First Solo Bike Trip: Day 2

Itinerary / Route:
From: Poughkeepsie, NY To: Montreal, QC
Leaving Barbara’s place, I plan to head north to Canada, staying off of the Interstate as much as possible. According to the map, I should be able to take some form of Route 9 (9n, 9g, etc.) all the way to the border. Guess we’ll just have to see about that.

Most of Route 9 seems to follow waterways, which I image will be pretty. Pictures to come…

305 miles

Location: Amsterdam, NY
Lat/Long: 42.97154/-74.187306
Date: Monday, August 15, 2005
Time: 11:02:34 AM
Odometer Reading: 11103
Log Entry
Daily Trip Log
Location: Amsterdam, NY
Latitude: 42.97154
Longitude: -74.187306
Map This Location
Time: 11:02:34 AM
Log Entry:
Just rode through the Catskill mountains. Thay are really beautiful in the early morning, with clouds seemingly draped over them.Driving by the Catskill moutains, I am reminded of one of the books that I read when I was a kid, “My Side of the Mountain.” I don’t really remember much from the book, except that it is about a kid who runs away from home and ends up making his own home on one of the mountains in the Catskills. I’m going to have to find a copy of that book and re-read it.

The morning began with a drive through the rain. I ended up stopping to put my rain suit on and covering the bags with a tarp. From now on, the bags get covered every morning.

Thus far, I have only covered 100 miles in 3 hours. Not sure why it seems so slow. At this rate it’ll take 7 more hours to reach my destination. Right around 6pm.
Odometer Reading:
11569
Location: Tupper Lake, NY
Latitude: 44.221841
Longitude: -74.466591
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Time: 2:31:52 PM
Log Entry:
In Tupper Lake. Since my last entry, I have seen more lakes in a smaller area than I ever have before.

Thus far I’ve taken 54 pics since starting yesterday. Here and I thought I hadn’t taken enough.

With luck, the KOA that I’m at this evening will have Inet access and I’ll be able to post them.

It’s funny how many things pop into one’s head when driving like this. More on that later.
Odometer Reading:
11686
Location: Montreal KOA, QC
Latitude: 45.287355
Longitude: -74.194083
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Time: 8:45:12 PM
Log Entry:
So, today I made it to Montral, QC. Actually, I made it to the KOA east of Montral. I finished up at about 5:50pm.

Of course, this was after I sort of go lost, but hey, I found myself. Turns out that a GPS really is a guy’s best friend. Personally, I’m confinced that every man should own one and learn to use it. Then all of the women in the world might have a reason to stop complaining that we refuse to stop for directions.

Then again, it might just make it easier for men to avoid doing the easiest thing: asking for directions. I’m seeing a double-edged sword coming out of this whole thing.

Nevertheless, I was able to tell my GPS position by looking at the map on my handheld and following the roads toward the route I needed to be taking. This happened not once, but twice and both times, the GPS really helped out.

Now, I’m not saying that a GPS should replace a good sense of direction, simply augment it.

Anyway, here I am East of Montral and that’s where I’ll stay the night.

Earlier, I made mention that it is really strange the thoughts that run through your mind when you’re riding. Well, when I’m riding, anyway. This morning it was raining when I started out and I had to put on my rain suit. Well, one thought lead to another and I started wondering about this guy that my parents were friends with when I was a kid. All of this because he used to wear a flourescent rain suit when riding his BMW motorcycle in the rain.

So, in addition to that, a few other strange things for the day:

Animals Seen

1 deer crossing the road in front of me as I was going 75 through the Adirondacks.

Collisions
So far the only things I’ve collided with have been of the insect nature:

3 unknown bugs that hit me pretty solidly in the face

1 HUGE dragonfly that tried to squeeze through the space between my ear and the strap of my helmet. I think that it succeeded, but didn’t come out of the situation in very good shape.

Crossing the Canadian border was quite amusing. The border guard/person was this cute girl in her 20s who looked like she could be the sister of Scarlett Johanson. Here I am, all concerned that I’m going to get the third degree from the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and this very polite, delight young lady asks me if I’m carrying any tobacco or alcohol and sends me through.

I guess the anal probe is reserved for crossing back into the States.

Coming into Canada was interesting, though. There was a real difference after crossing the border, I mean, aside from the fact that all of the road distance were in kilometers and the signs were in French.

For one, many of the roads that I followed in my 50 miles in the country are in need of repair. This was a marked difference from New York, where all of the roads seemed either well maintained or newly paved. It was actually a real surprise to have there be such a difference.

For another, stop lights are horizontal instead of vertical. They seem to indicate the same thing, though there was this one time when the green light started blinking. Not sure what that meant, though it seemed like a green arrow, because oncoming traffic stopped while everyone in the left lane turned left.

And then, there are way more 4-way stops than anywhere I’ve ever been. They’re like those crazy traffic circles that one finds all over London, only there are many more of these.

So far all of the people that I’ve encounted have spoke English, so I haven’t had to break out the massively mangle French (Excusé-moi, est-ce que vous avez le chasse-moustique? [Excuse me, do you have the insect repellent] and my ever favorite, Pardon madame, ou sont les toilettes? [Excuse me ma’am, where is the toilet?])

Well, I’ll save that for another day. Probably tomorrow, when I’m headed further north, where I understand fewer people admit to speaking Anglais. We shall see!

Odometer Reading:

11797