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What Kinda Bike Is That?
5,522 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Below is a screenshot of the complete, four day trip.

If you don't want to read the details, the link to the video is at the bottom of this post.

My family and my friends are scattered from Maine to Georgia. I don't get to see them as often as I would like to. But, by putting together the videos of the trips that I take, I can share them with these folks as a way of communicating and connecting with them; albeit from a distance. I can't fit everyone on to the back of my motorcycle to take them for a ride; I'm just trying to find creative ways to make it seem so.

Scott, "tmcgee" and I agreed that we would leave our respective homes early Friday morning, (May 22), and meet in Errol, New Hampshire. A fourth rider, "jackpiner57", was going to join us; we just didn't know where and when. The agreement was made to exchange cell phone messages as the day unfolded. La Tuque, Québec was our destination for the night.

After 475 miles of wonderful riding, we all landed in La Tuque within 10 minutes of each other. We decided on staying in a campground that I have camped in on previous trips, "Haute de les Chute", just North of La Tuque. The campground has changed ownership hands and Alain and his girlfriend/partner have taken over the reins from Christian and his sons.

Friday night was a somewhat cool night in the outdoors. In the morning, we decided that a warm place, with warm food and hot coffee was the focus of our needs; McDonald's in La Tuque was the answer. Over breakfast, tmcgee and jackpiner57 looked on with envy as Scott and I poured over my Québec road map; making decisions about what the rest of our trip would be like. "t" and "jack" had to return to their homes to fulfill other commitments. Scott and I were continuing on with what is becoming our annual trip together; Memorial Day Weekend. ( 2008 Memorial Day Ride).

After our breakfast, we met in the parking lot of McDonald's and said our "farewells" to each other. I snapped a meager wheelie of salute to "t" and "jack" as those two headed South, and Scott and I headed North up Rt 155 towards Lac Saint-John.

I wanted to share one of my favorite riding destinations with Scott; Rivière-Éternité on the Saguenay Fjord. At Scott's suggestion, we decided to get there by riding around the Western shore of Lac Saint-John and along the North shore of Saguenay Fjord, then back up the South shore of the fjord to Rivière-Éternité. A distance of several hundred miles longer then the usual direct route! But, that is what "adventure motorcycling" is about; "Take the Long Way Home."

Along the way, Scott and I stopped to say "hi", or more appropriately, "Bonjour" to some friends that I have met on previous trips. Eventually, at the end of Saturday's riding, we ended up in Tadoussac, Québec for the night. After experiencing the cold night of camping the previous night, and Scott is still healing from his near fatal motorcycle accident from just 8 months ago, (The cold still affects him. A True Friend in Need), and recognizing that Scott and I rarely get to spend time together, (our friendship and adventures span 30 years), we splurged on a chalet for a restful night of sleep. A full kitchen; upstairs, loft bedroom; downstairs bedroom; full bathroom; and a living room area, with a television that allowed us to surf the French Canadian TV stations with a remote from the comfort of a sofa. Roughing it?

Sunday morning we crossed Baie-Sainte-Catherine, (the "mouth" of Saguenay Fjord), on the ferry, (which is free), and continued riding down Rt 138 to Saint-Siméon where we fueled up before heading back North on Rt 170 to Rivière-Éternité. It was a "drizzly" day and we did not have much time to spend in the park. Both of us wanted to be "south-of-the-river" by nightfall, (The Saint Lawrence River), so it was a quick hike to the amphitheater and then back on the bikes.

Scott vows to return to Rivière-Éternité and its beauty. I am not speaking of the natural wonders that surrounded us there. I am talking about one particular park employee that absolutely melted the both of us with her eyes, smile, French accent and her gentle, light laugh at her vision of us; two, disheveled, road worn, "American Cowboys" and our stories of where we had been and where we were going. It was a precious moment between the three of us on the trail and worth the miles to get there and to get back home. Scott and I wandered back to our bikes, somewhat in a daze.

Out of the literal "tens-of-thousands-of-miles" I have ridden over the last three seasons, there is one road that is my favorite; I covet it as "my road". That road is Rt. 381 which twists and turns its way between Saint-Urbain at its Southern end, (Near Baie-Saint-Paul), and La Baie at its Northern end. It cuts its way through the heart of the Charlevoix region of the Province of Québec. The road provides stunning scenery and spirited riding; particularly in the, Parc des Grands-Jardins area.

I have ridden the four major routes between the Lac Saint-John/Saguenay region and Québec City several times. I am now venturing to discover routes between them. My first attempt at this was to be riding through Parc des Grands-Jardins from Rt. 381 to Rt 175. At the park's information center, Scott and I were informed that Rt 60 through the park was closed due to a bridge being washed out. We were directed back North on Rt 381, to road distance marker, "44km", where we could pick up Rt 62. We were told that, Rt 62 was dirt, was private and we were assured that we could make it from marker "44km" to Rt 175. (Interestingly, at the other end, on Rt 175, the distance marker there is "144km". Easy to remember.).

When I left Mount Desert Island, I carried two 2gb Sony memory stiks for my camera. I should have brought three....... I ran out of disc space at Lac Ha! Ha!. And, as always is the case with me, the best parts of the trip remain where they are; uncaptured on my camera..........

Riding Rt 62 was the most incredible riding experience I have had since purchasing my bike in the Spring of 2007. The road itself was a challenge; mostly soft sand, so there was an adjustment to my riding skills. The scenery was spectacular! The road twisted and turned up and over and down and between the mountains. We did not see another vehicle until we were almost to Rt 175. The sense of isolation and the thoughts of, "Okay, what would happen if.........", also added to the drama. The experience was the best that I have ever had. At one point Scott turned to me and said, "Buddy, I think you have finally found the 'Holy Grail' of roads to ride." I don't think Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer could have laid out a better course for us.

Once on Rt 175, we really boogied down to, and across the Québec City Bridge; heading for St. Georges, Québec for our last night. Again, feeling pretty beat, we stayed in a motel in town. The manager remembered me from a previous trip! But, no discount.......

After our Monday morning breakfast at the local Tim Horton's, we crossed the U.S. / Canadian Border in Jackman and headed South on Rt 201. As we rode, a thought surfaced in my mind; "It is still early in the day; there is plenty of riding before nightfall.". I stopped my bike in Lake Parlin, at the head of the Spencer Lake Road. This is one of two roads that are on my "bucketlist" to ride. The year before, a couple in The Natanis Point Campground assured me that I could make it all the way through to from Lake Parlin to Rt. 27 in Eustis, Maine.

Scott agreed to my idea and we took off down the Spencer Lake Road. 28 miles later, we intersected the Gold Brook Road which carried us 16 miles to Rt 27. What a blast!!! I am so glad that we did that! After a quick bite to eat at the Pine Tree Market in Eustis, we turned on to the Tim Pond Road for our "Grand Finale" to our trip. The Tim Pond Road connects with the Lincoln Pond Road which dumped us out on Rt. 16 near Wilson Mills; West of Rangley, Maine. That was a total of 85 miles of dirt road between Jackman and Wilson Mills. Yes, it can be done! And now, the second of my "bucketlist" roads has been checked off.

After a brief rest, Scott and I said our goodbyes to each other and parted ways; he back to New Hampshire and I back to Mount Desert Island. Before leaving our final rest spot, I acknowledged Scott's inspirational recovery from his terrible accident. To have gone through what he has gone through and to get back on a motorcycle and ride it to the level that he rode it on this trip, (his first real ride since his accident), was amazing to me; I let him know that.

His simple response, "You've gotta keep moving forward and not live in the past."

The below video is 8min:35secs long. It stops at Lake Ha! Ha! because I ran out of storage space on my camera.

Link: Trip 04 / Memorial Day Weekend 2009

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