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Old 11-29-2013, 12:24 PM   #1
Grinnin OP
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Yet another ride to see the sun not set

2013 May 29, Wednesday

The idea: ride from my home in eastern Maine to Inuvik, Northwest Territories, to watch the sun go around instead of setting.

The trip almost ended on the first day.

But that what wasn't until late in the day. I'm an early riser and today was no exception -- up at 02:30 and gone at 03:15.


Light fog from home though Bucksport and on through the town of Swan Lake and out Maine Rt. 139. I can't tell you all the road numbers or names. There's a fairly pleasant string of tertiary roads going east and west through Maine. The fog lifted just before sunrise and the weather was dry for nearly an hour.

Then rain. I put the camera away so there aren't many pics today. I stopped for breakfast in Gorham, NH.

I rode on some entertaining mountain roads in VT then the northernmost roads in NY. And rain. At breakfast I had decided to cross into Ontario at Ogdensburg, NY, but at lunch I checked another map that showed no bridge there. I turned north at the next "customs" sign and crossed at a tiny customs station. The cute customs woman and I talked about motorcycles for over a half-hour while two cars passed, one going north and one going south.

By evening the weather had dried and I was riding southwest along the north shore of the St. Lawrence. When I stopped at a bank to exchange money, the bank was closed. Next bank too. Banks close at 4:00 in Ontario. I stopped at a couple of campgrounds that were also closed. What? The May Long Weekend was a few days ago and campgrounds are usually open. I stopped to pick up some groceries and found . . . no wallet . . .
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Grinnin screwed with this post 11-29-2013 at 01:16 PM
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Old 11-29-2013, 02:13 PM   #2
De Trommelslager
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Out of the country and a lost wallet; that's not sounding like a good start!

Eager to hear more!
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Old 11-29-2013, 02:19 PM   #3
ZEmann
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Lost Wallet


My biggest fear

Good luck !!
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Old 11-29-2013, 04:33 PM   #4
Grinnin OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by De Trommelslager View Post
Out of the country and a lost wallet; that's not sounding like a good start!
You're right -- NOT a good start

I bought the bike in June '11 to go in June '12. Family emergency made me cancel the trip in '12, so here I was in '13. Did I have enough cards, cash, and document copies to continue? Without the original of the driver's license it looks like I'd have to go home and try again in '14. (Getting a new license would make me miss the summer solstice, the purpose of the trip.)

But back to May 29:

Did I handle my wallet when checking the doors of the banks that were closed? I couldn't remember. Without the wallet I still had cash and one credit card, but the wallet had my driver's license, two other credit cards, and my ATM card. I had to go back to the last place I remember having the wallet -- a gas station over an hour earlier. This time I got on 401 (a freeway) and may have exceeded the speed limit since I may have been a bit panicked. May have been. I went in and asked if anyone had turned in a wallet. The cashier said no. He wouldn't look at me which was a bit unsettling.

I rode out of the station while watching the pavement and there it was -- right in the middle of the drive. Now I felt bad for suspecting the cashier who was obviously shy instead of shady. I looped back toward the building but the cashier was outside and around the side of the building watching me. I gave him a big thumbs up.

It's late. I've already ridden a long day -- with backtracking it's something over 700 miles before I camp. I am relieved, but also drained. I finally got some groceries and found "Happy Green Acres" campground. The mosquitoes, at least, were happy. I cooked some noodles and soup while wearing a headnet.
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Old 11-29-2013, 06:58 PM   #5
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Excellent !! I'm looking forward to more of this report.
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:07 PM   #6
dovetailredux
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You sound like my brother, always forgetting shit. I'm looking forward to reading more about your saga.
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:47 PM   #7
De Trommelslager
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinnin View Post
I rode out of the station while watching the pavement and there it was -- right in the middle of the drive.
Better get yourself a lottery ticket. With that kind of luck...

Glad you found it!!!
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dovetailredux View Post
You sound like my brother, always forgetting shit. I'm looking forward to reading more about your saga.
I don't spend a lot of time guarding against things like losing a wallet because I'm too, um, analysis-retentive to let my stuff go astray. (Isn't that the correct long form of that phrase? Analysis-retentive?) In any group camp I'm about the first one packed because all my stuff is already where it's supposed to be. I still have the house key I was given in 1961 when I started 1st grade.

2013 May 30, Thursday

Slept great with the Crazy-Creek chair as the only sleeping pad. I got up late today and spent a long time re-organizing my luggage. I didn't get on the road until 06:58.


The GPS put me on some really great roads including twisty black-top with a wooden bridge. The GPS routed me N then W then N then W again, exactly the roads and directions that I was hoping for so I started to trust the GPS.




Trusting the GPS was my mistake. It took me far enough north to make 17 -- the Trans-Canada Highway -- the best option. The Trans-Canada has nice scenery, it's just too straight and efficient.

My paper map showed Mattawa River Provincial Park near North Bay. The park wasn't named on the GPS, but the GPS showed the dirt roads in small loops that mean "campground" to me. I followed the GPS again out the north side of North Bay and onto a gravel road. So far so good. But there were no signs for a park. The road was getting narrower as driveways split off and the chance of finding a campground was looking less likely.
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:04 AM   #9
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Enjoying it so far.

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Old 11-30-2013, 10:06 AM   #10
Frank06
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So which was more stressful: the wallet or the glasses? (inside joke folks...)

I look forward to seeing photos in the correct order!
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:38 AM   #11
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Frank06 helpfully points out that I dropped my eyeglasses once on a trip two years ago. Thanks, Frank. (I found the glasses thanks to my GPS.) I claim that the blue lights flashing behind me (the lights that caused me to stop) were a distraction.

But back to May 30:

Eventually I arrived at an ATV park along the lake. For $30 I had a grass site, clean and spacious shower, and another big dose of mosquitoes. I prepared noodles and a big salad and took them to the windy beach to eat without being eaten. Warmer weather let me put the fleece pants, an insulated jacket, and the handlebar muffs in a compression sack and make it all smaller. Next trip will certainly include more compression sacks -- sacks to reduce the diameter instead of the one I have that makes a soccer-ball.

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Old 11-30-2013, 10:50 AM   #12
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2013 May 31, Friday

I was dreaming of bicycling in a city when it started raining in the dream -- and I woke to rain. During on-and-off rain I brewed coffee and cooked oatmeal with walnuts then took it to the beach again to eat with fewer mosquitoes.


The rain had nearly stopped when I left camp.


I was comfortable all day without changing layers at all. The Trans-Canada Highway was still too efficient. I stopped for a mid-day omelet at a restaurant that couldn't serve coffee. A big fire used so much water that the water treatment plant couldn't make sure it was really safe. This town of 600 was under a "boil advisory". I crossed into Michigan's upper peninsula at Sault St. Marie. The roads here are also flat and straight but the feeling is entirely different because of the smaller scale. At 16:00 I got some greens and yogurt and went to Muskullenge Lake State Park. The wind was out of the south and I got a spot where the wind blew strongly off the lake.


Then a ranger told me that the stumps around my site are from trees blown down last year. The wind increased in strength in the evening and increased some more after dark.
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Old 11-30-2013, 12:48 PM   #13
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Very good so far lets go !!!
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:02 AM   #14
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2013 June 1, Saturday

By morning the wind was dead calm. A quick breakfast and coffee and off to 12 miles of sandy road along the south shore of Lake Superior.




Veggie paninni for lunch. I saw a restaurant name that looked -- reading it on GPS screen -- like a humorous name -- Panetteria. Reading it above the door it looked French. French and white tablecloths but they let me in wearing a Darien. (Why is it that people in Roadcrafters look freshly pressed while people in Dariens look like they're about to ask for spare change?) Misty rain and showers all afternoon although they never really caused any inconvenience. Rain 3 days out of 4 so far.

With the wind now out of the north I rode to Father Hennepin State Park on the south shore of Mille Lacs.


The wind was even stronger here and the sandy tent space wasn't keeping the pegs in. I found some downed branches to break for 3 pegs per corner, crossed. Then I put big rocks on the webbing to keep it all down. All that faces the lake so doesn't show up in the pic.


Potato and cheese soup for supper, then a tire pressure check. The rear hasn't any. Pressure. None. It's about dark; I'll fix it in the morning . . . .
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Old 12-01-2013, 07:22 AM   #15
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Nice pics. I wonder how much busier those places would be in another months time?
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