Sunday, July 21, 2013

2013 Go East Boy. July 11 - 14

The next morning we woke to torrential rain. Here is a video clip inside our tent, getting ready pack our stuff and hit the road.

We got dressed in the tent, including putting our rain suits on and helmets on. Then started packing things on the bike. As any camper would know, packing a wet tent is no fun. But, it still beats going to work.
As we were now heading West, we went thru Shediac again, and took the opportunity to take pictures of the BIG lobster.

After that we were on our way to spend the night in Fredericton NB. We wanted to stay in downtown Fredericton so we can experience the night life, and don't have to ride the bike after a few beers. We rode to the centre of town, and then we asked 2 cops where we could stay, and where the Happening Places are in Fredericton. They gave us good directions and info. We stayed in the Delta Fredericton. Walking distance to where we wanted to be. It was a great hotel, but a bit on the expensive side. Once at the hotel I had a shower, as there was starting to hang a sound around me. Had my afternoon siesta, and was ready to hit the town. Konstanz found a pub on-line where we could eat and have a few drinks, and they had a live band playing that night.
We walked to the pub round 6:00pm, and had great Fish & Chips with some beers. By 8:00pm we asked the waitress, what time the band starts playing. She said round 10:30pm. We decided to walk round town, check out the sites and that way kill some time till the band start playing. We covered the whole downtown area in about an hour, and then decided to go back to our hotel. Stuff this waiting for the band. Needless to say, by 11:00pm that night we were fast asleep. What a way to paint the town red!

The next morning we were off early (6:00am) to make our way to Mt Washington in New Hampshire. We new we had to get an early start, since the mountain was about 500km away. We crossed back into the US at St Croix Maine round 8:00am, and crossed the State of Maine in no time. We riched Mt Washington round 2:00 pm, and got in line to pay to go up the Auto Road.

There is a sign at the entrance that warns you not do go up the mountain it you have a fear of heights. We both are scared of heights, or more correctly, the fear of falling, we decided the sign was put up only for sissies. It is a 8 mile ride to the top, and it started out easy with not a very steep incline. But after 4 miles it changed dramatically, and to top it off, some of the road is not paved. Here is a video clip taken of the bike near the summit.

I did not really look at the scenery on the way up, I was just concentrating on the road. On the way down is was a lot easier and I was then able to look around a bit. I was never scared, I just paid close attention at the task at hand, keeping the bike on the road. That is my story, and I'm sticking to it. Konstanz also says he was not scared, but this was on the passenger seat when we reach the summit. 

But we both made it to the top, and the views were brilliant.

That night we made it to Moose Brook Motel in New Hampshire. Great Motel, with a pool. The next day was the start of the long trek home.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

2013 Go East boy. July 09 - 10.

The next morning we woke to a wonderful blue sky with no rain in sight. Since we only had a short distance planned for the day, it gave us time to spread out the wet tent in the sun so it could dry out from the last time we packed it in the rain. The plan for the day was to make our way past Saint John, the Fundy national forest and camp the night just before Hope Well Rocks.

On the way it was very hot so we stopped for some ice cream at a place that sells home made ice cream. Konstanz got his first taste of east coast hospitality. Very friendly people, and once they start talking, you can not get away.

We continued thru the Fundy National forest with great views of the Bay of Fundy.

At one point as we crested a little hill, I see this big black dog standing in the middle of the road. As we get a little closer, he turns and look at us. That's when we see it's not a dog but a black bear. I slam on the breaks, and drop down 2 gears. The bike is noisy, and I think that's what made him decide to run. Now the chase is on. As he started running down the road we set off after him. We chased him for about 100 meters and then he darted into the bushes.
This happened so fast that we did not get the opportunity to take pictures. You have to take my word on this one.

We made our way to Ponderosa Pines camp ground that afternoon. Bought some fish & chips at a non descript little roadside shack, and just relaxed the rest of the afternoon and evening.

The next morning we were off to go look at Hopewell Rocks. Click on the link to see the Wikipedia description of The Rocks.

Wile were walking around the ocean floor somebody asked us if we saw the moose. What moose? The one that just fell down the cliff. 

It fell down the cliff about 10 minutes before we go to that location. It broke it's neck and died on impact.
Here is Konstanz's version of the events.

Here is another video just showing the views from the ocean floor.

It was interesting to see that the ocean floor was red mud. I am used to sand and rocks at the ocean.

After spending about 2 hours exploring The Rocks, we were of to Cap-Pele on the coast of the Northumberland Strait. We went thru Moncton, and then Shediac to get to our Beach camping site.

It was a great location. Nice camp site, close to the beach, and close to town to go out for dinner. The water was not as cold as the water in the Bay of Fundy, so we actually had a chance to swim in the ocean.

The people we met at the camp site were very friendly. They were mostly Acadians (See Link) but their English was very good, so we were able to communicate.

It was a hot and sunny day, so we used every bit of shade that could be found.

That evening we went out for lobster. Since we were in lobster country we thought it would be right time to do so. We asked the camp ground owner/manager were we could find good lobster. She told us of some nice restaurants in the area that serve lobster, but it we only want lobster, and eat were the locals eat, we should go to the fish market. So off we went.

What a great experience. This is no fancy restaurant. You walk in, go to the fish counter, select your pre-cooked lobster and pay. $20 for 3 extra large lobsters. Then they attack the lobster with a meat cleaver, and break open the shell, so it's ready for you to eat. They put it on a polystyrene plate, you pick a table, and dig in.

Here is a picture of the aftermath. 3 lobsters and some beers later. 

What a great time. That night we had a good sleep with full bellies. Tomorrow is the day when our direction is turning West. The rest of the trip is going home.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

2013 Go East boy. July 06 - 08

I must admit that lately I was very lazy at updating this blog. Some people asked me when do I write another update, so it shows that somebody actually reads this thing. So here goes.

Last week my Son and I decided to do a bike trip out East. The plan was to go East thru Ontario, cross into the US, cross New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, then cross into Canada again and then spend some time in New Brunswick. We had a total of 8 days available to make it out to New Brunswick and back again. To save money we decided to go 2 up on one bike.

The first day was all just pretty much hard riding. It was about 400km up the 401 highway to make it to the US border. Very boring ride, but it went fast. We got to the customs post round lunch time in the midday heat, and stood in line for about an hour. Midday heat and riding gear does not go well. We were boiling in our suits. But once we crossed and started moving fast, we cooled down.
Now we were in upstate New York, and riding become a lot of fun.

Once in New York we started looking for a campsite but could not find anything that suited us, but once we were in Tupper Lake we saw a motel with a pool, and we both decided this is what we need.

Did I mention that the motel had a pool.

The next day we woke to some cloudy skies, and after we packed the bike it started raining, so on with the rain suits. The rain stopped after about an hour, and we did some nice riding round the Lake Placid area.
Here is a video clip of the road and the scenery in the area.

We were heading for Flume Gorge in Franconia Notch State Park in New Hampshire.

You might ask, what is a Flume?

It is about an Hour and a half's walk from when you enter the ticket office to the top of the Flume and down again. Here are some pics of the gorge.

After our trek thru the gorge it was getting late and we had to find dinner and a place to sleep. We did a search on the GPS and there was nothing close. We just kept on riding until we hit a small town with a convenience store to buy some food. Wile in the lineup to pay we started asking round for a place that we can set up our tent. It so turned out that the guy behind us in line owned a camp ground. We paid for our food, loaded it up into the camp ground owner's van, and followed him to his place. Once we got to his place, he showed us a map of his camp ground, and told us to go in a pick any spot we wanted. What a great guy. Apple Wood Camp ground near Whitefield New Hampshire, if you are ever in the area and looking for a camp ground.
We slept that night in pouring rain, almost flooded the tent, and woke up to it still pouring. We packed up in the rain and took of for the border into Canada again.

We crossed Main in no time, hit the duty free to buy siggies, and we were in New Brunswick. I stayed at a motel on the Bay of Fundy 4 years ago, and wanted to find the same place again. They went and build a 4 lane highway all the way to Saint John, so I had no clear direction of where the motel was. I just looked at the GPS and as soon as I could see we were near the coast line, I took the first off ramp. How lucky could we be, after turning off the highway, we rode about 3 minutes an there was the motel.

We were both so happy to be at the sea. In Ontario we are surrounded by a lot of water, but it's not the sea. Konstanz spend his early years growing up near the sea in SA, and the happiness on his face when he walked on the beach was priceless.