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#444086 07/11/12 1:09 am
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Moto Mojo
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Well guys, let's see.... Where was I?


Lesya Ukrainka:
“He who has not lived through a storm/does not know the price of strength.”

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Moto Mojo
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Oh yes,

We are on the way to Cape Breton Island & The Cabot Trail!
Hailfax was cool, and no doubt. Easy in, easy out. Mellow vibe. Propeller Ales! One more place to revisit sometime, well hopefully in THIS lifetime. But we lolly-gagged around enough and now had to cover some serious ground. Back out onto the major motorways we went, and I set the cruise control at 75 MPH. Not much to see, or to relate on this section of the tour, tho we DID pass the exit where the mid-way point between the Equator and the North Pole is! Sure wish we'd'a stopped there- we actually wound up stopping not too far past that, for gasoline.... Ah well, should'a, could'a, would'a. Another one for The List!

The Trans Canadian Highway is not only long and boring, but it is, at various points, under construction; bigger & smaller, and faster & slower. Going out to Cape Breton ISland, it eventually chokes down to practically nothing, as you wind out onto a spit of land with water immediately on either side of the road. This leads to a small-ish bridge. You cross, and Voila! You are Now on Cape Breton Island. A few long-ish miles out lies the world famous Cabot Trail!

[Linked Image]

Believe me, it was darn near agony on those last few miles. There's a whole lotta Island out east of this pint, and as we had chosen to ride the "trail" anti-clockwise, we had to ride up near the one-and-only road to get out there, Not only was it long and kinda boring-

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it was virtually PACKED with trucks coming from out there, headed down to the mainland. Sooner or later, tho, it was inevitable that we were gonna stop to get one of these shots:

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Eventually, after passing enough "teaser" signs, we FINALLY turned onto the actual Cabot Trail. The first few miles weren't too exciting, tho there was absolutely nobody there! Admittedly, it WAS about 7:00 PM or so....

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We rode on, (and on)looking for a B&B- we'd checked into the tourist info place when we first got on the Island, and they confirmed what TripAdvisor seemed to indicate- there there were no "motels" out there, only B&Bs. We passed a goodly handful of 'em, and then came a looooong stretch with just wilderness... Then two B&Bs, with a restaurant (which was open) in between, then back out into nothingness again, as the sky grew closer to dusk... Suddenly, we came across the one single place mentioned by the nice lady at the tourist info place... The Maven Gypsy. We slammed on the brakes, took a moment to assess the steep, dirt drive, and vaulted up to the door!

YES! They had nice rooms and vacancies a-plenty! Ah heck! They wouldn't feed us. The suggested the one place we'd passed, and the lady called down there. They were closed! SO, with much reluctance, we got back on the bikes and rolled out further- over a big-ass mountain to what turned out to be a really pretty nice place. We had a nice supper and a beverage, and rolled back to the B&B, where we wasted no time in getting to bed! It'd been a mighty mighty day of travel, and we were BEAT! We knew for certain that the next few miles in the AM were gonna be Fan-flippin-tastic- back up over the mountain and into the sun we would ride! We slept the good sleep, with the sounds of the ocean booming just across the road.

Last edited by ricochetrider; 07/11/12 1:53 am.

Lesya Ukrainka:
“He who has not lived through a storm/does not know the price of strength.”

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Subscribed again!


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Tom, keep it coming, those long open roads are something we don't have here in England and they sure look inviting.... smile


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What's the matter with those roads over there. Empty...

It's not fair!


Ger B

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Moto Mojo
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Karl, Ger,

Long, wide open & empty roads sure seemed to be the dominant factor up there in Canada. Sometimes, in fact, it goes the OTHER way around- the roads are TOO long and wide open! Riding across Nova Scotia's inlands, & New Brunswick on the bigger motorways was out and out boring at times! shocked

I've said a couple times that we must have been pretty far ahead of full-on tourist season. Several people told me to wait, that we'd have better weather in like August. BUT- it would have been an absolute zoo, esp in places like Bar Harbor. As it stands, in terms of weather, I couldn't imagine it being any better at all! With a total of MAYBE 1/2 hour of showers- and NO "real" rain... who can beat that? Hotter doesn't necessarily mean better!

Last edited by ricochetrider; 07/12/12 2:42 pm.

Lesya Ukrainka:
“He who has not lived through a storm/does not know the price of strength.”

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Quote
Long, wide open & empty roads sure seemed to be the dominant factor up there in Canada.

I do remember a daily every morning rushhour traffic jam in Toronto, Burlington rather...
I was there in 1981 to visit a factory. In februari...


Ger B

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Originally Posted by Ger
Quote
Long, wide open & empty roads sure seemed to be the dominant factor up there in Canada.

I do remember a daily every morning rushhour traffic jam in Toronto, Burlington rather...
I was there in 1981 to visit a factory. In februari...


The roads around Toronto and the satellite towns have some of the fiercest traffic in the world, and I've driven the M25, the Washington Beltway, LA freeways ....

The rest of Canada, not so bad!

Lannis


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Moto Mojo
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Yeah we avoided Toronto on purpose! East of there is all cake walk.
I DO want to get up to Niagra Falls tho. Seems like a nice weekend outing- an easy 6-7 hours of travel on the bike to get there...


Lesya Ukrainka:
“He who has not lived through a storm/does not know the price of strength.”

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Moto Mojo
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Here's a couple pix from supper that first night along the Cabot trail:

[Linked Image]

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Waking up, from a sound sleep at The Maven Gypsy B&B, just North of Ingonish, the first sounds I heard were those of the Ocean, of waves crashing on the shore, just across the road. THE road. The Cabot Trail.
Here's the view from the room:

[Linked Image]

laughing Well... the view of the WINDOW SCREEN anyway! It really looked more like this:

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We got up to the smell of coffee, and I quickly showered, dressed and went downstairs to chat with the hosts. they poured me some coffee, and I began soaking up the day.

The day was amazing! There was a bit of fog lingering, but it was quickly burning off, and the sunshine was brilliant! As was breakfast. It began with French-pressed coffee, and moved on to home-made granola with peaches, and fresh-picked strawberries.

[Linked Image]

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Boom! moving on, we then had really good blueberry pancakes, and bacon! OK, more coffee, too. AND maybe an Aleve...It was uber fab and a wonderful way to begin the day.

[Linked Image]

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[Linked Image]




Last edited by ricochetrider; 07/13/12 4:38 am.

Lesya Ukrainka:
“He who has not lived through a storm/does not know the price of strength.”

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It didn't take us long to saddle up and get rolling. The first move was to ride back over the mountain we'd ridden back and forth on last night. You kinda wind around this bend, into a tight button-hook, and begin the steep climb to the top. We were riding into the sun going up, and it was glorious!

Fay sent me a thumb drive with her pix on, so I'm tossing in some of them as I go, from here on out, and also including some of Cynthia's pix too! BTW.

Here Me and Cynthia are, laying over, going into the button hook.

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When we got to the top, there was a pull-off, so we popped in for a look-see. It was pretty darn fantastic, the first big, open views of the day- and the first of many to come. Gotta up load more pix. Stay tuned for more of the Cabot Trail.










Last edited by ricochetrider; 07/13/12 4:58 am.

Lesya Ukrainka:
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French-pressed coffee, granola with peaches, fresh-picked strawberries

...plus a dose of Aleve to cure the moonshine headache collected at the local nipjoint?

laughing


Ger B

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Back up to coming into Halifax.

So off we went along the Nova Scotia east cost toward Cape Breton, with no particular stopping place in mind, just ride till it was time to quit. First stop, Halifax, a really neat old harbor town first settled in 1750-something?

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Then some pretty seaside sort of country, with blue water and well-tended farms ….

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They’ll let you know that the Cabot Trail is coming up soon, pretty often! But there’s lots of scenery to see on the way there:

[Linked Image]
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There’s only one way to get on and off Cape Breton Island by road – across a stone causeway:

[Linked Image]
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Cynthia and I unfolded the portable GPs to look and see where we were and what kind of riding we might have in front of us before dark. Answer – Nice Roads! In these pictures, by the way, the weather is just as pretty as it looks like it is – clear blue skies and warm temperatures. We hear that it CAN be very different up here !

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We kept seeing “Moose Warning” signs, and believe me, there was enough lakes and swamps to make you believe that there would be moose around every corner, so we kept an eye peeled. No joy on the moose however.

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Ghost riders among the lupins? These flowers are Lupins, and there are a lovely million of them along each mile of road up here ....

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And NOW we are just getting onto the Cabot Trail! The first thirty miles is "Canada in her Working Clothes" and the road surface shows it, but then it starts to look like THIS:

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Lannis; 07/15/12 9:47 pm.

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We stopped for the night at a little B&B just off the beach. Tom’s already done the outside of it; here’s our room:

[Linked Image]
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These little motels and B&Bs are FAR superior to any “off the freeway” chain motels like Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn, or Microtel. Luckily, Tom and Cynthia had exactly the same idea as to what makes for a nice motel, a good meal, or a reasonable day’s riding as Fay and I did. Matter of fact, they were so happy about it they were dancing in front of the laurel bushes:

[Linked Image]

Now HERE we go up the Cabot Trail:

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It just keeps getting better the farther you go. But it’s not the Blue Ridge Parkway, mind you; you’re sharing the road with a few big lads like this:

[Linked Image]

But there’s not much traffic … and it winds on and on …

[Linked Image]


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Ah, blue skies, I remember them!
Good stuff chaps... smile


KarlB
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On we rode, beautiful weather, beautiful roads, beautiful scenery:

[Linked Image]
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Ingonish – we saw a whale out in the bay here, too quick for a photo though!

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And we needed documentary evidence that I was actually here on a motorcycle …

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Thousands of these working fishing and lobster boats here – our grampus breached the water right behind him …

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Aargh! Envy overload, too much blue.... frown


KarlB
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Well, MORE blue coming up because the weather never let us down!


I’m sure there are other parts of the world (the Pacific coast, Dalmatia, the Hebrides) with similar scenery, but none that I can ride to on a motorcycle in three days from home:

[Linked Image]
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Most of these pictures were taken by Fay as we rolled down the road, although we stopped on the roadside at times. Some folks had told us that it was best ridden counter-clockwise so that we wouldn’t have to cross traffic to get to the ocean-side of the road, but there was so little traffic that it really made no difference …

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You’re right on the ocean for so much of the road …

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And we were happy with that. I was ECSTATIC, although you can’t tell it from the picture. I’ve got to work on this glum visage of mine …

[Linked Image]


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So we just kep’ on ridin’, as you do when you just can’t get enough. My eyes were getting full, but the Russell seat was keeping Fay and I perfectly comfortable and on we went:

[Linked Image]
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People DO live here, it’s not all parkland although it was time to turn across the top of the island through Cape Breton Highlands where nobody lives and the mountains are still green and nice, without chalets and cell towers and wind turbines on every ridge:

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Some deep glens and steep hills up in these parts, and wonderful motorcycling roads:

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We navigated by dead reckoning; Tom was pleased to find a sign telling us where we were!

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A bit of road construction to keep the rocks off the road – it wasn’t easy, building this road, I’m sure:

[Linked Image]

And the roads were REALLY good!

[Linked Image]

Magnificent vistas wherever you looked!




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Looks to be a fantastic place to ride!

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We definitely had a "Magic Moment" on the Cabot Trail....
and on the entire holiday, in fact. Our timing simply could not have been better- no way, no how.

I have heard that the Cabot Trail is ranked among the top 10 roads for motorcycling in the world. I could almost believe it! Unbelievable views -both of shoreline and inland mountains- and great stretches of roads with a mix of terrain combine to make for a pretty fantastic day or two!

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Here, the gang are checking out an overlook spot, with a sign depicting various forms of wildlife one may expect to find along the way. This depicts the type of whale we spotted earlier.

IMG]http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii42/ricochetrider/CanadaPtI877.jpg[/IMG]


Last edited by ricochetrider; 07/16/12 2:34 pm.

Lesya Ukrainka:
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Moto Mojo
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[Linked Image]

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Tho it seems endless, it really isn't. Wiki lists the Cabot Trail at about 180 miles +/-. In truth, we didn't ride the entire thing- at the south seat corner, it turns inland, and I think we may have missed a pretty dramatic section of mountain riding- but alas, we had some serious ground to cover, and we opted to instead stick with the coast-line, thereby expediting our exit off the Island, and making some headway over towards our final destination of Old Quebec- which was indeed a serious haul from where we now are.




Lesya Ukrainka:
“He who has not lived through a storm/does not know the price of strength.”

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Moto Mojo
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Our exit off the Island was not completely hasty. We needed to stop for lunch, and I'd been told that of all places on Cape Breton Island to check out, chief among them was the Glenora Distillery. Well, indeed! In our hunger, we missed a turn outward, and thus rode inland for a bit in search of a small cafe our hostess at the Maven Gypsy had mentioned- tho in truth, I had kinda cut her off, thinking no way would we see the village she said it was in. Turns out, in our trek to get back out to the coast, we passed what may have been one of THE only signs indicating we were on track for the distillery.
S we rode on. And on... and on, into the village of Inverness.

I had heard that at Glenora Distillery, you may eat, and also stay the night in their cabins... But man we'd worked up quite the appetite riding all morning and by now it was mid-afternoon. We stopped in Inverness, where we found a little honky tonk with decent food.

[Linked Image]

Turns out that we were just a few miles down the road from the Distillery, so we hopped back on the bikes after refreshing ourselves and rode the few miles for our next stop.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

We popped into the Gift Shop there, and well... suffice it to say, that we took a li'l sumpin sumpin along with us for future reference. DAMN little, in fact- I bought two small sample bottles of 10 year old Glen Breton scotch, and folks, lemme tells ya, it tasted pretty darn good, later that night, MANY miles later- in our hotel in Amherst after supper. Here's the qualifier:

I'm not really a whisky or scotch drinker, but there was NO way I was going to pass this up, I mean it'd have been downright rude not to take some along. The Distillery, in fact, was one of the many many recommendations I'd gotten from lots of folks on two other forum sites, while researching this trip. In a way, it was a nod to all those guys,too! :bigt

Couple other final notes about Cape Breton Island- There are SO many lobster boats plying the coastal waters, it's kinda... crazy, even unimaginable. There were times when we could see many boats, all working darn near side by side. It was fun to see, and to watch these guys hauling their lobster traps up and into the boats. It's no wonder that lobster is so prevalent up there that even McDonald's sells McLobster! No kidding- while we didn't stop for it, we actually saw signs coming & going to and from Cape Breton Island, advertising McLobster!

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Also, there is a direct link between Nova Scotia and Scotland. It is most evident up on Cape Breton Island, tho- with its mountains (Cape Breton Highlands Nat'l Park) and the Glenora Distillery. Some of the villages are even named after Scottish towns or cities- such as Inverness- or have Scottish sounding names, like Ingonish, Dunvegan, or Margaree. Heck- they even make their own Scotch Whisky! I've read that there had been some dispute between Glenora and the Scottish Scotch Whisky Association (or whomever) that took the form of a years-long court battle. Don't recall the focus of the dispute but in the end, Glenora Distillery won out.

Note the sign in the background:

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So we wound it down and headed back to the little bridge across the causeway, to make good our exit off the island. A stop back at the Tourist Info Station was called for, as a bathroom break was needed by all. Here we met two guys which Cynthia called "Motorcycle Pirates" - and I don't mean doo-rag wearin' Harley types, but real live, honest-to-goodness life long motorcyclists with a couple hard-ridden machines.

In retrospect, perhaps I should have gotten them to stand by their bikes to record the image of these grizzled, road-weary characters. Here's their bikes, tho- it's all I came away with. Shaun me laddie- here's one bike after your very own heart my man!

[Linked Image]

Dig the bike in the foreground. Dude has owned it from new, in 1977. He says it's NEVER been washed or cleaned in all those years! The bike, apparently has dirt on it from Spain, Germany, all over Europe, England, and the Isle Of Man, and who knows where else! Looking at this HUGE guy, I believe his jacket was of about the same vintage and state of cleanliness- he, it, and the bike appeared as though an apparition right out of the vault of time itself. Heck this cat could even have been father time on his own motorcycle. He,his buddy, and their bikes, made quite the impression. NICE guys. We chatted for a few, then saddled up and pretty much bolted. We had a serious haul to get over to Amherst, our target stop for the night. A hard dash of 170 miles more or less. Off the Island and onto the highway we rode. I put the cruise control at 75, and we set to- riding west into the late afternoon sun.

Last edited by ricochetrider; 07/16/12 4:06 pm.

Lesya Ukrainka:
“He who has not lived through a storm/does not know the price of strength.”

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