Thursday, September 11, 2014

Snowing in Calgary... but!

Hey... it's September.  Not even fall yet and Holly tells me there was a foot of wet heavy snow a couple of days ago in Calgary.
Two very different Yamaha's.

Yesterday, Mike (Sherpa), Chris (customized Virago 535), Trevor (Suzuki Blvd 800)and I (XT600) did a little day trip. It was a wee bit cool as we were gathering for the departure, but forecast was for partly cloudy skies and sunshine, with temperatures in the low 20's.  Not a bad late summer day actually.

Port Elgin
Ever since our bad trip from hell to Cap Pele last summer, the big guy has been talking about taking a mulligan and doing over/better the 2nd time round.  Since picking up the diminutive KL 250, he's been talking about the mainland, like its buried treasure or something.  I have to admit, riding in the Maritimes is unlike riding in western Canada.  No mountains, although there are plenty of hills, no long distances to cover and plenty of little villages and towns.  In fact its more akin to riding in Europe, and even the spoken language can sometimes be difficult to understand.

 One of my favorite pastimes during my previous stint living here, was riding during September thru October.  Fall colors although not visible yet, are not far off and will be spectacular.  Leaves will turn to rust and late afternoon sunshine lends an almost magical aura to the place.  Our ride though was still very much summer.  By late afternoon, clothing had been tastefully shed and I needn't have worn my electric vest.

Three musketeers... or stooges?

Once over the Confederation bridge, we fueled up at the first Petro Can.  My old bird, that by the way, fits me like a great old pair of jeans, delivered 4 liters to 100 km or 70 mpg!  Super duper.  At $1.32/liter or ~ six bucks a gallon, I'll take it!

We took the entry to Port Elgin and stopped for a photo shoot.  A short stint on 970 thru Baie Verte (Green Bay) and we were on the coast highway picking up 366 east in Tidnish.  366 is part of the Sunrise Trail, an awesome, scenic road that follows much of the coast right to Cape Breton.  We weren't going that far today, but I'd found a nice loop that would clock us about 300 km, what I felt was the limit of endurance for most of us today.

Lunch stop in Wallace

We weren't in any hurry, by Labor day, the tourists are back home putting photos into albums (a nostalgic term) and we pretty much had the day and road to ourselves.  There wasn't even a lot of 2 wheeled traffic, which did surprise me.  If you were to travel from PEI to say Cape Breton or Halifax, you'd set the cruise control for 120 after you hopped on the Trans Canada highway and in a few hours listening to your favorite tunes, you are there.  Doing it this way, would take you all day to get to those destinations but imagine the fun you'd have...
Trevor and the Suzuki

With no particular place to go and only a rudimentary return deadline, we were free to explore the myriad of two lane country roads that criss cross Nova Scotia.

The Sunrise Trail N.S.

Pugwash is especially worthy of a visit.  Sure its barely a town but open to the sea and picture postcard quaint.  The Pugwash river which of course is tidal, has roads on both sides that offer glimpses of the river as you move inland.  Nova Scotia, like neighboring New Brunswick and PEI, offer plenty of casual riding and enjoyable scenery, with the added bonus of better quality roads once on the mainland.  The Island after all, is really just a sandbar...

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