TWO BOB'S Nova Scotia 2015 - NYC to Cape Breton via ferry?

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DYNOBOB, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Day 15 - Thur July 30th - Southwest Harbor to Freeport, Maine - 160 miles


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    A relatively easy day today to accommodate setting up camp tonight and spending some quality time at the flagship store of LL Bean. Not a lot of pics today, but Wynette did a nice job capturing the feel of our route.

    Departing Mt Desert Island.

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    Church, pets, picnics, cobbler shop, scarecrows, glass shop, covered wagon, ladder to roof, basement doors open .. a lot going on in this pic! :-)

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    Crossing the Penobscot River near Bucksport you get a view of Ft Knox State Park - looks like a cool spot to stop if you have time. . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Knox_(Maine)


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    The Penobscot Narrows Bridge opened in 2007 and has an observation tower you can enter from Ft Knox.

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    Camden is a cool little sea-side town.

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    The historic Bath Iron Works shipyard kinda snuck up on me, I wish we would have stopped and got a few pics. The BIW has built hundreds of warships (mostly destroyers) dating back to the 1890s... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_Iron_Works ...Most recently it has been know for the build/launch of the futuristic USS Zumwalt. .. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zumwalt-class_destroyer


    You can see the Zumwalt on the left (in the water) and the Michael Monsoor still under construction on the right. These are very large destroyers with the radar signature of a fishing boat.

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    OMG, I want that barn!

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    A short distance down the road, we hang a left for Recompense Shore Campground. It came highly recommended by folks on ADV and I'd say it's as good as it gets on coastal Maine. Stay there if you get the chance.

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    Once checked in, we get things set up. Rain is in the area so Jim also sets up his tarp - holy guylines batman! .. :D .. That's some good rigging!


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    The ocean is right thru the trees behind us.

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    While we were setting up, we could hear a throng of kids laughing/screaming out on the shore. After a bit we start to see several dozen green mud covered aliens return from the ocean and head for the showers. You can imagine what the showers looked like afterwards, ahhh .. the charms of camping.

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    With camp set up we head into Freeport to get dinner and check out the original 24 hour LL Bean store. The town has grown into a outlet store mega-strip around Bean, but strangely felt a bit abandoned, very little traffic for the end of July. Anyway, I got a down puffy at 40% off - life is good!

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    We got a little rain while we were in town, but it stayed dry overnight. Tomorrow we head for Mt Washington!

    .
    #41
  2. ssevy

    ssevy retired and riding the backroads

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    Beautiful report, just like your others!
    I agree with your careful research approach to trip planning. As much as I would like to believe that I will see certain places again, the reality is that there are just too many roads and too few years to do that, so it seems wisest to get as much bang for your buck as possible. It would be a shame to miss something wonderful nearby just for lack of a little research.
    My other comment is that this stacking of rocks seems to be a fad that has spread everywhere. Many roads and water areas here locally in the Adirondacks have these manmade rock piles in plain view, and I really think it ruins the natural beauty for others. "Leave only footprints" is a pretty reasonable policy for public lands to be shared by all of us. (Sorry, rant over)
    Can't wait to see the Adirondack section coming up to see where you traveled near me.
    #42
  3. PatrickInVA

    PatrickInVA Been here awhile

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    Thank you for the detailed report. I'm in the pre-planning stage for a potential Maritimes and/or Atlantic Canada trip Summer of 2016.
    #43
  4. Tall Man

    Tall Man Priest, Temple of Syrinx

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    I'd like to get back up there, myself. I went in 2012 and just scratched the surface. I know how it's to be done now.
    #44
  5. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Thanks for your patience guys, fighting pneumonia for 2wks now...

    Thanks ssevy! Of course, the risk you run with pre-planning is, if something bad happens you may have a bunch of paid for reservations that you can't make. To me, that risk is far overcome by the relaxation of knowing your distance/destination every day, especially w/ multiple couples. We didn't have to stay at any "stinkers" on this trip. The ladies let you know if you done good/bad... :D I agree 100% about bang for buck resulting from research and this is where ADV is invaluable. No way I would have know about dozens of the stops we made w/o others sharing. Not sure where I stand on the rock formations, but I suspect there may be a high correlation between builders and those who might oppose off-road motorcycles - or maybe it's just kids :lol3



    In my final post I'll offer a couple thoughts on some things I'd do different. I've also added some waypoints to my Dropbox link. https://www.dropbox.com/s/8pmgrp8xv23ksi7/Maine - Nova Scotia waypoints.gdb?dl=0 I'd be happy to answer any planning questions.

    One thing I'll mention while thinking about it, if you're traveling solo there were a lot of "Tentspace" guys along the route that made generous offers to me.

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    #45
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  6. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Day 16 - Fri July 31 - Freeport, ME to Mt Washington, NH - 160 miles


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    Our day starts with some tent drying, this is the last time we'll use them on the trip and don't want a moldy mess when we get home.

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    I wander down to the ocean for a couple pics. Even with the mud monsters, we highly recommend this place!

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    Everything packed up, it's time to roll.

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    The first half of our day is transit toward New Hampshire.

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    If you get to this part of the world, don't miss riding the "Kanc". The Kancamangus Highway is 56 twisty miles of Route 112 running thru the White Mountain Natl Forest.

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    Several ADVers recommended Bear Notch Rd to connect the Kancamagus and Crawford Notch Rd. More motorcycle nirvana...

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    Now we're heading up Crawford Notch Rd to see the Mt Washington Resort.

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    This was as close as I could afford to get to the Mt Washington Inn... .:lol3. Actually, our priority was to get to our lodging and then ride the Mt Washington Auto Road.


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    Owl's Head Hwy.

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    And our lodging for the night - Two thumbs up from the ladies on this one...

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    Now we're off for Mt Washington.

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    It's nice they warn you of conditions at the summit, it's calm and 80 down here.

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    The trees don't last long..

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    Somebody missed the conditions sign at the entrance. :lol3

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    Shit, I'm freezing too, should have worn more than a t-shirt. :doh

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    OK, let's get off this sucka..

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    We get back to the cabins, have a nice cookout and relax around the campfire later.

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    Well that's another fantastic day in the books. If you know Mt Washington, you know we were blessed on the weather! Tomorrow is our last real day of riding as we cross Vermont to reach our final night in the Adirondacks.

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    #46
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  7. ssevy

    ssevy retired and riding the backroads

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    Some of the nicest shots of the auto road I have seen...definitely some calendar covers in there!
    #47
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  8. DittyBag

    DittyBag A bag of dirty stuff

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    A photographic clinic 2B's! So many memorable shots.
    A shame that Sr. wasn't able to ride, but what a great looking, happy bunch. Those areas remind me a lot of the BRP. Amazing that Mt. Washington is almost the exact elev. as the one in my back yard (Roan), yet the weather is extremely different. BTW, I'd like to have that barn too.

    I believe that you hit the nail on the head about planning. When there's more than just yourself, you really owe it to your pals to do your home work. As for me, since my trip last year, I'm even more committed to the idea of not planning any stops. Like a leaf falling from a tree. I'm grooming a couple of new riders, so that may change.:pain

    Your wife is so lovely, I think my favorite pic is the one where your are riding on the back. Love it! :clap
    Thanks for another awesome report!
    #48
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  9. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Thanks for the tour Bob. Enjoyed it almost as much as you did...Dave
    #49
  10. NJ-Bill

    NJ-Bill Life is good Supporter

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    Great report. I enjoyed the Mt. Washington pictures. Last August, I went hours out of my way on the way home from Quebec to ride the auto road. When I got there, they told me it was closed to motorcycles... total bummer.
    #50
  11. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    I'm not funny about my pics, if there's anything you want full-res just send me a message.


    Thanks for popping in, I sure did enjoy your RR - most of it anyway - those solo hiking excursions made me nervous. :eekers

    We are very blessed to have a compatible riding group, that's not something to take for granted when you're together for 18 solid days. I'm convinced a key to fun and harmony is not putting the group thru the wringer of crazy miles and uncertain lodging arraignments. They do put a lot of trust in my judgement. Reality is though, the trip sometimes makes the decision on how much you can pre-plan. I'm contemplating the big run to Alaska next Aug and it would be a fools errand to try and plan each nights stop - but I've got a shit ton of waypoints... :D

    As beautiful as the NY/VT/NH regions are - and they're stunning, we did remark more than once how spoiled we are to have the Blue Ridge Parkway/Smoky Mountains almost in our back yard.

    Wynette will love your comment (whenever she reads it, she's an intervention specialist and I don't see her from Aug to May :(). In the Wyoming pic, I set her in front of me until we were up to speed and then moved to the back seat. A while later I looked over her shoulder and we were doing 85 passing a car. You can go a long way in WY without having to stop.

    Good luck on your next trip and the new riders!



    Thank you so much Bill and Dave! Either I'm damn slow or these things take a ton of time. Worth it though to preserve the memories.

    Man that's a bummer about the auto road, it would never have occurred to me to call ahead and check the status - might be a warning to others though.



    A heads-up... If you're into off-road trips I'm about to start a quick RR on our one week sneak away to Silverton last September.


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    #51
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  12. scguy

    scguy Been here awhile

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    Incredible RR! I'm possibly planning a trip to Cape Breton myself, albeit from South Carolina. Fantastic photography and looks like yall had a lot of fun riding together.
    #52
  13. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Day 17 - Sat Aug 1 - Mt Washington to the Adirondacks - 190 miles

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    Well this is it ... our last real day of the trip. Wow!

    None of us have been to the Adirondack region and visions of low slung wood chairs, loons, and wooded cabins have enticed us to add this to the route. First things first though, we have to cross the remainder of New Hampshire and then Vermont. Yep, it's a tough job but someone's got to do it. :D ... Wynette again did a nice job capturing the feel of the route on a day when we didn't often stop for pics.


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    This church stopped me in my tracks and caused a group U-turn.

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    It's the last group shot of the trip - and we're still smilin!

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    When in Vermont, thou must purchase some locally produced maple syrup. This was another U-turn.

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    No sign of Mom and Pop so we follow directions and serve ourselves.

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    And our 10th and final ferry of the trip brings us back to New York.

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    Our intention was to make a quick stop at Fort Ticonderoga and get some pics. Somewhat disappointingly though they charge $25/person to enter. We decided there wasn't $125 of value in a 30min stop so we kept rolling. I think it's a worthwhile, historic stop but plan your day to spend a couple hours, in hindsight I prob should have made a quick dash in. The small town of Ticonderoga is cool and has a great pizza joint on Main St.

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    We're easing into the Adirondack region now and it does not disappoint. We didn't even scratch the surface of what it has to offer as you could easily spend a week exploring here. It was a perfect end to our Northeast trip!

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    Our destination tonight is another family owned hotel with lots of "character" and Loon Lake in the back yard.


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    The last picture of the trip is a peaceful view of Loon Lake.

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    We have a 7am departure for the 700 miles home tomorrow, so early to bed tonight... :-)

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    #53
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  14. crownhorse

    crownhorse Been here awhile

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    wife and I are planning trip this summer leaving from ark. will have travel trailer toy hauler with wing and maybe dual sport. thanks for report
    #54
  15. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    That's a nice setup, would have loved to have a dual-sport up there. One of the RR I studied was a guy that did a fair amount of the trip off-road, I'll see if I can dig it up and send to you.

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    #55
  16. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Quick wrap up..

    Thanks again to everyone who followed our adventure and for the kind comments! We were extremely blessed to share another fantastic trip with good friends and my Dad! When you can spend 18 days doing something like this and everyone feels good, no injuries, accidents, mechanical problems, and mostly cooperative weather - fortunate is an understatement!

    So the question always is, would you do anything different? Yes, the one thing I'd think about is skipping Freeport/LL Bean and adding a day to Cape Breton Island. The Bean experience isn't that much different than going to BassPro, Cabelas, etc which you can do lots of places. Comparatively, it's a big investment getting yourself to Cape Breton and you almost have to count on losing some time to weather. We spent 3 1/2 days on Cape Breton and could easily have spent one more to re-ride sections of the Cabot Trail in (hopefully) better weather or explore the Highlands NP. So next time I'd go straight from Bar Harbor/Acadia NP to Mt Washington. On the whole, the trip moved at a relaxing, efficient pace. Regarding lodging - I don't think we'd change anything, most every place had authentic local feel and offered good value.

    That about it - Get out there and do it! :thumb

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    #56
  17. jtb

    jtb Long timer

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    Thanks for sharing your trip. Some wonderful photo's of a beautiful part of the world I probably won't be able to visit.

    Thanks for sharing.
    #57
  18. EMTNEK

    EMTNEK Crash Test Dummy Supporter

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    I am late to this report as I found you in your Tuk report. That report has been great for planning purposes as another rider and I are planning for the Yukon this summer. Cape Breton has been on my list for a while and you provided some good ideas for it, including extra time. Your recommendations on LL Bean are accurate, skip it.
    Your wife did a good job of capturing the landscapes as you passed through. Nice to have a pillion like that.

    You also captured Mt. Washington. I have hiked that a number of times and when I am with someone that has struggled up it and into the harsher weather above timberline they are often shocked to see those that came by road in t shirts and high heels when they were sweating clambering over talus rock. It is always a fun contrast. Your photos capture the contrast that is so often between bottom and top.

    Your route through Vermont took you to some quiet places which are what make it attractive, like the church in Vershire. Like you, I take photos of small churches in quiet places because they show us how important God was in our earlier days. We are the less for ignoring that. People settled in harsh places and built farms and villages and one of the first pieces of civilization was the building of a church.

    https://emtnek.smugmug.com/TheRoad/MA-Rides/i-MrnMTVK/A][​IMG]

    Across the road from the church you photographed was this, which likely holds some of the builders.
    https://emtnek.smugmug.com/TheRoad/MA-Rides/i-9sf436F/A][​IMG]
    When I get a lens flare like that my wife says it is more likely a captured spirit, not something as mundane as the sun. I like her thoughts on that.

    http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?t=55078
    #58
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  19. John Nash

    John Nash Bluenoser

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    I'm from Nova Scotia & born on PEI. Nice RR & great pictures. Makes me homesick
    #59
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  20. RJ44

    RJ44 Been here awhile

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    Such a wonderful ride report. I'm so glad that it was brought up again. Thanks for sharing so many fantastic photos.

    Rob
    #60
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