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Thread: 2 Women, 2 bikes, 17 States, 5 Provinces, 23 riding days, 11870 KM

  1. #31
    Registered User soph9's Avatar
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    July 31st 2010

    Our day started once again really early. I woke up at 0540 and took a walk around camp and watched the sunrise.



    When I came back Cheryl had camp almost entirely broken down. We were packed up by 0700 this day and we headed it. Great night to sleep yet again, and a cool start to the day. Had a bite to eat, what I can say we need to eat, and headed towards New Hampshire.

    The BITE to eat and for the life of us we can not remember the name of this in the middle of nowhere restaurant. Just remembered, this restaurant was called the HARDWOOD STEAK HOUSE. It was a newly looking log cabin building all by itself and the food was all massive and cheap!




    Leaving Maine was sad just because it meant we were really heading home. I think the both of us are truly appreciating what we are able to do and just enjoying being able to ride together like this. We work well as a team and we are so glad we got new intercoms because it just wouldn’t work without them. Cheryl is amazing with the GPS and today we were able to ride some beautiful back country roads and even got on some dirt. Our tires we happy.

    Once we got into NH, I saw a sign for Mount Washington. Although we did not plan riding up this massive North East mountain we did. $28 for both bikes to ride up an 8 mile road to the summit of Mount Washington in the White Mountains. The road has 35% unpaved and no shoulders whatsoever. Tight for cars and challenging for bikers as we had to keep control at very slow speeds all the way up.

    The valley was warm and clear and the summit was in the clouds and it was 40 degrees F. Not unusual for this mountain to be in the clouds. You can hike, take the train or drive up to the summit of Mt. Washington, 6,288-feet.

    These mountains are near and dear to my heart. I worked for the Appalachian Mountain Club while in University in their Hut system. http://www.outdoors.org/lodging/whit...huts/index.cfm










    The Cog Railway is one of the world's great railway adventures. The track runs up a three mile-long trestle with a maximum gradient of over 37%, making it the second-steepest mountain climbing train in the world and the only one entirely built on a trestle.







  2. #32
    Registered User soph9's Avatar
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    July 31st 2010 con't

    Being back after so many years was so good. Just wish we had more time to explore the National Forest but at least we got on top of the world in the Northeast. This little detour put us behind schedule. We rode and rode but did not make it to Lake Placid as planned and our itinerary was changing day by day.

    We ended up in Morrisville, VT at a motel.

    Before turning in for the night I was starving as usual. So desperate I almost had Cheryl buy us food from a gas station where their burger meat was gray. After Cheryl pointed this out to me we walked out. Did not feel like we should kill ourselves with food poisoning. Some nice lady outside heard us trying to figure out where to get a meal in the middle of nowhere and she pointed us in the direction of the Mooselook Restaurant. BIG home cook meals and cheap! Nice dinner we both had and some very weird and interesting folks eating at this dive.





    Thought we would give ourselves a break but to be honest motels or hotels are not worth the money. We are showered again and getting ready to head out to Canada tomorrow.

    Goal for the next day was to get to Ottawa so we both could see the capital of Canada and where the RCMP headquarters are located. Once again, great riding and I think today was the best as far as scenery and weather combined.

  3. #33
    Registered User soph9's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Dirt roads between NH and VT


  4. #34
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    August 1st, 2010

    We left Morrisville, VT early to head to Ottawa, Ontario to see Parliament Hill. Basically that is all we did all day was ride however, Cheryl made the GPS take us to some really cool "short cuts" via dirt country roads. Nothing too technical but fun nonetheless. The dirt roads would just pop up randomly and we took them...no issues with the quality of the roads like when the GPS took us to a dead end and a road we could not ride.

    Just some poser pics!







    We stopped somewhere in New York soon after we crossed over from VT to NY and before we re-entered Canada. Yes, we are going up and down. In any case we stopped at a gas station and across the street was this church. Next to the church was a tree with 3 Peregrine Falcon fledglings. Because I am a raptor lover, this was wayyyyyyyyyyyyy cool to see. They were playing, preening and flying around. Just love their calls! Did not see the adults but the kids were good enough for me.







    After the church pit stop we headed to Ottawa. Ottawa is a beautiful city except around the Parliament Sussex Drive was not a paved road. All rock and dirt and dust. Seems weird they would tear up the road during the height of the tourist season. We did not see Stephen Harper but we did see where he hangs out and it was gorgeous. I pulled up right in front of the building in the sidewalk. Cheryl was like "NOOOOOO" there are RCMP all over. I said "YESSSSSS" I am getting a picture. There is no stopping in front and we did not want to park. We jumped the curb and put the kick stand down, got the pics and before anyone could say anything we were gone!

    Here are two of my pics!

    Notice the RCMP Cruiser!





    After this photo op we took off for Renfrew, Ontario. We had to go through Quebec and that was interesting as we both have never been there. We did not see anything really but was there long enough to know and see that English is nowhere. No English signs all French. People did speak English to us though. Short ride through this Province and we ended up in Renfrew at another KOA cabin. BBQ beans and chili in their cans and had dinner. Hung out for awhile and then off to sleep. Cheryl passed out and was snoring in a matter if minutes.







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  5. #35
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    Video - Take a little Tour of Ottawa!


  6. #36
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    This is good stuff!




  7. #37
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    Unhappy August 2nd, 2010 - RAINED OUT!

    This was a day to make up time and ride 647 km to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The day started out really well for about 4 hours. The last 4 were miserable as it poured on us for hours. We were shy of our destination by 150 km and decided it was getting dangerous. We could not see because our shields were wet on the inside and we were getting wet.

    Cheryl's low beam light bulb blew out (about 17000 km) the other day and riding in this heavy rain with just a high beam is not safe. Stopped at a motel and there is where our day ended. Better weather predicted tomorrow and it too will be a long riding day and back to the States.

    Get the point about rain? We did stay dry and the gear did well!






  8. #38
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    August 3rd, 2010

    After being rained out on the 2nd, shortened our ride by 150 KM we called it quits and stayed in a motel outside Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, in Blind River. Woke up to pouring rain but the radar showed it was a passing storm.

    So, we had a late start but at least it was in a drizzle not buckets and rode to Michigamme, Michigan. Not too eventful of a day other then we decided to take the bikes off the pavement and do many kilometers off road on farm/country roads. That was fun in the drizzle and a great change of scenery. No traffic, no tar, no people just us. The ride was not technically challenging but nonetheless, good enough for us. However, when we do deviate like this it takes more time but well worth it. It also is physically challenging because of all the standing we have to do to keep the bikes balanced. Again, well worth the different way of getting to another destination.

    Tried to add a song to my video but You Tube muted it!



    We crossed over to the States at the Bridge to the USA around Sault Ste. Marie. The line up was crazy long and it was hot. We took pics along the way as we slowly got to customs. Took about 1 ?¢ hours to get there. While waiting all the cars were obviously running their a/c and there was a ton of coolant on the bridge.







    Cheryl slipped on some and unfortunately laid her bike down on its side. No harm done to Cheryl or her bike. Just goes to show you how careful we must be at all times and even the slightest bit of grease, oil or coolant on the road could be such a hazard to a biker. We picked the bike up and off we went slowly to the border. With nothing to declare we were through in two seconds after waiting all that time.


  9. #39
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    August 3rd, 2010 con't

    The ride to Michigamme was simple and long but we got there in one piece. Had a few beers, cooked roast beef and cheese sandwiches on the fire, met a guy named Tom who was heading to Sturgis. Tom told us he was anti-technology and did not like all the gadgets we brought along. Cheryl and I politely listened but were like "whatever dude".

    The owner of this campground rides bikes and is very biker friendly.










  10. #40
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    August 5th 2010 - No real pics

    Both is us got a decent sleep last night for the first time in awhile. I woke up early as usual and while hanging out around the cabin I watch rabbits running around and heard a juvenile Bald Eagle calling out. Along this trip I have also been able to see many of my favourite raptors. Ospreys, Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, Hawks and a bunch of other birds. Raptors are my passion not CherylÔÇÖs but she does at times point them out if I havenÔÇÖt seen them first.
    Started out around 0900 for a long straight ride on Highway 2. Nothing too exciting to report other than we had a lot of time to just ride and think. Saw some really beautiful sunflower fields but as Cheryl would say, ÔÇ£you could watch your dog run for daysÔÇØ in this part of the country. Had lunch in DevilÔÇÖs Lake, known to be the geographical center of North America in North Dakota. Who knew...but now we do.

    Weather was very comfortable throughout the entire day. Low to mid 70ÔÇÖs and no humidity. What a difference when you are riding in nothing but sun. All I kept thinking about was how fast this trip has gone by and how I wish we had another month to head down to Colorado. I am feeling fortunate to have had this opportunity and the more people we talk to the more we are told how far we have gone in such a short period of time. At times it has felt like a marathon, but this trip was about reaching goals each day and being able to make it to Long Island and back.

    Forgot to mention we had to buy Cheryl a new low beam bulb, H ÔÇô 7 55 watt bulb that we bought at Napa. We first stopped off at a Harley dealer in Marquette, Wisconsin and they pointed us to Napa. Nice guys at that Harley dealership. We bought an extra bulb as a backup. Now Cheryl is back up and running brightly.

    Our Heidenau K60 tires still have plenty of tread on them to take us all the way. We have put about 12000 km on them. Our bikes other than being dirty from bug kill are doing great. Speaking of kill, I am so tired and saddened by all the raccoons, skunks and birds we see dead. The raccoons are almost always in pairs, like a male and female or a baby. Breaks my heart.

    So, we are now hoping to start heading a bit northwest and would like to get to Banff by Saturday. It is about 13 hours from Minot. Coming into our final stretch and we will try to make the best of it. We are both not even close to being sick of riding or our bikes.

  11. #41
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    August 6th 2010 - Video

    Where has the time gone? Seems like yesterday we were taking off for this adventure and here we are in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Only days away from being right in our driveway where we started on July 16th. This morningÔÇÖs ride started off with temperatures just right. About 15 degrees Celsius..about high 50ÔÇÖs Fahrenheit.


    Warmed up to about 22 C and then we hit Canada....Saskatchewan heated up to a ripe old 30 or 90 degrees. Head winds on highway 1 were as usual intense and knocked us around the entire time from the border to Swift Current. Again no deviations, no real fun reports from this ride today. The goal now being Banff and then home.








    Staying at another hotel with a/c.




    We both feel that this is a holiday after all and why not indulge since we have been pretty good with camping out an all. A quick but intense lightening and thunder storm passed through and cooled things off.

    Look what we got to see after the storm. Maybe this is why we went through Saskatchewan. No offense to the prairie folks!







    When we get to Alberta and Banff or Canmore at this point we had no place to stay. The one thing we wanted to do was spend a night in a Tepee but the place is all booked. We figured something out.

    Cheryl had decided to take us the long way home via Pemberton, BC. But from the sounds of it this might be a challenge. According to the news and reports we are getting from friends and family, the fires in the interior of BC are really bad and so is the smoke etc. I guess we will see them first hand on Sunday.

    Straight riding and I mean straight and now we are off to the Casino next to our hotel for some grub and maybe win some of the $$ we have spent on this Big Adventure. Take a look a map....it is crazy the amount of territory we have covered....Maple Ridge, BC to Orient Point, New York (Long Island), then bar Harbour, ME and back west....crazy eh? We are beginning to think so at this point!

    A video of a Saskatchewan sunset!



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    Last edited by soph9; 08-22-2010 at 08:15 PM.

  12. #42
    You stupid, fix it! r11rs94's Avatar
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    WOW !!! very nicely done. Looks like you had a wonderful trip...
    The thing about traveling is, you never want it to end and you can't wait to get home.
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  13. #43
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Wow, what a great ride and excellent posting - many thanks!
    "Next time" you're in Glacier National Park - you MUST do the little trail hike up behind the tourist center at Logan's Pass. It takes you to the Hidden Lakes Overlook, and you're surrounded by snow-capped mountains horizon to horizon...

  14. #44
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    August 7th 2010

    Woke up in Swift Current, Saskatchewan after a great night in the Holiday Inn Express. Had another free hot breakfast and headed west in dry cool weather. The bad part was that we had to drive the dreaded Tans Canada Highway 1 all the way to Canmore, Alberta.





    We got creamed by bugs with all sorts of colourful guts all day long. When I say all day long I mean we rode over 670 km and by the end we were a bit beaten up by the wind, turbulence of the trucks, the bug attacks and just riding on that boring boring road. It never really got that hot yesterday which was nice and we only got drizzled on every once in awhile. So all in all we can't complain too much. Also, we are still on the road so life ain't that bad. August 7th was day 22 of this incredible tour and I know if we had another month we could just keep going.


    Rode through Calgary but before we did stopped at a BMW service dealer called Anderwerks and thought we could sneak in a valve inspection for our bikes. We are over 20,000 km on each bike and that is a service we need done. We learned very quickly this was not going to happen. The owner told us he would need our bikes to cool for 4 hours and usually keeps the bikes over night.


    While we were just taking a break and knew we were not going to get the service a nice man came up to me and asked if I was soph9 from the F800 motorcycle forum I post on. I forgot his nickname from the forum but I thought that was cool that he read we were taking this trip and somehow put 2 & 2 together that we were the gals. Anyway, that was pretty cool. After chatting with him we got back on our bikes and carried on to Canmore our destination for the day.


    Before we made it to Canmore we stopped in Kananaskis Country. Just west of Calgary and Southeast of Banff. Beautiful area surrounded by the Canadian Rockies. Barrier Lake was gorgeous!











    Once in Canmore we could not find a place to stay. Once we got to Canmore we got the run around and a storm was moving in fast so we were desperate. Ended up staying at this place called Rundles Lodge and it was a smelly dive and the TV did not even have a remote plus the "cable" was less than satisfactory.





    Having no choice we unloaded our gear and went across the street for a meal and lot's of beer. Came back to the dark smelly room and finally fell asleep after a very long day.







    Over the last two days all I have to say is hotels in tourist traps suck! Every single time we went to a hotel in Canmore and Jasper we got the same response...."we have one room or cabin left and it is the deluxe one and will cost $200 + dollars". No matter where we went that is what we heard and the places did not look full. Anyway we are more than happy with our version of camping.

  15. #45
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    Talking We think this is a funny video at Barrier Dam in Alberta


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