Trip 02 2011 - New Hampshire and Qubec - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-04-2011, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Mount Desert Island, Maine
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Trip 02 2011 - New Hampshire and Québec

(Part One)

Around 1:00 PM, on Saturday, April 30th, I obtained another victory in being able to keep my 1999 Ford Windstar on the road, (The work that I did can be read in three parts: Post 243, Post 244, and Post 245). Feeling mentally tired from trying to think through what I needed to do to accomplish the task, and feeling physically tired from crawling in, and out, and around, and underneath my van, I decided that I deserved a reward for my efforts. At this time of year, that means a ride!

I cleaned up, and put away all of my tools. Then, trotted up the hill, and across the driveway to my landlord's home. Once inside, I asked Rob and Jan if they would be able to watch my dog Reuben for the night; "I wanted to get out-of-dodge and go for a ride!" They agreed and gave me the "green light" for my overnight trip.

I trotted back across the driveway, and down the hill to my apartment. I gave my good friend Scott a phone call; "Yo, is your sofa available for tonight?" "Yes.", came the reply, "Provided you buy the pizza.", Scott said. That's a deal!!! I showered all of the driveway dirt, and "unibody rust" off of myself, packed up a sleeping bag, toilet kit, a book, and put on my gear. I rolled out of my driveway at 2:45 PM.

I have made this ride to Scott's MANY times! I know it by heart. I have also taken a bunch of photographs over the years during this ride. However, this trip I was "packing" a new Canon G-10 camera, that was hanging around my neck by a strap. I wanted to do some more experimenting with the unit on my ride down to Scott's.

I headed down Rt 1, along the Maine coast, for the town of Bucksport. There is a short bridge from Bucksport to Verona Island that needs to be crossed to continue heading south. There is a very nice view of Fort Knox from the bridge, (Fort Knox & the Penobscot Narrows Observatory). To leave Verona Island, heading southbound, you will have to cross the new Penobscot Narrows Bridge. I have crossed this impressive bridge, (By Maine standards!), countless times. Last year, I took the elevator ride to the top of the observatory. The view is spectacular!!! If you are traveling through the area, I suggest stopping here on your ride.

Approaching the bridge, heading south on Rt 1.


A shot over my shoulder as I was exiting the bridge.


In the coastal town of Belfast, I exited Rt 1, and picked up Rt 3, and headed west towards the city of Augusta, the capital of the state of Maine. About two miles from the junction of Rt 3 and Rt 95, there is a nice view of the Kennebec River.


Farther south, in the city of Lewiston, I got a nice shot of the swollen Androscoggin River as it spilled over the ledges right in the center part of town.


I ended up at in Milton Mills, NH, at Scott's house, 211 miles, and 4hrs and 15mins, (non-stop....on a stock seat.), after leaving Mount Desert Island. As promised, I bought the pizza, and as he promised, I got the sofa.

-----------------------------

I had no real plan for where I was going to ride on Sunday. I just knew that it was going to be a beautiful day, and I didn't have to be home until nightfall. And, I had my passport with me.....

I was on the road at 6:15 AM and riding up one of my favorite roads in New England; Rt 153.






At the intersection of Rt 153 and Rt 16 in Conway, New Hampshire......


.....I shot straight across Rt 16 and picked up the West Side Road and continued north. The West Side Road takes you out and around the towns of Conway, and North Conway. You don't get stuck in all of the town traffic by doing this. Nicer scenery too!


Once back on Rt 16, I always stop at the scenic turnout that offers an excellent view of Mt. Washington and the surrounding Presidential peaks.




I continued my ride north on Rt 16 and stopped briefly at Pinkham Notch. There were HORDES of die-hard spring skiers and snowboarders, parked along the side of the road.


An obligatory shot of Mt. Washington and my bike.


I continued riding up Rt 16, headed northward through Berlin....


....and the town of Milan. The Androscoggin River was really "cranking" down the valley!




I REALLY like the section of Rt 16 after leaving Milan, New Hampshire. The road can be fairly rough in sections due to frost heaves, and it twists and turns its way between the bogs and lakes, leading to the town of Errol. If no one is in my mirrors, and there is no southbound traffic, the WHOLE road is mine, and I DON'T hesitate in using it as such!!!








Over the past several years, as I have ridden in this area, I have many times passed the, Errol International Airport. Sometimes I take a photograph of the hangar, "on the fly", as I pass by, and sometimes I stop and take a photo with my motorcycle next to the monument to Mr. Bean. I decided to stop and take today's photograph.


As I did so, I noticed someone working on a plane at one end of the hangar. As early as last Fall, planes really didn't catch my eye much. I always thought of them as being, "out of my reach". As it turns out, after taking several flying lessons, enrolling in ground school, researching the heck out of building a kit-plane, I have determined that I am right; airplanes ARE out of my reach! But, that now makes them a worthy goal to walk towards; to bring them into my grasp.

I rode my motorcycle over to the hangar and I was immediately welcomed, VERY enthusiastically by "Chopper". Chopper is a yellow lab. Close enough to my avatar name.......

This is the only decent(?) photograph I could get of Chopper. He would NOT sit still for a more proper photo!


Chopper's master is Dave Heasley.


Dave is also the master of the Errol International Airport. He purchased it about 15 years ago. When he added "International" to the name of the airport, a few local townspeople were "up-in-arms" over the name; "You can't do that! It's not right! There is no customs agent on duty!" Dave did it for a joke. One year, Dave needed to paint the hangar. To do so, he took the sign down so that he could paint behind it. This time, MORE people were upset with him because he had taken the "International" sign down!!! "Can't please 'em.", Dave said.

Dave flew for Eastern for many years before he retired; just at the right time before Eastern dissolved. The plane he flies now is a Piper PA-12.










Actually, Dave has had this plane for over 40 years. He said to me, "Wives have come and gone. Children have come and gone. But, Perl has stayed right with me all along."

Dave has heavily modified "Perl". He replaced the original 108hp motor with a 150hp motor. He also added a leading edge kit to the wing, and also flaps too. The tail feathers are from a Piper Cub. In the winter, the plane is on skis. In the summer months, the plane is on floats. In the in-between times, the plane is on wheels.

I spent about 45 minutes with Dave. The "hangar flying" stories started to pour forth!!! Incredible man, with incredible experiences! If you are riding by, Dave says to stop in. If you are flying, the radio frequency is 122.8. I hope to return in my own plane in the not too distant future!

(Part Two Below)

2007 DL-650 (I gave away in 2012 with 111,000 + miles)
"A word grows to a thought; a thought to an idea; an idea to an act. All the pieces are put together, and the whole is yours."
1942, Beryl Markham: "West With the Night"
"You can talk about doing a thing until everyone finally talks you out of it, or you can actually do the thing"
James Baldwin "Across Islands and Oceans"

Last edited by Black Lab; 05-04-2011 at 09:27 PM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-04-2011, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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(Part Two)

After leaving Dave, Chopper and Perl, I continued west from Errol, on Rt 26 towards Colebrook, New Hampshire. I began my climb through Dixville Notch.




On the western side of the notch, there is the beautiful resort of, "The Balsams". I have always thought, (wished?), if I had a "significant other", this is a place that I would bring her for a romantic weekend. Make that a loooong weekend! The setting is absolutely beautiful. I suspect so are the accommodations and the food too. (Take note of this guys!).


In Colebrook, I fueled the bike and I fueled myself......... Two Old Fashioned donuts........


I left Colebrook at 11:00 AM.

I crossed into northern Vermont at Canaan....


....and followed Rt 253 to the Québec border crossing.


The Canadian customs agent was fairly young, and serious. I had him unprofessionally laughing in about 5 minutes! We ended up having a very nice conversation. His final question to me was, "Do you own a dog?". This time it was my turn to laugh. I told him, "Yes, I do. But, not the one you are looking at!" I was covered in yellow lab dog hair from Chopper jumping all over me! We shook hands and I took off.

Here is my first Canadian crossing photo of the 2011 season. I DO hope that I have MANY more!


I have ridden through this section of Québec many times. I know what roads to take pretty much by gut feeling. I wanted to head up to Saint Malo to get on some of the dirt, farm roads that lead over to Chartierville.








Once past St. Isidore, I let the throttle open up. No one is around to bother me. And, at this time of year, you literally need to be on your toes, (On your pegs!), watching for the "mud holes" in the dirt roads.


From October 2010......


...to April 2011.


From October 2010........


......to April 2011.


Not bad, for "on-the-fly", season to season shooting, huh?

Shortly after the left hand bend in this road, you will see quite a plumber's dream of maple sap pipes.


(Part Three Below)

2007 DL-650 (I gave away in 2012 with 111,000 + miles)
"A word grows to a thought; a thought to an idea; an idea to an act. All the pieces are put together, and the whole is yours."
1942, Beryl Markham: "West With the Night"
"You can talk about doing a thing until everyone finally talks you out of it, or you can actually do the thing"
James Baldwin "Across Islands and Oceans"

Last edited by Black Lab; 05-06-2011 at 06:23 AM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-04-2011, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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(Part Three)

Once on Rt 210, I usually open the throttle a little bit more. In dryer months, I have hit 80mph along this road. During the spring months, with the ground still thawing out, yeilding some pretty large soft spots, I keep the speeds down around 55 - 60 mph.








Here I am on Rang 10 est. I am about to come into the village of Notre-Dame-des-Bois.


Notre-Dame-des-Bois is home to Mt. Meganitc; my "old friend". I just love seeing this beautiful mountain. The view from its summits is lovely.


On this day, I knew that the summits weren't open, and I was also now starting to butt up against the end of my riding day if I didn't keep moving. I took a few "vanity" shots with my "old friend" as a backdrop.




I headed east on Rt 212 and for the US / Canadian border crossing of Coburn Gore, Maine.


I had to stop at the gate before I could proceed up to the US customs building. This is the border crossing that I use the most. I have gotten on a first name basis with a couple of the customs agents. Ahead of me, I watched a young man get removed from his car, escorted into the customs building, and a customs agent get in the car, and move it......... I gulped. I didn't recognize any of these guys!

When notified, I pulled forward into the parking area under the portico. I quickly removed my helmet, and my sunglasses so that the agents could see my face and eyes. I also removed my ear plugs, smiled and said, "Hi". I opened up my Pelican tankbox and removed my passport; handing it to the agent. He began to ask me usual questions which I answered; "I left Milton Mills, NH this morning." "I crossed the Canadian border 2 hours ago at Beecher Falls." "No, I didn't visit anyone in Canada." "No, I didn't purchase anything." "No, I am not carrying $10,000 in cash, (I would be flying my Murphy Rebel plane I had built if I did have that much money on me!)"

The customs agent, swiped my passport through a scanner, stared at his computer monitor and asked, "So, are you headed back to Southwest Harbor right now?"

"DING!" went the bell in my head! My birthplace is listed in my passport, NOT where I live! Up to this point, NO questions had been asked about where I was going, or where I lived. The information that he had just given me had come up on his computer screen. I told him that, "Yes, I was headed back to MDI.", and chuckled a little bit. He then asked me if I had ever been through here before. I told him that yes I have been, many times. He asked me when the last time was. I told him, "November 6th, 2010." The agent smiled as he looked at his computer screen. I asked him, "How close did I get the date? It's pretty darn close isn't it?" He began to laugh and said, "Sir, I can't tell you that information. It belongs on this side and not on your side." I then said, "I know that I am pretty close on the date." The agent smiled at me and handed my passport and driver's license back to me and told me to have a good day.

I remember that weekend well. It was the weekend that I crashed. I was off by a day. I came through there on November 7, 2010.



Here are a few photos of the scenery and wildlife as I made my way back towards home.















Total mileage for the two and one half days of riding; 612 miles. 400 miles on Sunday.

Let's see what next weekend brings!

B.L.


Teaser: I will be headed back to my 2011 modifications thread in the near future to install my modified front fender.

2007 DL-650 (I gave away in 2012 with 111,000 + miles)
"A word grows to a thought; a thought to an idea; an idea to an act. All the pieces are put together, and the whole is yours."
1942, Beryl Markham: "West With the Night"
"You can talk about doing a thing until everyone finally talks you out of it, or you can actually do the thing"
James Baldwin "Across Islands and Oceans"

Last edited by Black Lab; 05-04-2011 at 09:05 PM.
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-05-2011, 05:41 PM
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Nice ride!

I miss my Strom!

Jared

2008 DL650 (sold)
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-05-2011, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
What Kinda Bike Is That?
 
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Mount Desert Island, Maine
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Originally Posted by oneguyinmaine View Post


Nice ride!

I miss my Strom!

Jared

Great to see you back here, Jared!!!!

I hope someday, a Strom will make it back into your life!

B.

2007 DL-650 (I gave away in 2012 with 111,000 + miles)
"A word grows to a thought; a thought to an idea; an idea to an act. All the pieces are put together, and the whole is yours."
1942, Beryl Markham: "West With the Night"
"You can talk about doing a thing until everyone finally talks you out of it, or you can actually do the thing"
James Baldwin "Across Islands and Oceans"
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-05-2011, 09:43 PM
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Nice ride report BL and the new camera is working fine. Glad to see the weather cooperated.It's been raining for about 18 days straight here so not much riding being done.
Just outside Lewiston is the the town of Auburn where there is a pub called Mack's Grill.We happened by there a few years ago on the way home from New Hampshire.Awesome food.Been back a few times since. Heading down to Hermit Island on the long weekend (hope the weather gets better)and plan on stopping there for a feed on the way to Whitehorse Gear.

09 DL650 ABS ORANGE "Form over function at a superior price"
09 DR650 "Hooliganizer"
03 TW200 "No Roads....No Problem"
02 TW200 "Redneck Edition"
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-06-2011, 05:45 AM
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I haven't been to Mac's Grill in years. Awesome steak house.

09 Wee

light travels faster then sound - which explains why people appear to be bright until they speak
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-06-2011, 08:49 PM
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Great to see you back here, Jared!!!!

I hope someday, a Strom will make it back into your life!

B.
I'm working on it Barry...

2008 DL650 (sold)
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-06-2011, 09:55 PM
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nice ride report... i was just thinking today that this might be the year to make a quick north east USA/ Nova Scotia trip. i have a good stop over in NY state (my USN son)... and your pictures reminded me why this is something i've always wanted to do. thanks.

white wee #4 (ארבע)
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-07-2011, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by s boy View Post
nice ride report... i was just thinking today that this might be the year to make a quick north east USA/ Nova Scotia trip. i have a good stop over in NY state (my USN son)... and your pictures reminded me why this is something i've always wanted to do. thanks.
Nova Scotia is much bigger than you think it is. Just sayin'.

-Tom (DL650AL2) (KA1TOX) (E-I-E-I-O)

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