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Discussion Starter #1
planning:
originally intended on planning a trip to nova scotia and back last fall. after hearing about Gaspe during my inquiries and discovering the ferry from ME was shutdown, i cancelled and started planning a trip around gaspe for this spring. we knew we wanted to go around gaspe, and we knew we wanted to go inland through maine. so we did. we had about 8 days to play with, but hoped for 5-6, and planned anywhere from 1500-2500 miles. we sorta winged it, we had maps and 3 gps's between the two of us, and knew how to use them. finished in 5 days just under 2000 miles.

us:
my name is jon and i rode the black 650, casey (turtlestrom) is a good friend of mine and he rode the red 650. both of us are experienced in camping, i've logged about 6k on the v-strom last year, but never on a trip longer than 2 days. casey's only owned the bike a few months and only has a few thousand miles under his belt. he actually acquired his bike license the weekend before the trip, and his enhanced license to get across the border a few weeks before that.

day 1:
glens falls ny to quebec city

loaded up and ready to go.


didn't last long though before the rain started.

we burned up 87, had breakfast just south of plattsburgh NY, then made the border crossing. in preparation for this trip, i purchased a pair of chinese bluetooth intercoms from dealextreme.com. smartest thing i did. i'd of left about anything home to have been able to bring these. for $50 each shipped, we were able to carry on constant conversation throughout the day, which was very handy when...



north of the border, in a different country, in the rain, in traffic, i suddenly realized i needed that exit coming up. i made it comfortably, but casey got stuck by a car in the middle lane, and had to soldier on. luckily we were able to keep communication and i was able to carry regain access to the highway

in my defense i had a plastic bag wrapped around my gps so couldn't really read it...
 

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Discussion Starter #2
we got to the hotel and parked the bikes where we could see them


and started making plans to take the bus to downtown quebec city (within the walls of the old city).

we're from a very small, rural town, and public transportation is not something we're familiar with. a little bit of googling and reading bus stop signs and we think we've got it figured out. get on the bus, put our cash in the slot, and sit down. took about 6 blocks before we realized we're headed in the wrong direction. :confused: at the top of the route the driver stopped in a park, with us the only two on the bus, and walked back to us. "i knew it from the beginning" he replied when we explained where we thought we were headed. 20 mins later he had us dropped off downtown, and we went hunting for some grub

^and we found it here! $100 later, we'd enjoyed some beers, french onion soup, and very good pasta meals. the walk back gave us a few treats like this


and casey mingled with some local folk


we stopped at a convenience store during the walk back and picked up a few fin du monde's. fin du monde was the first beer i ever drank, in a bar in quebec, on a field trip, when i was 16. turned me off to beer for a bit! but i've come back around and enjoy it on a different level now. with the help of that potent beer sleep came easy that night.
 

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day 2.


began like this. back on autoroute 20, a clean straight road, but i couldn't help but wonder if that's what north dakota is like, and why people pick on north dakota. straight, boring, droning along. at least the weather was good after the seattle weather the day before.

we decided to ditch the highway and acquaint ourselves with rt 132, our home for the next few days.



rest stops were a plenty, and i found a tim hortons which i am a fan of
(waaay better than dunkin donuts, one of my arch nemisis)


as a napa autoparts employee, i always take comfort knowing i have job opportunites everywhere i want to be (basically anywhere rural)


we covered a lot of ground on day 2, stopping at rest stops. found this little addition after one bathroom break

wonder how that got there? as long as it's gone before customs ("bring any interesting plants back with you?") we'll be ok.

the whole time i was pursued by this fellow


and enjoyed views like these



towards evening we made it here



and it's as cool as everyone says it is.
...
 

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the wind was blowing, but eole wasn't turning...


getting pretty tuckered out, we stopped here.

the family was eating dinner, and although tomorrow was the start of their season june1st, they'd welcome us to use any campsite we liked. but the bathrooms and showers weren't open yet... for $20 we had views like this all night

and slept 10 feet from the water


we shared a sleep aid by the sea and headed for our tents
 

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day 3:
i woke up to this at around 5am

casey had been forced to omit his sleeping bag at the last minute (couldn't find it morning of departure) and found his tent/hammock cold. the sun was warmer than his bed.

these folks had a great idea too, nice way to travel before the heavy season


we started on our way and were greated by roads like this


and









casey makes cannon's for a living, so took interest in this find (thought it was a park, it was a bunker.)






some famous rock


more to come. maybe tomorrow?
 

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Hi Jon,

That really is a breathtaking bit of country. I went through there late June 2009. We went down a side road and got a little closer to the wind generator action. I'm told that the giant egg beater has been out of commission for a number of years. Apparently the bearings are shot, and it is too costly and/or temperamental to be worth repairing.

I'm looking forward to seeing more of your pictures.
Doug



 

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Jon, thanks for the photos, they are fantastic. I am jealous enough to spit.

Keep going...
 

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things get boring from there photo-wise, but i'll keep going.

after perce, we continued around the peninsula. things get populated (good for gas stops, bad for riding) quick. we hoteled it for a night before heading south for maine. passed through edmenton



from there we picked up 17 and headed south, easily one of the best roads of the trip. lots of elevation changes, lots of trees, 1 moose, no cops, no traffic. i was having waaay too much fun to take pictures, sorry.

well, i found these...




then came the border crossing from 17 to us 1.
a little tin can trailer on the other side of the bridge, they asked us to pull aside and go inside. casey's recent license acquiral had them wondering, so we got questioned and inspected. we were asked more than a few times if we were bringing any "neat interesting plants we found". must be the look. a few minutes into it the interviewer loosened up and talked bikes and travel. gave us some directions and warned us of heavy storms!!!

checked my smartphone and he was very right, later on we learned there were tornado sightings that afternoon, and "softball sized hail". due to some aggressive storm avoidance we got out scott free.
 

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we followed us 1 down to us 2, both based on suggestions from the border crossing folk, storm avoidance, and it's a road we had never traveled. it followed the penobscot more often than not, and took us right into gorham the next day... im trying follow the map here and find out where we stopped, but i can't remember.

after gorham we traveled south along the presidentials. pushed "take us home avoid highways" button on the gps, and started motoring. sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. this time, it worked! all through NH then VT we buggied around on secondary roads, sometimes very secondary roads, that took us through parts of NH and VT we've never seen. again, i was having way too much white knuckled fun for photos, so sorry.

somewhere in western VT casey and i split as he lived an hour north of me. riding home for the last hour, before arriving home 2 days before i suggested i would, i started picking up these on the side of the road



hoping to smooth things out with the lady friend. she was feeling pretty left out as she had to work, i didn't feel great about having her along on my first long trip if things went sour, and there wasn't enough room on the bike if we were considering camping...

got home just before dark, made for a long day. odometer showed me this at the end of it all

 

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things i learned:

i was warned lots of times about fuel up there. we filled up every 200 miles or so, and i went over 280miles on the final tank (gorham to home). we never had any problem finding fuel, even pre-season. either things are getting more and more touristy up there or i'm somewhat careless...

i squared off my shinko 705 on the trip, i don't keep mileage logs but i suspect it was under 6k when the center tread was toast. for $88 i replaced it, no prob.

i purchased a spot tracker for this trip exclusively, and if i never use it agian, it was worth it. my fiance and family worry about me, its something i've dealt with as long as i've been doing anything. one hiking trip that went a bit long almost got the state forest rangers involved. having some form of communication is well worth while.

i've always been the sort to get a general idea of what i want to do, then go do it. that's what we did here. and that's what i'll continue to do. i'm not a very good planner, and when i do plan, it turns to shit anyhow. have a good attitude and open eyes and things will work out. at least, that's in my experience.

we traveled between 350-400+ miles a day, only day we touched interstates was on day 1 and that was mostly rainy. that's about our limit on that sort of road, without pushing our edurance. buuuut we did that comfortably. we stopped often, ate well, and rode easy.

we're haphazardly planning on a nova scotia trip the same time next spring, so we'll see if that comes to be.

thanks for following along, ask questions if you like! although there are others better qualified to answer them, i'll do my best.

-jon
 

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Thanks for that Jon. I'm headed that way next month so all info is great.
 

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Looks like it was a lot of fun!
 

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Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts & photographs.

Just out of curiosity did you actually hear what the wind turbines sounded like? A few years back we had a lot of controversy in our small town because a wind farm was going to placed on some prime real estate.

It seems to me that staying off the Interstate after day 1 & taking other roads made the trip so much more memorable.
 
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