Sunday, 29 July 2012

September 25th-26th, 2010

There was no choice in the matter of sleeping in this morning; Rona opens at 08:00, we should be out of there by 07:00.  I would be very disappointed with ourselves if we got a citation this close to the end.  We’re making our final run back to Toronto.  No scenic routes, no places to see, no things to do.  Just a straight shot on highway 401 all the way back.  We’re ready to come home now.

Ok, the coast is clear!  Let’s move!

Crossed the provincial line into Ontario

We’re not ready for home yet!  We decided to spend the night with my sister and newly brother in-law in Whitby. 

It was here where we were formally introduced to the Weber Charcoal Grill

We found out from my sister that the family will be getting together tomorrow for my cousin’s daughter’s baptism; we came back just in time! 

The next morning we met up with my mom & dad for dim sum…

…attended the baptism…

…and rode home. 

1 year…

2 KLRs…

…and a whole lot of open road…61,243 kilometers of it to be exact. 

Many miles on road.

Many good friends we have made.

There’s no place like home.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

September 24th, 2010

Plans of having an early start this morning went right out the window since last night’s debauchery.  Poor Amanda had a difficult time getting up.  Our brains were like mush.  Our zombie-like beings eventually managed to pack all our things back on the bike and get the show on the road.  Canuman rode out with us near Swanton where we had lunch at McDonald’s before bidding each other farewell.  

Back where we were reunited almost a year ago at Rouses Point.  Not much has changed since the last time we were here.  I don’t expect much has changed back home either, but I know for sure we have.

The last border crossing of our journey

Checking out the busy scene in Montreal.  We were supposed to meet up with Sarah, the intern we met in Grand Falls-Windsor, but her flight was delayed due to a storm.

A brief visit to Tristar Gym, training grounds for current UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre

It was nightfall by the time we were riding out of the city limits and we managed to stop at St. Hubert for supper just before it started to pour rain. 

St. Hubert is a franchised restaurant chain originated in Montreal specializing in rotisserie chicken.  There used to be one not far from where I live in Toronto and I remember mom and dad taking the family out for dinner there when we were kids.  Today, there are maybe a few locations left in Ontario where the majority of the restaurants are in Quebec.  It’s a lot fancier now than I remember it.  They have flat screen TV’s in the restrooms and cool holographic fishes swimming in the sinks. 

Their famous chicken sauce.  I remember drinking the leftovers when I was a kid.

Bon appetite! 

When the rain let up, we were back on the road in search of a place to lay our heads; very difficult in the dark, rain, and urban sprawl.  We were out hunting for gazebos in the night when Amanda had an idea when we rode past Rona, the hardware store.  She doubled back and checked to see if there were any unlocked utility sheds they had out on display; clever girl.  All of them were locked except for one and that was enough to get us through this miserable night. 

It’s taken us a year to have the gall to pull a stint like this.  We probably wouldn’t have the nerve to do this at the start, but now that we’re so close to the end, we don’t care.  We just want to sleep. 

Might be a little tight…

…but at least we get to stay dry and not have to pack a wet tent in the morning. 

218 km

Back where it began.

Thinking outside of the box.

Sleeping inside one.

Friday, 27 July 2012

September 21st-23rd, 2010 pt.3

After exploring the barracks, we then proceeded to check out the radar towers

Most of them were locked or boarded up

We managed to get inside of this one.  I see someone’s a fan of the film The Shinning.  Heeeeres’s Johnny!

Someone had set up a weather station, but vandals got the better of it. 

I’m glad we decided to pack a picnic lunch because the view from up here was utterly brilliant

Getting past the gates was much easier for everyone the second time around.  There’s that small tree stump Amanda almost landed on when she lost her balance on her first go around.

I’ve humbly accepted that the KLR cannot do the things a true dirt bike can.

…but with time and experience, the KLR can do almost anything. 

We rode back to the house to celebrate our last night here at the Palace and had pitas…

…with rice & ham for supper.

We returned the REI dry bag Canuman had given us at the start of the trip.  It has been with him for many years when he was working as a river guide and has much sentimental value.

Canuman didn’t have to do this, but he gave us another one to replace it.  It’s signed “Not a good substitute, thanks anyway!”   You’re very welcome Canuman!  Thank you!

A few drinks were passed around and…well…you get the idea.

ADV inmates, I salute you!

Mission accomplished!

Jack of all trades, great at none.

Pace yourself woman!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

September 21st-23rd, 2010 pt.2

The three of us were back at it again this morning for another glorious day of riding.  Our mission: Infiltrate the abandoned radar base near East Haven and gather as much intel as we can.  The last time I was here in Vermont almost a year ago, Canuman gave me the directions to the base and I attempted a solo mission.  At the time, Canuman didn’t have the appropriate steed to tackle the terrain that led up to the top of East Mountain.  I accepted the mission and the result ended in failure.  My mind started playing tricks on me while riding along radar road.  I had an eerie feeling about the whole ordeal and decided to turn back.  Armed with an additional 2 riders on KLRs this time around, we will infiltrate the base!  Failure is not an option!

Our first obstacle we had to contend with.  I feel much better now because if I had ridden up to this point last year, I would’ve turned back anyway. 

The only way to get past the gates is to ride around it in the bushes.  Just as we were deciding on who should go first, Amanda had already fired up her engines to make the attempt. 

She ended up losing her balance and tipping over.  Lucky for her she avoided falling on a small tree stump that could’ve punctured the oil case or worse, broken an ankle.  I must say, I do admire her courage though. 

Canuman followed suit without any problems…

…while I rounded up the rearguard. 

After bypassing another gate and negotiating a few twists and turns on rough terrain, we made it to the top of East Mountain where the abandoned radar base was located.  Hmmm, maybe this sign is the reason we should stay out.  Bah, your phony scare tactics won’t fool us!  Forward and onwards!

We rode up to the barracks and decided to travel by foot.  We all got the sense of what it would be like in a post apocalyptic world.  Buildings were all rundown and tattered.  Trees and grass were all overgrown.  Animal droppings littered the entire complex.

What’s left of inside the dining hall

Wouldn’t want to be walking around in here with no shoes on; broken glass everywhere. 

Not much was left behind

Wood stove?  Chopped wood?  Somebody is living here.  Better stay frosty. 

The gymnasium or what’s left of it. Sorry about the profanity; it is what it is.  I wonder how many times the local kids in the area have dared one another to come up here late at night. 

Nature was here first.

A radar base came second.

Nature reclaims land.