SMIB's leaving the county...Newfoundland!
Well just getting the page started so, in a nutshell the wife (Dana) riding a 10 F650GS twin and myself (Bruce) riding a 06 Adventure decided to take a little trip to Newfoundland. What really got this all started was a few years I was on my way Iraq to deliver some gear and our C-5 aircraft broke (imagine that) and we had to land in Gander Newfoundland. Well I spent most of a day at the airport waiting on repairs only imagining what I was missing outside. Some time later I thought it would be nice to visit but how to get there I thought. Then comes along my purchase of an Adventure (which Dana was not very happy about :kboom ) and the guy selling it shows me a picture of somewhere in Newfoundland of now my bike on the ocean with an iceberg in the background...how cool was that! Well that's pretty much which got this adventure started.
Leaving tomorrow the 14th of August 2010 at sunrise. I hope to take many picture and post as I can. I am also using a SPOT tracker if you care to follow along.
i'll be following this:lurk
I'm leaving for the rock Sept 13.
Lots of pics, please.
We left spritely early today. Landed a bit north of Boston.The weather was perhaps perfect as it gets, never popped above 85F. While we owe the nice weather to following the Long Island sound via I-95, we also had the most heartache over traffic on I-95. I guess if you have to sit in traffic, nice weather helps. Didn't do a lick of sight seeing, as the goal is get to Canada as fast as possible.
Only took 6 pictures--3 while on the highway of the nice clouds at sunrise (will try to post this one later), and then some mundane ones like odometer at start and tire wear.
We will probably return to Maryland via inland route vice fight traffic.
Should enter Canada by 1400 tomorrow.
Have at it! :clap
Good luck kids. You all are definitely in ride shape... all the way to St. John in 2 days. I hope you two are enjoying Great Big Sea :dj
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I'm following daily... remember you have logistical support... Team SMIB!
Porcupine Carnage, Customs and Finally Canada
I have to start with I have never seen so many porcupines outside a zoo than I did today. Okay, so what if they were road kill--there were 4! You could use them them to count every 100 miles. If they weren't so far apart, I'd say that someone was plinking/shooting porcupines out of season (is there a season??) and hucking them out the car window to dispose of the bodies!
The only thing that there were more of were than dead porcupines were toll booths. I think I have spent my day's hotel per diem paying to use a bridge, turnpike and expressway. Seriously, if anyone is doing the the route get thee and Ezpass now. I suppose it's better to get one huge bill, than stop every 20 feet and bleed a buck.
With the exception of border control (more later..), the traffic was non-existent and dreamy. Maine wins the "bestest" award for rest stops. Some had Wi-Fi, others were very quaint being smack on a very nice lake.
While we didn't stop much today in the states, the weather was outstanding, as were the cloud formations!
We also drove by a dozen or two of muscle-era old cars:
This sign makes it sound like you damn near hit a moose everywhere.
This is the best we could find...
Customs took F.O.R.E.V.E.R!!! It was horribly backed-up. Then finally we decided to go to different booths, and while I skated right through like greased lighting, Dana not so lucky. :poser
After they found her other travel for work, she got the special privilege of a motorbike search! And she didn't even get a passport stamp for prosperity. Meanwhile, I decided to take some nice photos:
While it was only <200KM from customs in St John, we saw a nice sign which was very official looking: a lighthouse on a blue/white background. So we followed it for quite some time. After a very nice covered bridge, and very nice photo ops of the bay, it dawns on us that there is no lighthouse to be found:baldy
The sign is apparently a Canadian way for scenic by-way. Well, it was a nice ride, but really all this water and they can't give me a lighthouse?
And what would a ride report be without the obligatory dinner photo:dg :
Staying a Hampton inn--it has a 80 ft indoor slide. The thing was a blast to ride and probably would be illegal in the US, and I am surprised nobody was bleeding, nor needing medical attention during my stay from it. Scotty, I think you need to upgrade you pool for next summer. Maybe something like an Amish barn raising, we can help you upgrade? At least you are used to wearing your MC crash gear in the pool, which decidedly will help you...
(Oh, and Scotty's slide won't come with the striped bikini--stop looking at her like that--she's 12!)
Tomorrow, catch the ferry to Digby.
Looking forward to this - Enjoy!
Like the old school truck pic, very cool. What is it?
Violation of Rule #1--$100 penalty
Rule #1--If you are too dumb to know the area, and too whimsical to ride your plan, you'd best be checked into a hotel/motel/campground/igloo/teepee/camper/parent's house NLT 1600.
Really Dorothy, you are not in Kansas anymore, there isn't a Motel 6 on every corner.
So the say started off well, had a wonderful breakfast at the Hampton before heading out to get Dramamine for the ferry ride. Turns out, I probably didn't need any, because the bay is quite shielded and calm.
Next off to the ferry. The bikes que up in line 2, which is second to last to load, and second to last to unload. Once you get there, you need to take your reservation number in and get an actual ticket. The ferry was full, so make reservations a few days prior.
It was $90 for bike and rider. The deck hands are wonderful, and get you through the process. The ferry floor is wet and very, very slick. Stay off that front brake! The bikes are parked nose out/perpendicular to the nose of the boat. Park your bike in first gear, and if you have something to tie the front brake lever is good too. The ferry will supply ratchet straps. Tie point is the passenger peg on the right side, across the seat, to the tie point behind/left of the bike.
There is a lot to do to include travel agents from each port. While they gave me great info on camp sites, apparently, you need to call ahead to make sure they still exist. The ferry ride was pleasant, and even saw some porpoises!
Digby and Yarmouth are quaint towns, but nothing piqued my interest enough to stop after initial drive thorough. Although, hindsight, we should have bed down in Yarmouth.
RT 1 South/West is called the Evangeline Tour. There are at least a handful of really ornate, tall steepled churches from the 1700s.
I am not sure how it happens, but they are apparently mostly French speaking until Yarmouth. The road signs all use French spellings for Cities, while most maps are in English spellings. I thought that proper names were always the same, but clearly that is not the rule.
Regardless, RT1 is a very nice road meandering on the coastline.
Dodge A-100 compact pickup a short 90 inch wheelbase and normally powered by a slant six.
The most notorious of the A-100s: Jim Schaeffer and John Collier modified it to put in a legendary 426 Hemi engine, with roughly four times the horsepower of the six. Rather than putting the "elephant engine" under the hood,they stuck it behind the cab, in front of the rear wheels, which required cutting a whole into the pickup bed and another into the cab itself. The result is actually better weight distribution than the standard A-100 (48 front, 52 rear vs 58/42), but it's rather less practical for getting groceries or lumber, since the engine extends into both the cab and the short bed. The Hemi, incidentally, was connected directly to a TorqueFlite automatic, and was supported via a heavy-duty welded steel subframe.
Halifax Night Life
Spent some time in Halifax working with the RCMPs... here is an awesome place I talked about where there are many Bars
If you can't enjoy...I promise this will be on the list. The only night in a hotel for hangover purposes ...on the schedule for our SMIB adventure next year. :lol3
Back to Wi-Fi--
Sorry for the late posts--Actually found Niverana (e.g places with no Wi-Fi and internet).
Day 4--Barrington to Lunenberg, NS
Today the weather was a bit uncooperative. We awoke to the bikes very damp/moist and in a current heavy drizzle. Probably best we ended up in a room vice camping. Donning our ride gear, we set off for Lunenberg via the Lighthouse By-way (RT3). I don’t think we past a 100 cars all day. It was marvelously relaxing.
We ran into the mecca of all lighthouses today—It was just south of Cape Negro, NS. It was eerily foggy, very remote, and only us down there. It was fully operational with light and fog siren in motion.
Dana stopped about 1 mile from the actual lighthouse to take a far out photo, while I continued. There were apparently two dirt roads that lead to the light house. The nice hard pack on I found, and the one she got stuck on. As she called over the radio, she described being marooned in a boulder field. You thought the rocks were 5 ft in diameter, vice the 8-12inch pebbles I discovered. Nonetheless, no bikes ended up “sleeping” and all was good.
We stopped for lunch in Shelburne. The is a fab little historic street, and a restaurant on the water.
We also stopped in at the Dory Boat Museum. A Dory is a smallish (15-20 ft) wooden boat that used to be used for fishing. They were oar-powered and could ocean go. With the invention of fiberglass and aluminum boats, Dory’s glory faded. There is apparently still folks that race them, and for a mere $16K/CAD you too can own one.
A bit of boat trivia: Dory’s are almost painted yellow on the inside, and outside with the rail a darker (often forest green color). The color combination was the easiest to see in low-light/foggy conditions.
We ended up seeing a few more lighthouses, but not as impressive in location nor stature as the one above. While we didn’t stop in Liverpool, I believe that might also be a nice town to spend a few hours.
We’ve still yet to see a moose, moose dropping or any signs that moose actual exist. Maybe they are a figment of animal planet?
Looks great so far. :)
Day 5--Lunenberg to Sheet Harbor, NS
We had a very fortuitous night at Lunenberg . Our camping spot (by the visitor’s center) was nestled a bit higher in elevation that the actual city, and therefore avoided the rain shower and temperature was perfect. However, the mosquitoes also appeared to think it was a dreamy spot. They didn’t swam or anything, but did provide us a few “love bites”. Lunenberg is absolutely quaint, and well worth any time spent here. It is home to the Bluenose II (reproduction sale ship), and 2-4 blocks of quaint shops. Very good eats also. We had Chowder and mussels dinner overlooking the bay. The chowder , although white in color, is very watery (vice thick) and therefore very plateable.
Lunenberg has somewhat of bankers hours. Would be better to arrive very early afternoon and spend a few hours meandering around. We arrived a bit tardy, and by the time we set up camp and set of to eat it was nearly 1800. As we departed at 0900, the town was still asleep.
I didn’t realize that Mahone Bay was only 20 mins out of Lunenberg. We stopped for Breakfast, and again you would not be disappointed to spend a night here either.
I never thought I would have to say that a trip this long would be behind schedule—but we are a bit behind schedule; we had to chose to either stay in Halifax and then take the highway into Sydney or forgo Halifax and continue on our merry little way via the coastline. As we approached the bain of civilization though, it became crystal clear that Halifax was not going to be our thing this trip. Since we had already been there once, and Trans-lab trip next year will surely need a bit of civilization, we chose to option b.
So we have finished up the Evangeline and Lighthouse By-ways tours. We are now in the middle of the Marine By-Way. The Marine by-way is not nearly as scenic as the Evangeline or Lighthouse, but Marine is much faster (typical speed is 80-90KPH) and curvier. We’ll finish up the Marine By-way tomorrow.
We did pass a man riding a 1855 replica peddle bike along RT333. The bike has no gears, and currently he presses his shoe against the rear tire to brake. After passing him, we decided to find a spot to wait for him to catch us for a photo op. He was the most interesting man, and turns out made the bike from a few photos he saw. He apparently rides the bike 20KM per day, and intends to ride the Cabot trail in the fall with the bike!
Perhaps the most disappointing part of the day was Peggy’s Cove. Touted as the “must do”, it appeared to be no more than a few ramshackled establishments and a nice lighthouse. However, of all the towns on the water and all the lighthouses to date, Peggy’s Cove didn’t even rate high enough for us to take helmets off to walk around. Hindsight, it more of tourist trap than a town of presence.
More boat triva: Back in the late 1600s, paint was very expensive due to high taxes. However, the paint used for boating not taxed. Therefore, it was a common practice to overbuy your boat paint, and paint your house to save some $$. Because of the this, many Captains houses ended up matching their boats, in wild, high-intensity colors.
Tonight, we again camped literally right on the Salmon river. No bugs to speak of. The campground originated in 1885 as a Sulfurite pulp facility.
The weather was perfect all day—partly sunny high 60s to 80s.
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