Newfoundland/Labrador Day 27: Back in the States
My last morning in Canada was filled with rain, fog and gray skies. I had thought about taking the coastal route along the Bay of Fundy to see if I could watch any of the tidal action, but the rain, and later the fog, convinced me that it would have been a waste of time because I couldn’t have seen anything anyway and would have added several hours to the ride.
Today’s rain was the hardest I’ve seen on this trip and it lasted for about the first hour of the southward journey. As soon as it stopped and I skirted the coast at St. John, NB, a heavy fog set in and visibility was reduced to less than 100 yards. Not good traveling conditions but I stayed dry and warm in my gear. As soon as I got to St. Stephens, NB, where one of the border crossings is located, the clouds parted, the sun came out and the temperature rose about 15 degrees. No kidding. I thought maybe it was a sign, but there was already a sign that said “United States, Ahead on left 500 Meters” and another one that said “International Border, “so I guess it wasn’t a sign because they don’t need three.
I cashed in the remaining Canadian $ I had at a currency exchange that was definitely not paying the bank rate, joined the line of cars to present my passport, told the border guard that my mud-coated license plate said “DR DZ HD” and not “DR OZ HD,” and was properly returned to my native land.
The slick roads on my final ride through Canada convinced me that I shouldn’t press my luck with my nearly worn out rear tire. I should note that my idea of a worn out tire differs markedly from my brother’s who must think the cords under the tread give a bike better traction and thus he ensures that he gets his money’s worth on tires as he runs them until there’s nothing left but the sides and the air inside. (See pictures)
I headed for Bangor, ME, where the nearest Harley store was located, but that turned out to be a “T-Shirt” store that neither sold bikes nor offered bike service. The tatooed lady at the t-shirt store was kind enough to make a call to another Harley store in Lewiston that actually had a service department and I talked to the service writer there. If I could make there by 3:30 or so, he said, they would work me in.
I drove up to the Lewiston store about 3:45, in plenty of time to have the tire replaced, so I also asked them if they could change the oil and filter. Initially they said wouldn’t have time, but relented and replaced my 10,000-mile old AMSOil with fresh AMSOil. When they replaced the tire they noticed the rear brakes were almost completely worn out but were surprised when I told them that they were the original brake pads. I explained that I do a lot more going than stopping. Anyway, I left the dealer about 6 p.m. with fresh oil, a new tire and new rear brakes, ready for the final trek south to Maggie Valley
Because of the rain and the race to get service I didn’t do any sight seeing other than on the bike as I rolled through the forested hills of central Maine. It was a little more hilly than I expected it to be, but the hills and curves added to the ride and I’m glad they were there. Tomorrow should be different as I head west into New Hampshire and maybe Vermont. There’s a road through the White Mountains that I’ve heard about that should test the tread on my new tire.
Don’t take any worn-out tires and I’ll do the same.