New Orleans

21 May

Another grueling hot riding day of 533km but we made it to New Orleans. We are staying at the Terrell House B&B, an overwhelming beautiful historic home. https://www.terrellhouse.com/Owner/hosts Linda and Cooper have made us feel very welcome and comfortable.My Suzuki Vstrom is parked in a locked courtyard, a fitting location to rest after reliably hauling me and all my gear to all 48 of the lower 48 states. No a bad accomplishment, that began in 2008, for a motorcycle and an old grey haired Canadian, including 10 provinces, twice to both coasts and twice to Newfoundland. I have so many amazing memories of riding friends who I’ve learned so much from and people who have helped me along way. Mostly I know how specially privileged I am to able to follow my dreams; thank you so much Sammy.

Just 2 more to touch

20 May

This afternoon I put my riding boots in the Gulf of Mexico at Port St Joe, Florida.A crazy day that went sideways even before I started the Vstrom, but ended well about 350km later. Once again the best memories of my travels are often the people that I meet along the way. We enjoyed lunch in Wewahitchja FL at the Corner Cafe. The owner Mitchell and his staff run a nice small cafe for breakfast and lunch. Just the kind of place I love. The conversation and laughter made my day!My morning started with a stuck steering lock, my ignition key wouldn’t turn to unlock the handle bars. My CAA Plus membership isn’t honoured in some states. AAA wouldn’t come to a motorcycle, and I found a local private towing but the motorcycle shop is closed until tomorrow. By the time I was becoming adequately frustrated, the large amount of WD40, that we sprayed into the key slot, solved the problem enough to unlock the switch. So until I get home, I just won’t lock it.We are staying in Panama City Florida at the Ramada Inn; deskclerk Vanessa was very helpful, a true professional in the hospitality industry.

The missing three

19 May

It’s the middle of the night and I’m a bit restless and excited. Larry and I leave in the morning heading southerly so that I can touch FL, LA & MS, the missing states of the lower 48. When I bought the Vstrom in September 2007 I never dreamed that I would ride all over North America!

Today it’s hot riding in Georgia, 566km.

Saturday

18 May

Hot sunny day about 260km Awesome deli for lunchWe enjoyed the Cherohala Skyway by riding it both directions today. Phil led us on an very interesting twisted backroads tour, mostly paved from Robinsville to the start of the Skyway.At dinner I enjoyed meeting some local riders, Roger and talked most of the evening. The day ended with a plan for Canadian RoadToad friend Jim, to visit us in Kingston and provide Sam a chance to ride with him on her first Honda Goldwing.

Friday at the Rally

17 May

We made by 6:00pm Thursday, after a 690km riding day, tired but in plenty of time to check in and have dinner. As usual the home style food is tastey and ample servings. I been now to the Iron Hirse 4 times, and each time I see improvements to the facility. Our semi privare cabin is perfect and impeccably clean.Lighr rain first thing in tge morning but breakfast the weather has cleared.

I left solo about 10am to enjoy an easy day of putzing along on the Blue Ridge Parkway, back at the lodge bt 4pm and 195km.

Eastern V-Strom Rally

13 May

This year the rally, May 16-19, is hosted at the Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge in Stecoah, North Carolina.I’ve stayed there before and always been well looked after and fed lots of home style. We’ve reserved cabin space; this trip I wanted to ride light so I won’t be burdened with a tent and camping gear.I expect to leave early Wednesday morning, from Kingston with riding buddy Larry from Midland, and with good weather, we should make it for dinner on Thursday evening.I’ve been a bit frazzled lately, we sold our house and moved into another much newer house just a week ago; and just today about noon I picked up the Vstrom from K-Tec Moto with a last minute diagnosis and repair. Ross and RD are amazing trusted mechanics but my intermittent “check engine” warning light challenged us all. When it was on it falsely illuminated the temperature indicator as if the engine was overheated. The intermittent behaviour wouldn’t store or display an expected C15 code. Never a good plan to leave on a long trip with a faulty motorcycle. On my suggestion, we crossed over to a very dark side and the good guys at Town & Country Auto Supply were able to match some part numbers and had a new ECTS sensor in stock.

Lucky break for me; because there were none available through Suzuki Canada or Suzuki US. Hopefully, the problem is resolved.After the Vstrom rally I’m riding south to touch Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana to complete my bucket list of all the lower 48 states.

Homebound I plan to ride the entire length of the Natchez Trace Parkway. Gazillions of pictures will follow.Just leaving Kingston

We had a long first day, slabbing our way on Interstate 81 to Virginia, 957km but perfect riding weather and not really that many traffic or construction issues. I must recommend the Days Inn in Harrisonburg, the desk clerk Peter was very personable and very helpful, his manager should be thrilled to have such goodstaff.l

12th Annual Bancroft Lunch

28 Apr

This is the 12 year that the Road Toads have gotten together for lunch in Bancroft. The chosen location is central for ridders from Kingston, Ottawa, Pembroke, Newmarket, Midland and Whitby. Today April 28, hopefully with no rain or snow as many as 20 mototcyle riders, mostly Stromtoppers will meet for lunch.Most of us will leave home in freezing temps with overcast skies and hope for some sun to appear and warm up to about 10 deg C.Food at the Bancroft Eatery and Brew Pub was good, 18 riders turned up from all over Southern Ontario.I had some emails and video calls from my son early this morning just before I left for Bancroft. He is in Baku Azerbaijan for a work project and he shared some of the sounds and images from the F1 grand prix. Apparently, our Road Toads lunch wasn’t the only motorsport event today.

Historic K&P trail

11 Sep

Just north of Calabogie I followed the old railway line.

The railbed was in very good condition.

Foymount has some interesting history but the community doesn’t have any economy. But still it’s fun to tide to the elevation of 500m, the highest community in Ontario.

I was only away 2 days but it seemed like a real holiday, the highlands are such a great place to ride.
The Letterkenney road to Qaudeville

has recently been repaved and is wonderful to ride.

NEVA 2018, in Canada eh!

29 Jul

I’m looking forward to visiting and riding with Stromtrooper friends, this year near Gravenhurst Ontario. North East V-strom Adventure rally, a first time that that the event will be in Canada, August 3-5. The registation is promising, with lots of riders making the trip North.

I’m finalizing my packing now because I will be leaving a few days early. No matter how many trips I make, and I have an extensive list; my packing always boils down to counting socks and underwear!

I’m at the family cottage, a beautiful place in the middle of the UNESCO Frontenac Arch Biosphere. What a great place to enjoy and play with my dog Billi. I’ll leave Wednesday for Bracebridge, getting to KOA in Gravenhurst on Thursday.

I had good riding weather to Bracebridge, cloudy with moderate temperature and only about 30 minutes of rain. Hwy 507 through Catchacoma, jog at Goderham onto #3 and to #118 to Halliburton is always s blast.

I decided to leave Friday evening and ride part way towards Ottawa; I ended up staying over night in Bancroft.

I left early Saturday morning and had a fantastic ride with very little traffic. Near Griffith I went south on Centennial Lake Road and followed the twisties to Calabogie….. WooHoo what a flight! Made it to Ottawa in plenty of time to shower and change and get to a family wedding.

All round I had a great few days with friends, NEVA was a success.

200,000 km

18 Jul

Last night just after sunset when I was riding home from the cottage my odometer clicked over at 200,000 km. WooHoo. I wasn’t on a major trip or anywhere spectacular. My trusty 2007 Suzuki Vstrom DL 1000 is still working well and completely reliable. When I bought it new I never imagined that I would travel so much, I’ve see so much of North America and met so many awesome people. It’s been a wondetful geography lesson.