Getting this caught back up because I'm on island time now. The 19th was just as good as any of em.
Had slept on Lobie's free cot the last night and hoped to get an earlier start with a few hours of rest because I was already well into the new moring and ended up getting a much later start than anticipated but it doesn't matter, things just work out.
Had the before mentioned good breakfast, ocean swim, and clean shower and I hooked it up.
Here's a a worn out puss for you:
Got back on the road and headed for the ferry, the 8:30 was long gone, the 10:30 would be gone before even I could get to it, so the 12:30 ship it would be. I had a little time so I figured to see the island just a little instead only the bridge.
It's funny how dirt/gravel roads look kinda the same from all over the place, just the stuff beside the road makes you kinda aware of where you might be in the world today. A typical dirt road on PEI:
And its true there's lobster in them there McDonalds, no so far I've left it alone but thinking I will give it a try with fries maybe even:
I had enough time to go over to Eastern side of the island so I rode some county roads that way and ended up at Gerorgetown to check out what goes on in the place. Looks like they are working on the harbor wall and some of the roads in town are under heavy construction. The fishing fleet of Georgetown:
One coming back to port, this guy glided this thing in perfectly, almost looked like he might have a bow thurster, it looked too easy:
The mule resting with it's load:
Concrete boat (ferro?) that looks like they gave up on it:
It was time to get a move on to my ship to go over to NS. I ran down some striaght roads playing as I went along.
John to the power of 2 = John Squared:
Time to get to the boat and see what I can get into before the next boat ride to NF this evening. Its kinda of funny on PEI, you only pay to leave not to come over, so if you are on a strapped budget this would dictate your travel somewhat, the bridge which is worth a look cast somewhere round 17 for a bike maybe and the ferry is maybe double that so take your pick, I wish I had the time that I didn't so I spent the money.
I pulled up to load, bikes in first as should be and met up with an unknown on a CBR with a huge tank bag ridiing with his SO. Talked it up a little with him and shortly thereafter Steve (itsteve) from PEI on the ebay rebuild KLR showed up. Quick introduction and we loaded up directly and had the first opprotunity to strap down the bikes.
This becomes interesting for some, seeing how the mule has both a side and center my options are doubled from the start. The little crew lady, who acted like a rider, saw I put the mule straight up and she quickly gave the advice of always using the side stand. I know there are lots of opinions, and like they saw lots of assholes so I figured I knew the bike best and decided that the center stand would be the way to go. How I figured you might ask; well the bike is loaded extrememly heavy and when on the side stand the lean angle is signifcant enough a layover is quite possible and only has the one attachment point. On the other hand the centerstand has two attachments to the bike and a pretty well thought out surface area that uses the kick lever in its design so its got a nice footprint on the ground and then you take into accont the weight that is on the back end and the bike sits well in the middle. The last factor is not having a true four point tie downs, in order to strap it like in the back of a pickup, in the location where we where stacked against the wall near the bow starboard side here:
I thank Steve for the fine picture. As you can see the the front tie down area is limited to front off center right pull point, so I went straight ahead through the crashbars and cinch it up and took one my trusty, favorite red straps through the passenger footpeg loops and pulled her down tight loaded the rear shock up. Works for me and the mule maybe not for you. I hardly believe I could snap off the bolts holding the c stand but anythings possible, I just want to see it happen.
Steve got his bike locked down and we headed upstairs for some lunch.
Him down below getting ready to sail, do you call it that still with a motor only, maybe just ought to call it getting ready to ship.
I had a nice little lobster sandwich, some fake cheetos, an orange soda, and topped of with some cool apple pie, and hell no it doesn't even touch that Buttermilk that Nancey's grandmother handed down in Oark, AK. I'm really not a pie man, but that buttermilk is the best I ever had and it sounds nasty but could not be the more opposite.
The meal aboard:
It was a short crossing and we wandered about waiting for the bathrooms to all come back on line, because there was some kind of pluggage going on. Thought was going to have to hang it over board and started scoping for a spot but luckily they got the johns up and running with out much hassle.
There where some pretty nice looking women on the boat, some proof here and no I wasn't going for the crotch it just happened, blurry anyway but she was a fine example, why do I like foreign women so much?:
They got some shallow waters to navigate with these big boats, we skirted this little bar coming in to the port on the NS side:
Here's FO popping the ramp up
think his name was Dave and he's been with this boats company for well over 30+yrs and got another 10 to retire, he worked his way from the bottom and not making captain unless a bunch die/retire off and they force him, too much of a headache he says, nice fellow.
While Steve and I where on board we talked of routes and such with one of the ship's people who knows about the country, she was PEI native but knew of NS fair amount but not much apparently about what an OK rider's abilities. It was concluded that I had no opprotunity to ride the Cabot in time to make the boat to New Foundland, I was left constantly thinking, I really wanted to ride the trail and would be disappointed if I at least didn't take a ride up the East side to check the hype out.
The other important piece of information that might just have cost me a boat ride was Steve's info about the boat loading at 19:30 hours, for some reason I thought it left out little after 11 pm-maybe that's the other boat to GooseBay, what little do I even know, thanks man.
I told Steve I was going to hurry over and ride up one side of the trail and have a look for myself but secrectly I knew I wanted to ride the whole thing, I'm here and not coming back anytime soon so that's what I do, ride, and ride hard and fast sometimes to make it happen. Just got to hate much of a schedule on any trip, boats have that negative effect that's why I don't ever see myself wanting to go on one of those big cruise ships. I unloaded and twisted it good, I played with the Garmin the whole way working the scenario constantly to see if it was really doable if I made the time on the straights and bigger roads getting over there.
Well from Pictou where the boat dropped us off I made crazy time to Cape Breton area and the start of the trail. I had one instance crossing some little spit type narrow crossing that the light show started up and I just knew my number was up but alas the man was on a another call thankfully.
It happened right around the point where they are craving out the side of a small mountain for its gravel treasure:
At the little pivot bridge that hung up the LEO and myself, funny thing is I rode left up to the front because I'm going to pass all these vehicles anyway so I thought I better get back to right side before I came all the way up on his six. I made like a tourist and got a picture of the pivot bridge in action:
This move saved a bunch of time took em all in one fail swoop. Neat to see the bridge in action. I was getting closer to the Cabot and began thinking about with way CW or CCW and from the routes it looked best for me clock direction. So I made the start with enough time to make hot lap around and make the next boat.
The fun starts soon:
There's good and bad news at this point, the bad being that the camera battery was crapped out right near the start, and the good news was I ran the trail when the odds where highly stacked against me according to my resources. I am usually a lucky bastard and today proved no different, I am blessed and know it.
Here's some off the trail, more leaded up to the trail proper, needless to say all where taken on the move, I stopped once for fuel and once for a sticker for the mule:
It was really nice to get to make the trip around the tip, but the trip to the boat was far from over. By Garmin's calcualations for quick trip to Sydney it routed me across another small unknown puddle jumper ferry that I had to use. I pull up as normal and make my way up to the front, my thinking I'm on a bike considerbly smaller than most cars and can get stuck up in the front of the boat and be the first out and on my way not having to pass them in a less than legal manner right out the gate, I expressed this to the ferrymen, (little ferries) and they where like um no. Maybe I should petition NS ferry system to fun a more efficient loading system that might just make the world a better place, I passed em all anyhow. No camera battery so you couldn't see the gong show I was in, Me and the mule getting slammed up at the back of the little ferry by the rear gate.
I got of that ferry and headed into Sydney where the boats leave out for NF. Again lack of planning on my part was taking me to Sydney that I thought was where I should be but as my luck would have it I came up on another friendly BMW rider on a pretty black older K bike with bags that lined me out. He gave me a friendly wave and we paired up for a ride into town, me laying down the miles and him eating em up right with me. I blow the exit that I should have been on I thought and pulled a u-ey and turn down where Garmin said and then k-bike guy rolls up behind and we go for a drink and BS at Horton's aka harley hangout to give them hell. Lowell was a great fellow and the goofball gives me a bum email so I can't ever catch up with him. He was a retired educator from Saint John I believe. If anyone knows him I would like to send him a link. Lowell said he would help me out and show me the way, we just had to make a quick stop in town and then off. Well I got the chance to save Lowell some real hassle, being the nice fellow that he is, he bought the drinks at Horton's and mistakeningly left his wallet too losely tucked in his jacket and it plopped out in the center lane of the street, I quickly saw the situation and stopped to grab it up, he lost only few coins that I left behind but got the rest. I pulled up next to him at the turn and said, "You owe me big time now bastard" he drew a quick blank and then deduced the problem and then smile hit big time.
We made the stop and headed to the ferry right up the road we'd just come down, I pulled up along side again asking him and he was like just follow me on in. I pulled up again and told him I needed some beer and I'll be damned if we weren't going the wrong way for it now and had to turn back around to get some chaep suds for the boat ride. Sorry Lowell, sometimes I'm like taking care of a selfish 5 year old. Lowell put up with it all well and got me sorted out
More information I got duped on is the location, I didn't zoom the Garmin which would have showed but I was headed to Sydney when I should have been really heading to North Sydney. I somehow get taken care of.
I pulled up to the ferry with a little time left before it was time to load up in and met up with the other All the Way East Rally crew and a bunch of harleys, I was the last sucker to show up but I did what was said to be not possible and I felt good.
This was a much bigger transport ship than the other lesser boats and it was rigged well with tiedown points galore and once again I used the c-stand to satisfactory results, nice proper 4 point system in place. Stowed all my gear that didn't need and took my load of beer, backpack, and computer up to the cabin, it was sweet to have my own digs and didn't really feel it because I bought it when I was employed over the winter. I got fixed up in my room and started charging the battery first thing.
Got it fired up a little and went out to the main deck on the bow to the flipper front door.
Closing finally, almost there here:
The crew was having a hell of a time with the door closing mechanism, seems the safety valves or something was not functioning and it starting looking little bad until finally that satisfyied the system and got her down and put us underway after a slow start.
Something seemed to be wrong in here with the hydraulic ram safety system or something in here where they kept screwing around with:
I went in and starting hooking it up with the others down in the bar. Ron (regfoo2) Noel (dancingboy), Steve (itsteve), the bicycle girl, and the the author, yours truely rounded out the immediate group. We gave it a little hell and had a time, I had some cheap beer that served me well and a few others. Me and Ron saw the lights come on and then while later the vacuum cleaner come out. I departed to my casa and had a nice rest, the boat would not arrive for ~14 hours to NF.
This is one happy dude, these are good times here:
Overnight to New Foundland, first for me and I'm looking forward to the new lands.