Thursday, August 14, 2014, 09:27 AM
Posted by Administrator
Yesterday was a long cold run through the rain.

We left the Israel river campground a bit late, and shortly after starting off it started to rain. And then didn't stop. Plus the temperature went from being in the mid twenties down to a high of between 16 and 17.

We stopped around noon to warm up - at a mcdonalds that had for some reason left the air conditioning on so we didn't warm up at all.

Shame it was cold and wet because the scenery was spectacular - the curving mountain roads going from Vermont into Maine were incredible. The occasional waterfall or stretch of river punctuating the green clad slopes as we climbed and dove on ever-twisting patches of asphalt.

We reached Newport and considered calling it a day, but the hotel there wanted way too much (didn't want to setup camp in the rain)

Cindy said they were giving us the "wet motorcyclist rate"

We pushed on to Bangor - we did pass some mildly scary bates motel lookalikes, but it wasn't too far even with us being tired and cold and wet - and we wanted a bigger hotel with laundry. Dry and warm and clean clothes are a very nice thing .

So we ended up at the Howard Johnson's in Bangor. We peeled off our soaked gear (my gloves leaked a bit of dye onto my hands during the day, but the Barbour jacket did a decent job for a garment designed in 1927)

We asked the front desk for a restaurant recommendation and got pointed to "the ground round". When we asked what it was like - the person at the desk just said. "It's the ground round!" As though that explained everything.

Was a decent place - I had a BLT burger on foccaccia bread and Cindy had some chicken pasta. Didn't need to be spectacular, we just needed some warm food and then a retreat to the hotel.

We're doing a late start today - but we are not terribly far from New Brunswick now. Not too far from the sea, and after that the main goal is done.

Though we still have much to see... And miles to go before we sleep.
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busy day 
Tuesday, August 12, 2014, 09:24 PM
Posted by Administrator
Went from New York to Vermont to New Hampshire today. New York (at least the parts we went through) was nice but not spectacular. Looks like a lot of the towns have been hit by the economic situation the last few years... you see lots of boarded up shops, derelict buildings, places closed down.

Still nice little towns mind you, but clearly not what they once were.

Vermont was a land of lakes at first, then mountains. Curvy roads, little valleys with farms and small little villages tucked in with just a few places visible. Incredibly scenic. Almost tempts to explore more, but I think we're better off keeping to an easterly direction. We have an ocean to get to after all, and quite a few KM before we get there.

We're just barely into New Hampshire really... we reached Lancaster, then went on the web just long enough to find a few campgrounds. We're at the Isreal River Campground just a bit east of Lancaster. Not very scenic but it is inexpensive and has electrical hookups so we can recharge our gear.

Interesting how that has become part of travelling.... the electronics we carry, the WIFI we use to communicate with the world. Travel used to be about the disconnect, the unplugging from the world. Bt for the most part now, you don't unplug and you tweet, facebook update, and even blog about every little thing that happens.

(Which I am just as guilty of, and a willing participant in... but it is interesting to ponder how that has changed.)

I remember going out West from Toronto as a kid, a few of us packed into a rusty pickup and my brother and I riding in the back. My father stopping to replenish the cooler and at night when he couldn't drive any more and needed to sleep. No electronics, no internet... just long miles and staring out at the slowly evolving scenery.

I think that experience really defined my notion of travel, and is part of why I enjoy motorcycle and sidecar trips.

In a car.. especially these days... you are disconnected from the world around you. You see things through glass, have air conditioning and heating and often a DVD player or music going in the backseat.

On a bike, you are in the open air. I've felt the temperature change in the Rockies from a sweltering heat to below freezing as the bike climbed above the snowline - breathed in the scent of an olive grove under harvest in France. I've felt the heat of Tel Aviv and fought the headwinds across the prairies.

You can't see the impossible prairie sky from within a car. In a car you just see what the window shows you. And it isn't enough.

But all this is a bit of a sidetrack.

Tomorrow... we keep heading east.

We've got an ocean to get to. A little goal of mine to meet... to go coast to coast. If not all at once.

And to see new sections of sky, without all that glass in the way.

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In the USA  
Tuesday, August 12, 2014, 08:57 AM
Posted by Administrator
Made it to Cornwall last night just before dark.

Managed to cross the border without too many international incidents.

We had to swap helmet visors every time we changed drivers - Cindy only brought a tinted visor (which in the dark makes you close to blind)

Bugs didn't help - so many out we had to scrape our visors as we drove, which is always a pleasant experience.

Got to the Ponderosa campground, setup our tent in the dark, promptly broke the tend and slept on a rocky slope all night rather than move the tent.

About usual for us camping that would be.

Now we're having breakfast and going shopping for some things we forgot.

Also usual for us on a trip. I forgot spare shoes and only have my motorcycle boots.
Which might look odd if we spend a day walking around somewhere.

So far - going well. We're both happy, not in prison and nobody's dead.

I think some relatives lost money in the betting pool.
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Monday, August 11, 2014, 11:12 AM
Posted by Administrator
Packing the bike - and about to head out.

As usual we're leaving from the in laws place in Ajax (Cindy had to finish off some work stuff as well, and work is in Ajax plus the in laws are watching our chihuahua Frida so it just makes sense)]

Frida isn't convinced we're allowed to leave her.
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Some prep done 
Friday, August 8, 2014, 11:58 PM
Posted by Administrator
We're getting ready to leave.. originally we had thought to leave on the weekend, but now we have pushed that to Monday morning early so we can get a few things done.

I did get the video from the adventure ride from our August sidecar rally done... finally. Editing is rough, but it works and its uploaded to the ever handy youtube now.

Now just to get all the packing finished... laundry... double check we have everything... got all the electronics together and make sure the chargers are in place... make sure we have all the motorcycle gear... etc etc.

Trips get more complicated when you have to pack everything on one luggage rack, and weather proof it.

Going to be interesting seeing how the camping gear works out... one tiny quick raise tend... two sleeping pads... two lightweight sleeping bags.... that should hopefully allow for comfy sleeping.

(With luck.)

Just a couple days to go... Monday night we should be out of Canada and into the US. From there on, it's all unexplored territory as far as we're concerned.
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