Friday, 25 July 2014

Wed, 23 July 2014 - End of the trip, time to go home!

This was not a Good Day for me. The campsite was surprisingly quiet for being in the city, but there were vehicles coming and going at all hours, often shining headlights right into my tent. So I didn't get much sleep.

Then, it was time to make arrangements to go home. I had pretty much written off my first option - riding back through the US. It would be expensive, and I was tired of riding, especially dodging thunderstorms.

Second option was to ship the bike home. OK, call a moving company. No luck. Call another one. No luck. Another and another and another. The only company that said they could ship a motorcycle said it would cost about $3000 - more than what the bike's worth!

OK, try the third option: sell the bike for what I could get for it. The only bike shop that would touch a 30-year-old bike did not sound promising ("I'll call you back" and he never did). I posted an ad in Kijiji, but after what I heard from the bike shops I was not optimistic, even at a price of $1500. (Which turned out to be correct: the only responses I got was one scam and two asking for "my best price" and commenting that a 30-year-old bike must be in pretty rotten shape.)

My Lady came to my rescue and found a place that would ship my bike back for $US 950 - but it was from Dartmouth. So I'd have to take the long ferry back to Sydney, ride (probably in the rain, according to the forecast) to Dartmouth and send it from there.

Depressed, I checked out how to send the rest of my stuff (mainly the camping gear). Greyhound doesn't go to St. John's, but UPS said they would ship it for under $100 (turned out closer to $130 once the dust settled).

But the sun was coming out, so I decided to do one more thing I wanted to do: go to the Easternmost Point in North America: Cape Spear. On the way, the bike started coughing and losing power - NOW what? But it had simply run out of gas - I managed to duck-walk her into a gas station and fill her up and she was back to her reliable self.

After going down a miriad of back streets, some INCREDIBLY steep, I ended up at the End of North America:

So, this marks the Official End of my Epic Journey, so I recorded Herr Garmin's statistics for posterity:
I covered about 9500 kms over 117 1/2 hrs. Comparing that to Google Maps which said the journey would be 7500 kms, I guess I did a LOT of side trips!

Now, it occurred to me I hadn't eaten anything yet today, so I searched for a pizza place. Again, winding down side roads, busy streets, detours... but no pizza place! I guess Newfies don't like food they don't get out of the sea. I finally settled on the ONLY Boston Pizza in the area. And they dropped my pizza - the end of a perfect day.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Tues, 22 July 2014 - on to St. John's!

The weather forecast was for a couple more days of sunshine, then rain. So it's time to get to St. John's and a nice dry motel room. But first, a REQUIRED side-trip:

It turned out that Dildo was pretty much my favourite town in Newfoundland: great harbour, lots of boats, not too small, not too big, and this place:
that had the WORLD'S BEST fish and chips. Actually the chips were un-spectacular although they did have the sense to have real malt vinegar at the table. But the FISH was the best I'd ever tasted. Local cod, they said. I could get used to that.

Then there was the harbour itself:
I was a bit disappointed that the outboards had taken over the East Coast as well - I would have loved to see an old chugger with an Easthope inboard (that apparently were made in Vancouver!).

Then, back on the TCH for the final leg into St. John's. Now, like Vancouver, St. John's has a nice park right in the city, but unlike Vancouver, you can camp there. So camp there I did, along with dozens of HUGE motorhomes and fifth-wheels from exotic locations like Florida and Texas. Tomorrow, start setting up how to get home and explore the city.

Mon, 21 July 2014 - "...From Fortune he did run"

Another song, another destination: this time "French Perfume" by Great Big Sea, and the smuggler from Fortune who "made for Spanish Room". So South it is, to Marystown and around the bottom of the peninsula.

The way was barren and desolate, but there was a big rock farm:
I hear they supply most of the rocks for the entire island. Looks like they have a pretty good crop this year.

There were "ponds" - what we'd call small lakes, but I do think pond is more appropriate:
There MAY have been some trout in these waters, but I didn't get a license so I did no "casting practice".

Finally I got to Spanish Room, and was sorely disappointed:
I guess not all harbours in Newfoundland are "quaint". Marystown proved to be a continuation: very commercial and industrial. So, on around the point to search for quaintness.

St. Lawrence was somewhat quaint, but appeared to have a hydroelectric plant on the river. Finally I find some quaint at a little village called Lawn:

Then things went from quaint to downright desolate: the town of Lamaline. It was COLD, the wind was screaming across the barren land, there was little shelter that I could see in the wide bay open to the south. Why anyone would live here is a mystery. Unless... the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon are VERY close to here - perhaps the chief occupation here is smuggling? At any rate, it's on my List Of Places I Wouldn't Want to Live.

On to Fortune, where a few trees blocked the wind and made life a bit more bearable, and then to Frenchman's Cove Provincial Park. At first I was wary of a campsite right beside the water, but this was a lagoon so there was little wind, it was quite warm, and since it was salt water there were no mosquitoes.

I was just making dinner when a nice French-Canadian guy came over, offered a glass of wine, and we chatted (in somewhat halting English) for a while. He certainly helped change my opinion of Quebecers!

Sun, 20 July 2014 - "Fogo, Twillingate, Moreton's Harbour, All around the circle!"

The thought of visiting the legendary towns from the song was too great, so I pointed my scoot North and headed up.

Here, finally, I found what I've always thought Newfoundland would be like. Quaint little fishing villages surrounding a rocky harbour, a little dock with half a dozen fishing boats moored, and directions from friendly folks that were completely

For instance, I asked a local biker at a gas station where I could get good lobster. After three attempts, I got that there was a cafe just up the road with a sign that said Lobster Something. I'm not sure if I ended up where he recommended, but this is where I ended up:
It did indeed have very delicious lobster-burgers and deep-fried squid. I ended up spending some time talking to the guy running the fishery next door, as well as some kayakers from North Carolina. A very enjoyable, relaxing time!

Then off to Twillingate:

And on up to Long Point Lighthouse:
Where I saw icebergs:
I had to think of the Far Side cartoon where the cries of the penguins on the berg and the crew on the ship were mingled together: "I-I-I-CE-BERG-SH-I-I-I-I-P!"

Then back down south, past dozens of rocky harbours:

The road was... well, we'll cal it "fun". It was quite a challenge to weave the bike around the miriad of "potholes", and I had to laugh out loud when, after dodging potholes for 30 kms I come across a sign that said "Danger-potholes". YA THINK???

But back down to what is locally known as the TCH, and on to Terra Nova National Park to spend the night.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Status Report - how's it goin', b'y?
 So... how is the trip so far? Am I achieving what I set out to do? How's the bike holding up? Is there anything I should have brought, should  have not brought?

Well, the bike is holding up great. She's 30 years old, but running like a top. The only problem is the starter is starting to act up again - it sometimes takes 2 or 3 tries to get it to engage. And of course one front fork is leaking oil, but it seems to be leaking less now than in Ontario.

As for gear, the camping stuff is working out great as well. The tent is large, non-claustrophobic and easy to set up. e stove is working perfectly - the large-ish frypan seems very stable. I checked the fuel and there's still enough for a few more days. And the big mattress,  little pillow and down bag make a very comfortable and warm bed.

I guess the only thing different I should have brought is a short-sleeved shirt or two instead of all T-shirts. And I find the leather pants are not getting much wear either - it's easier to just pull on the Plastic Party-pants over the jeans.

As for my Quest... I'm finding my aversion to people is getting in the way of meeting local folks - in general, I'd prefer to be by myself and I have to force myself to engage someone in conversation. I mainly interact with public-service people: waiters, gas station attendants, Info Center People, and the occasional other biker I meet at the gas stations.

But even without meeting a lot of people, I am finding out a lot about the country I was born and grew up in, especially the one province I've never visited. While I haven't heard the legendary Newfie Accent, I have seen some spectacular scenery, eating some local food, seen towns and harbours, and have at least started to get a feel for the area.

Where do I go from here? I'm so close to Twillingate I feel I should head up there (and see Dildo Run Prov Park!), staying either at Dildo, back here in Lewisporte, or possibly Tera Nova National Park, 200 km East. Then I think on to St. John's and see if I can kiss the cod.

How about the return home? While part of me would love to ride the scoot back, and doing anything else feels a bit like giving up, I think I will fly back from St. John's. It would cost about $2000 less than riding back, and my Lady is making sounds that she misses me...(and I miss her and the West Coast and my own bed).

What do I do about the scoot? First I thought I would just sell it for whatever I could get for it, probably to a bike shop. But I've grown attached to the Old Girl, and I think I'd like to ship her back if it's not too expensive. I will look into that when I get to St. John's.

So, conclusion? Not yet ;)

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Sat, 19 July 2014 - Exploring the Rock

The weather did indeed get better - much better except for the omni-present wind. I head north, on my way to some campsite near Gander, but first I have to take the obligatory "Entering Province" shot:

Then I decide to stop in at one of the many Travel Information Centers Nfld has. Now, EVERYONE I talked to back home told me I had to go to Gros Morne National Park, but I had thought it was out of my way and not in the area I wanted to see. However the Info Person ALSO told me I had to go, and I finally caved in (partly because the weather forecast for Gander was not looking that good).

So, off to Gros Morne I go. The scrub bushes around Port Aux Basques slowly change to trees and the scenery starts to look like Northern Ontario. But once I get more into the park, it turns to more like the West Coast: "mountains" (hills actually ;) ) everywhere, lakes and inlets from the ocean.

I get to a small town inside the park called Rocky Harbour, for good reason:

The Info Person said there was a band playing in the local pub Mon, Wed and Fri that shouldn't be missed, but apparently tickets were sold out days before. So I made myself comfortable in a nice campsite virtually in the town. The fact that it was the LAST campsite available on a Fri should have warned me...

I did a quick tour of the town, looking for a grocery store, and found my first Official East-Coast lighthouse:

Next day, I set out at a leisurely pace since I had only 300 km or so to travel. The weather forecast was good for the next couple of days, then predicted showers. So the New Plan was to do some camping and exploring while the sun shone, only getting to St. John's and a motel when the weather turned bad.

I met a nice couple at one of the viewpoints. The woman was from St. John's and she  told me lots of places to see once I was there, including a park right in the city that you can camp in.

I made a side-trip to Pasedena (NL, not CA!) to get a gift for my Lady. I will add more after I return home and find out if she likes it. HINT: it's something from Newfoundland/Labrador that I can fit in my pack (so it's not a moose).

I stopped at another Info Center and the Info Person said the Provincial Park was just up the road, and Lewisporte was just up the other road, where I could get something to eat. We also looked at "Fogo, Twillingate, Morton's Harbour" but we couldn't find Morton's Harbour. I'd like to go there, but it was too far out of my way.

 I decide to go to Lewisporte first to get something to cook, then decide if I'm going there anyway, might as well stay at the campsite there instead of coming back to the Prov. one. BUT... the campsite was full-up completely! Disappointed, I started back to the highway for the Prov. Park. But if that campsite was full, would the Prov. Park have any? I decide to stop in to an Inn right in Lewisporte and at least see if they have a room and how much it would cost.

Yes, and $99 plus taxes. I decide on the bird in the hand, take the room and have a delicious prime-rib steak at the restaurant.

Friday, 18 July 2014

 Thurs 17 July 2014 - Finally, the Rock!

On Wednesday the forecast is for clouds, some fog, and 40% chance of showers. Time to move on. I  put on my raingear and head out, up the "scenic route" of the Eastern Shore. I'm sure it's very scenic, but all I saw was white - while it wasn't raining, it was quite foggy and cold and I couldn't see much of anything, especially out over the water.

I had breakfast at the Fairmont Motel and Restaurant at Sheet Harbour, and I'm SURE it's the same motel I stayed at 30 years ago, when it was a "motel and marina", complete with a rickety 50 ft dock with a rowboat tied to it.

I fueled up at Sherbrooke ("Oh I wish I was in Sherbrooke now...") and got my first taste of a good East-coast accent. Then inland, and the fog disappeared and the weather became quite nice. Except for the wind, of course, that today was mainly behind me.

I had reserved a spot on the Newfoundland ferry for Thursday, and they insist that you show up 2 hours before sailing, so I wanted a motel close to North Sydney. I rode past the Bra d'Or lakes, and stopped at a lookout.

and there was this BIG bridge:

I'm sure glad I'm not crossing that one: you can see the whitecaps from here and with 30 knots blowing up that inlet, it would be a VERY scary rie!

Guess what, boys and girls - I DID have to cross that bridge. And it was certainly a white-knuckle ride. The wind was thankfully pretty constant, but the structures gave momentary protection so the wind dropped, then rose again as I travelled across.

Once across, I was 20 km or so from North Sydney and decided to take a nice, inexpensive hotel there on the highway.

Next morning, bright and early (or at least early ...), I headed for the ferry. The fog lifted as I got close, and the weather looked quite pleasant at the waiting area. I had a nice breakfast and before too long we were asked to board.

Now, how do you ensure a motorbike doesn't fall over and slide all over the place on a ferry going across open ocean? This is how:

Strap it down like King Kong - it's not going anywhere. And once again I was the smallest bike there. There were others from Ontario and Alberta, and even a guy in a beautiful Alpha-Romero.

Here is my last sighting of land on the south side - the next land I see will be Newfoundland.
And oh, look: another wind farm! They're indeed everywhere.

The trip across was quiet and uneventful, and I read my Kindle-book and watched the waves go by.

Finally we reached Newfoundland, and it looks pretty much like all the pictures you've seen:

We sheep go down the stairs when we're told to, unstrap the bikes and I'm off onto my ninth and final province. And just as I get to the hotel, the heavens open and it POURS with rain - I hope the weather's better tomorrow!

Tues, 15 July 2014 - Halifax

Yup, rain and fog. I decided to wander around Halifax in the rain for a day and see the sights. First, I found out that Halifax has a passenger ferry similar to the Sea-bus in Vancouver, going between Dartmouth and Halifax. Very nice, only costs $2.50 (exact change please, that you put into a cute little metal cylinder). In typical East-coast style, there are no turnstyles or tickets - you just pay your fare and wander on board.

It takes you right to Halifax's waterfront, where there are a myriad of tourist traps, like a crystal shop where they blow their own crystal:

and of course a beaver-tail kiosk:
I had the apple-cinnamon - it was delicious!

There were Tall Ships:

Not-so-tall ships:

even cartoon ships:

There was even.... whatever this thing is:

Halifax is proud of it's long military and naval history. I hiked up to the Citadel, one of 5 posts that kept the coast free of the Enemy for hundreds of years. It was a reminder that Canada wasn't always the peaceful country it is now.

Back to Dartmouth, and had dinner at the Wooden Monkey. Food was excellent, and they had this interesting decoration:

If you can't read it, the sign says "The Tree of Life". But... 1. It's dead, and 2. It's upside-down. I'm not sure what to make of that spiritual-wise, but it does make an interesting decoration. It reminds me of when someone mentions the concept of the Christmas Tree was taken from the Pagans, and the Pagans respond "Yeah, but we didn't chop them down and bring them inside!"

We wait for better weather.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Sun, 13 July 2014 - End of Leg 4

I got an early start (early for me - 9:30-ish), fueled up and headed for the Coast. It was 700 kms but I was itching to get to Halifax, the end-point of the forth leg of my journey (First was to Calgary, then Winnipeg, then Toronto, then Halifax, the last leg being of course to St. John's).

I realized I knew almost nothing about New Brunswick. Obviously pulp and paper is a major industry, since you couldn't get much lumber out of those little bushes they call trees. But... it said I was heading for Fredricton - is that before or after Moncton? And why are we going SOUTH? (actually we were even going West for a time)

One thing I DO know about New Brunswick: they have spectacular scenery, with so many beautiful rivers. I think this one is the Saint John:

The bikers I met were far more friendly, stopping to chat, checking out the bike... and there was a black person at a gas station where I fuelled up (actually he looked like he was from the Caribbean. But the blacks there were descendants of slaves that had escaped the US. I'm supposed to call them "African-Americans", but this guy would be "African-American-Caribbean-Canadian", and black is easier to type.)

One side trip I had to make was to the Longest Covered Bridge In The World:
Note that there were no stop-lights - you just looked down the bridge and if you saw lights you waited. VERY polite and Canadian!

So I travelled on, disappointed I didn't take the Northern route, but itching to get to the East Coast. The soil and rocks here are often a deep red (famous in PEI, but found here in NB as well). And I guess they used local rock to make the road:
My dark glasses made the road a vivid pink.

Turns out there is a fairly narrow isthmus of land between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The wind was blowing hard from the south, and I got my first wiff of OCEAN in over 2 weeks. I didn't realize how much I missed it.

Here's the obligatory shot of the welcome sign to my eighth province:
You can barely see the Trusty Scoot off to the right.

And the obligatory shot of the ever-present wind farms:
I must say I was surprised at how much WIND there is in Canada. Maybe it was just the weather that seemed to follow me across the country, but it has been windy right from Calgary, usually on the nose or cross-wind. No wonder there are so many wind-farms!

I ride across Nova Scotia: up over the (toll) "pass" that was only 240 meters high, down through farmland and trees all the same height, and finally see signs for Halifax and Dartmouth. Now, my destination was the Super-8 in Dartmouth, that was supposed to have rooms for $69/night. But the main highway into Dartmouth suddenly turns into a residential side-street, and I turned up a side road to program the motel into the GPS. I had barely stopped when a nice man looked over his fence and said "lost"? Welcome to the East Coast!

The motel wasn't far, but I had to circle the block a few times to figure out it had changed to "Oceanview". And with the new name a new price: $85/night plus taxes. I grudgingly pay for 2 nights and find out that motels are EXPENSIVE in NS - there are few under $100/night.

This is Bad News for me because the weather forecast is for showers and rain the next few days, and I hate riding in the rain (and hate camping in the rain even more!). So, I'll relax here for while and see if I'm enthusiastic enough to ride north to Sydney in a day or so.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Sat, 12 July 2014 - Getting the hell back to Canada!

Sherbrooke is nice, and the campsite was OK (a bit expensive, no working WiFi, but still...), but Quebec felt like a foreign country and I felt like a foreigner there, so time to head to New Brunswick.

One thing I will say for Quebec (at least south of the St Lawrence), it is gorgeous country! Sherbrooke was almost kinda mountainous, and here's some prairie, some mountains and a river:

The miles rolled on, I went from flat plains near the St Lawrence to hills to almost mountains (elevation 440 meters) as I made my way East. Finally: New Brunswick!

Note that the sign is in French AND English - I can understand signs again - I'm back in Canada!

My destination was a small campsite just East of Edmundston, NB called (appropriately enough) Riverside RV. Unfortunately Herr Garmin had never heard of it, But the nice people in a motel I stopped at did know and gave me directions.

Riverside RV is a great little campsite, inexpensive, free (working) WiFi, very friendly and English-speaking custodian, and a nice river right next to it (Called the Iroquois ('ere a quois, there a quois, everywhere a quois-quois...). I stayed an extra night so I could relax, do some WiFi-ing, some fishing, try some of the recommended restaurants.

Of course, Herr Garmin was acting up again. I was trying to get to the nice pizza place the custodian recommended, and they said they were close to Tim Hortons. I punched in "nearest Tim Hortons" and I was THIS close to crossing the border into the US when I realized where it was directing me. NEVER blindly trust your GPS!

Thurs, 10 Jul 2014 - Going Francophone

Marc gave me a tour of Manotick which included the old flour mill that was still in operation. I took some pics of the turbines, but since it was through a mesh screen the fancy camera took a picture of the screen instead of the turbines. Still, it was a fascinating old mill. Then we saw the locks and chatted with a couple from Chicago who had boated all the way in their spotless Nordic Tug.

We tried a bit of fishing for bass off the docks, but a couple of leaves is all I caught.

Then on to La Belle Province: Quebec. EVERYTHING is in French, including the road signs. It was like being in a separate country. Fortunately I had Herr Garmin to show me the way to Sherbrooke where I intended to camp. Unfortunately Herr Garmin was unaware of Hy 30 (bypass for Montreal) and showed me driving through a field.

Finally Herr Garmin got it sorted out and I got to the nice "little town" (pop 150,000) of Sherbrook. Here I found out what Marc meant about the streets being in very poor condition - I'm surprised I still have tires and suspension after driving over some of them. Fortunately they are aware of it and are fixing them. Unfortunately that means you get detoured to even WORSE roads.

But my Francophone Ordeal was not done yet. I found the campsite I was intending to stop at, got a campsite with only a few detours (person in the Office of course spoke only French, and I rapidly found out how bad my high-school French was! And they didn't seem to want to try to communicate in French - once they found out I could not speak it fluently, they switched to English but usually they knew English slightly less than I knew French).

Next, my Visa was declined. At least that's what I surmised from the French-language message on the machine. I wanted WiFi to log in to my account and see what the problem was - $8 for 24 hrs. OK. I went back to my campsite and found I couldn't log in. Back to the Office: "Ill ne marche pas!" Sure enough, they couldn't get it to work either so gave me my $8 back.

Back to the campsite, I tried phoning Visa, and after the usual "press 2 to access someone else's account" and miriad skill-testing questions ("How much money do you have in your chequing account?" Trick question - I don't HAVE a chequing acct!) I finally got my card re-activated.

Time to sit by the fire and read a book on the Kindle.

 Wed, 09 July 2014 - On to Ottawa

The weather definitely did NOT sound like scooting weather, so I took the subway into downtown Toronto and had a look around. The TO subway is a bit like Vancouver's Skytrian - it gets to TO downtown, but it's not very convenient for getting around once you're there. And there's a strange way of transfers: you exit the bus in a "fair paid" zone and wander to the subway. I never found a way to transfer from one bus to another.

Also, apparently nobody (including Toronto Transit) knows there is a WEST Dundas and an EAST Dundas. I ended up taking a taxi to the subway at one point. But that in itself was worthwhile - the ride was all of 10 mins but I got the taxi-driver's life story in that time (as well as What's Wrong With Toronto These Days).

Sitting in the subway and busses, I started thinking about "multiculturalism" in terms of Vancouver vs Toronto. In Vancouver, white folks are often a minority, with the majority being either Oriental or East Indian, depending on where you are. In Toronto, whites seem to definitely be the majority, but there are so many MORE minorities. Vancouver has virtually no blacks, but in Toronto they make a significant portion of the population. There's also Latin, Mexican, and some East Indian and Oriental. I even saw a Muslim.

So although there seems to be a greater portion of whites in Toronto, the minorities are FAR more diverse. Interesting town...

Next day dawned sunny and warm, so time to get back on the road. I wasn't looking forward to hy 401 East of Toronto, concerned that it would be packed with cars going 120+ km/h. But it turned out to be quite nice. There are even "OnRoute" stops that are sort of a combination of a truck-stop and rest area, with gas (in Ontario, Canadian Tire has gas!), restaurants, washrooms...

On to my friend's house in Manotick, just south of Ottawa.

Again I was greeted as a long-lost friend, even though we barely knew each other when we was in BC. He and his English wife made me feel at home, fed me, and promised a tour of Manotick and maybe some fishing the next day.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Monday, 07 July 2014 - wrenching the scoot

I found a nice motel with bed, shower, TV and WiFi (which is all I need). Turned out it's called the Grand Motel, which reminds me of Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water: "we ended up at the Grand Hotel-eee - it was empty cold and bare". But the folks there were very friendly - one lady said her ex-boyfriend would have LOVED my bike.

I unloaded the bike and went to the nearest Canadian Tire to change the oil. Lined up to ask if they accepted used, oil, lined up to pay for the oil, a tray to run the old oil into, and some cleaning stuff to spruce up the old girl since she's starting to look like she's been on the road for 5000 kms.

Then wrenched my back trying to get the scoot up on the main stand (How DO you do it? I've never been able to without help), then found I needed a 17mm box-end spanner to get the drain plug undone. Lined up to get a guy to open the display where they kept the wrenches, lined up to pay for it, then found it's too small! I go back inside, line up to get a 18 mm spanner, line up to exchange it. Then go out and find IT's too small - I need 19 mm.

Did I mention it's HOT and MUGGY? I'm sweating, my back hurts, and I'm REALLY tired of lining up. I go through the routine again and lo and behold the 19mm one does it!

Once I have the proper tools, it's easy to drain the oil into the pan, put the drain plug back in, and fill her with nice new synthetic high-performance motorbike oil (at $18/qt). And yes, the CanTy guy took the oil and the pan, and I rode in triumph (on a Yamaha) back to the Grand Motel to nurse my sore back.

The prettying up will have to wait til tomorrow, where even more thunderstorms are predicted.

Sunday, 06 July 2014 - Centre of the Universe

I met 4 nice folks in the next campsite who rode in for the night. A squid-bike, a Triumph and 2 Harleys. Nice bikes, but too big for me. Triumph does seem like they're making a comeback, though.

So, off to.... well, East. If the weather is as bad as they say, it will be Sudbury. Otherwise, maybe Barrie.But oh-oh... the oil light went on momentarily when I started her up on the side-stand. Now, Viragos have a strange oil light - it does NOT show oil pressure, just if you're low on oil. And if the bike is leaning, it goes on earlier. But this means I need oil.

I have no problem finding gas on Manitoulin Island, but nobody had oil until I got to Espanola where there was a Canadian Tire will all the oil I needed. Still, it's been 5000 kms since it's been changed, so I should change it in Toronto when I get there.

The weather is fine - quite war in fact. So... continue on to Barrie... and find there's VERY few gas stations on Hy 69! I ended up getting some Regular (the scoot runs on hi-test) at a campground. Then late lunch and proper gas at Perry Sound, and off to Barrie. Or what the heck - it's only another 100 kms to Toronto!

Then I hit Barrie and traffic grinds to a halt. I'm dressed prepared for the "showers or thunderstorms" that were predicted, so I'm ROASTING. I end up pulling over and shedding at least a few clothes.

Traffic thins out a bit, but it's still heavy - I guess all the Torontonians coming back from their cabin...err.... "cottages". I punch in "where's the nearest Super-8? on Herr Garmin, and he tells me. Unfortunately I take Exit 26 instead of Exit 27, and I'm on "the Expressway". Now, there's two things about an Expressway: 1. it's tolled, and 2. there are no pesky exits to slow you down. So I guess I'm paying some sort of toll for driving several kms down the Expressway until I finally found and Exit.

The Super-8 in Concord (apparently I'm not QUITE in Toronto yet) is nice but quite a bit more expensive than others I've been in. Next day I'm off to Scarborough to find cheaper accomodations.