The latest episode of our Planet Ramble has been posted. This time we ride in rain, park in front of bright green buildings, jump a Cat, play in the fog, and stand in front of a barn. You can find it by clicking HERE or by cutting and pasting the link below into your browser.
We hope you enjoy it.
The latest episode of our Planet Ramble has been posted. This time we find bulging trees, more cable ferries, shrimp factory ships and more rain. You can find it by clicking HERE or by cutting and pasting the link below into your browser. We hope you enjoy it.
Crossing Into Canada We Find Craft Beer, A Very Large Bird, Thoroughbred Race Horses, Wind Turbines And Gravel Roads Along The Ocean
The latest episode of our Planet Ramble has been posted. This time we travel from Maine into Canada and find interesting craft beers, a very large bird, thoroughbred race horses, wind turbines and deserted gravel roads alongside the ocean. You can find it by clicking HERE or by cutting and pasting the link below:
We hope you enjoy the latest!
Well Kim and I have finally reached what has been our goal for over 40 years. On the 4th of July 2015, we retired from the corporate world. No more suits, no more ties, no more deadlines. After spending decades doing what others wanted us to do, it’s finally our turn to go out and play. I’ve even started the beard that I’ve always wanted.
To mark our new found freedom, we’ve decided to try an around the world journey. For now, we’re just going to do a little shakedown run to ease into the retirement waters. We’re heading north from our home and will take a route that will take us from NH, through VT, Quebec via the Gaspe Peninsula, Labrador via the Trans Labrador Highway, Newfoundland via parts of the Trailway, Nova Scotia and ME.
Then we’ll take some time off to sell our home and many belongings so that we can make our way around the rest of the world.
I’ll be on a 2011 KTM 990 Adventure and Kim will be on a 2013 Suzuki DR650.
Although both have been somewhat farkelized I can’t leave good enough alone. Kim’s DR needs something more to make it worthy. So I’ve added some Barkbusters, a 5 gallon Acerbis tank, a swoopy high mount front fender and relocated her well used windshield lower.
For a detailed ride report with pictures, please click here:
We’ll also have a Spot satellite tracker so you can watch us as we make our way and you can find it here:
We’ll update our ride report with pictures and text constantly, so remember to come back often. Please note that there are multiple pages at this ride report, so click on the page number at the bottom or top of the page as the ride report gets longer (you’ll see a block at the top or bottom of the page that says Page X of Y).
A new private message arrived in my ADVRider email account and I opened it with unbridled anticipation. You see, the message was in response to our listing on the “Tent Space” thread where we offer food and lodging in our home to adventure riding motorcycle travellers. We’ve hosted travellers in our NH home from as far away as Australia and we’ve enjoyed every minute. We’ve generated new friendships and been able to share a bit of our country with people from other parts of the world.
It turns out that this traveller was not from very far away, in fact he was from Brooklyn, NY. He was finishing up a three week sortie of the Trans Labrador Highway, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. Awesome! The Trans Lab loop was one of our favorite rides which we had last ridden 2007. We were anxious to meet the rider, hear about the Trans Lab and what he experienced during this trip.
We emailed our potential guest back and told him that we would be delighted to have him come and stay with us. We had a few back and forth contact emails and around 10:00 PM as we sat around the fire pit of our little VT getaway home, we could hear the familiar sound of a single cylinder motorcycle coming up our gravel mountain road.
We left our little fire and greeted our guest Ben Recchi. What a great person. We fed him some dinner since he hadn’t eaten in quite a while and had been on the road since early in the day. We stayed up and chatted until well past midnight talking about the Trans Lab, his and our travels, where we’d been, what we’d seen and where we’d like to go.
It turns out that Ben had been to many other places on a bike, including Central America more than once. To do so, he learned Spanish and was capable of communicating with the people he met. This made his journey more enjoyable and helped him share a little about himself with the communities he came in contact with. He really enjoyed Central America and said he would be happy to return.
We told him about our experiences and where we had been and a little about what we had seen. We briefly discussed our trips to Ushuia, Iceland and the Trans American Trail and we all agreed that riding to different parts of the world was an excellent way to learn and share. We probably could have talked longer, but it was getting late and Ben had to get back to Brooklyn and we were pretty tired. So we all adjourned for a good night’s rest.
The following morning, we chatted some more over breakfast and found that we were all also MotoGP and Formula 1 fans. Wow, another thing in common. Ben had planned to leave fairly early in the morning but when I told him that I had DVR’d the MotoGP race, I was able to convince him that he should stay a while longer and at least watch the race with us. With the remote and the skip commercial button, we could get the race watched and done in less than 45 minutes.
So we sat in the living room and watched the race together, commenting on what was happening in the race and the championship, who was going where at the end of the season and all the fun things that fans discuss when they are enjoying their sports of choice. It was like having a long term buddy in our living room, not just someone we’d met the evening earlier.
So after the race was completed, the victor announced and the trophies handed out, Ben started to pack for his final leg of his three week journey. We helped him load up his bike, took a few pictures of our new friend and wished him safe travels on his way home to Brooklyn. It was with real regret that I watched him motor down my driveway and onto the gravel road down the mountain back towards his home in NY.
We had made a new friend and shared some mutual experiences. We found much in common in the less than 24 hours that we shared together. We broke bread together and learned about each other, all in the spirit of friendship and sharing that is brought about by adventure motorcycling. What a great way to learn about other people and shrink the planet. Although in this case Ben was not from a far away land, we did share and we did make a new friendship. We were invited to come and visit him in his home when we came by his way.
So even though the distances between our respective homes was not great, I believe that the sharing that we did together did indeed…
Shrink The Planet, One Ride At A Time.
Get out there and shrink the planet a bit, please.
We awoke in our small dark room to a steady soft rhythmic drumming on the roof of our rented cottage, the “Gold Miners Dream”. Was it rain or the spirits of the gold miners of the past letting us know that they were still among us? Perhaps a combination of both? We brushed aside the curtains and found it was indeed raining again, the miners weren’t with us this time. As the sky slowly grew lighter, it was time to get out of bed and pack the bike for the relatively long ride to Brier Island.
This ride would take us roughly two thirds the distance down the length of the Nova Scotia peninsula and across its width. We’d also get a couple of ferry rides in before we ultimately made it to our destination, the Brier Island Lodge. But due to the rainy conditions, we’d have to work a bit to get there.
Because of the distance involved, we decided to put in a significant amount of highway miles, something we rarely do. So on went the rain suits and as soon as we could hit the highway we were off and running. Things were pretty mundane for the first three hours or so. Just a moderate rain and some patchy fog here and there, but nothing special. However, as we were riding down Route 103 we came across a couple of signs at the side of the road that said in capital letters; “ROAD FLOODED AHEAD” but no flag men, cruisers with flashing lights or other signs indicating a detour or any other significant hazard.
So we continued onward at about 30 MPH in a 100 KPH zone (62 MPH) waiting for the flooded highway. Boy they weren’t kidding! We found the area first as some large puddles so we slowed down to a crawl; it was a good thing. As we slowly rode onward, the puddles turned into real water crossings. Not inches deep but over a foot deep and getting deeper.
It was amazing to be on a four lane highway (two in each direction) creating a bow wave of water with the water covering two thirds of the front wheel. Luckily, the deep flooding lasted only for about 500 yards and we were able to continue on. We did have the highway to ourselves as we seemed to be the only ones on the road at the time. Perhaps everyone else was smart enough to stay off the roads? But we were due at Brier Island, and other than the flooding we experienced on Route 103, it was just a steady rain ride.
We ultimately reached Digby, Nova Scotia where we caught our first ferry. While we were waiting for the ferry to depart, the rain slackened somewhat and I was able to snap a picture of Kim on her bike under the bridge of the ferry, aptly named Petit Princess. The picture then was quite apropos, my petit princess on the deck of the Petit Princess. Nice!
Unfortunately, the wind was up and the tide was going out. Since the ferry ride was so short, there were no tie downs for the bikes and we just sat on them with outstretched legs and planted feet as the ferry’s engines spooled up to take us across the bay. The ocean across to the next landing was very rough and as we chugged our way across, waves splashed over and across the bow. Sheets of water flew above the rail while ocean spray rose from its remnants covering our Roadcrafter suits with salty water droplets. It was another of nature’s reminders; she was still the boss when it came to man versus nature.
As the ferry lurched forward, we lurched in the opposite direction and strained to keep the bikes upright. With every pitch and yaw of the ferry, we put in a counter input. It was going to be a challenge just to keep the bikes upright for this crossing. But that off road riding skill came in handy and we were able to keep the bikes upright for the first ferry journey.
The second ferry ride was much smoother and we made it onto Brier Island without much drama. Since the island is so small, there’s not much riding to be had there, but it is a nice place to hang out and explore. There are walking trails right from the lodge that you can take to the other side of the island as well as to the lighthouse on the island.
If you like to look for beach glass, it has the most remarkable beach glass beach we have ever had the opportunity to search. Within a couple of hours, we had filled up a coffee can worth of quality beach glass and other beach baubles. We found rusty gears, pottery, chains and other interesting brick-a-brack.
It was also fun to go for a walk through the downtown area. On the day that we went, it was drizzling and foggy. But it just gave the scene a bit of a soft, ethereal feel, like a soft cotton swaddling. We were wrapped and comforted by the misty shroud. Pictures we took had a soft fuzzy texture, the hard edges of day to day life erased by nature’s weather made cocoon.
While we were out and about, we found some sights to be enjoyed. Some fishing boats nestled together in the fog, almost as to huddle closely together to share each others warmth, their brightly colored buoys hanging over their sides giving them each a different personality. Then there were a stack of lobster pots, stacked as if waiting their turn to re-enter the sea and play their role in the cycle of nature.
Finally, there was evidence of mankind’s shortcomings. As we walked back to the lodge, we passed a pickup truck. Inside was a sign advertising its status for sale. Unfortunately, the sign read, “House for Sale”. Hmmm….
We walked back to the lodge and got a good nights rest. When we awakened, the weather had cleared, but it was time to head home to NH. Yes, our Trans Labrador and Atlantic Providences Adventure was truly coming to an end. We grabbed a quick breakfast and took the two ferries back to Digby. From there we headed to Yarmouth and caught the catamaran car ferry called The Cat. A huge water jet ferry it could make the overnight crossing back to Portland, Maine in about 4 hours. In so doing, it sent rooster tails of water 25 feet into the air. It was an impressive sight, but it did indeed mark the end of this most excellent adventure.
Thanks so much for coming along on this ride. We hope that you have enjoyed coming along with us and that we have inspired you to…
Shrink The Planet – One Ride At A Time