Day 4: Lunenburg to Halifax (aka, WTB faster cars)

Yesterday was a busy day. We started by sailing with the Bluenose II for a couple of hours in Lunenburg. The weather was fantastic! After lunch, we packed up and rode to Ovens Natural Park to walk along the Sea Cave Trail. Next we rode to Peggy's Cove. When we arrived, the temperature felt like it has dropped 10 degrees and a thick misty fog blanketed the area. After a short walk and taking a few pictures, we headed off to Halifax for the evening.

Surprisingly, it took us quite some time moving from one destination to another. The culprits: slow drivers and low speed zones (or worse! a combination of slow drivers and low speed zones!). Nothing like being stuck behind a convoy of cars doing 60km/h in an 80km/h zone. Woowoo. Having said that, the roads were good and twisty (with some freshly paved stretches too!). There were quite a number of beaches along the way, most of them with actual people on them. Brrr.

We'll add some pics as a follow up.


Day 3: Portland to Yarmouth, Yarmouth to Lunenburg

How exciting!  A fast-paced ferry ride from Portland to Yarmouth.  The CAT Ferry was a 5 hour experience that we won't soon forget.  How so, you ask?  Well!  Let me tell you!  All the bikes had dedicated parking spots on the vehicle decks.  Pretty nifty!  Each bike spot came with a tie down that went over the bike's seat and anchored to the deck like a giant seatbelt.  I somehow managed to get my bike tied down before Matt did. ;)  Once the bikes were secured, we made our way to the passenger deck and had some breakfast.  Every thing was fine.  We were having a great time, we met a nice fellow from London, ON who was on his way to meet some friends in Halifax.  And then things went to hell.  The ferry heaved.  A lot.  Continuously.  Up and down.  Furiously.  Yes, the ferry was well equipped with stacks of sick bags everywhere.  And yes, they were put to good use by a good portion of the passengers, including us.  We made it to Yarmouth.  Breakfast wasn't so lucky.

In Yarmouth, we met some nice locals from the riding community.  They accompanied us for the initial portion of our ride to Lunenburg.  In Shag Harbour, we stopped for a bowl of the most AMAZING SEAFOOD CHOWDER.  EVAR.  It was THAT good.  The ride along the Lighthouse Route were quite scenic and twisty in a good way.  Lunenburg at night?  Pretty quiet.  I'm sure it will be more lively in the morning.  Just like us!

And now, pics:

Today's route

Day 3:  Portland to Lunenburg

CAT ferry

Day 3:  Portland to Lunenburg

Matt's tied down bike

Tied down!

Chowder "shack"

Day 3:  Portland to Lunenburg

Bluenose II at night

Day 3:  Portland to Lunenburg


Day 2: Gananoque to Portland

After the horrid downpour of Day 1; we were quite hopeful that Day 2 would fare much better.  Weather forecasts indicated rain, but nothing too outrageous.  While we woke up pretty early, it took us much longer to eat breakfast and pack up than we expected.  We weren't on the road until about 9:30am, already a good hour behind schedule.

Within 30 minutes of pulling out of Gananoque, we were (surprise) riding in the rain.  The next several hours were a mixture of drizzle, rain, or outright storm.  Imagine being a wet sock flapping in the wind, that's pretty much what we felt like.  At about 2 or 3pm, the skies finally cleared up and we even saw the first glimpse of sun.  Even though we were still soggy sock puppets, boy, did that ever feel good.  The remainder of the day remained clear and we managed to roll into Portland at about 9:30pm.  By then, we had even mostly dried!

We were so beat at the end of the day that neither one of us managed to finish our well deserved beers.  What a crime, are they going to take our citizenships away for this one?

On to some pics...

Day 2 route:

Day 2: Gananoque to Portland

Bikes after a good night's rest:

Day 2:  Gananoque to Portland

Bikes are packed, Cess clueless about the pain about to ensue:

Day 2:  Gananoque to Portland

Ferry at Plattsburgh:

Day 2:  Gananoque to Portland



Day 1: Would you care for a bath?

The first leg of our trip was quite short; Toronto to Gananoque.  Easy 275km, right?  Well, the first 100 or so km were in fact easy.  The remaining distance was spent riding in either an outright downpour or just hard rain.  It came in waves and every few minutes we'd have to slow down to about 80km/h or so; just enough that transport trucks could pass us spraying us some more!

Needless to say, we got to try out our rain gear on this leg of the trip.  The verdict is that the gear certainly works and it made things more bearable; but we got soaked regardless.  After a *cough* excellent dinner at McDonald's (hey, walking distance from the hotel and we went to eat at nearly 11pm...) we're spending the rest of the evening... blow drying our gear.


12 days, 5000+ km

We're now getting to the wire - 4 days until the trip.  Just some minor details need to be ironed out before we're on our way.  This trip in many ways is a must-do for any proper Canadian motorcycle rider (at least, those that are about more than posing with their bikes at their local Tim Horton's...).  It certainly has that "epic" feel to it and we're getting pretty excited.

The basic route we're taking is as follows (you can click the image to get to a larger one...):

East Coast 2009 Route

The details break down sort of like this:

  • Toronto to Gananoque
  • Crossing over into the US, making our way through the Adirondacks and arriving in Portland, ME
  • Taking the ferry to Yarmouth, NS
  • Riding along the southern coast of Nova Scotia into Cape Breton
  • Cruising the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton
  • Heading northwest along the Northumberland Strait through New Brunswick into Québec
  • Riding along the Gaspé coast
  • Eventually heading home southwest through Trois Rivières and into TO

Prep work

What a flurry of activity!  In all the years that we've been riding, this is the year that we've spent the most money on our bikes in a very short period of time.  Besides getting new bikes, there were numerous trips to Eurocorsa and GP Bikes.  There were non-stop package deliveries of things that Matt ordered on-line.  We now have a small mountain of bike luggage and various pieces of trip related items assembled in our living room area. 

Prior to this trip, we've only done one multi-day trip on our bikes.  Hence, I am quite excited about the adventure that we are about to embark on.  Matt did the majority of the route planning and  I tried to take care of most of the accommodation booking.

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