Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Homeward Bound, New Brunswick, Canada.

Mt. Katahdin, Maine's highest Mountain and terminus of the Appalachian Trail, looming ahead of the setting sun. (Named by the Penobscot Indians meaning "The Greastest Mountain") . This scene was proof that I was just a few hundred Km from home and all the more reason to keep on keepin on!
The Boys at Dirt World helped me out by letting me change my oil at their shop. I wasn't going to bother with the oil change this close to home, but when I saw the small shop I knew they'd look after me.

Twin Oaks camp ground where I accidentily set up on the 33 dollar site rather than the 20 dollar site. Apparently I took advantage of the site with the electrical outlet...OOps! In the end the man let me off the hook...but at this point of the trip I really wasn't in the mood for argueing about cash because I had nothing left anyhow. He was cool about everything and probably suprised that I actually stopped into his ranger hut to plead my case rather than bolt outta there.

Along the Blue Ridge Skyway the mist and cold clouds blocked out the sun for most of the 150mile road and made the riding kind of sketchy. For several Km there were deer crossing at the "Deer Crossing" Signs...go figure?

In good ole Stuarts Draft I pulled into Shenandoah Acres Camp Ground and found a dry place all to myself. It was a quiet night with all the heavy rain that came down.

Rolling out of Virginia I happened to see a sign that suggested that all trucks were to take the I-88 if heading to the New England States. I quickly referenced the GPS and decided to go for it. Instantly the heavy traffic petered out and I was cruising along with the highway pretty much all to myself. Only an hour or so later the scenery of Up-State New York began to show its beauty. I was admiring the green, lush mountains in the setting sun when it occured to me that I should be finding a place to stay for the night. The gas gage was reading low...which means my trip odometer was reading 350km, so, I pulled into a gas station to fill up. Here I was told about Twin Oaks campground which turned out to be a lovely spot about 5 miles off the highway in a wooded area with camp sites around a lake teeming with fish and bull frogs. The campground was pretty much deserted and I plunked down the tent on a crowned portion of land so if the threat of rain became apparent I'd stay dry for a slight bit longer. My worries of rain were in vain however, and the sky cleared and offered a stunning view of the Milkyway and millions of bright stars. I felt the sandman come early and retreted to the tent for a solid 10 hour sleep interrupted occasionally by a belching "BUARR" from some proud bull frog out on the lake trying to impress the ladies.
Morning came and I decided that I'd be having a breakfast of soggy "Chicken Sub" that I saved from the prior afternoon. I figured that my cast iron digestive tract would make mince meat of the chicken. For a few hours at least, I thought I had beaten the odds......
It was getting on about 4:30 Pm when I crossed through New Hampshire from Vermont and roughly about 5 Pm when I got to Southern Maine and hit the home stretch on the I-95. I knew that I was about 7 hours from home and that I had already ridden 7 hours, but, the temptation of riding more that 1100km in one day and getting into Canada, was enough to make me want to meet one more challenge.....ride more than a 1000km.
The further I got north the more evident the freeze thaw action on the asphalt became. The road began to have bumps, cracks and repaired potholes.....but nothing compared to other countries. The sun was just setting as I got to a popular look out over Mt. Katahdin. I was the first one there that evening. As I was inspecting a squeek on the front wheel I noticed several cars pulling into the view point to watch the setting sun. I stopped for a moment and popped a shot ,but, I knew that sundown meant bugs on the visor and freezing cold temperatures. Already for the last hour I was shivering, but, being stubborn, not wanting to unpack and dig deep into the bags for the long ago packed away winter riding gear(.....geeze it is afterall July!) I just suffered and pushed through the discomfort.
I arrived at the Canadian border and I was greeted by a cheery young crossing guard that politely went through the Q&A and let me proceed to home. Pulling into Canadian highways was a breath of fresh air. There were no cars and only a few trucks to contend with and the only worry was running into a moose, deer, or bear on the road.
I managed to pull into Fredericton that night and beat on the door of a long time friend and motorcycle buddy who rode to Panama and back earlier this year. (http://www.soreass2010.blogspot.com/)
Peter got up with his gal Melissa who made me a fried egg sandwich before I essentially zonked out for the night after a solid 14 hour 1100Km ride. In the morning I was heading to my home to see Julie after a long 5 month time period of not seeing each other.


  1. Heard you on CBC this morning - glad to know you're safely home. Thanks for the great stories, and amazing geography lessons. We all lived vicariously through your adventures.

    Well done man!

  2. Glad to see your home man! Looks like the trip of a life time.

  3. Love happy endings! Congratulations & welcome home!!!

  4. welcome home GG ! Great to hear that you made it back homesafe and sound. What an amazing journey you have been on.... and continue to be on I'm sure. Amen.

  5. Hello, my name is Feven and I work for an advertising company in London. I came across your photograph of the 'deer crossing the road' and I think it’s fantastic and would possibly like to use it. Could you please contact me to discuss further? My email address is feven.mehari@fcbinferno.com
    Look forward to hearing from you.