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Ya know how sometimes when you're dreaming out loud about something - just trash talking maybe, over a coupla beers? And then the dream comes true, and you find yourself wondering exactly what you've gotten yourself into?

That NEVER happens to me. grin Tho I'd almost bet it happened to the Lovely Miss C once. laughing

NO, but really. It all began last summer, when Shaun & Janette were visiting. We were all dug in at Wade & Gerry's Country Retreat, hanging out and having fun. Lannis and I were going over his "new" bike and he commented about how Miss Fay just LOVED it, and was actually asking him why they can't go on some longer trips.... I was all, "Well, let's ride up to Nova Scotia together then." Lannis responded with positive noises and raised eyebrows, nodding his head with a dreamy look in his eyes. "Could happen. I've always wanted to go to Nova Scotia." (or words to that affect)

And so it began, out of a bit of chit chat. It really sounded so... so... easy. Simple. Painless. FUN even, which it really was. It grew into the epic, 3100 mile adventure that would leave our butt-cheeks screaming NO NOT AGAI... well never mind THAT, let's focus on the positive aspects.

Things like beautiful scenery, good food, fantastic roadways, great motels, and an unexpected Vintage Motorcycle Museum. The shared joys of friendship and sweet running bikes, and well, The Cabot Trail at the zenith of it all... HMMM. Thinking back, the Kancamagus Highway help up to its rep too. And Cadillac Mountain was also pretty fanflippntastic, while we're at it. Sure, there was the mundane woven into the weave as well- like those first hundred miles out of the house- that seemed to take forEVER. The mad two-day dash from Cape Breton Island to Riviere Du Loup in Quebec, that had poor Miss C in tears. The CRAZY 500 + mile run out of Quebec City down to Seneca Falls NY- when I got us "off track".

Yes, dear readers, our heroes were UP! Quite literally- up in the mountains- and yes, they were also DOWN- Again, literaly- as in when my flppin GPs routed us over a hill on a dirt road tryin to get into Lunenburg- and Lannis accidentally dropped his bike..... ON HIS FOOT (can you say OUCH)! From the the old, weary mountains of Pennsyltuckey to the shores of Maine. From the splenoriferously abrupt White Mountains in New Hampshire to the docks, waterways, and beaches of Nova Scotia. From the Shores of the St Lawrence River up to the Hotel Frontenac. AND from the grape jelly "Jersey" omelet to endless seafood, from McLobster (I kid you not) to Lobster Rolls, From the Village Diner to Tim Horton's to Toast! restaurant- we were up, down and up and down. Again. Some more. Out of humble beginnings, great things are born.

This, then, is the tale of such. It was great. It was Epic. It was an ADVENTURE. It was, dear readers, all that AND a bag of chips. We have, quite literally, BT&DT. We got the hat (Lannis bought a cap in Quebec), and we got the shirt (I bought a T-shirt at L'Epopee de la Moto), and we all got the saddle sores. Our weather was AMAZING!!! Out of 3000 some-odd miles, I'd estimate a total of 15 minutes of that which resembled rain- but wasn't REALLY what you'd call RAIN- like not proper rain, just a little shower... well TWO little showers. Mostly, it was sunny and fantastic! Well, OK it was fantastically HOT at the end. Could it have been better, though, in all honesty? I can't imagine how.

So, Stay tuned for a bit of photo-documentaion, from A to Z. Of course I'll insert some commentary along the way, and I believe (and hope) that Lannis will both chime in & present some pix.

Remember, good things come to those who wait, and patience is a virtue... you guys buying into this BS? Photobucket punked me and I have to re-upload some pix, including a coupe from the beginning of the trip! Hang tight kids, pix WILL be coming up.... SOON.



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I can't wait to see the pics, Tom.
Especially the ones with Lannis and a bike on his foot. laughing


Ger B

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Moto Mojo
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OK! It ain't much but here's the pix from the start.
The weapons of choice:
Lannis' Guzzi Stelvio, and my K1200RS, packed, stacked, and ready for the off:

[Linked Image]

That first day, we rode from our house in South Central PA up to Grafton Vermont. We wound up thru the local mountains, on one of my fave roads, to US hiway 209, which we took all the way up into New York State. Then began a succession of route changes that would boggle the mind- IF one HAD such a thing as a mind... I mean, maybe it's more like mind over matter- If you don't mind, it won't matter? I don't know! Hey, ROLL with me people, ROLL with me.

Along the way we wound thru Pennsylvania towns like Coaldale- where we saw a sign that said "Everbody's Goal Is To Mine More Coal"! Seriously, I mean, you really can't make this stuff up! I think it was the town motto or something. AND we rode thru the famous Delaware Water Gap, coming up along I-84 just west of the PA/NY border- where we found the AMAZING Village Diner. A stop for lunch was a TOTAL no-brainer! We couldn't get off the bikes fast enough.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

It was everything one hopes for in a diner. A real, live, actual vintage diner that has been there since the 1950s- no trumped up nuevo wanna-be diner schtick but diner chic- honest-to-goodness, complete with waitresses from New Jersey! Well, except for one girl, who turned over her shoulder and said LOUDLY, "I AIN'T FROM JERSEY!" Snookie would have smacked her sideways, believe me.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Lannis, being the brave and adventurous soul he is, HAD to have the New Jersey Omelette... which featured both American cheese and GRAPE JELLY!

[Linked Image]

I had a reuben

[Linked Image]


and I think the girls had breakfast. (I'm really kinda off kilter here, as my pix got COMPLETELY scrambled like so many eggs, when I loaded them into this thumb-drive mad ) The Village DIner was pretty doggone good- as good as one could expect from a fantastic slice of roadside Americana. Perfick! -in other words, to borrow a phrase from our very own Kent Correspondent. I recommend that f you're ever headed east on I-84 in PA, and you're about to cross into New York, exit off, and button-hook back a few feet to this diner. You won't regret it guys. Have the Jersey Omelette and say hey to Snookie and all the girls. laughing

The rest of the afternoon was great, as we found our way up into New York, riding across a big bridge into the Rhinebeck area. We passed many many cool old bikes- so I assumed it was time for the AMCA club's Antique Meet up there, which I know some of our BritBike buds would be at or near- but we were on a mission, so no time to lolly-gag about. We rocked in & out in darn near the same breath, as the weather started to look like showers building. We did get a bit wet as we crossed the very edges of a thunder storm, but it wasn't bad and we kept on going, due north now, towards the NY-Vermont line, and the town of Bennington, on the very southwest corner of Vermont.

From The Vermont line over to our stop for the night it was a hop, a skip, and a jump.... then a BIG LONG STRETCH over the river thru the woods, WAY past grandma's house to the sleepy little village of Grafton, where we spent the night in Miss C's folks' place.

The added excitement of the last few miles ON A STATE NUMBERED "HIGHWAY" being DIRT roads (!) made getting off the bikes even sweeter than it would have been otherwise- after 380 some mile of travel- tho it's a wonder that we all didn't have to be pried off the bike seats simply due to the sheer
pucker power X 4, after that last stretch, lemme tells ya. Well, I SAY "dirt" roads- but actually it was MUD after all the rain that had passed thru, and that WE had passed thru. Hard-packed, slick LOOKING mud. BUT- we made it without incident. Vermont is great, with all the country charm you'd expect, and Grafton personifies it in pure form. Again, 100 pre-cent Americana, with a Yankee twist.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Here we are the next day, ready for the off- after coffee and fresh-baked muffins at the Grafton Village Store. Folks, it don't get much more real than this! What more can one do than to "stick a feather in your cap and call it macaroni"? After all. Seriously.

[Linked Image]

What a way to begin another great day of mo-sicklin!


Next up:
The ride from Grafton To Bar Harbor, with the Kancamgus Highway and (believe it or not) Maine Bar-B-Q!


Last edited by ricochetrider; 06/25/12 2:39 pm.

Lesya Ukrainka:
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Moto Mojo
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Originally Posted by Ger
I can't wait to see the pics, Tom.
Especially the ones with Lannis and a bike on his foot. laughing


Ger,

Sorry to disappoint here, my man. I love to take pix of many things but a friend in agony isn't typically one of them.

In fact, I've said all I am going to say about it, y'all can hear the rest of the story from the man his own self. I wouldn't even have mentioned it now, but Lannis has already told some folks here on bb.com about it.

The end result was that Lannis and Fay were able to soldier on, much to Lannis' credit. :bigt


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I was just talking about doing a Nova Scotia trip, I even sent for the info. Looking forward to this report!


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Paul, if you have any questions, please PM, email, or call. I have loads of great info for you. You'll get some good stuff here but I might skip some details.


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Originally Posted by ricochetrider
Paul, if you have any questions, please PM, email, or call. I have loads of great info for you. You'll get some good stuff here but I might skip some details.


I will do that...very interested.


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Day 2:
Grafton VT to Bar Harbor ME

Day 2 dawned and we found we didn't have the means for coffee, so we lolly-gagged about a bit waiting for the Grafton General Store to open. It was your typical small town country store scene- a handful of old codgers came down to sip coffee and much on donuts or whatever, and to solve the World's problems. laughing
We darn near had to fight them for 1st dibs on the coffee the lady was making! I think Cynthia & Fay ran interference while us guys slid in and snagged a couple fresh-baked cranberry muffins...

Anyway, we'd weighed our options for the day's ride, after finding that it was about 340 miles or about 8 hours on secondary roads to get to Bar Harbor, according to Google Maps. We chose to speed the process a bit and do a straight shot up I-91 for about 1 & 1/2 hours, then hop off and pick up VT rte 116 over to RTE 112- the famous Kancamagus Highway, kind of a must-do since we were riding thru the neighborhood. It was a sunny Saturday, and I guess t'was also the weekend prior to the Laconia Bike Week debacle. In any event, it seemed the ENTIRE motorcycling world were all out enjoying the ride. We had a blast just the same- and the riding was out of this world!

Here are a few pix from this stretch of road:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

It truly is a beautiful part of the world. New Hamphire's White Mountains are COOL! And if the truth were to be known, we had a better time on 116 and the western portion of 112- before it turns into the Kancamagus Highway- because we had the road to ourselves. After riding the Kanc for about 3/4 of its length we got stuck behind what I call a "rolling roadblock"- 25 people on Harleys riding in a very loose "group" at below the posted speed limit, all of them spread out like so much debris. We wound up following them into the town of Conway, where they all turned north, and we went straight on thru, onto US hiway 302.

By now we were starting to get hungry. I used to hang out up this way back in the day, and I recalled a slammin Mexican joint that was a bit of a surprise back then- before the Mexican population more or less exploded, and Mexican restaurants became a dime a dozen. This place had fab margaritas and super good food. Since we needed to stop anyway, I thought i might be worthwhile to see if the place was still there, but when we passed a Mexican joint, it seemed so uninspiring that we rode on. In fact, nothing sparked us in Conway, so we thought we'd roll on until we saw something interesting. Maine was a shorty hop up the road. We knew there was a small town right there at the state line, and figured we'd see something there, but had no idea it was going to turn out so well!

Lemme tells ya dudes- the small town of Fryeburg Maine has something I would never have guessed of it in a million years- a Bar-B-Q joint. Now, here's my thing- I am NOT one to go somewhere and have some food-stuff from outside the area- I ain't havin no Philly Cheese Steak in Peoria Illinois, for example, no Key Lime Pie in Toronto, AND I wasn't gonna be havin no Maine Bar-B-Q. I mean, honestly? Who ever heard of such a wanna-be, blasphemin kinda thing as THAT?!

But it was truly fantastic (even tho I had the cheeseburger laughing ), and I know this because Lannis and Fay BOTH ordered Bar-B-Q. Being from The South, I figure they're qualified to offer an unadulterated, edumacated opinion- and they both were there to testify! Not only was the food extra special good, but there was what I'd call GOBS of "personality" in the joint as well! SO without further ado, ladies & jellybeans, I present:

The 302 West Smokehouse which is truly worth a stop, if you're ever up that way (and hungry). Fryeburg, Maine. Heading east on US 302, it's just past town center on the left- kinda back in, off the road. Here's a few pix from lunch:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

The owner? in effigy:

[Linked Image]

My burger, which had home-smoked bacon, AND they let me have it on a ciabatta roll!

[Linked Image]

The bar (they also feature several local microbrews on tap and in bottels):

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

I'd'a never guessed that such a thing as amazing bar-B-Q could be had so far north of "the border" but wonders never cease, it seems, and it's never too late to amend one's ways of thinkin or lookin at stuff! Pop by next time you're in Fryeburg. WhatEVER you do, do NOT eat before drivng thru.
You DON'T wanna miss the 302 West Smokehouse.





Last edited by ricochetrider; 06/26/12 11:20 pm.

Lesya Ukrainka:
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So meanwhile, back at the Bruce Wayne Manor-

We had only made part of the day's journey, and we still had some serious git-along comin. So back onto the bikes and we shot out across Maine's "Lakes Region" (I THINK that's what they called it- region? district?). And I mean, there's a lake, a pond, or a puddle every 10 feet or so. heck there's even a good bit of SWAMP! Just beautiful, so it was, but the road seemed to go on forever. And ever. And....so on. Eventually, tho we wound our way further and further east, until we came upon THIS:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

The brand-y new B.A.B. (that's the Big @$$ Bridge- if you hadn't guessed yet) at Bucksport, crossing the Penobscot Narrows.

[Linked Image]

Here's a quickie vid crossing the bridge, posted on youtube by somebody else:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu9tYebnFLo

BAM. This ain't no ordinary bridge, no siree, Bob. There's some special stuff goin on here, and clicking on the "B.A.B." will lead y'all a Wiki linky, telling you all about it. Turns out you can actually go up INTO the one tower and "observe" the surroundings. Too bad we didn't have time for that, cuz that's my cuppa tea, dontcha know. Next time.

The road stretched out forever, and I swear those last few miles down to Bar Harbor were THE longest we'd done yet. It wasn't too painful, tho, as we were on holiday and all. So we stuck it out (DUH!) and eventually found our way to our destination for the night- The Highbrook Motel, just on the outskirts of downtown Bar Harbor. I really can't say enough about this little slice-o-paradise. The nice folks there really went the extra mile in communicating with me by phone and email in order that our reservations were secure, and we were pleasantly pleased to find that the Highbrook Motel is one of the cleanest and nicest motels in the area- AND just as cool as all get-out with a dynamite retro vibe, straight outta the 50s or 60s!

[Linked Image]

Large, extra clean, spacious rooms! Our was even painted a cool and funky color like sea-foam green!

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

The rooms even had screen doors on em! this place is pure style all the way, and no doubt!
Bangin, right? I'm tellin ya. So. When in Maine, ya gotta have lobster, no? Well, heckfreakinYEAH, ya do. SO we hopped back on the bikes and rode back out the road a ways to a restaurant for exactly that:

[Linked Image]

AND it's imperative that you ALSO wear "The Bib":

[Linked Image]

I had the STUFFED lobster myself

[Linked Image]

And Miss C, an old hand at lobster cracking, carefully 'splained the technique to Lannis & Fay, who were noobs to the game, showing off her chops, as she went. Here she is, taking care to document the meal!

[Linked Image]

After supper, we rode down into Bar Harbor proper, for Ice Cream! Needless to say, we all went to bed fat & happy. We was tired and sore, from two solid days of riding. Nighty nite, sleep tight. Boom. Lights out Betty. See ya in the morning.

[Linked Image]















Last edited by ricochetrider; 06/26/12 11:15 pm.

Lesya Ukrainka:
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Excellente!!

Awaiting the next chapter.....

Steve


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Lobster :drool :slobber :jealous Yummy!


Keep it coming


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I’ll try to keep up a bit with Tom as he posts photos and narrative …. this one is just Day 1 to Grafton VT ...

Getting ready to leave Harrisburg:
[Linked Image]

Lots of pretty countryside, lots of “Historic Downtown Areas”. We had made a pact to stay off the Interstates for the first round, and bimble much like we did in 2006 for the BSA International. Lots of nice scenery, but you average about 37 MPH for the day … which makes for a LONG day when you’ve got 400 miles to go! And before Semper Gumby says anything about these punk distances we’re traveling, when there are 4 people, the number of stops goes as the square of the population multiplied by the number of photo ops – it’s TIME in the saddle we were measuring!

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

GPs? We don’t need no steenkin’ GPs! Gotcher GPs right here, and it even folds up!
[Linked Image]

The main road into Grafton appeared to be “gravel”, with a thin skim of mud on top. 10 miles of it through the deep woods:
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Until an old hotel appeared and we knew we were finished with the first day ….
[Linked Image]

Cynthia’s family had left a VERY hospitable house at our disposal – TBC.


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Tom, Lannis we are following this jouney with great interest. At the start of your trip are roads & places familiar to us Rte 209, Delaware watergap, Kingston Bridge over the Hudson and yes it was the Rhinebeck meet as you rode onwards.
Brings back real good memories of past Adventures.
Thank you both for the words & pictures.
Looking forward to more of the same please :bigt


BeezaBryan

He knows not where he's going, For the ocean will decide,
Its not the destination, It's the glory of the ride (Edward Monkton, Zen Dog)





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Thanks for putting this epic tale up guys....almost as much work as the adventure itself....ALMOST!

Those shots of south-central VT and the "state" dirt roads are making me homesick! sick

Steve


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Now hang on thar one cotton picking minute Boys, what's this I see..? American's having MORE than ONE week off work..? And the USA doesn't come to an end shocked Shocked, SHOCKED I tells ya laughing

WELL done lads, THAT is indeed the life :bigt Keep up the good work, and spread the word, before y'all know it, the WHOLE country will be having more than a week's holiday, BLIMEY y'all might even get BIGGER Gas tanks to explore more wink

Last edited by Kent Shaun; 07/01/12 5:21 pm.

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Originally Posted by Kent Shaun
Now hang on thar one cotton picking minute Boys, what's this I see..? American's having MORE than ONE week off work..? And the USA doesn't come to an end shocked Shocked, SHOCKED I tells ya laughing

WELL done lads, THAT is indeed the life :bigt Keep up the good work, and spread the word, before y'all know it, the WHOLE country will be having more than a week's holiday, BLIMEY y'all might even get BIGGER Gas tanks to explore more wink


Bigger gas tanks?
Have you not read Semper Gumby's tale of his epic ride from Atlanta GA to Cape Cod New England?
Read here
http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=441639#Post441639

and see the auxiliary fuel tank mounted where the pillion would normally be. Total capacity 9 Gallons US

[Linked Image]


BeezaBryan

He knows not where he's going, For the ocean will decide,
Its not the destination, It's the glory of the ride (Edward Monkton, Zen Dog)





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Grafton, VT – we’re finishing our coffee on the porch of the general store, and having a bit of a discussion about the route for the day :

[Linked Image]

Cynthia, Tom, and Fay geared up and read to Get Crackin’!

[Linked Image]

Lots of “pretty green hills” here:

[Linked Image]

And covered bridges you can still drive through:

[Linked Image]

Headed to the Kancamagus Highway – the weather was perfect:

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]


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We consulted the GPs again, and then folded it back up and put it in the tankbag. Real men look at the sun and follow their noses!

[Linked Image]

The falls right in the middle of Auburn, Maine – probably the source of water power lo these many years back …
[Linked Image]

Lots of moose habitat up here. The signs promised us moose but …

[Linked Image]

I’m sorry I don’t have a video, but Cynthia invented the Kancamagus Dance to celebrate the scenery and good weather .. I’m sure it will catch on!

[Linked Image]

Now THIS is where you should buy your lobster! And you know what happens to it if you don’t buy it today (you hope):

[Linked Image]

That bridge that Tom showed us earlier:

[Linked Image]

Next – Bar Harbor and beyond ….
Lannis


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fascinating clap

Eagerly awaiting the next chapter. :bigt

Reckon you must have power back?

Last edited by beezabryan; 07/02/12 7:20 pm.

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So we had a bit of a mooch around the old resort town of Bar Harbor. It’s sort of like a Carolina beach town without so many of the sleazy bits; found a nice piece of amber jewelry for Fay in one of the shops, and the harbor scenes were pretty:

[Linked Image]
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[Linked Image]

Had an excellent breakfast outside a little café (Two Cats, and there were in fact two cats there, they were moving fast so I took pictures of food and the coffee mug instead:

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Then it was back on the bikes and a run through Acadia National Park, lovely mountain and ocean scenery together there ….

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With more to come …. :


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Well'ard Rocker
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With more to come …. :

Acadia National Park, worth a trip to see!
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If you haven’t been, you can’t beat this scenery on a bike:

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Starting today, customers will be requred to unload the semis at the back of Wal-Mart, in addition to their self-checkout duties.
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Well'ard Rocker
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All sorts of things to see and people to meet in Maine and New Brunswick. Little towns, a friendly guy on a BMW who gave us some travel tips, and a guy with a Model A that belonged to his father and he drives around like a regular car ….

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Beaches, and the Very Low Frequency Array that the Navy uses for communicating with submerged submarines:

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The Canadians were just the friendliest people you could imagine, once they’d get to talking to you it was hard to break away. They love talking about where they live and what you ought to see …..

More to follow, St John ....



Starting today, customers will be requred to unload the semis at the back of Wal-Mart, in addition to their self-checkout duties.
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Well'ard Rocker
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To end the day, the city of St John, where we stayed in a nice old house converted to hotel rooms, and had an excellent meal at “Britts”. Scallops with chowder, seafood galore,

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And “Poutaine”, which is a Canadian specialty consisting of Cheese Curds topped with French Fries, covered with gravy, and sometimes with meat on top:

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I’m glad I tried it once, anyway …..

A nice walk through the town in the evening, and then to bed:

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I’ve about caught up with Tom’s travelogue now ….

Lannis


Starting today, customers will be requred to unload the semis at the back of Wal-Mart, in addition to their self-checkout duties.
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So here’s Tom and I wandering the streets of St John. Note the perfect blue sky – we had days and days of this sort of thing!

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The St John city market was an interesting place – just about anything you wanted was there. Fresh food, jewelry, book stores, butcher shops, little cafes, clothes, you name it. If I lived in the city I probably wouldn’t shop anywhere else:

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Then it was 12 Noon, time for the once-per-day ferry over to Nova Scotia. The deckhands were MUCH less stressed and MUCH less loud and pushy than the Isle of Man guys on the Steam Packet system. Fay still had her jacket liner on, it was a bit chilly, hard to imagine in the heat today:

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We landed in Digby and headed straight across the island:

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There’s a lot of empty places in the middle of Nova Scotia!

More coming ….


Starting today, customers will be requred to unload the semis at the back of Wal-Mart, in addition to their self-checkout duties.
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Well'ard Rocker
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I imagine that the world’s supply of moose lives among these bogs and swamps all across rural Nova Scotia, looks perfect for them:

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Old buildings abounded; hard to tell if some were still in use:

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Right after here, I whacked myself on the leg with a motorcycle and limped painfully into Lunenberg, someone else was taking pictures I hope!

Lannis


Starting today, customers will be requred to unload the semis at the back of Wal-Mart, in addition to their self-checkout duties.
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