An albert county ride 05-30

The weather was looking good for the afternoon, cloudy and a high of 20 with no rain in the forecast. Given how this year has gone I was keen to ride but skeptical this forecast would be any more accurate than all those disappointments that have come before today.

I headed out to the Adventure Lair and got there about 11:30. I suited up, made a quick stop for gas and was on my way.

134 km today.

I didn’t have a destination in mind but I wanted to at least get a photograph or two while I was out. Eventually I found myself in Albert County and exploring around the wind farm a bit.

I took a ride over New Ireland Road to the Kent Road junction. Sad to see a lot of development in the area with huge swaths of clear-cut and gigantic utility poles going in. Turns out there’s a new wind farm project going in around there so there’s trucks and heavy equipment all over the place. Too bad, that used to be a place you could quickly go to from the city and feel like you were really out in the boonies. Progress – Ugh!

A little way along NI Rd I came across this spot that seems to have been used for a boondock camping spot. I stopped for a stretch and to take some pics. Waypointing it for future reference.

It’s a nice little spot, if a little close to the road. It has water, a nice firepit and is reasonably flat. Somebody even took the trouble to erect a latrine in the woods nearby – I didn’t explore too closely but there appeared to be a wooden frame to hold the toilet seat and a blue tarp overhead. They hadn’t dug a pit, though and while there was a tipped-over bucket nearby the pile of evidence of the latrine’s use was simply standing there under the seat. Who does that?

Used the stack&blend method to smooth out the water for a faux long-exposure effect on both the following shots. Enhancement done with Luminar Flex, I really like that software BTW.

It’s bittersweet as I will only have the F800 for another month or so. I’ve decided it I can’t afford to keep it in my newly reorganized retirement plan so it has to go back to BMW – likely sometime late June or July. Rides like this are perfect for this bike and remind me how much I like it and will miss it.

I took Kent Road toward home and it wasn’t as much fun as it should have been. That road has always been one of my favourite rides but with the new development it’s getting upgraded again. There was an A-hole in a dump truck I had to get around and a dozer making a real mess I had to contend with. Also a huge pile of gravel in the road that I could just get around on one side.

Once in the wind farm it was more big trucks and they weren’t giving any f_cks at all about anybody else. One blocked me from passing me forcing me to ride in his dusty wake, another pulled out right in front of me. These guys are so used to there not being anybody else around they aren’t even looking. Pretty dangerous and I guess I’ll likely have to avoid the area this summer – shame.

It never did get to 20, in fact 15 was as high as I experienced and I did encounter a shower or two. Luckily I’d been skeptical from the start and had on full WP gear and a warm vest under my jacket. Heated grips on the whole ride.

A ride on the sunrise trail

371 km total

The weather this spring has been so poor I’ve been getting very little riding in. 18+ degree days have been few and far between and even 15 degrees has been out of reach most of the time – we’ve still managed to get more than our share of 3 and 4 degree days, though.

So when the forecast on Sunday morning was for 15+ highs and gradually turning from clear to cloudy over the day I grabbed the chance to get out on the bike.

All of the riding I have been able to do has been in NB so to change it up a bit I decided to take a short trip to NS. By the time I got to the bike, geared up and ready to go it was a few minutes after 12:00. I filled the tank at the Irving Big Stop ($1.38.9 /L) and headed out to Truro. It was about 15 degrees.

As usual it was windy AF and cold on the Tantramar marsh but nicer again on the other side. I turned off at Amherst almost exactly an hour after setting off and took rte 366. It’s a nice ride when the weather is good, today the wind was coming onshore so near the water and in exposed areas it would drop to 12 or 13 degrees.

I took my time and enjoyed the ride, I likely won’t have the F800 much longer – this may well be the last time I even ride it for any duration so it’s a bittersweet ride today.

Around 1:40 I got to Northport Beach PP so I decided to stop for a bit and get out the camera.

It was breezy and cool here.

I had a fleece sweatshirt on under my Klim jacket which had been fine at first. Steady temps at or below 15, though, was gradually giving me a bit of a chill but this time I’d thoughtfully packed my warm vest so I put that on. The vest was all I needed to get me through the rest of the ride in comfort.

There are signs all along the edge here warning of actively eroding edges along here. It looks like much more than average erosion and this piece of land is receding fast – I guess that will ultimately mean more beach (or maybe it just gets washed out with the tide) and less park?

It’s disturbing to see how much of the bank has “melted” down onto the beach – this seems to be accelerating – more evidence, I guess, of climate change.

I’ve been wanting to try focus stacking using photoshop so even though I didn’t have a tripod this seemed like a good time to give it a whirl.

Setting A=f:8 and A priority, first I focused on the foreground in this shot to get the immediate foreground sharp.

Then leaving all settings the same and trying to hold the camera in as close to the same spot as possible I focused deeper into the scene for this shot to get the middle distance and infinity sharp.

Using Photoshop I fixed the alignment for both photos, which had been surprisingly close give they were hand-held while I stooped down to get the camera about 8″ off the beach.

Here’s what Photoshop used from the immediate foreground exposure:

And here’s what PS used from the middle ground to infinity exposure:

Then I used the blending tools in Photoshop to merge the two photos into one. I think this is such a cool process and it will change the way I do some of my landscape and macro photography for sure.

Once I had them merged, I made a few Lightroom adjustments for tone, contrast etc., ending up with this:

By the time I climbed up from the beach it was about 2:00 and time to get going under threatening skies.

I rode on as far as Tatamagouche where I stopped for coffee at 3:00. Sitting in the sun on a bistro chair outside the cafe, I enjoyed the coffee and people watching – there were lots of folks out on this sunny holiday Sunday. About half an hour of that was enough so I got back on the road, taking rte 246 over to the Wentworth Valley then rode the highway all the way home. I parked the bike at about 5:15 after a very nice afternoon’s ride.