I have found myself sent to Kingston Ontario for work. It really is a great City, the original capital of Canada picturesque, rich in history and it has an amazing array of pubs. It takes me back to my navy days in Halifax. (We won’t mention how long ago that was).
There are also so fabulous motorcycle routes which I would love to ride. Unfortunately my motorcycle is over 900km away, so I have had to find other things to pass the time. Too much time in the pubs is hard on the liver and the wallet.
So looking for activities to get me out of the hotel room, I discovered a couple treasures in the Kingston area. The first is the Waterfront trail. Or at least the Kingston portion of it, which is part of the 900km Waterfront Trust Trail. Which runs from Niagra to Quebec!
The transit system is great in Kingston, so I was able to hop on an express bus that dropped me off at the trail head. The trail is 8 km long and is a lovely walk, following the shores of Lake Ontario.
One of the sites along the way is the Kingston Penitentiary which operated from 1835 – 2013. It was one of the longest operating prisons in the world at its closing. You can now take a tour through this famous prison http://www.kingstonpentour.com/
Other interesting spots along the way include: Bellevue House- The home of Sir John A Macdonald first Prime Minister of Canada, The Marine Museum of The Great Lakes, and Fort Frontenac.
And after a nice afternoon stroll, what better than to pop into one of the great pups downtown and have a pint and a bite. I chose to rest my legs at The Merchant Tap house where they have a great selection of beer and amazing but inexpensive strip loins.
After a false start a month ago, I think we can safely say that spring is finally here. Its delay was probably a good thins as my bettery was toast and I had to haul a chager along with me to get the beast going whenever I stopped. The second coming of winter gave me time to get a new glass mat battery shipped in. Now she fires up like a charm.
Linda and I both had the day off on Saturday, so we went for a little ride, exploring some of the many back roads in the area. It is such a change from the grid roads we were riding on last year. We found some nice picturesque gravel roads with a few twists and turns, and hills. We are really looking forward to a summer of exploring Algoma and Ontario, and have started to plan out a few trips, both on and off road.
We are looking at doing the Cannon Ball 500 or 1000, still haven’t figured out which one yet. Also looking at a dual sport ride that would include logging roads and highways, a circle route including Thessalon, Chapleau, and Wawa. And of course just picking a lake at the end of a trail, and heading off for a ride and some fishing.
Government Road North of Bruce Mines, March 2016
Near Annie Lake
Well the day started with a great ride, Diane showed me where she used to live. We thought we would pick out a side road and venture out. All the way kept thanking and hearing the adventure camp instructors in our head as we hit some loose sand then crossed a creek which we would never have done before this trip. Then back from a gold mining area we veered off the path agin, we were getting tired but didn’t really realize it until came to a very technical hill which Diane made it up and I choose to hit the ditch as it was either that or the bush.
Got the bike upright and decided to head back and as we hit a creek or if in Saskatchewan a river I veered to the left which was not the best way to go and ended up under the water, once again got it upright and made it out only wet and not hurt,actually we both enjoyed it as we put to use what we were taught and never would have attempted before.
After the dip
Now the big job is drying out the boots but probably won’t happen anytime soon. Enjoyed a great burger barbecued by Robert and settling for the night with a beer in hand. Still think it is strange as after 10 pm and totally light out. Will see what tomorrow brings.
The argument for armor. This is Diane’s leg, from the fall in Prince Rupert.
After we left Ketchican we spent a great evening in the boat’s bar waxing philisophical about life with the other bikers on the boat and Fred the retired ER doc. it was a wonderful time, followed by a long hard sleep enhanced by the movement of the boat. The next day started warm and sunny so we caught some rays on the sun deck surrounded by tents and people in sleeping bags on the loungers. The ferry does provide a great option for those who are trying to keep their costs down. The sun deck has I section that is covered over for protection from the wind and rain and even has heaters in it. People are welcome to sleep in the lounge chairs. If they want to set up a tent for privacy they can, but have to stay outside of the covered area. Other amenities include pay showers and the use do a microwave in the cafeteria We, however, opted for a stateroom, we are realizing we are getting a bit to old for somethings.
By late morning the sun had gone and the rain had started. it stayed for the rest of the day. We arrived in Juneau late afternoon and had 3 hours to spend ashore So we shared a cab to the Mendenhall glacier with some shipmates. Our acquaintances walked up the trail, but with Diane’s cast we couldn’t do that so grabbed a cab and headed downtown, asking the cabbie to take us to a bar that wasn’t to shabby, but not too classy either and had good food. We ended up at the Imperial Saloon, one of the oldest bars on Juneau. It was great! We had seats at the window, which was an open garage door. So we sipped our beer, ate our burger, and talked with everyone who walked by and generally had a great time. Juneau is quite a ways from the ferry dock, so by the time all the cabs were paid for the burger ended up being about $100.
We arrived in Skagway around 3:30am And headed off to Whitehorse. After a brief visit with the local constabulary regarding a burnt out tail light, we continued on our way to Whitehorse. The fog from Skagway to Canada Customs was so bad we had to drive 20 to 30 km most of the way. We have always said that we will go out of this world together driving off a cliff and a few times thought that might be the case. Right after customs the fog lifted and we could go the speed limit again and arrived at Carl and Robert’s in Whitehorse around 7am, had a coffee with Robert and slept until early afternoon.
We had a great day in Prince Rupert. We started with a great meal at the Crest hotel. They did have food at the Moby Dick but considering what the rooms are like we thought we would skip the restaurant.
After brunch we headed off on a forest road. It started easy enough but soon got a bit more challenging with lose rock, wet boulders and a grade that that took us up 400m in 4 km. We were doing great with voices of our instructors in our heads telling us what to do. Like Roy saying a hill is just a flat on an angle and Gary saying look where you want to go. That worked until the voice in Diane’s head was yelling “your going to crash” louder than the other voices. She ditched on a steep switchback. But all in all it was a great ride.
Ok, we admit, we are not the greatest at posting updates. It is hard to find the right balance between visiting with friends and getting the work done. But at last, here’s what we’ve been doing for the past few days.
We had a blast and learned tons at the PSSOR ADV Camp. It was a great confidence builder to learn how to ride the bikes through deep sand and gravel, not to mention taking them over logs and through deep ruts. And, as an added bonus the food was 4 star. Things like marinated grilled flank steak and grilled salmon. Mmmmm. The course culminated with an outride in the Olympic Forest. Awesome ride, with awesome views!
After the out ride we grabbed the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria where we stayed and visited with Linda’s cousins Graham and Rachelle. Had an awesome time with them, and exploring the city. Of course we tracked down the Harley dealer for a couple of shirts and went on a search for a new shift lever for Linda without any success.
On the way to Quallicum.
Next stop was Qualicum Beach, but via the back roads. What a great ride. Nice twisty road, and wonderful views. Once in Quallicum, we stayed with Linda’s friends Karen and Don, very lovely and giving people. They took us to Spunky’s where we were finally able to get a shift lever for Linda, then to Goats On The Roof for a little shopping and looking. Linda confronted her past life with Ghangis khan.
Confronting a past life
After a nice visit in Quallicum it was on the road again. We made a quick stop at Cathedral Grove and were awed by the immensity of the trees, then onto the Old Island Highway up to Telegraph cove. A little off then beaten path, but well worth the detour. A very quaint a very quaint village about a half hour south of Port Hardy.
In the morning we made the short trip to Port Hardy and made up for the extra we spent in Telegraph Cove by staying at the Pioneer Inn. Nothing that a little help form our logging neighbors sharing their BC hospitality couldn’t fix.
The ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert was amazing. The weather was great and the views were awesome. We splurged and had a stateroom for the 15 hour trip, which was great as we didn’t get a ton of sleep the night before. We had seen a motor home in Hudson Bay colors when we were in Telegraph Cove, and saw it again getting onto the ferry. When Linda saw a bunch of young guys in Bay clothing she had to ask what they were doing. Turns out they are film makers and adventurers doing a project for the Bay. You can follow then at b-insider.com Project Adventure.
Linda approaching the summit on the Adventure Camp outride. The ride was a great end to an awesome weekend.