Archive | July, 2013

Safe and sound at home

31 Jul

It seems unreal, Sunday evening I was in Port aux Basques and waiting until I could load the ferry.
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Now it is 10:30 pm Wednesday and I’m back at home in Kingston.
Just the part through Maine, Vermont and the Adirondacks Mts in New York state was a haul of 860 km mostly on secondary roads and highways.

Miles to go before I sleep

31 Jul

I did gey an early start and from here in Maine I will ride through some very scenic roads in VT and NY, but it will be a long day.

Breakfast in Dixfield Maine was an experience I won’t forget.
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The Front Porch Cafe is owned by Sammie Angle and Clint Bailey. Not only is the food great, the frienship extended to me there made my day.
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I doubt that Sammie performs Amazing Grace everyday, and I felt so privileged to be there to eat, to meet Clint, to sit with Brad and his father Donn, and to enjoy the company of a large group of young people all wearing T-shirts like this.
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Most of my ride was along what I refer to as the scenic backeay; I avoid most major highways even when I just trying to get home. The Mad River Glen road is strictly 1st and 2 nd gear and was a blast.
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Hello Storme

30 Jul

I got an early start this morning with the intention to flog the TCH and just make serious mileage homebound. But I  got sidetracked when the sun came out and followed MB hwy #111 south from Sussex along the Scenic Fundy trail. Wow, twisted roads and no killer potholes trying to bite of my front wheel as in NL. So I enjoyed playing with my throttle, for the first time in weeks.
I’m so glad that I found my way to St. Martins to meet you Storme. Your artistic creativity and photography skills awe me. Keep it up. I love your shop on the wharf.
http://shooflypiegallery.tripod.com

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Neat stuff in your neighbourhood.
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Not a bad day for distance, I accomplished over 700km and did get some scenic play time on hwy 111 in New Brunswick. I’m now done for the day and I’m a motel on Newport Maine. My GPS says that there is only about 850km left to ride home.

Fracking is Bad

30 Jul

There are no regulations in NL according to CBC news to regulate fracking. Presently there are explorations in the Gros Morne National Park area. Just how stupid are we and our Canadian government? Is this not a UNESCO world heritage site? I thought that meant something. Is it more profitable for NL to have frackers or tourists?
Anyone not familiar with the harmful effects of fracking on any infrastructure of roads and the lasting environmental ruin of such a beatiful place as Newfoundland should investigate the issues. For the sake of only a few local jobs so that some corporations can get wealthy while avoiding taxes, we risk our environment. I’ve some first had exposure to the damage of frackers. Fracking is bad.

Nova Scotia

29 Jul

I had a great sleep stretched out on the floor of the ferry, comfy in my Aerostich hotel, and with a Marine Vision blanket. I slept better than some who paid dearly for a berth. This boat seems very new and in pristine condition. The bike spent the night below with about 10 others.
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I met some serious riders from BC, hopefully Al and Paula will connect with me later on Ontario. They are towing a trailer for its first and last trip, I expect. The roads are bad enough without having a trailer bashing around behind.

Since I got off the ferry I’ve been riding in light rain on old worn out wet pavement. Of course I on the lesser traveled backroads. I’m fine with summer gloves, if the temperature stays warm I will probably just put on lots of mileage today. Visability sucks for the scenery but ok to see for riding. Glad I chose not to ride the Cape Breton Trail. The weather forecast along my proposed route looks wet for a few days. Not likely will I be tenting or putzing along taking pics. I sure hope the temps stay favourable.

I’m on WiFi in St Peters, Cape Breton, visitor center and hope to find breakfast soon.
Ahhh, food. Good liver and onions and served with WiFi. My stomach is happy and now so is SPOT with the new batteries from the hardware store across the road. Convenient for the batterires to crap out in a place to get new ones and just like the fuse that blew weeks ago. Things just keep happening right for me when I go stromabout.

Rain continued and got heavier and I bailed out in Derbert/Masstown NS just west of Truro for the night. Frightfully boring on the TCH 104 while I’m tired. It’s a small motel/gas station but across the road from what appears to be the bussiest market and cafe for miles.

It is now Tuesday morning, and I am well rested after a long quiet night. My RC suit and all of my riding geat is still damp, but it’s not raining out right now, just foggy.

Last day on The Rock

28 Jul

Hello Shannon, funny meeting up again. This time at the library WiFi in Stevenville.
I left Burgeo this morning with some blue sky, later along hey#480 the sun was out for some pictures.
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It takes me some time to find a reasonably safe place along the road, and with a good surface for my kickstand so the Suzuki won’t blow over, and the I mess around setting up with both cameras to get a good shot.
I’ve skyped the ferry and changed my plans and will load late tonight.

So, because this is my last afternoon on The Rock, I contiued to explore to the ends of backroads to find a quirky place for dinner; Joe’s Place on the Codroy Valley.
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I got to Port six Basque with about 2 hours to wait before loading. I have filled the fuel tank and cleaned all the lights and reflectors ready to ride once I get to Cape Breton. I’ve also repacked a bit to be ready for spending a comfy night in a reclining chair. It’s a small world ….. a couple from Kingston (Sun Riders) but in a car, have recognized me and we had some good laughs.

No doubt I will return to Newfoundland someday.

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There are still many more places to explore in Newfoundland, more people to meet and stuff like theses to photograph.
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Spending a rainy day in Burgeo

27 Jul

Enjoying a damp day in Burgeo planning a route home and looking at some of a month’s worth of pictures. I’d be lost without WiFi.
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Gannets  – in Newfoundland on the Avalon Peninsula – Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve

 

DSCF0367 S0090409With Esther’s laptop I’m able to post some real Fuji camera pictures.

Puffins – in Newfoundland in Elliston,  (also know for being the root cellar capital of the world).

Rookery, breeding ground on the Bonavista Peninsula, east coast of NL
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Burgeohaven.com

26 Jul

Inn on the sea. I’ve got the last room within a couple of hours of wet riding. Luckily the hosts took me in.

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What a beautifully maintained comfy home in which to rest.
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I’ll leave after the weather improves and on Sunday, if the forecast is correct, I’ll be able to enjoy my last few days on this island; The Rock as it’s called by most.

The were no Ro-Ro ferries operating on my route along the south coast. Only well aged supply ships carrying passengers and each ship is equipped with has a small crane capable of lifting pallets of supplies, an ATV, or in my case my motorcycle which was rather a novelty. The Marine Voyageur was built in 1964 and the Northern Seal in 1979, now both well aged vessels and probably very expensive to keep in service.  I found a detailed report regarding and have selected some information regarding the ferry service along my route.

VESSEL REPLACEMENT STRATEGY FINAL REPORT, March 2006

Submitted to: the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador PO Box 8700 St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 Submitted by: BMT FLEET TECHNOLOGY LIMITED PO Box 2113 25 Kenmount Road St. John’s, NL A1C 5R6

3.4.5 Routes K – N: Western South Coast Services The current South Coast services include those provided by the provincially-owned Gallipoli and the remainder provided by the small, privately operated ships. They have been considered together here to highlight how a more radical revision to current service levels might be accomplished.

Traffic statistics indicate that none of the routes is under-serviced. The Gallipoli runs overall at a small fraction of capacity, and the other services are also poorly utilized. However, none of these services is currently set up in a way that promotes economic development, notably (but not exclusively) tourism. Travelling the length of the South Coast requires complex planning, takes the better part of a week, and is only an option for backpackers **.  Service reliability issues also increase the risk of being stranded or of having to backtrack if connections are missed. The very limited cargo/vehicle capacity of any of the private sector vessels is a barrier to other types of development in the South Coast communities. An alternative service delivery model is suggested by the ‘Hurtigruten’ routes along the coast of Norway, in which several vessels run the considerable length of the country, maintaining a regular schedule at each port. The ships serve both local needs and also an increasing volume of tourism. On a smaller scale, this approach could be replicated on the South Coast of Newfoundland. At the western end of the system, there is reasonably convenient road access to the major ferry ports at Port aux Basques. Adding similar capability to Route O (see section 3.4.6) would shorten the eastern link to Argentia. All of the ports along the route could benefit from better access. A minimum of two vessels would be required to provide a daily call at each port. The size/capability required is discussed in more detail at Section A, but should be sufficient to offer a reasonable level of comfort to passengers and in the order of 6-car equivalent space and deadweight.

** From my experience, I see that tourism travel along the South Coast is a large economic potential. While there is no need to have a vehicle along the way, except to transportation at both ends of the trip, I imagine that travelling by mountain bicycle could become a world class route.  It’s hardly “only an option for backpackers.” Visiting these small communities and having use of a mountain bike to explore would be an awesome holiday.

BMT Fleet Technology Limited 5973C.FR Vessel Replacement Strategy 93 7.2.1 Safety It should be stated up front that one of the major reasons that there has been no serious accident to date is the quality of the crews currently employed. Ferry systems operate around the world but very few operate in conditions as severe as those encountered around Newfoundland. The Bell Island and South Coast Services are operated while being fully exposed to the rigors of the North Atlantic which can be extraordinarily severe in the winter months, and the Northern routes are all required to operate in sea ice to some degree. Operating any ferry system is challenging but to do so reliably in the weather conditions prevalent in Newfoundland presents challenges that few mariners ever encounter.
My South Shore coastal adventure is at and end, Burgeo is now the end of the line because there are no more westbound ships. Any boats necessary to complete a trip west to Rose Blanche have been recently discontinued.  CRAZY government decision to create a gap in what could easily be a world class loop boosting the tourism economy.

As usual I have a loose schedule and have no clue about the ferry times leaving Port aux Basques back to the mainland. I suppose I will try and board late at night and sleep on the floor during the crossing. Hopefully, if the weather cooperates I will be able to sleep with Big Agnes one more night before I leave Newfoundland. My mattress, sleeping bag and tent has worked perfectly; in fact all my gear is fine. Of course I didn’t need my merino wool long underwear because the temperatures have been great for this adventure.

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They told me the ‘Newfoundland Sling’ was a drink with grenadine…

25 Jul

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Leaving Francois early Friday morning on the 7:30 boat I took some pictures for Connie and Lena because their camera batteries are kaput.
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The sling, the kind that i know of are the lifting straps, and the bike is fine and happily back on asphalt in Burgeo. Both days I had some feelings of discomfort. This morning, not far out to sea from Francois, I hurled my breakfast overboard and after felt much better. Sorry about that Ethel. Spot marked the location for me. I continued to Grey River outside on deck passing through narrow entrance.
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Sick you might ask? No way, I was watching the horizon very closely for whales. That’s my story.
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Good second breakfast; hopefully I keep this one.

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In the cargo hold

25 Jul