Saturday, July 26, 2014

Day 31 - Blind River to Home

Day 31 - Thursday, July 24 - Home Safely

It was a 553.6 km ride from Blind River to my home. Basically uneventful. There was virtually no traffic as far as Parry Sound, then traffic picked up steadily as I rode down the 400 towards Toronto. This is normal.

No videos today.

Home safely.

Thanks to all of you who hosted me on my adventure, and thanks also to those who commented. I am going back to recent posts to make sure I replied to your comments, so if you asked a question, have a look now.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day 30 - Nipigon to Blind River

"Ya Takes the Shot Wot God Gives Ya"

Ok, I took some videos. Please forgive the fogging that provides an unwanted vignette effect. It's not as bad as I thought it would be. I rotated the camera to ensure it was on or off and noticed the moisture inside the waterproof housing. It was cold and foggy this am and some moisture got trapped inside the housing. As the elevation and temperature changed, the fogging got better or worse. Sigh.

North of Superior

Yes, I know this is not an original title. But, it conveys the idea of being on the north shore of Lake Superior. Two years ago, I did this route for the first time and wished I had a video camera on the bike. Now I do. I just don\t know how to use it professionally...

And tomorrow, Home!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Day 29 - Dryden to Nipigon

Ok, only 451.7 km...but there are reasons. First, in ON, the speed limit drops to 90 kmph, maybe because of the curves, but who knows.

Wore the heated vest this day, and was glad of it for most of the way, at least to Thunder Bay. After lunch, the sky was blue, sun was warm, but it changed. And, there was something new to me...

Vicious cross-winds. Left mostly but violent shirfts right and then back to left. The bike responded really well and did not change direction, but leaned left and right violently. Had to hang on. Scary. Tiring. The sky darkened and I decided to find a motel around Nipigon. Found one with a Tim Horton's and a restaurant next to it. Worst room I have ever had. Glad to have it.

Nice dinner at the resturant. Had  Caesar with Chicken Breast. Then, back to the room.

By that time of course, the storm had passed. So, maybe I wimped out. I think I did the right thing, and it may not affect my time of arrival back home, just adjust where I stay.

The bike really behaved well. You likely never encountered such vilolent left to rght wind reversals. A lesser bike would have been a crash situation.

Here is a video. The wide angle actually minimized the leaning of the bike. You may see some if you look carefully.

Also, look for the guy who was passing and pulled in just in time in front of me....

Tomorrow's goal: east of Sault St. Marie, or close.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Day 28 - Brandon, MB to Dryden, ON

A gorgeous weather day, easy ride, uneventful, 574 km, 8:31 hours..

The prettiest section was Kenora to Dryden. I took 3 videos, which are being uploaded and will be added when done.

K to D 1

A rather straight ahead view of the road.

K to D 2

Turned the Go Pro a quarter turn to the left.

K to D 3

More of the scenery.

Lots of beauty in Northern Ontario.

Comfort Inn, Dryden

I stayed here two years ago and found it expensive. I vowed to find a less expensive place. So, why am I back when it is even more expensive?

Because I remembered it has a carport-like shelter at the front door. Why is this important? Because in Brandon this morning they were forecasting hail near here. Environment Canada says it is tracking a storm with Quarter to Loonie sized hail. I will have a look later and may throw a bed quilt over it if the shelter is not enough.

I figure the higher price is some cheap insurance. Hope it works!

New info: storm is 25 km south of the Trans-Canada, at the MB border, eastbound at 70 kmph. Should be ok here in Dryden...

TV just quit ... likely the storm. Desk clerk can't say whether the TV is satellite based, but the sky is dark, some rain, some lightning.

I'll update the blog if anything worse happens.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Day 27 - Sunday, July 20

A nice ride to Brandon, MB. Now on Central Time, only 1 hour difference to Eastern. And, the map is showing good progress, when I can update it. Seems not every wifi connection supports location services, so the dropping of a pin can be a problem.

Dianne remarked my videos show a lot of road and not much of the scenery. So, I tried to do better today. I turned the camera to the left side to see if I could do a better job. I am not sure I succeeded. Still, I tried. Also, I was able to catch up to a train and pass it. Long train, as you will see.

So, here it is:

Tomorrow, I am going to try to get to Dryden. Last time, I left Yorkton, took a long delay in the city of Winnipeg, and still made Dryden. I'm closer to Winnipeg and will take the bypass, so it is doable. Kenora is a likely fall-back. Or, I may run across a nice motel on the highway. We will seel.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Day 26 Saturday July19 - @ Moose Jaw

Could easily have reached Regina, but it is Saturday in July and the hotels there are pretty much sold out. Could pay Toronto prices but I decided to stop here and relax. If it takes an additional day, the motel charges will be paid for by staying at this cheaper motel. Basic but clean and a Samsung TV.

At one point today, I looked left and saw a long train moving East. I thought I caught it on video, but must not have been successful. Don't like to fiddle too much with it - riding is more important.

The train was significant because it was moving. I have passed at least three other very long trains today and they were all stopped. I figured there must be a problem on the line somewhere.

That's it for today...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Day 25 - July 18: Rode the Crow's Nest Pass

Well, it'a a pretty tame pass, as twisties go. But, quite nice, if the weather cooperates. Today, it was very hazy, smoky really. There are lots of forest fires in BC and that might have contributed, but maybe its just the hot humid weather.

I did make some videos, in the early part of the day, on the run up to Fernie, BC. I put them all together and offer them to you:

You can see how smoky it was. I managed to miss the nice curve and then through the narrow tunnel bit. Oh well, can't do it all.

Once past the summit, the descent is quite mild and then suddenly, flat land ahead. And ahead. Straight road, flat, all the way to Lethbridge and then to Medicine Hat. And days more of that, likely, until past Winnipeg. I looked at the map and it looks like Regina is a reasonable goal for tomorrow.

Let me know if you like the video.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Day 24 - July 17: Achieved Cranbrook, BC

Had a 3/4 day ride today; the heat yesterday knocked me out and when I felt tired, I stopped. In truth, I had planned on Cranbrook, with Fernie in mind as a possible, but it was better to stop early. Peter may be Nearly Blind, but he is not unwise in telling me to start later and end earlier. Hey 69 is not 35, nor even 50. Us seniors need to pay attention to our physical state and quit when we need to.

Note: I'm now in Mountain Time Zone! Lost another hour of my life...

Going to eat. Noticed an East Side Marios next door! Penne and Sausage! They used to have a choice of sauce!

Staying at the Kootenay Country Inn. Older, inexpensive, quite clean and even have rags in a baggie to clean the windscreen without even having to ask! You should stay here if you are in town.

Videos now available

These videos may be boring to some of you; well, travelling at less than light speed tends to be that way. I have not edited these, offer them as "this is what  see" on the way home.

And, since you are coming back to see the videos, please check older posts if you left a comment and did not see a reply. I did a reply for the comments on the last few days... Thanks for your comments, I do read them and appreciate your interaction with me to a great extent.

Got to go eat...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Day 23 - July 16: Homeward Bound

Bob saw me off this morning. He led me on a new, fast way to get on Hwy 1, Trans-Canada, without battling hours of traffic. John had told me new roads existed, and Bob knew them. It was painless, relatively. Would have had more traffic in Toronto, for example.

I had been warned it would be hot today, and it sure was. Still, I made it to my intended destination, Greenwood, BC by about 4pm. Got into the motel, washed the bike with rags kindly supplied, had diner in town - motel staff drove me in and picked me up - might have only been a 5 min drive, but still it was an incredible bonus. Motel is the "Evening Star Motel" and the place is great. Inexpensive, clean, and service beyond reproach. They want me to return, obviously. That might not be possible, given this is the first time I have been to Greenwood, BC in my 69 years. But, if you are going by here, and need a bed, this is a great place.

In town, there is a restaurant called the Pacific Grill. I told the waitress the web says this is the best restaurant in town, She said it was the only restaurant in town ...  Still and all, if there were more I suspect it would still be the best in town. Really enjoyable Halibut and chips, and there were many other options on the menu for those that would like a more fancy meal.

Videos - a love / hate saga.

Coming into Bob's I took this:

\And, today I took these 2 videos:

Bob will be saying " Where are the videos of the good stuff? " and he is right - I missed taking video of rather twisty areas. That is because I was making sure I did not go over the cliff. Quite a challenging road. Love it.

I learned a a lot and will do better tomorow. Maybe.

Got to go now.

Day 22 - July 15: More Around Vancouver

Bob outdid himself today taking me places I would never have seen without a guide with local knowledge. This evening we all went to the Keg on Granville Island for a farewell dinner. I think Bob and Yvonne enjoyed the meal - I know I did. I look forward to repaying their hospitality should they ever visit the Toronto area.

Some photos: I am a bit pressed for time as I am packing for leaving for points East in the morning.

I am adding a lot of photos, few captions, because many of the locations will be identified by photos of plaques stating the location. I may add captions later, and you may certainly request info about a specific shot...

Here they are:

I know that is a lot of photos; hope you enjoyed at least some of them. It was an eye-opener of a day for me.

Bob, I have to thank you once again. Millions of people must visit Vancouver every year, at least every decade, and I am sure none of them have a photo collection that matches my two day shoot. I would not have any of these without you.

For everybody else: Vancouver is a must-see place. See it soon.