Recent road trip to Canada

gnyce

Site Supporter
Write-up of a recent trip. It was pretty frenzied - I hadn't been on a road trip of decent length for 2 years (thanks Covid!) and just had to get outta' Dodge. No heavy site-seeing, barely even pulled over to take pictures. Put some miles on, that is what I was after - including the last day of the trip, my longest mileage-day ever. Bike ('05 FZ6) was fantastic - and in fact the only mechanical issue I had was with a loose screw on my helmet (faceshield). The fact was impressed upon me once again that this is a great all-rounder bike.

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Day1/Monday: Sunday's trip to VT/UVM and back was a little bit more draining than expected, so I was _not_ fully packed and arranged. As Canada required a covid test within 3 days of crossing, I waited until Monday to go get a test, so that was my morning. It was backed up and took a few hours, but the scary part was that they were saying that results would be in "2-4 days". Yikes! Anyway, back home, finished packing, and got on the road a little before noon.
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Went like I was going to visit father-in-law, up 287/87, and then past Harriman (to avoid NY) cut across east on 84 through Danbury/Hartford and then 90/290/485 to skirt north of Boston. I made it up to Portland ME, and caught a few showers as I drove into the city. Found a room for the night and ate at a local watering hole with some good beer.

Day2/Tuesday: walked down to the waterfront and ate breakfast at "Becky's", which purports to be a local joint. Seemed it. Big breakfast including "maine blueberry" pancakes (maybe).

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Got on the road and took 295 north for just a bit, and then over to Route 1 for some more local stuff (and nearer to the coastline). Went through Rockland, Rockport, Freeport (did NOT stop at the LLBean store)... Penobscot Bay/Bridge was quite cool!...

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Cut over to 9 East and that took me to Calais ME/St. Stephen, NB, where I crossed the border. Wasn't sure they'd let me in, but I had gotten my (negative) covid results that morning. Couldn't understand the guy, he something of a French/African accent. I think he asked me several times if I had any weapons. The main sticking point was 1) where I was going to be staying - as I had no reservations, and 2) if I had to quarantine, where would I do that (no family). Maybe he gave up, but I got through ok!

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Given that my goal was Nova Scotia - dunno why exactly - I started driving north to see how far I could get. Remember, no plan/no lodging. Man, Canada is BIG - and a whole lot of NOTHING in between population centers. You do _not_ want to have vehicle issues or break down, that's for sure. Just miles and miles of rolling hills covered with trees and occasional glimpses of ocean/bay. Stopped by Tim Horton's (their version of Starbucks but less pretentious); some _very_ polite signs; and semis carrying timber (I imagine a big export).

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I got it in my head that maybe I could reach Prince Edward Island. Thing is, there didn't appear to be lodging as soon as you crossed over, and knowing that it was probably more of a tourist destination, AND I was getting tired/it was getting late, I stopped for the night in Moncton, NB - probably 1.5/2 hours away from PEI. It's ok, it was a stretch goal that I didn't quite make. I blame Becky and her breakfast. Good dinner at a local brewpub, local beers and all. Lots of both English and French being spoken, maybe 50/50.

Wednesday/Day3: Got an early start, as 1) I had a ferry to catch at the end of the day to get from Nova Scotia back to New Brunswick, and if I missed that... I was going to be in trouble. So, Moncton to Halifax NS (and there was a lot more traffic/ppl there than I expected), then south. At some point I jumped off the highway and got on the "Lighthouse Tour" or Route 3. This hugs the coastline and goes through small towns. Some cool sights, my pictures do not give it justice (but it's hard to stop on the side of the road, park, pull off helmet and gloves, get my phone.... just awkward). In some places it reminded me of Ireland - that's not _quite_ right, but that is as close as I could get to describing.

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gnyce

Site Supporter
Anyway, southern point of Barrington, around to Yarmouth, and then north to Digby on the western shore of NS (where the ferry leaves from). NOTE: Digby is apparently the Scallops Capital of the World... who knew. I made it in time to have scallops/seafood for dinner, before hurrying off to the ferry. And man, what a ferry! This thing had escalators! It was long enough that, in the lower bay, it had 4 semi tractor-trailers, end to end. Probably a total of 10-12 semis in total. Rows of airplane seats. Just really big. It left Digby around 5:30pm, and I got into Saint John NB around 7:30.

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Sister-in-law graciously had booked a hotel for me along the downtown/waterfront, and so I wandered down and had another really good dinner along the waterfront, listening to some live music, while fielding texts from spouse/neighbors about Ida coming through PA, spawning flooding and multiple tornados, etc. I felt a little guilty, as it was such a lovely night out.

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Thursday/Day4: Ida caught up to me. I looked to see if I could run north and skirt the storm - even as far as Quebec - but it really just stretched too far. I had the time, didn't love the idea of heavy rains and higher winds while driving 80+ mph on their roads, so I opted to stay in Saint John until the next day. City Market, library... all around the downtown area since the rain was incessant. A good lunch and dinner was had (seafood curry!).

Friday/Day5: I told spouse I'd be home on Friday, but this was going to be a challenge.... from Saint John NB all the way to home. I got a very early start. Still had some rain lingering so had my rainsuit on, but it was never too hard.... Ida's fingernails. Rain was spotty into Maine as well, but then the sky cleared up and it was beautiful out. I kept a pretty aggressive pace, frequent stops but kept them short. In the end, arrived after 13.5 hours and 750 miles, around 7:30pm. Tired, but a good tired.

Total trip was just over 2000 miles. Bike now almost at 50,000 miles (I bought it with 23k). It did great, no mechanical issues at all, and I consistently averaged about 54/55 mpg (and that's driving at 75-80 mph. Was quite pleased.

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Gary in NJ

Junior Member
Site Supporter
What a great trip. Your bike is certainly set up for it. The longest I’ve ever gone in a day is 300 miles, and it was painful - I can’t imagine a 750 mile slog. But if you have to have a long day in the saddle, your route through NS sure is scenic.

Let me know if you need a travel partner next season (for a less ambitious ride). I’m always up for an adventure.
 

gnyce

Site Supporter
- write-up was for father-in-law, so pitched appropriately, e.g. not every observation in there
- for example, slightly unnerving to 1) smell weed from cars ahead of me in MA highways, and 2) see drivers pulled over in rest areas hitting the pipe. "Hey buddy, keep your distance from me if you please"
- Seat is from Terry, as suggestion/post from member... um... @MattR302 I believe. I only throw it on for long trips, the rest of the time it's a Shad
- I could spend more time in Portland ME
- In fact, in general enjoyed Maine... I'm more of a lake/mountain person (as opposed to beach/shore), and the rolling hills, trees, and ocean inlets made it feel "lake-like". But then, it wasn't Winter
- My nephew lives in OH, so I have a route planned that ends with him (to crash for the night) but includes the Triple Nickel/555.... next time!
 
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