Friday, July 31, 2009

Halifax, NS to Whitehead, Cape Breton

Today was a good day. We slept late (I woke up, the first awake, at 8:30am. Slept well, but it was somewhat drug-induced. Had the free breakfast and packed the bikes. Packing was a bit of an ordeal for Gary and his wife; they had to leave some of Gary’s things in order to have space for her things. They had arranged with the hotel in advance to leave a suitcase of unnecessary items there so they could repack when we return to Halifax next Thursday.

After a bit of negotiations, the bikes were packed and we hit the road, headed northeast towards the coast. Initially the roads were busy and tricky, but soon we found the road we wanted and rode along at speed limit speeds (which are in Kilometers per hour here).

The road was good; curvy and up and down, making the riding interesting and preventing sleepiness that sometimes encroaches. Speed limits ranged from 50K/hr to 90K/hr, depending on where we were. Generally those speeds correspond to our 35 to 55 miles per hour, and seemed reasonable for the surroundings. An easy riding day.

The temperatures were wild on the ride. Initially I was almost hot wearing the mesh suit. Not too far along, we noted fog coming in off the water, and the temperature plummeted about 10 degrees in a matter of a couple of miles. Then in just a bit, we ran out of the fog and the temperature started rising again. Essentially what I learned from observation is that the closer to the ocean, the more likely it will be foggy and cool. Move inland off the water, and it was very warm. Interesting…

The roads we used generally followed the eastern shore of Nova Scotia. A few times, we cut off the “bigger” road (equivalent to a state road in NC) and took a smaller road towards the coast, hoping to find something interesting, like a cute village. Usually, we ended up on a dead-end road!

Found a good lunch in Sheet Harbour. We all had a steak and ale pie, which turned out to be delicious. It was a dish with a baked pastry top and stew beaf/gravy/beer stock under the top. Sounds weird, but it was very good. Probably the third-best meal of the trip!

We continued northeast following the coastline. We noted a lighthouse along the route, at Port Bickerson, so we headed off to find it. We did. Off the main road off a secondary road at the end of a dirt road! The road was right along the shore, at times the ocean was 20 feet away from the road.

The lighthouse was so different from ours in NC. It was a building on top of which is a light. We toured what they had there and took some pics. A neat place!

At one point we were riding along, and I could see on the GPS that we were approaching a ferry that crossed an inlet or a river. So, we pulled up to the landing, rode onto the ferry and paid the attendant $5 for the ride to the other side.

It was beginning to get late, so we started thinking about dinner and a place to stay for the night. We passed one lodge, thinking another would be just up the road a bit. After some riding, I spotted another place, a B&B with cottages off the main road. Just a bit down the road a sign pointed to a dirt road and we found the Foxberry B&B at Whitehead. They actually had one room (the green-floor room) with a single and a double bed.

Unfortunately there was no place for dinner, so we had a diet coke, cheesecrackers, peanuts, and a small piece of raspberry Danish for dinner. But breakfast will be great tomorrow morning!

Today’s ride was about 180 miles.

Tomorrow—north to Cape Breton.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Halifax Waterfront

We spent the day in Halifax, down on the waterfront. Our first adventure was to find parking. We wanted to go to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic down on the waterfront, so we found the building and then a parking lot down the street.

The lot was one of those where you park and then go to a kiosk to deal with paying. It offered payments in $3/hour or $12 maximum for 24 hours. We didn’t know how much time we’d need, so we opted for two hours and $6. Then to the museum. What we couldn’t determine from the information at the lot was whether the fee was for one bike or one space.

At the museum, Gary asked a guy selling museum tickets whether or not the payment would cover two bikes in one space or whether we needed to pay for each bike. The attendant said the parking lot guys were pretty strict and might ticket or tow one bike if not paid. So, Gary went back and bought two hours of time for his.
After two hours, we went back to the bikes to buy more time. Not knowing how much time we needed (still had more museum to see, needed lunch, and needed to see a ship, we decided to buy the rest of the day for an additional $12 per bike. So, we spent $18 each for parking! Ridiculous, but we didn’t know what else to do.

The museum was great! Pictures, articfacts, model ships, boats, everything nautical was in the building. We didn’t see everything; it would take all day to see it all. With the museum was a real ship out on the dock. You could go onto the Acadia and tour the entire ship. Very interesting and worth the time to see it.

It rained on and off all day. Some of it was showers, but some was real rain. According to the locals we talked to, it has rained all summer. Apparently all of the northeast part of the Americas has been wet, hurting tourism and spirits.

We needed to exchange some money, so we found a bank. We both thought the exchange rate was $1.20 Canadian for every US Dollar. We got $1.08 per dollar, disappointing, and making it not worth the trouble to do it.

Had a great lunch at a local pub. I had a roast beef and swiss cheese sandwich and a bowl of Mussel soup. The soup was delicious, some of the best I’ve ever eaten. I wished I had ordered just the soup, although the sandwich was good, too.

We left the waterfront area to find a cemetery where some of the bodies from the Titanic are buried. It took a while to find it, but we did. A sad place indeed.
Then back to the motel for the night.

A good day of doing touristy things in Halifax. Rode maybe 20 miles.

Tomorrow—More of Nova Scotia.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bar Harbor to Halifax, NS

Well, today was a mixed day. It started early; we both were excited about catching the ferry, so we woke up early to make sure we didn't oversleep.

The ferry landing was close by; about 2.3 miles from the motel. So it was a very easy ride to the landing. Check-in was very painless; gave the officer my passport and he let me through with no hassles or other questions or issues.

We were waived to a line of motorcycles on the far side of the parking lot. We thought we were early; in fact, we were probably the 30th or so bike in line! All kinds of bikes, but mostly HDs. Some bikes with trailers.

Met several nice people from all over while waiting to go. It was an easy wait until they called us forward.

Just before we boarded, the fog rolled in. Before then, it was clear and nice. But the fog was thick, making it impossible to take any pics of the ferry at rest before going on to it.

Boarding the ferry was easy; basically just drive into the bowels of the ship. They had an area reserved for motorcycles, and packed them in very tight, with hardly enough room to get off the bikes.

Tie down straps were provided by the ferry. The straps were the ratcheting type, which are the type I hate to use. They are hard to get to work right, and were dirty. There was not enough room to do anything but to throw the strap over the seat and pull it down tight. That's what we did.

Once tied down, we went upstairs into the passenger area of the ferry. It has two food service facilities, a bar, a casino, and lots of seating. A pretty nice vessel. Of course it should be, at $171 per bike and person boarding. Not a cheap ride.

We got underway after a short wait, and we rode for about 3.5 hours. The ride was good, with some rolling and dipping, but not bad at all. Lost $5 in the slot machines; it lasted maybe a minute, and included no wins.

The fog never lifted a bit. This disappointed me a great deal; I was looking forward to seeing a big boat on a plane in the water, but you could barely see the water 10 feet from the boat. I also had hoped to see some wildlife, maybe whales. But it was not to be.

When we got to Yarmouth, we rode off the boat, went through Customs with no problem, and started north to Halifax.

The ride was easy. For the most part, very light traffic and good road conditions. It was an easy almost 200 miles to Halifax, the hotel, and seeing Gary's wife, who was waiting for us at the hotel.

So far, virtually everyone I've met in NS has been very friendly and helpful. They seem to have an attitude of "what can I do to make your stay here better?", an attitude that is rare and appreciated. I hope it stays that way the rest of the time we're here.

So, it was an easy day, but somewhat disappointing due to the fog. We did about 200 miles for the day.

Tomorrow--Sightseeing Halifax and surrounding areas.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bangor, ME to Bar Harbor, ME

What a beautiful day! Sometimes when you're traveling the weather is rotten (we had that on Day 2) Sometimes the weather is okay. Rarely is it perfect, but today it was. And to top it off, we were in one of the prettiest places I know of--Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor.

There was some rain overnight, but we woke up to sunshine and blue skies (which remained blue all day). Had breakfast at the motel and got on the road to Bar Harbor. A short ride of about 45 miles. Traffic was fairly heavy, so it wasn't a particularly good ride, but it was okay.

We got to the edge of Bar Harbor and went to the Acadia National Park Welcome Center for a map of the area. Got back on the bike and just rode very leisurely around the island.

Our first real stop was Cadillac Mountain. A chunk of granite, it is 1,500 feet above sea level and Bar Harbor. It was very crowded on top; parking was a problem for most people; we just parked beside the sidewalk where the road narrowed too narrow for cars to park there. We walked around a bit, taking pictures and taking it all in.

After a while, we decided it was time to find some grub, so we left the park and rode into town. We found parking spots with another motorcycle parked and shared spots with the other cycles. Lunch was good.

After lunch, we rode through the rest of town (very busy and touristy), and then back to the park, just riding slowly and enjoying the day and the scenery.

Stopped at Otter Point to take some pics and then later to Sand Beach, the only sandy beach on the island. We walked down to the water and watched the people playing in the cold water (55degrees). Much too cold for me.

After the beach, we got back on the bikes and rode to the motel to check in. I was pleased that it looked as good as it did; I was afraid it would be like the Economy Inn and be bad. But it turned out to be a good, old, mom and pop type motel. The guy running the place was friendly and even gave us "motorcycle" towels to clean the bikes without us asking for them.

Rested a while, drank a beer, and went to dinner. Ate at the Bar Harbor Lobster Pound. I had scallops; they were good, but not as good as yesterday's. I would rate it as good.

After dinner, we came back to the motel and crashed for the night. Total mileage for the day; a measly 122 miles.

Tomorrow--Catch the Cat Ferry at 8am to Nova Scotia!

Monday, July 27, 2009

North Conway, NH to Bangor, ME

We did Mt. Washington; a fun adventure. Located about 15 miles north of our motel, it was a quick and easy ride to the entrance to the road to the top.

It rained a bit overnight, and it was foggy outside when we woke up, the skies started clearing as we got on the bikes and started to the mountain. The air was slightly cool, and it was a very comfortable ride.

After paying the $14 fee to ride to the top, we easily did the eight miles to the top. Almost all of the road was paved, but there was maybe a half mile of hard-packed dirt and gravel. Easy riding. Parts of the road was very rough; parts of it was very smooth. None of it was a problem.

As we approached the summit, the temperature dropped rapidly the last 1,000 feet or so. Also the fog! When we got to the top, it was 53 degrees and the wind was blowing about 35mph. We parked the bikes into the wind to make sure they were not blown over while we were inside getting breakfast.

It wasn't cold, but it was cool. Breakfast was a muffin and coffee from the snack shop. Not bad, overall. The view would have been good, but the fog was pretty thick most of the time, obscuring the sun and scenery. A couple of times the fog lifted a bit and we caught glimpses of mountains across the valley. I would have liked it more if it had been clear, but I enjoyed it just the same. Mt Washington is slightly lower than our Mt. Mitchell (about 300 feet lower), at 6,288 feet. It has the highest wind speed recorded, at 231 mph during a storm in 1934. Wild weather on top of this mountain!

The ride down was easy, and we then headed northwest on into north-western Maine. We rode to Lake Mooselookmegundlic. We had an excellent lunch at the 4 Seasons Restaurant; I had the best Scallops I've ever eaten and very good blueberry pie. Our best lunch of the trip so far.

Then we headed south towards Bangor. Along the way, we ran through a pretty good thunderstorm. Got wet, but it felt pretty good, cooling us off for a while. The ride was good, on good roads (except the very poor road surfaces, again).

Got into Bangor and got gas and found an Econolodge with reasonable rates, Interneet, and a clothes dryer (time to do laundry again). This laundry every few nights is a pain....

Today's ride was about 275 miles.

Tomorrow--Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Montpelier, VT to North Conway, NH

It rained overnight, and we awoke to leaden skies. So, we figured that we’d have a day of showers to deal with. Actually, we figured wrong; it stayed dry all day.
The bed I slept on was very hard; I woke up several times with my hips hurting. When I got up, my left hip was pretty painful. I’m not sure what was going on with it, but it hurt pretty good.
We stopped at the Wayside Restaurant on the way out of town. It is a mom and pop type of place. Pancakes and bacon with REAL maple syrup with coffee. It was pretty good and filling. A good start for the day.
We headed south to find some covered bridges. Looking at a map of the state, I spotted more than 30 without looking hard. In particular, Gary wanted to find one in which he had a small accident that he and his wife had visited a couple of years earlier. The floor of this one has a sunken area between the car wheels that he did not realize was sunken. When he went to move to the side just a bit, the wheel of the bike caught the raised section and the bike fell, with both going down. Nothing was hurt; neither the riders nor the bike. He wanted to see it again.
We found a cluster of four bridges on the map, but found only three of them. Not bad, I thought. Then later two more. Then a couple others further down the road.
After a while, Gary figured out where the infamous bridge was located. About 30 miles away, the ride there was good. This particular bridge, the Lincoln Bridge near Woodstock, VT, was just off the main road and longer than most. The only section of recessed flooring was about 18” wide, so almost all of the flooring was at the same level. I can see how it happened; dark inside, the floor was not easy to see. Took some pics and moved on to lunch.
Lunch was good; I ordered a “foot long” hot dog. When I got the order, the weiner was probably 12”, but the bun was normal sized. It just looked funny with all the weiner hanging over the edges. I asked for slaw on the hot dog; the waitress, unfamiliar with Southernese, thought I wanted salt instead of slaw. Apparently, no one in New England eats slaw with hot dogs. But I did get slaw and it was pretty good.
Then we started working our way towards New Hampshire. All of the roads were very good, except the road surfaces continued to be horrible. This part of the world needs to spend some money on resurfacing its roads. They were truly bad. I enjoyed the curves and changes in elevation very much, but the surfaces were worse than any I’ve ever seen before.
We rode to North Conway, New Hampshire, where we found a mom and pop motel with a good view. We finally had time to sit on the porch and drink a beer before having to do something else. So, we did. It was good to have some time not feeling pushed.
We did our walk and stopped at a local restaurant/mini brewery for dinner. Had a bowl of chili and a beer, which was enough. The chili was very good.
No Internet again, so this will be posted late again. We covered about 250 miles today.
Tomorrow—Mt Washington and then working towards Maine.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lowell, MA to Montpelier, VT

Today’s ride was good. We woke up to sunshine again; another welcome sight. Got the bikes packed, had breakfast at a Burger King next door, and were on the road by about 9:10am.
We headed west, working our way into New Hampshire and then Vermont. We wanted Hwy 100, a road Gary knew from a previous visit that was a good bike road. In about 2 hours, we arrived at the road and headed north.
The road was a good one, with lots of good curves, light traffic, and beautiful scenery. The only fly in the ointment was that the road surface itself is in poor condition. Riddled with cracks, heaves, and uneven places, it shook the bike worse than last year’s trip to Alaska. It was paved (except for one small place), but parts of it were very rough, equivalent to riding on a cobblestone surface.
We basically rode up Hwy 100, had lunch at a small restaurant along the way, and then continued north on 100. In a few miles, we came across a beautiful waterfall beside the road. We stopped to see it better and take pics. At the pullout, a man had a small trailer from which he was selling maple syrup and other maple sugar items. He had four varieties of maple syrup; light, darker, amber, and a dark variety. After tasting each one, I bought a pint of the darkest syrup.
Then on north in search of covered bridges. We found two in two villages, but not the one Gary was looking for. Vermont has a large number of covered bridges—I believe the most of any state. We rode through both; a neat experience, and my first journey through a bridge on a bike.
From there, we rode a loop back south. About the time we got back to 100, it was getting time to find lodging for the night. After riding for a while and seeing nothing, we decided to go to Montpelier to find a room.
We ended up in the Economy Inn, a motel under extensive renovations. We moved everything off the bikes into the room. I needed to wash clothes, so I put them into the tub to soak while we walked and got dinner.
Walked into town and saw the Capitol building, a very pretty place in a pretty setting. Had dinner at a Mexican place and walked back to the room
When we got in the room, the A/C unit was not running. We had reported it before going to dinner and were upset with it not working (A/C needed to help dry the wet clothes). We fussed with the manager, and he agreed to move us to another room.
So, we loaded everything and carried it to the other room, assured that the A/C worked there. Not! It didn’t work either!!
We fussed some more, so he moved us to another room with an A/C unit that does work. At 10:00pm, we were actually in the room for the night.
Total mileage for the day was 359. Total for the trip so far is 1234 miles.
Tomorrow—looking for covered bridges.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Danbury, CT to Lowell, MA

The morning brought much appreciated sun. Blue skies were greeting us as we went outside to check the bikes. We had parked them under the canopy at the front door, so they had dried very nicely.

Decided to tackle the headlight problem early in the day. We had stopped at an Autozone in town the previous day, so I had the bulb. It was the center headlight, perhaps the easiest one to change. So, in about 10 minutes, it was fixed. Piece of cake!

A bout of diarrhea during the night made for an interrupted night of good sleep. It may have been the Philly Cheesesteak Omlette I had for lunch the day before? It was tasty, but obviously unusual.

We decided to ride pretty much due east, staying off the Interstates. And we did, except for the Interstate skirting Hartford to keep moving. The ride was beautiful. Temperatures in the low 70s, blue skies with fluffy clouds. And some of the most beautiful old big houses I have ever seen. And rock walls. Stunning! With all the rain the area has encountered this season, everything was green, and it was so very pretty. I saw a barn built in 1775, still standing, and in pretty good shape. And hundreds of old houses, probably many of them built in the early to mid 1800s. There's nothing in my part of the world that compares to the age of these houses.

The going was slow. Small town after small town, with many stop lights along the way made the going very slow. It took about 4 hours to go about 100 miles across the state. Enjoyed it, but we could make no time.

Went into Rhode Island, into Pawtucket and drank a beer at the Broad Street Tap, a small neighborhood bar. It was pretty good!

Got on the bikes and headed north on I-495 to skirt Boston. The Interstate went pretty well except at every major road out of Boston, the traffic backed up for several miles.

Decided to get gas and find a room in Lowell, MA. Had dinner, walked, and finishing the day here at the Blog. A good day, but not many miles covered, just over 200.

Tomorrow--who knows?

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I could sum up today's ride with one word: RAIN! It rained from the time we got on the bikes until we got off, with one respite of about an hour. Most of it was not hard rain, but sometimes it rained pretty hard. My gear did pretty well; my chest got damp, and my crotch got a little damp, but otherwise I stayed dry.

The Lewes/Cape May Ferry was good. They let us board the boat first, and we went to the far end, allowing us to get off almost first (Homeland Security was first off). Met a couple guys who are motorcyclists and enjoyed talking with them.

The ferry landed at Cape May, NJ and we rode to the town of Cape May, just to see what was there. It's an old beach community, unremarkable as a beach, but very remarkable as a historic district. Beautiful old, huge houses, many converted to bed and breakfasts. Even the hotels were Victorian and Colonial in nature. It would be a good place to go for a long weekend with a significant other.

Then the ride north and west began. Our goal was to get north of New York City, without getting tangled up in the traffic. At a nearby seaside town, we stopped for lunch at a BBQ place. Gary had a Carolina BBQ sandwich (which he said was okay and Eastern NC style with no slaw); I had a Philly cheese steak omelette. Leaving the place, when I started the bike, the "Headlight Out" indicator informed me that one of my headlights had blown. These big BMWs are hard on headlight bulbe!

We cut cross-country, taking minor roads through small towns. saw lots of neat old houses, in spite of the neverending rain. We went down a couple dead-end roads, not knowing they didn't cut through to a larger road.

We finally ended up in Danbury, CT. Overall, we covered about 275 miles, even though we rode all day. A tough day in the saddle.

Tomorrow: East through Connecticut and then north.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Clayton to Rehobeth Beach, Del.

The first day on the road. Not a bad one; weather was good. A bit warm, but not hot. No rain. So, not bad at all.

We covered 366.7 miles, starting at 7:50am and getting to the Anchorage Motel at about 5:15pm. I lead most of the way, taking us to a couple of places where I had been earlier; I wanted Gary to see them.

Our first stop was at V Simpson, the Whirleygig man near Wilson, about 20 miles from the house. We pulled up into the driveway, and almost immediately Mr. Simpson pulled up as well. We took a few pics and talked with him for a few minutes. He invited us into the shed and Gary took several pics of all of the smaller whilreygigs he has made. His imagination and skills are pretty awesome, and he's somewhere in his 80s, quite an amazing man.

We left there and headed northeast towards Merchant's Millpond State Park. Gary had never been there, so it was for him. I don't know what my GPS was doing, but it developed a weird route. We covered a lot of small roads (as I had instructed it), but then would wander back to a main road. At one time, the route took us into Virginia and then south back to NC, adding over 40 miles of nonsense to our route. I have new maps loaded, so all I can figure is that somehow the new maps have roads categoried differently and it took us another way. I don't know, but it was not making sense.

The millpond looked very bad; the entire surface of the pond was covered in a green mat, making it very ugly. It might be normal, but I didn't like the looks of it.

From there, we headed northeast into Suffolk, Va and then to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. We did the toll and rode to the Sea Gull Pier Restaurant, the home of the Flounder sandwich. While it's named a Flounder sandwich, it's a misnomer. In truth, it's the biggest piece of Flounder fillet I've ever seen. They serve it on an oval platter, and it extends over each end several inches. HUGE! It is served on a bun, so I guess you could call it a sandwich, but there is NO WAY you could actually make a sandwich with it. Delicious!

The bridge itself was a good ride. Light winds, sunny skies, blue water, a good ride. One that is best done on a BMW motorcycle.

Then north onto the Delmarva Penninsula and Hwy 13. The road is four lanes and easy riding. A few scattered stop lights along the way, but mostly a road through the tomato fields. Field after field full of tomatoes, almost all of which were still green. But I could see busses of migrants being shuffled from field to field, so I guess some were being harvested.

The first misstep of the trip occurred at the first gas stop. We topped off the tanks and got on the bikes. Gary waved me forward, and I started across the parking lot. About 50 feet later, I heard a loud clunk, stopped, and looked around to see Gary's bike on it's side and Gary scrambling to get up.

He wasn't hurt. The bike got some scratches on the left side case, and the brand-new engine guards bent back just slightly, but not bad. No significant damage to the bike or Gary. Great!

It seems that Gary had started to leave the pumps, spotted a truck also starting out on a collision course. He stopped, but the truck waved him on. He must have had the bike in some gear higher than first; stalled the engine, and the momentum pulled him down. These things happen; anyone who does a lot of riding will have this happen to them at some point.

We rode on northeast, deciding whether to do the Lewes/Cape May Ferry or to swing more westerly and into more traffic. The ferry route seemed to be more adventurous and to have less traffic. So, we swung onto Hwy 113, then Hwy 24 to Rehobeth Beach/Lewes.

The next decision was motel it on the south side of the ferry or do the ferry and then get a room. Because of the timing, we elected to get a room tonight and catch the ferry tomorrow.

The last adventure of the day was on the way to the motel. We had ridden through the main drag, spotting several potential motels to use. So, we stopped at a church parking lot to make calls. I called a couple and Gary called as well. We decided on the Anchorage Motel, but it meant retracing part of our steps to get there. We had to make two U turns to get back to the motel. At a stoplight at the second U turn, I spotted a cell phone on the road, between Gary and me. I didn't pay much attention to it; it looked beat up, and Gary had done nothing to make me think he has messed with his phone.

When we got to the room, Gary checked his phone, and it was gone. It was his phone in the road a block up the street. So, he ran back to the intersection to retrieve it.

It was there! And it worked! So, no harm, no foul. Just a little excitement to end the day.

We did our walk, stopped for a beer, and retreated to the room for the evening.

Tomorrow--the Lewes/Cape May Ferry and north.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ride's Eve

Tomorrow is the big day. Gary came over tonight and we'll leave sometime in the morning. It should be fairly warm tomorrow, but hopefully not too hot.

Today was spent mostly getting ready. Errands galore. Bank. Haircut. Meds. Gas. Then some last-minute bike things--topping off the oil level. Adding some fuel injector cleaner to the gas tank. Putting some Armor-All on some of the plastics.

I discovered some damage done to the bike at last weekend's BMW MOA Rally. I don't know what happened, but there's a large scratch on the left front fender from what looks like something being dropped on it. Then later I discovered the reflective lens on my top case is cracked. I had noted on Saturday when I came back to the bike that it had been moved forward about a foot, but didn't think much about it. Now I don't know if it was knocked over or if another bike fell over on it. With damage on opposite sides of the bike, I have no idea what happened. It truly is a mystery...

Well, this is it for tonight. Tomorrow the adventure begins. I'll try to post some pics.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Ok, it's just over a day until the next adventure begins. This summer's big event is a three week ride to the New England area and Nova Scotia. Gary and I are doing it again, leaving on July 22 and returning on or around August 13.

The general plan is one week from home to Bar Harbor, Maine; one week in Nova Scotia, and one week through eastern Canada and back home. Gary's wife is flying to Nova Scotia to join us there and spend a week in that area.

Gary and I just returned from two consecutive weekend trips on the bikes; the first weekend was for the Road Runner Weekend tour in the mountainous part of northwestern Maryland (yes, Maryland has good mountains!). We returned just yesterday from the BMW MOA International Rally in Johnson City, Tennessee. Both weekends were fun; the first one involved a 400 mile ride to the location and group rides two days. Last weekend was much shorter to the site and involved a 30 mile commute from our motel to the rally site daily.

I haven't had to do much to prepare for this trip. I've learned to pack much more lightly than I did on earlier rides. I now pack 3 sets of things like socks, underwear, tee shirts, convertible pants, etc. I can then wash dirty things every third night and be okay. I've also bought mostly polypropylene things; moisture wicking to keep me drier and to dry overnight in motel rooms. Much better than cotton.

I did buy one new outfit while at the BMW Rally for the ride. I saw an Olympia Stealth one-piece mesh outfit that I liked. It's grey with neon yellow stripes on the sides and sides of sleeves and yolk on the back. Also has reflective strips in good places, all to make me more visible. Today I sprayed all of the yellow with Scotchguard treatment to keep the yellow bright. Hopefully that treatment will pay off in the long run.

For the bike, not much. I bought some new foam grips for the handlebars and installed them. Should reduce wear on the factory grips. Also installed a new mount for the Sirius radio. The old one was not secure enough to hold it in place. And, I rerouted the GPS cables on the dashboard to make the front a little less messy. Finally, I installed new bulbs in the Motolights; 50W bulbs to make the bike more conspicuous. All in all, not much preparation.

Tomorrow I'll finish packing, get money, and be ready to start on Wednesday morning. It should be a good adventure.