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Southbound

18 Oct

Brisk temps Wednesday morning with heavy frost on the bikes. All day we had clear sunny skies warming us. Wonderfu roads in Quebec, Hwy 391 and 101 complete with an old covered bridge.

We crossed into Ontario at Temiscaming and Hwy 533 to Mattawa was the best on our trip. WooHoo twisties. Tomorrow we are leaving North Bay and going to vist friends on Georgian Bay near Parry Sound.
I spent some time at GNSCC, near Parry Sound, the location where I started the local JackRabbit cross country ski program for kids; back in 1982. What a blast to see how the club and ski trails flourishing. An amazing group of volunteers!
We arrived at my friends mid afternoon. Larry rode on home to Midland and I’ve stayed overnight for a visit. Lis is such a great cook, so I was spoiled for dinner.
I slept well woke in time to see the sunrise.

Life is good; offee in the morning with this view.

Although it was very windy Thursday afternoon and evening there were still lots of red coloured maple leaves on the way to Bracebridge.

I had a perfect riding day on Saturday, the pleasant 15 to 20°C temperatures are much nicer than the stinky hot sweaty days of summer day sweltering inside my crashgear suit.  I got home just before dark Saturday evening in time for a late dinner.


All round I had a great trip of about 2,600km over 9 days.

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Northbound

16 Oct

The warm wet weather conditions have changed into cold and clear. We been able to dry out in the Hawberry Motel overnight and both of us have more layers of warm clothing to wear today. We will get a good breakfast here in Little Current and then leave for Timmins where it currently is -3℃. I’m envious of Larry’s winter bib/pants and his electricaly heated hand grips. Highway 144 North is a great road, hills and turns (not twisties) but very scenic. Larry saw 2 bull moose together along the road at the edge of trees. We got into Timmins for lunch at about 3:00pm. HUNGRY. Apparently there was snow this morning and yesterday morning. Today’s high temp was 6℃. The Bonaire Motel in Timmins has an overhanging roof for Vstroms.​

Lots of bumpy gravel, about 70km
and a visit to a medical marijuana grow lab, DelShen theapeutics near Kirkland Lake at an old the old Swastika MNR tree nursery.
Tuesday night we stayed in very nice B&B Gite Le Passant in Rouyn-Noranda; good value,I highly recommend it.​

Manitoulin Island

15 Oct

We loaded early this morning on the last run of the season under the threat of serious rain and gale force winds forecasted. Small load, probably just 20%. Coming across we had rolling seas with winds 35 to 45 kts, lots of waves breaking into spindrift, but a pleasant 16℃ temperature. It was easy to see where the shoals are because of the foamy breakers. Ok to be on deck but very windy. Good hearty breakfast on board served up cafeteria style by a young woman from Rose Blance area of Newfoundland.​The ship had lots of rock and roll, everyone walking around with the staggers. I expect everyone was a bit uncomfortable. Because of the sea conditions the crew told me they were going to quickly unload and reload and leave the island immediately neglecting the schedule.

Bruce Peninsula

14 Oct

A damp start leaving Midland with Larry. By the time we said hi to Wiarton Willie the sun came out.
Lunch at Rachel’s Bakery, in Lion’s Head, was great. Afterwards, we followed the coastline as far as we could towards Cabot Head Lighthouse; unfortunately closed for this summer. DSCF0690ew Cabot Head

We rode as far as we could, to the closed barrier, but couldn’t get to the light house or the basin. Very remote, beautiful gravel road along the water’s edge. Well worth the dead eblnder. Bummer; I was last there in about 1974 by sailboat from Parry Sound.

Now we’re in the Blue Anchor Motel in Tobermory for the night, with an early morning ferry reservation.

More Fun with my Fuji

25 Aug

Billi sees her reflection and finally stopped barking.

The last day of October, Halloween, as usual in Kingston was a very windy and cold day. I went to the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour and took some pictures of the waves crashing into the breakwater. There is a real confusion of waves hitting the wall, reflecting and interacting. What a dangerous to fall into. I left my dog in the car just for that reason.  The SW wind had a long fetch to create rough conditions and make it difficult to stabilize the camera.

DSCF4264w Osprey 135I’ve been playing with the X-T1 body and my Fuji 18-135 lens. OMG there are lots of settings to experiment with, so this photography activity may keep me occupied for a long time. I’ve taken a few pictures to learn about the zooming capabilities and quality of images. Looking from the deck at the cottage 250 metres partway across Buck Lake to Twin Island we sometimes see what I now know to be, a bald eagle and not an osprey, nesting, or possibly just perched and searching for a fish meal. I’ve used the deck railing to steady the camera, the image stabilizer is on and the ISO is 400.  Because it’s a small bodied mirrorless camera the lens mathematics of the Fuji 18-135 has an angle of view of 76.5° – 12° and the zoom is equivalent to most DSLR camera zoom 27-209mm lenses or about the same as an average pair of 7X 35° binoculars. I took two pictures to show the capabilities. My Fuji setup has excellent image quality and is certainly adequate for me to edit and crop to be able to get more magnification of wildlife. If the osprey had been any further away I wouldn’t even have noticed it; I needed binoculars to help me setup for the pictures.      

I’ve attempted some night photography with interesting first attempt results and discovered that my Photoshop Elements 10 software won’t open the raw Fiji files that I created. So with some trial and error and internet sleuthing, I’m now using RawTherapee program. Wow, now even more fun with my Fuji.

RawTherapee ( copied from Wikipedia)  is a cross-platform raw image processing program, released under the GNU General Public License Version 3. It was originally written by Gábor Horváth of Budapest, Hungary, before being re-licensed as free and open-source software in January 2010. It is written in C++, using a GTK+ front-end and a patched version of dcraw for reading raw files. It is notable for the advanced control it gives the user over the demosaicing and developing process. The name used to stand for “The Experimental Raw Photo Editor”; however that acronym has been dropped, and RawTherapee is now a full name in itself. RawTherapee comprises a subset of image editing operations specifically aimed at non-destructive raw photo post-production and is primarily focused on improving a photographer’s workflow by facilitating the handling of large numbers of images.


I’ve just installed the Fujifilm app on my phone so can operate the camera remotely. Setting it up to work was straight forward and simple; although my dog seems a bit perplexed by the operation.

Last night at the cottage I captured a night sky picture that thrills me. I’ve only seen the Andromeda galaxy with binoculars a few times in my life; it’s about 2.5million light years away. It looks like a fuzzy gob, not twinkly like star. The key to finding the location is the constellation Cassiopeia.  In my picture it’s in the upper right sweet spot. 
The weather is still favourable for convertibles and Ross is still driving his summer toy.

Fuji X-T1

15 Aug

WooHoo. I’ve got some new toys to play with. An weather proof X-T1 with an 18-135 zoom lens. It’s a huge jump in photo quality compared to my reliable well used Fuji X10. I’ve always been thrilled with the Fuji durability and these mirrorless cameras can’t be beat for their compact size and sophisticated controls. The old X10 had a very steep learning curve because of the complex nested menus but so far the new X-T1 already seems friendly and familiar.

I expect that some of the new features, like the ability to send pics directly from new the camera to my blog using WiFi, will challenge my brain. I purchased a whole kit of toys to play and lean; complete with a spare battery, polarizer filter, Fuji EF-42 flash, and 2 high speed 32GB Lexar SD cards rated at 95MB/s just in case I get interested in the video capabilities. Camera Kingston is the local store where I’ve purchased all my Fuji products. The staff is awesomely knowledgeable and have always been happy to answer all my questions.​

The mirrorless Fuji X camera bodies are very compactin comparison to a DSLR body and with my equivalent 27-209 zoom lens I don’t need to carry extra lenses so the while kit is easy to carry and keep handy.​

The switch from my X10 to the new XT-1 isn’t very difficult.

I’m getting excited now

2 Aug

Later this evening 3 riding buddies are coming to Kingston to join me. We will leave together early in the morning to go to the NEVA rally in Pennsylvania.​

We made it safely to the campground, via two ferry crossing and a nice route planned by Phil, of many miles of paved twisties.​
 I met Yuval in the camp office and got the first shirt right our of the box.​