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Old 08-02-2010, 11:32 AM   #1
lukeman OP
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DC to Gaspe, Quebec - 85 K100 2up

After finishing my last ride report earlier this summer, it put the urge in me to take another trip. This time there would be a lot more constraints. I had two weeks of vacation, a 1985 K100 (in Ironman garb), girlfriend, and a 30th birthday to celebrate.

We started this trip on July 16th and finished the 1st of August 2010.

Where to go, where to go... My train of thought went like this:

I had a friend down in Mexico City which would be a proper adventure down and back. Its 2500 miles each way, I had just been to Mexico City in the fall, and it is hot as hell in DC this summer. The long miles and hot weather didn't sound appealing.

So perhaps somewhere out west or to the north. Out west would have been good, but its a lot of miles and would have eaten up a good chunk of time just getting out to the good stuff.

North then, Canada! Now where in Canada? Somewhere a bit more different than the states, more international flavor? Quebec then. I envy you guys living in Europe, drive a couple hundred miles and get into a completely different culture. Quebec would do.

Cindy took high school French, has been talking about studying it a bit more. A 30th birthday celebration in Montreal sounded pretty promising. I've heard they have some pretty good clubs there. Getting into the wilderness would be good, further up as well. The Saguenay, a Canadian Fjord with whales, ferries, and moose. Where to then, Gaspe, ride out to the end. Its not quite the same as hitting Panama, but its as good as I was going to get this trip.

Here is the route more or less.


We had a wedding to go to up in Erie, PA so that took care of where to go in the beginning. I'm from Pittsburgh, so it was a logical first night stopping area. In between we hit up Fallingwater as Cindy hadn't been there and the scenery around Ohiopyle is quite good.

Here is Cindy getting ready the morning of the trip, nothing like waiting till the last minute.


Her guns if I got out of line. (We were at Bob's BMW the day before buying some random things and they had temp tattoos. The roundel wouldn't be my first choice, no offense to those that have a bmw tat.)


Cindy would be badass if she could handle this bike looking like this.


Here we are getting the bike packed for the first time.


A bit of off roading around Ohiopyle to get to a scenic view.


A wedgie in Ohiopyle. Basically a pizza sandwich filled with sausage. It was damn good!


The mighty Youghiogheny River (yock-a-gheny at least in pittsburghese) "Yinz guys going dawn der to the yocka-gheny in ohiopyle?"


We stopped at Falling Water right near Ohiopyle. Definitely worth a trip. Designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935. Always makes me want to design my own house. Water plays such an amazing element in the house.


Didn't capture too much eye candy besides Cindy on this trip. Enjoy.


Iconic picture




Eventually we made it to Pittsburgh after getting pounded by rain for 5 minutes on the turnpike just outside of Monroeville. Some of the hardest rain i've ridden through, counting the Honduran tropical depression. It quickly stopped and we were nearly dried out before making it to my family's home north of pgh. The family wanted to celebrate so we went out to the Hofbräuhaus in the Southside of Pgh.

Beers in a liters. Yes please!


My nephew wanted to jump on the bike, a future ADVer for sure!


Here we are just before pulling out of pgh. I think this is where I crimped the centerstand in the limestone. It failed me, more on that later.



Next stop Erie.
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Old 08-02-2010, 02:45 PM   #2
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nice trip

good luck, man. looks like it's going to be good times!
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:59 PM   #3
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Good to see the old Beemer doing its thing. Well done.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:11 PM   #4
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:50 AM   #5
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The next morning we had a mad dash to Erie for a wedding to attend. We got a late start as my nephew was playing swords with us and didn't want us to leave. Its about two hours up to Erie from Pittsburgh and we hauled ass so Cindy would have enough time to get ready. It was all pretty rushed as we got there, quickly changed into formal attire and then went to the wedding followed by the reception at the Erie Yacht Club.

Of note in Erie, it was Roar on the Shore. The local motorcycle rally in Erie. Lots of bikes everywhere, but we didn't really have a chance to mingle with the rest of the bikers.

View from the Erie Yacht Club


Winding down


We were pretty exhausted but there was beer to drink!


Packing up the next day. BTW luggage carts are a godsend. After hauling saddle bags up and down stairs in central america, the nicety of throwing it on a dolly is amazing.


After staying out late and drinking a bit too much. I'm not a man to turn down shots of tequila! We were on our way to the Canadian border via Buffalo. Cindy hadn't been to Niagra so we were going to hit that up and then continue up past Toronto and find a place to camp. A bit ambitious being hungover, but it wasn't the first time nor the last.

The border crossing. My last one was from Costa Rica to Panama. Which wasn't too bad but still two hours of dicking around with windows and computer networks being down. I found my anxiety rising as I had been conditioned in central america to getting bent over and asking for more. No crazy guys running up to me telling me they could help me, no bribing local officals, no copies in triplicate of every document I had. Just a really cute border crossing girl welcoming us into the country. Fantastic.


From there it was onto Niagara. Some token shots


Its still breathtaking no matter how many times you've been there.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:24 AM   #6
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Wow, a RR from a local DC guy.

Who-would-thunk?
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:44 AM   #7
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Yeah, its good to get out of the metro area every once in a while. Can only do Middleburg and the Snickerville Pike so many times. Though it is a hell of a beautiful ride out there.
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:19 PM   #8
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We're getting to the good stuff now. From Niagara, we decided to take the scenic route directly through Toronto since I haven't been anywhere in Canada except Vancouver and Niagara. The plan was to at least hit up every large Canadian city on the eastern side. A quick stop for dinner was in order in Toronto. I had heard they had a decent Chinatown so not knowing where it was I searched for Chinese restaurants in the GPS. I would just drive to the highest density of restaurants and figured that would take us to Chinatown. It worked and we were eating Dim-sum in no time. It was really good, and then we went to a Chinese grocery across the street to stock up on camping food for the night and next morning.

I had originally planned on going to Warsaw Caves to camp that evening but we were a bit behind schedule and a storm was looming on the horizon. I got off the highway and headed north into the country side of Ontario. The air became chilled and felt heavy. One of those sensory experiences you have on a motorcycle that you don't feel while driving in a car. A slight wind kicked up and the temperature dropped about 10-15 degrees (F). The air became heavy and you could just tell that all hell was going to break loose before too long. I fumbled with the GPS trying to find a nearby camp because Warsaw Caves just wasn't happening. A nearby campsite didn't show up and I made the decision that the next camping sign I saw would be the one we camped at. There is nothing like seeing a little tent on a highway sign when you need one. This one was 10 miles away, doable.

Concerning camping, I always try to stick to camping when it is scheduled. Its really easy at the end of a long day to just say screw it and pull into the nearest motel/hotel. I wanted this trip to be a mix of hotels and camping to get the best of both worlds. It wouldn't have been a great start to cop-out camping right from the start. We've got all this gear strapped on for a reason!

Eventually we pull into Emily Provincial Park just as the first rain drops start to fall. The ranger is very nice checking us in and she is a bit surprised that we made it all the way here on a motorcycle from DC. I had a bit of a chuckle when she asked, "May we inform any visitors you may be expecting of your camp location? Its a policy we have about giving our campers information."
I looked at her, looked at Cindy, looked out at the motorcycle, out at the endless rows of trees in the middle of nowhere, "Yeah, if anyone visits us, please tell them the camp site #"

Let me get this out of the way, the rangers at Emily Provincial Park are all working there during summer break from college. They are all lovely girls each one hotter/cuter than the next. Bright smiles as they made their rounds and super friendly. If this was how camping in Canada was going to be, who needs a hotel. I commend the Ranger in hiring, basically a bunch of models in Ranger outfits, touched a fantasy I didn't know I had.

Cindy was not too amused. I probably asked her a bit too enthusiastically "Did you notice how all the Rangers here are all really attractive? Its uncanny" She did, and rolled her eyes at me, nope not amused...

It proceeded to rain all night with lightning flashing the tent up and thunder that shock the ground. I really like camping out during a thunderstorm, experience it a lot more than in a building. We were snug as a bug in a rug, and the next morning it all passed and the sun was out.



Cindy Packing up the gear.


Oh shit she wouldn't start. Was it the rain? Being on the side stand the entire night? The center stand snapped as I was putting the bike on it. Nearly tipped the damn thing over, and would have if Cindy wasn't there helping me.

This non starting had happened to me before a few times in Central America. I figured it was the wiring harness to the computer under the seat. My last bike had a tendency of coming lose and not sending a spark. I pushed on it, tried to start it, nothing. Check the plugs, they seemed alright. Finally took out the wiring harness completely, checked the wire and connections and plugged it back in. Success, but not before freaking out slightly.


Phew!


Emily Lake. I love the mornings after a big rain, the air is so crisp.




Amazing day of riding. We planned on stopping for lunch/dinner in Ottawa, as it is kind of on the way. Plus the Highway 7 is a hell of a lot more interesting than the 401.




Some shots of the Canadian Parliament.








Nice to see some different architecture. Its great living in DC but its nice to see something different than the big white neoclassical buildings and monuments.


Onward to Montreal.
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:03 PM   #9
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Don't miss out on Quebec City, or Charlevoix region its absolutely amazing! Book ahead on the ferry its crazy right now, and maybe we'll see you on the Gaspe!
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:58 PM   #10
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What Luke neglects to mention in his description of fixing the bike after it wouldn't start is that he made me push the bike, running and panting on flat and slightly (very slightly) downhill dirt and gravel surfaces around practically the entire campgrounds to try to bump start the bike before he decided to pull out his tools. I was a sweaty mess but trying my best to appear nonchalant as he tinkered with the engine so as not to stress him further, considering that we were in the middle of nowhere and had barely even begun our adventure! haha, but alls well that ends well, when I heard that engine catch I jumped up and down and cheered, ottawa and montreal were calling!
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:31 PM   #11
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Be sure to book ahead if you're staying anywhere in the Gaspé area.. when we went, everything was booked.

You MUST visit the old city of Quebec.. there's nothing like it in North America.. a bit of Normandy in Canada. here' s a teaser:

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Old 08-03-2010, 07:30 PM   #12
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Wicked Awesome Guys

great ride report and giving me some ideas for when I get my airhead up and running again. Keep up the posting - this is really enjoyable
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy

You MUST visit the old city of Quebec.. there's nothing like it in North America.. a bit of Normandy in Canada. here' s a teaser:

yeap! if you want to see in us a city look like quebec city is Boston, but quebec is more beautifull. you have to see , Chateau frontenac ,the st-lawrence river, north side the river is laurentide mountain and sud of the river is the Appalache mountain.
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:19 AM   #14
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Talking

We actually got back from this trip this weekend, so its all done. That being said, I'd love to get back up there, and for others that might be planning at trip up any sights or advice would be welcome.


Heading out of Ottawa we encountered our first rain shower. It came down like all hell. This would be the only rain during driving hours the entire two weeks. It was uncanny. It would rain at night and be crystal clear for the next day’s ride. I think the clouds were saving up for Gadgetboy to ride up to Gaspe again.

As far as gas went, cruising at high speed with all the weight took a hit to the MPG. I would normally get gas every 150 miles or so, but when pushed it would go 185. The fuel plus gadget on the old k-bikes is a lifesaver and so much better than those terrible dumb lights which come on seemingly randomly. It was reading 39mpg on the highway cruising at 80mph or so. Not too bad, would get about 45 normally unladdened.
Here I am waiting out the storm, only 20 minutes so not too bad.

It only took us a little over two hours to get to Montreal. Once again it’s great how close these cities really are. They basically hug the boarder of the US, too cold up north for a large city I suppose, so there are very little miles eaten up going North and South. I need to explore more of Canada in the future, a lot of good stuff and people up there.

I’ll remark on how cool it is to be riding in North America and suddenly hit French. It’s ‘like’ going into another country (I know better than to dive into that debate). We were staying at ‘Abri du Voyageur Hotel’ in a prime location of Montreal. Rooms are cheap, the staff is really nice. No onsite parking, but we found a garage, highly recommended. Getting to the hotel we discovered it was the “Just for Laughs Festival”. It was getting late and our street was shut down for the festival we had to turn around and reroute. Coming up to the hotel, the entire street in front of it was torn up to make it into a new walking only area. It’s going to be extremely nice when it’s all done. But for now it was a pain in the ass. Luckily we unloaded nearby.

Waiting it out in Ottawa.


Rain go away.


Damn 'laughs' mascot. It haunts my dreams.


The festival was actually pretty cool. Though it was very french, hard to relate at times. A lot of slapstick kind of stuff. These girls on the stilts were pretty randy in their talk. The red dress one basically sexually harassed me as I walked by, I didn't mind In a bawdy french accent voice."Oh you're tall. Ever been with a tall woman before naughty boy?" as she thrust her skirt up. haha




They had a beautiful show with women hanging from a crane.


And who could forget the Indian dancers of Shiamak


Had to check out La basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal


Beautiful.


The newer chapel there, all carved wood


Walked up to the top of Mount Royal.




Even the squirrels were very friendly.


Gold star for you if you can read Korean. A nice memorial. If only Cindy spoke french at the level of her Korean But it will help us in our RTW for shipping from Russia to Korea!


Unfortunately no rocking out.


We had poutine! Healthy!


Biosphere not to be confused with the biodome.


Rose garden next to the biosphere. Montreal has so many gardens!






You have to go to Fairmount Bagel Bakery. They were amazing. Cream cheese and lox! Actually ran into a guy on a big GS stopping at the shop as well. Had AK and Labrador stickers on the back of his Panier.



Bixi bikes are a great way to get around. We ended up riding out to the Botanical Gardens. Word of warning. They are too small for anyone of my height. ~6'6" or ~2 meters. A bit painful on the knees but i managed 5 miles of riding.


Riding


Biodome




At the gardens








They had new varieties of plants. This is a black petunia. Weird as hell. Perfect for your goth garden!


Lots of new cone flower colors too.


Ecobed.


The chinese gardens. Reminded me of the Summer Palace in Beijing




Don't know why they dyed the water, made it look like disney world...


We were pretty exhausted and hungry after all the biking and walking. Nothing like some smoked meat!
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:11 AM   #15
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Is this 2 different types of poutine?

The one in the foreground looks fine, but the one in the back???
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