    Milage to ferry

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    All strapped down

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    Then we were off like a cheap prom dress.

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    This gave Amish time to ponder life's mysteries : will the police get us this time, can a V Strom out run them, did I bring my AA help line emergency number ???

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    Did I mention needing four more hours of sleep ?
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    Amish, having lost his emergency AA help line number decided to bring us sleep in a cup !

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    I was very excited to find beer prices on the ship to be around 399% mark up. Since they wouldn't allow us down to the bikes so we could huff gas a second mortgage was required to continue the rounds.

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    Arriving in Saint John at noon we made fast tracks to the border crossing to the U.S. in Calais Maine. It was H.O.T. and the line up at the crossing was huge because of it being the weekend.

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    Now keeping with the belief that it isn't an adventure until something out of the ordinary happens, things at the crossing quickly become an adventure.

    Being the first of the four bikes to go through, I luckily chose Joe "I am going to run a trace on your life" Border Guard. After a few routine questions I was "asked" to report to the border office building. No sweat. My job takes me to the states routinely as well as numerous vacations over the years, "whats the worst that can happen" I thought ??? After reporting to the office with passport I was asked to take a seat. From my seat I watched Carrie and then Amish pass across with no issues. I then watched The Squig have to take the same route as I. Fair enough, he's a criminal and should be given some border harassment. We both waited patiently for our ok's. When The Squig got his before me I began to worry for the first time. When the biggest Sheriff that I have ever met entered the building and motioned for me to come over, I got that kick in the nads by the invisible man feeling right off the bat (pardon the pun).

    I dont't have any pics of the following few hours because they weren't allowed. Luckily my ole buddy Squig snapped one of them taking me away for proper record keeping.

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    Now you are probably thinking, what ever did your sordid past do to deserve this ? Are you a trained terrorist ? Does your passport look like 007's ? Did your tank bag contain more cocaine than Lindsay Lohans night stand ? All good and reasonable assumptions, but NO ! I was "detained" due to a speeding ticket that I had got in Maine back in (I'm not kidding) 1996 !!!! FIFTEEN years ago !!!!

    Once all the paperwork was completed at the station and I paid up what I believed to be the fine ($210.00) I was then served my court times. Not understanding, the Sheriff explained that I had only posted bail and because it was the weekend I was lucky. That I was to return to Maine in October to appear in court for this offence. My wishing to pay for this violation then and there was not an option. A check was then made to see if my license was still good in Maine. After a few more nail biting moments in the old sing sing it was determined that it was and I was free to go on bail. Our Squidventure had begun !

    I was returned to my bike and after meeting back up with the rest of the tribe, we were underway to Bangor on route #9. One would think after that ruff start than all would be fine . . . .notta. Approx. 60 miles east of Bangor my trusty KTM decided to act up. It felt like a bad gas/ spark issue. The next 60 miles were not fun, my time in the clink was actually more entertaining. We finally made it to Bangor where the Marriott (despite being sold out) gave us an emergency room due to our circumstances.

    5:00pm was quickly approaching and it being a Saturday made things more frantic. The hotel put us onto Friend and Friend, a KTM as well as other bike dealership. I was advised that they were not a large cc KTM dealer but they would at least take a look at my bike. Amish and I hit the road. On I95 the KTM finally quit. Doing an old trick learned when a kid on bikes, I mounted Amish's V Strom put my foot on the rear pannier of the KTM and pushed him to the dealer 14kms (9 miles) !!! down the road. We got up to 90kph, passed through a number of road construction zones, on ramps and off ramps at 5:00 Saturday rush hour traffic. Thank god the dealer was right at the exit in Orono. The dealer stayed open for us and the young guy at the shop was determined to find out the issue. The bike was stripped down, plugs changed, terminals cleaned and gas replaced. 1 1/2hours total and the young mechanic had a family event that we were holding him back from. Bike back together and all was good again. PHEW !!! The dealer charged me $115.00 TOTAL and would not take any more. At the conclusion of this ride report I will tell you what I took down the dealer when I returned in October for court.

    I know dealers get a bad rap a lot of time but this needs to be said. The dealer stayed open for me on a Saturday where Monday was a holiday. My trip would have been over. On top of that they only charged me the bare minimum AND the owner rode back with us to make sure everything was ok and that we could find our hotel ! If any of you readers are ever in the Bangor/Orono Maine area and require a dealership, please keep in mind Friend & Friend (207) 827-2980. They are very advrider friendly and deserve our support. If your reading this guys, thank you once again, you rock and I hope you enjoyed the _____ !

    Once back at the hotel it was time to find food. Since in Maine there is no need of those pesky things called helmets we decided to squid it up.

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    We found a 50's nostalgia themed place that fit the bill. Another lesson learned today, even if you are starving, you don't have to order lots down here. Proportions come on the big size and we hardly put a dent in it.

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    With the big meal, long day and fresh open air on the ride back to the hotel, our first day was done.

    Can day two top this :scratch
    #1
  2. Yellowduc

    Yellowduc Adventurer

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    Subscribed! I love new England.
    #2
  3. Lupin 3rd

    Lupin 3rd Raygun Gothic

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    Woo Hoo! Subscribed, bring on the shenanigans!:rofl
    #3
  4. BeerIsGood

    BeerIsGood Guest

    Yes! New England Pics!!! :D
    #4
  5. High Side

    High Side Squidventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    179
    Location:
    Squidventureville (heart of Nova Scotia)

    After a much needed good nights sleep it was up for our (included with room) breakfast at the Fairfield Marriott in Bangor. I think everyone has a good idea what scrambled eggs and toast looks like so we voted not to take pictures of that to show off.

    The morning skies looked like we could be in for some rain.

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    We had to do our token co-squid Albert stiffy pose. This ones for you Abe !

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    It was then off following route #2 westbound. The #2 gets you away from I95 and into nice rural riding with light traffic and in and out of some pretty cool towns. After Skowhegan as you head north the roads takes you up into the mountains, along lakes with great curvy biking roads.

    By the time we hit Skowhegan we were getting dry and needed a beer stop. This became harder than we had thought.

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    After two more stops with no luck we were directed to go to the Southside Tavern

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    This place was great. Cheap cold beer and munchies. A juke box with good tunes and tons of tavern nick nacks that had been collected over the years. Staff and patrons were super friendly to us making the stop perfect. Due to the tavern being at a four way intersection in town we had a steady flow of motorcycle traffic to watch while there.

    I'm not sure where I fit into this equation.

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    The panna
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    This is classic. The bathrooms here had the lowest urinals that I had ever saw. I had to get Carrie to come in and film this (no nudity I promise). While filming one of the locals came in, saw Carrie with the camera and quickly exited. It was hilarious ! Everyone in the bar was laughing when we came out. Not sure what they though of us but nothing was taken serious.

    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/33jAvOSrxx8?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Here is a little tavern panoramic.

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    It was soon time to hit the road. We made our way over to Farmington and took the #4 up through the mountains towards Rangeley. There is very little traffic up through here. due to the mountains the road is constantly twisty with lots of elevation changes. A really good ride if you get a chance.

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    We reached a lookout spot by Rangeley.

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    You can see some pretty dark clouds moving in.

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    So we decided to wheelie our asses out of there.

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    We caught a blast of rain while going around the lake to connect with Rt. #17. It was short lived. The upper part (northern) of route #17 was ruff in spots and under construction in others. Once this is newly paved it will be a great road. On the lower end of this road where it approaches Rumford the road improves. As you ride down through cottage country it become all corners and is an absolute blast to ride on. Very scenic and highly recommended.

    From Rumford (man, I love that name) we hooked back up on #2 and continued to Bethel. Approaching Bethel the sky darkened and I thought we were in for it. We dropped the hammer to make time. We had a room booked at the River View Resort. Lucky for us this place was on the #2 before Bethel so we JUST made it before the skies opened up. The rain was fierce so it was nice to miss that one.

    Here is a video of our room. It cost $108.82 (taxes in) and the address is Route 2, Bethel Maine, phone # 207-824-2808. www.riverviewresort.com

    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/-Ppi7f1rm20" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    After a quick ride up to the beer store in the torrential downpour (it was worth it) it was back to the room to enjoy the sweet nectar of the gods. The station even had Woodchuck Cider. Here is a tip for those that haven't sampled Woodchuck Cider : 1. Buy it. 2. Drink it. 3. Love it. Its the best.

    Once back to the room and emptying a few cans, a game of beer can golf broke out. Here you will see Amish getting schooled by moi.

    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/-EHLFvTHges" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Later that night we made our way over to the Sunday River Brewing Co. Its a local micro brewery with a fantastic restaurant. Highly recommended.

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    Our table of goons. This is one of those pictures I have no explanation of.

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    Tomorrows ride has us going to New Hampshire, riding the White Mountains and staying in North Conway. Promises of more countryside shots and hopefully less taverns for all you nature seekers.
    #5
  6. 1955BIKER

    1955BIKER Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Virginia
    Subscribed!!. It's already been an adventure.
    #6
  7. Fat Bear

    Fat Bear Iron Butt #48477

    Joined:
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    Gloucester, ON
    It's fascinating to experience life through your eyes!!!
    #7
  8. fredgreen

    fredgreen Spring's done Sprung!

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,090
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canoodia
    :evilCool KTM, you ever think of selling her? :freaky
    #8
  9. High Side

    High Side Squidventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    179
    Location:
    Squidventureville (heart of Nova Scotia)
    Hey BadWolf1, we will take it as a complement to have your first two post here on advrider on this and our other Squidventure ride report. I hope you enjoy our take on things. Its all about the fun, and there is plenty more of that to come in this report.



    Ahhhh Mr. Fred :D, I've been waiting for you here. How is my ole KTM gal making out these days ? Tell her I miss her and I'm sorry for letting her go. :(:

    For other readers on here, Fred bought my KTM off of me in the fall when I had a weak moment and let the KTM and my R1 go on the same day. Sad times.

    Fred, I purchased a Fz1 to take to Deals Gap with the lads and Carrie this summer. Come on up for a ride soon. We can swap bikes for a bit :wink:


    #9
  10. fredgreen

    fredgreen Spring's done Sprung!

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,090
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canoodia
    The bike is well, new Mefo Explorer's on her, lights from Sanjoh too. Gotta battery draw somewhere that I am trying to track down though. Getting prepped to do a Trans Taiga run in July right now, have a 3 gallon Rotopax on the rear rack, need two more gallons of starage to make the 500 KM between station run in Quebec.
    #10
  11. High Side

    High Side Squidventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    179
    Location:
    Squidventureville (heart of Nova Scotia)

    I forgot to mention that yesterdays milage was 216. Not an iron butt day but at least we covered some ground.

    The storm passed through the night with an awesome electrical show. By morning everything had cleared off to make for a great day of biking. After showers and negotiating thru a sea of beer can empties it was time to load up the bikes for our run to New Hampshire.

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    Some were putting on a brave face

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    Being almost across the street from Sunday River Ski Resort we took a slight detour to see it.

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    We stayed on Rt.2 into New Hampshire. This ride takes you through the mountains into a town called Gorham. It is really beautiful scenery with great road conditions. Traffic for this Monday morning was light so we made great time. From Gorham it was southbound on Rt.16 to North Conway. This is a great road that takes you through the heart of the White Mountains. Approx. 1/2 way through you pass the entrance for Mt. Washington. That was our destination for the next day to climb. The closer you get to North Conway the more traffic increases. We had not booked a room in North Conway not realizing what a tourist area that it was.

    Arriving in North Conway it was time for lunch. We decided on health food so as soon as we found a Dairy Queen it was time to stop.

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    Now it was mentioned earlier that we had another guest on our trip. Any of you who watch the British Top Gear show, you are familiar with "The Stig". Well we too have an unknown traveler that pops up with us. Some say that he was actually born wearing a motorcycle helmet and his mother never forgave him.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you, "The Squig"

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    After trying a dozen hotels in the North Conway area that were all booked we found a room available at the Mt. Washington Inn. It looks reasonably fresh on the outside. On the inside you can count the rings of this old tree and there is a lot of them. Regardless, a room is a room so we were in. This was our most expensive stay at $172.00 a night plus $10.00 for a cot.

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    The hotel was in front of a massive factory outlet shopping area so Carrie was in her glory.
    The shopping bus :

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    After that it was time to explore the area a bit. Between Rt. 122 and Rt. 302 lies a road called Bear Notch Cross. This road is approx. 10 miles long and is honestly one of the funnest roads I have ever had the pleasure of riding on. We were told it was orig. a snowmobile trail that was built up and paved. It is shut down in the winter and is still used as a sled trail. This road is ALL corners and elevation changes. It is not a wide road so the trees grow over the top making you feel like you are driving through a twisty tunnel. Every once in a while there is a break in the trees where a ride off area is provided with amazing views. We didn't stop at any of them because the riding was so fun/intense. This is a great road for finishing off those unsightly chicken strips. Every corner description on the planet is represented on this road.

    Back to Conway, was time for supper. Every place that we ate at in New England was great. Hillbilly Jims was no exception.

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    The Pigs Ear Beer (No pigs were harmed in the making of this beer) was fantastic. And the wings . . .my god . . . they have their own smokehouse and the wings were beyond good. I'm making myself starving just thinking about them.

    Due to the next day set for climbing Mt. Washington we called it a day. Milage for this day was only 102 miles, but the next day was huge. We really do have a ton of countryside pics for tomorrows ride (I promise).

    I'll close by showing some pics of "The Squig" checking into the hotel and calling it a night.

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    Tomorrow Squidventure Climbs Mt. Washington :eek1
    #11
  12. grubz916

    grubz916 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
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    Location:
    New Jersey
    Well? Where's the rest already?? :)
    #12
  13. BeerIsGood

    BeerIsGood Guest

    Hmmmm?
    #13
  14. High Side

    High Side Squidventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    179
    Location:
    Squidventureville (heart of Nova Scotia)

    My recent employment change has made updates here difficult. Should be good to go now to finish this up over the next couple of days.

    Day IIII

    It was an early morning wake up (6:00am ish) and another beautiful day awaited us. We were stoked to be finally getting the opportunity to ride Mt. Washington !

    So stoked that even the Squig decided to de-stink

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    Here is a vid. showing time and temperature of our take off.

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    The ride up to the start of Mt. Washington was cool but nice. Traffic at the start of the climb was next to zero.

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    It was at this point we discovered that motorcycles were not permitted on the hill due to high winds on the top. Bikes are not allowed up if wind speed exceeds 60mph. Once your up there you understand why this is a good practise. We now had time to kill because this ban is only updated hourly. On the way up to Mt. Washington we rode past Wildcat Mountain. This site promotes zip lines as well as gondola rides to the top where you can look across the valley at Mt. Washington.

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    We decided to do the zip line . . . . . until . . . the restrictions :deal. Do to WEIGHT restrictions I was not allowed on the zip line leaving all the fun to the rest of the squids. Dam you buffets ! Dam you beer ! Dam you couch surfing lifestyle !

    When I stepped on the scale it read : "To be continued"
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    Here is a video of team salad eating, wafer hoarders, coming down the zip line.

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    Arrival
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    Here is a vid. of our gallant warriors returning from the zip line.
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    Cost of this zip = $20.00p.p.

    It was now onto the gondola ride ($15.00p.p.) where people even in man size can go up and enjoy.

    A few pics on our way over :

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    Even the Squig showed up for some
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    It was now time to depart on the gondola
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    The Squig joined us at the 1/2 way point
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    Some great gondola views

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    No Fear !
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    Reaching the top and looking over at Mt. Washington
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    Posers
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    More scenery
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    You can actually see part of the Mt. Washington road in the upper part of this shot.
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    Having killed time in the best of ways, it was time to get back to the bikes to see if Mt. Washington was rideable yet.

    Great news, wind was down so we could go up. Here we are paying ($10.00) for one of the best thrill rides you can have on two wheels. Speed limit is 20mph, but we sneaked over that mark a couple of times :wink:.
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    Everyone was confident

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    Time to climb ! Those that have read our other Squidventure ride reports will know I have a way of videoing parts of our rides. We do not have a Go Pro or other attachable to the helmet camera's. Instead I hold the camera with my left hand and video. This allows me to get the behind my back shots and mirror shots. It doesn't allow me to have the best of control (riding one handed) so please excuse some of the shakiness at times as well I have to set the camera on my tank bag when things go all to sh*@t.

    Just getting started vid (still in the tree line)

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    Getting higher

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    Dirt Video

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    We arrive !

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    Mountain Top Vid. It was so cold and windy at the top that we wore all our riding gear. I felt bad for the people who were up there in shorts. I walked by a lady who remarked " I wish I had a helmet" :lol3

    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ngdqvRmm64Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Some mountain top pics :

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    Classic gorilla pose

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    Signing the guest book

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    More posing

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    We passed on this Bed and Breakfast

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    One last group shot

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    Didn't want to leave out the Squig
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    It was time to depart, get out of the clouds and into the warm.

    Departure video

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    The last of the dirt section video coming down.

    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ERDVgoMi7IE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    That covers the Mt. Washington part of today. There is a shop with lots of t-shirts, key chains . . .etc at the bottom. Everything was priced pretty fare there so its worth the stop.

    Up next, our late check out of our hotel and next adventure.
    #14
  15. acejones

    acejones Long timer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
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    Location:
    MS. Gulf Coast and Puerto Vallarta, MX
    I haven't been up Mt. Washington in about 56 years. Thanks for the memories.
    #15
  16. TheRoss

    TheRoss IBA# 522

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    389
    Location:
    West Texas
    I haven't hung out with an attractive biker chick in about 10 years. Thanks for those memories!

    Great ride reports man! I have enjoyed them all.
    I am headed to Maine and Nova Scotia next summer, and have made notes on places to stop, based on your reports. Appreciate the info!
    #16
  17. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    64,535
    Thanks for the fun report... looking forward to hearing about the October return to Maine and the dealer's.

    :lurk
    #17
  18. Fat Bear

    Fat Bear Iron Butt #48477

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Gloucester, ON
    The odyssey continues in great style! I love your stories, pics & vids. I rode up Mt Washington two years ago on a weather day that was very similar to your experience. The summit cleared while I was up top. As I was getting ready to leave, a couple rode in on a Gold Wing. The lady who stepped off the bike had an expensive looking camera hanging around her neck. I remarked that she must have taken some awesome photos on the way up. She replied that her eyes were closed for most of the way! Happy Trails.
    #18
  19. mrphotoman

    mrphotoman Long timer

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    Feb 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,689
    Location:
    KBR27
    That was great!
    #19
  20. High Side

    High Side Squidventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    179
    Location:
    Squidventureville (heart of Nova Scotia)

    Thank you to those riders who have taken the time to read this ride report and have enjoyed it thus far. Writing these ride reports brings back great memories of all the fun we had while making them. Traveling with the group that we had, covering the scenery that was there for us made for a fantastic trip.

    TheRoss, its great that you are biking up to our neck of the woods. Make sure to contact me if you have any questions of riding in certain area's. Carrie (Wheelie Hot) appreciates the complements too. When your as ugly as Squig, Amish and I, you need as much eye candy around as possible to off set. :lol3

    GB - I'll post here at the conclusion how our return court date and dealer visit made out. Classic. Thanks for tuning in to another one of our adventures.

    BadWolf1 - I have spoke with other riders who have done the Mt. Washington climb, who have similar experiences as you have wrote. White knuckle, closed eyes . . .etc. We honestly didn't find it too bad at all. The views were so amazing that it takes your mind off of whats going on. The pics and video shown on this report are only a small amount of what was actually taken. I would strongly recommend this climb to any biker on any type of bike. Thanks for hanging onto this report. I will be updating daily now until complete.

    Again thanks riders for your encouraging words, more fun and laughs to follow.
    #20