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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Ride2ADV, Jun 5, 2016.
Cool update on Island Falls! I never stopped in there on my many trips through the area.
Don't blame yourself juno, we just found out about Island Falls' history by chance.
Ultimately, the weather cleared and we knew Canada lay straight ahead. Well, sort of straight ahead, there were some twisties and mountains between us. Presque Isle, Maine was only about 20 miles away, the border at Madawaska another 60 miles and we would end up the day in the Providence of New Brunswick.
The border crossing was very simple and before we knew it we were in New Brunswick. Almost immediately, we started seeing moose collision warning signs.
Depending on the size of your car, the proportions of the sign are about right.
By the time we crossed the border, it was getting late, so we decided to spend the night in Edmunston, New Brunswick. We found a Best Western and settled in. Once there, we got some takeout and decided that a drink or two was in order. Luckily for us, this Best Western even had a bar, so we strolled directly from our room into the bar. Nice! I chatted with the bartender and asked her if there were any local beers that I could try. She said yes, and immediately set these up in front of me.
Feeling kind of royal, I chose the Louis XVII. It was good. Then I was forced to try the Soeua Catherine. Good but not as good as the Louis. See all the research we go through for you guys!
The following morning was gorgeous, and we headed northeast towards Cambellton and Chaleur Bay. It was beautiful, easy riding.
We made a number of stops during the day, sitting alongside the bays and enjoying the fresh air.
We also found a really large bird. I mean big!
Good thing it wasn't a bird of prey!
We continued our way now southeast basically making tracks to Nova Scotia. We stopped in Moncton, New Brunswick for the evening after a long day of riding. We were ready to unload the bikes and get something to eat. We quickly took off our gear and headed for the Hampton Inn reservations desk. Then a most strange thing happened...
I walked up to the reservation desk and the following conversation was had....
Me: Reservation for XXXX please.
Front desk: Welcome Mr. XXXX. (The usual check in procedure follows).
Front desk: May I get you both a complimentary water or beer?
Me: Ummm... I'm afraid so. BEER! (A little too loud.)
Kim: Me too! (Louder)
The clerk promptly went out back and returned with two very cold bottles of Molson 67, no charge! WTF? We have to stay at more Hampton Inns!
We drank our beer, grabbed some takeout and turned in for the night. Tomorrow we'd be riding to Nova Scotia. The following morning, the wind was up a bit but there were patches of blue between the clouds. We crossed over into Nova Scotia and the wind got very strong. We stopped at a rest area, and all the of flags were straight out.
After about an hours of additional riding, the wind settled down. Up ahead we saw a wind turbine and a gravel and later grass and dirt road in. We decided to go check it out and found this...
Nobody was in the vehicles and we were free to walk around and check things out. The turbines weren't running and their presence didn't seem to bother the locals.
Unfortunately, we didn't see any activity in the nest. Back on the bikes, Kim's hydration was down. Therefore, a fueling stop and a stock up on Coke was in order. While I fuelled the bikes, Kim went in to get some Coke. When she came out she had a fairly large bag of the stuff. Larger than usual. I asked her how many Cokes she had bought and it turned out it was 6. Plus as a bonus, she got 3 free Coke glasses for her purchase. Good thing she's the packaging engineer for the trips because I might not have had space in my panniers.
Those bikes look good, are are they working out for you?
MrKiwi, so far so good! The Africa Twin has been doing an excellent job and the Scrambler has been up to all we have thrown at it. This winter, I'll be working fabricating a hard pannier rack for the Scrambler so we can have a bit more security with hard panniers.
We wandered up the eastern coast of Nova Scotia staying as close to the ocean as possible. Riding through small towns like Tatamagouche, Marshville and Seafoam, we were treated to occasional views of the oceans and bays. Our destination for the day was Port Hood where we had found a house on AirBnB on the ocean for short money. Unfortunately, to get there in daylight, we'd have to detour onto some of the main highways but the trip was worth it!
When we arrived it was getting overcast, but we found a delightful little white house perched atop a hill overlooking the ocean.
At the side and back of the house was a delightful little porch from which to watch the sun go down and the waves crash on a point across the bay.
There was also a large fenced in paddock at the side of the house where the people across the street let out their thoroughbred race horses.
In the morning, they let the mare and her recently weaned colt out.
As night fell, it turned cold and started to rain very hard. We were glad to be inside and warm. But as the morning broke, the weather had passed and although the wind was up, there was bright blue sky poking through the clouds. We had planned to stay a couple of days so we could explore the local area. This turned out to be a great decision because we were able to find some gravel roads that ran right alongside the ocean. We stopped several times just to gawk and take it all in.
It was pretty spectacular because the wind was up and it was generating a great surf and changing the color of the water as the ocean floor was churned up!
(yup, we were there!)
We were delighted riding these deserted gravel roads following the ocean.
We had an amazing day of riding and by 4:00 PM decided to head back. But the beauty of the day wasn't over. As we sat on our porch we got a gorgeous sunset at no extra charge.
It was time to leave beautiful Fort, Hood Nova Scotia. In the morning it was quite cold but the sky was bright blue with a few clouds here and there.
Once on the road, things were just gorgeous.
Today we would be traveling to Cape Breton and the Cabot Trail. If you've never been on the Cabot Trail, put it on your "to do" list. Think curvy, steep, mountainous with the ocean running alongside. You won't be disappointed. Try not to go in the middle of summer, the traffic is much better at either end of the season.
As you enter the Cabot trail, from the western side you run along side the ocean. That mountain ahead is just the start...
You can just make out the twisty Cabot Trail on the mountain ahead.
As you can see traffic was quite light, and it was smooth going. Unfortunately, as we made it further into Cape Breton, there was some construction to deal with. Not really much of a hassle, but it did bunch up what little traffic there was and we sometimes followed in long clouds of dust. Sometimes there were flagmen and other times there were automated signals. One of the first ones was automated. As we waited for the signal to go green, a woman from the car in front of us jumped out and asked us if we wanted to go first! What great Canadian hospitality! We said of course, and when the light went green, we were gone.
But while I was photographing the traffic signal, I noticed some tiny dots at the tip of one mountain ridge.
A little zooming in and I found...
People! There is a walking trail that goes along the top of the mountain ridge and this day there were plenty of people on it.
Under way again, we hit more construction, this time with several miles of pea gravel.
It actually was quite a bit of fun, wicking it up in places and sliding around a bit.
As we reached the crest of the Cabot Trail, we had to make a lunch stop at one of Kim's favorite restaurants. Called the Rusty Anchor, it's just a roadside stop but according to Kim, amazing seafood. I really don't like seafood, so I'll leave the review up to Kim. Anyway, she ordered a lobster roll which is supposed to come out as two small dinner rolls filled with lobster and butter poured all over it. So when Kim's lunch came, it looked like this...
To the "untrained eye", this apparently is the visage of a wonderful lobster roll lunch. However, there apparently was a crab in the ointment. Kim had just taken the first bite out of her lobster roll when the server literally came running over to our table. She looked at the rolls and shouted, "that's not what you were supposed to get, that's someone else's!" Kim practically threw down the roll and the server said, don't worry, I'll bring you another one. Another what?, I thought to myself. It seems that one of the rolls Kim got was filled with snow crab and not lobster. So the server rushed off and brought another lobster roll for Kim.
When she returned, Kim's lunch looked like this...
Kim left the restaurant stuffed... to the gills...
Oh yeah, my chicken fingers were fine. Thanks for asking.
We had also decided to check out Meat Cove which is a small fishing village at the northern crest of Nova Scotia. Access is by paved and unpaved gravel roads. It was amazing.
Before we knew it, we had arrived...
On the way out, we stopped to take a few more pics...
Those bikes look good. The first hing I did when buying my Africa Twin was to ditch the OEM tires that came with it. I don't care much for the Dunlop tires. I fitted TKC 70's. Managed to get these with no extra cost as they dealer just swapped out the OEM tires which were unused.
Love the look of the Ducati too.
Great riding along that coast, hadn't seen pictures of this route until now. Looks fab. Cheers...
For me, the OEM's are OK, I am looking forward to some TKC-80s after I burn the OEMs up though!
At the end of the day, we found a little place right on the ocean in Antigonish. It was a tiny cabin with a view of the water. Out the door of the cabin, there was a mowed pathway down to the water. Kim decided she wanted to have a look and took a short walk.
The shore was rocky, but still beautiful.
After walking a little further, the shore became sandy.
It wasn't long before Kim returned and she showed me some pictures she had taken. I liked this one the best...
We then decided to walk to get some dinner which was good. As the sun set,
we both decided to go for a beach walk under a full moon.
Of course, it was beautiful.
The following morning came bright and sunny. This day would see the end of our riding on the Cabot trail. But we did have some nice mountain curves to go over with some fairly steep dropoffs and nice curves.
Once off the Cabot, we were really coming to the end of this stage of our ride. A couple more days, and we would be home back in Vermont.
We did hop the Englishtown cable ferry along the way, which was kind of cool. We sat in a fairly short line of cars and waited for the ferry to pull itself across the channel.
You can't see it in this picture, but the ferry is actually pulling itself to this side of the channel on a cable moored into the boat ramp.
It wasn't more than 5 minutes after the ferry moored on the ramp that we rode the bikes on.
Once loaded, it was less than a 10 minute pull across the channel and we were back on the road.
We wanted to visit some friends (Alice & Jim) who had purchased a cabin in Guysboro. So we made a bit of a detour and headed over their way. Once we found our way there, we found that their driveway was very steep and rock strewn. Kim made it up without skipping a beat.
Their lovely home is perched atop a big hill and the view there are spectacular. Of course, I wasn't smart enough to take any pictures while there. But we did have a great time reminiscing about times past. Here's a picture of us with Alice, Jim and Alice's niece Tina who was visiting from Germany.
If you look behind Jim, you can get an idea of what their view looks like.
Time passed way to quickly, but we enjoyed every second of our visit. That night we were staying in a B&B alongside the ocean that we had stayed in many years ago, so it was sort of a treat to be going back. By this time, the B&B had been sold by the previous owners, but the new owners were just as nice and we settled in for the evening.
Before turning in for the night, we once again decided to walk around the property in the bright moonshine.
In the morning, we were getting ready for breakfast and found that overnight we had some guests of our own. As we slept, apparently some moochers decided to hang out with us and have dinner. When Kim got out of bed, she stepped on what she thought was some sand on the floor and paid no attention to it. But as she put her boot on, she found more of the sand inside her boot. Well it really wasn't sand...
She shook her boot out and found... seeds. Various kinds of seeds. Then as we checked around the bed, we found...
It appears that our guests brought their own food and had been chowing down as we slept. It was then that we decided to check the bed. Right between our pillows...
They apparently literally had dinner right next to our ears but didn't even wake us.
That's hilarious! No harm no foul.
Having sorted our mouse/mice meeting, we gathered our gear and got ready for the road. We did a quick walk around the property and it was clouding up. More rain was on the way, but we hoped we could beat it before it came pouring down.
We also found a couple of trees with some significant knots. We not sure what causes it, but it is interesting.
It was time to make our way to Falmouth, Nova Scotia where we intended to pick up the high speed ferry to Portland, Maine. What was previously an overnight voyage was now only a 5 hour crossing. We got the bikes loaded and headed out.
We had been riding for a couple of hours and needed to pick up some fuel. As we rode along, we saw a couple of large ships moored at a dock. We wanted to take a look, but our need for fuel was more important so we passed by without stopping. Just a mile or so down the road, we found a small gas station and pulled in. Inside was a nice woman named Mary Rhynolds. She and her husband had owned this little gas station and convenience store for years. She said that she enjoyed talking to people passing by and finding out where they were from. She was a real people person.
I asked her about the large ships moored nearby, and she explained that they were shrimping vessels and would be leaving today for the coast of Greenland to fish for shrimp. It's difficult to make a living in this part of the world, so the people that work on the ship go to sea for 3 - 4 months at a time and fish until the ship is full. Only then do they get to return. I asked her if it would be a problem for us to go check out the ships and she said it wouldn't. We thanked Mary and were soon off to check out the shrimpers.
We simply rode through the gate and there the two ships sat. I would estimate that the ships were each about 160 feet long.
One was being provisioned by a tractor trailer full of supplies so this pic will give you a better idea of the ship's size.
There was a lot of activity on the dock and people were wearing hard hats, so we didn't get much closer to the ships. It was kind of a shame, I would have liked to discuss what it was like to be a shrimper on a factory ship. We watched for about 20 minutes and then got back on the road. It wasn't long before we were waiting for another cable ferry.
It wasn't long before the ferry was tugging its way back to us.
This time, you can really see the cable.
It wasn't long before we were loaded up and riding a cable ferry again.
If you look closely into the dingy, you can see that the crew apparently has some time to do some fishing.
Need a closer look?
Looks like the job could be not so bad.
Since this was our second cable ferry crossing, we decided a selfie was in order...
Once off the ferry, we continued our way south. As we were riding, we found a ship scrap yard where they had been disassembling some ships.
This one looked like it had seen some fire...
Other boats/ships had just been left on the earth, perhaps to return to it over the years.
Others looked as though they were being brought back to life.
Back on the road, the rain finally came.
Once it started raining, we rode for about 3 hours and decided to call it a day in Dartmouth. It was a pretty uneventful evening. The following morning it was still raining, but the forecast was for improving weather. Once underway, it was still raining
but as we moved further south, towards Lunenburg, the rain started to turn to drizzle.
We decided that we would stop in Lunenburg which is a delightful Oceanside little town and pick up some lunch. The arts play a big role in Lunenburg, and it's artsy feel is immediately felt once you are in the area.
We strolled around the streets for a while and checked out the shops and the harbor.
We ended up at a little restaurant on the water with Kim having chowder and me having a veggie burger.
To top it off, Kim decided some lunchtime dessert was in order and she was able to wrangle up one of her favorites, chocolate cake.
Right after we finished lunch, we got back on the road and headed due south to Falmouth, where we would catch the ferry the following morning.
Of course, it had to start raining again.
Early the following day, we were able to jump on the high speed ferry to Portland, Maine in rain and fog.
We were the first vehicles on the ferry so we got an excellent spot for debarkation.
Almost the entire trip was in thick fog, but we took a few minutes to go outside and catch some of the salt air.
We arrived in Portland and US Customs in the early afternoon just as the fog was breaking...
The wait in line was not significant and after about 20 minutes, we were through Customs and on our way home to Vermont.
It was an uneventful and pleasant ride from Portland, Maine to our home in Vermont.
Before we knew it we were home again.
The following day, it was situation normal with an a home cooked dinner while our cats Desmo and Prilla waited for theirs.
We're going to take a break for the winter, but will continue our Planet Ramble once the snow clears.
Oops.... still new enough here that I hit the wrong button..... duh! Anyway, it looks like you had lots of fun and I appreciate you taking us along. I'll be looking forward to when you hit the road again in the Spring. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year :)
What?! That's it? Until next year? In the spring? When the snow clears?! That could be the 4th of July in Vermont! What am I suppose to do until then? ...of course, there is that baseball thing out here in the desert. That starts in a couple months. ...and before that starts, we have the holidays, and then the desert guests, and then more desert guests, and then more...........hmmmmm. Maybe it will be OK. I'll try to keep myself busy until you start your rambling' next year. Until then - have a "Merry" and a "Happy".
Thanks LadyFish4. We're happy you chose to come along with us! We'll be doing some skiiing for a while, but then it's back on the bikes!!!!
We wish you very happy holidays and a wonderful New Year!!!!
Not to worry Matt! We should be on the road no later than early June. Until then, I actually have a couple of ride reports here on ADV that I never completed. So we'll be virtually riding continuing our Western Wandering Adventure that had us roaming through Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana in the not too distant future. The Western Wandering Adventure will start from: click HERE.
Kim & I wish you and Weeze a very happy, happy holiday season and all the best for the coming New Year!!!
Thanks for the updates! I hope you guys have a great winter up there. Keep us posted of the mods or changes you make for the next adventure!