Thursday, August 31, 2017

Gander, NL - mile 1752 lat 48degN 57' long 54degW 37'


Today was a 250 mile fairly boring ride mostly on the trans-Canada to make most of way across this big island to this commercial center and very historic airport at Gander,  if the first picture below appears to be a lot of emptiness, that is positively urban compared to most of what we drove through today,




For the rest of these photos, think of the musical "Come From Away":














Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Rocky Harbor, NF - mile 1521 lat 49degN 35' long 57degW 54'

We drove back south to Rocky Harbor today though we are staying in a different place than the BnB at nearby Norris Point, the weather has been phenomenal!



We stopped about 15 mikes short of Rocky Harbour at about 2pm, we hiked in 1.5 miles to Woody Brook Pond where the iconic photos of Gros Morne are most often taken.  There we surprisingly found space on the 3pm 2 hour tour of this majestic former fjord:

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

L'Anse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland - mile 1320 lat 51degN 29' long 55degW 45'


We got a late start today after chatting with other guests at the Norris Point BnB from last night, we then did 4 1/2 hours of the most remote and most northern segment of this trip.  

The first 2 shots were taken during the 280 mile drive up here today from Gros Morne National Park:






These next shots are of the remains of the Viking settlement at L'Anse Aux Meadows (grassy area at left in first photo):

















This is where we are tonight:


Monday, August 28, 2017

Norris Point, Newfoundland - mile 1032 lat 49degN 31' long 57degW 53'

The ferry crossing was smooth last night and we slept well in the cabin.  Since the ship docks at 6:45am it was a bit early to get going. There is a bit of hassle involved on the ferry with the motorcycle with getting the cases off and on and unstrapoing the tie downs that keep the bike from falling over during the crossing.  In the rush of vehicles getting off the ferry they overwhelmed the single breakfast place in Port-Aux-Basques ( you guessed-a Tim Hortens!). So, we had to drive our first hour until we reached the next breakfast place before we could get something.

The drive today up to Gros Morne National park was very beautiful but we see now just how empty it is up here. You can easily drive an hour without passing anyplace with gas or food.

We are now on the Viking Trail. This road, after passing through Gros Morne National park culminates 1/2 day later in the remnants of the Viking village that ate the primary goal of our trip.

This shows us pulling into Newfoundland at 7:15am:


This shows us preparing our bike to leave the ship:




At lunch in Norris point in Gros Morne National Park:


Walking from BnB to sea kayaking at Norris Point:










Sunday, August 27, 2017

North Sydney, Nova Scotia - mile 798 lat 46 deg 12' long 60 deg 14'



We departed New Glasgow around 9:50 this morning and were immediately hit by a drenching shower. We found an awning to duck under and waited out the rain for about 20 minutes. While there were some threatening skies that was the last time we got wet.  We reached Cape Breton Island after a hour and then drove 2 more hours on the beautiful Fleur De Lis trail to reach the National Historic Park of old Louisburg.. We spent about3 hours  wandering around the restored village and fortress buildings as well as some of the unrestored ruins. This site had particular significance for us as its story featured in Helen's book "On Rosemary Hill",  residents of our community fought with the British in the first of 2 successful sieges to take the imposing French Fortress.  Here are some shots from that visit:













After leaving Louisburg we had a 45 minute ride to North Sydney where we did the paperwork to turnout online reservation into tickets and keys For our cabin for this overnight crossing to Newfoundland.  After parking our motorcycle in the designated lane and with the admonition of returning not later than9pm we walked I to town for dinner. We are back in the terminal now waiting to be called to drive aboard and have the bike tied down for the crossing, Helen says she has her Dramamine ready :-) we also just learned that NF is 30 minutes time difference from here so we will not be a whole number of hours different from home,

Saturday, August 26, 2017

New Glasgow, Nova Scotia- mile 480 lat 45degN 34" long 62degW 40""

Before we left St. John this morning Mary Lou gave us a tour of downtown St. John which include many places I had frequented during my many teenage visits home with my grandmother as well as the loyalist cemetery downtown:



And of course Reversing Falls!




This was the view when we pulled the bike into the hotel here in Nova Scotia around 5:30,  if you see a Tim Hortens you are probably in Canada:



We took a 4 mle walk to the center of New Glasgow, this sign below provides evidence that we are indeed in New Scotland;









Friday, August 25, 2017

Saint John, New Brunswick mile 344 lat 45degN 14' long 66degW 4'

We had a pleasant 4 Hour drive to St. John today including two exciting hours riding over the famous Airline highway. We arrived in St. John at about 2:30 Atlantic time and met my cousin Mary Lou and her husband Merle at their home in St. John. They took us on a nice drive out to the Fundy trail this afternoon and a lovely seafood dinner on the coast we spent the evening telling family stories in their living room and it was great fun.





Along the Fundy Trail:








At Mary Lou and Merle"s home.





Thursday, August 24, 2017

Waterville, Maine mile 125 - lat 44degN 33' long 69degN 37'

We left our house today at 4:30pm, we needed to swing by our lawyers office to sign the purchase and sales agreement for our neighbors farm, unbelievable that after months of discussions that that ended up happening today but in any event we were glad to have that behind us as we left. This is what our bike looked like on our driveway jus before we departed Bondgarden Farm.




Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Prologue

Helen and I are starting another motorcycle adventure on August 24, 2017.  In 2008 we did a 3,000 mile circuit from Toulouse, France to Germany, Sweden, Denmark, England and back to France. In 2013 we were on a 5 day trip from Manchester, England to Hadrian's Wall in the North.  That was the only trip we were not on a BMW 1200GS.  In England we rented a Honda 900 Cross 900. In 2014 we did a 5 day circuit in Provence starting and ending in Nice.  This time the goal is to visit remnants of a settlement left by my Viking ancestors in L'Anse Aux Meadows on the Northern tip of Newfoundland.  This trip is planned to take 2 weeks and will first take us up to New Brunswick starting at our farm in Southern Maine.  We will stay overnight in St. John, New Brunswick with my cousin Mary Lou Nason.  A couple more days will get us to the Northern tip of Nova Scotia.  We will get to and from NF via overnight ferry crossings from that port of Sydney, NS.  We have heard that the riding in Newfoundland can be quite adventurous and are excited to find out for ourselves! Our plan for Newfoundland is to start in the Southwest corner at Port Aux Basques and to drive around the perimeter of the island in a clockwise direction.  We extend the trip off the normal tourist path to get all the way to the very north of the island to the location of the Viking settlement.  The clockwise tour ends up in the Southeast corner, where we take a short ferry for an overnight to a little piece of the EU in North America - St. Pierre et Miquelon, still part of France.  Then, one more day to St. John's,  NF.  From there we take another overnight ferry back to NS and return back to Maine over the course of 3-4 more days.