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From Alberta to the East Coast

Discussion in 'Canada' started by thedopplereffect, Mar 26, 2021.

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  1. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Depends on vaccination.
    #21
  2. 'Bob'

    'Bob' Been here awhile Supporter

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    Location:
    Newfoundland
    When we're free to travel again as a Newfie I'd have to suggest Cape Spear as it's the most easterly point in NA. Plus there's some decent pubs on George Street. While there you'll understand why St. John's doesn't need to advertise that it's Canada's oldest city. Conne River on the Connaigre Penn is a friendly model first nations community with decent arts and crafts and good gas prices. If you're into whales and icebergs head to the Northern Penn in NL but go early and maybe use an on line ice berg tracker to see what's what. If you're a hiker Gros Morne has lots of that plus good camping. If you enjoy some solitude the TLH offers that.
    Head over to St. Pierre & Miquelon by ferry for a taste of France. If you can't get to France at least try the older parts of Quebec City and/or Montreal to enjoy their cuisine and culture.
    With two months you probably have time to ride both sides of the Great Lakes if the US Border is open. If you like remote camping a ride North to James Bay might work for you.
    I like how the Prairie Provinces seem to display the past and present with equal respect and their heritage is visible wherever you look.
    If I was leaving from Calgary I think I'd begin my trip with a visit to the Dinosaur Museum in Drumheller just to add some perspective to the places you'll go.
    #22
  3. cal08

    cal08 Long timer

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    Glad you started this thread. Not the right time for me to make the trek, but the destination is the same. I'm so looking forward to see the rest of this fantastic country and meet everyone along the way.
    #23
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  4. 2dogs1cat

    2dogs1cat Cole Harbour Kid

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2013
    Oddometer:
    121
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    - If you have a craving for pepperoni we would suggest Huntley's Village Meat Market over in Canning, it's hard for me not to eat it all on the way home
    - Howard Dill's pumpkin patch has changed over the years since he passed away, the grounds have been updated/graded and you can see where they grow the giants
    - If you're around in October there's the Pumpkin Weigh Off and Regatta, dress warmly, almost every time we've gone it's been cold and a wee bit wet
    - The fossil cliffs at Joggins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
    - Tatamagouche has the Train Station (want to sleep in a caboose or box car?)
    - There are lots of wineries - map - where you can pick up a bottle; snag yourself a lobster and if your passing by Bridgetown, I'm sure D'Aubin Family Meats has a steak or two for you, there you go, wine and surf & turf for supper
    - Feeling a bit adventurous without two wheels, you can check out tidal bore rafting near Maitland, did a google search and found these folks NS River Runners
    - Coming down from the Cobequid Pass, and right before you get to Truro, there's Masstown Market, it's next to the highway, you can gas up and get something hot to eat right away; Masstown Market...it's ok
    - Haven't grabbed a bite to eat in Truro for ages; anyone have a suggestion(s) for the OP?
    - Rural routes, years ago depending where we were driving, the pavement sucked, cracks, potholes, broken uneven tarmac; I have to refer you to the membership and they can tell you which rural roads to avoid....
    Happy Easter, enjoy your chocolate.
    : ^ )
    2d1c
    #24
    thedopplereffect and 'Bob' like this.
  5. ommoran

    ommoran Experienced Newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC.
    Here are some things that you can't miss from my travels. I'm from Toronto originally, have lived here in BC for 15 years and 10 years in Edmonton area. I've traveled extensively across Canada and have driven from Tofino to Montreal in various trips. So, I'll defer to the folks from Atlantic Canada about Atlantic Canada. And yes, travel and pandemic restrictions abound right now. I'm also planning trips in my little head full of make-believe, so let me try and help.

    First, you have to have a concept of how big an area you're talking about. Ontario is big and I haven't seen it mentioned. For me, on a bike, it's a minimum 3 days if I were to go from the Manitoba border to Toronto, or across into Quebec. It's huge. I would probably do it in 4. I also think you need to have an end destination in mind. Lake Huron, up around Tobermory, and Manitoulin Island are all amazing areas. The lake districts (cottage countries Muskoka and the Kawarthas) are fun to tool around in and have great waterfront places to stay. Bigger cities can be fun to explore for a few days, and you can reach out to other inmates here would would probably be happy to show you around their town. Ontario is massive and worth exploring. Anyway, my thoughts.
    1. Winnipeg has great food. Some of the best new restaurants in Canada. Pizzeria Gusto is a classic. And if you can catch a Winnipeg Goldeyes game, they have an amazing ballpark.
    2. The Lake of the Woods area is beautiful - but go late summer when the bugs have died down.
    3. When you get to Thunder Bay, seek out the Terry Fox Memorial. It's one of those things, like the Vimy Ridge monument (I'm writing this on Vimy Ridge day) that just humbles you. If you leave there with dry eyes, you're a more stoic man than I - although that doesn't take much.
    4. When you leave Thunder Bay, try and stop at Old Woman Bay, which is a Provincial Park. It's beautiful and gives you perspective on exactly the size of freshwater sea that Lake Superior is. The next 12 hours or so of riding can give you that perspective as well.
    5. If you go through Sudbury, see the big nickel. It's really big. It's really a nickel.
    6. I love Toronto, so I disagree with the comments above. If you want to see Toronto, go! But if you want to AVOID Toronto, I would recommend taking Hwy 11 as soon as you can. Timmins down to North Bay is gorgeous, and you will soon learn what the "Canadian Shield" actually means. Then, catch Hwy 60 at Huntsville, and head east through Algonquin Park (which is over 7500 km2) towards the gorgeous Ottawa Valley to Ottawa. Because, it's Ottawa, and really it's a great city and worth visiting. That ride goes through the "Ontario Highlands", and Motorcycle Mojo did a great ride profile of the area.
    7. Not many have mentioned Quebec. Montreal is my favourite city in the country. If you go, try and go to the Sugar Shack (I can't remember the french name) just outside Montreal. Great food. If you stay near Montreal, have a bagel, and some rotisserie chicken and proper poutine. You'll be stunned.
    8. Quebec City is amazing to see. Where else can you see a cannonball that is stuck *in* a tree? Or such amazing architecture.
    9. I'll defer to the locals on riding in Quebec or the Maritimes, I've only ever done those drives in a cage on the slab.
    10. I've only ever been to Halifax. I had a very good time in the Split Crow. Same split crow was cawing very loudly in my split head the next day. The music and the beer was great.
    I like Motorcycle Mojo's travel stuff. They have great articles on Atlantic Canada and again Atlantic Canada, and Quebec. Search their site and they will give you some inspiration. If you are dead set on going to the Maritimes, meaning that's the dream destination, then you'll end up bypassing a lot of great stuff while on the highways. It's too bad. Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec are all gorgeous to explore.
    #25
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  6. thedopplereffect

    thedopplereffect Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2021
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    I really appreciate all the advice! You mentioned having a destination in mind and the main goal of the trip would be for me to see the Atlantic Coast. However with that being said, I'm really hoping to be able to take my time through basically the whole country and see as much as I can. Right now the timeline would be a minimum of 6 weeks it looks like. The planning marches on with tremendous optimism about the state of the pandemic come mid-summer!
    #26
  7. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Nova Scotia closed the open border to NB this afternoon. Traveler's coming into NS need to isolate for 14 days.

    The borders in NL, NS and PEI remain open to each other with no isolation required, maintaining the 75% Atlantic Canada bubble.
    #27
  8. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

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    you gonna bite the bullet and jump on the TransCanada from Alta. to the 'Peg?
    #28
  9. thedopplereffect

    thedopplereffect Adventurer

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    Location:
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    The rain falls but with any luck the parade will still go on.

    I haven't honestly decided yet. My guess is that the Eastern provinces will be more tentative about reopening to outsiders than the Western provinces will be. So if there's a window where everything is open I might try just boot it accross the country to get into the Maritimes and then mosey my way back across to Alberta. If, on the other hand, everything is still fairly closed down when I set off, then I'd probably take my time and try visit a few provincial parks and whatnot in both Sask and Manitoba in the hopes that things open up as I move East.
    #29
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  10. cal08

    cal08 Long timer

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    This is just one of those things that will unfold as you go; no sense in planning too far in front I suspect. I recall a cheesy saying that might fit here: no expectations, no failures. Keep us posted on the travels.
    #30
  11. Old Smokey

    Old Smokey Long timer

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    Just a couple quick comments from someone living in Winnipeg:

    - anyone who enters Manitoba must quarantine for two weeks. Canadian or not. Native to Manitoba or not. Fines are being handed out regularly and I would not chance it.

    - if you time your trip around more relaxed restrictions, which is hopefully soon, don’t ride the transcanada across Manitoba. It is so, so bad. Head south and meander along the 2/red coat trail highway. Much quieter and more scenic. Or head north and cut through riding mountain national park and then onto the 16 into Winnipeg. That will get you some hills if you plan right.

    East of Winnipeg, taking the 307 highway from Seven Sisters to highway 44, to falcon lake will get you pointed toward kenora ontario with a much more scenic experience.

    Good luck!
    #31
  12. Old Smokey

    Old Smokey Long timer

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    Just thought I’d share another note on this subject. Ontario has now set up police check points at the Manitoba border and are not allowing anyone to enter. Even Manitobans who own cottages just over the border are getting shut out. Seems like your trip route will likely need to be adjusted or postponed. Bummer for sure
    #32
  13. thedopplereffect

    thedopplereffect Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2021
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    It has been a while since I was on here, but things seem to be looking up! I was able to get myself vaccinated (but we don't need to get into everyone's opinions on that...) and Alberta looks to be opening up in the next month or so. My planned start date was going to be somewhere in the first two weeks of July so assuming that some of the other provinces follow suit, then I'll still be able to kick off the trip some time in July. We will have to wait and see exactly how things shape up though.

    In the mean time, I've been trying to get both my bike and myself ready for the trip. When I bought this Versys last summer it had about 47000 kms on it and the owner had installed a lowering link and a shorter kickstand. With that many kms on the bike already, and with me planning a trip like this, I did a little more extensive spring maintenance over the last couple months. I am by no means a professional mechanic but I've always enjoyed the fact that motorcycle maintenance is so approachable. Things are fairly exposed for the most part, so you don't need too many specialized tools to do a lot of jobs on a bike.

    So with that disclaimer put out there, I did an oil and filter change, cooling system check, brake fluid flush front and back, new air filter, cleaned and lubed the chain, removed the lowering link, installed a new kickstand with an oversize foot, installed a new size large Cal Sci windscreen, and went for some long test rides to see what else might have to change.

    The back tire is nearing the end of its life so I am looking into sourcing a new one over this coming weekend. It currently has Shinko Trail Master e705's mounted up. Unfortunately, they seem to be hard to come by this year, so I'm most likely going to go with the Pirelli Scorpion Trail tires. They look to be a pretty similar style and will provide more than enough grip for the little offroad or gravel riding that I plan to do. If anyone has any other good alternatives to the Shinko's I'm all ears.

    I've also been considering a new chain and sprocket set, just for the peace of mind of having new gear that I won't have to think as much about. I'm not really sure how many kms are on this current chain or how hard the previous owner rode the bike. I noticed when I was rolling the bike around in the garage that there seems to be one link that stays a little kinked as it comes off the front sprocket, so that's probably going to get changed out when the new tire comes in.

    Just thought I'd give anyone who still stumbles accross this thread a little update. Happy riding to you all. 20210601_120058.jpg
    #33
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  14. Cowtowner

    Cowtowner Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Calgary
    Just saw this thread. Covid and borders and stuff aside, I rode from Alberta to the Maritimes two summers ago. I was going for Atlantic Canada but I didn’t try to organize the Newfoundland ferry far enough in advance and I couldn’t make it work for my schedule because it was so busy - there was room on some sailings but I couldn’t make it work for me. So I turned back after running the Cabot Trail (I didn’t bother with riding much in Nova Scotia as I was travelling there regularly visiting my son in Halifax at the time and we drove all over).

    So if you do go my advice would be, tend to your ferry plans early or plan on having good flexibility for various sailings.

    I had a great ride anyway - stayed with family in New Brunswick for a bit and otherwise rode a ton. So much to see.

    I’m going back, don’t know when, and am definitely going to Newfoundland next time.
    #34
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  15. thedopplereffect

    thedopplereffect Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2021
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    I appreciate the advice from someone who has made the same trek before! I wasn't planning on making it out to Newfoundland but I might have to change that now...
    #35
  16. superfunkomatic

    superfunkomatic Funky Monkey Trunk

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Calgary, Ab
    I know a lot of people mention booking ahead with ferries. I didn't and didn't have an issue. As long as you know the times and arrive at least an hour early you should get on just fine.
    Even campsites I could book a day or two out. There may be more pent up demand this year for travel though. Have fun!
    I've ridden across Canada and back twice and have tried to see different things each time - tons to see.

    #36
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  17. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    A motorcycle and rider wouldn't have to book a ferry unless you want a room.
    They will put you in front of the line, and you'll park in the front to be the first off with the other riders.

    I highly recommend getting a cabin if going overnight, especially if taking the overnight Argentia run.
    #37
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  18. Cowtowner

    Cowtowner Been here awhile Supporter

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    I didn’t try going to the ferry and trying to get on, I only tried to book. Couldn’t seem to make day ferries that would work for my schedule and didn’t feel like doing an overnight ferry (there were no cabins available).
    #38
  19. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    So the cabin booking would be the issue.

    For folks considering going, I recommend the overnight run to Argentia and getting a cabin. Leaves early evening, have a relaxed night with a beverage or 9 and listen to some live tunes and stories.
    Back to your quite cabin with your own shower, sleep well, and refreshed for when you dock around 9am the next morning.

    Then meander from the east coast of the Rock and take the other ferry back to NS.

    #39
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  20. Cowtowner

    Cowtowner Been here awhile Supporter

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    If I recall correctly it wasn’t just a cabin on a night sailing but getting a spot on a day sailing on the shorter ferry. Although I didn’t actually show up to try to get on, I was just trying to book on the internet site. In any event I think it makes sense to look at it early or have a flexible schedule.
    #40