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Old 09-21-2008, 08:09 PM   #1
Motojournalism OP
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A Maritime Photo-Journal - Home and Native Land part I

"You're borderline. You made a lot of traffic mistakes, but your control of the motorcycle is very good, so I'm going to pass you"


And with that, my life of crime is over. I am licensed to ride!


I wonder if building the DMV next to the prison was intentional...





A weekend test-run goes smoothly, so with a relatively healthy bank account I book three weeks off and set out with the vague direction of East. I'm tired of the city and the ocean is in my blood. It's not my ocean, but it will be a welcome sight. It's time to see this land of mine.



For me, the most dreaded part of the journey is the final minutes leading up to departure. "Do I have everything?", "Is the bike OK?", "Did I turn off the stove?"


I often have dreams of forever getting ready to leave somewhere, perpetual preperation, without movement.

But that's not going to happen this morning. Rather than take them upstairs to my apartment, I find the space to strap my heavy cable-lock and bike cover on to the load. It's a decision I'll soon find annoying, but at least I'm on the road!





From the center of Montreal, I hop on to the main freeway leading North-East off the island, along the north bank of the St-Lawrence river.
After crossing the river at Trois-Rivieres The city slowly gives way to rolling farmland. It' not exciting, but pretty, in it's own way.










Don't pass-up these modest looking churches in Quebec. They're often very impressive inside.















Something unique to Quebec is the Casse-Croute, a roadside mom & pop snackbar. Great for a fast poutine or Club Sandwich










Didn't go in this one. I've seen enough and I gotta roll.















"Combien essence? " How much gas? the mechanic asks when I go inside to pay. Wow. I'm not in the city anymore...




Fertile land right to the shores of the St Lawrence





The river is starting to open-up. strange to see this on the right:



and this on the left





And this outta nowhere. *pop!*









Dunno why, but these morbid cautionary road-signs are somehow amusing. It says " Watch out for children, they may be yours"





Mmmmmm. Chocolate...





And marshmallows!





No motels for me tonight, keep on rollin'...






It's getting late in the afternoon and I've just had my first whiff of that long-lost ocean scent. I feel like I can breath again!




I'd forgotten how much the temperature drops when you get near the water.
It's starting to really get to me, I don't have enough warm clothes on and I can feel myself starting to get a bit stupid. Slow to react, blank thoughts.
How it is when your body shuts down the higher mental activity to concentrate on more vital things... Not safe and I know it. There's nowhere near to stop for a coffee, so I get off the bike and jump around a bit to try and regain some warmth. The cold really caught me off guard! I wasn't excpecting it at all...

Back on the bike to suffer a bit longer.



The road turns inland and up a hill and Whoosh! Right into a warm front. It really is like steping inside from the cold. What an amazing thing it is to be on a motorcycle.


I find a campground for the night, set up the tent and head to the gas station to scrounge some dinner.



I meet a lil' orange fox face-to-face on the way out, but he's too swift for my camera...


Rain clouds are starting to gather, time to get my soup on the go. But it's too late. The sky opens up and I dive into my tent with my medieval dinner of bread and ale.




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Motojournalism screwed with this post 09-23-2008 at 03:21 PM
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Old 09-21-2008, 09:21 PM   #2
obsidian
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Thanks for sharing! Your photo colours seem to be exceptionally vibrant. Are you doing alot in post to get that effect?
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Old 09-21-2008, 09:32 PM   #3
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Hey, thanks folks. Lot's of good stuff to come, just gotta get through these rainy days

Yep, post-production's a big part of my style, but a polarizing filter gets things off to a good start. I'm using Adobe Lightroom, but you can get the same effect in Photoshop or Gimp or whatver you use. Curves, levels, hue/sat and sharpness plus the cropping. that's it really.
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Old 09-21-2008, 09:35 PM   #4
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And oh it rains and mists and deluges and pours the night away. All of which proves too much for the "waterproofing" of my poor tiny tent. But being from the rainforests of the West Coast, I know waterproofing is but a myth. What matters is that I'm damp, as opposed to saturated.




A soggy breakfast of last nights intended dinner ensues.




Enough bitchin' about the precipitation, the remedy is to move...



A drive-in, still showing the latest. Tune in your radios to 88.5 fm








I take a long and bland lunch to outwait the rain, but it's more patient than I. Time to cut inland, I'll attack the Gaspe Penninsula in more favourable conditions...







I'm lucky to have turned inland where I did. Further south (the road leading to Edmunston) the rain was so bad the highway washed-out while a woman and her kid were driving. They drove into a lake and were killed...












Finally at the Quebec New-Brunswick border. This bridge is significant. each side has a different time-zone, language and liquor laws. I imagine the New Brunswickers dash over the bridge at midnight to grab that last six-pack.




I find some basic accommodation. Four walls and a roof! happy to be dry.






but I pass on the shower. I'm clean enough after all that wet.




Drip, drip, drip...







An optimistic weather forecast:




Time to dine...





And call it a day





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Old 09-22-2008, 08:45 PM   #5
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I wish it was open, I could have used a shave

Maritime-1200189-46



A quick breakfast of coffee and muffins and it's time to venture back into the wet...

Maritime-1200198-49



Something that caught me by surprise was the whole Acadian thing. About half the population is french-speaking and are an entirely different culture from Quebec. The Cajuns of Louisiana are descended from deported Acadians.


Maritime-1200206-51



Grooved pavement, or soft gravel? Take your pick. Either comes with a generous helping of rain...

Maritime-1200211-53



For 17km... I choose the shoulder, up on the pegs and tough it out. Eventually I find a detour and work my way around.

Maritime-1200212-54



The Tim Hortons was a welcome site to warm my bones. Pretty damn good for fast-food. I ate a lot of this chili on the trip.

Maritime-1200210-52



Wet, wet, wet. What can I say? It's gotta get better soon.

Maritime-1200213-55



I've had enough, time to call it a day and camping is out of the question. So I drop far too much money on a hotel, where I steam-dry everything with a hair-dryer and fall asleep on the largest softest bed I've ever been on.

But not before enjoying these hot, fresh-made potato chips, and various strange brews at the local Irish pub.

Maritime-1200216-59
Maritime-1200218-60



It's good to have a yak with the bartenders. There's also a harmless but entertaining bullshitter talking about driving forklifts through walls in Alberta and how he's a brilliant biochemist working on a way to clean up the Sidney Tar Ponds by releasing enzymes into the water. (then why are you washing dishes in an Irish pub buddy?)
But I don't mind a tall-tale so long as it's well told, so I encourage him. Fun to listen to.



Enough, I call this day done and over. It can't rain anymore? Can it?

Maritime-1200222-61



Day 3
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:47 PM   #6
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Great pictures
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:55 PM   #7
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Feelin' optimistic today. Time to start with a big brown breakfast. Beans, sausages, eggs, fish-cakes, potatos, toast, coffee, OJ. Hits the spot, so I can hit the road.

Maritime-1200223-62



Look! LOOK! Good god it's BLUE! Whooooo! I'd damn near forgotten why I've been putting myself through all this wet...
Maritime-1200226-64



I'm once again grinning maniacly in my helmet, and I zip down a random side-road at top speed to see what there is to see.

Maritime-1200227-65



The Loch Ness Monster apparently...

Maritime-1200234-66



Boats, docks and lobster traps. It's starting to transition into the Maritimes.

Maritime-1200239-67



Each crew has their own colour of floats to identify the traps

Maritime-1200238-5.jpg



Maritime-1200249-6.jpg



Maritime-1200257-9.jpg



People go to museums to see how life was. I also want to see how life is, because it's changing so fast.

This is why I'm out here, to document the way it is now, the early years of a new century. It won't be this way for long.

Maritime-1200244-68



Maritime-1200261-70



Maritime-1200256-8.jpg



Maritime-1200252-7.jpg



Maritime-1200247-69



Time to roll on. The pavement here is really red in spots

Maritime-1200262-71


I am absoulutly beat from the cumulative effects of the past few days. I'm nearly nodding off at the controls, so stop at the nearest grassy knoll for a nap in the sun. I've got to learn to pace myself, both physically and financially. The weather looks like it could go either way, but tonight I must camp.



An old dredge

Maritime-1200268-10.jpg



A seagoing steam shovel

Maritime-1200266-72



And a seaside campground for the night

Maritime-1200285-76



Maritime-1200275-11.jpg



Maritime-1200274-73



Camera p0rn. I can't help myself. Look at those long sexy legs on the beach...

Maritime-1200278-74
Maritime-1200280-75



A cheap and tasty dinner to wrap up the day.

Maritime-1200286-77



Maritime-1200288-78



Day 4
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:37 PM   #8
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Very nice eye, more photos please.....
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:54 AM   #9
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great photos... love the camera porn, how sick am I?
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Old 09-23-2008, 02:16 AM   #10
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Thumb

Quote:
Tous les Acadiens, toutes les Acadiennes
Vont sauter, vont danser sur le violon
Sont Américains, elles sont Américaines
La faute à qui donc ?
La faute à Napoléon
From : Les Acadiens - Michel Fugain

Congrats pour ton permis de conduire.
And as always, wonderful photography. Some superbes cieux.
/thierry
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:17 AM   #11
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Neat report. Thanks for taking the time to share. One day I hope to go explore that part of the country. I'm what is called a half barrel coona##. Speaks just enough french to get in serious trouble. That is a sentence with about 3 french words and 10 english ones > All miss pronunced
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:57 AM   #12
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Man, thanks for those great pictures.

And I love your sense for details in the storytelling, too.

simply amazing.


bye
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:08 PM   #13
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Great ride!!! Great Report!!! Even greater pictures!!!

I really like the enhancements you give the colors. My daughter is taking photography in high school this year, and the focus is on digital. I'll make sure she looks this thread over.

The food pics (what ride report is worth a damn without food pics from the road?) are menu-picture stuff. In fact I just set the big brown breakfast pic as my background Really.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:54 PM   #14
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Ride reports are fun to read but once in a while we get a report with photos such as yours - a true joy.
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Old 09-23-2008, 03:12 PM   #15
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Great report, I have never made it up around that neck of the woods, but this makes me want to ship my bike over real soon.

Thanks.
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