Day 1 Cross-Canada Ride (hereinafter CCR)
While the bulk of this blog will describe daily rides in Canada and various adventures and misadventures along the way, first I have to get to Canada, and that requires three and a half days of riding through various states between North Carolina and New Brunswick. Today’s ride went from North Carolina into Virginia and tomorrow’s effort will wind up in Pennsylvania.
I had planned to sleep late and be well rested for today’s ride. But, naturally, I woke at 4:30 and spent the next hour trying to think of things I had forgotten to do or to pack. Eventually I got up earlier than planned, ate a reasonably healthy breakfast, and Steve and I had the bikes packed and ready to go by 8:00. Everything was going smoothly. Dishes washed and put away–check. Lights in the house off–check. Doors locked–check. Bikes out of the garage–check. Packs firmly strapped to the bikes–check. The only thing that remained to be done was to move the cars around so that both Miatas are in the garage and the truck is in the driveway. Uncover the outdoor Miata, get in, turn the key. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Dead battery. Of course, because NOTHING is ever easy or goes as planned. Undeterred and with a slight chuckle, I unpacked my jumper cables. But Steve had a power pack battery jumper he hooked up to the dead battery instead. Except he put in on backwards and may have fried his unit. Back to the jumper cables and finally the little red Miata turned over. Drive the now-running Miata into the garage and park it–check. And we’re FINALLY ready to get on the road. My “to do” list at the end of the CCR now includes “put a new battery in the Miata.”
We could have made today’s ride to Staunton, Virginia, in about five and a half hours if I wanted to spend the entire time on the concrete slab known as the Interstate Highway. But I wanted one more twisting ride through the beautiful Western North Carolina mountains. Consequently, we spent the entire morning on various North Carolina backroads, including several stretches on the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway, and on miles of scenic Virginia roads with wonderful views of neatly organized farms and hundreds of acres of geometrically perfect evergreen nurseries. The sights along the way were well worth the extra two and a half hours of riding time.
But, one might ask, if I went through such great scenery, where are the pictures? Well, they’re still in the camera because my new Panasonic Lumix stores image files on an SD card and my new MacBook Air doesn’t have a slot for an SD card like my old MacBook Pro. I think I knew that as I was planning this trip but failed to buy the appropriate dongle to enable photo transfers to the laptop which is currently in my lap. I hope to remedy that issue in the next few days. In the meantime, I’ll make do with what I can capture using my iPhone.
There are readers who come to hdriderblog.com not to learn of my adventures or to be enlightened about the fascinating places I visit, but, rather, to discover what kind of pie I had each day. For those not familiar with the pie saga, I spent several rides, it seems, living largely on pies of as many varieties as I could find. I still like pie. I still plan to eat pie on this trip. But at the risk of offending pie-crazed followers of the blog, I’m probably not going to make it a daily habit this time. It’s getting harder and harder to keep the pounds off, especially if all I’m doing is sitting on a motorcycle. Nevertheless, at Grayson’s Restaurant in Wytheville, Virginia, I ordered apple pie for desert, which I ate before I ate the outstanding cheeseburger I also ordered. Here it is:
One final chore this evening after arriving at our less-than-luxious Best Western motel was to go online and make sure I had satisfied all the Canadian covid-related requirements to enter the country. I had worked on the ArriveCan app several weeks ago and found the website frustrating, to say the least. Tonight’s experience was also frustrating but I managed to cross all their T’s and dot all their I’s and they sent me a QR code that, upon presentation Monday to the appropriate border authority in Saint Stephen, New Brunswick, should speed my entry into all of Canada. We’ll see.
All-in-all it was a good day. Stayed dry. Had pie. Drank a small glass of Jack Daniels. Have a bed with clean sheets. Hard to ask for much more than that.