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Old 10-25-2010, 04:41 PM   #226
jdrocks OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleak21
Great RR! You read my mind, I was thinking of doing a trip along the same lines.
interesting ride on that northern gravel, now ya know how to do it. time to go.

speak French?
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:57 PM   #227
jdrocks OP
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Day 18: Tuesday 9/7/10-Meat Cove, NS, to Sherbrooke, NS. 298 miles

I got my wish, a clear sky looking to the east, a bonfire burning on the horizon. Nothing more to ask of the moment, I watched the sunrise in the near dark, transfixed.



The campground was quiet, everything down below still buttoned up tight, glowing in reflected light.



I was starting to pack up the bike when a car drove up, husband and wife got out, pushed aside the “Campers Only” sign, and ducked under the rope across the entrance, cameras in hand. They must really need those photos pretty bad.

The photographer couple left, and just minutes later a SUV pulls in and turns around, driver door towards me, another husband and wife enjoying the early morning. The guy is studying the bike and didn’t say anything at first, but finally comes out with “You built that bike for the northern roads up here”. Huh, say what?, I couldn’t believe the guy could come up with that statement after just a quick once over. When I went over to talk with him, he really had figured it out, nailed it in seconds, he knew his bikes. A short conversation, they were with some other people and late for breakfast.

The other guys had already left, time to leave myself, and I’m riding back through the construction zones, dodging equipment and trucks. By this time, the sun had disappeared leaving an overcast sky, interesting scenes in the different light.



The Cape to the east guarding the Bay.



Out to the Cabot and down the road just a short distance for fuel, the gasboy said the Vermont riders were 15 minutes ahead. I was about to ride back on the road when it started to rain, nuts, who needs more of this, at least it was light. Judging from the sky, rain would be with me for awhile. Light traffic this morning as I head south down the west side, the road winding through the rocky terrain again, taking it easy with the TKCs on this wet road.



There are some widely spaced homes and farms along the road, and it must have been tough out here before the roads were improved.



Green valleys run to the horizon, undisturbed.



When the road gets to PleasantBay, the ocean is on my right again, in the mist from this high vantage point, but only briefly before turning back up into the Highlands.



The rain and mist is back again when I get down to CapeRouge, the road following the coast south.



Cheticamp for breakfast, and there are several bikes outside this café. As I go to open the door, Fred and Shirley from Meat Cove are coming out, not the last reunion of the day. Fred says “There’s two guys in there from Romania that want to know about building bikes, so when I saw you ride up I told them “There’s your man””. Nothing wrong with talkin’ bikes over a big breakfast, so I sat down with my two new Romanian friends from Montreal, Andrew and Liviu. They were out on their first bike trip, riding cruisers, one of which was purchased with this strange sticker attached that read ADV. They’re both glad to be in Canada instead of Romania and seem to be over the early hurdles of acclimation. A long talk about bikes, and then I need to get going, so long my friends, and I’m back out in the rain…except that I forgot to pay for breakfast, my waitress wasn’t happy, but the owner laughed it off. Damn, this bike talk can get distracting.

The Romanians said they were riding north around the Cape, and then promptly ride south, same direction I’m going. Mark down another language I must not understand, Romanian English. I’m just putting my helmet on when three Goldwing guys ride in, they walk right over to the bike and want to know all about it. I’m so done with this subject, and just give them the short version, I gotta get down the road, plus we were standing around in the rain.

Still light traffic, I can stop where I want, but it’s tough on the camera in the rain.





The Highlands visitor center is crowded, maybe people are hoping the weather will clear before they start up the road. I’m dripping water all over the floor and the counter lady is still smiling, ignoring the mess I’m making. Now that I’m on my way out of Nova Scotia, I get all my maps, at least I’ll know where I’ve been. When I turn around with my package of maps, Andrew and Liviu are standing right there. I tell my map lady that they both need the same maps I just got, “No problem”, and she’s hustling around. Goodbye again, still raining as I ride away.

Once past the visitor center, I’ve seen the best of this part of this road, and it’s more like an average country road now. Not all that much going on, so I cut over to Bras-d-Or to see what that has to offer. Road construction everywhere, and I say to the flagboy “If I’m here much longer, I might as well set up my tent”, he shrugs and points past my shoulder to the opposite side of the road. When I turn to look, there’s an old motel, just guessing, might be here awhile.

I skirt around Bras-d-Or, don’t know about this one either, it’s just not doing it for me, getting picky about my roads. It’s time to head back to the coast, besides the day is starting to get away from me. Across the Canso Causeway and west, I pull in for fuel and a drink near Auld Cove, and get out my brand new map, time to take a look. The Marine route starts just across the highway, let’s try that, it looks like it follows the water. Having a drink and my ice cream bar, I hear a toot-toot, and when I turn around, it’s Martin and Lorena on the 12GS. This is getting stranger and stranger. They were also thinking about the Marine route, but intended to get much farther west than I did. Adios, might see ya again my friends.

The Strait of Canso must be a busy shipping corridor, bulk material ready to be loaded or offloaded over on the Hawkesbury side.



Commercial fishing boats tied up at the many wharves along the road.



When I ride past this farmstead on the top of the hill I just have to turn around and go back for another look, timeless appeal, the red accents by choice and not accident.



The small villages all have at least one white church, sometimes more than one, carefully sited, meticulously maintained.



Each small harbor hold at least one fishing boat, but judging from the lack of maintenance on the shoreside facilities, the heyday might be over here too.



I find another lighthouse at the entrance to this small bay, built on a rock island, vigilant in duty, solitary and permanent.



I decide to ride out to the end of highway 16 at Canso, might be something interesting out there. Instead of interesting, I find a collection of Bloods and Crips wannabes, delinquent badboys and girls, acting out some MTV drama at the end of the road.

My entertainment came from a local guy who stopped to ask if I was lost…I must have that look. I wasn’t lost for a change, but he sure as hell was, as in, lost in space. Helloooo, anyone home, knock knock. The guy looked like he had tried to paint some very large object white while seriously under the influence of a super strength psychedelic. He was covered with paint, hair, face, glasses, clothes, and now the seat of the car was smudged white also. He even smiled white paint, had some on his tongue. I’m thinkin’ of something descriptive, all I can come up with is “dumpster fire”, this dude was a goner. Not one to be rude, I asked “How’s the 316 road”?, and he answered “Good I think, haven’t been over there for awhile”.
The 316 intersection was nine miles away, I don’t think this guy had been capable of navigating past the city limits for decades, unless it was to go buy more mushrooms. So long painter man, got to get out of here before the gang war starts, and I was back to 316, riding south.

This road is in tough shape and there’s only small glimpses of the coast as I ride through small villages, some looking prosperous, others not. Some of the road has been patched, while other places there’s grass growing in the pavement breaks, no repairs for a long time. A wolf steps out on the road, sees me, and jumps back in the bush. I ride up on some road construction, looking for the elusive flying stone, never saw it.



I pass some utility crews still working on storm damage from the hurricane, some of these rural areas must still be without power. There’s not much in the way of windbreaks along some of this coast, I can understand how lines could come down.



The breeze has died away, some protected water is “slick cam” as the old boys would say.



Sometimes it seems that for every boat in the water, there one dry docked on land, a final resting place.





I had been pushing along all day, in and out of the rain, and man, I was ready to stop somewhere. I had been to Sherbrooke years ago, let’s try that. When I get to Isaaks, the ferry schedule is screwed up, so I ride around, highspeed transit, and save an hour. Sherbrooke is not what I remembered, but will do just fine. I find the hotel the gaslady at the last stop had recommended, “Sorry, we don’t have a senior discount even if you are 150 years old” said the officious reception lady, no freakin’ sense of humor there. I got a key, and unpacked the bike. The dining room was only open for another half hour, and I bought the local newspaper as I went through the lobby. I was reading the headlines as I walked into the dining room, and when I looked up, Martin and Lorena are sitting at a table right in front of me. This is getting’ spooky, they must have passed me when I rode into Canso.

The dinner was just ok, and my waitress was a fright, acting like the job was just pure torture. I sent wine over to Martin and Lorena, my pleasure. They make a good looking couple out on the road, sharing an adventure. I had seen Martin on the road five times, all random, all unscheduled, and crossing three Provinces. So if I said “Goodbye, ‘til we meet again”, what are the chances?

I went to sleep thinking of decades past when I had been here with my girl, staying around the corner in a cottage on the river, wine and smoked salmon, logs on the fire…time marches on, some things are eternal.

(To be continued…)
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:17 AM   #228
MrKiwi
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Flying stones

These are indeed an elusive species, but when one strikes you feel if before you see it...
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:42 AM   #229
fredgreen
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It was great meeting you on your trip, hope the road between Canso and Sherbrooke has been fixed up. When Shirley and I drove it last year it was a bone jarring nightmare. I guess the Gov. figures there isn't much reason to fix the roads there as the population has plummeted as of late. The drive from Sherbrooke to Halifax is still great, a stop at Willy Krauch's smokehouse is a must....
Great trip JD, hope to see you again in NS, or maybe Shirley and I will head south for an adventure of our own...maybe even run into VA Gina.-Fred

fredgreen screwed with this post 10-27-2010 at 05:44 AM
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:10 AM   #230
jdrocks OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKiwi
These are indeed an elusive species, but when one strikes you feel if before you see it...
they must be in fall migration, no warning signs farther north. if you see one, get a photo.
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:18 AM   #231
jdrocks OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredgreen
It was great meeting you on your trip, hope the road between Canso and Sherbrooke has been fixed up. When Shirley and I drove it last year it was a bone jarring nightmare. I guess the Gov. figures there isn't much reason to fix the roads there as the population has plummeted as of late. The drive from Sherbrooke to Halifax is still great, a stop at Willy Krauch's smokehouse is a must....
Great trip JD, hope to see you again in NS, or maybe Shirley and I will head south for an adventure of our own...maybe even run into VA Gina.-Fred

hey fred, that road is still in rough shape, and as you mention, that stretch along the coast has seen better days.

the Maple Leaf is flown next to the Stars and Stripes along I95 in Virginia, so many Canadians running from the winter weather.

if you come on down, i'm givin' ya $10, you can buy some lottery tickets for me.

my best to you and shirley, had a great time in Nova Scotia, hope to get back.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:00 AM   #232
fredgreen
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When we decide to head south, the lottery tickets are on us.....you might have to move to Canada if you win though, no tax on lottery winnings here. I picked up a used KLR for cheap and am looking for one to lower for Shirley, then its off to dirt road Nirvana. First ride south will be to visit my brother in Maine, then who knows, Virginia can't be that far H'mmmm, got me thinking now. Got to snap out of it, work awaits TTFN..
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:42 PM   #233
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by fredgreen
Got to snap out of it, work awaits TTFN..
can't let work stand in the way of bikes and trip planning.
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:40 PM   #234
RRVT
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Location: Burlington, VT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredgreen
First ride south will be to visit my brother in Maine, then who knows, Virginia can't be that far
It's really not, it's just one turn away. Get on 95 South, keep going straight, then take the exit closest to David's house.

BTW, thanks for that trick with the lock. I am still able to lock and unlock my panier with the key stump, the piece that broke off is still inside of the lock.
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Old 10-28-2010, 04:09 AM   #235
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Originally Posted by RRVT
I am still able to lock and unlock my panier with the key stump, the piece that broke off is still inside of the lock.
ah, roman, i think you're supposed to get that fixed. the trick was just to get ya home. hope you got the duct tape off it too, might not be the same chick magnet in Montreal with that tape on there.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:14 AM   #236
fredgreen
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Don't listen to him Roman...duct tape rules, just ask Red Green. If the women don't find you handsome, they best find you handy. I don't think your broken key piece will fall out either after that many miles being in there.
By the way, there is talk of putting the ferry service back on from Portland ME to Yarmouth NS. I used to use it a lot to visit my Bro. Would save alot of driving on a southern trip for Shirley and I.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:55 AM   #237
markbvt
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In the world of motorcycles, sometimes even if it is broke, don't fix it, because it's cooler that way.

Look at it this way, Roman -- since there's something jammed in the lock, no one can pick it. You just have to hope they don't think of using a screwdriver or something to turn the key stub.

--mark
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:53 AM   #238
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrocks
ah, roman, i think you're supposed to get that fixed. the trick was just to get ya home. hope you got the duct tape off it too, might not be the same chick magnet in Montreal with that tape on there.
As much as was bummed out about the damages, I got used to riding the bike around the way it is. Many people find it cool, especially the ADV kind of crowd. I use GPS as my odometer and at this point I don't miss the instruments. Almost ran out of gas 3 times, pumped in 4,2 gallons into its 4.2 gallon tank. Now I carry around the same gas canister we used in Labrador with a spare gallon, so that's my reserve. Already needed it once.

The damages were too expensive not to run it through the insurance. Now I have a $5,200 check sitting in my account. If it were up to me, I would just fix the windshield and the hardware around it and use the rest of the money to get another bike since I don't expect to sell this one ever. But, the bank still owns about 70% of the bike so I am obliged to fix the damages and get the bike to the same state it was in before the crash.

Regarding the side cases, I will keep the old ones, fix them the best I can and it will be my set for rides were I am more likely to drop the bike. They were covered by my insurance so I will be getting a replacement set. That one will be good for pavement riding, and when my mother comes to visit to keep her from asking questions she shouldn't know the answers for...
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:15 PM   #239
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Originally Posted by RRVT
...when my mother comes to visit to keep her from asking questions she shouldn't know the answers for...
give me your mom's email, i'm going to send her a link. she needs to know what the debonair man of mystery has been up to.

so you're riding around on the 800GS, front end all duct taped together, panniers all cockeyed, red gas can hangin' off the tail rack...ya' need to wrap some old jumper cables around the bars...kinda complete the look.

if this is still a chick magnet, we're obviously going to need some photos of those chicks. your mom will be watching, make sure they have some clothes on.
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Old 10-30-2010, 09:47 PM   #240
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by fredgreen
If the women don't find you handsome, they best find you handy.
hot off the wire, SPY PHOTOS FROM MONTREAL!

that beat up 800 really is a chick magnet.
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