Follow me on a map!

6 Jul

If I’m not riding my Suzuki Vstrom DL1000 motorcycle I’m either sorting out and editing pictures that I’ve taken or researching and cataloging all the rocks that I’ve collected, or I’m planning my next adventure ride. In between, I do some writing and more recently spend time dog training my young Toller, so don’t expect to read much.

Unfortunately the Covid19 pandemic has upset travel plans, so my SPOT device is not active. Don’t bother to check out this map, which is usually created by my SPOT. Bummer for all of us; stay close to home, wear a mask, get vaccinated and hope to do some serious riding another year.


Ahhhh it’s white

17 Jan

Overnight winter has returned to Ontario. Enough of the freezing cold temperatures and icy conditions that were good for nothing but slipping and falling. At least it looks like winter now. My dog loves it and I’ve been outside to play with her twice already today, she will fetch but won’t shovel. This view from my garage shows drifted snow and unplowed roads; I doubt that even my Subie could travel anywhere today.

Winter isn’t …

11 Jan

Winter isn’t supposed to be just frozen and dull grey and icy. It can be a winter wonderland, and yesterday I went looking for it to photograph. Yes winter is often cold, damp and uncomfortable in Kingston but the sparkle of sun and fresh snow can produce some great pictures. I hoped that the Great Cataraqui River might offer a winter scene but I found it to be bleak and frozen with the sky overcast. So this picture of the frozen river is the best I could do. Shortly before I took this picture I slipped on an icy patch of grass that had been dusted over with a scuff of snow and I wiped out, but luckily didn’t get hurt. This morning our thermometer on the deck showed -21 C and wasn’t inspiration, but my dog seems oblivious to the weather so we went out anyways.

In an attempt to keep my wife and I upright we now both have tungsten carbide Icetrax traction aids on our warm winter bog boots. The rubber traction aids fit securely on the rubber bog boots and I highly recommend wearing them for anyone who walks a dog. We have friends who have recently broken their arms or wrists while out walking their dogs.

2022 – New Year

2 Jan

There’s no reason just to wait for this year to be much different than the last crazy covid year. I need a new outlook so will try to photograph something worth posting each week. This morning winter has brought us a fresh clean white blanket. Just what my Subaru is equipted to play in, the Hakkapelitra Nokian tires combined with Subaru’s unique all wheel drive and manual transmission is perfect for Canadian winter driving.

Northern Ontario

14 Aug

Larry and I met up in Haliburton for a few days of adventure. After a long day for us both (580km for me) we arrived safe and sound in Parry Sound. West on 518 west of Sprecedale the road is closed at Bear Lake. OMG what a quagmire of difdicult backroads to get rerouted. Having lived here in 1980’s I knew that the local custom in to go to the salt dock and watch the sun set.

Saturday we rode to through Sudbury to Elliot Lake

and north on #108 and westerly on 546, mostly gravel, ending up in Thessalon for the night.

Five days or riding was our longest trip since the covid pandemic began, adding 2,419km to my odometer.

Homebound we chose to go to Manitoulin Island for a couple of days. OMG what a disaster … completely booked … nowhere to stay … and the ferry reservations full for two days! Can’t stay on the Island and can’t get off. Covid rules limits the passenger on the ferry. Fortunately I pleaded our situation to a very helpful customer service representative and she got us onto the ferry that evening. Trying to book a motel for the night on the mainland with limited cell and no internet proved to be a frustrating SNAFU and I managed to reach my wife by phone to solve our dilemma.

One of the highlights was riding on hwy#129 northbound from Thessalon towards Chapleau along through the scenic Mississagi River valley.

Wow, #129 ia a twisted paved road with a posted speed at 80kph with the lots of technical curves and hills. Not much traffic but watch out for limited sight lines!

About 1/3 of the way we split off onto gravel #556 towards Ranger Lake, Searchmont and Heyden which is north of Sault St Marie.

Madawaska River Valley

18 Jun

I spend the last 3 days exploring some gravel backroads and forest access roads and my favourite paved twisties in the Highlands. Larry and I stayed 2 nights in Barrys Bay at the Ash Gove Inn; I highly recommend it, the outdoor patio food is excellent. Don’t expect to just show up without a reservation, they are busy. Perfect staff.

My bike is running well and the odometer turned over 220,000km while homebound. Vstroms are big machines and not the best for exploring the grave roads and historic abandoned places in the Highland forests, but can sure eat up the pavement in the connecting roads.

Look closely and see the sawdust burner below the old sawmill is at the outlet of Constant Creek, a tributary of the Madawaska River. One of the last working water-powered sawmills. (I did see the water-powered Bellrock mill in operation, making cedar shingles, by the owner Richard Tosswill, in about 2000).

We spend a long time at Rockingham Church, all the volunteers have done a wonderful job to preserve local Opeongo history

Meet for Lunch

12 May

Splitting the distance between Midland and Kingston gives us both a good ride. Respecting social distracting precautions we had an outside picnic lunch in Burleigh Falls. Both of us benefit greatly from conversation, a bit of fishing, and of course the ride. I consider that the 430 km on my odometer all adds up to improving our sanity in this crazy covid world. We stopped in Havelock for a picture.

Crazy Covid World

30 Apr

I want to suggest to my followers, please if you have some background in math to help others understand what an exponential growth curve is. I truely feel that very few know what that is, or even know what data is plotted on each axis of the curve. Yet people are daily expected to help flatten the curve. So WTF does that mean? I think we all need some simple biology to know how exponential growth applies to our normal everyday life, such as growth of mould in an old loaf of breaf; before fear of a virus overwhelms our knowledge. I’m not implying that Covid19 is simple.

It is a most serious threat to human life on earth. But fear and panic are sometimes the result of nothing more than a basic lack of knowledge of science.
“Flatten the Curve” is analogous to yelling “you gotta get some drive out of the sail” to someone with no sailing experience who is struggling to steer a wind-surfer and is desperately wanting to get safely back to shore.

I’m equally freaked by our science, medical & political specialists who are working hard but struggling and really not helping Canadians understand this virus pandemic.

If you do find graphs helpful this site is excellent

In my opinion the mythical fear and anger building is limiting our ability to properly cope. We can’t hope to beat, what we don’t understand. 

Not much riding

29 Apr

Our weather deteriorated back to the usual April with cold and wet conditions. But things aren’t all bad….my dog and I are cozy at the cottage enjoying the new TN20 woodstove.

2 stroke fun

4 Apr

Not as much fun a riding my Vstrom but on a beautiful sunny warm Easter Sunday it’s great to be outside. We went to the cottage today for lunch and accomplished some outside chores.

Only recently I was able to get our vintage Stihl repaired by a very handy mechanic who has a small repair shop, a passion to tinker with Stihl saws and an impressive collection of acquired parts. We stripped a dead saw of the same type; the model 012 AV with a 45cc 2-stroke engine was manufactured from 1988 to 1990. Now probably good to go for 30 more years!

Vintage Arborist Saw

2020 – a short Covid riding season

5 Nov

Last March no-one really knew what we were in for. The Covid19 pandemic has seriously affected us all. I’ve been more fortunate than many; no friends or family have become infected. I decided in the spring to keep my bike insured, probably just ride some day trips and keep my fingers crossed that things would improve, hoping that I would be able to join some buddies and ride together to some of our planned events. Didn’t happen. Restaurants were closed, crossing over the international border to visit the US was impossible and long distance adventures quickly became a dream for the future. But I did enjoy some day rides and respecting social distancing rules and precautions I did meet up a few times at outdoor locations for picnic lunches with friends.

This is the first season that I’ve not had some major long distance trips. At least I do have many great memories from other years. I miss the freedom that I’ve experienced on the open road, some times for weeks at a time. Riding and meeting new people and visiting scenic locations all over North America has been a passion for over 200,000km.

I did enjoy a ride today in unseasonably warm November temperatures. There probably not too many warm sunny days left before it will be snow-blower season in Ontario. So today I changed the Vstrom oil and filter and the bike is in the garage with a tank full of stabilized fuel hoping for yet another ride. We’re both prepared for the inevitable winterizing.