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Old 07-24-2012, 01:56 PM   #1
hewhohesit8s OP
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Location: Kitchener - the one in Canada
Oddometer: 293
Annual August Getaway - Another 30 day Loop

It's that time of the year again. In August, for the past few years, I head out with a high school friend for a rejuvenating ride that takes us to different roads across the continent. I've taken different bikes on these rides. I took a HD Heritage Classic four years ago, a HD Electraglide three years ago, the KTM 990 the past two years, and this year, I'm taking the Ducati Multistrada on our therapeutic travels.

Since our first outing, we have perfected the planning process. Initially, I would start planning in Jan and try to lay out a detailed itinerary. Nowadays, we pick a start date, a direction, and a mid-trip meeting place where my wife joins us. I maintain I can’t stand to be away from her for a whole month – she suspects I can’t do my own laundry and 2 weeks is about when I run out of clean-ish underwear. This year, we are looking to make it out to California, possibly via New Orleans, then head up to Vancouver, before heading back East. We take off from Ottawa on August 1 and need to be back before Labour Day. The mid-trip reunion is slated for California wine country - St. Helena. Richard – my riding companion has proposed we live blog the trip again this year as a way of keeping friends and family in the loop. I agree, and this is where we will be recording the trials and tribulations of our travels.

The actual route will be dictated as much by weather as the desire to see any particular road or landmark. If we find that this year, the southern route is too hot to be enjoyable, we will divert to a more northern circuit. We will probably do more stopping to look for, find, and smell any roses that might be along our path this time. Our previous trips have had a “just do it” quality to them where getting to each day’s destination took on a false sense of urgency.

Our strategy is to stay off interstates as much as possible, look for fun roads, with low traffic densities, and high twisty densities. We should not have to travel down any dirt roads, but we might just for the hell of it. We will camp when it’s nice and we may resorts to resorts if we have to. We have packed lighter each year than the previous year and the goal for this year is to not have ANY item packed that is not used at least once in the trip (well except for safety equipment and tools – we hope to not have to use those at all).

We expect this to be a mild “adventure”, so this will be more a log of the sights, people, and places we see than the journal of conquest that some of the other RRs on this site provide. Departure is August 1 so come along with us and let’s see what trouble we can avoid this time around.
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"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list."
'14 KTM 1190R
'12 Ducati Multistrada 1200ST
'10 KTM 530EXC
'04 HD 1200C

hewhohesit8s screwed with this post 07-27-2012 at 07:23 AM Reason: I cont spel
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:01 PM   #2
Rider23
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Frank it sounds like you have this type of trip down to a science, I can't even Imagen going for a 30 day ride. It always seems that no matter what I do it's always compacted and rushed. I envy the fact you can just take off and do this yearly, all I can think about is how nice it must be to just ride and take routes that meet your needs not your schedule. I've been so busy this year that other than a few rides with my wife and our Moab trip all I do is ride too and from work...

I look forward to following your report and I hope you find it as rewarding as Top Of The World

Ride safe
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:52 PM   #3
hewhohesit8s OP
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Hey Ted, I'm hoping this trip has less of that TOW excitement. This one is more a marathon than the Moab Sprint. But I find myself exceptionally lucky to be able to take this trip every year. Taking off for a month is a luxury in that time is our most precious commodity. No matter how bad the weather was or how much it rained, I remind myself every day on the road how fortunate I am to be doing this.
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'14 KTM 1190R
'12 Ducati Multistrada 1200ST
'10 KTM 530EXC
'04 HD 1200C
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:41 AM   #4
rm_hullo
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Should be a fun ride with the new Ducati. Richard has his bike all set now with new crash bars and saddlebags. Ready to move out of his home and live on the road .... think I'll write a song !!!

Enjoy.
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:36 PM   #5
hewhohesit8s OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rm_hullo View Post
.... think I'll write a song !!!
Pretty sure any song you'd write has already been written by Bob Marley

Thanks. I'll try to keep him safe
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'14 KTM 1190R
'12 Ducati Multistrada 1200ST
'10 KTM 530EXC
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Old 07-31-2012, 12:26 PM   #6
hewhohesit8s OP
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Scrubbed takeoff

Today was to be D-day. Da-day I leave, Departure –day, yet here I sit all packed up, and rairin’ to go. Yesterday, I got a text from Richard, “Bike still in the shop, now won’t be ready till Wednesday”. Bummer – that means we won’t leave Ottawa till Thursday. On the plus side, this provides the USPS with an extra day to deliver the custom riding pants Richard ordered two months ago. I would be surprised, impressed, and thrilled for Richard if the USPS did deliver anything from CA, through Canada Custom, onto Canada Post and into Richard’s hands in one week. Not holding my breath.



Here is the bike packed, fueled up, and ready for a month on the road.



The left( as you sit on the bike) pannier contains the tent – a Hubba Hubba with vestibule, sleeping bag, ground sheets (2), sleeping bag liner. The right pannier contains heated vest, leather lined gauntlets, poles for the tent and vestibule, cooking gear, sandals. The blue dry bag contains too much cloths – my goal is to do no laundry till Napa, a laptop and power brick, hygiene kit, freeze dried food – about 5 meals. The meals are just insurance – like the tools. I hope we don’t have to use that crap. Next to the dry sack is the Thermarest. It takes lots of room, but is worth it. The tank bag holds the rain gloves, hat, camera, iPod, wet wipes, different chargers, Mini max speakers, glasses, heated vest remote, and other random stuff.


More interesting is what I’m not taking – mesh pants and mesh jacket, running shoes – this is an exercise free trip for me, and Pico chair. There is just not enough room to carry that much extra stuff.
So, after a failure to launch today, we try again tomorrow.
__________________
"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list."
'14 KTM 1190R
'12 Ducati Multistrada 1200ST
'10 KTM 530EXC
'04 HD 1200C
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Old 07-31-2012, 12:43 PM   #7
TurkeyChicken
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Sounds great! I just got back from a 17 day trip that took me from Albuquerque up to Yellowstone, across the Cascades and up to Vancouver and down the coast to Redwoods, across the desert to Moab and finally back home. We hit rain 14 out of the 15 days we were riding (I rode from Albuquerque to Denver at the beginning to meet my friend to start the ride. I don't count the ride up or back as part of the trip really since I make that ride pretty frequently). Some days it was rain the entire day, others it was a brief 30 minute shower. I'm not sure what the weather patterns will be like in a few weeks when you make your way there, but we really weren't expecting rain that frequently... even in Moab!

Anyway, sounds like you've got a great journey ahead of you. If you're bored and looking to see some of the sights you'll probably see along your journey, check out our ride report thread: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=807705

I was planning on live-blogging it like you are but the lack of cell signal and wifi throughout most the trip made that difficult so I'm going back now and uploading all the daily reports I had typed out along the way.
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:10 PM   #8
hewhohesit8s OP
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Hey TC, I saw your RR. We will not be attempting any of the trails you did on the 990. This year we'll be sticking to paved and maybe, in NM and NV, some dirt roads. In the past three years we have had no more than 3 days of rain in over 80+ days of riding, so we may be due for some rain, but I think we're ready. Of course only time will tell.
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"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list."
'14 KTM 1190R
'12 Ducati Multistrada 1200ST
'10 KTM 530EXC
'04 HD 1200C
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:42 PM   #9
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Day 0 KW - Ottawa

Well, I’M off. I left the house this morning bright and early, or rather what will pass as early on this trip – 8:46, with 3692 km on the odo.



The weather was menacing, but the forecast was for no rain. I had previously decided that if it was raining, I’d slab it to Ottawa, but was imploring my private divinity to provide a sunny sky. The cloudy skys did nothing to resolve my existential dilemma, but I opted for the scenic route. I’ve done this ride a number of times but on a Wednesday morning, the roads appeared even less busy than usual and the only OPP (local constabulary) I saw were at stop lights going the opposite direction, one in Orilia, and the other in Renfrew. My preferred route takes me through Hockley Valley and I usually stop at the General store



for crappy food, in a great ambiance, but this morning, I was enjoying the road and didn’t want to interrupt the flow so I carried on to Alliston. From there onto Orillia was uninspiring; the vegetables in my road feast. After refuelling in Orillia the road to Bancroft is fast with big sweepers and some tight turns – well they were tight at the speed I took them this morning, punctuated by a number of small towns where I dropped back down to the legal limit.

There’s a new Timmies at the entrance to Bancroft, major bonus so I stopped for a bite. From there to Renfrew via Denbigh is a freshly-paved blast. Of course the price you pay for that fresh pavement is the occasional construction delay.



The roads were wet in places which my deductive powers concluded meant recent showers, but I remained un-rained-upon.

The ride from Renfrew into Ottawa was on the slab. I managed to avoid a cell-phone-wielding driver and a concentrating smoker – concentrating on her cigarette and made it into Ottawa unscathed.

I met Richard after dinner and he informed me that USPS was indicating the infamous pants from Motoport had cleared customs and he REALLLLY wanted to see if they would be delivered in the morning before we head out. So, as I write this, Richard is mumbling various incantations trying to ensure delivery tomorrow. Stay tuned.
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"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list."
'14 KTM 1190R
'12 Ducati Multistrada 1200ST
'10 KTM 530EXC
'04 HD 1200C
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:20 AM   #10
shipwrek12001
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Have a great trip Frank... keep the shiney side up....
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:58 AM   #11
hewhohesit8s OP
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Days 1 &2

I got up on Thursday and Richard was sitting by the door waiting for a delivery. I convinced him we should go for a bite to eat. When we got back from breakfast, Richard got a call from the Canada Post guy looking for payment of the HST on a parcel from California. Well, It was like Christmas in August, Richard showed up with the much-anticipated package.


Apparently this called for a celebration, so Richard called up Bob, his brother who lives right on the Rideau river, and set up a celebratory dinner where many dead animals were consumed and many fermented or distilled beverages were imbibed.

This morning, we packed up the bikes

and hit the road at 9:30. We hit the border an hour later and waited only about 15 minutes to get across.


We followed the GPS till it tried to take us on a dirt road. At that point I backtracked to 56 and followed that to 30 and followed 30 all the way down to past the Pepacton reservoir and on to Hancock. 30 traverses the Adridondac Park North to South. Traffic was light and the road was twisty. We fell in behind 4 guys on sports bikes and followed them for over a spirited hundred kilometres. Then they headed east and we headed west.



As we were leaving the town of Middleburg, the posted limit was 35MPH, a driver coming from in other direction flashed his high beams, I slowed down, and sure enough around the next corner a state trooper was parked on the side. I lost him in my mirrors, and soon forgot about him. A few minutes later I was checking my mirrors and there was no Richard to be found. I pulled over, waited two minutes, and headed back the way we had come, worried Richard had missed a turn and was waiting for me in a ditch. Then I saw a state trooper and Richard engaged in deep conversation on the side of the road. I continued a few km, turned around and by the time I caught up with Richard, the trooper had left. The way Richard tells the story, the guy was pretty cool, being well aware that Richard was merely a victim of a travelling companion who had no respect for NY state speed limits. Richard told him our story and the trooper said, “Well, I won’t rain on your first day” and let him off with a warning. I’m not sure that Richard adequately learned his lesson, but we did stay within the posted limit for the next 5 km, and sure enough, about 5 km later, there was our trooper, parked behind a tree waiting to see if we would pass at speed. The rest of the day was uneventful.

We debated camping but the day had been hot peaking at 39, so AC was deemed mandatory. We tried to get a room at the historic Hancock Inn. The lady laughed. Not only are they sold out for this weekend, they are sold out for this weekend next year. Apparently there are about 40 camps in this part of the Catskills and this is parental visit weekend. She did call ahead to the Shamrock Hill Inn and reserved us a room. “it’s not as fancy as here” she tried to warn us. We didn’t listen. She wasn’t kidding.

And no internet. I guess you will be reading this, like Americans watch the Olympics – in time delay.
__________________
"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list."
'14 KTM 1190R
'12 Ducati Multistrada 1200ST
'10 KTM 530EXC
'04 HD 1200C
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:00 AM   #12
hewhohesit8s OP
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Day Three

Richard made us espresso prior to us leaving the Bates motel at 8:00 this morning. It was food for the soul, but the body needed more so I programmed the GPS for Front Royal and the much maligned GPS was thrilled that we followed its recommended path all the way to I80 where we stopped at McDonalds. They serve a breakfast contraption that is vaguely reminiscent of the eggFrankMuffin I make on weekends for breakfast. Plus they have free interweb.


From there we hopped on to I81. FARK. Construction traffic had us crawling for over 20 min in 32 degree heat. I tried lane splitting, but I could tell the locals were getting annoyed with me when they kept opening their doors in front of me. We were eventually released from that particular infernal level and made it to 11. My plan was to follow 522 all the way to Front Royal. We picked it up on 11 somewhere. We could have made it to FR in by 2:00 on the slab, but one of our goals this time around was to minimize slab. It was well worth it. While there were a few stretches in some of the bigger small town where we got bogged down in traffic, the ride was mostly what we had ordered – twisties, no traffic, and no Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs).


We stopped in McClure PA for more food and Richard marvelled at the salad offerings. All the salads were a meataterians delight.


We got to Front Royal at about 5:15 and headed to Starbucks to get a coffee and see if we could book a hotel. Apparently this is county fair weekend and people come from miles around to take the hotel rooms we were looking to book. So at 6:00 we hit the road in persuit of a camp site and strike bronze after about 15 km. The place also has internet that doesn’t work worth crap. In addition, the 110V outlets don’t work. I’m sure the 50 Amp connection would work if we had the appropriate adapter. Our neighbour strings an extension cord and we have power. But for $42 a night, what did we expect. We do get a site next to the river.


The neighbour from across the road comes and introduces himself. He is the campground preacher and wants to know if we will be attending his service tomorrow. He gives us a sneek preview, “It’s about 9/11 and what’s happening at the Olympics in London”. I don’t have my tinfoil hat with me, so I put on my helmet, hop on the bike and drive the 2km to the beer store. Richard listens intently as the preacher fills him in on the Zionist conspiracy that’s taking place at the 2012 games. (hint: IF you squint and rearrange the numbers and assume they’re letters, 2012 spells ZION- HA- bet you didn’t know that).

Well, looks like you will be reading this in delayed time again. BTW – Canada got a gold in Trampoline. I hear we have a shot at a medal in the Monkey Bar completion too.
__________________
"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list."
'14 KTM 1190R
'12 Ducati Multistrada 1200ST
'10 KTM 530EXC
'04 HD 1200C
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:01 PM   #13
Hubbieofblond2drsdwn
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Hey there Big Guy

Glad to see you are underway, hope the weather is going well. Had a few laughs with your blogs. We had the Street party last night and yes it was rained out. LOL We did manage to get to eat first. So you didn't miss much. I had to make the potatoe salad this year.

Sitting here now having a few brewskies reading the blog. Glad Richard got his pants, I would hate to here he had nothing to wear. Guess it would have been harder for him to talk the trooper out of a ticket with no 'F'n pants on :-)

Say hi to Richard and drive safe, and have a few for me.

Your buddy 2 doors down.
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:02 PM   #14
hewhohesit8s OP
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Day Four

By 5:15 this AM, I had given up on the idea of sleep. It was already 27 and the humidity must have been at 90%. So I got up, showered – careful not to touch anymore of the camp’s bathroom than I had to, and started tearing down camp. The good thing about the hot damp weather is that the dew point is so high that there was no moisture on the tent fly nor ground sheets. I made enough noise that Richard had to get up, have a shower, and make coffee. We were off by 7:30, breakfasted by 8:30 and on the Skyline Drive by 8:45.

The Skyline Drive is in the Shenandoah National Forest so there is a $10 fee per motorcycle, or you can buy the $80 pass good for 2 motorcycles in all the national parks. So we only need to hit 3 more parks to break even. The other advantage of the pass, Richard tells me, is that it absolves you from having to follow the posted speed limit. There was no traffic on the Skyline drive, other than us

and a bunch of hearty souls on their bicycles.

The road is freshly paved, and recently cleaned – the conditions are perfect.

We stop for pix at the same place we stopped a few years when we were last here, but the light is flat and the pix don’t convey the beauty of the valley below.



The light also makes me look like RoboCop


Richard and I were here a few years ago. He was on his VStrom I was on my Harley Electraglide. Needless to say, the ride today is somewhat more spirited than the one back then. There is no way I could have leaned the Harley half as much as I was leaning the Ducati into the corners. The ride had a zen like quality to it in that it commanded so much concentration that you had to be in the moment, focused, devoid of distraction – or you could slow down and smell the Grey Headed Cone Flower.

We left the Skyline Drive at about 12:30 and embarked on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The first 25 km of the Parkway were in really rough shape. It was a bit of a let down and I considered taking the slab the rest of the way to Roanoke. But then the conditions of the road improved and my spirits lifted. At about mile 30 (of 116) we could tell it had rained on the twistes and the clouds were blowing across the sky. You could say that we were on a windy wet winding road (if you were an alliteration afflicted adult). We made it to Roanoke by 2:30. We were drained. We gassed up the bikes and had a late lunch at local Mexican restaurant. As we left the Walmart where we had picked up some articles we had omitted from our packing (socks for Richard, tent pegs, and ear plugs for me), the skies open up. I had planed on finding a hotel in town but as the rain intensified, I followed the GPS to the nearest hotel, a Days inn. We got the Managers Special - $49, essentially the same as camping yesterday.
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'14 KTM 1190R
'12 Ducati Multistrada 1200ST
'10 KTM 530EXC
'04 HD 1200C
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:46 PM   #15
hewhohesit8s OP
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Day Five – Riding in the Rain

We checked the weather radar when we got up this morning and there it still was – a band of heavy rain running from hundreds of miles north east of us to hundreds of miles south west. We looked out the hotel door.

We were going to be driving in rain today. Richard donned the much anticipated rain liner for the storied pants, and I put the collar back on the Adventure jacket. I remove the collar in hot weather, but heat was not to be our problem today. We decided to follow that 18th centaury invocation and opted to head west.

We took the interstate to Virginia State 460. I didn’t have a particular rout planned, but once we got on 460, I stayed with it as far as Claypool Hill. What a beautiful road. Even in the rain, it was a pleasure. It’s a 4 lane divided highway that runs through hilly lush country. Richard suspects that behind the lush facade there is a coal mine and the attendant moonscape. The designated photographer invoked the no-pix-on-rainy-day clause of his contract so we have nothing but my word that this is a fun ride. We then followed 19/58 to Cumberland Gap

where the one restaurant in town

had two lunch choices. We both had the chicken salad and café Americano.

The rain had let up at this point so I ditched the rain gloves, opened up the jacket vents and we proceeded on more back roads. We were now clearly in the buckle of the Bible belt. There were more different types of Baptist churches along the road than restaurants. They feed the soul around here, but I guess the body get home cooking.

We eventually made our way to Crossville to find a hotel. I flashed my BestWestern Frequent Rider card at the front desk and drew a blank from the clerk.

“What’s the rate for Frequent Riders”, I said it so it was clear the F and the R were capitalized.

“The computer just shows the one rate, $98. What rate do you usually get at other properties?”. she asked in that accent made famous in the movie Deliverance.

“Depends on the location, usually 10-15% of the rack rate.” , I said like I knew what I was talking about.

“I can let you have it for $77 plus tax.”, she said. I took it.

Then Richard asked, “Any good places to eat within walking distance?”

“There’s a Shoney, a Cracker Barrel, a Subways, and a Waffle House”, she answered with a trace of neither sarcasm nor irony. But the riding today again was glorious.
__________________
"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list."
'14 KTM 1190R
'12 Ducati Multistrada 1200ST
'10 KTM 530EXC
'04 HD 1200C
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