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Old 02-10-2011, 05:00 PM   #61
lilolita OP
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Canada Day Thirteen: Mira River to Caribou, NS (217 miles)


The view from the privy in Mira River

Today we say goodbye to Mira River. We had never intended on staying four days in Mira River, lovely though it is, but the boyfriend needed the time to let his body heal enough to be able to ride some real miles. At this point we didn’t know that he had a fractured scapula; I just knew he wasn’t doing too well but gave up asking him to consider another way home like a bus or plane.

We had no destination today. We just pointed the bikes in the direction of west. We rode Route 4 that skirts the southern side of Bras d’Or Lake. Man oh man, it was beautiful. No traffic. Slow road. Vista after vista.

Irish Cove, Nova Scotia

We stopped for pics in Irish Cove because I liked the name. The weather could not have been nicer; sunny, warmish (I assume the locals were having heat stroke as it was in the 70°sF). A pleasant lazy ride. There was a car pulled over when we stopped for pics and a stretch. I peeked in and the guy was eating his lunch. Not a bad view with your sandwich, eh? I tried to take a panaromic photo but I’m the worst photographer to ever attempt the craft, so it didn’t work. The ride along Route 4 was gorgeous and I highly recommend it.


Tim Horton's in Saint Peter's, NS

We stopped in Saint Peter’s as there was a drugstore and I definitely wanted to get some more codeine. I stopped in the drugstore and they only had 30 pill bottles. Oh well, it’s better than none. It must have been a sight for the pharmacist. This sweaty chick in hi-viz storming into a small town pharmacy and blurting out, “Do you have codeine?” like an addict.

When I came out, I noticed there was a Tim Hortons. We never did get to a Tim’s but this was my chance to at least get a pic with the bikes and a Tim’s sign. I hang my head in shame because I had no idea who Tim Horton was until I got back home. Something about a sport that involves sticks and hard plastic and ice.

Still with no destination in mind, we crossed back over the bridge and onto the main island of Nova Scotia. I apologize because I don’t know what or if the islands have different names. We found ourselves in Antigonish at yet another tourist office. Let me tell you, the people in the tourist offices are amazing. They actually know the local area, listen to your needs, and give good advice. What the hell is that?

It took us a while to find the office as it was in a mall area and the signage was confusing. But we got to scare young children as we walked around, robot-like, in our riding outfits. It was about 5pm when we stumbled into the office and were greeted by a young guy wearing a plaid tie and a remarkably similar looking, yet older, woman wearing a matching plaid vest.

Malignant Cove, NS

“We need somewhere to camp. Are there any provincial parks nearby?” They steered us toward Caribou Munroes (is that not a great name?) which we could either get to fast or slow. We chose the slow directions and they did not disappoint. Again riding along the coast, through small villages and fir forests. It took several hours but we finally got ourselves to Pictou and then on to Caribou. As we’re riding through Pictou, we start to see bikes, a lot of bikes. We later discovered that the ferry to PEI is just up the road from Caribou and tomorrow is…wait for it…Canada Day, a national holiday! We were lucky to get a campsite.

We checked in at 8:40pm (I have the receipt). I made the mistake of agreeing to having our two bundles of firewood helpfully delivered. We rode into our spot and proceeded to set up camp. We had stopped in New Glasgow and picked up thick, juicy steaks and a bottle of red wine. I told the kindly ranger that I needed the firewood so I could start the fire so I could cook dinner. As we sat and watched the sun sink into the trees, my mood became a little bit foul.

“Ugh, I know they’re trying to help us out, but I need my wood. I can’t cook until I have some decent coals.” Poor guy, he’s heard this a million times. Finally the ranger guy comes in a John Deere ATV thingey filled to the brim with firewood. He dumps it near the fire ring and then starts to chat. He’s telling us about Pictou and his family and how everyone works in the summer and goes on the dole in the winter and are we going to PEI and where are we headed? He was a really nice guy, but I needed to get the fire started. I was getting very hungry. He worked at a security company in the winter, and we weren’t sure if he was a guard or oversaw the employees or what. But his family was one of the original families in Pictou which is pretty cool. Something about a restoration ship, but my hungry belly and hungry brain couldn’t concentrate on the details. Any other time…

We thanked him and headed back to the ranger station. I finally got around to starting my fire. It was late, at least 9:30pm and I had a boatload of wood to burn through. And a big bottle of wine. And steak. Mmmmmm.

Site 88 in Caribou Munroes Provincial Park, NS
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:16 PM   #62
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This was a good fire. My old Belstaff jacket was still wet inside (yay flannel lining) from some rain we got on one of the last few days. I'll never forget putting the jacket over my legs in front of the fire and watched the wet steam off from the heat of the raging inferno created by lilolita. Most everything I had ended up dry after that night.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:46 PM   #63
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Great RR, nice fire.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:29 AM   #64
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Only on page 2,, but I had to jump to the end to tell you I learned what a Beltie is I saw two here in Newport on Sat,,near Ft Adams, I had no idea what it was.. I mean I knew it was a cow.. but had never heard of a Beltie.. So within in 4 days I see my first Beltie, and chance upon an explanation on what it is.. odd. You need to come down and check them out.. I will buy you guys some fish and chips.
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Old 03-16-2011, 06:10 PM   #65
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Canada Day Fourteen: Caribou, NS to East Musquash Lake, Maine (354 miles)


Camping at Caribou Munroes, Nova Scotia

This morning we awoke to the sad reality that we were leaving Nova Scotia, but nevermind, it’s Canada Day! July 1st, a national holiday. Convenient how the Canadians have their “celebrate how great we are” day so close to the US version of the holiday. Coincidence? Hmmm.

We had had a big fight the night before; you know, one of those, ‘why am I so angry but I can’t stop’ kind of arguments. But today was a new day and the weather was fine.

We cooked up some breakfast, packed up our site, and headed out toward New Brunswick. Instead of getting on the big highway, I cooked up a scheme to take backroads to get from NS to NB. What I really wanted to do was stop at the Lavender Farm. I know, how girly! Who doesn’t love lavender and I wanted to pick up a gift for the person taking care of my cats. I had seen a sign for the lavender farm that said to look for a windmill.


Mr Happy and the lavender

We hugged the coastline on Route 6 and shortly after we left the campground, we came upon the farm. Most of it was not yet open as it was so early in the season, but we could still wander the rows and pretend we were in Provence. I picked up some bars of soap. Happy.


Look at the those New Brunswick clouds!

At some point we found ourselves in New Brunswick. Neither of us knows how or when we crossed over, but the telltale sign, a red octagon emblazoned with Arręt, let us know we missed our opportunity to say goodbye to New Scotland.


Arręt!

At some point it occurs to us that we’re not making very good time and we’re going to have to suck it up and get on the Trans-Canada 2. Nearing Moncton (!) we stop for gas. I figure, hey, I’ll use the bathroom while we’re stopped. Well, damn, my friend has paid an early visit. (Sorry guys!) I walk around the little shop to grab some tampons and lo and behold, nothing. I can see where they’re supposed to be on the shelf, but the whole section is empty.

I walk out of the shop and tell the boyfriend that we’re going to have to head straight into Moncton (come on, sing it) so I can stop at the store. “Sure, we can go back to the area we stopped at on the way out as there are a ton of places.”

Aha, but today is Canada Day! And unlike us industrious Americans who never rest, even on a national holiday, nothing is freaking open. We pulled up to the Sobey’s. Closed. The Wal-Mart. Closed. Another grocery store. Closed. Aaaaaargh! On the one hand it’s great that everything is closed. On the other, it’s sucks pretty majorly bigtime.

We find ourselves back in the same little weird strip mall section that we rode through on the way out. “There…a drugstore. Stop!” I’m getting a bit frantic now as we’ve been riding around for 45 minutes. I’m hating my body. Happily the place was open so I run in. I grab what I need and get in line. There are two people in front of me and it takes about 20 minutes for them to check out as everyone seems to know everyone so there’s lots of chatting. “Come on, come on,” I’m murmuring. I pay and run back to the ladies’ room. Ok, I feel better. For now.

Walking out to the parking lot, the boyfriend is talking to a guy and a woman who are standing next to a pick-up truck with a trailer holding two quads. He was asking about riding our bikes on the snowmobile/ATV trails. Apparently we can because we can play the ignorant Americans. I’ll take it!
We say goodbye to Moncton and ride, ride, ride the Trans-Canada 2. Unfortunately, I’m having to stop every 30 minutes (damn buzzy Dizz) which is really slowing our progress. Oh, but to where you ask? Well, nowhere in particular. We had no destination. Because tonight was the night we were going to splurge on a hotel.

We’re fighting wind, wikkid, gusty, man-eating wind. And tractor trailers. And rain. And more wind, grabbing my bike and flinging me like a ragdoll across the roadway. And the rain. Not pleasant, summer rain. Stinging rain that you can see up ahead so it has the extra pleasure of taunting you…you’re riding into me, haha! At least we got a rainbow out of it. But no picture because we were riding, riding, riding.

Around 7.30pm we’re very near to Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick. “Let’s stop for dinner. A treat.” But which exit? Well, Fredericton has to be a big city; it’s the capital. I don’t know why I thought there’d be a big sign screaming “this is the exit for the bustling downtown”. There wasn’t. I don’t even know where we got off but we wound up at some place that had a really good burger and a fantastic view of the river and a criss-cross bridge. It was also a hotel.

The waitress said that when it gets dark, there will be fireworks to celebrate Canada Day. Now, what would you do? Book a room and hang out in the warm and dry restaurant, sitting at a plate glass window overlooking the river and a cool bridge as the sun was setting, eating cow meat slathered in cheese and downing a refreshing beer, or suit up, go back out into the cold and rain, and continue riding to an as-yet-to-be-determined location.

Guess which option we took. Stupid, stupid, stupid.


The Gun Dealer, McAdam, New Brunswick

We wound up on Route 3 and then Route 4, heading toward the border. We grabbed some gas at the best gas station of the entire trip; the Gun Dealer. There were no people; or at least I thought there weren’t any. We pull up and the boyfriend uses his card to pay. I said something about that fact that I didn’t think you could have guns in Canada, I mean, really, why would you need a gun? There’s nothing here to drive you bonkers. Well, apparently there were people inside the shop and they heard me over the little intercom thing. They all came to door, pulling aside the metal gate thing, to peek out at the idiot who doesn’t realize that Canadians just may want to hunt. You can just make out one of the folks in a red shirt in the background. I’m an idiot.

Shortly after filling up, we head down some unsigned road into the darkness. We decided to give up on crossing at St. Croix because it was getting really late and we didn’t think the border would still be open. We were heading toward St. Stephen.


The road to nowhere

The boyfriend was way ahead of me and as I’m looking around, I’m thinking, man we are in the middle of nowhere. I would have easily pulled over and camped right here but not when I’m on the rag. And trust me, this was not planned. So I radio ahead and say, “Hey, turn around. We’re closer to St. Croix so let’s just try it.”

We passed through the town of McAdam that has some really cool restored train station that I will have return to see one day. We pull up to the border and yah!, it’s open. Not only is it open; it’s dead. It’s a 24-hour crossing. I was to learn why a bit later in the evening.
Two guys come out and it literally takes 30 seconds to be processed. We chat a bit, find out we gain an hour (as if that matters as it’s pitch black out). We ask about hotels and they say there’s one about 60 miles in Lincoln, Maine. Oh, and watch out for moose.

So there you have it. It’s 8.40pm (but really 9.40pm in our heads), it’s completely dark, there’s nothing on the road, I’m on the rag, and there’s moose. Bring it.

We pass a little gas station and convenience store at which we should have stopped but didn’t. We get behing a big logging truck and head toward Lincoln on Route 6. We’re riding in the very center of the road and going about 25 mph. Oh, did I mention it was raining? We saw a campground on the map and thought we’d try to make that.

Ride, ride, ride. Slow, slow, slow. Logging truck passes us the opposite direction. Ride, ride, ride.


Brake for Moose

And then, well, I’ll let the boyfriend tell it. I’m riding behind him quite a distance so I can have some braking distance. Then I see it, a youngish moose darts up onto the roadway from the drainage area on the left. He runs straight for the tiny BMW in front of me. Somehow the boyfriend goes around the moose and pulls the bike to a stop in the opposite lane. I stop and just watch the moose do this crazy splay across the road to the other side. It was the craziest gallop sprint thing I’ve ever seen. Moose are really not very graceful.

Both bikes are upright, no oncoming traffic, we’re both ok. Now what? Well, I turned on the intercom and said, “That’s it. We’re pulling over at the next decent-looking opportunity.”

And then, up ahead a few short hundreds of feet, I see a rest area sign. Are you kidding me? Oh, Maine, I love you! We pull into the rest area at East Musquash Lake on Route 6. And there’s a privy! Yah, I love you even more, my darling Maine. I can squat!

The boyfriend is worried that we’ll “get in trouble” for camping here. I told him this is Maine; no one will bother us. And if they do, I’ll relate the moose story and they’ll leave us alone. Of course no one bothered us. Mainers have a confrontation? Really?

We find a secluded spot right along the lake to set up the tent. I position my bike in a way to be able to shine the light so we can set the tent up with some light. And then it happens. That’s right, the bike goes tumbling. My only drop of the whole trip. And true to form, it was from a standstill when trying to park. I’m so tired I can barely get the bike up.

Crawling into the tent about 10.30pm, I thought I would have the soundest sleep of my life. Oh but no. Good ol’ Route 6 is a logging road. That’s why the border is open 24 hours. Every 20 minutes…logging truck. Logging truck, logging truck. I got no sleep. But I did get to watch the sun rise over the lake the next morning.


The best camping spot of the entire trip, and it was free...thanks Maine

Oh, and just a note. That’s 354 miles on a DRZ400, in the rain, in the wind, in the cold, in the dark, on the rag.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:36 AM   #66
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I hope everyone enjoys my MS Paint impression of the moose incident (sorry, no pics). At the border crossing in St. Croix/Vanceboro the border officials asked if we had anything to declare, so I replied "Just a few candy bars" (Bounty and Coffee Crisps, of course). After a bit of chatting about the lack of any real place for us to stay nearby they warned us to look out for moose and that there had been a rash of recent encounters.

Thanks guys, now I'm frantically looking out for moose, in the dark, in the wet and fog, and we're both beat after a long day on these thumpers. To add to the creepiness, my high beam was so far off kilter that when I turned it on I ended up lighting the tops of the trees as we rode by - so low-beam it was. Yes, I was going under the speed limit because visibility was crap and because of the moose warning I was tending towards the middle of the road for maximum escape options. After almost 30 miles of this and seeing nowhere to stop for the night I see a wall of shaggy snuffleupagus fur running along my left and changing course directly into my path. Muscle memory slams into action as I expertly apply the rear and front brakes in an emergency stop (skidding the rear a bit) and avoiding Bullwinkle which was a relief to all three of us. I didn't even see where he ran off to - I just heard his clop-clopping hooves go off somewhere.

I had to stop, collect my thoughts and my arm was killing me again. Holding the bike up in the stop forced me to put lots of pressure on it (remember it's still fractured at the scapula) and I just let it dangle for a few minutes while I freaked out. After a few minutes I calmed down and we decided to stop as soon as we could - and the road provided exactly what we needed.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:25 PM   #67
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Malignant Cove, NS
I know that sign! I grew up just on the other side of Malignant Cove. Spent many a day at the beach just opposite this driveway. One time years ago, he grew tired of the idiots having beach parties and smashing bottles, he took his excavator and dug up the road to the parking area. It was his road, so all's fair.

As for the name, in the 1800s there was a warship named the Malignant wrecked off the shore. An old guy spent years prospecting for coins and the likes. he died back in the 80s and I can't recall if he found anything.

There's also tales of a burning ghost ship that is sometimes seen late at night along the coast. I heard several people say they saw it. There's probably a good explanation for it...
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:45 PM   #68
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.... and then they were abducted by aliens....
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:56 PM   #69
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At the Miss Wiscasset Diner in Wiscasset, Maine



We got up this morning and cooked up our first breakfast. Farina for me and apples and cinnamon oatmeal for him. I swore off oatmeal having had to eat the yucky plain kind as a kid every Thursday. Give me cream o’ wheat and I’m a happy girl. As we packed up our stuff, I called my Dad in Bath to see if he might want to meet for breakfast at the Miss Brunswick Diner. No answer. Oh well, at least I tried. This was the Saturday before Father’s Day and I haven’t spoken to my Dad in donkey’s yonks. I wonder if he will even retrieve the message?


We got back on Route 1 and were headed toward the border crossing in Calais, Maine. As we’re riding along, I remember that there is a Belted Galloway farm nearby, but I’m not sure where. We stop at the information booth Damariscotta. Let’s just say that the young man behind the table had no freaking clue what I was talking about. He looks up and says, “Do you mean Cowshit Corner?” Classic information center customer service. You go Damariscotta! You will forever be in my heart as a place that shows it all. I laughed and said, “Um, no, but that’s ok. I need to use the bathroom anyway.”


Throw a leg over and head back through town toward Route 1 again. Oooh, we’re going to go by Moody’s Diner. All my childhood memories are being ignited on this route. There were a lot of roadworks going on and we were stuck in some stop-and-go traffic outside of Waldoboro.We’ve been seeing lots of bikes, but not anything particularly cool. Until now. What should come inching up in the other direction but an orange stallion with a guy in a ‘stich. A gorgeous KTM 990 Adventure. The rider actually stood up a bit and gave me a salute, hand to helmet and out. Freaking awesome. I never see any adventure-type bikes in Rhode Island (seriously, why would I?).


Someone in the Maine thread gave me a brilliant route, taking us the slow way. It was on peaceful backroads with lots of farmland along the gorgeous St. George river. Scenery comes at a cost, though, and it soon became clear to me as the sun was sinking lower in the sky that we were not going to make the border today.
Maine Street, Belfast ME



In Belfast we stopped at the Hannafords because someone who shall remain nameless forgot the USB cable for the camera; the very cable that not only connects said camera to my netbook so I can pull off pics and blog as we ride, but also charges the battery. No cable + no charging capabilities = dead camera. We find a multi-port hub that should do the trick (and I get some tissues as my allergies are bothering me something fierce) and go to the checkout. The guy in front of us turns and asks what we’re riding, where are we going, etc., etc. He recommends a diner to us in Belfast and gives us wonderful directions. I’m stahving for lunch.


We stopped at Dudley’s Diner, now called the Awesome Diner (seriously?!) and I had a delicious BLT. Erik brought the map in as we’re realizing we’re going to have to plan on where to stop before Calais. Hmmm, how about Cobscook. We stayed there when I was little and all I remember are dead squid. Nasty, foul-smelling dead squid every where.


We head the bikes in that direction and ride along Route 1 through the blueberry flats. The berry bushes in Maine grow very low to the ground and in super-sandy soil. They’re almost like dry cranberry bogs. We passed Blueberry World (closed) as the sun was sinking lower and lower. We finally turned into the Cobscook Bay State Park and arranged our campground. I really wanted to take Erik to see the Quoddy Head lighthouse as it’s the eastern most point in the continental US. We pulled the bags off our bikes and immediately headed back out toward Lubec, Maine.
West Quoddy Head lighthouse, Lubec Maine



The road out to the lighthouse was sweet. No traffic and calm as could be. It was getting dark and the air was growing colder. I was glad I had added my fleece under my jacket. Another couple visiting at the same time offered to snap our pic (so few pics of us together) and then we wandered the grounds some. “That’s Canada over there!” I shouted and pointed. But I knew we still had to find something to eat and Elsa (the DRZ) needed gas so we headed into the center of Lubec.


We stopped at the only shop we found as the “grocery store” was already closed (it’s before 8:00pm but it’s pretty rural here). I grabbed some ground meat and cheese as that was about all they had (no beer or wine tonight) and thought I’d make some tacos. As we’re riding back to the park, I keep thinking watch for deer, watch for deer, they like to come out at dusk. Fortunately no deer … this time.
Cobscook Bay State Park, Maine



Back at the park I picked up some firewood and strapped it to the back of the DRZ. My bike has carried a lot of firewood by the end of this trip. Erik set up the tent as I started a fire to get dinner going. We were really tired (another hot day with no sense of direction) and the tacos could not have been more delicious.


As the darkness falls, I see eyes staring at me from the marsh. I’m convinced it’s a frog; Erik thinks it’s some kind of water weasel thing. Whatever it was, it was freaking me out. As the fire petered out, we crawled into the tent for a well-deserved rest.


Tomorrow: Canada!
Hi there,

I am going through and reading all the threads that have anything to do with Maine...and to my shock...in that photo at the Miss Wiscasset Diner...you somehow managed to get my brother in that shot! LOL! He is going by on his old bike in the back ground! HAHAH! Its a small world!

Loved reading all about your trip! The photos are gorgeous! Oh and there were belted cows in Bristol near the swimming hole...on the way to Pemaquid. I cant beleive the kid at the information booth in Damariscotta asked you if you were looking for cow shit corner...lol.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:34 PM   #70
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Hi there,

I am going through and reading all the threads that have anything to do with Maine...and to my shock...in that photo at the Miss Wiscasset Diner...you somehow managed to get my brother in that shot! LOL! He is going by on his old bike in the back ground! HAHAH! Its a small world!

Loved reading all about your trip! The photos are gorgeous! Oh and there were belted cows in Bristol near the swimming hole...on the way to Pemaquid. I cant beleive the kid at the information booth in Damariscotta asked you if you were looking for cow shit corner...lol.
That's fantastic! It IS a small world. The kid in Damariscotta was so cute; he had no idea what I was on about as a freak of a girl stomping around in hi-viz and asking about cows. And thanks for the compliment on the photos. I really am the worst photographer on ADV. One day I'll take the time to play with the camera properly.

Now, I will finish this report. Spoiler: we did make it back to Providence, regrettably. We LOVED everything about New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
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Old 06-11-2011, 07:59 AM   #71
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Wink Pretty cool trip..

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Originally Posted by lilolita View Post
We didn't take Route 1 for a lot of it. Some of the route was from my memory. I will say we never got to the Beltie farm. I want to say we did some Route 3, and then I don't know. We were certainly not on any major kind of roads until I realized it was getting late and we got back on 1 to get us to Cobscook. I sorta know the area from when I was a kid. I had written the route out on a piece of paper from recommendations from another inmate. This is when I get to lead and not deal with that stupid GPS :)
I thought it was going to be on 10" wheels thats why I went to read it. How do you thik the trip would have been two up on the Dakaar?

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Old 06-11-2011, 08:37 AM   #72
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I thought it was going to be on 10" wheels thats why I went to read it. How do you thik the trip would have been two up on the Dakaar?

Pete
Sorry to disappoint on the ten inchers...I've done plenty of scooter camping, too. PM me if you have any questions.

I have no insight about two-up on the Dakar. The only time either of us rides pillion is when we're picking up yet another bike

Man, I have got to finish this report!
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Old 06-11-2011, 10:27 PM   #73
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Man, I have got to finish this report!
Are ya done yet? I mean really
Whatta ya waitin for, an invatation?? Sheesh
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My ride report from 8 months and 18000 miles on an old C-10
(soon to be updated)
Wish I was a headlight.

The Blog from our adventure ride
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Old 06-19-2011, 02:44 PM   #74
bumper1871
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Your RR

Well written and very good pictures.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:37 AM   #75
geoduch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesebot View Post
This was a good fire. My old Belstaff jacket was still wet inside (yay flannel lining) from some rain we got on one of the last few days. I'll never forget putting the jacket over my legs in front of the fire and watched the wet steam off from the heat of the raging inferno created by lilolita. Most everything I had ended up dry after that night.
Fire is Goood. George Like Fire ;-)
Great ride report. thank you both for sharing
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