Going to the Dogs, chasing my tale through Labrador and Newfoundland

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MapMaster, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. jackalsour

    jackalsour Xennial

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    It must be one of these French secrets.. maybe Yan the info guy wanted to keep the fresh cheese to himself that night :thwak The fjord and 381 is another well kept secret though so you did well to discover it :thumb The problem with live reporting in the summer is that we're all out riding instead of online :lol3
  2. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    psst - there's a better way :evil
    Have her fly to St John's and meet her there (renting a car for a few days or a week is a lot cheaper than a sidecar option).

    I've rendezvoused with my gf Clare during m/c trips to Anchorage (she arranged a work trip for that one), Vegas, Albuquerque, New Brunswick/PEI, and Santa Monica.
    She's not averse to riding, but can't take the time that trips like these require.
  3. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    9/3/14 - Sutton, VT to Rutland, VT - 187 miles


    Slept well - very stiff this morning - a sign that I didn't toss/turn much I think.
    Tim fixed a breakfast muffin sandwich with good Cabot Cheddar!

    With his tent returned and a different bag, I set out with the 5th different packing configuration of the trip. (4th was his tent/bag with extra gas for the TLH).

    Got rolling just before 10 and almost dumped the bike in the driveway - a very slippery puddle tried to bite.


    A quick blast down I-91 got me into West Lebanon, NH in time to meet fellow VFR rider, friend, and WDGAH* Friday BBQ host Bryan for lunch.

    *We Don't Give A Hoot - small rally initiated by VFR riders in '97. It's been based in West Lebanon for the past 14 years and we welcome any and all marks. (We take pity on those who haven't experienced motorcycle perfection :wink:)


    After lunch I meandered over to Rutland to take advantage of MsLizVT's tent space thread posting for the night's stop.

    A very nice day for horsing around some back country fields.
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    In Rutland, the VT State Fair was in progress and I wandered the midway there. The rides are so much better than what I remember as a kid at the county fair. Bumper boats! Awesome, not only can you smash the others, there's the hope of capsizing them, ARRGH!

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    Between Bryan and Liz, I got a good start on polishing the verbal accountings of the trip.

    And the day's canine take was a pair of chocolate Labradoodles, Molly and Phil, that Liz was pet sitting.
  4. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    9/4/14 Rutland, VT to Woodford State Park, VT - 133 miles


    For the second day in a row, the mileage demands were light.
    I was already pretty familiar with all of the paved roads in the area and the stalling issue was impacting the dirt explorations, so I didn't venture too far afield.
    Just over to NY and a slew of county roads between Whitehall and Bennington, VT.

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    Added to the usual country smells that permeated the helmet today was the distinct of aroma of burnt popcorn. I wonder if that could be from burning stubble in a corn field? :dunno

    Many Moose in Bennington are easy to dodge:
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    Got to Woodford SP early in the afternoon, the first of 4 campers for the night. I picked out a lean-to site for the gang.

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    Mike showed up within an hour:

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    He's got definite ideas on what's needed for a proper moto-camping experience (I heartily agree with them, I'm just not willing to pack it all, though I have since broken down and bought a small camp chair):

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    Rich arrived just before 6 and while he and Mike made a run for provisions, I got to work on the fire:


    Seasoned wood:
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    A fat stick:
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    3 minutes later:
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    3 minutes after that:
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    Truth in advertising (talk about oxymorons) compels me to add that Mike had about a half-dozen fat sticks and a clump other fire starter stuff that I was commanded to use up, so the fire starting process tonight was the equivalent to bringing an AK-47 to a knife fight.


    Marc completed our group at 8:30 and we commenced with cooking foodstuffs to stuff our faces with. Good friends all, it was a great evening catching up with events of the past year, lots of b-s, and there might have been some alcohol involved. :freaky

    Pyromaniac that Rich is, we had a generous supply of wood, and for the second time on this trip, some comely ladies approached the fire. They asked if we had any wood to spare so that they could get a fire going at their site. I felt like I was passing out candy to trick-or-treaters as I handed each one a log.
  5. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    9/5/14 - State Park to West Lebanon, NH 199 miles

    SOP for many early arriving WDGAH attendees is to gather Friday morning at the Blue Benn diner in Bennington. Us manly backwoods campers and others who choose to camp for the night at the Paradise Inn in town. Tell stories, eat breakfast, lie some more, and then head for West Lebanon along whatever route(s) someone chooses to lead the group(s) by, getting there in time to attend Bryan's afternoon bbq. Back to the hotel at dusk where the bikes get parked and the beer starts to flow.

    Those expectations evaporated for me with the morning news. Rich had gotten a text last night after the rest of us had hit the sack. Our friend Mike, who sold me the Tiger that began this adventure, had been badly hurt in an accident yesterday near Glens Falls, NY and was in the Albany Medical Center.

    With less to pack up, I rolled out first and went to the Inn to meet the others there and get more details.

    John's bike (Matt in the background):
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    John rode up from Florida, with the rubber to get him home strapped to the bike.

    We went for breakfast and I called the hospital from there. Mike was out of surgery, so instead of romping over VT back roads I rode over and visited.

    Bikes at the Blue Benn:
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    The capsule description of the accident is that Mike was leading two others on a two lane road and had to slow to a virtual (or actual) stop as a car running ahead of them stopped to make a left hand turn into a driveway. At the last moment, the car made the turn in front of an oncoming pickup truck. To avoid the car, the pickup slammed on the brakes, locked them up, went out of control and crossed into Mike's lane. Mike started to ride up the hillside of the yard to his right and the truck hit him broad side, knocking him off the bike which ended up under the truck's front bumper.

    I won't detail all his injuries here, but his left leg was severely mangled. He had emergency surgery last night/this morning. I have a picture of him with lots of external, immobilizing, hardware sticking out of his leg with a bloody pad underneath and a smile on his face as the pretty nurse's aid tends to him. His spirits were fantastic for what he'd gone through.

    He had another operation about two weeks later and was able to get home about three weeks after the accident. He's got more healing to do before they can operate to permanently fix the leg. The soft tissue damage has to heal to minimize the risk of a bone infection. Hopefully that surgery will be within this month (January), then the rehab can start.

    After visiting thru a good chunk of the afternoon I headed to West Lebanon, arriving after dark. I briefed all on Mike's status and made an early night of it.

    The riding was fine, but today certainly sucked.
  6. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    9/6/14 West Lebanon, NH to West Lebanon, NH - 224 miles

    The usual small, loose rally procedures remained in effect.
    Catch up with old friends and meet new ones over breakfast, see who's going where with whom for the day, gear up and get ready to ride.

    With 10,000 miles on the clock for the trip at this point and a good chance of afternoon showers in the forecast, I wasn't motivated to join up with either group heading for Maine today. Go figure. :wink:

    Paul on his Multi-Strada had similar hopes for the day - a good romp around in the 200-300 mile range and no desire to pound long miles in the rain.
    If the wet weather would hold off I wanted to go to the summit of Mt Washington, so we headed toward Conway on a mix of roads.

    We passed part of Rich's Maine bound group, Florida John and John from St. Julie, who I stayed with on day 3, pulled over on the side of the road, engaged in conversation with a Holderness officer of the law. Uh-oh! Based on interactions over the years, if I had to rank all of this year's attendees in order of 'most-likely-to-be-confrontational-with-a-cop', I just passed 1 and 1A of the list. But Florida John gave a wave and smile as we went (slowly) by, so a trip in the back of a cop car did not seem likely. We found the rest of the group waiting at the next junction and soon, the two properly chastened bad boys came along. They only got a warning for a passing a very slow moving car on a double yellow.


    The low cloud cover was now complete, so there wasn't going to be any run to a 6,288 foot mountain summit today. A westward run on the Kancamagus Hwy, with a very entertaining out-n-back jaunt on Bear Notch road, got us into Lincoln for a lunch stop.

    The only picture for the day was this bike pose along Bear Notch Rd:
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    The afternoon route included a run down the cluster-bombed route 118. As bad as this road is; rutted, cracked, humped, heaved, potholed and unevenly patched; I love it for its inherently beautiful flowing curves over a summit with nice views (if you stop to take them in - though I've rarely done so). But about half way down the west side, my flow was completely disrupted. Some joker had posted an official highway sign warning of a rough, or bumpy road ahead. I burst out laughing so hard I had to back off the pace for the next 4 turns.


    We finished before 3 with only a few sprinkles. A case of Red Stripe, a session in the hot tub and the usual parking lot debriefs with other groups as they came in, followed. No excessive cases of non-verticality occurred and no performance awards were passed out, so a good day for all.
    Dinner was the usual boisterous gathering, though at a new location this year - Ziggy's Pizza, good grub and they handled 20 or so of us with no problems.
  7. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    9/7/14 West Lebanon, NH to Roscoe, NY - 299 miles

    A few guys were going to stop and visit Mike on their way home as was I. A loop a bit north put me into in the Albany later in the day to spread out the visits.

    The only successful pictures of the day were in Poultney:
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    The beautiful day contributed to a lot of traffic in the Lake George region which made me bail on a planned run along the Great Sacandanga Lake and I hopped on I-87 to slab into Albany.

    After visiting Mike I headed south through the Catskills. Deer, turkeys, pine skwirls, more deer, and a bear along county 47 kept the evening ride very well spiced.

    The twists and turns of the roads through the Catskills created a kaleidoscope of light and shadow as the sun played peek-a-boo on its way to being fully set with no hope of further last gasps through any remaining low gaps in the skyline.

    I reached Roscoe with full night upon me and got a room at the Reynold's house.
    Fittingly, a friendly pooch came up for a quick skritch as I settled in, but he wasn't very cooperative for picture posing.
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  8. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    9/08/14 - Roscoe, NY to home - 389 miles
    The trip total was 10946 miles with an average of 288 miles/day.

    The final odometer reading was the only entry in the journal for the day, an indication of how often I have ridden across Pennsylvania on the northeast/southwest diagonal. It was a very enjoyable ride, but nothing unusually noteworthy was observed, no new road discoveries, no one tried to kill me, so a very good day's ride.

    I tried to make friends with this old store doggie, but he just wanted to find a deserted aisle and resume his nap.
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    Home at last, just before dark, where I discovered that my neighbor had just gotten a Chihuahua puppy. Armani was not photo-cooperative at all. I still don't have a good picture of the wee beastie.

    For such a long and involved endeavor, I feel like I should offer some profound and insightful conclusions. Just as bike breakdowns or really horrendous weather can enhance the tale of any particular ride; the calming of internal emotional storms, or external conflict resolution can really contribute to the significance of a trip. However such gales and wars were not present, so I have no touching, life changing epiphanies to offer. It certainly refreshed the mental batteries and provided many more touch points to remind me how wonderful humanity can be and how beautiful this planet is.

    In fact, it was so good that I even got a raise at work while I was on the road. :rilla
    Due to a change in corporate ownership, new staffing agreements went into place at the plant where I've been supporting a process computer replacement project. The staffing company that was paying me lost their contract, so in effect I was out of a job. But the project was far from over, so I shifted to the employ of my co-worker Mike, the one who extended congratulations on my purchase of the Tiger at the start of this tale, and got a better rate in the process. He gave me a heads up earlier in the trip and we ironed out all of the details during my last week on the road. I have read a lot of great ride reports on this site and am constantly impressed by the far greater riding and writing abilities of many inmates. But I don't recall anybody pulling off this particular feat. :rayof
  9. Newfie Rider

    Newfie Rider Concentrate Sammy please! LOL Supporter

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    Hi Greg, great RR. Got the link from RTR (a.k.a. Backdraft). You sure took in all of the island. Way to GO!!!



    Rick
  10. aging_raybob

    aging_raybob n00b

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    Hi.

    Enjoyed the write-up and great photos. Didn't know Mike and I made such an impression!

    Regards,
    Bob Ray
  11. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    Thanks, glad you liked it. But ALL of the island - not hardly, rain forced me to miss the whole north-central coast (Buena Vista, Twillingate area) and I never did make it to Harbor Breton. Which just means that I'll have to go back. :evil
  12. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    Bob,
    It was a pleasure meeting you.
    You guys get back okay I trust?

    I feel honored at eliciting your first post, I'm sure you have a slew of great tales yourself. Any links to personal recollections of your IBR 'jaunts'. :D
  13. aging_raybob

    aging_raybob n00b

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    Yep. No issues. Ran over to PEI for coffee, that's about it.

    Not really. Posted some stuff to ldrider 1994..2002. Don't know if Joe kept my drivel up or not (via the archives). Some scooter guy from Kentucky got my contact info from Kneebone a few years ago and wrote up something.

    http://roketamc54b.blogspot.com/2010/05/interview-bob-ray-from-jasper.html

    Bob Higdon and Warren Harhay's stuff on the 97, 99, and 01 rallies are on the Iron butt website. But you know that, right?

    Every time I tried to write something up, it kept reading like I was bragging or something, which just seemed wrong as I consider almost all of the IBR competitors to be better riders than I am. As you probably are, btw.

    So. Now you have elicited my second post on advrider.

    Regards,
    Bob Ray
  14. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    Cheers,
  15. Jeff B

    Jeff B Socially Awkward

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    Wow! Really enjoyed following your trip.

    I'd love to hear more over a beer sometime.

    Piper's Pub?
  16. ManOfIce

    ManOfIce Been here awhile

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    MapMaster:

    Just stumbled across this, and I'm liking what I'm reading so far. Sounds like you had a great ride. :clap
    Thanks!
  17. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    Glad you liked it.
    Telling more stories over beer?
    Sounds like a great plan to me! :freaky
    Timing is the issue at the moment - got a few 70+ hour weeks staring me in the face (got's to mine the gold while it's there to finance a trip to AK and points in between this summer).
    I can ping you when I return to reality if you'd like.
  18. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    You're most welcome.
    It was a fantastic ride! I can only hope at conveying a small sense of the wonder of it all. Hope you continue to enjoy the telling of it.

    I have to chuckle at your user name in relation to location.
    Or steam a bit as I lost 90 minutes getting to work this morning due to shoveling 7" inches of snow off of 200' of driveway.
    Radio traffic reporter misspoke and called the roads "slicey" this morning. I'm going to appropriate that term. :lol3 (I just hope I never have to use it in any future ride report.)
  19. Solace

    Solace I'm back, baby!

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    It was great to be a part of this ride report at the beginning and not great to be a part of it at the end. Nice report Greg, I finally got to catch up the whole thing. Many thanks again for your visits. I started PT this week and hope to get back out there with you again sometime.

    Later,
    M
  20. Jeff B

    Jeff B Socially Awkward

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    At lunch over a nice day trip would be nice.

    Looking forward to it. :deal