Saturday, July 31, 2010

July 30th & 31st 2010

Woke up to day 14 bright an early on the 30th after a good night sleep...finally! The weather is so much more tolerable and very pleasant. Packed up the tent and the gear as usual, Cheryl is so organized ...thank GOD! We are masters at unpacking, setting up and breaking down now. That is what this trip is also about, getting to know what works and what doesn't. We headed out for another Food Network restaurant for breakfast at the A1 Diner, 3 Bridge Street Gardiner, ME 04345 (207) 582-4804. Another small dive but great food!

Started to head north to Bar Harbour with our bellies full. Finding good food has not been too hard on this trip. As we were riding along on this beautiful morning I made a comment to Cheryl that she has been doing such a great job being creative with the GPS and about 5 minutes later...a "dead end" sign appeared.

Not far out of Boothbay our GPS took us off road. We first thought it was going to be a short cut but then realized after we started down this "road" it would soon be a mistake. It was a really rough terrain ATV of some sort road. Turned out to be a really uneven, boulder ridden muddy single track road. My bike was smacking up against rocks and bottoming out. Needless to say I stopped and after an hour of Cheryl and me trying to turn our bikes around we got out and headed back to pavement. Cheryl said I wanted more off road. Well, she gave it to us.

After getting back on the right track we rode and saw some beautiful scenery on the way to Bar Harbour. Cheryl kept asking where the ocean was because we were not seeing it from the road. Another great weather wise day and we got to Bar Harbour early enough to go up Cadillac Mountain, drive the loop, walk around downtown Bar Harbour and have dinner. Very quaint town but both Cheryl and I are feeling a bit partial to our own west coast especially for fun riding. In any case, this has been an opportunity of a life time and to see the Atlantic shore New England style has been an awesome experience.

Got back to camp and roasted marshmallows and took a walk around the campground. Everyone has their dogs with them. That makes me miss ours but to tell you the truth, they are in such good hands with our house sitters, Taylor and Dave it is bearable. All tucked in around 2200 hrs and off to sleep we went.


July 31st 2010

Our day started once again really early. I woke up at 0540 and took a walk around camp and watched the sunrise. When I came back Cheryl had camp almost entirely broken down. We were packed up by 0700 this day and we headed it. Great night to sleep yet again, and a cool start to the day. Had a bite to eat, what I can say we need to eat, and headed towards New Hampshire. Leaving Maine was sad just because it meant we were really heading home. I think the both of us are truly appreciating what we are able to do and just enjoying being able to ride together like this. We work well as a team and we are so glad we got new intercoms because it just wouldn't work without them. Cheryl is amazing with the GPS and today we were able to ride some beautiful back country roads and even got on some dirt. Our tires we happy.

Once we got into NH, I saw a sign for Mount Washington. Although we did not plan riding up this massive North East mountain we did. $28 for both bikes to ride up an 8 mile road to the summit of Mount Washington in the White Mountains. The road has 35% unpaved and no shoulders whatsoever. Tight for cars and challenging for bikers as we had to keep control at very slow speeds all the way up. These mountains are near and dear to my heart. I worked for the Appalachian Mountain Club while in University in their Hut system.

Being back after so many years was so good. Just wish we had more time to explore the National Forest but at least we got on top of the world in the Northeast. This little detour put us behind schedule. We rode and rode but did not make it to Lake Placid and our itinerary is changing day by day. We ended up in Morrisville, VT at a motel. Before turning in for the night I was starving. So desperate I almost had Cheryl buy us food from a gas station where their burger meat was gray not red. After Cheryl pointed this out to me we walked out. Did not feel like we should kill ourselves with food poisoning. Some nice lady outside heard us trying to figure out where to get a meal in the middle of nowhere and she pointed us in the direction of the Mooselook Restaurant. BIG home cook meals and cheap! Nice dinner we both had and some very weird and interesting folks eating at this dive.

Thought we would give ourselves a break but to be honest motels or hotels are not worth the money. We are showered again and getting ready to head out to Canada tomorrow. Goal is to get to Ottawa so we both can see the capital of Canada and where the RCMP headquarters are located. Once again, great riding and I think today was the best as far as scenery and weather combined.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pics to come when we have the time!

July 29th 2010
I know it sounds as though all we are doing is complaining about the weather but we have to be honest about the east coast humidity.  Last night we slept in what we believe to be 90% humidity and 80 degrees.  We both slept not a whole lot and had a long day ride.  In any case it was fun to be back in a tent and out of the road.  We left camp really early around 0630 to head towards Boston.  We got to Boston right at rush hour and Cheryl did not feel like stopping.  Needless to say bad timing on our part but we did get to see the skyline etc. 
Around this time we were starving and decided to eat at a Diner’s, Drive In’s and Dives.  These restaurants are featured on the Food Network show and we downloaded many on to our GPS.  Found a great little diner called The Little Depot Diner in Peabody, MA.  Web site:  .  There we met the owner Judy Miles and her sister Terri and a man named Bill.  Had a great breakfast, great conversations and in the end Bill bought us breakfast.  Now that was what this is all about.  Meeting interesting folks who are interested in what we are doing and generosity.  Highly recommend this place and hope others will check them out.  Thank you Judy, Terri and Bill.
After the diner we again headed north to Cape Porpoise Maine to visit an old neighbour of Leslie’s Mr. & Mrs. Swennes.  Saw Mrs. But Mr. Was out golfing.  Brief visit but great to see Patsy for an hour or so after almost 19 years.  She looks the same!
Back on the bikes in 90 degree + weather and humidity of course to try and get to Bar Harbour Maine but no go.  We ran out of time and steam.  Ended up in Boothbay and it is so quaint.  Had lobster rolls at the Lobster Dock right on the water.  Awesome and we got our lobster.  Road around the town on my bike, Leslie’s that is...checked out the scene, bought beer, had ice cream and headed back to camp.  The humidity is gone and it feels like we are going to even have to snuggle tonight as it is cooling down nicely.  Beautiful camp ground, Shore Hills Campground.  Now we are hanging out by the fire, drinking a beer or two and planning our route back west.  I think Bar Harbour is a must.  2 hours from here and then after that we will start our journey heading west.

July 28 2010

July 28th 2010
Woke up to my mother’s famous egg sandwich after a miserable night’s sleep because my parents like to keep their house with a/c on at 80 degrees.  Just kidding mom & dad.  Got packed up and ready to go at about 0800 and headed east on Long Island in the very humid, crappy weather “quote Cheryl”, to Orient Point.  We caught the Cross Island Ferry to New London, CT.  About an hour and 20 minutes.  We seem to be drawing a lot of attention from folks who think we are crazy once they find out where we are from and what we are doing.  However, it worked to our advantage when an elderly ferry crew member thought our bikes were cool and let us off first.
Once off the ferry we headed north to our destination of Middleboro, MA on Cape Cod.  Rode through small towns in Connecticut, Rhode Island and then arrived on the Cape.  Weather, which we are so over the humidity and heat was HUMID, HOT, a high of 93 Fahrenheit or 31.5 Celsius and Hazy of course.  Made the short ride of 286 km minus the ferry seem long. 
Once we set up our tent we headed off on my bike, Leslie’s to Plymouth, MA to see Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower II.  Yep it is a rock all right and really small.    Before we saw the rock a really nice couple let us park behind their car so we would not have to pay for parking.  They were bikers in their day.  Had a bite to eat at this little take out joint called Pebbles, took pics and headed back to camp.
Got back to camp, I SKYPED with my parents for a little while as Cheryl wondered about and moved our bikes under some trees.  Also, Cheryl made sure all of our gear would be safe and dry.  Good chance of a thunderstorm passing through tonight.  Oh yeah we got to test out our new Cardo G4 intercom set.  Different than our Scala Q2 but work really well with the MP3 and once we got used to how to chat, need to wait when activated they were pretty clear.  Love the stereo speakers.
Tomorrow we are off to Maine to see how far north we can get.  Going to stop in for coffee with some old friends from Leslie’s neighbourhood when growing up.  The Swennes’ live in Kennebunkport, ME.  Hoping for less humidity and a dry day.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thank You Mom & Dad Sofarelli & Good Bye to Stony Brook, NY

Had a great visit with my parents in New York, awesome seeing my immediate and extended family, good food, lot's of laughs and just a nice time.  Thanks for the visit Mom & Dad and see you all soon!

Parents house & where I grew up

Parents second home!

Some highlights of our visit!  
   Beer at Costco and CHEAP!


Lunch at Maureen's in Smithtown, NY with Mom & Dad

Stony Brook Post Office!  The Eagle flaps it's wings every hour!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Trip to Mount Rushmore Pics

On our way to Mount Rushmore. Somewhere in South Dakota

Pit Stop in Sturgis...we just had to see the famous rally town!

Cheryl just had to goose the statue

Need I say more?  South Dakota!

Self timer pic and Cheryl just made it!

We were really far away and my Panasonic cam zoomed in well!

This show you how far away we were!

Awesome to see in real life!

Devil's Tower, Wyoming

Devil's Tower KOA

Setting up our tent in high winds, needed to tie the tarp to our bikes

Cheryl's little friend she found!

Cheryl showing how she can roll up the rope better then me


Tacky tourist pic

Leaving the park

Monday, July 26, 2010

July 25th & 26th, 2010

Leslie's rear old brake pads-16500km
Sunday and Monday were days to be with family and do maintenance on the bikes.  Sunday Cheryl and I watched a video that a great guy from the F800 forum I belong to made for us on changing brake pads.  As always, Cheryl is a quick study and before you know it both bikes had new Galfer rear pads installed.  Had brake pads shipped to my parent’s house from a neat company Happy Trails ahead of us.  Why?  The Galfer pads were a lot cheaper to buy online than to find in Canada and bring them along the way. Gave the bikes a wash and let them relax.  
Cheryl's rear brake pads 17200 km

Family all came over for a great New York Pizza dinner and good conversation.  My sisters and their kids, My Aunt Catherine and Uncle Richie also came by.  Nice to see everyone and they all insisted we ship our bikes back and fly home so we could stay longer on Long Island.  We politely decline the invite as we both are looking back to getting on the road.

Monday we found a motorcycle shop/parts store and service center located in Smithtown, NY.  About 10 mins from my parent’s house.  We initially drove to the shop to buy oil filters and oil etc....but when the owner Dave said he would change our oil for $25 labour we said what the hell....drove back to the house and got on our bikes and headed back to ISLAND MOTORCYCLE PARTS located at 401 Middle Country Rd., Smithtown, NY 11787 ph: 631-880-7966.  I am highlighting this shop because of their friendly attitude, ability to fit us in while we waited for the oil change, they allowed us in the back of the shop to learn and watch, very helpful tech named John who pointed out my chain was too tight and adjusted it.  Although all this maintenance stuff may seem easy to do it was great to watch a pro do it right so we can start maintaining our bikes like this to save money and time.  We went to semi synthetic oil and a K&N oil filter model 164.  Again the shop is BMW friendly and more than accommodating for travellers.  We were a walk in and no issues getting us set up and serviced.

My cousin Michelle stopped over with her two girls, Kasey & Sarah  in the afternoon and as always with Michelle lots of stories and laughter  Great to see Michelle looking so good.
Dad BBQ steaks and we had corn on the cob, bake potatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, salad....and just a good well round meal. My Aunt Kay stopped by as well my some of my nieces and nephew who could not make it on Sunday.  Great to see everyone and had lots of laughs.

Cape Cod is our next stop either we leave Tueday or Wednesday not sure.....but will say good bye to NY for now and thanks to my parents for being such great hosts!

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park, Montana

The Last pic of the HD helmet cam before it blew off my head!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Our Cross Country Trip July/August - Motorcycling - Spot

Our Cross Country Trip July/August - Motorcycling - Spot

Take look at our GPS track so far!

July 22nd 2010

Not many pics today because it was pouring OUT~Woke up to light rain and began to pack up when the skies opened to a torential down pour.  We only had to ride 184 km to get to the Lake Express Ferry but it felt like it took a really long time to get there.  Our gear kinda let us down today to be honest.  Our Revit jackets with waterproof liner did not completely keep our upper body dry and that too me is not acceptable considering the price we paid for them.  That is a whole other story.

Anyway, we arrived at the ferry about 2 hours before it took off.  Cheryl's GPS skills took us through Milwaukee which was intereting.  Kinda smelly.  The rain drops were so freakin big and heavy when we arrived.  The Fast Ferry to Muskegon, Michigan was nice but HOLY did I read the prices incorrectly on the web.  When we checked in to our surprise it was $38 US for each bike and $85 US for each adult.  Plus a security fee, good ole Homeland Security of $22 as well as a fuel surcharge of $20.  Total to cross Lake Michigan $288 USD for  2.5 HR ride.

The good news is that when we finally tied down our bikes on the deck we got upstairs too late to get a seat.  Why is that good news?  Because Chris one of the ferry staff let us in the Premier Lounge.  Like first class and served us coffee and food while we sat in private from the regular folks.  So, maybe that $288 wasn't so bad after all.  Saved us about 530 km of riding and tryng to navigate past Chicago etc. 

After the ferry we landed and the rain had past we decided to ride.  Headed to Flint, Michigan to a Holiday Inn Express to treat ourselves.  Not the very best part of the state but the hotel staff were nice, gave us a discount, free dinner and breakfast as well as we parked our bikes right near the entrance.  Cheryl has done wonders with the GPS, we have been taking care of one another, eating snacks, drinking water and just watching out for one another.  Our intercom system is priceless and allows us to stay in communication with one another at all times.  Today was a little tough with the HUGE rain drops but overall still a good day. 

Next back to Canada through London, Ontario and then down back to the States

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July 20th & 21st, 2010

I am going to have to add pictures with a better internet connection later!BUMMER!

Before I forget.....Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota and so far Wisconsin all do not have helmet laws for motorcycles. It also looks like motorcycle gear is optional. Needless to say Cheryl and I look like such the odd man out and obvious to the locals we are tourist riders. We both agree we rather ride our way. These guys are NUTS in those states!

Woke up early to a beautiful sunrise and cool morning.  Had breakfast at the KOA restaurant and headed out on our way to Mount Rushmore. Got to the monument and there was a long line to get into the National Park. So, we U-turned it and drove down the road a bit, stopped and took pictures.  All that way to see the Presidents but we did not go in. Cheryl was pleased to see that massive carving as was I. I saw Mount Rushmore when I was a kid with my folks. Everything, including all the states we are cruising through looks different from a bikes view and as an adult.

After the Kodak moment, we then on to found by mistake a very cool twisty back country where we were greeted around a bend by a herd of black cows. They blocked our road for a bit as we watched them and they did not like us there. After the road cleared we headed to the EVER boring I-90 to try to make up time. I-90 has to be the worse road ever. Uneven, bad shape although they are working it, BORING and did I say BORING. We ended the day in very HOT weather. Got up to 32 Celsius and about 90 Fahrenheit.  We were tired and hot by the time we got Mitchell, South Dakota. We were so psyched by the way when we got out of Montana. Much like the Prairies of Canada. Had a very nice greeting by the campground Hosts and even got a great deal on a cabin with a/c. We are obviously not roughing it and I am sure our credit will not thank us for this trip. Had a hard time starting the fire for our Chilli and Beans in the can but Cheryl got it going and all was good. Late to bed but satisfied with the mileage we did.

July 21, 2010 (703 km)
We got up really early this morning and were off. It is much easier to ride in the morning as we head east. It is cooler than the late day temperatures. Quickly stopped for a bite to eat at a Perkins and all fuelled up we took off once again for the dreaded I-90. Cheryl did get creative with the GPS and managed to save our lack of attention by taking us on a very nice scenic Country road for hours. Then we actually had to ride the I-90 to our destination of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. That is all we did today in 90 degree weather was ride.  Both of us had to stop quite a bit to hydrate and we took our under gear and soaked it with water. Rode with the vents on the arms of our jackets slightly opened and that made the inside of our gear cooler as well as our body temperature. Riding in this heat we have to be really careful not to overheat and tire. One mistake and it is lights out when you are on a bike.

Little did we know that where we were going to be staying the night in possibly the biggest tourist trap in Wisconsin, Wisconsin Dells. Lots of water parks etc. Kids all over the place and stupidly high accommodation prices. Kamper Kevin is annoying Cheryl. He is one of the hosts. We are now trying to map out the last leg of this first part of our journey. Might be in NY by Saturday, July 24.