It can’t rain all the time.

February 1, 2009 at 2:06 am (nova scotia motorcycle trip, travel toothbrush) (, , , , , , )

Not to be all goth and quote The Crow, but whatever, it fits the situation.

Nova Scotia Trip Day Four, Tuesday’s tragic rain.

We knew we would never make our destination with Jared’s bike in the shape it was in. His back wheel to be specific was all jacked up, it was super wobbly because he had a broken spoke. Luckily I took a few notes on this topic because a. I am very forgetful and b. I really don’t know a damn thing about motorcycles or wheels or really fixing anything in general. I will usually chime in to a broken motorcycle conversation with “clean the carburetors” because I’ve heard it discussed so many times. Anyway it was actually not pouring ass rain when we woke up so we packed up our stuff among red squirrels chirping their faces off. So cute, not so much friendly. They’re like little alien squirrels that scavenge campsites once you leave. Awesome. I didn’t get any pictures. Damn.

So Jared took off first and we met him at the hardware store and with a pocket butane torch, needle nose pliers, electrical tape, tipman line clippers and a turn buckle Jared’s bike was temporarily fixed and he was able to ride it for 70 miles.
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This was partially thanks to a very nice Canadian man that drove to his house to get a tool we needed. I of course had nothing to do with any of this except to take notes and pictures of it all. I, always the Suzy Homemaker, went across the street to Tim Horton’s to get coffee and bagels and donuts. Tim Horton’s is like a Dunkin Donuts but sort of better. I kind of fell in love with them.
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I didn’t really like my donut so I gave it to Spano.
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We rode and rode and rode and it poured and poured and poured. Every so often we’d get a reprieve from the rain only to have it pour even harder minutes later. We were all wet in awful places. Rain suits and waterproof items were failing at every turn. Eventually we stopped in Port Hastings at the welcome center and Spano put his phone in his pocket only to realize that the pocket of his raincoat was full of water. The center had dial up internet access so we got our fixes and checked the weather to find that we were basically one with what I think was Hurricane Bertha. I didn’t write the name down and I’m not that great at researching Hurricanes.

Anyways with great misery we climbed back on the bikes for more chaffing and brutality. Somewhere along the way we stopped at a weird little rest stop and I saw green maraschino cherries. Weird.
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Finally after four days of pouring, miserable rain we arrived at our destination, Cheticamp, and were met with sun shining on mirrored water, and a gorgeous mountain landscape.
Jared stopped to take pictures of the beauty. I asked him for a picture of it and this is what he gave me.
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So in return Spano and I retaliated with these:
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We rode directly into the park and encountered the Cabot Trail. Even the tiniest bit of it was magical and badass. We decided to camp there for the night despite the fact that it is retarded expensive to camp there and they don’t seem to enjoy people on motorbikes so much. Or at least the lady that took our money didn’t. I find this especially stupid since the Cabot Trail is a well known motorcycle hotspot. This was maybe the first time I have ever experienced someone judging me and my friends for riding motorcycles. It was fucking ridiculous. We are not tough. Ok, maybe Wes could be tough but that’s really it. No offense boys. Anyway it was weird and stupid and I hated that lady for making us feel bad. I think I should write her a letter. Bitch. Anyway they made us get three campsites because we had five vehicles and you can only have two vehicles per site. Even though a motorcycle clearly takes up way fucking less space than a fucking car or RV. Assbitch. Seriously. Ugh. So like $85 later we had a shitty campsite where you weren’t allowed to collect wood, you had to buy it. We had spent maybe $30 tops on campsites previously with people letting us stay at one or two sites and being super nice to us. Fuck the Cabot Trail Campsites.

After we set up we traveled back out and checked out another campsite, Plage St-Pierre. It was soooo much better and kind of like something out of Mad Max but with trailers. They were really nice to us and they had a computer and washing machines and access to a beach. We decided to switch the next day. This sort of made us a little bit happy.
After that we went and had hot food at a weird hockey themed restaurant called Le Gabriel. It was good because I was starving and they had baked potatoes. Bill got a lobster, complete with lobster bib. Poor lobster.
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After dinner we traveled back to our campsite. Michael and I and drank whiskey and had a fire and dried socks and shoes near it, well tried to anyway. We went to sleep hoping for sunshine and a lovely day riding the Cabot Trail. And it was kind of awesome that we got it…
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Raining on my helmet like a tragedy.

July 30, 2008 at 6:34 pm (nova scotia motorcycle trip, travel toothbrush) (, , , , )

Monday night I went to bed at Midnight and by 10AM I still couldn’t really drag myself out of bed. My diaper rash, okay so it’s not actually diaper rash as it is saddle sores or whatever, is finally going away. Soooo sexy y’all. I will have to highly recommend the following product. I was going to wait to talk about it in depth until day 8 but I have to go ahead and give it props now.

Anyway on with the show…
Nova Scotia Trip. Day 2.

We woke up early and begin to tear down our campsite. Spano found an REI sleeping bag inside of a compression sack and decided it was to be his. He left his bulky green bag behind and I left a note on it for future campers. We named his new bag Eraserhead baby because it looked funny in the compression sack. Turns out the bag was probably for a child. So far Spano doesn’t have any weird rashes so it probably didn’t have bugs.

All five tents were in this spot.

Packed bikes, minus Spano’s. From left to right: Michael’s 1974 BMW R90S, Bill’s 1983 Honda Silverwing, making Bill affectionately known as Pop-Pop, Jared’s 1976 Honda CB750F and Wes’s recently purchased from Michael 1985 BMW R80rt. Spano’s 1980 Suzuki GS550E is pictured above by its lonesome.

We rode for a while and then stopped for breakfast at Karen’s Kitchen on Rt. 1 in Maine. Unfortunately the parking lot was gravel and Spano had his first bike dump ever. He took it like a man. His bike was fine and only needed a light electrical tape surgery, making his bike look tough.

We enjoyed breakfast, no thanks to our waitress whom I began calling, “see you next tuesday magoo”. I had a lovely “Spinach Florentine” omelet. MMMM. It had spinach, mushrooms, parmesan and swiss cheese. They gave you the choice of hash browns or home fries but it didn’t seem to matter what you selected as they all came out with hash browns, yummy nonetheless.

We got back on the road and continued to drive north through Maine. Maine is freaking huge. In case you didn’t know. You probably did. We stopped for gas and french fries soaked in malt vinegar. There we were told the rain was coming.

We got back on the road but soon had to pull over and put on rain gear. Wes made some “gator booties” so his feet didn’t get wet. Ding, ding, ding, nickname.

The sky was laughing at us.

We had to pull over once again when the rain came down in sheets and the boys couldn’t see the road but we managed to get over the border and into New Brunswick, Canada. We met a lovely family among remnants of a town parade and strong man contest. They pointed us in the direction of a campground and beach called New River Beach Campground. OHMYGOD! I swear unicorns and fairies were going to emerge at any second.

The boys took off to buy beer and dinner in Lepreau, New Brunswick. They only found a convenience store so $100 was spent on the groceries and beer. Wes, Christie and I had purchsed wine before the border crossing and we indulged. Riesling with cheese sandwiches and tortilla chips. Mmm. Of course this was not before I got all cranky pants at Michael for forgetting my ginger ale. Even an enchanted forest isn’t enough for me sometimes. Hindsight equals wanted take backs. Oh well. 2 pre-made egg salad sandwiches were purchased and cut up. Jared got his fresh out of the rain sweatshirt into the eggy goo. Who knew someone could hate egg salad so much! It put me in a better mood to finally hear Jared upset about something. I think that was the last time though. So Jared should be known as Egg Salad to me from here on out.

I went to bed before the rain started again for the night while Jared, Mike and Michael went to the beach. Jared took photographs in the pitch black with no flash because he is talented. Check out his stuff and blogs here: http://www.jaredcastaldi.com and http://jaredcastaldi.blogspot.com/ I’m sure he’ll post his fabulous trip photos sometime in the futures.

I woke to thinking I had a wet tent and somehow made a stake pop out and part of the tent collapse onto me a bit. I made Michael fix it when he came back from the beach and managed to stay dry. It was quite cold though since the ground was cold and wet. If you’re going to camp in the Northern Untied States or New Brunswick or Nova Scotia when it’s pouring ass rain and cold make sure you have something to put on the ground under your sleeping bag. That is if you’re kind of a candyass like me. I get cold quite easily. Somehow I slept through the rest of the cold, rain soaked night and only woke up with a slight wine induced headache.

And that concludes day two of our travels to Nova Scotia. Stay tuned for day three, a day full of cranky pants and pouring rain. Imagine that.

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I would ride 500 miles and I would ride 500 more…

July 28, 2008 at 11:00 pm (foods library, nova scotia motorcycle trip, travel toothbrush) (, , , )

I am home now, 2900 miles, trench foot, diaper rash, and ten days later I am home.

Nova Scotia Trip. Day One.

I’m gonna do this day by day or I’ll be so overwhelmed by it I’ll just say fuck it and go put on some Boudreaux’s Butt Paste and hang out in my bed for several many hours.

On Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 7:30AM I embarked on a journey from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. I did so on the back of Michael’s 1974 BMW R90s. Joining us was Mike, Bill, Jared, Wes and Christie. In total we were a crew of seven people, five motorcycles. We were the new and improved vibrations for long periods of time crew, we were a force to be reckoned with. And our force was indeed reckoned with, many, many times. The reckoning came mostly in the form of downpours and thunderous clouds and puddles. I’ll get to that later.

We started the trip by hopping onto 95N to meet up with Wes and Christie. I ripped the crotch of my jeans, realized I had forgotten my brand new camera battery and charger and that I’d downloaded the incorrect Howard Stern Show. And then 95N was detoured for a bit. Good start. Bill suggested I purchase a Canadian flag patch and sew it to my jeans making me Captain Canada Box. Nickname number one.

The trip got off to an even better start at Pj’s Pancake House in Princeton, NJ. The most amazing thing about this restaurant is that it owns the url pancakes.com. And that is pretty much where the amazement ends for me. They were good, don’t get me wrong. But they were way more expensive than pancakes should ever be. I indulged in $7.55 pecan pancakes, two of them. Well actually I only ate one but whatever. I also indulged in $4.55 “mashed browns”. They were sort of gross. Mashed up home fries with green peppers and onions in them. So with my coffee I managed to spend almost $20 on my first meal. Whatevs.

After enjoying the twisty roads of the Taconic State Parkway and the sites of Harriman State Park we stopped just past Hartford, CT for a pizza lunch. Jared’s bike died and luckily it had just run out of gas. The pizza place scared me and gave me the vibe that their bathroom must have a web cam in it. The counter guy asked eight million questions including, “Which state is Nova Scotia in?” Yup. We also learned the term aftertizer, it’s trademarked. It referred to deep fried chunks of cheesecake. No one indulged.

Back on the road we had a few stops for gas but we made it to Maine. I also made it about eleven chapters deep into the audiobook of To Kill a Mocking Bird. On the way we saw a wolf running full speed on the grassy shoulder/woods of 95N. It was badass. My Dad thinks it must have been a coyote, even so, I’m saying it was a wolf. I can’t remember when the rain started but it did. It was just a little preview of the days and weather patterns to come. And so we rode in rain.

We made it to Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park but couldn’t find the camping area. We followed some nice people, they were trying to be helpful but I think they were really just drunk. Finally we arrived at the check-in and were given a site to accommodate all five tents and bikes. Unfortunately our site had been pillaged already and we set up our shanty town on a much smaller patch of grass. After campfires, a hand carved pipe, picnic table conversations fueled by John Power’s Irish Whiskey, giggle fits and a few new nicknames we retired to our sleeping bags and let the exhaustion of 515 motorcycle miles wash over us.

And that concludes day one of our trip. I’m going to go pass out now.

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