The final map!
Here is the total mileage for the trip, more than I had planned for but I still have days to spare so it really doesn't matter.
Today's post theme is Cops and Capsizing..
We only needed 2 tanks of gas for today, but yet saw at least a 1/2 dozen police writing tickets, and two rather marvelous exhibition of highway safety devices in use.
While we had a very low traffic/tolls way point plotted, the wife diverted us in PA to see a horse van manufacturer. We talked shop with him for about 45 mins before hitting the road. On the way back to the freeway, we saw this massive dust plume wafting into the air. At first glance, it would have probably appeared to be a construction zone. But then, two big rigs stopped and drivers started running over to the gnarled up guard rail. I don't know what/who jumped the guard rail, but it appeared to have enough attention that we didn't stop.
Then on the Maryland beltway, traffic on both sides slowed down. Turns out someone lost a rather expensive, rootbeer colored, speed boat and trailer. It mashed through the guard rail, and skidded to a halt before crossing oncoming traffic.
Needless to say, glad to be home in one piece and no confrontations with the "po-po".
I will probably update yesterday's post with photos, and then one more post on things to do better/different and general reflections later.
First, I just wanted to give an ADV shout out to Dave who works at Wells Fargo on RT302 between Barre and Montpelier, VT.
We had parked there to read a map, and he came out to talk. Seems he converted from riding the Harley's with his recent acquisition of an KLR. Welcome!
When we left White Mountain, we took the NH112 to RT302. NH112 is very scenic and has much nicer park campgrounds, but appears to be much less traveled. Saw at least 4-5 flocks of turkey's looking for breakfast.
I couldn't end the journey, with at least one more ferry ride with the bikes.
We crossed Lake Champlain at Ft Ticonderoga. Stopped at the FT Ticonderoga log cabin.
Should be home this evening, and will finish unloading pics (including Dave's mugshot) then.
We'll not too spectacular in mileage today, but still able to crank out a few hundred miles without every touching a four-lane road!
While we were up at 0500 intending to get to Cadillac Summit for sunrise, the interest in re-packing the kit for the zillionth time this trip was less than appealing. So promptly 2 hrs and 22 mins later, we departed the hotel. But hey, this is my vacation, and there is no penalty for lolly-gagging.
We had a rather low traffic trip plotted for MT Washington taking the northern approach. Since it was "only" three turns, we didn't need the stinkin' GPS. Anyhow, turned on the GPS after over-shooting the way point. However, looking at the SPOT track, you'd never know we FUBARed.
We did go over this lovely bridge about 1 hour into the journey. There is a very nice Fort about 2 mins south of bridge, but it didn't open for 45 mins later and we already felt "pressed" for time (see previous paragraph:)
Drove through the town of Conway/North Conway. They are very family oriented with the the feel of upscale ski resort town complete with StoryWorld and multiple mini golf places.
Anyhow, today's theme was RxR trains.
There was this scenic/dinner train in the town of N. Conway:
And this one at the summit of Mt. Washington
For those that don't know, Mt Washington is the highest peak (6,288 ft) on the East Coast. Until very recently, it held the record for the highest wind speed recorded (231MPH) which held for most of century until being very recently toppled.
Anyhow, for a mere $14/bike you can take the 8 mile trek to the summit. Today's conditions at the summit:
100 mile visibility
The road is not built to today's standards and lacks guard rails, and although there have been over 150 deaths in the park, only 1 is attributed to a MC miscalculation.
This was one of the original structures, and personally, I never thought of chaining my entire home to the earth like this one. Maybe a solution to high-crime areas too?
Old rail tracks:
It was about 1430 by the time we descended Mt Washington. A fellow Maine ADV recommended RT 113, so we took that which looped us back to town. The road is about 40 miles long, and meanders next to 2 babbling brooks, through some farms, and partially through the Park.
After a great steak dinner at the Red Parka Tavern, we bedded down in town.
Tomorrow heading off two more state parks as we approach home zone...
Had a very enjoyable day today. Spend the morning sucking up the crisp New England air and just plain enjoying Acadia Park. The park charges $20/car for a week pass, but bikes are only $5! I think we drove about 90% of the park. Photos of Cadillac Mountain Summit,
Rockefeller's Carriage House
For those that don't know Rockefeller was an avid horseman, and created some 50+ miles of carriage trails within the park. He spared no expense on installation which included an 8" crowning, and sub-base, base and top level substrates. He also constructed elaborate bridges and water diverters to ensure go going during the harsh Maine seasons.
I guess it's not an adventure until something notable happens. We'll the off ramp to the Thunder hole lot is a bit off-camber. A car stopped about 50 ft into the lot, and Dorito is a wee-bit height challenged (did i mention the low chassis/low seat?). Meanwhile, Dorito thought it would be best to take a nap while waiting. While the better part of me wanted to get the camera, I wasn't sure the non-ADVers on-lookers would think highly of our "humor".
Some minor scuffs, mostly her ego..hell she's fallen much worse off the horse. As a bonus, I got to use my tool kit to fix the blinker which had popped off the stem.
We had initially thought about staying in the Park at the Blackwoods campground. To do so, you need to book 96-hrs in advance. Around 50% of the sites can be reserved this way. You could also do walk in, but it appeared most weekends were sold out.
We did drive though and initial impressions were: 1) The sites do not have water/electric. 2) There are toilets, but pay showers 3) There is a bus that goes between campgrounds, and all the places you'd actually want to visit 4) the campgrounds are no-where near all the cool park stuff.
There are also quite a few private campgrounds on RT 3 between Ellsworth and Acadia. Some of which are on the water and would probably be a nicer stay.
The afternoon we spend in Bar Harbor proper perusing main street (RT 3). For those that have never been it's worth a few hours as the street. I could sum it up as follows: bar/restaurant, cheap tee shirt shop/tourist gedunk, nice outdoor outfitter (e.g North Face, Padonia, etc), tour guides, repeat. There is a neat place which does wood carving on far end 4+ blocks from the harbor. However, there were some damn funny tee-shirts to be read!
Thinking about re-visiting Cadillac Mountain at 0552 for sunrise, as it the first place rays hit the east coast. The over to Mt. Washington. We've decided to take some back roads, by-ways as we meander home in the next few days.
Here are some other notes from my trip so far. I have found the information booth's to be very useful and I will use them far more next time around. They pretty much have information on everything...hotels, camping, eating, sightseeing, etc. 90%+ of the roads are very good and improving every day. Keep your eyes open for moose and don't ride at night.
The temperature swings can be pretty wide so bring an assortment of clothes, we have seen from 50 degrees to 78 degrees. Keep an eye on the weather report...every day because it may drive your schedule, I used http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/warni...969cwhx-022200 and got good information. Bring rain gear or weatherproof riding gear...my electric jacket liner has been a life saver and I wouldn't come back at this time of year without it. Heated grips/electric gloves/ or warm gloves a definite bonus. Long sections of road with high winds and high speeds need tunes or earplugs .
Ensure your cell phone will work in not only Canada but Newfoundland as well...found out that my phone would not work in Newfoundland but does in mainland Canada. If you don't plan ahead for hotels or some campgrounds try to be off the road NLT 4:00 so you have a chance to get accommodations. Not all ATM's are created equal, meaning they may not accept your banking card because it is on a different system. My VISA has worked great but it is good to have cash as well for tolls and other small expenses.
Plan ahead for all ferry crossings because it may be easy to get accommodations one way but not the other. Also the next time around I will probably opt for night crossings, with a cabin, and use my days for riding. If you get motion sickness bring drugs! Ferry decks can be extremely slick, be careful!
Just some of my thoughts so far, I am sure I will have more later.
It's raining, it's pouring and it's windy! One thing for sure, headwinds always traveling south along the western coast.
Estimated winds though Wreckhouse were 110KPH. Lucky (?) for us, that is 90KPH lower than the highest ever recorded. Anyhow, we were going to romp past Port Au Basque, but given the weather, we've bunkered down.
Tomorrow ferry back Nova Scotia.
I'll upload the few pictures I have soon (couldn't take the hands of the bars too much, lest I end up rubber side up in the cross wind)
Well, if today didn't have 30-50KM headwinds, I have to say the trip up the coast line may have been very dull. Instead, the bike spent most of the ride at a 20 degree incline, praying my head didn't get ripped off.
I have a nickname of "Birdman", as it appears that no matter what rider I am in the pack, a bird nearly collides with me. Today, the little critter ended up not so lucky, but apparently the GS is no worse for the wear. Notice the blood smudge to the left of the "B"..
Saw this Bull Moose on the way home. Considering all the other Moose barley have button velvet in yet, this boy was B.I.G.
If I had to do a caged vehicle to NFLD, I think that this one would be my choice:
L'Anse aux Meadows was nice, although it was a bit pricey. The Vikings landed there in 1000, but the site was not documented until 1970s.
At that time, the person simply asked the locals if they knew of any sod ruins. I guess it looks better than my current home will look in 1000 years..
Buildings were made of the sod/tundra and were 12-16" thick. I can only imagine how warm they must have been for the period.
The replicate village was alive with folk persons in traditional garb, and doing traditional arts such as:
The joists are actually tree roots
I will end this thread on somewhat a quizzical note. Does anyone else find the lower written description and the leftmost graphic image...well, perhaps...It might just make the scariest signs I've even seen!
Tomorrow, last day on the rock. Oh, and 90KMH gusts tomorrow!
PS Still looking for input for stuff to-do on PEI.
Well to quote RFlagg42 from his trip a few weeks back:
So, today was suppose to be a nice leisurely day off. However, Dana had better plans. We would screwing around Gros Morne until we found something that piqued our interest.
After seeing Norris point, Rocky Harbour and the lighthouse at Lobster Cove, she had her "great" plan.
Flowering berry bush (about the size of cherry tomatoes):
Unfortunately for me, the thing that piqued her interest was the Western Brook Pond Boat tour. This involved a 2.7KM hike each way to the boat base. Did I mention that my hiking kit consisted of SIDI boots and my Aerostich pants? BTW, if anyone has the SIDI boots and can tell me how to stop the incessant squeaking I'd love to know. The NLFD joke is boots that sqeek haven't been paid off yet!
Now, mind you it was currently 12:05, and the boat leaves at 1300...oh, and we don't have tickets. So we bust chops to get down there, only (drum roll please) to be wait listed. The next boat is 3 hours later. Anyhow, as "luck" would have it were were $105CDN lighter, but on a boat by 1300.
The boat ride takes about 2 hrs, and is quite refreshing. The pond was carved by a Glacier which melted 9,000 years ago. At that time, the the area was technically a Fjord (e.g. filled with seawater).
It is now fresh water, and landlocked (e.g no longer a Fjord). There are no roads that lead to the lake since Gros Morne is an UNESCO park. Of the two boats on the lake, one was skidded across the bog in the dead of winter. The other boat was too large and was sectioned into 4 pieces to be helo'd in then re-assembled.
The pond is about is about 500 ft deep and is very clear. In fact, is so clear that when the park put in a water holding tank at the visitors center is kept overflowing. Apparently, the mechanism that shuts off the water relies on particulate (e.g. conductivity) to close the circuit.
I wouldn't change a thing about the weather, it was literally "picture perfect".
Lastly, I have about 1-2 days slack and I'd like to swing through Prince Edward Island on the way home. Anybody have advice on things worth seeing/doing?
Up at daybreak to see some vikings!
Yesterday, ended up to change course a bit. Intended to go east for 2 hrs to Burgoyne Cove for the B-36 plane crash. While the weather was fine in Gander and for the first half of the leg to the Cove, then we ran into some horrible rain.
We thought the better of it to continue, as we didn't intend to complete the final leg of the journey to the cove (30 min hike up a steep hill) with our ride gear on; yet we were concerned we couldn't keep the kit dry on the correct sides either if we left it by the bikes. We still needed to complete the 300+KM to Gros Morne at 100KPH, so wet ride gear would have been miserable.
We elected to turn around and head over to Gros Morne. On the way there, we saw police with his patrol lights on.
Turns out someone must have hit a moose, and his truck had it winched off the road.
For those, who haven't seen it most the big trucks have "moose catchers" on the front:
Later down the road, saw two more Moose in the same area we did yesterday. We figured they were tethered there by the Tourism Bureau!
Ended up in Gros Morne very early afternoon, which worked in our favor. Still not having reservations anywhere, we were able to score a very nice cabin near the Lomond River.
And a few bonus pictures..
Oh, and I ran her over the center line to get this picture @ about 115Kph.
And a little Toad on our little nature walk to the river.
Today we are probably doodling around the park, maybe a boat ride. Tomorrow, up to the viking settlement (L'Anse aux Meadows). Then a run for the ferry, as we leave the rock on Friday.
On the ride into Gander today was full of furry critters. First, now 2200 miles into the journey, I was going to resign myself to ending each post with
Shortly after that there was a sign much like the DUI signs in the states that keeps statics--apparently the Trans Canadian Highway in NFLD has 660 moose/vehicle incidents this year. Mooses are more deadly than DUI?
After the moose sighting, I nearly ran over a Black Mink that thought it would scurry across the road. However, he thought the better of it and ran safely back whence he came.
On the way into town, drove by this hydroelectic plant.
No doubt that NFLD is V.E.R.Y green, and unspoiled country:
So here is basically the turning point for the vacation. Tomorrow, we will go about 2 more hours east to see the 1953 B-36 plane crash, but then homeward-ish bound.
We had a great time doodling around the Gander Air Museum, and I even won a double-or-nothing bet with Dana for free admission.
As we were in the parking lot, a guy decked to the hilt in BMW garb riding a shiny new R1200GS rolls in. Anyhow, Dana was sprightly sure that he was Bruce-From-Gander (a.k.a targa801) and the bet was on. However, that was not he.
Turns out he is from British Columbia on his way to a wedding in Ontario (not his) via Newfoundland. Turns out he works for BMW Canada to boot!
Spent some time there, and took some more good photos before trekking off the airport.
The museum is also a tribute to the many, many plane wrecks that have happened in the last century in/around/near/on Gander. Perhaps the most notable was the 1985 Arrow Airplane crash which killed 256 soldiers returning from the Sinai peace keeping mission. The reason for the crash was not completely understood and speculation ranges from icing of the leading edges to terrorism.
As we rolled through the Gander International parking lot, not much had changed since last time. There was still USAF Military aircraft marooned on the tarmac. This time it was a refueling tanker that had been there for about a week. However, there was a very nice BMW in the parking lot so we got this photo:
About the time we were done with the above photo op, we ran into Targa801 who just happen to see us in the parking lot from the second deck window. He's been living in Gander for about 20 years now, and no doubt in my mind this is a great town to live in.
Well, off to chow perhaps a lobster if I can find one.
Originally Posted by targa801
Hope you're enjoying your trip. I'm sitting at judging by your last post you should be in Gander today, and we're expecting 2 C5's today.
Bruce in Gander
Been a great day thus far, and will post pics tonight!
Well, the ferry ride--Waves 9 ft. Yep, more dramamine/gravol for the return trip!
Typical ride time was 4.5 to 6 hrs, and as the mantra for this trip nothing early was 6 hrs. NFLD is also 30 mins later than Atlantic (+1.5hrs ET).
We disembarked the boat we must have looked like a flock juvenile turkeys on their first flights; The wind was quite formidable, as was the rain which made for a wild ride.
Since we past Big Bras on the way to the ferry in NS, I thought these might a nice match:
Nonetheless, we pressed onward to the nearest "big" town-Stephenville. There wasn't really too much between the ferry and town.
We got all excited to see a Holiday Inn sign, and stop in. Naturally, it is filled. Try the Stephenville Inn, and the only room left is the one with the "leak". I didn't even want to know what is leaking water or sewer. Three times a charm, and my desire for more than a non-leaking room. The last hotel in Stephenville, and we get the last room.
And a few random shots of the ride.
Off to get Gander at day break.
Bras, Lick-a-Chick and Ferry's--What do all those have in common? Get your mind out of the gutter as those are all way points to the NFLD ferry.
Big Bras D'Or is a township and Lick-a-Chick is a fried chicken restaurant.
Of the three ferry's to date this trip, by far this one is the "bestest". Initial impression of the ferry is very nice, almost the same quality as a normal cruise thus far. Has 3 floors of cabins, 2 movie lounges, casino and free Wi-Fi (well free at least at the dock).
As an added bonus, the deck crew didn't see fit to wash the deck floor down and the bikes were much more stable.
Another 5 hours and we'll be on the far side of the stream...
So the day started wonderfully. About 180+miles round trip. We were able to stay two nights at the KOA outside of Sydney, NS. This allowed us to drop the bags off the bike, and toole around like sport bikes:)
Today's only mission was the 180+/- miles of the Cabot trail, including a detour to Meat Cove:
Sadly, this is the closest have been able to get moose to date:
After yesterday's interlude with Peggy's Cove, we were a bit pessimistic that Cabot trail could deliver. But deliver it did-- wild roads, hills, curves, high speeds, and low traffic!
We took the side road out to Meat Cove. Fab little dirt road, although we did notice that no bikes with Chrome made it down the hilly dirt roads!
There is a nice campground at meat cove and a small restaurant. The restaurant only had 4 menus, with most the stuff out-of-stock (no crab nor lobsters), not even a pop which wasn't diet. This was the last of the mussels:
Both bikes have been running great and all the prep of the gear is making things pretty easy. Upgrading to the three person tent was a good move and my cot is great as well...Dana will be buying one once we return. We are kind of in the between stages for summer versus a warmer winter jacket. I have been for the most part, except for when it was raining, been wearing my summer mesh jacket with a long sleeve shirt underneath. Some places its been as cold as 60 degrees but with the long sleeves and the grip heaters its tolerable. I have been wearing my Aerostich Darien pants and they have been plenty warm and on some days a little toasty but I wouldn't change anything. SIDI riding boots are still squeaking after several thousand miles but plenty comfortable and did not leak the day it was raining. Also before I left I picked up a Shoei flip up helmet and that has worked good for keeping hydrated and a quick snack at stops so overall pretty happy. I took a lot of advice of others and cut up a pound or two of jerky in bite size morsels and kept a few munchy bars in the tank bag for keeping energy levels pretty level throughout the day. I have used most everything I have brought so I won't have to change out much of the loadout.
And here is a few random shots of the day.
Up and brite and early for the ferry in the morning.
Not sure if we will make Meat cove...will have to play it by ear. Definitely looking forward to the Cabot trail today, hope its all everyone makes it out to be! I will be sure to take a lot of pictures today and we are running it counter clockwise as everyone has suggested so we are nearest the ocean. Dana has figured out the Panoramic setting on the camera so we may try a few of those today as well.
Finished up the Marine By-way today. Of all the by-ways thus far, Marine is the least favorite. While traffic was non-existent (100 cars/300 miles/2days), about 20% of the roads are very rough. The laughed that bike suspension was getting a work out on the high-speed off road course. Gas and food was sparse at best. In fact, we left Sheet Harbor around 0700, and didn't find "breakfast" until 1200!
Since the path meandered around the coast line, every now and again, we got a great view.
We found yet another of the 160 lighthouses that once stood on Nova Scotia. This one in Port Bickerton is open for the public to tour, as it was automated in the late 1980s, and thus no longer houses the lightkeeper.
While the lighthouses and coast lines abounded, we never thought that we'd find this sign:
However we did get a very nice impromptu ferry ride:
As par for the course, we found ourselves behind schedule by lunch. So, once we crossed the levy into Cape Brenton we took RT 105 into North Sydney to make up time.
Tomorrow is the Cabot trail, and then the ferry Xing into Newfoundland on Sat.
We had a very fortuitous night at Lunenberg . Our camping spot (by the visitor’s center) was nestled a bit higher in elevation that the actual city, and therefore avoided the rain shower and temperature was perfect. However, the mosquitoes also appeared to think it was a dreamy spot. They didn’t swam or anything, but did provide us a few “love bites”. Lunenberg is absolutely quaint, and well worth any time spent here. It is home to the Bluenose II (reproduction sale ship), and 2-4 blocks of quaint shops. Very good eats also. We had Chowder and mussels dinner overlooking the bay. The chowder , although white in color, is very watery (vice thick) and therefore very plateable.
Lunenberg has somewhat of bankers hours. Would be better to arrive very early afternoon and spend a few hours meandering around. We arrived a bit tardy, and by the time we set up camp and set of to eat it was nearly 1800. As we departed at 0900, the town was still asleep.
I didn’t realize that Mahone Bay was only 20 mins out of Lunenberg. We stopped for Breakfast, and again you would not be disappointed to spend a night here either.
I never thought I would have to say that a trip this long would be behind schedule—but we are a bit behind schedule; we had to chose to either stay in Halifax and then take the highway into Sydney or forgo Halifax and continue on our merry little way via the coastline. As we approached the bain of civilization though, it became crystal clear that Halifax was not going to be our thing this trip. Since we had already been there once, and Trans-lab trip next year will surely need a bit of civilization, we chose to option b.
So we have finished up the Evangeline and Lighthouse By-ways tours. We are now in the middle of the Marine By-Way. The Marine by-way is not nearly as scenic as the Evangeline or Lighthouse, but Marine is much faster (typical speed is 80-90KPH) and curvier. We’ll finish up the Marine By-way tomorrow.
We did pass a man riding a 1855 replica peddle bike along RT333. The bike has no gears, and currently he presses his shoe against the rear tire to brake. After passing him, we decided to find a spot to wait for him to catch us for a photo op. He was the most interesting man, and turns out made the bike from a few photos he saw. He apparently rides the bike 20KM per day, and intends to ride the Cabot trail in the fall with the bike!
Perhaps the most disappointing part of the day was Peggy’s Cove. Touted as the “must do”, it appeared to be no more than a few ramshackled establishments and a nice lighthouse. However, of all the towns on the water and all the lighthouses to date, Peggy’s Cove didn’t even rate high enough for us to take helmets off to walk around. Hindsight, it more of tourist trap than a town of presence.
More boat triva: Back in the late 1600s, paint was very expensive due to high taxes. However, the paint used for boating not taxed. Therefore, it was a common practice to overbuy your boat paint, and paint your house to save some $$. Because of the this, many Captains houses ended up matching their boats, in wild, high-intensity colors.
Tonight, we again camped literally right on the Salmon river. No bugs to speak of. The campground originated in 1885 as a Sulfurite pulp facility.
The weather was perfect all day—partly sunny high 60s to 80s.
Sorry for the late posts--Actually found Nirvana (e.g places with no Wi-Fi and internet).
Day 4--Barrington to Lunenberg, NS
Today the weather was a bit uncooperative. We awoke to the bikes very damp/moist and in a current heavy drizzle. Probably best we ended up in a room vice camping. Donning our ride gear, we set off for Lunenberg via the Lighthouse By-way (RT3). I don’t think we past a 100 cars all day. It was marvelously relaxing.
We ran into the mecca of all lighthouses today—Baccaro Point Lighthouse. It was just south of Cape Negro, NS. It was eerily foggy, very remote, and only us down there. It was fully operational with light and fog siren in motion.
Dana stopped about 1 mile from the actual lighthouse to take a far out photo, while I continued. There were apparently two dirt roads that lead to the light house. The nice hard pack on I found, and the one she got stuck on. As she called over the radio, she described being marooned in a boulder field. You thought the rocks were 5 ft in diameter, vice the 8-12inch pebbles I discovered. Nonetheless, no bikes ended up “sleeping” and all was good.
We stopped for lunch in Shelburne. The is a fab little historic street, and a restaurant on the water.
We also stopped in at the Dory Boat Museum. A Dory is a smallish (15-20 ft) wooden boat that used to be used for fishing. They were oar-powered and could ocean go. With the invention of fiberglass and aluminum boats, Dory’s glory faded. There is apparently still folks that race them, and for a mere $16K/CAD you too can own one.
A bit of boat trivia: Dory’s are almost painted yellow on the inside, and outside with the rail a darker (often forest green color). The color combination was the easiest to see in low-light/foggy conditions.
We ended up seeing a few more lighthouses, but not as impressive in location nor stature as the one above. While we didn’t stop in Liverpool, I believe that might also be a nice town to spend a few hours.
We’ve still yet to see a moose, moose dropping or any signs that moose actual exist. Maybe they are a figment of animal planet?