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Old 08-13-2008, 09:52 AM   #1
Gaston Gagne OP
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Meat Cove Chowder Run

The province of Nova Scotia promised so much in terms of motorcycling it was hard to figure out what to do and where to go. One feature stood out as salient: a bowl of goodness at the Meat Cove Chowderhouse. We rolled out of North Carolina with the bikes in tow. First stop: Scranton, PA.


Days 1 & 2 in the cage.


Drinker Street figured prominently in many adventures in my youth.




The kick is up....it's good.




We rolled on through Hancock, NY, hoping to poach some camping in the ballfield where the AMA dual sport is located, but they were having a carnival. Just north of East Branch, NY, we scored a campsite. The next morning rolling up NY 30 in the car with the bike right there behind me actually hurt a bit, but we had places to go.

Near Albany, NY.




Around Albany, it was time to drop a bike. Layla got to go first. She rode from Tomhannock Reservoir to Brattleboro, VT. When did Bennington get so crowded???




Hey Layla, how are the Green Mountains??





I got to ride from Brattleboro to Concord, NH. We put the bike up and not a moment too soon as some crazy weather came down. Blammo! We made it to Walpole, ME, where Lucky Intervale's folks have a sweet place that would serve as Rally HQ. There were turkey burgers and corn on the cob waiting for us.


Day 3 Tour de Pemaquid


We awoke to a nice day with no real schedule. What to do? Go for a motorcycle ride, of course. Lucky's dad has a 650 Suzuki, so we mounted up and rolled out for a guided tour of the Pemaquid peninsula and Damariscotta Lake. Aside from my whining about being hungry it was all very pleasant.


Lucky and his dad prognosticate before the ride.




Pemaquid fisherman's co-op.








Pemaquid Point





Damariscotta Lake from the church up on the hill.




We rolled into Damariscotta and got some killer fish tacos to hold us over until dinner. We went to the Pemaquid Co-op for dinner. I was determined to catch up on my lifetime allotment of lobster. I noticed the "Captain's Basket" on the menu, and I even heard Lucky and his dad both order one, but nooooooo I was having lobster. Don't get me wrong--the lobster was really really good, but I was still hungry when it was gone, and the boys were still plowing their way through some good looking seafood.

Day 4 Acadia

We got up early and loaded up the bikes. Time to leave Rally HQ.


The Versys. Screw the Givi bags. For less than 50 bucks I even could bring along my pillow.




Layla and her DRZ 400 ST model.





Lucky's V Strom





First stop: Moody's Diner. This place towtally rawks, dude. Killer breakfast and not so expensive. Whoever made those sausages should be given some sort of award.

My whole life, I had heard of US 1 up the coast of Maine. I was expecting to be swooping along rocky coastline. It's not that at all, but it does offer some nice vistas.

Downtown Camden, ME, a pretty little ville that doesn't want a bypass.





The new bridge over the Penobscot at Bucksport, ME. I was going for the string art effect.








More US 1.




So we got to Ellsworth and headed down into Acadia, Seawall campground to be exact. We secured a site and headed out for a tour of the Acadia National Park, which was also much different from what I excpected.

Dude, we're not even in Canada, and it's been an awesome trip.

OK, more later.
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Gaston Gagne screwed with this post 08-14-2008 at 06:20 AM
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:16 AM   #2
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subcribe...check...I'm in..

...and looking forward to this one!




p.s. how 'bout dem beads?
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:24 AM   #3
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Great ride GG

Looking forward to more
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:28 PM   #4
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Nice ride.
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knybanjo

p.s. how 'bout dem beads?
The beads are the business.



I always thought that Acadia was this huge wilderness, but it's fairly small. Cool place nevertheless. It was packed with people. I'm guessing that if we had walked off the beaten path, we would have left most of them behind.

Bar Harbor from the top of Cadillac Mountain







It was windy.




Thunder Hole was cool. When we first got there, nothing happening. But after a while, there was a boom.










Acadia Loop Road.





We cruised into Bar Harbor to check it out. We sussed out the ferry terminal and got our boarding passes. The "whale watching" was pretty good. A thunderstorm forced them right to the observation area. They are mammals. When the rain let up we headed out to Seawall for....

Dinner





Lucky's fried clams




I grabbed the one 22 oz nutrient fluid cylinder at the Seawall Camping Supply Depot. Good luck getting a shower there that night.

Some more Seawall



The stars overhead were amazing. Alas, this leg of Maine is nearly spent.


Day 5 Nova Scotia

We got up at the crack of dawn. This was to become a trend because it gets light early. We busted up camp and hit it. We had a boat to catch.





Those bikes in the background belonged to some fellows from NY and NH. They were a font of information except about where they had just been and where they were going. They were ROCKIN the Windjammers.


We made the trip into Bar Harbor and still had time to grab some coffee and pastries.

No way are they going to get all these rigs on the boat and launch by 8. The boat was moving before 8.





All aboard! I'd like to dedicate this ferry ride to my friend Conway, who is locked up in the basement at home. This one is for you buddy.




The Coast Guard saw us off.





Shouldn't these guys be on a sailboat?





We were the first ones off of the CAT. We got some cash in downtown Yarmouth. This nice lady took a shine to us because she overheard us saying how much prettier Canadian money is than our own. She led us out of town. She set the pace for friendliness that continued through the trip. Nova Scotians make North Carolinians (noted for friendliness) look stand offish. Seriously.

Here is an accidental shot somewhere along the road.





We were loving the blue skies and almost hot temperatures.




And no traffic.




So if you're doing the Lighthouse Route along the South Shore, it will take a week to get to Halifax, at least at the pace we go. We sort of picked out some of the secondary road loops and did some slab between them. We stopped to see if we were on the loop we had agreed on, and the mail lady came to a screeching halt. "You guys OK? You need help? Don't miss the lighthouse on the point down here. It's one of the nicer ones."

Yep. West Baccaro is pretty.





One of them new fangled lighthouses











The day was getting on, and we were still a long way from Halifax, so we bumped out some slab. It was HOT at this point. At Liverpool, we got back on the scenic route. As luck would have it, we made a rest stop in Petite Riviere. Layla had seen a sign for fresh eggs in a yard. She wanted to go back. It was getting late, and there was a sign for Risser's Beach Provincial Park with camping, 2 km.

Again, the people at the campground registration acted like they had been waiting all day for us. "No no no. They're on motorcycles, give them the group site with the shelter."

That woman is my hero.





Camp set up, we ran back to Petite Riviere for "supplies." Layla went back up the hill for the aforementioned eggs. I hit Petite Riviere's retail establishment. Here's the catch: a 12 oz can of beer is more than 2 bucks! We are going to have to make some sacrifices.

So I got lectured about some guy who signed a multimillion dollar contract with the Canucks and killed himself on a motorcycle yadda yadda and still no Layla. I ran up the road to see where she was and caught the tail end of a chicken husbandry lecture.


Downtown Petite Riviere




Living off of the land




Risser's Beach is a nice place to go for a walk.








I imagine every day is like this in Nova Scotia. More ridiculous stars that night.
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaston Gagne
I always thought that Acadia was this huge wilderness, but it's fairly small. Cool place nevertheless. It was packed with people. I'm guessing that if we had walked off the beaten path, we would have left most of them behind.


Just in case you didn't notice those "carriage paths" that cover the island......

If you're into pedalling ..it's a network of 60+ miles of single lane dirt that's off limits to motos. Great scenery....No crowds. Our favorite thing there is to ride them across to one of the small fishing villages on the other side....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaston Gagne
The beads are the business.
My wife won't road trip without them.

I'm really looking forward to more Nova Scotia pics.....I've not yet been there.
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:13 AM   #7
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GREAT reporting!!

This trip was, in fact, the shiz-nit. Not much to add to Gaston's excellent summary of the events SO FAR... yes my friends, we, and the trip, kept going... miles to go and all that. Big ups to Al and Lois for helping us set up Rally Central, North in Walpole. If you're ever in the area, check out the Walpole Barn on Rt 129. Warren and Debbie are the owners, and it's about the most eclectic gift shop you'll find... where else can you see "Warren's Wall of Wine" and pick up some fresh Pemaquid oysters? Also worthwhile is the Carpe Diem Coffee!! Make you smack your grandma. Seriously. Also a quick second for the Captain's Basket Gaston mentioned earlier... haddock, shrimp, clams, and scallops all on a bed of french fries with a dollop of homemade slaw. Nothing green in THAT meal to distract you! Serve with 2-3 cans of cold libation and you're golden.

Risser's Beach was outstanding... "do you need firewood? We can deliver that down to your site for you if you'd like." No thanks, but some french toast and sausage links in the morning would be lovely. Hey, if we'd asked, they likely would have accomodated us! They are THAT nice in Nova Scotia.

I'm working on a smugmug account, and will try and add to Gaton's pics... as if y'all aren't getting enough already! He didn't mention the cool temps and breezy weather while NC was in the throes of 95+ degree heat... so I will!

Cheers for now all...
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:18 AM   #8
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One more thing...

+1 or MORE on the beads. It's as simple as 1) go to autozone or your local equivalent and pick up a car seatcover for, uhh, 8.99 USD. 2) if like me you're color concious and want your beads to match your bike, you'll need to stop off at Ace et. al. for some primer and some flat black. 3) when home, trim to fit, being careful leave enough mono to tie off securely. 4) paint, tie on, avoid monkey butt henceforth!!

And to think I was considering dropping almost 4 bills for a new seat. WHAT-EVA!

Peace!
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:33 PM   #9
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I was wondering when you would get into the mix.

Day 6 The Eastern Shore


Rolling out of Risser's in the a.m.






We shortly came to La Have, where we could have done some damage at a bakery that smelled really good. By the time that set in, we were at the cable ferry loading area and they were loading. Let's go for a boat ride.






We had a little bit of confusion about what loops we were taking. The bad news: lunch didn't appear. The good news: Peggy's Cove is bitchin top to bottom.












Presently we came to Halifax, which we broke a corner off just to get some Halifax flayva.

The Mackay Bridge is sorta scary.




Wyse Road in Dartmouth offers a variety of places to eat. We fueled up on fresh and delicious Vietnamese and rolled out. We hit the slab out of town along the eastern shore. If one more person tells me, "It's Maine/Nova Scotia/New Brunswick/New Hampshire. If you don't like the weathah just wait five minutes," one more time... I get it. At the end of the slab we got on Trunk 7. What a sweeet run. We stopped for gas at this really cool store that had a better selection of motorcycling supplies than some shops I've been too. Lots of sledding stuff too.

Trunk 7






We checked out the falls at Sheet Harbor, which would be some serious mank in a boat. We proceeded to Sherbrooke, which has all of the offings of a ghost town except that the businesses had people minding the store. We finished the day off with some St Mary's smoked salmon, smoked mackerel, stoned wheat thins (not the imported kind), and beer.


We scored another campsite with some shelter for our stuff .







Day 7 The run to Cheticamp

Rolling out in the a.m.




That body of water in the background was a good size lake with some loons. I got a pretty good look at them, my first time. They were rockin it throughout the course of the evening.


No kidding






The signs in Gaelic and English were kind of cool.




I thought there might be something in Glen Alpine we could check out and tell the people in Glen Alpine, NC about. If there is, it isn't near the highway. Trunk 7 continues to provide the motorcycling goods. We did a little secondary race in the beginning.

We fueled up in Antigonish and had scary close call number 8 on the way out of town on the slab. A very large deer ran out right in front of Lucky as a car was passing us so even if it got past Lucky, it was looking like the passing car would hit it and bounce it back. Pheeew!

At last we made it to the Canso Causeway and over to Cape Breton Island. I can smell the chowder.

We got on 19 and headed for Cheticamp. I'm not sure when Cheticamp became the goal instead of Baddeck, but it was a good thing we did. I think the weather was better on the Cheticamp side.

Trunk 19





We got caught up in Mitch fever.




He had made the final 7 on Canadian Idol, and the greater Port Hood area is behind its boy. Somebody even had it carved into a field that you could read from the space shuttle. He's in the top five by this time. He can't lose.

Layla took a side course to this cemetery and really cool overlook.







We finally made it to Cheticamp. We came to understand that Cheticamp is the Acadian approximation for the Miq'mac word for "incessant blasting wind."

Check out the angle of the camera, Layla's bike, and the flag. The flag is the only straight guy in town.




We set up camp at the National Park campground in Cheticamp and went back into town for food and "supplies." The Restaraunt Acadien was righteous. We scraped the finish off of the plates we were so hungry. The dessert was high heat across the letters, man.






Anybody wanna go for a motorcycle ride after dinner???





Now don't stay up and party. We're riding the Cabot Trail tomorrow. And save room for chowder.




I guess I need to get the Cabot Trail shots up to smugmug. Dude, I've been busy. I did a Micaville, Burnsville, Barnardsville, Craggy Gardens, Fairview, Lake Lure, Old Fort loop this afternoon. More to come later.
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:10 PM   #10
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Yeah, I'm a little slow...

But y'all know that already.

Halifax was... interesting. Traffic patterns are a little sketchy, but some good map reading got us through. A most excellent Pho' restaurant had us looking for the hammocks in the yard, but we had miles to go!

I'm sure I'm a little outta order here, but also gotta give it up for the Sherbrooke grocery(?)... I think we were the highlight of the week when we asked a question and all three girls got involved in answering it. And we were there during the "busy" season! That salmon was indeed dopey-dope dope! "I'm not really hungry...just a little something to snack on." Yeah, right.

+1 on the 7 trunk! Glen Alpine was indeed a bit desolate, but there WAS a pick-your-own berry stand... fun as that looked, there was pavement, and gravel, to traverse. I'll take option two with a bullet, Alex...

Now about that deer... no kidding, it was a big 'un... not your puny whitetail. As the flight instructors are fond of saying, "situational awareness, candidate!" Dude-man in the chrysler was doing about 100k's and I never saw a hint of red. All's well that ends well though, as the deer gets a thumbs up for lack of hesitation and positive forward motion

When I get my act together I'll try to post a pic of the GIGANTIC windmill in Cheticamp. With the wind we had you coulda powered half of New Jersey with that thing! I also have a great pic of the blueberry pudding with caramel sauce from the Acadien... mmm mmm!

My take on the Cabot Trail was much the same as Gaston's with Acadia, but that is not to say it isn't one PHAT ride! Big ups again to our northern neighbors for their (in this case) National Parks... it was a great place to spend a couple of nights after some sweeet riding... "hey, NASA called and asked how long you're planning on keeping that lantern on... the space shuttle's being distracted!"

Being less than acerbic has its advantages I guess, as our karma came full circle the next day... not sure what I mean? Stay tuned for some more of GG's "enlightenment."

Namaste, y'all...
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:16 PM   #11
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Nice ride. I love the packing job on your Versys, its my personal favorite way to pack too.
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:27 PM   #12
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Awesome RR guys!


This pic slays me dead...

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Old 08-15-2008, 04:12 PM   #13
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Living it again...

I'm just sitting here with a big smile, remembering so many of those beautiful places. Yes, the folks out there make you feel most welcome.
That Cat can move along pretty well for a big o'l girl.
Keep it coming.
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Old 08-16-2008, 07:03 AM   #14
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Day 8 The Cabot Trail


By all accounts, the Cabot Trail loop is all day affair, so we got an early start under beautiful clear skies. The wind is evident in the picture.





As we turned away from the shore at Margaree, the outlook wasn't looking so good, and by the time we hit the top, I had to stop for more clothing. So this leg over to Baddeck is not what is put in the Cabot Trail brochure, but very beautiful. Things looked a little better when we got to Baddeck. That didn't last, however, and we went with the full rain setup. We also couldn't see much for the fog.

On top of Cape Smokey




Looking back south at Cape Smokey




The roses were everywhere





More friendly locals. We met a fox in Japan like this guy.





Layla gassed up in Cape North and we headed out to Meat Cove. The ride out is really neat. Impressive mountains.




We missed the left for Meat Cove but decided to tour Bay St. Lawrence. We also got a nice improvement in the weather.








Some Appalachian humor: How can you tell a rich family in Bay St. Lawrence? They have two boats on blocks in the yard instead of just one.




We're getting warmer...




Chowderhouse ahoy!











The chowderhouse also delivered the poutine goods. Talk about good gravy, this sauce was sage flavored.








Some paparazzi shots. The checkers around the curve sign are cool.

















We went over North Mountain and down the other side.








We rolled into Pleasant Bay back into the postcard weather. On a flyer, we decided to check out what goes on in Red River. A nice gravel road went along the shoreline. Hmmmmmm





That nice gravel road took us past something designated as an abbey and then we came upon this.







In short order, the road came to an end at a parking area. We were nosing around trying to see what the attraction was and Lucky then thus espied a rope.


Doing what comes naturally.



Layla shows us air assault styleeee.




She hit the hot stone spa at the bottom of the rope.





Seals were surfacing checking us out. It was at this point that I finally got sea kayaking. This would be a cool place to go boating.






The day was getting on and we still hadn't completed the circuit, so, alas, we had to leave our little beach. On the way back we checked out Glen Hinkley.




After a nice run, it started to get a bit sketchy and rocky.




So we turned around.




The Cabot Trail from Pleasant Bay to Cheticamp is where the brochure photos come from. Brand new pavement with a lot of curves and spectacular views.







Big day. Much fun and meeting the expectations set up by the advertisements. We did a quick run into Cheticamp for supplies and racked out.
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:40 AM   #15
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Day 9 Cape George


We packed up and left Cheticamp. We toyed with the idea of heading over to the east side for the run down to Canso, but a fellow in the campground said that Sydney (and presumably that side of the island) was getting drenched with rain.

It was like this most of the way down Trunk 19 and the other secondary roads.





However, as we approached the Canso Causeway, our weather luck finally ran out, but it was still not as bad as it could have been. We ducked into a McDonalds in Antigonish and the rain really came down, so we hung out there. When it lightened up a bit we hit the road 337. This is a really nice stretch of road. In spite of the sort of nasty weather, people had wash out on the line. Nice days are relative, I suppose.

The Cape George lighthouse.




Layla's couch




We had a nice run to New Glasgow. We secured a campsite at Caribou Munroes Provincial Park. Again, we scored a shelter with it. We barely made it to the grocery store in time to score some food. Liquor store is closed on Sunday.

Someone left behind this awesom sheet of plastic to cover the bikes up.




What great timing, too. Probably an inch of rain fell that night. We camped in the shelter instead of the tents.



Day 10 The Bay of Fundy


We were a little trepidatious at the outset, but things turned out for us.


Our most awesome shelter.





Things were a bit icky for a while, but as we got away from shore, the clouds were breaking up. We took 256 away from Pictou to Earltown, then down 311 where we cut over to McCallum Settlement for a little gravel action and then on down to outskirts of Truro, where it was now a nice day.


Downtown Earltown




We rode the slab for a bit and then got off on Trunk 2 along Minas Basin, where it was immediately apparent how epic the tide is. I am absolutely remiss that I didn't take the time to go back and get a picture of the sign, "Dial 911 for Economy Fire Brigade." That's truck driving. If we stopped to take a picture at every worthy spot, we'd still be there.

We also blew off Five Islands.





Anyway, Road 209 through Advocate Harbour is also a very fun, picturesque run. Lots of swoopy curves.

We ate lunch at Cape d'Or. You could actually see the tide coming in and creating some funky water that would be scary in a boat.






Looking out from Advocate Harbour.




209 ends and perhaps the road gets even better if a little rougher. We rolled up into Joggins. What a neat little town. We wanted to kill a little time to catch a tide cycle in one place. We went to the fossil cliffs to check it out. After not really seeing much of anyone for a while, the throngs at Joggins were a bit of a shock. Joggins is also the home of the smallest liquor store in Nova Scotia.

Lots of fossils.







I only scratched around for a minute or two and found a fly's wing. There was a trunk of a fern sticking out of the rock as well. You could dig, but not take.
















The mosquitoes here were the worst of the trip.




We camped right next to the slab in Amherst. No offense to any denizens of Amherst, but it was a slap in the face- sort of like Nova Scotia detox. Redneck robot radio station, McCain, Obama, Dow Jones, and Walmart were all representing. We missed bike night at the A&W. It would have been cool to meet some people.



Day 10 New Brunswick

It was looking grim at the get go. Last night's nice and improving weather were gone. We awoke to a fog/rain. The radio was reporting road closures in New Brunswick due to flooding. The dudes in Seawall had warned us of road hazards on the way into Moncton.


Layla and I put up the tent and rolled the bikes over to the laundry to load up. Lucky was normally a bit OCD about the relative order of camp breakdown like others we've travelled with. On this morning however, Lucky was in a sunny place with no traffic as we slogged our stuff over to the laundry. I was fortunate to witness his sticking his head out of his tent to see our tent and bikes gone.

Alas, I don't have New Brunswick up on Smugmug, so the rest will have to wait. Suffice it to say that I had gotten the impression that NB was sort of in the way of getting back to Maine, and that turned out to be TOTALLY wrong. Must be folks who slab it back.
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