Friday, July 15, 2011

The Maritime Tour (Part 5)

I quickly had breakfast and packed up to more cursing and profanity from the next door neighbors. They were also hacking up their lungs before their first cigarette of the morning settled the phlegm in their lungs. In about an hour I was at the Canadian border. I was asked several questions, told to park the bike and wait in a little room while the immigration and customs officer “ran a few more checks”. While relatively easy this was my most difficult border crossing. Could my new “concealed carry permit” have had anything to do with it? Don't know. Eventually I was found worthy to enter Canada and I was off! It seems that after entering Canada there is about 50 miles of wasteland until you get to a real town. My first concern was to get some Canadian currency. No problem, I have a GPS. I told the GPS genie to find me an ATM and it took me to Nackawic. Nackawic is home to the largest ax in the world. I have to admit it was pretty big!

From there I rode Trans-Canada 2 to Fundy National Park. The bay of Fundy has the greatest difference in tide heights in the world. I arrived and set up camp and went to the Alma beach to see the tide. Low tide was 4:59 and that is when I was there. I was able to walk in the “watt”. In just a few hours everywhere I was now walking would be about 50 feet underwater.

I got off my “doing it on the cheap” and ate fish and chips with beer at the Tides restaurant overlooking the bay. Well, every once in a while you have to splurge while on vacation! It was a cool night. I took a shower and went to the program that was being presented that evening It was called Winter Wonderland and was supposed to give you a glimpse into the park in the winter time. I arrived early and began talking to the presenter who was from New Zealand. I mentioned that I had two sons, one in San Diego and one in Japan. She told me her son also lives in Japan. He was a JETT , like Niels, and married a Japanese girl and now lives there. I also mentioned I was a teacher and wound up on stage as the narrator for short play on the life span of fish in the Fundy National Park.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Maritime Tour (Part 4)

Today I rode up Mount Washington. It was a good ride, but not as scary as I was led to believe. We have scarier roads in North Carolina. The views from the top were worth the wait!

After visiting the summit I rode through Gorham into Maine. I was surprised at the number of Confederate Flags I saw flying from houses in Maine. Riding through Maine was uneventful and I wound up at the Green Cove Campground. This was a fishing campground and I thought I was back in the red neck south. I was assigned a tent spot next to a family that could have been from the deepest, darkest Alabama. I mean no offense to any one from Alabama. Every other word was the the F-bomb and I'm not talking just mamma and daddy. The kids were throwing it around like it was a cheap baseball. After a well deserved shower and laundry I drifted off to sleep with the sound of family cursing in the background.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Maritime Tour (Part 3)

Left Virginia and rode through Maryland into Delaware. Delaware seems to be the strip mall capital of the world. Every town I rode through was one strip mall after another. Saw a little place called Firebase Lloyd in Delaware.

Some kind of Viet Nam Vet's motorcycle club. From there it was on to the Allentown/Bethlehem area of Pennsylvania. It was like one large town. City traffic all day. I did ride into Nazareth, PA. Nazareth is where C. F. Martin guitars are made.

Later the weather turned nasty and I got dumped on near Stroudsburg, PA. I wound up staying in a motel.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Maritime Tour (Part 2)

The second day of my journey proved to be relatively uneventful. It entailed a long, straight ride on Highway 58 from Meadows of Dan to Norfolk, VA. Boring! The highlight of the day was the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel. There are actually two tunnels that take you under the Chesapeake Bay which allows large ships to enter the harbor at Norfolk. It was a really cool ride.

The low point of the day was my campsite for the night. I though that there was a National Park Service campground on the island of Chincoteague off the Virginia coast near the Maryland border. Upon arriving on the island, after quite a detour, I found only commercial campgrounds were available. For $35 I got a trashed out campsite at a “family campground”. I also got attitude from the kid running the registration. I don't think they like motorcycles staying here. My rating for Tom's Cove Park, two thumbs down!

The Maritime Tour Begins!

Shades of Alaska! Three years ago I took a took a ride to Alaska and had eighteen straight days of rain. It looked like this trip was going to start off the same way. I woke up to thunderstorms and before I had left home a tree had fallen and taken out the power to our whole neighborhood. Eventually the rain stopped and I left on the Maritime Tour. As do most of my trips this one started with a jaunt on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Parkway was littered with debris and leaves due to the high winds. There was a detour from the Parkway at Laurel Springs and I had to take highway 18 from Laurel Springs, NC. About 15 miles into the detour I came upon another tree down across the road. Every traveler hates to backtrack, but sometimes it is necessary. My map was in my tankbag, but I really don't know why I keep it there. I can't see it without my glasses. I was going to have to depend on my GPS to get me out of this. I knew I needed to get to Highway 58 in Virginia and I knew that Willville Motorcycle Camp was near where I needed to be. Willville was a waypoint in my GPS so off I went. The wind picked up and blew me around the road quite a bit. Rain also began to fall. I finally found Highway 58 in Independence, VA and headed east. It was getting late afternoon and I decided to call it a night and camp at Willville.

That night I got to meet Rocky, the campground raccoon. I had been warned not to leave any food out and I was careful not to. I did not think Rocky would be interested in my sponge I use to wash dishes. I was wrong! Rocky brazenly climbed up on my picnic table and stole my sponge while daring me to do anything about it. I yelled an him and the chase was on! Rocky crossed a stream, dropped the sponge, and looked back at me as if to say “I didn't really want it anyway”. The next morning, when I could see better, I crossed the stream and retrieved my sponge from where Rocky had dropped it. Kurt 1... Rocky 0!