A Travellerspoint blog

Look Out Cabot Trail

We're Going To Beat You, Gabriel

sunny 65 °F

Well, we have to backtrack to last night. We were in a wonderful Inn in Pictou, had had a nice pub dinner, and now were nestled in bed and I was reading something to Linda. Suddenly, there came a tapping, moving quickly to a rapping, rapping at our chamber door. I bounded from the bed. I opened the door, expecting the owner who had been nice enough to give Linda a complete tea service to bring to the room. However, there was a man in pjs whom I had never laid eyes on. He asked me if I could turn down the tv as it was coming through the wall and disturbing he and his wife's sleep. I apologized and explained that our tv had never been on; unfortunately, it was me. He left and I whispered the rest of the evening. Funny, I think Linda was happier than the man!!!
We had another great breakfast and we were packed and off about 8:40, a new record for us. We headed out of Pictou and caught the highway (104) toward Cape Breton. Went through some absolutely gorgeous scenery. I was again amazed at the lack of traffic on the highway. We went through really nice valleys with a stream running along side. Then we would emerge from the hills and see great vistas of the ocean. Really a nice ride. We made it onto Cape Breton in three hours. Then, we actually got on the Cabot Trail just before Baddeck. At first, we passed our lodge because it looked like a farm at the end of a dirt road. After going on along the trail for a few miles, we backtracked and found our chalet set in a breathtaking setting. Not the best set up for motorcycles, but Linda and I are getting very good at rugged terrains. We were given an upgrade, probably due to my good looks, so we have two bedrooms, a living room with working fireplace, and a full kitchen. We also have a balcony.
Went into Baddeck for the afternoon, and walked around, did laundry, had a wonderful seafood lunch, and while Linda went into some shops, I paid a visit to the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. Fascinating. Saw the first plane flown in Canada that he helped develop. But what I never knew was that his real love was teaching the deaf. He married one of his pupils, who had been made deaf due to scarlet fever. He had been born in Scotland, but moved to Canada and then the States. But, he chose Cape Breton Island and Baddeck as his summer home and became very involved in the community. He felt it reminded him most of Scotland. Very interesting museum. Next stop was the local food coop to pick up food for what we assume will be a hunkering down day on Saturday when Gabriel pays a visit early Saturday morning. A lot of people up here, when they find out we are from Florida, blame us for bringing these storms up with us--doesn't seem to matter that we began in Massachsetts!
Funny thing was that two women showed up here this afternoon, and Linda discovered that they were from Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte. Small world syndrome strikes again.
Watching the Jets-Patriots game on tv tonight. Pats having some trouble. Tomorrow, we take on the entire Cabot Trail because Saturday seems so iffy.

Posted by damienannaaiden 17:26 Archived in Canada Tagged island cape breton Comments (0)

Pictou

The Weather Gods

semi-overcast 61 °F

Oh what, Oh what are the weather gods doing?
Now, I discover there are two big storms brewing,
We didn't mean to really piss them off, okay
So it's not fair both storms are heading our way.

Had a tough time arising this morning when the alarm sang out at six, but when Linda saw three other motorcyclists already outside at 6:15am mounting their bikes, she threw caution to the wind and rousted me out from under the covers. The morning was black and it was very wet outside with a lot of fog. Great motorcycle riding conditions! We went down for a really good continental breakfast, loaded the bikes, and both got into our rain suits.
Where was Vogue Magazine--this was a cover op! Linda in her hot pink top and brown pants; Ed with his really bright orange, reflective top and pants. Actually, where was H.O.G. Magazine??? We were concerned about the weather, but we headed out on the Trans Canadian Highway, 1. Stopped for gas, and then right back on. More traffic than yesterday, but nothing spectacular. Sometimes get confused because all the speed signs are in kilometers (1km= .6 miles) and no one appears to obey them but us!!! In Moncton, New Brunswick, 1 merged into 2, which took us right into Nova Scotia, a truly heavenly sight. Let me tell you, I felt like Columbus, Magellen, Byrd, and Pounce de Leon, as here I had discovered Nova Scotia; but alas, when we rolled into the Nova Scotia visitor center, I saw cars from New York, New Jersey, and other states and provinces, and realized that sadly, someone else had beaten me to the punch.
We drove into the. Town of Amherst and Linda took on a personal quest in search of a book to read. She just is not a Kindle girl! We were trying to find a store to which we had been directed, but try w e did in vain. I finally got frustrated and made her go into, of all places, Walmart--Sam would be proud. But, no cigar. However, while I awaited her by the bikes, I met a fellow Harley rider who recounted a story to melt the cockles of any heart. Seems his wife and he were riding through Georgia and Alabama when they lost their personal journal, and searched through torrential rain with negative results. They both wrote in it every night for all their cycle trips. Well, they called home on the off chance that someone found it and called because their number was in the book. Sure enough, old Bubba had found it on the road and called and they got it back. There are good people out there, and we have met many on this trip. I now took the lead to get us to Pictou, and lo and get hold, using the GPS, I made a circle and landed right at the bookstore for which we originally had searched. The book gods were certainly smiling for Linda, and once having book in hand re-claimed the lead, saying she was a bit scared that with a GPS, I went in circles!!!
We went to a fun lunch stop on the water and had great haddock sandwiches. We were taking coastal route 6 to Pictou. Turned out to be beautiful and we raced ahead of the rain. It was a six hour riding day. Arrived in Pictou and found we were staying in the most delightful Inn, with a view of the harbor where the P.E.I. ferry lands. We walked through the town, stopped at a Dollar Store for bungees (one can never have enough bungees--the Bible says so) and round a great Pub in which to have dinner. Pictou is a really quaint town with some interesting artisans, one of whom we met. The owner of the Inn made us tea upon our return. I learned that Newfoundland and Laborador were Canadian provinces. Never knew that.
Now, back resting in bed, gearing up for the ride tomorrow to Cape Breton Island and the famed Cabot Trail. A little concerned about the weekend forecast. The woman at the Dollar Store (and the bungees, by the by, cost more than a dollar), suggested we rent a car and do the Cabot Trail-- did she not see my Harley shirt and recognize us as true H.OG. enthusiasts! Linda thought it sounded like a terrific idea---damn! Willie Davidson would be shaking his head. So, we head now to bed.

Posted by damienannaaiden 16:39 Archived in Canada Tagged pictou Comments (1)

Quispamsis, New Brunswick

Ever heard of it?

rain 48 °F

Well, I'm a bit dejected. Wrote a rather lengthy account of today, trying a different approach that the blog provides, sending the account via e-mail. Last night, I had tried sending pictures that way, but it failed. Today, I tried sending the written text that way and I received no indication it failed; however, I do not see my text yet under entries, and unlike last night, there was no place to attach photos.
So, here is a much abridged edition.
Left around 9:30am after a wonderful breakfast of scrambled duck eggs and sour dough bread. Tough to leave great hospitality and a gorgeous locale.
Overcast and chilly. Rain threatening all day. Temps varied from 39 to 61. Lot of wind.
Linda finally got on her hot pink rain top. Certainly could be seen for miles!
The ride up coastal Route 1 was breathtaking. Ocean views, mountains, marshes, woodlands on a road with little traffic. A true motorcycle zen ride!
Now, when we entered Callis, which we have heard pronounced many ways, the suckers had about seven miles of grooved road--did I ever mention that I utterly hate grooved roads!!! Callis is the border town, having three routes via which to enter Canada. We took the road less traveled--sorry Robert, could not resist. Made it through with no trouble. The Custom's woman promised me no rain--she lied!
Now, we were on highway. Fascinating, a beautiful four lane highway with hardly any cars--wired. And, the rain came.
We were getting tired and highway riding in rain is not the most fun. We went through Saint John's and saw where the ferry we will be taking at journey's end arrives. It was an industrial city, nothing to jump up and down about, though it does have the reverse falls due to the huge tidal change that we hope to see when we get back. So, we kept going. Couldn't find a place to our liking and finally chose an exit that advertised food, fuel and lodging. They neglected to mention that these places were far enough off the highway that I thought we were entering another Province! We finally, having become a lot thinner through starvation, found Jungle Jim's, an actually decent restaurant. The waitress helped us locate a place to stay for the night. We arrived at the Amsterdam Inn. I made the mistake of walking to McDonalds in the rain for something to eat because it was supposed to be so close--it was, via a motorized vehicle! Alas, no fillet of fish, no salads, no yogurts or ice cream. Burgers and fries and nuggets only. Bummer. I returned soaked and had nothing Linda could eat.
Oh yes, along the way in Canada, we stopped at a tourist information station and ran into a couple doing a much larger version of our trip. They were trailering a beautiful BMW touring cycle with heated seats and handle grips. They informed us that they had heard of a tropical storm heading up the Atlantic that might hit Nova Scotia this weekend---goodie--and when they saw our Florida plates, they said we must have brought it with us!!!
Well, to sleep, per chance to dream. Until tomorrow.

Posted by damienannaaiden 18:07 Archived in Canada Tagged oh canada... Comments (0)

On to Bar Harbor

Brrrr

sunny 43 °F

We awoke to a beautiful day in the 40's. Linda wore my long underwear to bed. The Traveler's Inn was very nice and had a great continental breakfast. Interestingly, we departed at the same time as day one. Took Route 1, the coastal, scenic route, and let me tell you, it was beautiful. Took a lot of stops to drink something hot, as the morning was cold for these Florida bikers!!! But the seascapes and landscapes were spectacular. Met some other bikers along the way and always had some good conversations.
Stopped at a store to pick up a couple of turtle necks and a head and neck cover, as it looks like fall will be a tad chilly. Linda put on her chaps that helped a lot.
Arrived at our friend's house around two, and were awed by the house, which she and her husband built from scratch, and the view of the ocean.
About ten feet off the shore, it drops off to sixty feet, and go a bit father and it drops off to over a hundred feet! Tides are about twenty feet. Kept getting better when the lobster dinner was served--I mean, we are in Maine don't you know! Lots of great conversation and fun with two very cute Schnauzers, one of which is a therapy dog, the other is in training. The dogs belong to our friend's sister who lives next door and joined us for dinner.
Big day tomorrow; rain is forecast and we cross the border into Canada. Now, time to hit the sack.
If you're wondering about pictures, so are we!! Can't figure out how to upload the silly things onto the blog. Have written an. E-mail to the site asking for help. Bear with me. We are taking pictures.

Posted by damienannaaiden 17:56 Archived in USA Tagged brrr Comments (1)

Day UNO

Survived!

sunny 63 °F

Wow! Yesterday, we had Damien and Andrea's soccer morning and then little Linda's 4th birthday party. Also, had to pick up Linda's cycle with her new sissy bar and drive to a Harley dealer in Warwick, Rhode Island to pick up her seat cushion. Add to that, we got both bikes loaded with their respective luggage systems and we were ready to rock & roll in the morning. I showered and shaved last night, so I would be both ready to jump into action in the am and give Linda a gorgeous person to sleep next to!
The morrow arrived, somewhat overcast. Funny, for the first time in weeks Camus did not jump on our bed with his 75 pounds laying across us and awaken us with slobbery kisses, horrific breath, and incredible sneezing; it's great to be loved!! But, the biker and his gorgeous biker chic sprang from the bed to ready themselves for their first day's ride. Our goal was to depart at 8am. Linda jumped in a bath; Ed loaded the last remaining items and took the bikes out of the garage. I wiped down the two windshields of any insect goo. The cycles stood their gleaming. Jess and the three munchkins plus Damien's friend who had slept over following the birthday party were outside to bid Bon Voyages and Jessica took a picture of the Biker and the Biker Babe. The two mounted their "trusty steeds!" Linda turned on her Fatboy and it roared. Lo and get hold, it was 7:40am--the dynamic duo were making an early get away. Ah, but not so fast; harken back to the "trusty steeds!" Ed turned on the Road King and was greeted with a click click click, usually indicative of a dead battery. A look of abject horror crossed his face. Linda and I looked at one another. After all we had just gone through, and the fact everything had been ready--early to boot, this could not be happening to us. Did Brando, Dean, Fonda, or Travolta have to endure such travail-----Nooooooooooooooooooo! By now the kids and Jess had long gone inside, not expecting to see their biker grandparents for sixteen days. Suddenly, little faces appeared at the window and before they could utter a word, Linda had her helmet off and was jumping up and down shouting : "Hey, we're back; had a great trip!" I looked at her decompensation and said, "Well, if we don't go anywhere, at least we know how to load the bikes!"
Then, I was struck by the light like on the road to Damascus! Instead of God talking to me, it was Steve, Service Manager at Minuteman Harley, who was reminding me of the smart charger he had talked me into purchasing many weeks ago. I felt like Moses and the burning bush (without the marshmallows ). I sprung into action, grabbing the aforementioned smart charger and an extension cord and plugging the thing into the cycle's tender and waited 45 minutes. During that time, I sat on a water hose holder, prayed and visualized electricity flowing into the battery. Voila, it worked! We remounted our cycles and when I turned on the Road King, it thundered to life, though definitely no where near as loud as Linda's!
Off we went. I had on my vest and a long sleeved bright orange shirt, and it was a bit chillier than I expected. We left at 9:15am. This ride was all highway. I-195 to I-495 to 24. At least these thoroughfares were devoid of much traffic. Then we took I-93 through Boston; a lot more traffic but it was moving. Went through the Big Dig tunnel that submarines Boston, that was pretty cool. My first time riding through Boston on a cycle-we survived!! Picked up I-95 and I succombed to the cold, stopping to put on my big cycle coat over the vest. Much better. Linda said she was still cold. I think tomorrow might see her in her chaps! We hit a bit of a snag when we went through tolls and discovered our Easy Pass transponders were not being read. Linda is okay because hers was a Mass one; mine is Delaware and I had not registered the cycles with them as I did with Mass, thinking they communicate with each other----wrong. So, I have to do that tomorrow. We rolled into Brunswick, Maine, at 2pm off I-295. Felt good, albeit chilly, to arrive and find the Travelers Inn, right where the Garmin Zumo said it would be. We unloaded the cycles. Ate at a diner. Mine was very good. Then, we hiked back to the motel in time to find out the Patriots won---all is right in the world! And, we haven't moved off the bed except to put the cycles' night covers on and go the the bathroom.
We head out tomorrow on scenic coastal route 1 for Bar Harbor further north in Maine. We will grab the continental breakfast here before embarking on our 2nd days ride, which hopefully will begin on a happier note than today's. Funny, this Blog is called "Get Your Motor Running'" and that's just what didn't happen! But, all's well that ends well!! We will sleep soundly tonight. Until tomorrow..........

Posted by damienannaaiden 14:18 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Nerves

About to hit the sack for a dose of beauty sleep before the journey

Well, nice to see I could get on the Blog finally. We'll leave about 8am tomorrow, heading to Brunswick, Maine. Cycles are all loaded. We're going through what I hope is the normal pre-trek jitters. Our daughter seems delighted at the prospect of our leaving--can't understand that. Linda thinks it's because I have been completely off the wall the last couple of days, which led to a frenetic two days of taking my ADD to new heights!! We will go right through Boston tomorrow and up 95. Lot of highway tomorrow--glad it's Sunday. To bed.

Posted by damienannaaiden 18:50 Comments (2)

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