Nova Scotia on a Shoestring

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by bgoodsoil, May 13, 2010.

  1. motorcyclefanatic

    motorcyclefanatic The name says it all

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    Brad,
    Haven't seen any pics of your cooking setup, except for the hot dogs on the exhaust pipe. Just wondering how you eat, I'm impressed with your frugality in all your other travel aspects.

    I really enjoying the reports, you've really got me looking forward to a trip of my own.
  2. BMW Kurt

    BMW Kurt Philosopher

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    Black Mountain, NC
    Brad, I plan on making the same ride in July after I get back from the Grand Tetons and Arches . Right now I plan on leaving about the middle of July. I might try to make the BMWRA rally in Vermont on the return trip. Keep posting all your mistakes so I won't repeat them!!! :lol3
  3. allonsye

    allonsye ("lets go!")

    Joined:
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    Brad,

    You are like the Bear Grylls of adventure touring/riding.

    The meal cooking idea was the bomb. I'm going to keep this one in mind for canned goods - making lock wire part of my tool bin. From getting rid of an inconsiderate riding partner to getting your moto unstuck out of a rut - you are quick to come up w/viable solutions to common and uncommon riding problems and challenges and with great humor.

    Hope you've found a way to dry things out today and new found spirit & encouragement to continue the journey despite the cold and rain.

    :lurk

    BTW, If you're returning through the Shenandoah Valley (Winchester/Front Royal area), please consider my digs an oasis and respite.
  4. The Raven

    The Raven Banned

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    Off the map,
    For all those who want to ride up there, June is foggy and buggy on the eastern shore, July and August is the best for Riding/Camping, september is BEAUTIFUL but too cold for me.

    I lived there for 10 summers growing up, and continue to ride up there when I can.
  5. UpST8

    UpST8 turnin gas to noise

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    Great report!! Looking foward to the rest :*sip*
  6. bgoodsoil

    bgoodsoil Dare to be Stupid

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    I've got a battered aluminum pot and a MSR camp stove that fits inside it and one spoon. My usual food is oatmeal and lipton noodles. They both come in lotsa flavors so you don't tired of it so fast. You can get chicken in foil packets like tuna. I add that to the noodles to get some protein. Also, butter would go bad without refrigeration but olive oil doesn't. It's a good substitute. I keep a squirt bottle of olive oil in the pot for the noodles.

    For coffee I use coffee pods. They're basically tea bags with coffee instead. Instant Coffee is NOT coffee. I use non-dairy creamer that has electrical tape on the lid just in case. I had a tub of the stuff open up in a box in Costa Rica last year. It was raining and it turned into a gooey mess. I still have mildew in all the corners of my right box because of it.
    PM sent!
    daslipper likes this.
  7. bgoodsoil

    bgoodsoil Dare to be Stupid

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    Ya'll ain't gonna believe this one.

    So I got off the ferry starving. I had a biscuit early in the morning when I left Newfoundland then went straight to the ferry. Food on the ferry was crazy expensive and I thought "if I can hold out til 6 I can get something to eat.'

    I had been shivering the whole trip since my boots were filled with icewater from the island. If you don't think shivering burns some calories you should try it some time.

    I went on hostels.com and found a place for $20 a night in Margaree Forks--a little town on Cape Breton. My tent was soaked and so was my sleeping bag so I figured it'd be a good time to spend a night in a real bed and lay out my gear to dry.

    There are several exits to get onto the Cabot Trail, the trail that goes around Cape Breton, and I took the wrong one. I rode for an hour and didn't see the road I was looking for. I passed a guy and asked him for directions and he said 'oh, you musta taken the wrong turn, eh. Margaree Forks is back the other way.' So I rode all the way back to the highway.

    There was a restaurant at the highway and I pulled in there to ask for directions. The server had just taken some folks to their table so I snatched a menu to check out the prices. The cheapest thing was a small bowl of soup and it was $9. I was starving and that food smelled soooo good but I couldn't afford it. The lady came back and gave me directions and off I went. I still had a supply of noodles. I'd be fine with that.

    I finally started seeing signs for Margaree Forks then finally I saw a sign for the highway 19. I was just 2 miles from the hostel!!!......then the bike died. Didn't stumble a bit, just died as I was making the turn for the hostel.

    Nothing on the dash lit up so I figured something was wrong with the kill switch. I pulled the switch and jumped it out and the lights came back on. woohoo! I thought "Brad, you're a genius." I hit the start button and smoke poured from the switch. I thought "Brad, you're an idiot." I turned the key off as fast as I could.

    I was in the middle of nowhere. Seriously, I passed this 1/4 mile before the turn.

    [​IMG]

    Rub it in why dontcha!

    I saw a light on about a halfa mile down the road so I started walking. The building was a postoffice. I figured they'd know everybody. I walked in the door and saw this.

    [​IMG]

    The town was so small that they didn't deliver to the houses. Folks came here to get their mail. I just happened to break down on a national holiday :baldy

    There was nothing and nobody around so I went back to the bike to grab my gear. It was almost dark and I could see the rain comin' in again. All my gear was wet and it was getting cold. Sometimes ya just gotta laugh at how bad things are. I must've looked crazy with my arms full of gear bags walking into the woods laughing.

    I got the top of a rise that looked out on a huge green field. I started unpacking and saw a guy coming across the field. He had a hockey stick and a little dog. He was walking along swatting a ball and the dog happily chased after it. I walked down to him and asked 'hey do you know who owns this field? do you think they'd mind me camping here?'

    he said "i'm sure they wouldn't mind but there's no sense campin. I got a whole house you can have.' Then he walked over right there and picked up my stuff and said 'follow me.' I hadn't even told him about the bike being broke down yet.

    Me, him and Rory, the dog, walked back across the field and got to a house. He said 'you'll have to forgive old Rory. He's gonna go chase the squirrel when I open the door. " huh? He opened the door and sure enough Rory takes off like a shot to the kitchen and starts barking at the wall. The guy, David, said 'he saw a squirrel run into that wall 2 years ago and he runs there every time he comes over. He's gone Rory! that damn squirrel ain't been there in 2 years ya crazy dog!'

    [​IMG]

    His mom had died last year and the house just sat there. He said 'lemme run home and grab some food for ya.' He left and came back a few minutes later with his arms full of bagels, pizza, granola bars, OJ....anything he could grab. He said 'me brudder left some beers here last time. I'll hook up the fridge and start gettin' 'em cooled off.'

    [​IMG]

    I couldn't believe it. What are the odds? I broke down on Cape Breton, a beautiful vacation spot, and had a 3 bedroom house all to myself. I stayed for 3 days :) David said 'You didn't win the lottery but you sure got lucky on this one!'

    We sat down, had a few beers and watched the hockey game. He showed me where everything was before he went home. I strung out all my gear, washed a load of clothes, got the first hot shower I'd had in days and got to sleep in a real bed with sheets and everything. Score!

    The next morning I got up early, made some coffee and took my own sweet time watching about the oil spill before heading down and looking at the bike.

    Here's the switch.

    [​IMG]
    I traced the wires down to the connector. I keep a roll of 16 guage wire on the bike. I jumped out the switch and ran new wires up to the starter button. That got me back to the house. Then I tore in to the bike.

    [​IMG]

    I finally found the culprit. A wire routed off the coil was rubbing against the frame and finally parted. This also has to be the source of all the stumbling I've had throughout the whole trip. btw, It's entirely Datchew's fault. :mrskbasa

    Ya see, I went up to Datchew's house to rig up the points igntion system after the stock system died on me in Mexico last year. Matt had brewed up some 10% beer and me, him and the Bulleteer got a little drunk when we were wiring it up. Heck, we forgot to hook up the alternator wire and I rode 115 miles home on the battery since it wasn't charging. It was worth it. That was some darn good beer. :beer

    In a survival situation you always take stock of the resources you have on hand. I found a toolbox full of wirenuts in the house. An elegant solution.

    [​IMG]

    Yes, this is the new and improved mounting position. It was on it's side before and the right plug wire had to do a 180 to go in the coil. When I removed the coil the plug wire fell out. It wasn't even snapped in place.

    My starter's been making a funny noise so I went to the garage down the road to get a torx bit to tear it apart. I tore it completely apart and greased all the internals. It still honks at me. Bad solenoid? :scratch And why would they use torx bits instead of allens? Drives me nuts when companies do stuff like that.

    [​IMG]

    It got sunny later and I rode around a bit. Cape Breton's nice.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Oznay likes this.
  8. RedRocket

    RedRocket Yeah! I want Cheesy Poofs Supporter

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    Great update! Turn of events like this 'make' your trip, don't they.
  9. Witness

    Witness Me

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
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    Southern Ontario Canada
    I've been enjoying your report.

    Really happy you were lucky with the house find, and of course it makes me proud to be Canadian. :1drink

    I hope you get a chance to ride the Cabot Trail
  10. Neonnoodle

    Neonnoodle Desmon00b

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    Great report so far, bgoodsoil! Thanks for posting :clap
  11. timk519

    timk519 Long timer

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    Got to love it when a breakdown turns out like that!
  12. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

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    :clap

    thats awesome, man, what a great place to stay!
  13. subagon

    subagon Hopelessly lost

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    Jul 26, 2004
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    Antioch, FL
    David and Rory just got a whole lot of positive karma :flug
  14. IronheadChicago

    IronheadChicago 2up

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    Apr 15, 2010
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    Chicago, IL
    read. Even better luck! :D
  15. thumpididump

    thumpididump MacGyver

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    This shit is just priceless ! :clap
  16. CBAT

    CBAT occasional wanderer

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    Central Texas
    Great work on the field repairs. :thumb
  17. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list Supporter

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    you are definitely, against my wishes, going to get rid of that engine cut-off switch now, aren't ya?:1drink So, now you know why I love to ride in Canada, man, those people are just a different breed. I told you the Canadians will take care of you. Glad you're alright and you're having an adventure. I'll keep my eyes peeled for another used Big Agnes SL2. Great report, Brad!!! Just great:D
  18. sdpc2

    sdpc2 Just another Rally Rat

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    so that about 1000 other ADVriders can come stay in that house too? :evil
  19. allonsye

    allonsye ("lets go!")

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    PM Returned

    PM sent![/QUOTE]
  20. allonsye

    allonsye ("lets go!")

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    There's something to be said about the ease of maintenance and troubleshooting of your old school moto with respect to being on the road. On any newer computerized model your trip could have been completely doomed :kboom just by the sheer potential $$$ of repairs :baldy. BTW, I was absolutely certain that things would turn around for you and it would get better and soon. Patience, perseverance, a good attitude. As is so true, we reap what we sow.
    Oznay likes this.