2017 The Fall Colours of Nova Scotia's Eastern Shore aka Turkey Day Ride

Once again I found myself chomping at the bit, and reading more posts of people storing their bikes for the winter, and now single digit temperatures, made me keep an eye on the weather reports, and when I found that we were going to experience unseasonably high temperatures with a wee bit of rain this weekend, I began packing for another two or three day road trip.

Fifteen Mile Stream north of Lochaber Mines Nova Scotia
 Planning? Not really. Zac and other sources told me that Route 311 NS south from Tatamagouche down into Truro was an entertaining route, and as I've found that Route 4 is fairly boring and high speed, I decided that I would ride the 311, with a destination of Westphal Nova Scotia picked out as a destination far enough from Halifax and Dartmouth from which I could avoid the city and explore the coast on 207, then transition onto Highway 7. I hadn't really thought beyond that, and was toying with the idea of somehow riding Route 374, possibly the Cabot Trail, finding that fish and chips trailer in Guysborough NS, and generally just enjoying the weather, scenery and the ride.

738km over Saturday and Sunday

 Day 1 - Borden-Carleton PE to Ship Harbour NS - 453km

Day 1 - Borden-Carleton PE to Ship Harbour NS - 453km

It's early and it's a chilly 8C morning!


DPower remote cartridge stove

I've been watching the BikerBits YouTube channel, and found some great advice in his "Shit Easy Motorcycle Camp Cooking" videos, and decided that I needed to add a gas stove to my collection, but wanted to do it as inexpensively as possible. I did a bit of research on advrider.com specifically in the stove thread, reading every single post there, and at long length finally decided on the approach I was going to take with this.

BikerBit's Mark Victor uses a butane cylinder with an adaptor and a "China Stove" somewhat similar to an MSR Pocket Rocket to cook his meals, and his system works quite well from boiling water for a cuppa, right down to simmering for cooking scrambled eggs or pancakes. I was impressed, and decided I would base my new setup on his, but with some changes.

I ordered my stove off of eBay.ca, and purchased the "Dpower Ultralight Folding Backpacking Camping Stove Gas-powered Stove with Piezoelectric" for about $13.95 CDN

Will this replace my trusty SVEA?
Butane to Lindal Gas Adapter
I also added a "Gas Adapter for Connecting Long Butane Canister to Hiking/Camping Stove" to my shopping cart, and after a visit to the local Canadian Tire outlet in Charlottetown for a $9.99 CDN three pack of butane cylinders, I was armed with everything I needed to use this stove when I got it, which was this afternoon.
227g x 3 cans = 681 grams of gas for $9.99
Of course I had to take this out onto the porch and fire it up...

I'm impressed! For a about $23 dollars I'm just about set, all I would need to add to this is a windscreen which I have in my regular "kitchen" set that costs about $5 CDN on ebay.ca

I was a bit disappointed in that the thin metal bracket that holds the piezoelectric igniter in place was bent, but I was able to set that right quickly with a pair of pliers, and it was very easy to disassemble the burner into it's component parts to right the problem.

I found that running on the butane mix, it worked very well at full throttle, and I was also able to taper the fuel off for a lovely simmer that should be perfect for pancakes or scrambled eggs as opposed to full on for simply boiling water.

CAUTION when using Butane Cylinders!

When I wondered why my stove flared up once in a while during testing, I did a Google search for "100% butane stove flare" and found this article on the subject: Butane Adapter Warning!

These cylinders are meant to be used in only two orientations...
  • Straight up in the vertical plane with the can set on a level surface
  • laying in a horizontal plane with the "Notch" of the can kept in the vertical. 
Note the plastic pipe is set to "sip" gas from the vertical
Any other orientation and liquid gas flare ups will

So I modified my setup by adding two pipe clamps joined together to create legs that would keep the cylinder oriented with the cylinder "notch" kept to the vertical as described in the blog. (See the new adapter I found on AliExpress.com that I'll be using in 2020)

I also made a wee 50 second video showing what happens when liquid butane enters the stove by improper position of the butane cylinder.  

Please note that there are other gas adapters which include so.me form of feet or stabilization for the cylinder which orient the notch in the vertical plane, as seen below.

Gas Tank Adapter - Butane to Lindal

Gas Adapter - Butane to Lindal "Tripod"

I bought a newer adapter at the end of the 2019 season, and haven't tested it yet, but it looks ideal for this situation:

 The legs will hold the cylinder in the upright position when the canister is laid down horizontally as I intend to use it. This is the "locked" position for the adapter. Below the Lindal Valve side is showing. Now that I've two of these D-Power stoves, Caroline will be able to carry one set, and I'll carry the other for three season camping. They work very well for power failures as well.

Update 2017-10-09:

I used the stove and adapter for the first time this past thanksgiving weekend at my campsite in Ship Harbour Nova Scotia, and found that the initial pressure of the butane cylinder had gone from a roar down to an easily controlled burn that made it a simple matter to set up and boil water for tea. I didn't time it, but it is easily as good as the SVEA at boiling up about 800ml of water, but a decent wraparound windscreen is a must to get good burn times in moderately windy conditions.

Note the notch is vertical, and the can is slanted slightly uphill.
Once again, cylinder position is important, and on the sloping ground I was careful to orient the cylinder top uphill and in the vertical.

The next morning at a temperature of about 16 degrees Celsius, the butane again performed well and I simply boiled up water for tea and oatmeal, then again some for washup. The ease of use alone with the piezoelectric igniter and a simple turn of the valve makes this setup extremely useful, although I miss my old SVEA, and I would prefer some wider bottomed pots where the small burner size of the SVEA leant it to smaller pot sizes.

If anything, setting up the windscreen took the longest time, and looking for the black stuff sack for the stove, the and black bag for the windscreen, all stuffed into the black kitchen bag took the longest time for the teardown. lol.

Here is a great article on Canister stoves especially the cold weather use:

Update: 2018-06-27 

I've been bench testing this stove at home, and the volume of gas isn't as much as when I first tried it last fall. In fact, I'd call it a middlin' flame, and while stronger than a spirit burner, it's now a suspect stove and I set it aside for my next trip in favour of a canister top stove similar to the MSR Pocket Rocket, although at less than one fifth the price. 

I'm pretty sure it's caused by a blockage in the hose, so will try disassembly to see if I can't put it to rights. (Fixed it, see below)

I gave up and left it at home in favour of another cheap china stove that performed well.

This setup worked flawlessly with the butane.
This one is a combination of an adaptor tripod and a burner unit that has performed well for me over a few trips.

Update: 2019-09-29

I was bored and playing with my camping gear and decided to have a look at the blockage. The D-Power stove is fairly easy to disassemble and I was quickly able to isolate the issue to the gas supply hose itself. I cleared a blockage by inserting a four inch piece of telephone/network jumper wire into each end, after which I was able to get full flame from the stove once more.

The gas supply hose was blocked
The blockage was cleared by inserting jumper wire four inches into either end

Tools used: Needle nose pliers and Cat5 jumper wire

I've also purchased a shorter windscreen for this setup as you can see that the windscreen I was using at first was quite tall, much taller than it needed to be.

Hopefully this one will fix will last for a good long while, as I really like the thought of using these cheaper butane cartridges along with a low centre of gravity burner arrangement, especially as I now camp with my girlfriend, and need a 1.6 litre pot full of water on the boil, whereas I used to be content with half that amount of water in the morning for tea and porridge.

Cheers for now!


2017 Sea Cow Head

We've had our spell of unseasonably warm weather here on the Island, and just as it turns colder, down to single digit Celsius weather, I decide it's time to enjoy the afternoon and get out on my Versys for a quick boot around Bedeque, Prince Edward Island, with a visit to Sea Cow Head lighthouse out on Sevenmile Bay near Borden-Carleton PE.

The shoreline along Sevenmile Bay PE

Borden-Carleton to Sea Cow Head to Salutation Cove to Dunk River PE

Borden-Carleton to Sea Cow Head to Salutation Cove to Dunk River PE
I knew it was going to be a cooler ride this afternoon, so underneath my heavy cotton duck riding pants I had a pair of track pants on, and wore my heated jacket on under neath my leathers, but never had it plugged in this afternoon. It was brisk enough on the highway for me to need to turn on the heated grips while wearing my summer gloves, and as I rode along the highway headed towards the Tim Hortons at the Borden-Carleton Esso, I found it was raining, and worried that the weather forecast for this afternoon might have been off by a bit, but the rain was only spitting and I soon rode out from underneath it, and on into town where I filled the tank, then got a cup of coffee to fill me.

I left my pit stop and headed North on 118, then wound my way out to Campbells Shore on Sevenmile Bay.

I had Sea Cow Head in mind as a destination, as I haven't visited it this year, and I wanted to get some photographs of the shoreline in this noon light.

Campbells Shore PE

Looking across the bay at Sea Cow Head lighthouse
Campbells Shore is a deadend dirt road, so I had to double back out to 119 to make my way further West into Fernwood, then onto Sea Cow Head Road, which leads you to Lighthouse Road.  

The Sea Cow Head lighthouse

Sea Cow Head looking towards Campbells Shore

Can you see the Confederation Bridge in the background? This is a lobster boat just off the headland, checking and baiting his traps. It's a strange sort of pirouet as they haul in each trap of the set, pull out the rock crabs and lobster, then re bait the traps and lay out the set, with two buoys to mark each end. The buoys are specific to the boat, and the other fishermen will know exactly who owns the set of traps just by the design and colour of the buoys.

The Versys gets you there

I wonder what this was used for and how long it has been embedded in the ground like that?
 The salt sea air is highly corrosive to metal, so if you told me this was only ten or fifteen years old I would believe you. My friend Danny takes great care to ensure that all the fittings used in and on the boat can handle the sea water, as it really acts quickly to oxidize and corrode metal.

Sea Cow Head Lighthouse, Sea Cow Head PE
I think I covered all the angles there, so it was time to go, but not home, I wasn't ready for the ride to end, so  I headed over to Leard Mill road and stopped at Wrights Pond to see what the fall colours were like, but I think they will peak later on this week, as there is a frost warning tonight that should kick the sap into high gear.

Wrights Pond, Bedeque PE

Bradshaw River, the other side of Wrights Pond
 I wimped out when I saw the grass growing up between the road here, as it had rained earlier in the morning and standing puddles on a clay road is not something I want to risk taking my Versys down, regardless of the fantastic grip of the Shinko 705s, as they load up quickly in wet clay and become slicks in a matter of seconds, so discretion is the better part of valour so they say, and I did a u-turn and headed back out to the road.
I'm a wuss
 Route 112 heads through Bedeque, then carries on out to the point opposite the city of Summerside, and as I'd seen it many times from Holland College located right on Summerside Harbour, I really wanted to see the opposite view from Salutation Cove.

Summerside PE as seen from Route 112

damp clay roads in the treeline

Salutation Cove PE
 Unfortunately someone has been doing some illegal dumping on the shoreline, as evidenced by the waste concrete in the photo above.

The sand bar and it's lighthouse of Summerside Harbour

Keep to the right unless you are wearing your water wings

Salutation Cove PE

And now its time to head back out on 112 and head into Summerside to pick up some dog and cat treats.

There were quite a few ducks in the water but not enough to warrant stopping for a photo, as the light was in the wrong spot, and I'd have been taking a picture into the sun of a flock of geese in the distance, so I just rolled on past Summerside, then turned East at Traveller's Rest roundabout (beating the transport truck by going too fast through the on ramp, oh yeah!) and pulled in to find that puppy training class was just getting out, and I fell in love with many of the young puppies that were eagerly spilling out of the doors and straight at the bad biker boy. Heaven!

Zippy got a knuckle buster, and I bought some catnip and a couple of toy mice for Odie the cat.

Time to head home and have a late lunch...

Route 110 overlooking the Wilmot River bridge
 The tops of the potato plants have been sprayed to kill the plants, and the field will be harvested soon, dry weather preferred to wet.

Dunk River with a few fisherman 

Harvesting the potatoes at Dunk River PE
And that's pretty much it. Rolled in to find I had a fleaBay bit in the mail which makes me very happy, and to find my brother-in-law Cap'n Kirk playing with his 2017 Triumph Tiger XCx trying to start it. He's a bit ticked off, and has been all over the forums to find that it is a common glitch with the bike to fail to start, blow lots of white smoke in the process, then to promptly start and never have the issue again. His bike is still in the "Won't stay running" phase, and he's got the battery on a charge to try again. "It's going back!" he muttered as we headed into the house.

On a good note, Zippy was really happy to see me and smell my bag and his new bone. :)

Cheers, and have a great weekend!