Sunday, July 27, 2008

Post Trip, Eastern Canada

Yep, I’m home and already missing the road when I think about some of the places I’ve visited and those I wished I would have spent more time at. Remember how I said the big cities deserve more than just a night and like I may have wrote in my previous trip stories a year and a half ago, with someone special, well I think just me will be plenty…and much more fun. If you’ll also remember me mentioning how it takes at least a week to get back into the swing of things while being on the road, that’d be the unpacking, packing, getting cleaned up and prepared for a days ride, well now that I’m back into the swing of that, it’d be worth keeping it going. That just might mean another trip sooner than later and you know me, have bike, will travel.

So to all of those I promised the stats and since I haven’t heard from anyone that I’ve broken a promise, no need to start now. This trip to complete North America with a tour of the East Canadian provinces Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Labrador, Quebec and PEI took 22 days with a few days of relaxation. It covered 7335 miles with a few missed turns here and there and for those Canadians tracking my stats, that’d be 11804.54 kilometers which is a lot of klicks which also means my bike has 93045.83 kilometers that’d be 57816 miles which is a lot of miles.

Ok, as for accommodations while on the road, one night put up by a stranger, thanks James, three nights with those who make me feel like part of the family, thanks Mathews, 4 nights in motels 1 with porn and 2 with the weather channel and all because of the rain, 9 hostels with a stay at 2 of them for more than 1 night, Aberdeen and Toronto, 1 B&B in Port Aux Basque, 1 conference room, remember the RV park in St Barbe, 1 night camping and 1 night in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, that’d be the trip from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia.

I can’t even begin to count the number of people that I met, but they were all so wonderful and helpful in their own way. Some with good directions, others for a good place to eat, those that knew of a great place to stay, which I have to give a big thank you to Kat in Aberdeen for setting up the number of hostels for me that she did, and of course just those people who were great conversations.

Again, as with my first trip, I have found out a little bit more just how wonderful this world is that we live in, the beauty of what we have to see from state to state, province to province and territory to territory, but more important the people who come into our lives along the way for a reason and remember, ‘Everything happens for a reason’. For those who have sent me an email from my travels, thank you and for those who still owe me one, get on it; you know how to find ‘Where is Webby’ easier than me finding you.

Check back in a couple of weeks because we’ll see what kind of stories I can find at Sturgis ’08 and maybe even some pictures to share.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Eagan, MN, July 22nd

Eagan, Minnesota which is home for me and today was all about the ride along Lake Michigan and the final destination. Since I have an interview tomorrow, I figured getting home sooner rather than later would be a good thing, and no help with the phone either which just added to the frustration. Remember the problems I’m having with this so called International coverage from AT&T. No that doesn’t mean I’ve left the USA again, but they should really make sure they have the states covered before worrying about international, more on that later.

Ok, so I decided against making that trip to Mackinaw Island to watch the boat race and look for Renee, but if she would’ve offered me a room like I did her last night, well, that would’ve been a different story. I had the alarm set a little early that when I saw the sprinkles still coming down crawled back into bed for another hour and for only 10 bills more than camping, the bed and dry hotel room were much nicer than camping would’ve been in the rain. So maybe I didn’t rough it as much as I should have, but why if I don’t have to and especially when there’s rain involved it is so nice finding a dry place out of the elements to prepare to deal with the elements again.

An hour later and the sprinkles stopped, but it was still wet that it was time to pack and get ready for the days ride and according to the weather station, chances of rain most of the way to Green Bay Wisconsin. Yep, this motel had the Weather station and I didn’t find one of those porn stations like I did in Ohio. Anyway, got packed up, cleaned up and put on the gators and rain pants to stay dry figuring if it starts raining hard enough, I’ll throw the rain jacket on over top of the leather jacket, which is pretty water proof anyway, at least it keeps me dry. Got a few pictures of Mackinaw City and now that I think about it, I forgot to checkout that house I said from my last visit I’d own someday. I had thought about stopping in there on my way in last night, if it would’ve been earlier just to talk to the owners and make an offer, just to see their reaction since sometimes you have to stick to your word and mine being I’ll own that place someday. Well, today isn’t the day.

I did get over the bridge without incident and I had forgotten how most of it is steel grate that it gets pretty squirrely on a bike. Well, they have one lane each way paved so I’m wondering if they did that just for the bikes that go over it cuz when it’s wet it’s even squirrelier, isn’t that a word? Ok, so I pulled into the wrong line to pay for the toll, but I noticed how short the line was and how fast people were getting through until I realized they had tokens to toss into the basket so I had to backup, remember this bike doesn’t have reverse, and instead of going to the end of the line, someone was kind enough to let me in. I did tell the attendant to make sure she thanked them for letting me in. If she remembers, I’ll bet they’ve never heard that before. I did make a stop in the Mackinaw Bridge viewing area for pictures and they might be very similar to the ones I captured my last visit.

Ok, today was about riding along a shore of the last Great Lake for me to ride and this one, Lake Michigan which did have some beautiful scenery to see. Sure it’d make a difference for you if I rode all of these lakes clockwise because of my camera mount, but I wasn’t going to add that many extra hours doing Lake Michigan south to Chicago and back, especially if I want to make it home today. I did try to capture what I saw, but a lot of it was me just enjoying the scenery and ride myself, even if I was spending a little time working. Al, who is working on setting up this interview for me said I could think about some of my answers for the Pre-interview interview which is a lot harder than you realize when riding along concentrating on the ride, taking in the views and not really thinking about much of anything. One of the few times where you are really living for the moment and not worrying about the future or contemplating what’s happened in the past. No worries for the time being cuz I’ll deal with what I have to when I have to and after making a call, no not with my cell phone, still not working, I should have service by Green Bay that I’ll make arrangements then.

So far, out of all of the Great Lakes to ride along, Lake Superior remains best of them all with Lake Michigan coming in second, and a toss up between Huron, Erie and Ontario. It’d take a trip to circumvent each to make the final decision, but from what I’ve already seen from the shores of Lake Superior, all others would have a tough time competing. One thing I though while going thru the sand dunes is that might explain why Milwaukee has some pretty nice beaches - the same great lake on the west side of the lake, which I have no idea why that’d be sandier than the other side unless the winds normally go from east to west, which doesn’t make a lot of sense, but then again even the weather around the lakes don’t make a lot of sense.

Ok, back to the ride and with the frustration with my phone service stopped to make a call charged back to my home phone which I’ve already had to do, but this particular pay phone didn’t work that way that I stopped at the local hotel where the young lady at the front desk was nice enough to let me make a long distance call, no charge. No pictures because I was frustrated enough and could see the rain in front of me that either I’ll get lucky and dodge it or’ll get soaked. Well, when it comes to the rain I hit the tail edge and since I could see the sun coming up rode it out. Ok, a little wet, but not wet enough that I’ll be uncomfortable for the rest of the ride. On my through Wausau and since I’m only a block from his shop, I stopped in to see my buddy Chris to say ‘Hi’. Well, the ‘Hi’ turned into me telling a few stories while Chris played with my phone to see if he could figure out what was wrong with it since he has AT&T service which works, but mine, still no luck. He eventually pointed me in the direction of the AT&T store which, you know how often I might have to ask for directions that there weren’t any good look-in women walking the streets that I could ask that I just stopped at the local Best Buy to see what they could do for me. Kate got it fixed for me, but if I would’ve known that what she did is all that has to be done to get the damn thing to work, I might’ve saved myself some frustration along the way. She pulled the battery and SIM card and reinserted and started the phone which resets it, and sure enough that was the trick. Like I said, if they’d put that in the trouble shooting section like they should for PCs, sometimes just a restart will clear up all problems.

Back on line and since I’m close had to call my mom to see what’s for dinner and I knew she’d remember me once I got back into the states, cuz she didn’t ask who this was this time. Funny how you can be so easily forgotten when out of the country, but once back in, people are paying attention. Well, she was just cooking up a pork roast with potatoes, that they can wait for me to join them. Finally a home cooked meal and from the real Mother Webb instead of the one advertising in Nova Scotia Canada. Now the only decision to be made is do I make the trip back to Eagan or stay in my hometown for a night and I think my mom might’ve been getting rid of me cuz like she said, if you stay you have to unpack some and repack in the morning whereas if you go home, all you have to do is unpack. Of course I asked if she was trying to get rid of me, but like she said she’d rather have me stay, but knew I had an interview to get home for and have been on the road for awhile.

Back on the road and one of the things I was thinking traveling this road I’ve traveled hundreds of times, Hwy 29 is how this bike was just in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Labrador, Quebec and PEI to complete its North American tour, with me on it of course. What an awesome experience or better yet, stories and I hope to make more.

Tomorrow, a little synopsis on the latest travel as well as stats which I promised from the first trip, but missed, that this time I promise and I’m not one to break promises so if there’s anyone out there who I’ve broken one with, speak now or forever hold your peace.

Lake Michigan pics

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mackinaw City, MI, July 21st

Mackinaw City, Michigan and I have officially been welcomed back to the states. No fan fair, but it was easier getting back in than last time when I spent more time in Canada and of all places trying to get in through North Dakota. If you don’t remember the story, you can read all about it. I had thought about staying another night for the Eagles concert, but maybe if it would’ve been another band I’ve always wanted to see, or even see again, I might’ve stuck around.

The hostel was coed friendly to me last night since I was the only guy in a quad room. A couple of Asian chicks already in bed, not much to look at and I didn’t get a peak at the one on top of me, blindfolded or at least my eyes were closed when she was walking around. I enjoyed the coed showers even more this morning cuz when I was getting out of one of them, with nothing but a towel on, a couple of blondes were coming in. Of course I tried to get a peak, but they made sure the doors were locked and maybe if I would’ve thought about it earlier, I would’ve let the towel drop. Anyway, packed and ready to go with no rain yet, but the forecast calls for rain and I’ll be heading west, straight into it.

Since I’ve already road the south of Lake Erie, the north of Lake Ontario and the north of Lake Superior, I figured for the ride home I’d catch some of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan so today was Lake Huron. I did make a stop to dip a boot in Lake Erie and capture pictures from the same park I visited the last time I was in Toronto, remember my trip to Wasaga Beach after a night on a park slide in Niagara Falls? That’d be in the month of July so you can get caught up on that story. And as far as I remembered, it was a ride in the rain from Niagara Falls to Toronto, that it may be the same in reverse, Toronto toward Niagara Falls.

The route I need to take to the scenic drive around Lake Huron isn’t close to Niagara Falls so it was eventually West toward the states and rain clouds, but I’ve been lucky so far missing the rain and only dealing with a few wet spots on the road. I just kept praying that I’d get thru the thunderstorms around me and that reminded me of the ride through Nebraska when I was missing the storms around me, I’ll even have to go back and read about that. Well, since I’ve been dodging and weaving thru the rain without getting rained on I didn’t have to put on the rain gear and ride the weary ride and eventually made it to the border which is a much longer wait to get through. I was wondering this being a busier border and having picked a slow line what I might have to deal with cuz I’m sure this border patrolman is being extra cautious that he doesn’t miss something, that what will I have to deal with. Eventually I made my way up to the patrolman and this time I remembered whether they wave or not, I have to stop, no waving through like I thought once before.

Anyway, when I told the border patrol how many days in Canada, 14 and that it was to complete my North American tour, he was more interested in how many miles on the bike and what year it was, which by the way for those interested, I just pasted 57,000 and its an 06. He asked the usual questions about weapons, tobacco and fruit and I wasn’t going to smart off or give him questionable answers like I apparently did in North Dakota that some of my answers were questionable that they did the extra check where I got to unpack and repack the bike, or as I remember he repacked it and wasn’t very nice about it. Oh well, their all stories and I sill have more to experience.

Back to today and on my way to take the scenic tour around the east side of Lake Huron and it took awhile before I was able to see the lake. It’s much like some of the other scenic routes they advertise around lakes where there are nothing but houses, cabins, mansions or in this case fields between the road and the lake that there aren’t too many opportunities to see the lake. When I did get the chance I tried taking a picture so there are a few and I did make a stop to dip the boot. While riding the lake, I did finally remember to check my voicemail while on a gas stop and although this AT&T service is letting me know I have messages, I can’t even get at them, well, I can’t do anything with this phone because even back in the states, Michigan and I can’t make any calls. I really question AT&T’s advertisement of the best international service when they can’t even cover the states. Anyway, good thing I have 30 days money back so I can cancel this service and find something that will work for me.

Yea, enough complaining, just deal with it. Ok, so I was thinking a little drive in along the lake would make for a good stop for lunch, a late lunch at that and I finally found one, Lefty’s drive in where Katie suggested I have a burger, onion rings and a shake, that why wouldn’t I order everything she suggests and especially when I get a picture of her delivering it. A good late lunch at 3:00 in the afternoon and I still have 6 hours to my final destination. It took 6 hours because I was messing around making stops to see if my phone would finally work and even when standing below a tower, still no service, or at least none to be able to make calls or check my voicemail. I know I’m complaining again, but that’s part of the story because eventually I decided I wasn’t going to worry about it and just ride, I’ll deal with it later. Oh, and the picture of the little boy, he was so interested in the camera mounted to my bike that I showed him how I turn it on point and shoot while riding down the road, of course he thought that was pretty cool.

Ok, so I made it to Mackinaw City and pretty much rain free except for a few spits here and there, but nothing to put the rain gear on for. And that also meant that I had to dip the boot in Lake Michigan which I did so I can now claim 3 Great Lakes in one day and what a day it has been. And looking at the boot, I think I might need a new pair after having road and even hiked North America. So I scoped out the park, beach and even under the bridge for a place to crash since it looks like rain, but I found a great little motel close to downtown for only 38 bills, 10 more than the camp and I don’t have to worry about packing a wet tent. Well, sitting at the local pub having a nice conversation with Renee and guess who gets to ride back to the motel in the rain. You got it; I made it through the day without rain except home from the bar.

Oh well, there sounds like a reason to make a trip to Mackinaw island tomorrow, some kind of sail boat race from Chicago to Mackinaw. That’s what Renee is doing here and since she missed her ferry, she’ll have to spend the night and catch the early ferry. Of course I’ve offered her a room.

Lake Huron pics

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Toronto, ON, July 20th

You got it, still in Toronto and I figured I have to make up for my mistakes from Quebec City and Montreal; you really have to give each city at least two nights before judging. The first night to feel get the feel of the city and where to see people and be seen and the second night getting ready to party. I do believe that next time I visit these big cities I have to spend more than a day to do them justice and without carrying a laptop around to capture the story of the day…and I do think a wing man would definitely help.

When I woke up this morning I was wishing I were home. You know that feeling when you’re done with something it’s done, whether it be drinking, riding or a relationship, it’s done. Well, it was raining pretty hard and according to the forecast will be raining for most of the day and since I haven’t figured out my route home and could use the rest, riding in the rain takes more out of a person than you realize, I figured I’d see if I could stay in the bed I was in so I could sleep in. Not that easy because there are apparently more coming that there is a bed for me, but I have to move to a different room. Ok, a bit of a hassle getting up, showered and packed so I could store my stuff in the basement until check in at 1:00, but it saves me riding in the rain.

So what did I really do today? Well, as soon as the rain let up a bit I toured the city to see what I missed the last time I was here. Doya remember? it was raining then too and if you haven’t read the story it was the first day in Wasaga Beach in July that you can catch up. It being close to lunch I saw a place with a line that’ll take 20 minutes before being seated, that it must be the place to eat. Actually part of why I ended up at Cora’s was the ladies I was following and I could really kick myself for not getting a picture or names, because all I thought was thank God for Spandex, a couple of perfect asses leading the way. Ok, I know, get my mind out of the gutter, but I have to share what I was thinking and they were perfect. Too far behind in line by the time I got back to Cora’s cuz I had to walk by so the ladies didn’t think I was stalking them, but I could kick myself again for not working my way to the beginning of the line to see if a third could join them, me.

Sorry, time to do a little backtracking to last night, but remember that line I didn’t have to stand in? well, it was much longer when I got back, but since they already knew who the boss was, they let me in and the place was packed. Fortunately, the people I was talking to the last time I was there who I gave my table to were there that they let me join them. All I can say is I remember when I was in my 20’s and the clubs at the time were the place to be, because this was that all over again, only problem is I was feeling a little older than back in the day. The other problem, a few drinks and enough talk and because this place is not only a club, but tattoo parlor, guess who got their first tattoo? That was about it for last night, but remember I’m celebrating North America so whether others are celebrating with me or not, I’ll still have a great time.

Ok, back to today and after a great breakfast I did a little more walking around and checked out the Roger Center to see whether there was an event going on or not and sure enough, the Argonauts are playing…the who? Canadian football and although I was tempted to buy a ticket even from a scalper for cheaper I resisted and it was a good thing I did. I did make my way back to the hostel to get checked in, bed made and settled and since the game didn’t start until 4:00 I decided to catch-up on a little rest I could use, remember, riding in the rain takes a lot out of a person? Well, back down to the Roger Center and why buy a ticket when you can get the kind of view I got from the Hard Rock Café in what would otherwise be right field. Great view and it doesn’t cost any extra. If I were to sit in the section below me, it’d cost $5 a head and the table would have to spend at least $30, that I wasn’t ready to drink that much beer.

You’ll never guess who I sat next to, and I still don’t believe it myself…it was Trace Adkins, you know the country star? Ok, maybe the wrong Trace, but that was my first thought. Trace is originally from Toronto and while his wife is stuck in Vegas he’s stuck here to party with friends. Like I said he’s originally from here, but has been living in Japan for the last 7 years and still doesn’t know much Japanese that might be because he’s working at an English school. Anyway, I also met Brad and Julie from White Bear Lake that I felt like I was home again. White Bear Lake, a suburb of the twin cities and when I over heard Julie mention something about a Viking cheerleader being under 20, I wondered how she knew. They’re here for the Eagles concert tomorrow without tickets hoping to get a few scalp tickets that it does sound as though I should stay for one more night, it might be worth being in town.

Time to move on to a little dinner which King Street is full of places to eat and quite different from what I’ve seen before. Each place right next to each other and almost on top have the hostess standing on the sidewalk selling their place as the one to come in and eat at Well, plenty to choose from, mostly Italian, but the young lady from Ireland was the one that intrigued me with a 3 course special for $25 and all I remember is I saw rib eye steak on the menu. It was a pretty good meal and for $25 plus drinks, desert alamode and tip, not a bad deal at all. From there someone told me that the Argonauts and cheer leaders were going to be somewhere on Front Street that I had to head that way to do a little partying. I found the place, don’t remember the name, but it was right next to a place that sounds like it deserves a visit, the Loose Moose. Anyway, first bars first that I met a few people at the bar the Argonaut cheerleaders were going to be at and one of the women in the group I met was a bit taken back by a call girl giving her her card. Don’t worry, I eventually got a card, but I was really hoping to keep the cost on this trip down that I’d prefer free.

Ok, enough for the night because after partying with the Argonaut cheerleaders and checking out the Loose Moose which had a cool display of different size bottles hanging from the ceiling, it was time to get back to the hostel to call it a night and for a Sunday night, even busier than last night. I guess it’s the next week’s visitors and when I hear where some of these people are from and the traveling they have been doing, mine doesn’t seem like much, completing North America, except for the fact that mine was done by me on a bike.

Have bike, will travel!

Nonriding pixs

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Toronto, ON, July 19th

Toronto, Ontario and I am back in Canada. As soon as I crossed the border into Ontario, I was back to signs that I could read and understand that is except for kph, still working on that calculation. I wasn’t sure whether this is where I was going to end up because when I called number of places about a bed for the night, they were all full that do I really want to end up in a big city with no place to stay. Well, there’s more to the story and why I did push on.

First, lets finish the night in Montreal which was a lot of fun. After talking with Genevieve and Gabrielle for awhile, it was time for me to move on a check out some of the other bars. Plenty of bars along St Denis, and you have to remember how they pronounce the name in French, don’t pronounce the ‘s’ so sounds like Deni, no wonder I’ve had such a tough time trying to figure out what name of streets they’ve been telling me all along. They did the same thing to me, the name thing when mentioning some other bars that I should visit, but I don’t think I found what the real feel of Montreal might be, that’s visiting clubs which I didn’t stop into. A difference between what they do in Canada and what I’m use to, especially with the Wisconsin connection where you just belly up to the bar and get to know everyone else in the bar. Before the night was over I was back to visit, Alian, Gabrielle and Genevieve for some more brew and talk.

The other thing I didn’t capture well with some of the pictures from last night were the number of downpours that happened during the night. You could see people scrambling to find a dry place, that because of that, I wasn’t too interested in straying away too far. I did remain dry and back to the hostel for a nights sleep, in a room with plenty of bunks. Well, at least I had a bed and again, I can’t be too picky, especially last night when there are 14 guys sharing a room. Let’s just say it smelled a bit rip in the room this morning that I was happy to move on. Ok, this is where calling for a room comes into place because when I found out there weren’t any in Toronto for the night, I asked the hot receptionist if I could stay for another night, which she said, oui, but when I asked if she’d join me out, at least I didn’t get a flat out no, but an excuse. I guess it’s time for me to move on and try to decide what route I’m gonna take home.

Bike packed and showered and I was happy to be moving on because once again, I needed to be on the pavement with the cruise set just flying down the road to blow all of my thoughts or worries away. No worries, but I might as well shoot for Toronto. I might have a bit of a route figured out and when I stopped at the visitors center in Ontario and asked whether the cops would give me a hard time for sleeping on a park bench, she said probably not for one night and even mentioned a park I could try, and possibly hide a tent. With that, no reason not to push on and today, I decided to take the scenic route. No reason to hit it hard for the ride toward home, that there are still plenty of beautiful sights that I should see, so today was riding along the St Lawrence Seaway and around the north side of Lake Ontario.

There was one stretch, the 1000 island drive that the lady from the visitor’s centers suggested and I could see why. I didn’t capture it as well as I could have, but there were quite a few little islands just big enough for a house on it. Or some of the islands, they built the house according to the size of the island so I saw small houses on small islands and large houses on the larger islands. It was definitely something else to see. Oh, and there was some kind of event going on along the route that the cops were doing traffic control for the parking and one of them stopped me? He had to talk to me about my helmet which like he said, we both no it’s not legal and that I probably have a legal one in my pack that I should be putting on. Like I told him, since I come from a state with no helmet law, I’ve never put the money into buying a DOT approved and I wouldn’t be able to fit it in my pack when I don’t have to wear it. I thought I was going to get a ticket for sure this time, but I guess I might’ve talked my way out of it again.

The scenic route was definitely worth taking, but as soon as I got closer to Toronto and saw the rain coming, back onto the highway it was, or in these parts, they call it the express way. I thought I might not get wet since I seemed to be following the storm as it was going through, but I must’ve exceeded that kph that I caught up to it about 80 klicks out of Toronto so had to suit up, in the rain gear that is. I did decide to stop for a bit and wait for the storm to push through and it’s a good thing I did. Not only did I find out from some of the other bikers heading in the general direction that they found out it’s clearing up, but I decide to try a number of the hostels in Toronto to see if they’ve had any cancelations. No luck, but when I did talk to Cat, you got it, another one, this one with a ‘C’, she said she has rooms available that she can’t check anyone in until after 9:00 that she’ll hold one for me. That’ll work out great, and again, can’t be too picky cuz as long as I can get outta the rain with a bed to sleep in and a shower to wakeup to, that’ll work for me.

Checked in, cleaned up and ready to see the town, but one problem I’ve just encountered which I hope won’t make a difference, the alarm on my bike isn’t working that if someone messes with what I still have packed on it, the alarm won’t scare them away. Yaw, it’s only my sleeping bag and tent, but I’d rather not have it ripped off. Ok, down to Queen Street for something to each which was the Rock parlor. One of those clubs they talk about which is getting real busy and see that line outside? I get to go to the front of the line when I get back, I made sure of it with security and something I noticed is how all the male waiters’ call me boss. Sure I don’t mind being called boss, but I miss the hon from those sweet female waitresses.

Time to head out and see what kind of stories I can scare up before the night is over with.

Scenic pics

Friday, July 18, 2008

Montreal, QC, July 18th

Montreal, Quebec, remember that other country and they’re having a party ‘Just for me’…actually the party is ‘Just for laughs’ and I picked the right weekend to be in town. More to come, but how about the pictures of today’s ride, which you won’t find? It was one of those days, rain all the way from Quebec City to here that it took a little longer than the 2 ½ hours I figured the 3 hour drive would take and it took a lot out of me for some reason. Probably feeling a little tense when you can’t see the road as well as you should and go by the feel, but the feel was there that I made it without incident.

As for last nights partying, I didn’t make the walk up the hill to where all the other places were open until 3:00. I caught pictures of that street on my way into town before reaching the wall and since it’s the tourist trap, I might as well just hang out at the pub I was in. And the same lesson for the bar tender, you know, how you leave money on the bar to cover your drinks. He told me that I had to pay for my other drinks and that’s where I mentioned the same thing to him as I did Annie, but like he said, that moneys mine (you know, me) and not his and that’s why they don’t take what they need. I put it another way, that the bar is his (you know him) and not mine that whatever is left on the bar he gets when the night is done. Doesn’t that sound about right?

Well, it sure was nice getting that hour back and being able to sleep in a little, but I do remember being woke up in the middle of the night. Apparently someone in the room was snoring loud enough that they were asked to roll over, well maybe those wheat beers aren’t the ones I should’ve had last night, but they tasted so good. Anyway, still got to sleep in and part of that was because I could hear how wet it was outside with the traffic going by. The hostel is in the old part of town and I did capture some pictures while riding around back to the hostel. Narrow streets, many still cobblestone and all of the old buildings which all have something going on. It’s quite the place and must’ve been the part of town surrounded by the wall. No, not the German wall which fell down, but the city wall.

The 400 year celebration that Quebec City is having is really kicking it up a notch that the hostel is full for the weekend that even if I wanted to stay for another day, I couldn’t that it was time to move on, and since I already have reservations, I’ll be making the trip whether rain or shine and the weather was rain. There were a number of people who stopped and talked to me outside the hostel and the one common question other than what kind of gas mileage does the bike get, you know klicks to the liter, but how much did it cost. A few interesting people stopping, but the last one was an older guy from England semi retired doing a lot of traveling like the younger folks I’ve met along the way. Staying at hostels and taking trains, planes and hitchhiking rides to get to where he needs to go. Well, maybe not the hitchhiking, but doing a lot of traveling with no worries about when he needs to be back…remember, semi retired.

The longer people kept me the more it started to sprinkle that it was time to don the rain gear and not worry about getting on the other side of it on my way to Montreal, cuz that was the direction it was coming from. Again, checkout the pictures of the ride, but I did decide against the scenic route, cuz as long as there’s rain, I just want to get there so I can relax and start the partying.

I eventually found the hostel that Kat was so kind to setup for me, but it took a bit of work since I didn’t stop at a visitor’s center on the way into town. I’m sure I went right by it, but was following one of the few signs I understood, the ‘?’ to the center city visitore, info, and sure enough, I have to go back a bit from where I came. You would think the visitors center, ‘?’ would be easy to find, but it was tough following the signs and 8 klicks into downtown after getting off the highway that for the few ‘?’ signs that I did see, sometimes it had me wondering whether I missed a turn somewhere or not. I must’ve of eventually found it cuz I’m unpacked, showered and down on St. Denis street ready to party.

Ok, someone said they speak more English in Montreal than the do Quebec City and that their more friendly than those from Quebec City toward Americans, but so far I’m finding the opposite to be true. The women I stopped to ask for bars, food, etc in Quebec City were willing to help me out, where here I’ve already gotten a few that played the game that they can’t speak English. Oh well, I did find a nice place and had a little lasagna which was great and am now having a few brews with Alain and Gabrielle. Time to finish this story, take the laptop back to the hostel and come out for the party, which according to Pete, my buddy from Wasaga beach, the party starts at 11:00.

Tomorrow you’ll have to see where the travels lead me, because right now I haven’t decided which route or town I’m gonna visit next.

Only city pixs

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Quebec City, QC, July 17th

I have left Canada and entered another country, Quebec, and particularly Quebec City. Yea, they might call it a province, but it’s nothing like the rest of Canada. Most of the signs I’ve seen throughout the other provinces and even territories are in English and French, but there’s no English here, all the signs are in French and only French and that’s why so many have told me I have to checkout Quebec City and compare it to Montreal in my travels. And the way I’m looking at the return trip home, it’s gonna be a party to celebrate the accomplishment, you might remember, North America?

Ok, maybe I need to start this story as of midnight last night, today being a new day, but you’ll just have to wait for the book version. It was a late night, or I guess you’d call it an early morning, but I had to get to bed because there’s more riding ahead of me and not only was Jessica having man problems, but April-Dawn as well. I don’t know what it’s been the last couple of days with women telling me their man problems, but it’s definitely not for me to solve it the way I’d like to, so now I’m just a therapist, but if they’d just follow my suggestions they’d forget about them all – right?

Good thing I had the alarm on my phone still set cuz that got me up at 9:00 Fredericton time which is still 2 hours behind central, but I did need to eventually get going. Ok, so this hostel isn’t the greatest of places to stay, but I’ve stayed at worse, that for a bed and shower it wasn’t too bad as well as in walking distance of the only happening place in town. On the road and when I stopped to fill up for gas, I just had to get a picture of Stephanie. How often do you see a hot chick checking her oil, not enough that like I told her, that’s great seeing someone like her checking under the hood. Sure I could’ve taken it further, but it was a quick gas stop and she just took it as a compliment, so no need for me to mess it up.

That does remind me of one thing that April-Dawn said to me which relates to something Lucy mentioned, remember Lucy from Kutter’s Harley, that good people attract good people and even though I stopped her and Jessica on the street, they didn’t feel threatened, instead intrigued to find out what it was that I was celebrating.

Once again, thanks to Kat for setting up accommodations for me in Quebec City and Montreal that she’ll be waiting for my critique of the places, that I have to make sure to get to Quebec City sometime today. Well, that wasn’t going to be a problem since it was only about 8 hours away, and again the way I drive, I might be able to shave some minutes, half hours or even hours off, that I had the entire day ahead of me. The only thing I have to beat are the showers they’re expecting later today. That means, today was mostly about hitting the pavement hard, what we like to call freeways back home and the east coast toll ways, but it was a comfortable ride and another great day for a bike ride.

The closer I got to Quebec the more I could see the change in the landscape. No I’m not talking about the mountains, hills, valleys and rivers, but just the road signs and radio stations being in French. Once in the province, it was apparent that this province isn’t like any of the others because everything is in French and without the English interpretation. I figured it’d be a good idea stopping in the visitor’s center which I’m glad I did. Even the maps I’ve been given are in French and don’t have any English, that it might be a little tough for me to find the hostel I need to find. Well, the young lady at the visitors center was a huge help because she even wrote out what roads I’ll be looking for, because you know me and names, their sometimes hard to remember and even harder if their all in French.

Part of the trip was along the Gulf of St Lawrence, the largest estuary in the world, just to get in the scenic tour and while going thru one of the cities, I noticed all of the bikes parked in front of one of the establishments, that I figured they were biker friendly. Sure they are, unless I’m speaking English. There were no problems because I did ask the waitress to translate for me, which happened more than twice for me today. Back on the road and I felt that tired feeling coming over me again, that this time instead of finding myself in the wrong lane, I might as well just pull over that I did just that for about 15 minutes. The clouds are still looking questionable, but as long as I can make it to the hostel without getting wet, that’ll do wonders.

Sure there wasn’t much to the trip, other than the change in scenery, signs that once I got into Quebec City I could really see the change. Again, everything is in French, but just listening to everyone around me, everything is in French. Good thing for those directions from the young lady at the info center cuz I found the hostel I was looking for, in the oldest part of the city within the stone walls. No, I haven’t checked out what the stone walls are all about, but it is a very interesting part of town. For the little time I’ve been here I’m thinking maybe I should extend my stay to see even more. Plenty of those hot Canadians walking around, that you never know.

Ok, a few things I found out from Annie at the local bar I visited. One, they don’t like people using endearing terms especially when they don’t know them such as honey, sweetie, hon, babe, etc. and worse yet don’t whistle. She did eventually tell me her name, but they don’t feel anyone should be using those endearing terms unless they really know that person, but I tried to explain our use, and yes, I only explained and didn’t say the way they do thing is wrong or anything. I did teach Annie something however, how some people just leave their change on the bar and when they order another drink, they just take what they need from the pile. Apparently most people around here don’t leave their change sitting on the bar to cover more drinks and working on the side she is, they don’t feel it’s appropriate to just grab the money from someone’s pile.

The finale to today’s events is going to the waterfront to watch the 400 year celebration on the largest screen monitors in the world. It was quite impressive if you were from Quebec City and understood its history, but I forgot to polish up on that before this trip. One thing I thing the celebration shows is how much the city of Quebec just wants to be it’s own entity and wasn’t happy that the vote to let them secede didn’t pass. Enough for tonight, I have to checkout the bars that are open until 3:00 in the morning to see what kind of action there is because today is done.

Another night to celebrate!

Quebec pix

Fredericton, NB, July 16th

WOOHOO!!!! North America is done. As soon as I got off the ferry on the island of PEI, you know, Prince Edward Island I had a smile a mile long and thanks to some of the other bikers I met on the ferry, they caught the moment. Yep, I was whooping it up and people were even honking as they were going by, I guess maybe I told a few what I was about to accomplish today and what a day it has been. And I don’t want to hear ‘None of it’ for not doing Nunuvut, cuz if there were roads; I’d be on my way. Right now I’m having a wonderful conversation with April-Dawn so might be a little behind in getting this blog out since bar time is just around the corner and I’m spending more time talking than writing, but in due time.

Ok, when I was leaving the hostel I had to give all the ladies a hug ‘goodbye’ and ‘good luck’. Like I told them since I slept with them last night that we’re passed the handshake so hug would be appropriate. Not the kind of sleeping with some of you might be thinking and not even in the same room, but whatever it takes to get a hug, right? It was a perfect day for a bike ride, comfortable temps and not too humid and a good thing I waited a day since it rained yesterday. Of course I had to make a stop at the Cape Breton Island visitors center to see Leanne and tell her about my travels and ask why she didn’t call, but she must’ve known that I’d be coming thru today cuz she wasn’t in. Well, I did get Kathy to help me out cuz I need to get to PEI to finish this little journey I’ve been on since 2006.

Well, because of the time there’s no way I’m gonna make the 11:15 ferry, an hour and a half drive in 45 minutes? Even with the way I drive I don’t think so and I’ve been lucky not to have been pulled over yet cuz I’d probably get nailed like Trevor did in Labrador. I probably forgot to tell that story since I was talking about pushing my bike onto the ferry and off, but Trevor got a ticket for 142 kph in an 80 zone and I’m sure if I was doing 70 through there, I could’ve gotten nailed. Next ferry at 1:00 and that’ll be easy to make even if I did have to stop for directions, or at least look at the map since I thought the ferry crossing sooner than the drive I did have and that hour and a half, even at my speed was pretty close, but that was because of the construction backup that had us waiting for about 20 minutes.

Finally made it to the ferry and although someone had said it was a cheap ferry to PEI, I must’ve hit it just right cuz it was free today. Not sure there’s a charge, but maybe it was my charm…right. Anyway three other bikers all from Cleveland and like I told them how I was with names and had to ask Corey what his name was 3 times, he’d probably be the only one that I’d remember, but I did get the names on the pix soon enough that there was also Steve and Elliott. They’re doing a 10 day loop from through Nova Scotia which definitely include the Cabot trail, a must ride for anyone who makes a trip to Nova Scotia on a bike, or even car for that matter, but still not the same. They’ve done a lot of traveling over the years and I was able to share with them what I was about to do and already I am pumped up and can’t wait, but priorities first. I thought about I on my ride here that I really need to put that shirt on I got from Kutter Harley which says “It’s not the Destination – It is the Journey” because I think that would be fitting for the picture when I get off the boat and again, thank you Lucy for setting me up with this shirt and of course James and Aaron for getting me on the road to be able to accomplish what I might be able to accomplish.

So I’ve already mentioned it and you can see from the pictures that I was whooping it up and I finally did it, ALL of North America. Still more to do since this is only one continent that I still have another 6 to do before I can say I’m done, traveling the world that is. And if there’s a question with how many continents there really are, after checking out the internet there are different teachings from 5 to 6 to 7 and since I want to hit it all, I’ll think big.

I didn’t have plans to do too much of PEI and it’s a bigger island than some may think and a beautiful one at that. The plan, if there is ever a plan, was to ride to the capital city of Charlottetown and check out Peaks point which the lady on the boat suggested seeing and I was going to call it quits until I ran into the crew downtown and they suggested a video they were showing in one of historical buildings. Apparently, Charlottetown considers itself the starting point of the Canadian government, but after watching the show and where the declarations were eventually signed and everything, it is the birthplace of the concept of a free democratic government of Canada, and I do believe it was in the 1800’s that maybe they learned a thing or two for the USA….and that is my history lesson for the day.

Off to the bridge, the Confederation toll bridge and it’s quite impressive. Only the PEI side charges the toll, which I heard someone talking about, but they’re probably the ones to suggest putting it in and it’s a long one. I guess I should’ve measured miles according to my odometer, but it’s 12.9 kilometers that according to my calculation, that’d be 8 miles and I was in a different place at the time, just taking in the sites and making sure not to go over the side. Once on the other side I tried making that call that didn’t work on PEI, calling my parents to let them know what I just accomplished and for AT&T claiming to be international, it’s really surprising it doesn’t work every where in Canada, that’ll be another story when I take that up with them on my return home. Anyway, I think since leaving the country my mothers forgot about me because every time I’ve called her from Canada, she’s always asking, ‘who is this’. So easily to be forgotten when you leave the country I guess.

Ok, the other big accomplishment for the day, my bike turned 5 today. 5’s across the odometer with one digit left to be filled, so I’m now at 55,555 miles to do all of North America. Sure it’s with a few missed turns and having to go back in some places, but I’m not counting miles when it comes to doing the continent, I’m counting the states, provinces, territories and the great people I’ve met along the way.

Now, back to the story and a little morbid thought went through my head while driving thru New Brunswick seeing all the moose signs, what if I get to hit one of those and can’t finish the story. Ok, in the moment, but at least sharing the thought and thank God, the story is now complete, at least this story.
A huge thanks to Kat for securing a hostel for me for the night, she’s awesome and like I told her yesterday, if I were 20 years younger, or at least 10, maybe I’d have a chance. Anyway, after checking with the visitors center a drive to the other 2 hostels that Kat suggested were too far a drive for as late as it was that if I can at least make it to Fredericton, that’d get me close to my destination for tomorrow. So, the hostel is nothing to write home about and Kat warned me of that, but at least it’s a bed and shower that according to the manager on duty, not a lot to do in this town, but the Lunar Rogue Pub might be ok. On my way I happened to see Jessica and April-Dawn leaving that I asked if this was the happening place and told them they should really come and help me celebrate my accomplishment, which is what puts me hear talking with April-Dawn and the bar ready to close. And one thing I learned tonight and why they both may have red-eyes in the picture, the red-eye reduction doesn’t work on blue eyes, which I really question cuz I’ve seen those brown eyes red. Any way, more to the story, but that’s for tomorrow’s story since today’s was done at midnight.

PEI pix

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Aberdeen, NS, July 15th

No you didn’t read it wrong, I’m back in Aberdeen Nova Scotia and how could I pass up another night without visiting Kat. I had a great time last time that I’m sure to find the same tonight, and tonight this place is full. More on that in a minute.

Today wasn’t about the ride, but getting the bike serviced, getting some cloths cleaned and getting some rest that was definitely lost last night. The ferry ride wasn’t fery comfortable, but that wasn’t only because of the bumpy ride, but the lounge area was cold and I didn’t even think about packing a jacket. I did get my name on a waiting list, but my chances on scoring a bed a page later are pretty slim. I did find out one of the bikers that I did have a bite to eat, was third in line so had one of those bunks to crash on. Me, I laid back one of the lounge chairs to see about sleeping, but again, because of the cold didn’t get much sleep if any.

Once we docked and got to head downstairs to unstrap the bikes, I found where all the heat had been, it was below deck. Oh well, to late now that a relaxing day to get reorganized for the return trip home may be just what my weary body needs. Off the ferry bright and early this morning, about 6:00 Nova Scotia time and although I got half an hour back, it didn’t feel like much. By the way, that lady in the red bandana waiting for the ferry door is a RMCP, you know Royal Canadian Mounted Police and I wouldn’t even think about messing around with that, it could hurt. I did find out talking to her at the same Harley shop in Sydney that most were visiting, that she’ll take the 5 hour ferry ride to get her bike serviced instead of riding the 10 hour trip to St Johns, well you know what I’d do, I’d o wherever I can get the best service.

And why I ended up at the same Harley shop is because it’s the only one on Cape Breton and my bike is in need of oil and filter change as well as a few other things getting checked out to make sure I can get home. They were able to get me in right away and some of that thanks to another police officer I met while waiting for the shop to open, Don, one of the CBRPS, you know the Cape Breton Regional Police Service and he’s not a police officer, but a Constable, now that’s cool. He did suggest a ride I should do as well as visiting Baddeck and for as tired as I was feeling for not sleeping on the ferry, Baddeck was the thing to do and with the Alexander Graham Bell museum, it’s definitely worth a visit. I did visit the museum, but didn’t pay the money to go through it because they were just taking a tour around in French and the next English tour was gonna be 3 hours later, that I have other things to do.

The other thing I thought I haven’t done and the old man at the gas station suggested, was trying one of those Nove Scotia lobsters that he had just the place for me, the Lyndway, good food at a good priced and he was right, The Marine lobster platter you see in front of me, which included steamed mussels was only $20 and for what lobster costs elsewhere, this is a great price. Oh and Murdena, she was full of stories today, trying to explain why her legs looked messed up the way they did, because of a bike accident her and her husband had while riding the Cabot trail. Now why do you think a waitress would just start telling me a biking story unless maybe I fit the part?

Today was about relaxing and apparently it was a good thing I called Kat this morning to see if she would have a bed for me because the place was filling up quick. For me it’s gonna be about getting some laundry done and trying to catch up on some well needed rest that I wasn’t able to get on the ferry that Kat already has the hammock setup for me. After a shave and shower to get cleaned up after yesterdays long right, it was great just lying around doing nothing, that was until it started raining, that I think I picked a good day not to pound the pavement. Kat and I had a great talk and I have to tell you, I really enjoy staying at these hostels because of the people that I meet. So many different people from different places with different stories that it’s great when you realize we all have one thing in common, to live life to its fullest. I could try to go through all of the stories of the people I have met like I did last night, but it’s their story that we’ll leave it as such tonight.

Ok, I forgot to mention just how different Newfoundland/Labrador is from making a trip from the Most Southerly tip of the island to the Most Northerly as well as Labrador, and the Most Westerly point of the island to the Most Easterly point of the entire continent, and they are all worth seeing, The southwest is mountainous with some great rivers running through, the north is flat and baron with some brutal winds blowing through, the middle is warm with some nasty winds blowing through and the Most Easterly point it brutal to get to with the nasty cape winds blowing through, but probably one of the prettiest areas you’ll see on the island. Wait, I liked what I saw in the southwest and St Johns was all about the partying and those hot Canadian women I’ve been looking for.

Now for a little partying with all of those who are here and thanks to Kat I have a hostel in Quebec City and Montreal already lined up. Someone was telling me that I really need to party in both to see just how different they are, so now that I have accommodations, the only thing left to do is PEI, you know Prince Edward Island to complete my North American tour.

Day of relaxation pics

Atlantic Ocean, Newfoundland/Nova Scotia, July 14th

Right now, somewhere on the Atlantic ocean between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and it was quite a days ride just getting here, more on that later, but first, I had a sunrise to get up for and would it be by myself or not? Yep, sorry to say by myself and with the alarm set for 4:30 Newfoundland time which would be 2:00 central, which I still have a little of that time in me, let’s just say I didn’t get much sleep and was also in no shape to be riding my bike to Cape Spears, what time did I say the bars close? you got it, 4:00 and I need more than half an hour to sober up to ride.

Ok, so George street did turn out to be the happenin place to be and even with the cougar situation and much more to the story than I care to share, there was still much more fun to be had and now I know why everyone says if ever in St Johns, you have to go to George street. I should’ve gotten more pictures, most which won’t be shared, but it’s very much like a Mardi Gra, just without the beads…now for the rest of the story.

So, you guessed it, not up at 4:30 to see that sunrise and still by myself that when I did finally wake up after shutting off the alarm, it was only 6:30 that I figured I have plenty of time to sleep in. That was until I realized that was 6:30 central that I was looking at, not Newfoundland time that I should make an effort to get up sooner rather than later cuz if I’m thinking about catching a midnight ferry from Port Aux-Basque, which I forgot to tell you about yesterday, I need to get going no later than noon.

As the story goes, I could either take a 16 – 18 hour ferry from St Johns, next one leaving at 12:30 in the morning Tuesday for 3 times the cost, or take a 10 hour bike trip back across the island to save some money and even time by catching the midnight ferry, that you got it, I opted for this one, which by the way, we’re already experiencing pretty rough seas. This will at least get me back to Nova Scotia early Tuesday instead of late Tuesday and I should really finish this story so I can get a little sleep since it’s only a 5 hour ferry ride and I have no place to stay once we do dock.

Well, I did finally crawl out of bed and get packed and cleaned up that I still have to make that trip to Cape Spears just to say I’ve been to the Most Easterly tip of North America, cuz if I’m going to claim North America, other than Nunuvut (and maybe you know why they call it “‘None of It”, no roads to do any of it) there are some things that I should take care of while here, cuz who knows when or if I’ll ever return. You can see by the pictures that I did make it to the Cape and while driving in my thought was a good thing I didn’t get up for the sunrise since its overcast that I wouldn’t have seen much of anything anyway. That’s what I thought until talking to Pastor John, whose filming sermons along the way traveling across Canada from Vancouver. Or the way he put it, the other guys, sorry, you know how I am with names, are the ones driving the van across Canada to get setup, while Pastor John flies to wherever they’re at…like I said, the boss always has it easy.

Ok, now I really have to make a run cuz I have a 10 hour drive ahead of me and according to my calculations, I should be able to shave a few minutes, if not half hours, if not hours off the trip, that is as long as I don’t run out of gas, and have I mentioned how far and in between the gas stations are on this island? if not, I should have, because just to avoid running out, I’ve been making a few more stops than normal even though there have been too many times that I’ve pushed it, that this time I got caught. The only thing I can figure is the strong head winds I’ve been fighting from St Johns, and remember how hard the winds blow across this island, well these are downright cold coming off the water across the mountain and capes to and from St Johns and they are brutal…that’s worse than the American version of wicked.

Well, at least I was close to one of those hotdog stands that I at least caught a picture of the other day, but may have skipped mentioning it. These hotdog stands are setup in the rest areas along the way that it’ll only be a half mile walk up the hill for me to see if the guy can help me out or not. Someone did stop to give me a ride and the guy said the same thing, the stations are too far and in-between and my next one is 40 klicks away, that’ll take a long time to get a gas can and come back, but I had him drop me off at the hotdog stand anyway and to my luck, Harold was more than willing to help me. He’d let me borrow his van to get gas for my bike, only problem is he couldn’t leave his hotdog stand so I might have to do some walking anyway, but the good news, there’s a gas station just down the hill that I made a quick trip down with his fan, filled the can and came back to the park. The way I had it figured with all of these people I’ve been meeting along the way that are out hitchhiking, I should be able to get a ride down the hill to my bike. I’m not sure what it is, but do I really look like someone wouldn’t trust picking up? No, don’t answer that. I did ask a guy who was buying from Harold if he could drop me off that half a mile down the road and him and his family were more than willing to help…thanks much for the lift.

Back on the road and now I’ll really have to hit it and have I told you how wicked the winds are on this island? today worse than any other that I’ve been riding and it seems to be a head wind that I really can’t afford to run out of gas again, well, guess what, I didn’t, but my next gas stop was sooner than it needed to be. With the sun just at the right angle above me, it made it hard to see and even worse, I was probably a little sleepy and pushing it just to get to the next gas station, that before I knew it, I was in the oncoming traffic lane and boy, not only did that put a scare into me, but it woke me up quick. That meant I really needed to stop as soon as I found gas, just to rest my eyes a little, so that’s just what I did.

Ok, I’ll be good on gas and make sure that I make plenty of stops from here to Port Aux-Basque, that what else could there be that’ll keep me from making the ferry. Well, how’bout rain with these wicked winds which is just what I encountered 150 klicks from the port. That’ll still be almost 2 hours and the other thing that is going to happen that everyone has told me not to do, ride in the dark. At least I have good rain gear to keep me dry, but when you can’t see the road very well, I figured it best camping out behind a truck for the rest of the way in. I’ll just have to slow down a little and let him get rid of any moose that might be in the road. That didn’t last though cuz I thought it a little slow that as long as I can see whether there’s anything in the road or not, yes, taking chances, but I really don’t want to miss this ferry. Wouldn’t you know it, the last 18 klicks were the worse, but I did make the ferry, that’s why I’m in the middle of the rough Atlantic and there were more bikes in line than I thought there would be.

Nova Scotia, here I come and I think I’m gonna make another stop to see Kat, oh yea, and Leanne…you ready for that ride? Stay tune.

Cross country pics

St Johns, Newfoundland, July 13th

St Johns, Newfoundland and what everyone has told me to do as well as those I’ve told where I’m going, George Street is suppose to be awesome. It’s where all the bars are and the group of bikers I did talk to 2 ½ hours out were telling me how much fun it is, that’s after they helped me decide which hostel I should checkout…we’ll get to that.

My first night of camping with the tent and although it went up quick, it came down just as quick, which reminds me, now that it’s all wrapped up, I left the flashlight in it so might just have to open it up. Anyway, I setup where they said the sun will hit first so I can get some of the dew dried off before having to pack it, but I didn’t get up as soon as there was sun on me, I waited until it got to hot and had to get out. Well, it’s a small tent as you can see so too small to change in that I’m sure the lady camped next door appreciated me stepping out in my skivvies, who wouldn’t? I saw that Trevor was already packed and outta here that I didn’t even hear him leave, but he was on one of those rice burners, you know the kind, know one knows whether they’re running or not.

It was a beautiful morning and just the right temp for packing up camp and I made the right choice putting the tent where I did cuz no dew and if you would’ve seen how wet everything was when I crawled in for the night; it was as though it had rained. Anyway, the only thing left to do was take a shower and once again I’m sure the lady camped next to me enjoyed watching me get dressed behind the bike, who wouldn’t? Packed, showered and ready to hit the road, but not quite sure where I should go, sure I had an idea, but the guy camped next door, yep the ladies husband showed me how I should make a trip to iceberg alley to see if there were any icebergs, that’d be Twillingate. I just liked the name so figured it definitely a place to visit.

For some reason when leaving camp I remember thinking to myself that I needed to find my happy place. Not sure why, but something must’ve been bothering me, like no phone service, HOG or the bike itself, but it didn’t take long. As soon as I was on the Trans Canada highway with the cruise set, it all blew away and was forgotten, can’t deal with it now cuz I have better things to do. More great riding and the views up to Twillingate were great, the only problem no icebergs. There was a couple who had just come off the island that I met a few days ago that told me about the iceberg they saw here, but the locals said it was already out 2 days previous, well I guess my timing wasn’t the greatest and should’ve probably shown up in June when there were still a few floating around, but I had to make some money to afford this trip.

It was worth that drive although the guy camped next door said it’d add about 3 hours to the trip to St Johns, but he doesn’t know how I drive. Oh, and while in Twillingate I decided to try this interesting looking place, J & J Fish market and it was a great choice. I had a crab burger which had just been made and it was the right choice. You might be wondering just like I was what a crab burger is, but it’s like a crab salad on a soft bun which again, was great.

Back on the road and this time when making a gas stop I got on the phone to call Best Buy, the one where I got this new phone and AT&T service to have them get on it and figure out why I can’t get service in Newfoundland when others that I know, Trevor for instance does get service. Well, there’s no way for them to get a hold of me unless they can get my service to work so I’ll just have to keep checking to see whether they got it to work or not.

Well, the ride to St Johns is definitely something else and I think it’s not only because of the locale, but all of the capes that have to be drivin through. No, not small towns that you have to slow down for, but the weather blowing thru the way it does and have I told you how wicked the winds in Newfoundland are? well, they’re really wicked and this one is so cold I had to leather up with the extra jacket I brought along all the way from Alaska, Oh, if you missed that story from Alaska, it’s the REI jacket I talked my way into half price to warm up my ride through Alaska. You should really read the story. You might be able to see by the pictures the clouds that hang over the mountains and cape that I crossed, but once through it, St Johns had perfect weather.

So I did have to stop and ask for directions, to the hostel that I had booked a room for which reminds me I forgot to tell you about the phone service. Well, at my last gas stop before making it to St Johns, what’dya know, phone service so not only can I call to checkout ferries back to Nova Scotia, but I can call a hostel and book a room; Thanks Chris from the Best Buy call I made for getting things going for me. Anyway, this is where those bikers talking about George street come in to play cuz I showed them the list of hostels and they pointed out the 2 that were close that the City hostel looked like a goo call. Back to the directions and easy to find that I had no problems getting downtown and finding it and what’dya know, they’re throwing a party just for my arrival. Not really, but they were having pot luck and had more than enough food that they invited me to join them which if you know me and food, I’ll definitely eat. Ok, names attached to the pictures and not the porn names which was the game played while eating and I won’t even begin to tell you what mine was, but I was flattered. All from Canada except for Cat who escapes Florida in the summer to come here and Melissa, an Aussie.

Off to George street it is after dinner and this time with the group of guys and a couple of ladies who decided to join us, that would be Kerri An and Melissa who met earlier and these are the groups real names since they weren’t involved in the porn name game. Well, for what everyone was telling me about George Street, I guess I thought it’d be bigger than what it was, but it did remind me a lot of Bourbon Street, you remember the story, my visit to New Orleans? if not, maybe you need to read the story. Anyway, the street wasn’t as busy as it was Saturday night and once again, it’s all timing that I’m a little late for the party. Well, I did ask each their story so a quick version of each, Kerri An is a gypsy, her dad a French Indian from Newfoundland which we were all trying to figure out, what is a French Indian., Melissa traveling around eastern Canada and does a lot of traveling just finding jobs along the way and has to make her way back to Edmonton to move her stuff out of her boyfriends place, trust factor. Jammy who is French and pretty shy just out traveling, Hero, from Japan, but backed out for the night, might still be hung-over from Saturday night, Laura, away from her husband for weeks on end doing research about environmental affects and no phone sex with her husband, Daniel the German who’s doing some traveling after quitting his last job and getting ready to start medical school back in Germany and Chris, from Alberta who was visiting his bum brother in Halifax and hooked up with Daniel who showed him the hostel way…oh, and my wing man tonight.

Ok, so I’ve been wondering where all the hot Canadian women went since getting to Newfoundland and I think I may have found where they all hangout, St Johns. There were a few bars that were hopping and one of them with ladies night that I got to see those hotties I’ve been missing, Well, not the bar of choice even though the ladies would’ve enjoyed ladies night, but we did find one which had Kim sitting all by her lonesome that we’re just the group to join her and I’m just her type of guy since her divorce, have bike and will ride. Which by the way, I need to get up at 4:30 to ride out to the Most Easterly tip of North America to see the sunrise that I found a rider, now all we have to do is work out the arrangements and I’m not talking just the ride. Well, let’s just say, either the wingman turned out to be a snake or we had a cougar amongst us, cuz guess who’s going to see the sunrise themselves, you got it, me…unless I can scare up something else quick before the bars close, which I think is a 4:00 closing.

Sunrise, here I come, or insert we here!

St John pics

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cormack, Newfoundland/Labrador, July 12th

Cormack, Newfoundland and my first night of camping, but I almost didn’t even get this far. Sitting in the campground lounge talking with Trevor and the owner’s mother who is playing mom. She is here with her husband helping her son and daughter-in-law run the place during the summer and guess where they are, Vegas. Well, like mom because she is getting fed up with the kids not closing the door behind them and making sure they are of age before drinking, which is only 19 here. More to come.

Well, I did have my alarm set right after all. Since I haven’t figured out how to get the damn thing to show me the time zone I’m in, I’ve had to set the alarm according to central time, so if I calculated right, 3:30am should get me up by 6:00 Newfoundland time. And it’s a good thing my phone has a battery of it’s own for the alarm because when I got up the power in the entire town of St Barbe was out. So much for those people who paid good money to stay in the hotel and probably had the same kind of problem I did trying to take a shower, no water pressure. At least I did have hot water so it wasn’t a cold shower, but just a trickle enough to get me wet and rinse me off.

That meant with the power off they weren’t taking credit cards to pay for the ferry, but I was in luck cuz it only cost $11.50 and I have enough Canadian cash that I can cover that. Which reminds me, the lady the other day that charged me more for using US dollars than Canadian, the bartender last night treated me with par…remember dollar for dollar. Oh well, I’m able to get on and bikes are last on, and once again asked if that meant we were first off, but no was the answer I am so getting use to. The one thing they have right on the West coast ferries is they have the bikes get on first since they have to strap down the bikes and that’s one thing they could learn here from them, just as the west could learn from the east that one strap over the seat’ll do it. Ok, there was just the Bar Harbor ferry that did that for as fast as it goes, but here it’s strapping down the handle bars or in my case the crash bars, which I hope not to have to use someday.

The boat ride was ok, but I really wish someone would’ve warned me about the food because I decided to have eggs and sausage like everyone else, but it was terrible. One thing I have noticed is Newfoundland/Labrador isn’t known for its food cuz even the chicken lunch I had wasn’t anything to write home about. Mom still being mom getting on one of the kids for driving cuz he’s had few. Now I even know better than to drink and drive, so only a few more and I can get this bike back to the campsite…right, bike’s parked and I’m walking.

Where was I, right the boat ride wasn’t bad at all and when I first met Trevor he and I were the only bikers on the boat. He was going to just take the bike off the ferry and get right back on to say he’s done Labrador which is exactly what I thought about doing until I started smarting off to the lady running the gift shop. Ok, I was asking her if I’d be partying with her tonight if I took my time driving as far as they have a paved road or not, but according to her, the north shore is definitely worth the ride, that after thinking about it, it’s not every day that I’ll make a trip to Labrador, that I probably should ride until I can’t ride anymore and for those that know me, sure I’d do gravel.

Now to my surprise, the Blanc Sablon port we were coming into isn’t in Labrador, but Quebec. That means, according to my calculations and since Nunuvut doesn’t have any roads that PEI is the only other province for me to claim the entire North continent, and if there is anyone who’s going to question it, please let me know so I can plan my next trip before moving on to another continent. Anyway, I came into Quebec, but just up the hill hit Labrador. No, not just Labrador sign, but Newfoundland/Labrador even though most Canadians consider the island Newfoundland and the mainland Labrador that I’ve done it the way the Canadian’s would have. And I did ride as far as the pavement took me, Red Bay which was about an hour away, an hour and ½ according to kph, but remember my calculations might be off slightly that an hour is all it really takes and if you look closely you’ll see where the pavement ends and the gravel starts.

It was more great country to see and for awhile I actually sat back not worrying about taking any more pictures and just enjoying the scenery myself, because like all other places you have to see it to appreciate it and I have to start appreciating it more myself since I’m here. I can share the stories or how it makes me feel, but it’s a different experience to each person that sees it. Oh and it’s cold up here, you might even see some snow still in the mountains.

Since the trip is only an hour drive and I have another 3 ½ hours before catching the ferry back I took my time and even had something to eat Right, that chicken lunch that was nothing to write home about and that was about the time the lady showed me their live lobster tank and all of the frozen fish that they could have cooked up for me. Ok, I had to get in line and get a ticket to get back on the ferry and that’s where the problems of the day start.

No, no problem getting a ticket, but as soon as I tried starting the bike to pull it in line, no power. Something was acting up that I have no idea what could have gone wrong that all I thought about is the battery has finally gone on me cuz even the alarm wouldn’t cause it to go completely dead. Well, once I got it pushed into line, I called the HOG hotline to get them to help me out and I am really gonna have to send them something when I get back because not only weren’t they of much help on my previous trip when I ran outta gas in the middle of nowhere, they’re even tougher to deal with when out of the country. Sure, the phone prompt says if calling from Canada select 2 which is what I did, but as soon as I started giving them my member number, no I have to call the states and they’ll contact them to help. When talking to the lady from the US group and telling her where I needed the tow to pick me up, St Barbe Newfoundland, she couldn’t even find it on their map. No kidding, out in the middle of nowhere and I don’t have phone service, which is another whole story I’ll have to bring up with AT&T which was suppose to be the best international coverage…all I can say it’s all B.S.

Where was I, right not much help from HOG and no phone service that Trevor, remember the other biker as well as some of the ship crew were going to help me figure out the problem that I unpacked part of the bike to get at the fuses and all looked good that the crew would jump me once I got back to St Barbe, cuz there’s no place in Labrador that could help. Ok, now it’ll just be pushing the bike off the ferry once we land and unpacking it even more to figure out the problem and fortunately when we got to the battery, something was loose that with a little tightening, I’m back in service. Ok, so while I’m thinking about all of the problems that it could be while sitting on the ferry for the ride, I was going to send a letter or Harley that I need a bike to do the world that won’t keep breaking down on me, one to HOG to be better at their roadside assistance and I’d still like to figure out how everyone else gets phone service but me who switches to AT&T for their international coverage and can’t even get anything in Newfoundland or Labrador. And don’t think I won’t because those letters will be sent.

Not to go on and on, but since Trevor helped me out and we were heading same way, we made the trip along the coast the opposite way that we go there, heading south instead of north so I got some more great pictures of the ride. Once again, you should really make the trip yourself because even when thinking about all my travels and trying to explain what I see or experience you really have to experience yourself. Now after a chilly ride and having to fully leather up, we made it to Cormack, just outside of Deer Lake, Newfoundland, that if the bike starts for me without any problems tomorrow, I should be able to make St Johns’.

Oh, and the people from Newfoundland/Labrador are so friendly. Anyone I’d see out in any of the small towns I rode through would wave and I can’t begin to tell you how many have just come up to talk to me when making a gas stop. And the best while setting up my tent the group next to me gave me a beer and helped me pitch the tent. We need more people like these in the world, even if you can’t understand a word they’re saying.

More great pixs of Newfoundland coast

St Barbe, Newfoundland/Labrador, July 11th

St Barbe, Newfoundland/Labrador and I’m so sorry for not getting the spelling right for Newfoundland. I guess I thought it was 2 words and thought wrong. If you’re wondering where St Barbe is, it’s near the northern most tip of the Newfoundland island and where I have to catch the ferry to Labrador, the mainland…more on that later.

I forgot about the extra half hour so never did change my alarm on my phone to get me up earlier, but since Emma asked when I wanted to get up for breakfast the night before and I told her I just might sleep in, she told me that’s exactly what her and Danny had done the other morning, they didn’t get outta bed until 10:30, that I figure I should be able to sleep in at least until then. Well, it was pretty close since I didn’t get up until 9:30 Newfoundland time, but I needed to catch up on the sleep a little and will likely lose more to catch the early morning ferry. Danny and Emma have a great B&B and I would suggest anyone going through Port Aux-Basque should really spend a night with them. Emma sat with me for breakfast offering to make up whatever I would like for breakfast, but a little more of that maple nut bread and orange juice was going to be enough for me. We had a very nice talk and more once Danny joined us and one thing that was so funny and struck me about both of them was that Canadian talk coming out that I forgot about last time going through this country. Emma used the line ‘right on’ a lot which was so funny coming from her and they both used ‘no worries’, which reminded me that coming from Kat when I forgot to drop off the flyers she asked me to deliver to the Red Shoe tavern…so sorry, but no worries.

Well, according to Danny it was going to take close to 6 hours to get to the other side of the National Park I was going to go through on my way to Labrador, but he doesn’t know my driving, He figured 2 ½ hours to Deer Lake and then another 2 ½ at least to get thru the park. He did say that I would have the road to Deer Lake all to myself and he was right, and the 2 ½ hours was pretty close, I did make it in 2. From there, it’d definitely take me another 2 ½ just to go thru the park if I go by kph, but remember my math isn’t that good that I might have been speeding a little, at least I passed a number of vehicles going much slower. Anyway, the Gros Morne Canadian National park is quite picturesque just like most of Newfoundland that I saw today, but up here on the north end, I don’t know why anyone would live up here.

The ride thru the park was very comfortable, a little chilly that I had to jacket up and it may look like a lot of shots of just the road, but just look past the pavement for what it is that I’m trying to capture. It’s much easier taking pictures with the camera on the bike instead of having to stop for every picture, so deal with it. Remember I’m taking the risk of trying to snap a picture while moving along at 70 mph and see, my math isn’t too bad when the speed limit is 100 kph, I’m 30 under. It was some great views and didn’t take very long to get thru and by the way, I even changed the time on my bike so I had a better idea of the time I’m really dealing with, now if I could just get my phone to work that way, it wouldn’t be so hard trying to figure out what time Central I have to set the alarm for in the morning.

Once past the park it was along the ocean shore all the way to St Barbe and plenty cold that I had to completely leather up and with the wind, it’s wicked…and not in the Canadian sense of the word, it’s blowin hard. I found the ferry terminal which wasn’t open, but since it’s attached to the hotel, asked about the ferry which the lady at the desk said goes at 8:00, 1:00 and 6:00. Well according to my calculation or the time I changed on the bike, it’s only a bit after 5:00 that I should be able to make the next one. Apparently that was the schedule for tomorrow that last one left an hour ago. I did wask what I should do to kill some time and the people in front of me were heading toward St Francis, that that sounds like the thing to do. It’s an hour and ½ away and where the first Viking historical settlement is.

Not a Viking fan, but for those who are, now you have some pictures of the first settlement in Canada by the Vikings at L’Anse Aux Meadows and no I’m not going to even try to pronounce it, but one French lesson, Aux is ‘of’ in English. Even this settlement seems worse for the sorts with the wind and the nasty and cold temps that why would anyone in their right mind pick a place like this to live, but that’s a Viking for you. Once there I did see this restaurant, the Norseman, and as long as it’s suppose to be one of the top 10 restaurants in Canada, I might as well try it. I was a little skeptical, but a guy came in to make reservations and heard raving reviews about the place and a couple was back in after having been there the night before for the first time and liked it so much, they were back for more.

Well, my meal was pretty good, I had a loin steak and had great fun talking with the couple next to me from Ottawa. Once I mentioned curling since she had gone to school in Winnepeg, I was in and I even got the help them with how to eat a lobster since it was the first time for both. And I did, even though Niki would suggest otherwise, tell them the inners are good eatin…kinda like being the one to get the monkey brain. Ok, before leaving the restaurant not only did I get to know that couple next to me, but a couple of ladies from Madison, (gay I’m sure) and another couple from the Wisconsin Dells area who heard me talking about the lake that is no more. I would’ve liked to stick around, but have to find a place to stay so I can catch the early ferry in the morning.

Since the lady at the hotel earlier told me I could pitch a tent in their local day park, I figured I better take that hour and ½ drive back to St Barbe, that I was going to do one of those things I really don’t want to do too much of, ride at night, especially with the moose. Well, the sun wasn’t setting until after 9:30 that it wouldn’t be too bad, except now there were two things I hoped I wouldn’t see, rain or moose and guess what, I saw both. Just a little spit, which now this area reminds me of Alaska in many ways, but plenty of moose…5 as I counted, but fortunately none in the road. Ok, I made it back unscathed and instead of pitching a tent in the park asked about camping at the RV park across the road. Yep, that wouldn’t be a problem, but I had an even better idea. Since they have such a big building and it’s open all night, how’bout I just roll out my sleeping bag on a floor somewhere instead of pitching a tent and guess what, I even have my own room. Now what more could you ask for – maybe someone to do my laundry since they have laundry facilities.

Oh, and even though I had thought about skipping the ferry to Labrador and working my way back to St John’s to catch a ferry back to Nova Scotia in a few days, the young waitress at the Norseman said Labrador is definitely worth seeing and since there is only one road to ride and it’ll be much like Juno Alaska where the road ends, I might as well do it so there won’t be any regrets about missing a province, that is until the couple from Ottawa told me about the new northern territory, Nunuvut, but they did say, there aren’t any roads to it. Ok, I might be able to skip that one.

Tomorrow if my alarm is set right, Labrador here I come.

Barbe pixs

Port Aux-Basque, Newfoundland/Labrador, July 10th

Port Aux-Basque, New Foundland and I can now claim another Canadian province and from what I here, this one should be a lot of fun. It was an early start thanks to the hostel rules for a 10:00 checkout, but Kat did say it didn’t make any difference when I left. The loop I’m taking today is suppose to take 5 to 6 hours just driving and if I have a boat to catch, a good thing for an early start. Still trying to get use to all of this time I keep losing the further east I go, now another half hour, but I suppose it might help changing my clocks instead of trying to do the math. Sometimes it gets a little screwy like today that I had to be at the ferry by 4:00 so kept checking my clock to see how close to 2:00 I was.

What a beautiful day for a beautiful ride. Today was all about the Cabot trail which according to every visitor center I talked to or Nova Scotian, it’s a must see, and Leanne, you would have loved the ride if you had only taken one sick day. I was hoping to do the trail counterclockwise with the way my camera is mounted on the bike, but I took a left when right was right once again. But hold on, this time it wasn’t a choice between right or left, but when to exit and I guess I exited sooner rather than later. Oh well, there was a reason I went clockwise and that might’ve had a lot to do with the time and making the ferry.

I did stop and ask for directions wondering where I went wrong, but like the guy said I can either go back 60 kilometers or do it clockwise cuz it’s just as pretty this ways and I suppose he’s right. You do know however that you should try these types of things both ways because for some reason it always looks different when going the other direction. And once again, of course the pictures don’t do it justice, it’s really something you need to experience yourself and so far, Nova Scotia is a very beautiful province with some great riding. This trail however, was pretty bumpy in spots, but thanks to Aaron, remember Janesville? my bags shouldn’t fall off on this trip.

It was definitely warm and humid this morning and when I saw bikes coming the other way on the trail with rain gear on, I thought I might be in for a little trouble, but I must’ve timed it just right cuz it was warm and sunny for me the entire day. Definitely warmer on the West coast or whatever side they call it and that’s only because the lower half of Nova Scotia along the coast isn’t called the East it’s called the South. Like I was saying the west side was definitely warmer that when I got to the Atlantic it was starting to get a bit chilly with the way the wind blows off the ocean. Ok, how many of you did I get with that? Think about it, Nova Scotia is an island so what ocean do you think I saw on the West side, yaw, the Atlantic. Anyway, they are both quite different.

Well, I did have time for lunch that I stopped for a quick one at the Rusty Anchor and had a great Lobster roll which reminds me what I was thinking at the time. How I feel sorry for those who are allergic to shell fish and can’t enjoy a good lobster or shrimp for that matter, but sad for those who refuse to try seafood, any seafood and there’s definitely a difference between shellfish and fish. Ok, a good lunch, but today the dollar was doing that much worse that the lady making change was charging more using American currency than Canadian and wouldn’t you know it, today I didn’t have enough Canadian that cost me. I should’ve cashed it all in when it was par, you know, dollar for dollar?

Too the ferry I go and another one like the one I took on the West coast where the front opens so it can swallow the vehicles and this time they don’t have very good straps, but like the guys told us below the waters are pretty calm that we shouldn’t have to worry about it. Ok, but then why are the trucks also strapped down? I found that odd that they semis taking the trip also get a chain down, but like Dan told me, who you’ll meet later, that’s to keep them from tipping since they are top heavy…makes sense to me.

Well once I the ferry I did meet some other bikers. Ok, that might’ve been because they were strapping their bikes down with me, but I met George, Hugh, Jim and Bob who call themselves the ‘knights of the open road’. Not a term they came up with, but figured as long as someone gave them such a name, they could use it without sounding too arrogant, even though Bob does want to be called Sir. I did talk to them about the trip their taking and they were coming from Vancouver and trying to do 10 provinces in 10 days, which I guess they now have once we made the landing on New Foundland. Their riding pretty much the same path I’ll be taking tomorrow, but since no one knows for sure whether the island of New Foundland would count for Labrador, I better make the trip further north just to cover it.

A 5 and ½ hour ferry ride later and we’re finally docking here at New Foundland at 11:40pm and I didn’t get any sleep on the ferry since they had movies on most of the time. Sure it was only in the lounge area I was visiting, but I figured it’d be off the ship to a bar to see what I can find for drink and accommodations, because if I forgot to tell you, Richard at Halifax told me I shouldn’t have to worry about getting a room or setting up camp because someone will probably offer me a place to stay. Well, once we got off the ship it was wet and rainy that since I’m not going to stop or ride very far this late at night in the rain, not gonna suit up. I made a stop at the first gas station I saw on the way to downtown Port Aux-Basque and asked about a cheap place for the night which brings me here to Dan and Emma’s B&B. Only $50 for the night and Dan even came to the gas station to lead me back here, now that’s service. And Emma had some breads and shortcakes ready for me and remember, a B&B that I might even get fed in the morning. A great price for great accommodations and I really need to catch up on my sleep.

Let’s see what New Foundland is all about, shall we?

Newfoundland pixs

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Aberdeen, NS July 9th

Yep, you read it right, Aberdeen, Nova Scotia, not South Dakota and the only ones that would know there is an Aberdeen in SD would be either the bikers who have been to Sturgis or those who hunt SD…and just to make it clear for Paul, Keltie and Steve, I’m not talking about Aberdeen Scotland.

Well first lets finish last nights activities with the stories and as the story goes, Nadine the waitress at the Old Triangle doing the talking, was on duty until bar time and Jess was the one getting off. I know what your thinking, but even though I tried talking her into joining me for a few drinks and showing me Halifax, Nadine felt safe talking since she was there until bar time and off to bed after. As the story goes I found out from Chris, another one of those guys from the UK that Nadine is the house model and shacked up pretty well with some other dude. Not like I had a chance, but talk is talk and who knows where it might lead.

Brent, you remember Brent the bartender taking such good care of me suggested I checkout the Lower Deck which is where I ended up before the night was over. This is definitely a different kind of bar with the Nova Scotia music, but it reminded me a lot of a bar I was in up ”north to Alaska…”. Anyway it was a fun place to party for the night and drunk Chris for the Old Triangle showed up with a buddy that we had a pretty good time, even talking with Meagan who was involved with the Canadian Professional Wrestling some how. You know, like the WWF and although I think I could have handled myself, she was waiting for a phone call which eventually came. Nice meeting you Meagan and talking to you for the night.

Back to the hostel, or I should say YMCA and what a fiasco that turned out to be. I wasn’t able to get in and once I did, found out the room I was staying in had a broken heater that I had to be moved to a different room. Not broken in that I needed heat, but you couldn’t shut the sucker off and for as hot as it already was, I needed AC. Eventually I got a fan, but it was in such bad shape that I had to put it in even worse shape for it wot work without making too much noise. That was easy to do, remove the front screen and bend the back one so the blades don’t hit any more…I was finally in business for the night. Halifax is definitely a fun town to party in and reminds me of so many of the other fun Canadian towns I’ve got to visit.

Ok, to todays travels. Once I finally got on the road and figured my 2 hour difference, my first stop was the visitors center to see how long it’ll take me doing the East shore all the way to North Sydney to catch the ferry to New Foundland. Wouldn’t you know it, one of those Canadian chicks that I wasn’t listening to directions at all, but did understand her saying it was over an 8 hour trip going the East Coast route. Well, I don’ t have any returned visits planned that I might as well do it now and see where it takes me. She did also say to make a stop at the visitors center when getting on Cape Breton island that I at least caught that much. On the road and what would you know, I passed a Best Buy that I have to back track to see if they can help me out with a camera battery charger. If you missed the story, apparently I left it somewhere at the Mathew’s house that once all of the batteries I brought along for the trip are fried…no more picture, but wait I do have another camera along and just might be able to use it as backup. For those who missed the previous count of cameras, these are are 4 and 5.

The East coast trail, no not the lighthouse route like yesterday, but the Marine Road was a great ride and today, it was leather for most of the stretch. More beautiful scenery and it went from warm sunshiny ports to cold and foggy that it was better leaving the leather on. It is nothing like what I expected cuz when I did Acadia National Park in Maine and saw the cliffs that the Atlantic ocean pounded against, I expected the same along this route. Well, most of them are ports or you could say bays (whether US or Canada) that there were only a few places that had the Atlantic at their doorstep and were definitely the coolest.

I found a great place to stop for lunch at the Trail Stop with Gale taking care of me and when I ordered the fish and chips, the couple from Manhattan NY on the bicycles told me the deep fried clams were the best they ever had. I talked to Gale about that and she said it’s all in the oil they use so if someone is allergic to shell fish, they can’t have any of the seafood they fry up, but I gotta tell you, the fish and chips were great. I’d definitely recommend you make a stop if your ever thru these parts.

Somewhere I got turned around because when I should’ve taken a right, which is always right, I took a left, but remember how things happen for a reason? Well, today was my lucky day because not only have I knocked off another 3 hour trip along the east coast, but I found a Strawberry patch with fresh Strawberry shortcake and since I haven’t picked berries this year, I need them. Not only was it fresh shortcake but a shortcake bar where you get to make your own There I did find out that I’m on a better route to North Sydney and I was wondering why it started getting hot enough that I had to shed the leather, but when going across the central part of Nova Scotia, I think that’d explain it.

After a few more directions I was finally on the right path and found the visitors center on Cape Breton Island that I have to make a stop at thanks to the visitor helper from Halifax, that I walked in and got Leanne. She looks like just the one to deal with me and was a great help getting me setup for my cruise from North Sydney to New Foundland which doesn’t leave until 5 pm tomorrow that getting me setup with a hostel for the night was the only other thing to do. Well, not really cuz I was really looking forward to your call for me to come back and pick you up once my bike was passenger friendly, oh well, I’ll just have to see who else I can give a ride to.

Ok, that puts me in Aberdeen, no not SD nor Scotland, but Nova Scotia and what do you think I see as soon as I pull in to the hostel? Kat sitting there looking as hot as ever, and what have I said about these Canadian women? Well if anything she was very friendly and had already made a call to the visitors center to see if there was a handsome biker on his way the she was expecting me…yep, you heard it right, handsome biker. Anyway she got me setup as well as the other crew that had just arrived with her brother Matt, that I think this is going to be a great hostel to party at and it is so what am I doing here writing this blog.

Well, lets try to finish tonights version early and if there are any stories before the night is done I’ll share later…maybe. So Anneli is from Sweden and has never been on a motorcycle as well as a scooter that tonight she’s gonna get her first ride. She’s hitchhiking around Nova Scotia doing freelance writing for a Swedish radio station, that tonight I become part of her story. Because of the helmet laws in Canada, we take a chance by strapping a bicylcle helmet to her head, but for as much fun as she had on the ride, I get to be her first…yea, I wish, but first bike ride in this case, that I’m sure I won’t be forgotten. Anyway, her and I made a trip to Monda to the Red Shoe Tavern thanks to Kat’s suggestion that when pulling into town I told her I needed to make a gas stop because I don’t have enough to get us back. Ok, I couldn’ve really played it, but I didn’t even want to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere myself, that we asked a couple of ladies where the nearest gas station was, They told us about the closed one that we had just passed, but said there might be one further up the road. Well thanks to them making a call, and I should’ve definitely gotten a picture, I had a few miles up the road to get gas and 10 minutes to do it that we made some pretty good time.

Ok, gas, back to the Red Shoe Tavern where I thanked the ladies who helped us along the way and invited them out for a drink, Anneli and I have diner, a great ride in the dark back to the hostel and I get to meet and party with everyone else here, that like I said earlier, if any stories, you might hear them tomorrow.

More Aberdeen pics