Day 61 – Fundy National Park

Woke up relatively early to a clear day.  Not much activity when I started, but by the time I was ready go go, everyone around me was cooking bacon and eggs.   Made me so hungry…

On the road back out to the main highway, I got passed multiple times on the double solid yellow.  I guess my very mellow morning pace at or just above the posted limit of 60 was no where near fast enough.  Mostly pickups – not really sure where they were in rush off to…

Grabbed a pic at The Source:

And another one by the park sign:

And then I was on my way.   The plan was to take the long way around – 126 to 116 before getting to Fundy, but missed the 116 turnoff and just kept going.  Found a few cars to follow, which made going well above the speed limit easier.  Gas light came on and I pulled over in Salisbury to fill up and bumped into an old Fireblade rider.   We talked for a bit and he let me know that in NB, it’s over 40kph over posted that they’re likely to charge you with stunting/racing and take away your license.  Good fact to know!

I went in to use the washroom, but seeing the people eat broke me and I stopped for breakfast.


Getting into Fundy National Park wasn’t too bad after that.

Little windy path along the river, but nothing serious.  Got my stamp and was recommended to go to Pointe Wolfe for  a camp site and the possibility of a fire that night.

Wandered down to take one of the shorter hikes – to the old copper mine.  Bumped into a couple who were on the first camping trip with their 7month old.   First camping trip ever!   Reminds me of my first trip to Manning Park.  From what I remember and what I’ve been told, it was a lot of tripping in the rain and crying before cutting the trip short and going home.  Far cry from this little guy’s first experience.   Bouncing along in a baby backpack and parents singing to keep him quiet.  He did like staring at me tho’ –  made taking a family picture for them a little easier.

I picked up my bag of firewood on my way back to camp and prepped the fire pit.   Few people dropped by to chat while I did this.  Definitely telling my story more often now, but still not really sure what to say.  Fortunately, my experience has been epic enough that it’s usually not too difficult to tie into their trip or their home town.

Worst thing was, everyone who came by was curious as to what I’d be doing about the rain – which was due overnight/morning.  Bleh.  After prepping things for the evening – chopping some kindling and packing up the bags so things wouldn’t get wet, I went back out for another short hike.

Covered Bridge that I got to ride through!

The path itself wasn’t too bad.  More polish – more posted signs about trees and wildlife.  Made me want to see a marmot and some flying squirrels, but no such luck.   It’s possible the squirrels I did see were the right ones, but I didn’t get to see any flying.

Another sign about lichen made me think about a trip way back when with my cousins to Well’s Grey.  Boardwalk and stairs made me think about carrying a can of pepsi all the way down to Long Beach, only to drop it at the very end.  Crazy what the memory brings back.

With everything prepped, it was rather nice to get the fire going.  I even spent a bunch of time to roast some canned luncheon meat.  Some mild entertainment while I did some reading on the kindle in my camp chair.


A second solid night in the Canadian Parks system!

Day 60 – Kouchi National Park

Not an early start, but since I really needed to wait for Atlantic Motorsport to open, I wasn’t in much of a rush.   Packed things up, had a coffee with some neighbours across the way and relaxed.  Unfortunately, while I was dwaddling, the fog moved in and cast a grey pall over everything.

I also took this time to give Service Canada a call.  I was supposed to inform them when I got back into the country.  As usually, calling their phone number even after 8:30 resulted in them ‘not being open yet’.  Although, I suppose it’s possible that Atlantic time is messing me up…  In any case, I brought my online EI reports up to date and planned to call them another day.

Also had a chance to speak to Atlantic Motorsport, gave them my VISA number so they could order my part.   I tried using Dell Voice/Fongo again, but the call quality is apparently terrible.  They always sound fine, but they can never hear me.  Will keep trying, but it might be something to do with their VOIP configuration or Bell’s data plan…

On the road, it was brisk.  18C or so, with some fog.   Moisture and wind cools you down quick!  But it didn’t last long before the skies cleared up.   I stuck to some back roads and went out to Miramichi on 108.  It’s like the side roads in Maine, and yet different.  Definitely damaged and bumpy – going past the posted speed limit wasn’t difficult, but took enough attention that you couldn’t look around.  Hard to relax.

Another thing different is the difference in highway signage.  The stuff in Canada doesn’t seem as clear – if you don’t know which way to go, just following the signs can get you lost.  The 108 just seemed to end and I took the wrong way down 8.   Exits are far, far apart – fortunately, there’s little enough traffic that I could use the shoulders to turn around and get into the city.

Lunch at Timmy’s – Lasagna casserole and a donut.   I’m not convinced it’s actually better than Chef Boy r Dee pasta…


Got to Kouchi and bought a Discovery Pass for the National Parks.  And apparently the Canadian park system has passport(s) and stamps now!  No dates on the stamps, so I’m not really sure it’s as useful as the US system.  But gives me something to do at the Visitor Centers.

Set up camp to let things sit in the sun and air out a little bit to dry out the damp from packing up in the morning.   Lobed the chain as well before heading out to the beach.


Got myself rather stuck out on the sandbars.  I guess there’s a good reason why they have a boardwalk out to the barrier sandbars.   Ended up having to double back to get to shore.  Not sure whether I was out at high or low tide – Could have gotten even uglier.

Grabbed a snack at the shop – Our national dish!


Picked up some firewood before heading out to one of the evening events at the park.  Presentation about the Salt Marsh – at this point, there’s another difference from the US system.  Better budget and production values.  the Salt Marsh boardwalk has apparently been closed since a storm in 2010.  Still not repaired and it’s mid-2012.  And since you couldn’t go out to the Salt Marsh yourself anymore the interpreter had made her own video.   Lots of wind noise and plenty of AV issues.  Definite change of pace.

Finally got another chance for a camp fire! Tent was dry, free hot showers.  Aside from getting bitten again by mosquitos – a very satisfactory Canadian park experience.

Day 59 – Sabbath

Good night’s rest and waking up to a warm sunny day.  Without any concrete plans for the trip and a distinct need to do laundry, I thought it would be a good day to take off and do nothing.  Laundry room wouldn’t be open until after 10:30, so I had some time to kill.

Being a Sunday, I thought it might be a good chance to finally go to service – unfortunately, having discovered that this town has a 95% francophone only population, it was more difficult than I thought to find a service in English.  I eventually made my way to United Presbyterian which had a bilingual service.  Not being able to find a website, I got there way too early and spooked the people there before heading off to run some errands.

Getting back to the church shortly before service actually started, I had a nice chat with some of parishioners.    Apparently the head pastor was off on a 2 week vacation and they suspected most of the church population was going to do the same thing.  They normally had about 80 regulars, but today would be closer to 30.

Sermon was on counting your blessings and balancing against your responsibilities.  What got me was the translation from English into French after every sentence.  Made me thing of those old school bilingual services at VCBC.  As always, the translation made the sermon run a lot longer than if it were just a single language.

Grabbed some sausages on my way back to camp and started my load of laundry before eating and napping on my picnic table.  It wasn’t until I finished my drying that the hosts pointed out that they had a beach with some chairs for me to sit on instead.      I went back into town to grab something cold to drink before taking their suggestion.

In the meantime, a manic neighbour came in.  Nice guy, but very ‘in your face’.  Ver open about his situation and I couldn’t help but be a touch paranoid about my stuff.  He was smoking and volunteered the fact that he was going to die from Hep C before the smoking could possibly do him in.   And that he picked it up from running with a biker gang and injecting cocaine.  And that he would be around, but needed to find an AA meeting before calling it a night and heading back out towards Halifax.

I guess he was clean and sober – I also didn’t have to worry about my stuff.  He had finally settled his divorce and freed up his money.  His car was full of new stuff he just bought – laptop, DSLR camera, etc.  Hard not to judge, another lesson learned, I suppose.

Left him on his own and went to the beach – Just some gravel next to the stream, but nice to hear the running water while napping.


Brought my stuff up to date, figured out a few spots to go to – Kouchi National Park, Fundy National Park and was told to attempt PEI sooner rather than later in case winds closed it.   Some sort of plan in place, I called it a night and planned to call Atlantic Motorsport in the morning to sort out the sprocket for Mendy.

USA 4 Corners Retrospective

From the beginning, the ride was using the ride as a basic template.  It would give me a guide to travel the country and at least have something to check off by the end.  After 15,157 Miles/24, 408km – I finished my route and thought it was a good time to do a quick review. (Heh, 2x the distance, 3-4x the time, half their age…)

I’m mixed on the direction I took.   I suspect that given what I prefer, going clockwise and finishing up in the West would have been more satisfying.   I just like nature more.   But given that the Park is in Madawaska, it’s hard to say I finished in the wrong spot…

Visited 30 States:

  1. Washington
  2. Idaho
  3. Montana
  4. Wyoming
  5. Utah
  6. Colorado
  7. Arizona
  8. Nevada
  9. California
  10. New Mexico
  11. Texas
  12. Louisiana
  13. Mississippi
  14. Tennessee
  15. North Carolina
  16. Georgia
  17. Florida
  18. South Carolina
  19. Virginia
  20. D.C. (Does this count?)
  21. Ohio
  22. Pennsylvania
  23. Maryland (Barely crossed the border…)
  24. New Jersey
  25. New York
  26. Connecticut
  27. Rhode Island
  28. Massachusetts
  29. New Hampshire
  30. Maine

Equipment Consumed

  • Pilot Road 3 Rear Tire (Replaced)
  • Pilot Road 3 Front Tire (Replaced)
  • 530 Stock Chain (Replaced)
  • 3x cans of chain lube (on 4th can)
  • Rear brake pads (Replaced)

Equipment Destroyed/Lost

  • GoPro Camera (Replaced)
  • Canon Elph Camera (Replaced with Nikon Coolpix AW100)
  • Rear Tire Valve Stem Cap (Replaced with chrome caps)
  • SAE to Cigarette Adapter (New cable constructed)
  • Motomaster Inverter (Replaced with Walmart Inverter)
  • Ducati Chain Tension Measurement Tool
  • Joe Rocket Speedmaster 7.0 Gloves (Replaced with Joe Rocket Superstock)
  • Left Boot Heel Plate
  • 3x caribiners
  • Many mini fuses
  • Cargo Net (replaced with smaller one)
  • Center Stand Lever Cover

Equipment Damaged/Still Functional

  • Brake Lever – end snapped
  • Cracked Right hand protector/signal
  • scratched plastics – Right side fairing, both side cases, bar ends, etc
  • damaged side case mounts
  • snapped top case strap mounts
  • BagsConnection Tank Bag Power Ring
  • Center Stand Mounting Bolts – starting to mushroom, will need to be replaced
  • Helmet Liner – separating from helmet
  • Ducati Switchblade Key – won’t stay locked out anymore
  • Personal Mister from Walmart
  • Boot Liner/Vapour Barrier Socks – holes/tears in waterproofing layer
  • Passenger Seat corner

Equipment Additions

  • 1G Jerry Can
  • Crampbuster CB-1
  • Slime Tire Top Off pump
  • Torque Wrench
  • 10mm Hex Driver
  • 1/4″ to 3/8″ converter

Mendy’s Mishaps

  1. Left Hand Side – Grand Teton National Park, dirt road, gravel patch – minimal damage/scratching to side case
  2. Belly Pan – Stuck/rear tire dug into dirt hill – minimal damage
  3. Right Side – Dead Horse Point State Park – tipped over turning around in rocky camp site, minimal damage
  4. Right Side – Great Basin National Park – coming off center stand on gravel camp site, rolled into rock and tipped away from me – snapped brake lever, scratched plastics
  5. Right Side – Old Natchez Trace Hill – rolling down hill, went into sandy patch and tipped over – cracked hand protector/signal and heavily scratched plastics
  6. Left SIde – Dutch Motel, Palmyra – steering didn’t unlock, turned around and couldn’t straighten out – minimal damage

Some best and worsts:

Best Park Service Location
Bryce Canyon National Park – Given the time spent and what I saw, this was the best and most impressive
Worst Park Service Location
Carrizo Plain National Monument – Got me lost in the dark!
*Runners Up:  Everything else that I arrived to after they were closed – no stamps!
Most Moving Park Location
Flight 93 Memorial – not sure what brought it on, but got very emotional while there.
Worst Park Service Location
Carrizo Plain National Monument – Got me lost in the dark!
*Runners Up:  Everything else that I arrived to after they were closed – no stamps!
Most Expensive Meal
Uchi Austin – omakase is never going to be cheap.  Worth the spend, but still curious as to what it would have been like if I were pairing it with wine/sake.  Would have been a great experience – and even more expensive.
Best BBQ
Smitty’s Market in Lockhart – Deep smokey flavour that I don’t think I could replicate
Best Drink
Holeman & Finch in Atlanta – Can’t even remember what it was.  Gin based and something reminded me of blood.
Strongest Temptation to Ruin
Dirt roads – they still call to me.  And when I have to be on them(camp sites, driveways, etc), I’m still nervous as all heck.  Will have to buy Mendy some armor in the future.
Worst Park Service Location
Carrizo Plain National Monument
New Horrible Riding Experience
Flying insects inside the helmet crawling around and trying to get out
New Horrible Non-Riding Experience
Hot Chicken Aftermath – Not ring of fire, more like belly of lava.  Even worse made by the fact that I was on a bike.
Worst Fast Food Chain
Sheetz and Burger King – Terrible meals
Best Fast Food Chain
Krystal or Chick-Fil-A
Best Motel Stay
Best Western – Naples, FL
Worst Motel Stay
Howard Johnson Express Inn- New Brunswick, NJ

Missed Opportunities(Or reasons to go back and do it again!) – things I wanted to do, but never got around to:

  • White Castle
  • NASCAR event
  • MLB Game
  • Southern Baptist Church (think Sister Act, only with Baptists)
  • Florida Everglades Airboat Ride
  • Fishing Trip
  • Prince’s Hot Chicken
  • Riding the Ozarks
  • Riding through Vermont

I love being on the road – the noise, the ability to think, the changes in scenery.  But not stopping along the way seems counter to my nature.  The IBA rallys and a proper 4 corners ride don’t currently hold much appeal to me.   Of course, it might be the fact that I can only be in my seat for ~2h before it’s on fire.  Conspiracy theorists suggest that it’s Ducati’s way of selling more seats.   But I suspect that’s false, since most Multi riders seem to only go to Starbucks.

Will have to see if I change my mind after the Canada portion of the trip and a proper attempt at a Saddle Sore.   But from glancing at the rules now, it’s possible I already qualify for their “Iron Butt Association National Parks Tour Master Traveler Award”.  With 66 stamps and Canadian parks qualifying and 10 provinces to go… Only problem will be documentation.

Day 58 – Big Sur and Madawaska

Early start!  Figured today would be the day I’d get back into Canada.  And with the early start, I thought I’d take some detours and hopefully pick up a little bit of good riding in the morning.  Took the 1, but a nice little loop out to Jonesport along the 187.   Typical Maine side road – a few twists and turns, but bumpy and damaged.  Not great, but a nice distraction.

Needed gas, so stopped for some in Milbridge.   They had some breakfast fundraiser, so food was on the brain.   Eventually pulled over in Machias for a meal.

Big 2:  2x eggs, 2x sausage, 2x bacon, 2x pancakes.  Pancakes were the best part, but they undercooked them and I had to get new ones.  New ones were definitely on the ‘done’ side, but I understand, given what happend the first time around.   Sausage links were cold, but I’d still go back.


Another loop along the 1/191 and a small detour out to Lubec – easternmost town in USA.  Kind of wondered why the 4th corner wasn’t here.

Very pretty in Lubec:

Back along the 1 to Calais – stopped for gas and figured Madawaska wasn’t far away and I’d grab lunch there.   Again, my map reading skills were poorly applied.  I guess swapping between map pages and scales meant I was way off base.   100miles later, I was starving and pulled over to figure out where I was – Danforth.  Still a 100 miles to go, so I decided to eat.

Bright pink hot dog.  Like… ridiculously pink on a roll.


Wasn’t quite enough food, so I had a slice of pizza too.


As I was eating, I had a nice chat with a Goldwing rider/trucker.  He had some advice – take the 1A and stop at the Four Corners park.   Good advice!  I otherwise had no idea it even existed.  I would have just gone to the post office.   There’s a sign, but he said to look for the windmill/gas station.  Pass that and you’ve gone too far.

It is a big sign, but still easy to miss since it’s up on a hill.


Nice little turnout with a metal kick stand pad for bikers – too narrow for cars!   Multi 620 rider was up here in her convertible and we had a little chat about the IBA rally’s.  Managed to wrangle her into taking a picture for me before she drove off.


I tried to stop by the Harley dealership/store.  I figured they sponsored the park and I needed a butt pad.  What better place to throw some business?   Unfortunately, they close 4pm on Saturdays and I didn’t even get to the park until 5pm.  Oh well, I tried.

I crossed the bridge and into Canada…  I was hoping there was a duty free store, but no luck.  So I crossed over after 58 days in the US without buying my quota of alcohol and tabacco.  Blasphemy!   Oh well… Not like I really had a place to put it anyway.

Sat in the Customs inspection zone pulling images off the GoPro and onto the Laptop.   Running painfully low on space.   Gonna need to do something about it before an SaddleSore attempt – Can’t waste 40 minutes processing/copying video onto the laptop partway through.

I did look for a place to stay – but for whatever reason, all the motels/hotels were booked up in Edmundston and Great Falls.  Not sure why, but as far as Expedia was concerned, no rooms.   There seemed to be cheap places back in Madawaska, but I didn’t really want to cross the border again, so I thought I’d push on towards Moncton and try my luck… But once on the road, it felt like it had dropped 10C just crossing over the border(but it was more likely the shade/mountains).   I quickly ducked back off and found a camp site – Riverside RV Park.   Very nice folks, and a proper tent camping area.  Grabbed a spot next to the tree house, close enough to steal power for the laptop and went out to buy groceries.

So… It took all of 2h and a visit to Zellers before I missed the USA.   I really, really didn’t think it’d happen so quickly.  Zellers is like a smaller, darker, crummier, more expensive version of Walmart with less selection.   No more SPAM singles, no more foil/tear packs of tuna.  No more Nong Shin korean spicy instant noodles.  Not even Beenie Weenies!

I should have just stocked up in the USA before crossing over and bought booze at a Wal-mart.  Oh well, lesson learned.  Dinner of Lipton’s Carbonara with milk.

Day 57 – Acadia National Park

Woke up to some moisture on the ground.  Nothing big, and at first, Raindar didn’t even say it was rain.   Had some free breakfast and chatted to a Harley rider.  He had done a 600mile day up here to do some skeet shooting before riding up to Bar Harbour with his mom for her birthday.  Very cool – but the rain wasn’t.

After some discussion, we both came to the conclusion that it was going to be like this for the better part of the day and put on our rain gear before going our separate ways.  Hopes at an early start were a bit derailed.  But nice to chat about longish distances and places.  Especially about long distances for the Iron Butt – “miles and miles of miles and miles”.   Very good way to describe ideal IBA stretches.

Grey and drizzly – not bad for riding.

Funky suspension bridge… Only one lane on either side of the supports.   Seemed like a lot of effort to me.  But neat to ride:

Picked up some gas in Trenton and decided to go across the parking lot for some lunch.  After seeing so many signs on the way in for Lobster Roll’s, I figured this might not be a bad place.

Lobster Roll with chickles(chips and pickles) – pretty decent.  Hard to understand why it’s $16 when a lobster with potato salad is $18.  I guess labour and guessing and the amount to prep before hand so it’s cold?   Still, a good meal, very fresh.  But hardly cheap.


After Trenton, I ducked into Acadia National Park.  I had originally envisioned a quick stop – especially with the rain and pushing on through Maine’s Big Sur, if not Madawaska and into Canada.   Weather cleared up and started getting warm at the Visitor Center.  By the time I stopped at the trailhead, I needed to take the gear off anyway.  So I went for a hike on Great Head Trail.

Crossing the beach to get to the trail head:

Looking back after the initial climb:

Views from the top:



Up to Cadillac Mountain – Viewpoint:

Shot from the top – Highest point on eastern seaboard.  Sign said that if you were the only one up there at sunrise, you’d be the first person in the US to see the sun.  Bumped into a few riders up at the top when I was making trips to/from Mendy to the store/washroom.  One was from Seattle and said he’d show me around if I ever wanted to go riding in Oregon – but to take off most of the luggage so I’d have some fun.   Everyone recognizes how heavily laden I am…  National Parks have a tendency to have people see me earlier in the dan and then come up to talk to me after.  People stop at all the best stops, I guess.

Ducked into Bar Harbour since I kept hearing about it.   Nothing special from what I could see – just a really nice tourist town.  But they did have a nice dock and the other couple up at Cadillac Mountain mentioned that they were talking to one of the owners.  24000 gallon tank to fill up the boat – at $4/g, that’s $100K just to fill up.  Crazy.

Not sure which one it is, but maybe that boat on the left?

I had planned on grabbing a bite in Bar Harbour, but things looked expensive and busy.  No great places to stop, so I headed back out towards Winter Harbour, being told that there was a nice ride.  Stopping at one of the ‘shacks’, I had the lobster roll special – $8.75 for the combo.   Clearly not as good.  Didn’t taste as fresh and much smaller.  Locals were eating it too, so couldn’t have been all that bad.


I had been told there was a shortcut to Winter Harbour w/out going all the way back to Ellsworth, so I asked the locals about it.  They recommended against it – didn’t save much miles and too easy to get lost.  But they did mention another route 182 around. A bit twisty and should be okay for time to do Winter Harbour as well.

182 wasn’t bad – but like most of the smaller roads around here, pretty rough.  Lots of cracks and bumps, but at least it was fairly clean. Getting back to Winter Harbour wasn’t so good… Much further than I thought and not many motels.

Still Schoodic point was a nice loop.  Very glad I did it and at the time I did.  It wasn’t quite sunset, but with the clouds/fog rolling it, it was close enough:

If I had a place in mind to stay, would have been able to relax a bit more and enjoyed my time.  But, instead, I was on edge most of the time and rushing things.  The 186 back out to 1 was much like 182 – bumpy.   And bits of sand.   I pushed harder than normal and as it got dark, it was clear I was tripping the traction control.   Not good.

But eventually I passed a campground and without much light left, I pulled in and set up.  Enough daylight left to lube the chain – and finished off the PJ1 and started the can from Seacost.  Perfect timing on the purchase.  But the mosquitos were thick… I left my riding gear on to set up camp, so that took a little longer than normal.    Still managed to inhale a few of the bloodsuckers tho’.

But by the time I was done and walked back out to the main street, the lobster shack next door and closed for the night.  Dinner was spam and tuna from packets served with hot sauce.  Ducking into the tent and killing the dozen or so mosquitos that had gotten in, I called it a night and hoped I didn’t need to pee in the night.   Man, I hate insects sometimes…

The Loop

The Loop – Duffy Lake Loop.  Almost all riding and driving groups will have one.  A nearby, basic circuit containing some interesting roads that take you back to the starting point.  For us, there is only one “Loop”.

The Loop is made up of distinct stages, with associated risks.   Going clockwise:

  1. Sea to Sky – Vancouver to Pemberton (99) – Police, traffic, rain
  2. Forest – Pemberton to Lilloet (99) – wet bridges, bears, rough roads
  3. Desert – Lilloet to Boston Bar/Hope (12) – fallen rocks, cows, heat
  4. Boring – Hope to Vancouver (1) – Traffic, police

This route is notorious essentially for the May Long Curse.  Starting with a painful 12 hour, 5pm to 5am run in 2005 with a dented rim and growing dollar value year after year until it consumed a Lexus, the Loop is no longer done for May Long Weekend.



The Bulldozer

The Bulldozer – a type of rabbit that clears the way.  Usually a larger vehicle with bright headlights.

A Snow Plow is the basic example – makes way for you to be able to pass.  But in this case Emergency response vehicles,  Ambulances, Fire trucks, Police cars, give a better idea of what happens..  Flashing lights and sirens move cars out of the way.  Unfortunately, traffic usually collapses back in immediately and laws usually prevent you from following too closely, limiting their usefulness.

What you are usually looking for is a serial tailgater without fear.  A car willing to ride the bumper of the car in front until it moves over.  A driver willing to brave Mutually Assured Destruction in the case of a “brake check” maneuver.

If you see a bulldozer coming up from behind – move over.  Let it do it’s job and follow in it’s wake.  Keep in mind, the more effective it is, the more space you want to give it.  Just in case something crazy does happen.

Unfortunately, these are fairly rare on any roads with more than 2 lanes going in the same direction.  That level of crazy is usually too impatient to wait for the slow cars to move out of the way and will usually weave amongst traffic to get ahead, leaving you with a collection of spooked cars to deal with before things settle down again.

Origins: Black Maxima, The Loop 2005, Vancouver to Hope leg.

Day 56 – Cape Cod into Maine

Early start out of Cape Code – the forecast the night before said the thundershowers were to be rolling in by noon.  And since I was warned it was an hour to Provincetown, I got moving fairly quickly.

Still a nice campsite by the lake – what you don’t see is how close the other sites are.

Little houses along the coast.  Starting to fit my mental picture of the east coast.

Nice little road into the Provincelands Visitor Center.

Which was, of course, closed because I got there too early.  Caught up on some logging of expenses at a park bench while watching the cyclists go by.  According to the signs, all the big injuries on the seashore seem to be bicycle accidents.


As the park opened, I ducked into the Visitor Center before grabbing a picture at the beach:

Back out on the 6, I went into Salt Pond Visitor Center got my stamp and headed out along the 3 to Boston.  Can’t say I saw much – Picture of the skyline…

And the Big Dig – not sure what they did, but Mendy doesn’t sound very good down there.  Not like a proper tunnel experience at all!

It would have been nice to spend a little more time in Boston(ie, more than the 20mins it took to ride through).  In particular because my cousin who went to school there was in the area.  Unfortunately, due to communication issues, no one told me until I was there – and he had gone south for a few days.  I probably passed right by him a few days before.

I still wanted to swing past Seacoast Sport Cycle even though I hadn’t heard anything from Duc Pond.  Looking at the map, I thought I might swing by a town a friend used to live in… Just a few years too late since they’re back in Vancouver now.   Still, from what I saw, I don’t think I missed much.

I got gas and ate my left over lobster with a cup of Peach Cobbler Coffee.   It definitely tasted like peach and coffee.  Still not entirely sure that’s a good thing.  I wouldn’t buy a pound of it, that’s for sure.

Seacoast didn’t have the parts I needed.  There was some discussion over swapping both front and rear sprockets… But I’m probably better off just wearing down this chain for now.   Will need to sort things out in Canada.   Had a nice chat with a Bandit Rider and a cop in the area shopping for gear.  Apparently I shouldn’t bother going a few miles south – Mass just isn’t all that safe.  Lots of gang violence.

Oh well, didn’t matter.  I was headed up north.  Took the 95 briefly before getting onto the 1.  Some rocky beaches;

Taking the 1 wasn’t really the best idea – especially in the south coast of Maine.  Lots and lots of traffic.  Most memorable was Ogunquit – henceforth to be know as “O Gonna Quit”.  Huge line of stop and go traffic.  I thought there was an accident and the road was closed, but traffic kept moving – every so slowly.   People were walking faster than us.  It seems it’s a popular town because there are actual sand beaches.  And some insane road engineer designed a Stop sign controlled intersection.  Terrible experience.

But traffic picked up after that and I took 1A through the typical gentrified section of Portland, Maine:

Gas light came on in Brunswick, so I asked the nearest motel how much for the night.  Not a bad price, so stayed there.  I asked for suggestions on food, and they sent me to Joshuas Tavern.  Didn’t feel like lobster again, but stuck to the seafood.

Ceasar Salad with Garlic Shrimp


Blackened Haddock with rice and veggies.


Excellent portions and quality.  I am very glad I went – I just should have asked for directions on how to get back to my motel.   The road I went in on was a one-way over  a bridge.  So when you go back, most ways don’t have that bridge and you get stuck. Would have been simple in daylight, but not much fun in the dark.

Day 55 – To Cape Cod

Not a great night’s sleep.  A little paranoid about the incredibly sketchy motel.  But at least it was an early start.

At least getting out back into traffic was straight forward.  I stuck to #1 through Leonia.  Spotted a Super H-Mart and then a whole lot of Korean stores along the strip.  Made me really regret eating the bad chinese food the night before…  Could of had some decent asian food here!

But shortly after, I must have missed a turn in Englewood because I ended up in some residential neighbourhood.  Reminded me a bit of Burnaby back home.  After trundling through the quiet streets for a while, I picked a ‘big’ street and rode until I recognized some of the highway signs – 9W.  I followed that for a bit until I figured a way onto the Palisades Parkway north.  The Parkway was really nice – better than Natchez.   If I had known about it, I probably would have made a point to ride the entire thing, rather than just the short bit I was on.

Still, crossed over on a toll bridge – Tappan Zee.  First toll of the trip!  $5

Some random viewpoint.  No idea what it was.

Random bike shot.

After getting lost in Cape Cod – I knew I didn’t have time to make it to the National Park Visitor Centers and pulled over to find a place to stay.  The nice lady at the Tourist Info hut directed me to the possibility – Nickerson State Park.  I lucked out, the sign said they were full, but they had 2 sites reserved for the weekend and I could grab one for the night.  Picked one by the lake and put up my tent before heading out to the seashore.

The family across the way watched me set up my tent and commented that they were amazed that came off the back of a bike.  Their stuff took up 2 cars and they only came 6 miles down the road…  The reality is, I’m not really camping.  I’m road tripping with a tent.  I’d like to actually get back and ‘camp’ for a while.  Set up properly and enjoy things for a few days.

The rangers at the park told me to go to the Atlantic side first – while the sun was still out and go to the Bay side afterwards for the sunset.  They also recommended the awesome onion rings at Liam’s.   I only had leftover chinese food and a donut all day, so I thought a snack would be good.   Looking at the containers, the ‘small’ looked tiny and so I upsold myself to a medium.  Bad idea…  The containers on display were more of a target inside the tray.

Medium Onion Rings and Lime Seltzer


Way too much food for an afternoon snack – especially with dinner less than 2h away.    I had half of it before carrying the rest of it with me to the beach.  Just finishing it made my jaw ache.


After my snack, I rode over to the other side of the cape to watch the sunset.  After parking the bike and lubing the chain, I took up station at a bench.  Unfortunately, the weather system was rolling in and I only caught the sun dipping into the clouds as it got darker.



I stuck it out until dark before heading to the restaurant the rangers recommended.  Capt’n Elmer’s.  I looked at the menu and figured that I was far enough east to order lobster… Then I saw the Shore Dinner.  It seemed a bit much, especially considering my earlier ‘snack’, but it might be the closest thing I get to a clam bake.

Clam Chowder + Side Salad as substitute for the starch.


Steamers and my lobster.  Clams were very, very gritty.  Not sure if that’s just the style – ie, very fresh and not left around to soak to spit out the sand, or if I was just there at the tail end and they didn’t clean properly.


I ate half the lobster and the clams and packed the rest.   Stuffed to the gills again, I rode back to the campsite in the dark and called it a night.