2019-08-30

2019 Ontario - Yours to Discover

Wet, Wintery, Wonderful. I think Caroline is in agreement with me that if we do this one again in September, we will plan for rain and cold weather and then a nice sunny day will come as a gift. Caroline figures that it rained on us every other day of our thirteen day trip, but our takeaway is that it was a wonderful excursion.


Evan's Notch, Maine USA
This is the route I planned, but there were some minor changes:

Google Maps Link

Sunday Day 1: Charlottetown PE to New River Beach NB - 446 km

Charlottetown PE to New River Beach NB

I was up stoopid early to throw on my riding gear and load up my GPS and knock back a tea, headed over to McDonalds in Charlottetown as I was too early to meet up with Caroline as we had agreed at 0800, so I had a wee breakfast, ordered a cup of coffee, downed that one, and as I feared for my life showing up early, bought one for Caroline and headed over to see how she was doing.

Not one, but TWO dry bags!
Caroline used a couple of weekend trips to sort out what she was going to bring with her this go around, with an emphasis on "Waterproof" which turns out to be no such a bad thing after all for this trip.

As I pulled up into the driveway and put my brand new kickstand down on her driveway, I realized that I had already forgotten something important, the kickstand enlarger plate that was still on my older, broken kickstand. Right, I rushed back to my place and grabbed an allen key and quickly switched it over to the new kickstand there in front of my apartment.

That will make a huge difference later on when camping.
Without that foot, this big "Adventure bike" would have made my life an adventure, trying to find junk to slide under the kickstand so it didn't take a dirt nap on me.

Our first task was to get to the Moncton Magnetic Hill parking lot for ten and meet up with George,  as I had arranged to pick up and pay for a slightly used Scala G4 set for Caroline and I, so once that was done, I tried to get us going again but got us heading north up Indian Mountain towards Miramichi, which was completely wrong, so I ended up reversing course, and trying Catamount Road near the Country Meadows Golf Club.


Adventures by Garmin


Ummm, lets get this turned around and back out onto the highway, just in case. Highway 2 was predictably boring, so we hopped off of that and headed West along the 890 NB into Cornhill NB where there is a rest stop for bikers that solicits donations for a pet cemetary. I dropped some of Carolines coins into the cash box, and helped myself to an ice cold bottle of water from the ice box, and sat down to enjoy the day.





After only a minor kerfuffle, I got us onto Roachville Road aka 121 NB that would take us right past Kredl's Market and into Hampton NB where my Dad was born and raised.


A century old farm that shows why Sussex Dairy was a goldmine for hard workers



The River valley looking out over the Kennebecasis River, Central Norton NB
 We stopped in at Kredl's Corner Market for lunch, although as it was a Sunday and later in the day, I wasn't expecting my Aunt Sue or Uncle Ken to be working there today, but it was nice to drop in, although as it was only 1400 we had some distance to go before we would put up the tent tonight.


 When my Grandmother, Jennie Corkhum-Kierstead had passed away, she left the house and the land  to the church, so I took Caroline out on Dutch Point Road to show her where my Dad was born, and the land that he farmed as a kid, out behind the house.

Maranatha Seventh-day Adventist Church
Hampton New Brunswick
 Behind the church, a couple of does were resting in the shade. They seem to like it here.



Bambi and friends


The bridge over the Kennebecasis River, Hampton NB
We decided to ride the southern shore of the Kingston peninsula on Norton Shore Road, then take the cable ferry across to Grand Bay - Westfield.

Another motorcycle! We aren't alone!
 Norton Shore Road turns to gravel pretty quickly, and you find it stays that way right up until it joins up with the 845 again near Perry Point NB.

Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly
It's scenic, fun and a tad slow, so when we hit the tarmac again, it was nice to be able to get going again, although these roads are lots of fun on any day of the week.


Milkish Inlet #1, Bayswater 1920

The ferry was ready to load up and they let us on board without delay, and as both ferries were running today, there was very little line up and we were across and into Grand Bay - Westfield, although I did check to see if my buddy Zac had anything in the driveway, but he was out so we didn't bother stopping in.


Our route had taken us south of Saint John,  and we reprised a ride of a couple of weeks ago and revisited Dipper Harbour


Dipper Harbour New Brunswick




I'm not sure why we are so happy, as it's 1700 and we don't have a place to pitch our tent yet. Onwards! We'll try to make New River Beach Provincial Park and see what they have in left for us.

More of Dipper Harbour New Brunswick

Little Lepreau Basin, New Brunswick
We found a place at  New River Beach Park, although I really wasn't all that happy with the tent sites, as many of them were sand and gravel, and we had to be careful to clear the spot of rocks and sticks where our tent would be going.

Wood for tonight's campfire to complete the load
Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly

The campsite in all it's glory
Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly
Once that was up, it was time to get our supper going, a simple meal of Ramen for Caroline, and a tin of chili for me.
Yes, Ramen can be this much fun!

A bit of a kit explosion
Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly
 As noone wanted to set their kit down on the sandy pine needled soil, the picnic table saw a lot of use, and while I was setting up for supper, Caroline was nice enough to lay out my gear for the night.

Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly
 There is always time for chain maintenance!

Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly
 It was time for a washup, and I used the "kitchen sink", a 5 litre collapsing wash basin, some soap and half a scrubbing sponge to wash everything, with Caroline providing a J-Cloth to dry.
A little dab will do you
Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly
We skipped the campfire as it hadn't worked quite as we had expected, but climbed into our sleeping bags tired after a fun day of riding. Tomorrow I was going to introduce Caroline to some of my favourite roads to ride in the state of Maine. It was cool in the trees, but no real worries as it was only dropping down to a low of 10 degrees Celsius tonight.

Monday Day 2: New River Beach NB to Bethel ME - 454km

New River Beach New Brunswick to Bethel Maine USA
It was positively balmy until one or the other of us rolled around and let the cool air in. Gave up on having the sleeping bags zipped together. Now I’m wrapped up mummy style and I’m back down to shorts and a T-shirt. Still time for half an hour of sleep before Ron gets up. 😜 #ridereportsdotca

Sunrise over New River Beach Park, New Brunswick
 Caroline has always had some difficulty sleeping in the tent, probably not helped at all by my snoring, so as I tend to be up early, I leave her to sleep in a bit while I get some hot water going for breakfast.


Breakfast of Champions, Tea and Oatmeal
Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly
Caroline was up and decided to try her chopstick method of making coffee, and it worked to a certain degree...
But first, coffee. (Tea for Ron)
I can see my breath this morning. Feels like fall. #ridereportsdotca

She was trying to emulate this set up: The Mini Minit One Cup Filter, but had a wee problem with the improvised holes for her chopstick, and needed a second hole for another chopstick, which then let a few grounds into her cup.

Mini Minit Coffee Filters
Just grit your teeth and drink, Honey. ;)


The floor saver was covered in sand and pine needles,
but thankfully cleaned up fairly easily before going into it's stuff sack.
Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly
It always amazes me how we fit so much stuff on the bikes. Off we go for another day! #ridereportsdotca


Once camp was packed up, we set out for 175 NB that would hook up with the Trans Canada 1 and take us right on in to St. Stephen where we would cross the border, but things got really interesting on the ramp to the Trans Canada, as we pulled over to do a bit of a rain dance on the roadside, and as we went to leave and jump onto the highway, the clutch cable on my Versys snapped off right at the lever!! Bugger me! I managed to start it in gear and get Caroline following me as I power shifted out onto the highway, the goal now was to get safely into St. Stephen on a holiday Monday and see if I could get it repaired or replaced. *sigh*

I managed to hit most of the stop lights on a green, but lost Caroline temporarily at a light, and told her I was going to head back to a diner that I'd spotted on the corner of Young and King Streets, Carman's Diner in St. Stephen NB where we shed our rain gear, and headed in to warm up and enjoy a second breakfast and mull over our options for the rest of the ride ahead.

Breakfast at Carman's Diner
St. Stephen New Brunswick

Over breakfast I posted a message onto Facebook into the Kawasaki Versys Club and got a few responses, and Matt suggested using a vice grip locking plier to pinch onto the end of the cable...

The BMW fix
Shoot! I've got a pair of needle nose vise grips under the seat in my toolkit! It turns out that Caroline was packing along some heavy duty zip ties and a couple of feet of duct tape, so all I needed was a nice dry place to attempt the repair as it was now raining again, and when we asked the waitress if there was a self serve car wash, got directions for it and finished up our meal.

Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly

Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly





Ron’s still got his passport and wallet, and his kickstand is still going strong. For those of you who wondered what would break this trip - his clutch cable snapped a few minutes after we left the campground.
We considered getting a room for the night in St. Stephen and waiting until we could possibly buy one tomorrow. Added bonus - looks like it’s going to rain (surprise!) so we could have stayed dry.
We had second breakfast while pondering what to do.
He posted to a Versys group and someone suggested a solution (spoiler alert - it includes vice grips and duct tape).
So... out to the parking lot to see what we can do. If you set out with a plan and everything goes according to that plan it’s not much of an adventure. 😉
#ridereportsdotca

Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly
It wasn't hard to sort out what needed to be done, but I did make a wee mistake and that was not leaving enough slack on the cable so the wearing clutch plates would slip a touch in certain gears if I really got on the throttle hard. I think that is a sign that I need new fibre plates and springs this winter.
Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly

Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly

Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly


Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly


And it was working! We opted to change the plan a bit, and stay off US 1 that would have me using way too much of the clutch, and instead take 9 straight into the outskirts of Bangor itself, then use the Interstate and US 2 to make our way to Evan's Notch near Bethel Maine. We finished this up around 12:15 and packed the bike back up in preparation for our border crossing.

But first we had to eat Caroline's beef jerky or declare it at the border and be told to get rid of it or turn around and go home, so it was a post breakfast feast of Clow's Island beef jerky. Mmmm!

Maine in a cold, wet rain. 
Caroline got a photo of me doing the rain dance near Clifton Maine on Airline Road aka 9 ME and as I recall, I was having a real struggle getting my boot down those rain pants as it was getting caught on all the "taped seams" that the tape was peeling off of. *sigh* I need new rain gear.

We rode through Maine largely in the rain, and stopped only for gasoline, and again in Hampden at the Dysart's truck stop that offers a wonderful restaurant and a store that sells a plethora of truck driver merchandise, from 12 volt microwaves to high visibility gloves and tire checkers. 

Daves Hash
Dave’s Favorite Hash This is our #1 seller! Made the same way for 50 years with house cooked corned beef, onions, potatoes, and two eggs cooked your way! (And it's a favourite with me!)

Caroline opted for the Mac n Cheese with a biscuit.

Vice grips, cable ties, and duct tape got us moving again. Plan for tonight is just west of Bethel, Maine. #ridereportsdotca


I think she isn't impressed that I'm already to go, and she forgot to put her ear plugs in. I may have been laughing a bit. :)

We boogied down the Interstate, then hopped off onto US 2 and followed that right into the gas station opposite my favourite BBQ pit in Bethel ME, Smokin' Good BBQ, only to find the smokers weren't smoking and the trailer was dark. :'(

We got some directions for town, and headed in to find some supper, but once in the town, Caroline and I decided that we had best use our time to find a hotel room as neither of us wanted to erect a tent in this weather, so after some turns and bumps, we found ourselves with a room in West Bethel ME, about four kilometres from the junction of US Hwy 2 and 113 ME that would take us south and into New Hampshire in the morning.

Our tent for the night.
Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly

It rained most of the day. We decided to sleep indoors tonight since neither of us was looking forward to setting up the tent on wet ground. Waiting for a pizza to be delivered.
We’re thinking of starting a business. We’ll contract out our services to drought stricken areas. Wherever we go the rain seems to follow. 😉
#ridereportsdotca
We ordered a pizza in from a local pub that closes just at 2000, and had it delivered to us at the motel room. Mmmmm! Pizza!

Caroline was really tickled with the old phone, but as it's part of a motel switchboard, it was working and needed nothing. Sorry honey, not all tech needs an upgrade. :)


 Our wet gear hung round the room, and we hoped that it would be dryish in time to wear the next morning.

Tuesday Day 3: Bethel ME to Bristol VT - 287 km

Bethel Maine to Bristol Vermont

Clearly we are having a problem with late starts on this trip, as it is ten now, and we aren't yet underway, but it is a vacation, and we got the opportunity to chat with a retired gentleman up from Florida who was in town for his high school reunion, and mentioned that as that class graduated sixty years ago, this may very well be the last one ever. He talked of his kids, and the work he did on the CNCP railroad in the states. It was a nice bit of a conversation, and as he was a dog lover as well, it was an easy conversation to have. I suppose I'm also to blame as I got the numbers for a couple of Kawi dealers in Maine, and called to see if they had any stock of clutch cables in the area to find out that there was none. I then brought in my friend Melanie who used to work for St. Onge Powersports in Barrie Ontario, where we were bound on Friday/Saturday to see my brother Shaun. Melanie no longer worked there, but was able to supply me with the part number in minutes, and I asked my brother Shaun to order in the cable as a rush so that I could finish out the trip with a properly working bike. *sigh*

My camera lens is still a bit damp from yesterday
 I really enjoy the scenery along US Route 2, but as it is also one of the best East - West commercial routes in the Eastern United States, it sees an awful lot of traffic. It makes me wonder why there isn't an East West Interstate system, not that I would want to be on it on a motorcycle.


Caroline's first time in the White Mountains on a motorcycle









It really is this beautiful. 
 
We met up with a local resident who is working on a photo novel, and handed Caroline a sample of his artwork while I got to meet and greet his lovely dog. She gets chained as he says she can chew through a rope in under an hour, and I can believe it. 


Don't drink puddle water!



 Just down the road there is an old brick farmhouse called "Brickett Place" with a well storied past, being built by John Brickett, one of the first settlers of the Cold River valley, arriving in 1803. He lived with his family in a log cabin for a number of years, and began construction of this house in 1812, making the bricks himself. The house took four years to complete. Brickett did not own the land on which he built: it was part of a large tract granted to Josiah Bachelder in 1816, which was later incorporated as the town of Stow. Brickett purchased title to 50 acres (20 ha) from Bachelder in 1820. The house remained in the Brickett family until 1877, and was acquired by the United States Forest Service in 1918.[2] Wikipedia
 




The beautiful part of Evan's Notch, is that it follows a mountain pass following the course of two rivers, one flowing south into the Saco River, and the other flowing north into the Androscoggin River.




And for the first time Caroline enters New Hampshire on a motorcycle, but it won't last long as we will cross back over in a few kilometres.

Welcome to New Hampshire!
 Note that New Hampshire might have a bit more tax money to spend on the roads... They improved noticeably as soon as we crossed the state line.

And we cross the state line again.
Can you tell which direction we are headed?

We had another road that I wanted Caroline to try, Hurricane Mountain Road that would kick us out in Intervale New Hampshire, where we would pick up the 302 that would take us into Bartlett NH where we would leave the ski town and cross over the mountain on Bear Notch Road, but we had a ways to go to get there yet...

Hurricane Mountain road is a lane-and-a-half road that runs up and over, you guessed it, Hurricane Mountain near Conway New Hampshire. It's a fun little road that I first rode back in 2008 with my friends Willie, Darryl, and Roland while attending the ADVRider meet in Maine.



Hurricane Mountain Road,
Conway NH

302 with it's traffic was quite sedate in comparison after that run.

The Sunrise Shack, Glen NH
  Just outside of Glen NH, we spotted a restaurant surrounded by cars, and after pumping some gasoline decided that it was worth back tracking to it and check out the food.

Totally worth it! Their breakfast bowls are sensational and I've added it as a waypoint in my GPS so I can enjoy a meal there in the future if I'm in the area.

I ordered Da Bomb off of the Sunrise Shack menu, while Caroline enjoyed the Yardsale breakfast bowl that included roasted garlic cloves which she shared with me. Did I mention that she loves me? ;)

The Carnie

The Yardsale
Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly



Next stop, Bartlett NH for Bear Notch Road
 Bear Notch Road is a gap that runs up Table Mountain, The Bartlett Haystack, and Bear Mountain and kicks you out onto the fabulous Kancamagus Highway Route NH 112.

A stop on Bear Notch Road
What can I say about the Kancamagus Highway? If you haven't already ridden this highway, then it should go onto your "Must Do" list, and while you are at it, come on out to the East Coast and say hello. The Cows ice cream is on me.
 

 
Panoramic view from the Sugar Hill Overlook





We stopped further up the road at the Pemigewasset Overlook  for a few pictures and to chat with the park rangers who were clearing some of the brush in front of the overlook.



Pemigewasset Overlook

New Hampshire and Maine have no helmet laws.
It was 1400 and we still had a lot of ground to cover today, so we threw a leg over and headed down out of the White Mountains and off of the Kancamagus and back onto Highway 302, which crossed the state line and into the town of Woodsville Vermont, where Caroline and I stopped in at a Dollar General store as she wanted to get a pair of flip flops for the showers, and I was hoping to find some neat things as well.  We got Cheese in a can, and when one of the shoppers saw our reaction to it on the shelf, we felt obligated to explain that "We are Canadians." as if that excused our childish reaction to the discovery.






Remember all of that riding in the rain we did? Well I think my gas cap isn't water tight any longer as I discovered water in the overflow ring just above my gas cap, and I was forced to use a paper towel to remove it so it wouldn't find it's way down into my gas tank! Outside the store was parked a big truck with a couple of kids sitting in the rear passenger seats, and one of the boys spoke out as he saw Caroline and I loading up our ill gotten dollar store goodies, "I like your bikes!" I made sure to ask which one, and cracked into a huge grin when he pointed at my Versys instead of the Shadow. I then asked him "What do you ride?" to which he responded "A TSC mini bike that I share with my brother."

"Well have fun, and don't forget to practice your wheelies!" To which I got a huge grin from teh occupants of the truck as their Mom pulled back out of the parking spot.


 Back on the roads with Caroline... The scenery is wonderful and the roads are entertaining. This is what riding is all about, and as it is early September there is little to no traffic on the roads at all!


 

Caroline stated that it was interesting riding in the mountains, cold at the top and hot in the valleys, and I told her about riding in Italy at the Passo De Stelvio where it was summer at the bottom and a snowy winter scene at the top of the mountain pass. It wasn't as extreme here, but you could certainly feel it.




 

We were deep into Vermont along the track I'd plotted out earlier last week, and had left the 302 in favour of a bit of Interstate that saw us over to VT 100B that I wanted to use to get us onto VT 17 up and over the Appalachian Gap between Stark and Baby Stark mountains.

Barre Vermont
 My clutch skills were getting a workout as we headed through some of the smaller towns, and the very end of the vice grip was painfully uncomfortable to use.

Downtown Barre Vermont

 Generations of farming along the Mad River had shaped the landscape, and as always, I really enjoyed capturing some of the older buildings on film (SDCard?).

Farms along the Mad River
Moretown Vermont




It was getting late, and the shadows were getting longer, so when we pulled into Waitsfield Vermont just before 1800, it was time to find a campground, and for Caroline to phone home and wish her mother Esther a happy birthday. 

"Collect call, do you accept the charges?"
 I was sent on a mission to get some water and some milk for the tonight's supper and the morning cuppa tea. Mission accomplished, although with space at a premium, the water jug had to be strapped to the luggage rack on the outside of the bike. 


 Caroline located a campground just off of VT 17 called Maple Hill Campsites in South Sharksboro Vermont, about 30 minutes away, but with these mountain roads, we were going to lose our light quickly and I hate putting up tents and cooking in the dark. I mean I loath it, truly.

Caroline entered the address into her cellphone and took the lead, and I was a tad disappointed, for it;s moments like these when the planned route is tossed out due to expediency, and I mourned the loss of the fun bits I'd plotted for us. What's this!? We were heading up VT 17 through the Appalachian Gap right where I wanted to be! Caroline wasn't eager to go fast up the mountain, but then neither was I as I'd almost wrecked by being an idiot and riding right up into a blinding sunset. To this day I have no idea how my guardian angel managed to steer me clear of that guardrail while I was blinded by the setting sun right in my eyes, but I still count my lucky stars. David and I did that back in 2014 while riding North up VT 100 to Smugglers Notch.  This run was quite uneventful, and we reached the overlook at the top of the pass in due course, and hopped off to take some pictures of the setting sun.

VT 100 is a wonderful little ride!
Welcome to Appalachian Gap!


Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly





 We met Melissa from New Jersey, who had travelled out to New England with her husband, and were stopping to admire the same view as we were, and we spent a few moments in conversation before waving fare well as they left the overlook.


 Now it was time for the important photography to commence! Say "Cheese!".


 Well boys and girls, in order for this tale to continue, two people are going to have to walk up that a way and get their tired legs over those saddles and keep riding to a campsite. Especially if anyone wants to get a meal and some sleep tonight.
 

Just one more...
Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly






Maple Hill Campsites was located just off of VT 17 on Quaker Street, an unpaved farm road that led us up Mount Pleasant for a few hundred meters to a century plus homestead that had seen more than a couple of generations of Vermont families, where we met our hostess, and got a wee history of the farm as well as sharing our impressions of the place that we had garnered from Google Maps that had initially led us here after Caroline had done the research.


 With a mixture of ducks and hens running free on the front lawn, I was completely distracted while Caroline signed us in and paid the campground fees.
 

 The best part is the campsites were quite well separated, and as it was off season, we only had a few other campers to wave hello to. Once off the bikes I growled a bit and got Caroline's attention and assistance to set up the tent and get it pegged out before we lost our light. In the mountains, the sun doesn't have as far to sink, and you could experience a sunset almost an hour in advance. (I keep telling Caroline that so she won't get mad at me.)

Getting dinner on the go.
Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly
Sunset over Pleasant Mountain, Vermont
 It's time to get into our Dollar General sack of goodies and see what we have! Easy Cheese!!!


Mouth mix!!!

  No signal, so we didn't get much outside contact that night.

No signal. Fun. 
Ah well, time to crank out some cordon bleu cooking here and see if we can earn another Michelin star... Thankfully she got enough signal to find that there was a 40% chance of rain for the area.


 So we decided that Ramen was on the menu for this evening, and Caroline tweaked it up with a can of Costco Chicken that her Aunt Mary and Uncle Carl had gifted her with last month. It's seen a couple of miles on the road since then, but was a perfect addition to the noodle soup, as well as some dehydrated vegetable flakes that I'd found at Canadian Tire of all places, but these need to boil for a few minutes or they are a bit chewy. Caroline suddenly remembers stuffing all that Canadian beef jerky into our faces prior to the border crossing, but here she has gone and smuggled cans of chicken across an international border! I'm travelling with a felon!!!

Mmmm! Chicken vegetable Top Ramen from the dollar store! 
And it was time for bed... Night All! Or not quite. There were a ton of crickets, as in the tent walls vibrated along with their call. Why can you ask Alexa for Ambient Noise such as ocean waves or rain on tent, but not crickets in grass? Hahaha. We were tired enough that it wasn't long before we faded away and slept at last.

Wednesday Day 4: Bristol VT to Whitby ON - 641 km


I might have mentioned that I don't sleep particularly well when in a tent, not that I lose sleep, so much as wake up godawful "Milk them cows, boy!" early, so I like to get moving and start my cuppa tea and oatmeal to start the day, but today Caroline was up with me as it was going to be a rather long day, as neither of us wanted to spend another night on the road and turn this from a four day trip to Ontario into a five day odyssey, emphasis on the "od", pronounced "Odd". 

Getting cracking with breakfast...
Photo Credit: Caroline Kelly
 Our campsite was in the field, while others chose to camp in amongst the trees. The skies overhead were threatening rain again, but for now it seemed to be blowing the clouds away from us. I was really hoping to be able to eat breakfast and get moving before struggling into my rain gear.


One of the dollar store finds was UHT shelf stable milk, so I was looking forward to trying it in my tea this morning. I suppose the Americans can find this anywhere, but it can be a bit of a mystery to Canadians to find Ultra High Temperature milk on the shelves in Canada. One site suggests you check in the baking supplies aisle beside the powdered milk.

Hmmmm... 

Okay, it turns out that it is very much like 2% milk
It tastes alright when added to my tea, so I'll add it to my list of things to bring to a campsite in the future, or to hang onto in case of a multi day event such as a winter storm power failure or similar.

Where there is flame you will find a SVEA123R
NOW THAT'S A FIRE!!!

 Once breakfast was consumed it was time to wash up and pack up the tent, but we got reminded with a wee sprinkle that it may be a good idea to start the day with our rain gear on. I really didn't want to.

 I'd asked Caroline to pack along my gas canister setup inside my 775ml Stowaway pot, and it was working a treat to heat up water at the campsite in the morning. More efficiently than the SVEA123R to be fair, so future trips would look at butane and butane - propane blends as a goto for meals. It really is a brilliant solution, and you only need a windscreen in brisk winds.

My $42 dollar cooking setup
 The titanium mugs that I'd purchased this spring were working out perfectly, although Caroline may need a wee something for oatmeal porridge in the future, and I saw the need for a single large pot big enough to boil water for two, or to cook a meal for two. I've been using a setup that I used to use solo, so all I'd done for this trip was join two solo sets, and you could tell. Without the second stove (Caroline would have it packed up with her gear) I was unable to prepare enough water in one go for two people. It's beginning to look like I may actually want a Jet boil using iso butane to heat up the water quickly for two people. I use about 800ml for a huge cuppa tea and a single packet of instant oatmeal, so I think I'd need about 1.6l between Caroline and I for a morning boil up. Thoughts?

Caroline straps on the last of her gear. 

 40% chance of rain turned into 100% chance of getting a sprinkle to remind you that it MIGHT get nasty today.

 Did we just ride past a field of Pot!!!??? I think so, with plenty of warning signs all over the crops, and no real fences at all! Caroline thinks it might have been THC free Hemp plants. Interesting.


VT 17 joined up with VT 116 and we wound our way alongside Baldwin Creek and through the town of Bristol Vermont, with our destination of the morning being Chimney Point, or rather the Lake Champlain Bridge across Lake Champlain that separates Vermont and New York State.

Bristol Vermont
 You find yourself looking over your shoulder to see the Appalachian mountains behind you, with a plain of land, and there, in the distance, a dark smear that may be rain clouds or may be the Adirondack mountains of New York State and Lake Placid winter olympics fame. 

We fuelled up at the Citgo at the junction of 17 and 7, and I convinced Caroline that we deserved a nice cuppa coffee and a second breakfast (we shared a small croissant) before heading into what looked like rain clouds gathering in the West. I then took the opportunity to retell my horrific story of the Dunkin Donuts "Jelly" flavoured donut of years gone by.

Chicken Bacon and Cheese stuffed croissants... What's not to like? 
So while munching on our second breakfast, up strolls this dude who introduces himself as a Canadian, and instantly earns our respect, as we've got to stick together, although he confessed that he'd married an American from the area and moved here to be closer to her family. I said that was alright as he was a sixth columnist, spreading our Canadian Values here in the States, and mentioned Canadian Bacon to which he laughed and said it was one of his favourite movies. "It's your job to see that Neighbour is spelled correctly, so they second guess themselves when they write out "harbor" and wonder if they should be using a "U" as well." Nice

If you haven't seen this movie, you have been missing out.
Canadian Bacon starring John Candy and Alan Alda 


100% chance I'm glad I have my rain gear today! 
 I'll just leave these here so you can follow our progress along VT 17 towards the bridge, and the impending rain clouds that were in our future.













There is Crown Point, New York State ahead of us, and we are going to be heading North along the lake, then West into the Adirondacks shortly.


Welcome to New York



9N heading north into Port Henry NYS





These roads are damp. I think we'll be in our gear sooner rather than later. 





Do you see that house up ahead on the right? We pulled off the road and onto the end of his driveway to do our rain dance, and it began to rain just as I was struggling to get my rain jacket on overtop my jacket.

Do you mind if we park here for a bit? 
I'd picked this awesome road, I mean a five star motorcycle road that runs all over the place, with chicanes and knee sliding corners... But with this rain, it was even a bit nerve wracking than usual as I found that while the Shinko 705s I was running on are stellar on dry, warm roads, my rear tire was acting up a bit on cold wet roads. I think the cool temperature was the biggest factor, as it would tend to skid sideways under hard acceleration or to let go a touch if I hit a tar snake or painted line, all of which poinited very clearly to reduced traction. I had to take it easy, and Caroline found the pace just about perfect as we made our way West across Ensign Pond Road that follows Mill Brook and would join the 9N with the 9 where we would head north on into Keene NYS.  :'(


































Thursday Day 5: Whitby ON - 31 km


Friday Day 6: Whitby ON to Barrie ON - 148 km


Saturday Day 7 Barrie ON


Sunday Day 8: Barrie ON to Mattawa ON - 313 km


Monday Day 9: Mattawa ON to Parc national de Plaisance QC - 367 km


Tuesday Day 10: Parc national de Plaisance QC to Quebec City QC - 483 km


Wednesday Day 11: Quebec City QC to Chicoutimi, Saguenay, QC  - 243 km



Thursday Day 12: Chicoutimi, Saguenay, QC to Grand Metis QC- 298 km


Friday Day 13: Grand Metis QC to Charlottetown PE -  551 km