Friday, July 30, 2010

Back in Action

Got the leak fixed by 10:30am. It was the drive shaft seal. They noticed the rear brake pads were done but had no stock so I rode to Quebec in search of brakes and a tire. Found a shop that had a decent tire and ebc pads, and was off again by 3. I managed to ride 650km and almost made up my lost time. I'm stopped over just west of Montreal.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Minor mechanical delay

The bike has developed an oil leak that needs attention so I'm spending the night in Edmundston N.B. so I can get it looked at tomorrow at the Suzuki shop in town. I've already been there and they think they know what it is so hopefully it will be quick, easy and cheap to fix.

The ride to here included torrential rain and gusty wind mixed with sunshine. Riding across the Confederation Bridge was quite an experience with the wind. I needed to catch up a bit so I rode the Trans Canada most of the day.

I plan on getting to Montreal tomorrow if the bike is fixed

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Spent the last two days riding the beautiful Cabot Trail on Cape Breton. The ultimate motorcycle road with undescribable vistas. Nova Scotia has been wonderful and I sure hope to return someday soon to spend more time here.

Last night I hiked about 25 minutes from my campsite to the Keltic Lodge to have a nice dinner. I started with an amazing crab cake and a pint of Keith’s. Then a lobster pot pie that was very tasty and served with a large lobster claw on top.

Tonight I'm in Winsloe just outside of Charlottetown PEI. It really is red like they say.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thinking of Dad in Nova Scotia

This is an incredible place. I took my time today and followed a portion of the scenic south shore.

The number of bays and coves is incredible, each with it's own charm.
Dipped my boots in the Atlantic, then visited the Swissair 111 memorial at Peggy's cove. A completely different landscape than the rest of the province I had seen thus far, not what I expected but a great surprise.

Had lunch just south of Halifax and hoisted a beer thinking of my Dad. I always wanted to visit the place where he spent time as a young man in the Navy. I found Halifax harbour and some Navy vessels hoping it was close to the place where he found himself getting into trouble.

Cabot Trail on cape Breton tomorrow!!

July 25, It's raining again

The taps turned on full force ast night and I woke at 5:30 with it still raining. I could not wait it out as I had a reservation for the ferry from Saint John to Digby at noon. I put my tent away soaking wet and hit the road at 7 allowing myself 4 hours travel with an hour to spare in Saint John. It rained and rained until I got to the border at which point I read a little sign that said "you are now in the Atlantic time zone" OH Sh*@ I lost an hour! So I had 70 minutes to ride 114km and I was in line at customs wondering if I could make it. The highway was perfect and I set the cruise for 120kmh. Got to the ferry at 11:55 and rode right on.
A nice 3 hour cruise

The North coast of Nova Scotia near Digby Gut

Motel for the night in Bridgewater. Set my tent up in the room and all my wet stuff hanging everywhere, quite a sight.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

July 24 East Coast

Woke up early this morning to some fog. It was so humid that my clothes did not dry and the brake rotors on the bike were rusted. 20 degrees at 7am so the wet jacket didn't matter much. Rode as close to the coast as possible but the coastal highways are busy and constant stopping in towns and villiages. I tried the interstate eventually and rode through ( or rather under) Boston. This is why my spot tracker stopped sending its feed so there is no path to follow today. The tunnel under Boston is fantastic, a result of what they called the "Big Dig".
After Boston the interstate became a parking lot for over an hour while cars moved through the toll plaza. Toll roads everywhere. Eventually I got moving again and changed back to the coastal highway. Mostly cloudy and overcast today so not many photos but I did have a great ride through some notable spots like Salem and Portland.

Tonight is at the Timberland RV park in Trenton Maine. Tomorrow New Brunswick

July 23rd lets get wet

Wonderful ride in the morning, absolutely sweltering hot. Rode the Merritt parkway north out of New York. A nice curvy rolling 4 lane highway running through lush forest. It started raining in the afternoon and I got drenched. I chickened out of camping again and found a Best Western for the night. No photos today.

July 22 New York

I spent the day as a tourist today, trying to see as much of New York City as possible in one day. Thanks to D & F for being such great hosts and giving me the New York in a minute tutorial. I started my day by walking around ground zero listening to an audio walking tour which told the story of the buildings and of some of the victims. Incredible stories that yanked at my emotions some.

I walked around a bit and got a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty

and the Brooklyn Bridge

Then a subway trip to the Empire State Building. Here is the view looking north to Central Park

From there a walk to Central Park where I wandered for 2 hours before I got on the subway again to go to a New York Yankees ball game.

The stadium is Incredible. All the workers there were fantastic helping me find my way around.

After the game back on the subway (I'm a pro now) to Times Square to see the huge lighted signs. Quite a sight, very much like Las Vegas.

Then back to the Adventure loft to share my day with my New York hosts.

What a day.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New York

Wow, what an incredible couple of days. Took the ferry from South Baymouth to Tobermory and met a GS rider from Queens. He was heading home after his trip and we spent most of the ferry crossing sharing stories. The Tobermory islands are beautiful and it was good to have a few hours relaxing off the bike.

When I got to Niagara Falls, I was dissapointed because all the parking is quite far off and I had no way of securing the bike.I took a few shots from the road that aren't great but I did get a good look at the falls and they are pretty cool.

New York state has proven to be as beautiful as all the others I have riden through.
The amount of forested areas has surprised me, and the number of classic farms with storybook barns and silos were fun to see.

Still no wild animal sightings but then I got to New York City. People everywhere like ants. All in a hurry but like a symphony, everybody knows the next persons move. Cabs, bike couriers, pedestrians, just what I expected but more intense than I imagined. I like it but it is a different world, especially right in the city.

My hosts are wonderful and love showing visitors their city. Tomorrow will be a walking tour of little italy and the world trade center site. I have to go see the empire state building and central park too. And I will be sampling food all day until I get to Yankee stadium where I may dine on a hot dog or two!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Back into Canada

The upper peninsula of Michigan delivered as promised. Vast forests, a mixture of straight and twisty roads, a great ride. The bridge crossing from Michigan into Ontario was quite a sight but not really a good vantage point to get a photo. I got acquainted with the North shore of Lake Huron today and I like what I see. Almost everywhere I've been so far I find myself thinking that I'd like to spend more time exploring.

Interesting that after 3200km I have seen no wildlife except for 2 wild turkeys that I almost ran over. I thought I saw geese on the road ahead. Naturally I expected them to fly away but as I approached they turned and looked at me while I hit the brakes. Not too bright.

Here are a few photos

Spending the night in South Baymouth Ontario. Tomorrow a short ferry ride to Tobermory, then off to see Niagara falls!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Great Lakes

I traversed three states today, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and am now in Ironwood Michigan. Minnesota was incredible, starting with massive corn fields and ending with beautiful forest and plenty of lakes (look up the state slogan). Paul Bunyon says hello to everybody. Arriving in Deluth was impressive with expansive bridges and my first look at Lake Superior.

Having difficulty uploading photos, maybe tomorrow I'll have a better connection

East Across the prairies

The vast Canadian praires with enormous fields of yellow canola seem endless. A beautiful sight.
The past two days traversing the flat straight roads make me feel small. Huge storm cells stayed just minutes ahead of me as I rode, the pavement often wet with that unique humid smell of fresh rain on the road. Multiple times I thought that I would receive a soaking but the clouds stayed clear of me.
I have become aware that I take the condition of Alberta roads for granted. Even the Trans Canada has gravel shoulders in places throughout Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
1800km in two days doesn’t allow much sightseeing but riding through Kelly Buchberger’s home town was a thrill.
Staying at a Motel 6 in Fargo Saturday night. Basic but only $54.00. For that price camping doesn’t seem so appealing at $25/night. I’ll look for more cheap motels if it’s raining but I do like camping when I can.
So far everything is going great and the bike is purring. I did discover what that little red button next to the throttle is. If you press it while travelling.... the bike stalls! Go figure.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

3 days to go

In 72 hours I'll be well into the first day of what will be a great adventure. As things turn out, I'll be on my own this trip. Going solo brings both good and bad. No one to share the day with around the campfire but I can set my own pace. Next trip hopefully things will be different.

The bike is ready to go with new tires and all the routine maintenance required...I hope. Today I received my custom seat from Rick Mayer Cycle in California. A little late to be sure but it looks great and seems to fit my behind quite well. I'll know sometime Friday if it was worth the wait.

This trip would not be possible if not for my wonderfully understanding wife. Our 22nd wedding anniversary on Friday and I'll be leaving for 3 weeks....amazing. Thanks too for my co-workers who will take on extra work load while I'm away, I truly do appreciate it.

I'll try and post every few days as the internet permits.

Thanks for following me as I cross the continent!