The Alberta-to-Cape Breton Express!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Pray4Snow, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. Pray4Snow

    Pray4Snow Saddle Monkey

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    143
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Big Trip 2013
    Edmonton to the East Coast

    Pre-trip
    January, 2013

    Apparently, we're getting better at this 'separate-but-together' holiday plan thing (as previously chronicled in 2011 (to Ontario) and 2012 (to Vancouver Island, and the US Pacific NW)). Two years ago, we had taken (what we thought) would be our last bi-annual trip to the in-laws place .. With both their daughters and grand-daughters now living in God's country (also known as Alberta), they had decided to sell their lake house in the Muskoka region of Ontario and move west. Well, that was the plan. The softening of the economy made the lake-house market pretty sketchy, and after two years of half-heartedly trying to sell the place, they were still there. So we started thinking that, perhaps, we'd get a reprieve at visiting Dickie Lake. And so it was that we found ourselves chatting about holiday plans. On Jan 13, 2013, as we watched our valiant Seahawks (properly pronounced &"Sea - HAAAAAWKS!!!";) battle the Falcons, in the middle of a cold, blustery, (ie. typical) Edmonton winter, the following conversation (mostly) took place.


    Mrs P4S: "What are you thinking for summer holidays this year?"


    Me: "Shhhhhhh. We're within scoring distance"


    Mrs P4S: "If Mom and Dad haven't sold the lake house by this summer, do you want to go to Ontario again?"


    Me, completely losing my shit "HOLY F***!! WE JUST TOOK THE LEAD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE GAME, AND THERE'S ONLY 30 SECONDS LEFT!! COME ON WILSON!!"


    Mrs P4S: "You could ride again"


    < silence - as the Falcons kick a 49-yard field-goal in the dying seconds of the game, and my interest in the NFL vanishes for another season>


    Mrs P4S: "And if you wanted to use up some of your banked holidays and stop hoarding them like a little bitch, you could even ride to the east coast and visit your family in the Maritimes." <paraphrasing>


    < half-beat of silence - as visions of the Cabot Trail penetrate the quickly thinning football-fog between my ears>


    Me: "Done! Now hush woman, and get me a beer! I need to start route-planning!" <dialog completely fictional>


    At the time, I had a metric buttload of unused holidays, and could conceivably take an extended block of time off, if my employer would go for it. Oh well - I had 6-7 months to work on that.


    So over the course of the next few months, I began route planning. I had done the prairies before two years earlier, and could afford to haul-ass through there in order to allow myself as much time as possible out east. Based on the last trip, I knew it would be around 5 days to north-central ON, and I should allow myself around 5 days to return. I wanted to have around 2 weeks at the lake (you can't RUSH quality lake-time). I figured 4.5 to 5 weeks was all I could afford to be away from work (there were other things brewing on that front). This meant only having in the neighbourhood of a week to do the eastern leg (ON to the Maritimes and back to ON). Having family on the east-coast meant I'd need (and truthfully, wanted) to allow some time for visiting and catching up with whichever members of the clan would be around when I rolled through. I chewed on this one for a while - should I bother making a rushed trip of it? Or just say screw-it, and spend an additional week relaxing lake-side. In the end, I decided that if the in-laws do eventually sell their place, I may not have an 'excuse' to ride the AB to ON leg again - more than half the distance from home to the east coast. A rushed trip it would have to be!

    This was the plan up-until the day I left ... which then got forgotten within a couple of km's from the house.
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Pray4Snow

    Pray4Snow Saddle Monkey

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    143
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Day 1 - July 13, 2013
    Edmonton, AB to Colonsay, SK
    638 kms


    • Got on the road around 10am, and decided to scrap the planned route down Hwy 16 (did it last time) and try Hwy 14. How's that for being 'spontaneous' - scrapped the plan before I had even left town. Actually, it was more a factor of not having a lot of opportunities for alternate routes around the north shore of the Great Lakes, so I might as well play fast and loose with the plan while I have some options.
    • Joined back up to Hwy16 at the Battlefords. From here to somewhere around Sudbury, ON my route would be largely the same as two years ago - didn't bother with many pics or videos
    • Dodged storms all day, but didn't get rained on. It was around 14C when I left YEG, and it never really got above 16C. I friggin' froze. My choice of clothing under my riding gear was heavily influenced by the weather the last time I did this route (hotter than shit) - didn't pay enough attention to the weather report today!
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    • I camped at Painted Rock - just west of Colonsay, SK. It was small - 20 or so sites. There must be a construction crew working in the area, because it's all dudes in nice trailers/trucks, with grubby work clothes hanging on lines.
    • The remote for the Drift (helmet cam) seems to be F-ed again - didn't even last a day. Will have to monkey with it when I get a chance ... and when there's some road worth recording ... pretty flat and straight here.
    • This campsite is crawling with birds - robins mostly - thick as fleas. There's not a chance in hell I'll be sleeping in tomorrow AM. Hopefully the bike doesn't 'turn white' overnight.
    • Tunes: "Ride Mix" all day long
    • Libation: Sullivan Cove single malt whiskey
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    • Stick: Guantanamera Habana
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    • Watched some "Chappelle's Show" on the netbook while smokin' and drinkin' - nothing but class!
    • Will shoot for Portage tomorrow, depending on weather. Will make for a short day to Kenora the following day.
    #2
  3. drmacaulay

    drmacaulay letsrun.com

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    92
    Location:
    Goderich, Ontario
    Looking forward to your report... Eager to read about your impressions of mid-western, the plains, central Canada, vs. eastern Canada.

    Especially looking forward to your notes on future events, and what lies ahead for us all in the summer of 2014. (I think you dated your first entry incorrectly....)
    #3
  4. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    61,031
    Let's go :thumb

    :lurk
    #4
  5. Pray4Snow

    Pray4Snow Saddle Monkey

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    143
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Good catch ... first day on the road was July 2013 ... fixed!
    I had a good introduction to the prairies and central Canada a couple of years ago ... see 2011. Based on that ride, you'll notice I didn't stop and smell the roses on the prairies this year. Sort of blew through to western ON before I started taking much in the way of pics or video.
    Plans for this summer will be different this year ... started a new job, and can't really take such a big block of holidays. Thinking week-ish trips to BC and maybe Montana and Colorado.
    P4S
    #5
  6. zcd

    zcd Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    As a caper in YEG I'm interested for the rest of this ride!
    #6
  7. Pray4Snow

    Pray4Snow Saddle Monkey

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    143
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Day 2 -July 14
    Colonsay, SK to Portage la Prairie, MB
    635 kms


    • Up at 7am (thank-you wee birdies) &#8230; on the road around 8am.
    • Everything was soaking wet due to heavy dew &#8230; tent was packed up wet.
    • Couldn't find any place for brekky. I stopped in three little towns on the highway, all with the international symbol for 'eatery' (knife, fork, and plate) on the signs describing the services available, but after getting off the highway and following the signs, either the restaurant was closed indefinitely or not open until lunch.
    • Got to Lanigan and headed to the Esso for fuel and information on a spot for breakfast. Asked the young kid behind the till about the new restaurant I had passed on the way into town. Received an incredibly detailed and highly racist review - he accused the proprietors of "promoting goat meat"!
    • Pushed on to Dafoe Corner and finally found a restaurant - the '24/7'. A strange cultural mix - very North American menu, Russian-speaking staff, and what appeared to be east Indian programming on the TV.

    [​IMG]

    • Pushed on to Portage. Opted for the same campground that I stayed in last time (Miller's). The tent was still sopping wet, but dried in about 10 minutes once it was up.
    • I had some interesting neighbours in the camp spot next to me. As I was setting up camp, she received a call and from the loud, profanity-laden, one-sided conversation I caught, had her 6th-floor apartment broken into via the hole left by removing the window-mounted A/C. He was a skinny dude in sweat-pants and a wife-beater shirt named Daryll. She had a bad dye job and big fake cans, named - wait for it - Diamond. Super friendly folks, but they definitely had their share of issues, and weren't shy about sharing the drama. In addition to the break-in, they also explained that neither one of them had worked in a number of years because both were on disability from car accidents. They were highly medicated, and although they were camping there for a week, they were going to have to drive the few hours east to Kenora in order to refill some prescriptions (their health-care was in ON). She was also suffering from some sort of dental ailment (she tried to show me, but I didn't really want a look) and was already half-snapped on meds. After a number of trips over to visit my site, Diamond confessed that the 'real' reason she kept going into the small second tent that they had set upon their site, was not to feed the two lap dogs they had tied up to a lawn chair (the first unsolicited explanation she gave), but rather to partake of some medical marijuana. Again, she offered, and I declined. We chatted about bikes for a bit. Diamond claimed to have won third place in something called the World of Wheels in Alberta (I have a vague recollection of a car and bike show by this name from the 80's) for a soft-tail HD. If she had those cans in the 80's, it probably didn't hurt competitively. I tried looking it up online later in the trip, but couldn't find anything.
    • Journaling went all to hell with the big fake-cans and weed-offers.
    • I went to bed, and watched some South Park on the netbook. They were still at it when I turned off the videos and put in the earplugs.
    • Tunes: Sheepdogs - various albums. ( FANTASTIC soundtrack for making miles across SK); The Police - Greatest Hits Double Album; Dirty Heads - Any Port in a Storm; Headstones - Love + Fury
    • Smoke: Macanudo
    [​IMG]

    • Scotch: The MacAllan 18yr
    [​IMG]

    (I promise ... the riding gets better ... just need to get out of the land of straight roads!)
    #7
  8. Pray4Snow

    Pray4Snow Saddle Monkey

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    143
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Day 3 -July 15
    Portage la Prairie, MB to Kenora, ON
    324 kms


    • Up around 7:30 local time (5:30 AB time - I think)
    • Daryl and Diamond had been fairly insistent the night before that they weren't drinkers - weed and whatever scripts had been prescribed for her tooth were the extent of their consumptive vices. However this morning, their campsite was littered with empty beer cans. No sign of life at their campsite at this hour.
    • Grabbed brekky at Lucie's diner (at the Shell station) around 8:30.
    • Nice day for a ride - pretty uneventful. Must have missed the time-change. I thought it was well after lunch when I hit Kenora. Arrived at Ray and Loretta's place right around lunch-time.
    [​IMG]

    • An easy ride to Kenora ... really hot!!
    • Went to the Lake of the Woods Brewing Company with Ray for lunch. The place was new, built in the old fire hall (lots of fire-fighting decorations - even still have the pole!) Hot waitresses, good food, and cold beer on a day over 30-degrees C.
    • Met up with Jeff and Dave and their families again. The kids are definitely bigger. Everybody seems to be doing well.
    • Had a great visit, but looking forward to tomorrow. Taking a different route to Thunder Bay than I took last time, and staying at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park again. Hopefully this nice weather will hold, and I can do the lookout-road again.
    • Tunes: Rheostatics - Double Live
    • Smoke: none
    • Libation: Beer - lots and lots of beer
    #8
  9. Pray4Snow

    Pray4Snow Saddle Monkey

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    143
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Day 4 - July 16
    Kenora, ON to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.
    626 kms


    • Beautiful morning leaving Kenora - so of course this prairie kid had to stop for some of the requisite pics along the waterfront.
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    • Leaving Kenora, I opted for the route through Fort Frances. Roughly the same distance, but less highway and more secondaries. The bit from Kenora to Emo was nice and twisty, but enough traffic to prevent me from really opening it up - probably a good thing. After Emo, the landscape got a bit more agricultural, and the road straightened out. Stopped in the McD's in Fort Frances for an ice-coffee and some free wifi. There was a posting for a job I was interested back at home, and I needed to pull my CV from home.
    • Spent an hour at Fort Frances, dicking around with the internet connection and my Citrix setup at home.
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    • The gas station/restaurant at the north end of the Sleeping Giant PP road was closed. I was planning on that station for fuel and brekky - not really sure where the next fuel might be - will have to deal with it in the morning.

    • Not sure what time I rolled into Marie Louise Lake - 7:30pm or so.

    • Had some visitors during dinner - strolled right into campsite. (came up behind me - scared the shit out of me!)



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    • Nice night, sunny with a light breeze coming off the water - clear sky. Loons calling on the lake.
    • Tunes: Rush - Greatest Hits; The Trews - Den of Thieves; The Trews - Friends and Total Strangers (a little foreshadowing for later in the trip :wink: ).
    • Smoke: pipe with Exec. Blend/Thrilla Vanilla mix
    • Libation: Bowmore triplets - 12. 15, 18 year.
    The triplets - clothed
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    - and the triplets naked!
    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. Tom48

    Tom48 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Oddometer:
    828
    Location:
    Fremont NH
    Thanks, your style of travel is outstanding.
    Looking forward to the remainder of your ride.
    #10
  11. BlackBeast

    BlackBeast Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    984
    Location:
    Ontario, CANADA
    Well, you need to keep going!:norton
    #11
  12. Pray4Snow

    Pray4Snow Saddle Monkey

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    143
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Day 5 -July 17
    Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, ON to Pancake Bay, ON
    652 kms


    • Heard rain around 5am - pretty hard, but didn't last long.
    • Bugs were a bit thick this morning - worse than last night. Made breaking camp that much faster.
    • Started raining again just as I finished loading the bike - not hard, and didn't last long.
    • Went to Silver Islet - was still bugging me that I blew it off last time I was here - a nice little seasonal village - was there too early to get coffee, so I just wandered around the waterfront for a few minutes, took some pics, and then got back on my way.
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    • Monkeyed around with the Drift remote for a few minutes so I could grab some footage on the road out.
    • Did the Thunder Bay lookout again - was well worth the trip - AGAIN! I even managed to get the drift working long enough to shoot some helmet-cam footage. I've distilled the footage of the way in and the way out down to a few minutes. Lots of excitement - wildlife, a suicidal wood-chuck, some bare-rock riding, and enough lens flares to give J. J. Abrams a run for his money!
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    The road in ...


    ... and the road out

    • Grabbed fuel and brekky in Nippigon - around 11am - I think - not sure what time it is again - doesn't really matter. I eat when I'm hungry, drink when I'm thirsty, rest when I'm tired - must be a good vacation!
    • For the second day, I noticed that you can totally tell which transports are hauling pulp - smells like cut green wood. Nice!
    • Pulled into Pancake Bay (after stopping for off-sales at the service station/convenience store near the entrance) in good time. Had a couple of beers while setting up camp, and then went for a quick swim before dinner.
    Bringin' a little of the west-coast eastward
    [​IMG]

    • Had the shepherds pie (Backpackers Pantry) - MUCH better than the turkey-noodle sludge I had last night.
    • Got mildly scalded while cooking dinner. Was cooking under a huge pine, when a pine cone dropped into the boiling water like a friggin' depth-charge. Nothing like a little danger!!
    • Tunes: The Hip - 'We Are the Same'; Ride mix; Girl Talk - 'All Day'
    • Stick: Cohiba
    [​IMG]

    • Libation: Patron Silver (no picture for some reason)
    • South Park episode: s13e12 - "The 'F' Word" - always funny! Makes me giggle every time I see a HD-douchebag!
    #12
  13. The Flounder

    The Flounder Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    Cold Lake Alberta
    Appreciate the details on Stogies and Libations, certainly key parts of a good journey.
    #13
  14. fredgreen

    fredgreen Proud Canoodian

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    972
    Location:
    not in Lunenburg County!
    Nice ride! My girlfriend wants to do the opposite, we live in NS, she's never seen the prairies and wants to ride west to see the flat land.
    #14
  15. pitbull

    pitbull Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,711

    Agreed,

    A nice selection of cigars and good drink makes for a much more relaxing trip IMO.

    My personal faves are Cuban "Punch" coronas and El Tesoro, paradiso Tequila, although I'm perfectly happy with any number of good cigars and decent spirits.
    #15
  16. Pray4Snow

    Pray4Snow Saddle Monkey

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    143
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    I guess it's all about the novelty. I grew up out here (Alberta), and have an overpowering compulsion to stop and take pictures of any large body of water!
    How are things in Bridgetown? I haven't been on that side of the province in decades. Used to have a family friend who farmed in the Annapolis Valley (I still remember the red mud!) and another friend who worked at a fish farm on the other side of the bay ... on Grand Manan.
    Good memories!
    P4S
    #16
  17. fredgreen

    fredgreen Proud Canoodian

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    972
    Location:
    not in Lunenburg County!
    I spent 6 years in Winnipeg in the Air Force, then came to Nova Scotia and never left. The Valley is the place for me! Bridgetown is an awesome place to live, lots of fire roads to ride and lakes to camp by.
    #17
  18. Pray4Snow

    Pray4Snow Saddle Monkey

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    143
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Day 6 - July 18
    Pancake Bay PP, ON to Stonecliffe PP, ON
    584 km


    • Absolutely PISSED rain 10-minutes after pulling out of the campground. Had tried to dry my swim trunks by tucking them under the cargo net holding down my bedroll - so much for that plan.
    • Relatively uneventful day. The rain eventually stopped, and the weather was comfortable all day.
    • Found a fuel stop just a few km's short of the campground - topped up on fuel, and grabbed a couple of tall-boys of Keiths.
    • Was threatening rain (wicked black clouds) when I pulled into the campground - got tent set up in record time.
    • Paid through the nose for water-front - again - but it was worth it. Nice spot - no electrical connection, but was able to charge the gadgets from the bike.
    • Sprinkled on and off all evening, but nothing substantial. Had time for a quick swim in the Ottawa River. Made for a uniquely 'northern-Canadian' fashion statement - me cooking dinner in wet swim trunks, flip flops, and a raincoat.
    [​IMG]

    • Bike chain looks loose again - need to check with the load off.
    • Missed the girls a lot today - not sure what was different about today. The whole way from Sudbury to North Bay, toyed with the idea of just bailing on the east coast and heading to the lake. A month is too long. I remembered that they were all in southern Ontario this week anyway, making the decision to keep on to the coast a bit easier.
    • Got a Twitter PM from Bob in Montreal. We'll meet up at a Timmy's approx. 410km from here tomorrow. Tomorrow will be Friday - traffic in Mtl should be a treat. <insert note of sarcasm HERE>
    • Tunes: Ride mix all day long.
    • Smoke: Pipe
    • Libation: Alexander Keiths IPA; The MacAllan 12yr.
    #18
  19. Pray4Snow

    Pray4Snow Saddle Monkey

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    143
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Day 7 - July 19
    Stonecliff PP, ON to Granby, QC (or thereabouts)
    632 km

    • Rained all night last night - thunder and lightning and the whole bit. So much for the swim trunks I had hung out over night to dry
    • While I was laying in the tent, listening to the rain and not really in any rush to get dressed and start packing up, I thought again about just bailing to Dickie Lake, and skipping the east coast. Came to the conclusion that even if it pisses rain the whole way there, it's unlikely that I'll be this far east (with the time to go further) again. So I guess it's the Cabot Trail or Bust now.
    • Was still raining while I packed up camp. Everything got put away soaking wet.
    • The sky was pretty black as I left the campground, but it cleared of after an hour or so and turned into a pretty nice day.
    • I had wanted to stop for brekky in Chalk River - just to see if it was glowing - but I didn't see anywhere to eat along the highway, and didn't feel like searching. (Actually, the sign at Deep River said that IT was the 'Capital of Nuclear Research', but I had it in my head to stop in Chalk River). After the closure (maybe it was only a partial or temporary closure) of the medical isotope facility there caused such a global shortage of supply a couple of years ago, they built a new facility a block from my office - small world!)

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    • Kept going east, but didn't see anything worth stopping for brekky for quite a while.
    • Finally decided that Petawawa was far enough without brekky, even though I didn't see anything along the highway, so I ventured into town. At first I didn't see anything but fast-food chains, but eventually found 'Danny's Steak House'. The place was full of military personnel - Petawawa has a large Canadian Forces Base. Brekky wasn't fancy, but hot, fast, and tasty - especially after waiting so long.
    • Made amazing time from Petawawa to Montreal &- arrived at the Timmy's around 13:30 - way earlier than planned - and texted Bob. He was out on a quick errand, but would swing by on his way back to the office. No problem &- it would give me a chance to replenish fluids - it was over 30C with hot wind - felt like riding into a hair-dryer.
    • I had noticed on the way in that traffic in the area was super busy - despite it being the middle of the day (luckily, Bob had picked a Timmy's that was just off the freeway I was using to transect Mtl anyway). I had just assumed that this is just what traffic was like in Montreal.
    • When Bob showed up, we enjoyed some more bevvy's (my third iced cap of the day) and caught up on folks we both knew. Bob also informed me that the traffic was not typical, and not likely to get any better as I left town. Apparently, all the road construction crews in QC (or maybe it was only Montreal) get the same two weeks for summer vacation every year - and that two weeks starts tomorrow!! The roads were going to be choked with folks trying to do the same as me - get the fuck out of town as soon as possible - many of them towing RVs.

    [​IMG]

    • Had a good visit with Bob, but he had to get back to work and I had to get moving. The roads were brutal, it was well above 30C, and all roads off the island of Montreal require a bridge - meaning lane control and construction - leading to more traffic. The last time I was here (caging it) I found the drivers to be a bunch of a-holes. However on this day, everybody seemed to be behaving. Once things got moving a bit better as I got a bit further east (still congested, but at least a bit of flow) the drivers were actually very courteous about making room for me, and not getting too far up my ass. Must be that everybody's on the first day of their holidays and don't want to start it off on the wrong foot by wedging some poor prairie bastard in their grill!
    • As I made my way east, I could see a massive bank of clouds building to the south, blacker than the hubs of Hades, and extending east as far as I could see. Given the heat and humidity I had already experience that day, I knew there were going to be some wicked storms.
    • While I had been sitting in traffic on the bridge leaving Montreal, I had done a bit of route planning. Granby was only around 85km once I worked my way out of Montreal. It was still too early to stop there. Derby Center, VT was around 170km. GPS showed camping and motels in Derby, so I headed south at Magog and crossed into the US just north of Derby.
    • Got to Derby, and either the GPS directions were shit, the signs were wrong, or I'm retarded - couldn't find the campground nor two-thirds of the motels - and the other third looked pretty rough.
    • Pushed on to Newport, VT (apparently pronounced "NewPAHHHHT";)). All the way from the border, through Derby, to Newport, the storm clouds had been building - looking uglier and uglier. By the time I got to Newport, I had pretty much abandoned the thought of camping. Could really use some AC (was still over 30 - even around dinner time) and would probably appreciate the roof if this storm lets loose. Found a room at the Newport City Motel. Met a couple of riders on BMWs (one was a 1200GS and I can't remember the other one) in the parking lot as I checked in and unpacked the bike. As I recall they were from somewhere south of here, and were more-or-less one day away from being home after a trip up to the Gaspe Peninsula. By the time I got the bike unpacked, and myself showered and changed, it was looking REALLY black outside. Grabbed my raincoat and wandered out to find a bite to eat and something to drink. Didn't find anything that really blew my skirt up, so I just grabbed a sketchy looking hoagie and some beer from the gas-station and headed back to the motel. There was some sort of antique car show-and-shine going on in the parking lot across from the motel, so I pulled one of my panniers out onto the porch to sit on and watch the show and enjoy my dinner. Let me just say that there is no better value for your entertainment dollar than watching old-dudes with a lot of pride in their classic cars scramble to pack up all their display shit and get the cars back home and in the garage when the skies open up. And open up they did. By 9pm it was PISSING rain, with lightning and hail. I turned the tv on while I was charging all the gizmos, and found out there were storm and tornado warnings in the area. Was suddenly glad I wasn't camping - and I felt a little bad for laughing at the Keystone-Kops-like departure of the car guys.
    • Tent was still pretty wet from last night, but didn't have a good spot to hang in the room. Will have to wait until tomorrow, or barring that, the following night at the farm in Westville.
    • Smoke: none - wasn't in the great outdoors tonight
    • Libation: random single cans of beer from the gas station - nothing fancy - but nice and cold!
    • Tunes: "Borrowed Tunes" - various artists performing Neil Young tunes; and my go-to 'Ride Mix' .
    #19
  20. Pray4Snow

    Pray4Snow Saddle Monkey

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    143
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Day 8 - July 20
    Newport, VT to Woodstock, NB
    644 km


    • Roads were wet, and there were signs of a storm in Newport when I woke up, but nothing serious.
    • As I rode east (maybe north-east?), looking for breakfast, there started to be more and more signs that a lot of places were harder hit than Newport. Lots of trees down in the road ditch.
    • Found a little Ma & Pa diner for brekky. All the locals were talking about power outages and smaller roads being blocked with downed trees. Feeling pretty good about opting for a bed and a roof last night.
    • The sun came out and my wrists started to burn again, so I pulled off the I-95 to find my sock gauntlets. Not only couldn't I find them (never did find them), but the exit I had taken off the highway didn't have a corresponding entrance back on northbound. Rather than a) taking the southbound exit and looping back to the previous interchange; or b) riding the wrong way back down the off ramp; I decided to just take the secondary. It seemed to take off in generally the right direction (according my map). It ended up being around a 30 km detour until there was another entrance to the highway. A nice secondary road, but evidence that lot of large trees that had been downed during the storm had only recently been cleared (20"-diameter bucked wood in the ditch, and piles of sawdust in the road).
    • The chain seemed really loose this morning - stopped in NH to tighten. This would become a theme. (Hint: I was at around 30,000km & - and still on the original chain.)
    • Blew into Woodstock, NB and totally wimped out and got a hotel room. No excuse, no shame. Enjoyed a shower, cold beer, and some wi-fi.
    • Met a couple at the hotel riding 2-up on a R1200GS - just making their way back to QC having done a tour of the Gaspe. Sounded like an amazing ride - not sure I'd want to do it with the Mrs riding pillion.
    • Looking forward to meeting up with the clan in NS.
    • Tunes: CCR-'Greatest Hits'; INXS-'Greatest Hits'
    • Smoke: none
    • Libation: a bunch of beer in the restaurant at the hotel.
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