Tag Archives: back country riding

NB Gravel Ride Part TWO, Aug 6 and 7th. DAY TWO

Wednesday 19-08-07

Day 2, 508km
packed and ready by 8:33 AM
took a break for a bit at Allbright’s Corner.
In Fredericton Junction I got stopped for a few minutes
I re-routed a bunch and drove in circles a bit taking the really long way home.

NB Gravel Ride Part TWO, Aug 6 and 7th. DAY ONE

The whole trip

2 days, 781km

Tuesday 19-08-06

Day 1, 283km
I rode quite a bit of gravel on this trip, this was in nice condition but a bit loose.
I lightened the load a bit but the bike is still loaded pretty heavy
For all those that think riding in NB means 100% tunnel-like tree lined roads.
Crossing the Saint John River on the Evandale Ferry.
It’s a great day for summertime fun on the river.
“Road Closed” signs are much cheaper than construction repairs so this road remains unpassable by all but an ATV.
The KLR is using a bit of oil so I stopped at Oak Point Park to top it up .
Dinner at the Welsford Irving – $4.35.
Heading into the bush so I bought 2l of H2O.
Found a decent boondocking spot at the northern tip of South Oromocto Lake.
Camp location
Tucked unobtrusively into the trees, barely visible from the road.
There’s a tiny dam holding back the lake with a fish ladder along the side.
video log entry
Enjoying a nice sunset from my campsite
sunset

NB Gravel Ride, July 22 to 25th. DAY FOUR

The whole trip

The whole route, 1,409 KM total

Thursday, 19-07-25

Day 4, 379KM
Crappy campground experience, McAdam, NB
Crappy campground experience, McAdam, NB
Had a great breakfast here.
a picturesque boondocking site
a picturesque boondocking site
flowing water
flowing water
flowing water
moving water Pano 1
Moving water Pano 2
A usable, compact boondock site, pretty close to the road, though.
I wasn’t sure I could make it through the bush to the next fuel so I turned back toward Utopia

NB Gravel Ride, July 22 to 25th. DAY THREE

The whole trip

The whole route, 1,409 KM total

WEDNESDAY 19-07-24

Day 3, 437KM
Bridge across the St. John River
Bridge across the St. John River
Bridge across the St. John River
Saint John River
Saint John River
The trail is fizzling out fast
How far do I take this?
I’m not going to go any further.
Dropped the bike turning around in the steamy forest, had to partially unload to get it back on it’s wheels.
back on two wheels and ready to continue on.
Camping spot tor the night

NB Gravel Ride, July 22 to 25th. DAY TWO

The whole trip

The whole route, 1,409 KM total

Tuesday 2019-07-23

Day 2, 223KM
it’s possible to work on the carb without removing the tankā€¦ just.
all done, buttoned up and ready to go.
The picnic park where I did the carb work
KLR travellers typically carry engine oil with them.
Arriving at States Lake.
Somebody out fishing on the lake, Nice Truck!
States Lake sunset
States Lake sunset 2
Almost done fishing States Lake
Fisherman’s dog, eager to see who I was.
The Marina at States Lake
video log 1
video log 2
video log 3
Day 2, Camp location

A ride to maine and new hampshire June 5th to 10th, 2019 day two

Thursday June 6, 2019

Day two route, 169 KM

It rained through the night but I slept well. In the morning it was still alternating from rain to showers and back and as I was in no hurry I made coffee and thought about where to go today.

I decided to walk a ways into Searsport to see if I could find something for breakfast but didn’t really get far. Searsport seems to be one of those Maine towns that are mostly a collection of houses and random businesses strung along the road without a discernible town centre. There are many more options in nearby Belfast Bay, but that would have been quite a walk. I passed a nearby Irving that I thought would do in a pinch but although it was fully lit up and powered, the pumps were all closed and the buildings were empty. Weird to see the big and well-lit road sign showing all grades of gas at $0.00 and the pump handles all covered. So I walked back to my room, ate a power bar and looked at some route options.

By 10:00 or so I was ready to leave. The weather had settled down and the rain seemed to be finished leaving only occasional showers to deal with. Temps were cool so all my zippers were closed but it was not unpleasant riding.

A few KM down the road I stopped at Belfast Bay and rode through the little town. Stopping at a waterfront park I shot a few photos.

After this I stopped at a Hannaford’s for some groceries. I wanted to try out cooking at my campsite and not relying on freeze dried “Hiker Delight” type meals as I have in the past. I got some dry pasta, tomato sauce and some Italian sausages for supper and bought some sliced turkey breast and 6″ tortillas for a lunch on the road.

I soon carried on along route 1 along the coast and by noon the weather was dry and warming up. It was a really nice day for riding with generally clear skies and some clouds.

Around noon I stopped at a roadside rest stop at Sherman Lake and ate lunch at the nice, covered picnic tables there.

When I pulled into the park there were about a dozen various EMT type vehicles there all sitting with full lights flashing. There were multiple State Troopers, the Sherriff, a firetruck, a couple of ambulances, a SAR vehicle etc. The operators were all just kind of standing around in the parking lot and it was weird idling through between them all. Nobody seemed in a hurry and the one thing missing appeared to be a patient or other emergency.

They were there quite a while and eventually a school bus pulled in and offloaded a dozen or so cheerleaders. The cheerleaders got in several of the vehicles and everybody then hauled a$$ out of the parking lot with lights and sirens. There must be an emergency parade somewhere, I guess. Bizarre.

I hadn’t gone to the bother of ordering cigars in advance as usual and instead had decided to live off the land cigar-wise. I’d picked up some Swisher Sweets Perfectos at a gas station and got 5 for the price I usually pay for 1. They weren’t bad.

I haven’t got reservations anywhere and now it’s after lunch so I started thinking about finding a campground. I had no wifi here but most of my campground apps work offline, just without maps. (I later figured out a way around that).

ioverlander.com was showing a promising State Park campground not too far away and not too far off route one so I decided to head for there.

On my way got back to the bike in the parking lot there was a guy kind of hanging around his nearby car. When I started packing my stuff up he came over and as happens so often, started asking questions about the bike. It turned out he is a long-time BMW rider and has two at the moment – an R1200RT and a R90S. We stood there talking for quite a while about BMWs, other bikes and bike trips. He’s had the R90S for a long time and had lots of stories about mods and restorative work he’s done to it. His wife returned from wherever she’d been part way through the stories and was just sitting in the car like this happens frequently, and it likely does – he was very chatty. Eventually everybody reached a point where it was time to move along and with a wave he drove off.

I have set up a “scenic routes” option on my GPS that will find a route avoiding all highways, toll roads etc. and I used it a lot on this trip. I set the GPS to “meander” mode and off I went soon turning inland and away from Route One.

It was a really nice ride and eventually I arrived at Bradbury Mountain State Park. When I decided to head for here I couldn’t see where it was on the map – my GPS had routed me through a series of country roads and I had not been on route one since lunch time. So I was surprised to find out my campsite was only 7 miles from Freeport, ME. I was even more surprised to find it only about 25% occupied as Freeport is a shopping mecca and usually very crowded and busy.

This turned out to be a new addition to my “favourite places to camp” list and I ended up staying here two nights. It was primative (though my site happened to have running, potable water) and relatively quiet. Most of the noise came from a bit of traffic on the road out in front of the campground. It didn’t bother me but next time I’d likely choose a spot deeper in the campground and further from the road.

Some of the walk-in sites are very secluded:

Although it was early in the day I decided to stop here and set up. On so many past trips I’d be out droning along on the interstate and swearing at the traffic for hours yet but this felt right for this trip. I enjoyed relaxing around the campsite and talking with the park staff.

I cooked my supper and it all worked out fine, it was nice to be able to put together something for myself that doesn’t cost 12 bucks, doesn’t contain so much salt and isn’t 600 calories. The needs of a backpacking hiker and a guy just sitting on a bike all day are pretty different, convenience seems to be the main point of convergence but now I have lots of time that doesn’t matter as much.

Eventually an R1200RT rider from Petrolia, ON stopped by to say hello and chat. He was on a tour with his truck and trailer rig as his wife won’t ride. His brothers all ride too and we shared some stories. He was kind of focused on the bugs (there were a few but not that many) and talked about how hard it had rained the night before. He complained a lot about the weather, citing the cold and wet not-spring as the reason he wasn’t riding his bike much. He was getting pretty doom-n-gloomy on the topic of climate change – when I finally found out he was a raised on a farm and it all made a lot more sense. He likely grew up with everyone around him cussing on the the weather no matter what kind of weather it was. But yeah, climate change is real and it’s going to be wetter in the East.

Later another rider with a K1600 came by to chat, he is new to BMW coming from the Harley world and so far he is very happy. He “has no idea what most of the buttons do” but knows how to work the GPS and is a seasoned long-haul rider. He’s from Quincy, MA (just outside Boston) and when the bike was five days old rode it to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. He said it was a cold ride at the beginning of March but he loved the ride. He’s was on his way to Laconia, NH the next morning to join in the for Bike week festivities. It was dark when he came in and unfortunately I was still dark when he rolled out in the morning – I regret not having a chance to add him to my Riders I Meet photo gallery.

I don’t often have a campfire, but felt like one this night. The wood was damp but I got a little fire going and managed to keep it burning through the evening.

Day two had been a complete success and I was thoroughly enjoying the trip.