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Old 07-15-2008, 03:21 PM   #46
TREE
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Great ride report Robert. Thanks.
Not much has changed since I rode it in 1999 which is nice to see.
I looked at your profile to learn more ........
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Old 07-15-2008, 08:54 PM   #47
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Oh, OK, then. I did break down and filled it out - I have been resisting that since joining: I hated the idea of submitting my age (hint: I faked it anyway...).

BTW, Tree - thanks for your helpful info a few months ago, when I have been preparing my ride.
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:36 AM   #48
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You're welcome........ glad you had a good trip.
I will go back when they open the last stretch, I did the run to Cartwright a couple yrs ago.
Loved that section.
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Old 07-23-2008, 04:31 PM   #49
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Going home!


Thursday, June 19.


Leaving Baie Comeau, I stopped by the Trans-Lab billboard for one more picture of Ozymandias' T-shirt. This was a great adventure: 'wish you were here'.



The route took me southwest along the shore of St. Lawrence River. There are many rest stops along the road, affording me a good opportunity to enjoy the views of the rugged rocks - exposed even more by low tide.



I boarded one last ferry on this trip. This was just a simple, open-deck affair, crossing Saguenay River in about 15 minutes. Still a ferry, though - bringing up the total number of water crossings to four.



And last smiling picture... Not for long though, as very soon thereafter the rain intensified.



I was not sure where to go next: should I stop in Quebec City on the shortest route home and be in highway traffic from then on, or cross St. Lawrence and explore more back roads?

It was pouring, so I opted for the City. Good choice - a nice dinner was a fitting recourse for the stuff I ate so far. I did feel like Alton Brown in 'Feasting on Asphalt' after eating fried stuff for days on end.

I really like Quebec City. There are many neighborhoods where one can just walk past pleasant restaurants with the only problem being which one to chose. As you pass the entranceways, 'touts' with menus in hand are trying to entice you to walk in. Usually, cute little things are chosen for this job - and it does not take them much effort to convince me.




Friday, June 20.

And of course, what I like so much, a pleasant breakfast: good coffee, doing some people-watching... Some cities are just great.



The day started nice and sunny and after the downpours of yesterday I decided to forgo highways. Instead, I backtracked slightly to ride south into Maine and New Hampshire. For my last Quebecois lunch, I pulled into St. Georges. I really enjoy these towns, with proper centers, cafes on main streets, relaxed atmosphere.

I refilled my stomach and my mood and continued south to cross the border at Woburn. I expected very little traffic at this fairly remote post, so I was quite surprised by several white Suburbans parked there, with crowds of Border Patrol officers and search dogs. After a while I realized that it may have been a training exercise, but I still found this unsettling. Did something bad happen while I was away?

I skimmed through the northeast corner of Maine and entered New Hampshire in an increasingly heavy rain. The skies were really opening up - but even then, breaks in clouds offered really poetic views.



The rain was overpowering local rivers. Water levels were quite high, spilling into flooded meadows.

Still, my gear was holding up pretty well - except for that soaked left boot. Apparently my waterproof bots were not quite so. By the evening it was slushing inside.



As it was getting darker and colder, I felt getting tired. Missed gear shifts were an unmistakable indicator of my reduced capabilities.

It was time to find a place to stay overnight. However - and I always do that to myself - I had this idealized image of a nice hotel or inn that I wanted. As I continued through NH into Vermont, I did not see anything that satisfied this image: some places were just dingy motels around a tavern, some were junky looking main-street inns, with no place to safely park a bike, some places were soul-less chain hotels.

The riding day was now getting very long. I did realize that I have been unreasonably picky and decided to finish the search and stop in any random place no later than by Killington (by which time, of course, I would have crossed all of Vermont).

Suddenly, by 9pm, while leaving Woodstock, VT, I glimpsed exactly what I have been looking for: a picturesque white farmhouse with a tasteful sign announcing a B&B with a restaurant.

Lincoln Inn was on the verge of closing for the night, but the owner graciously offered to provide me with appetizers once she checked me in.

Wonderful end for an impressive riding day.


Saturday, June 21.

I woke up to a beautiful morning, clearing out the remains of last night's storms. Once the fog lifted, mostly-clear skies promised a nice ride for the last day on the road.



Still not in the mood for battling it out on a super-slab, I picked up the Taconic Parkway just below Troy, NY. Taconic tends to be a rider's road: the traffic is often light and the road is quite narrow and winding, especially in the older southern section.



I stopped for a last break, enjoying the picturesque curve ahead, having a drink of water and doing a quick walk-around check of the bike.

Damn! Damn again! The telltale smudges on the final drive housing revealed that the seal gave up its ghost and the fluid was seeping out. Hopefully, not a big deal - if all fluid was not lost. Since it happened just some 100 miles from home, I expected to make it without any problems.



Of course, it was no big deal compared to what could have happened if the seal let go 1000 miles earlier. Just to reassure myself, I checked my photographs from Quebec City and saw that the housing was still clean by then.

Nevertheless, I was annoyed: having been stuck two years ago near Bangor, ME, with a seized final drive on my previous K1200LT and abandoning my trip at the time, I thought that I paid my dues and should not experience such issues any more. Irrational, maybe...

I shrugged my shoulders, packed up and continued south. Weather was still holding up - even though it actually drizzled a few times while sun was shining. I switched onto the NY State Thruway, worked my way through surprisingly light traffic and arrived home with plenty of time to spare to take my wife out to dinner that evening.

Last checkout in my driveway revealed no other apparent issues beyond the drive seal. Everything seems to have held up quite well.

The decision to install the dual-sport tires en route, instead of prior to the trip, appears to have been correct. This is the remaining thread on the rear TKC80 after about 2700 miles, including some 750 on gravel. Not much is left; I'd say less than 1000 pavement miles.



And the final drive? Well, that deserves one final ADV salute!

Two days later the bike was on the trailer, on its way to the local BMW dealer. It was now high season for the shop and the turnaround time was quoted as 2 to 3 weeks. Luckily, I can ride another bike in the interim - otherwise the wait would really hurt.



Team CatTwo prepared an enthusiastic welcome. Guys? Err... Guys? At least, for the camera?



The trip computer screen from my GPS receiver neatly summarizes the ride. Total 3400 miles, over ten and a half riding days. I keep bringing up this 'half' since starting out after 6pm on the day of departure really does count that way for me.

Notice that even though I spent a very long time riding every single day, the total moving time was just 68 hours after fuel, food and camera stops. That may be quite a sobering thought for anyone trying to do a long run in a short time.




Saturday, July 12.

An update: the GS spent close to 3 weeks at the dealer (although, I do have to admit, that included the July 4th holiday period when all techs were presumably off.).

I brought it back home today. A new final drive seal was installed and it is supposed to be as good as new, they say. Hmmm...

Needless to say, I am a bit soured on the long-distance reliability of BMW touring bikes. I already mentioned that two years ago I had to break off a trip and get myself home from Maine, when the final drive failed on my K1200LT. And now, this little exercise - should I not sound annoyed?



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Old 07-23-2008, 04:58 PM   #50
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Nice report, I just finished the TLH 2up Upstate NY, VT, Quebec, TLH 4 ferries, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Main, NH, Vt and back to NY. 7 Days, 1 hotel. The only mechanical on my 07 GSA was the low beam bulb.
My wife took about 3500 photo's ( filled 2 4gig memory cards) I have been trying since last Saturday to post the pix but I am having no luck yet.
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:21 PM   #51
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Thumb thanks, awsome thread

Nice trip. Im planning the same for next year with a friend, he on a ktm adventure and me on a v strom 1000, any suggestions from strom riders would be appreciated
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Old 07-23-2008, 06:02 PM   #52
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nice report and pics. too bad about the final drive again, at least you made it home on this one. i would definitely write a letter to BMW if you havent already, you never know what they might do for you. your report inspired me to maybe take this trip someday

thanks
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Old 07-23-2008, 06:28 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bucker
...letter to BMW if you havent already, you never know what they might do for you...
They may laugh out loud?
Don't forget, the GS failures are nothing compared to LT failures - and nothing happened there despite a very large group of enraged owners complaining loudly. No need to waste my breath. Or ink.

Anyway, I encourage you to do this trip. I assume that you are in my area (is it Bethpage, LI?); this great adventure is available from here just for the cost of spending a couple of days riding north. You do not have to buy a plane ticket, to arrange bike rental, paperwork, guides, etc., etc. Gotta do it.
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:19 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwalker
They may laugh out loud?
Don't forget, the GS failures are nothing compared to LT failures - and nothing happened there despite a very large group of enraged owners complaining loudly. No need to waste my breath. Or ink.

Anyway, I encourage you to do this trip. I assume that you are in my area (is it Bethpage, LI?); this great adventure is available from here just for the cost of spending a couple of days riding north. You do not have to buy a plane ticket, to arrange bike rental, paperwork, guides, etc., etc. Gotta do it.
yea, i guess you're right. i have to learn not to be so optimistic.

LI is correct. seems like a very feasible trip from here. i'm still in the midst making my bike more touring friendly but as soon as thats done i plan on taking some longer trips. i give you alot of credit venturing out on your own, i don't think i'd have the balls for that. thanks for all the good info, it will definitely come in handy!
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:44 AM   #55
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Great trip and great pics! 168 mph?!

John
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:20 AM   #56
rdwalker OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarysharkface
168 mph?!
I wish...

That's one of those quirks of a GPS receiver: when it wakes up in a location distant from where it went to standby (like after a long ferry trip), it gets confused calculating distance-over-time.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:23 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwalker
I wish...

That's one of those quirks of a GPS receiver: when it wakes up in a location distant from where it went to standby (like after a long ferry trip), it gets confused calculating distance-over-time.
That's what I figured, since my ancient eMap does that too. Still a funny little detail to me.

Again, great ride report!

John
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Old 07-24-2008, 01:38 PM   #58
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As 1/2 Newfie, who spent many summers (even some college in St. John's), it's a delight to see Newfoundland through the eyes of an American landed there for the first time! It's really an amazing place to visit, though, as you can well imagine, a tough place to live. My grandfather was a Labrador fisherman (as opposed to a "banks fisherman") who lived in an outport village 50 miles from St. John's.

I have visited every inch of the TCH many times. I have taken the Newfie "Bullet," the train that used to run the tracks on the right-of-way you have identified as abandoned. I grew up knowing Joey Smallwood (the premier after whom your ferry was named) personally, since he was a family friend.

I grew up in New York City!

Great log. Great story. Great pictures. Thank you for sharing.

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Old 07-24-2008, 02:38 PM   #59
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Thumb

What a wonderful and inspiring {as most trips are to me} report.
Glad you made it home safe and sound, too bad for the final drive but its better there then 1000Km away.

Thanks for posting. I 'read' most reports here but this one was actually read word for word, I actually got booted out of sign-in here cause it took so long
Thanks
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:35 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hcmiller92
...My grandfather was a Labrador fisherman (as opposed to a "banks fisherman")...
Thanks for your kind comments, guys! It's encouraging.

Curt: what is the difference between Labrador and banks fishermen? I thought that these guys would fish all over in the general area, west and east of Newfoundland? Or were their destinations more specific?
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