Sunday, August 30, 2020

Wasn't That A Summer.....

 We had planned a lot of traveling this summer:

  • May - SEVROC in Maggie Valley, North Carolina
  • June - WWR in Mountain View, Arkansas
  • July - VROC rally in Deadwood, South Dakota
  • July - An eight day ride with Zeke through Montana and Wyoming
  • August - Twins Days in Twinsburg, Ohio
And still to come,
  • September - VROC Reunion in Eureka Springs, Arkansas
  • September - Outer Banks, North Carolina
But we were locked down instead. In March, the Canada/US border was closed to all except for essential traffic. Some inter-provincial borders were closed as well, a violation of the Canadian Constitution. People stayed at home, ordering food and groceries to be delivered. Politicians all somberly addressed us every day. In April, there were heated arguments about whether it would be right to take a motorcycle out for a ride. Masks and distancing were the order of the day. 

Then, as the infection rate declined, things opened up a bit. Restaurants and bathrooms opened up, albeit with restrictions. Golf courses opened up as well and we got the motorcycles out. But the US border stayed closed. Only limited size gatherings were allowed.

So the summer was a series of not-to-far motorcycle rides and golfing. That was until I blew out the tendon in my left elbow in mid-July. Then it was just riding, once I could squeeze the clutch lever again. Here are a few images from this period:

May 23 - Leo and my first ride

June 5 - Leo eagles #13 at Cedar Green

June 15 - Bear on #3 at Cedar Green

August 7 - Kevin, Mon Onc & Leo in Field, Ontario

August 7 - All masked up at Burger World in North Bay, Ontario

August 7 - Burger World - I should not have eaten this

August 14 - McKerrow, Ontario

My blood sugar went up just looking at this

August 14 - Rick looks happy

August 14 - Mon Onc and Kevin in McKerrow, Ontario

August 15 - Freedom Riders in Mattawa, Ontario

August 15 - North Bay, Ontario

August 18 - Old friend Ray Ward and his son

August 18 - On the Bill Small Memorial Bridge

Since the US border will remain closed through September, we have cancelled the Eureka Springs and Outer Banks trips as well. It was a strange year but we have made the best of it that we could.

Friday, March 13, 2020

LOCKDOWN!!!!

The coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China at the end of December (at least that is when the world became aware of it) has started to devastate medical facilities in Italy, Spain and New York City. The World Health Organization finally declared a pandemic.

The Canadian and Ontario governments have responded by initiating lock downs. People are encouraged to stay home except for absolutely essential travel. Schools, closed for the March break, will not be reopining for the time being. People are being advised that if they do go out, they should keep six feet apart and anyone with symptoms should wear a mask.

On the plus side, a test for the virus has been developed.

In the US, President Trump is suggesting that things will be back to normal by Easter. Prime Minister Trudeau us less optimistic. I am predicting Christmas but I am not sure what year.

It has been 102 years since the last world-wide pandemic. the Spanish Flu killed upwards of 50 million people. I hope this pandemic is not that severe.

So we had lunch at the deserted Apollo Restaurant with Martin Carey, an old friend from the Nickel Riders days who we haven't seen in a very long time. Then we went home and stayed there.

Monday, March 09, 2020

Woodstock Ontario to Sudbury Ontario

We were in no hurry this morning and were still recovering from the return to Standard Time, so we missed the hotel breakfast and didn't get rolling until 9:30 AM. On the plus side, it was 46 F and there was no snow to be seen around the hotel. I love this southern climate:-))

March in Woodstock

Where are my golf clubs?

We fueled up at $1.019 (remember that number), got McDonald's breakfast to go and headed east on Highway 401. It was Monday morning in Toronto so I opted to take Highway 24 northeast from Kitchener to Highway 9 and then 400, missing the city. We actually saw a couple of motorcycles out and about.

Woodstock gas prices

A lot of snow has melted since Friday

NASCAR fan

Highway 400 North was pretty quiet

The multi-year project to update the 400/11 interchange continues

We made a quick bathroom stop at Derek Roberts Esso in Waubaushene and then continued north. Around Moon River, the sky started to turn grey but the temperature was up to a balmy 50 F. There was even some rain starting around Pointe Au Baril, which continued until the Killarney turnoff.

Grey skies around Parry Sound

The new French River Bridge

Back on the wet four lane north of The French River

A couple of random thoughts while going down the road. First, rumble strips carved into the centre and fog lines. I have no proof but I suspect that this initiative has probably saved more lives per dollar spent than anything done since the internal combustion was invented. Second, LED pointers aimed at pilots is classed as an act of terrorism but maladjusted LED headlights searing my retinas goes unchallenged. And now there are Xenon bulbs to do even more damage. OK, the random thoughts turned into a rant. So sue me:-))

Dry highways again

This curious little structure is just before the Nelson Road exit

If anyone knows what it is, please drop me a line

It was 41 F when we arrived in Sudbury and the rain started up again just before we got home. Not your typical early March weather. We fueled up when we hit town. Remember the $1.019 in Woodstock? Sudbury price was $1.110 over nine cents per liter higher. This was not an unusual differential.


We were in our driveway at 3:10 PM. Overall, it it was a great trip. Now we wait for spring and the travel season.

Today's Route (313 Equinox miles):

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Woodstock/Breslau Ontario - Jasper's Birthday Party

The clocks changed overnight but we ignored the loss of an hour and slept in. I am a supporter of ditching this Spring Forward/Fall Back nonsense. Heather texted us just after noon, so we stopped by McDonald's on our way over to their place. Sandy was pleasantly surprised to find that Mickey D. had brought back the Cranberry/Orange muffins that she likes so much.

An old friend has returned

After loading kids and gifts in cars, the caravan left Woodstock for Tom's parents home in Breslau about 2:30.

Jasper and Fiona getting ready to leave

No snow evident on Highway 401

We arrived in Breslau about 3:00 PM. Zofia fed the gathered clan pork, sausage, chicken, turkey, cake and desserts. No one ever leaves here hungry.

Stan and Zofia's house

The official greeter

Zofia - The hostess with the mostest

Heather, Tom and his two brothers

Kim

Mike

The birthday boy eating lunch

Some of the delectable desserts

After lunch, it was tome for the birthday cake and gifts.

Jasper likes dinosaurs

Fiona gets right in there

Cutting the birthday cake

The birthday boy

Opening the gifts

Lots of neat things

Robyn spectating

It was 46 F when we left Breslau about 7:00 PM. Back at Heather and Tom's, we helped grandchildren play with some of the gifts before the headed off for bed. Then it was back to the hotel to get some sleep before heading home tomorrow.

Full moon tonight

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Sudbury Ontario to Woodstock Ontario

This weekend is Jasper's sixth birthday party so we decided to go down and join the celebrations. 

But first, I started the day off by jamming my finger in the garage overhead door. Somehow I pulled the door down with my left finger in one of the gaps (the ones that disappear when closed). I was concerned that there was serious damage done but, once I got the door open again, the digit (which had been in a glove) was numb but still functional.

Construction on the new Maley Drive Extension

Before leaving, we attended a celebration of life for Sue Demore, the Secretary of the Freedom Riders Motorcycle Association, who passed away unexpectedly on February 11th. The gathering was held at the Azilda Lion's Den, where the club usually holds its meetings, and was very well attended.

We left Sudbury just after 1:00 PM. It was below freeing but the sun was melting the snow, a sure sign that spring was on the way.

Bare roads - great for winter driving

New French River Bridge under construction

At Waubaushene, we stopped for fuel and coffee. We also switched boots for shoes.

The ever vigilant O.P.P.

Traffic picking up on Highway 400 south of Barrie

Canada's Wonderland closed for the season

New building going on all around Toronto

Because it was Saturday, we skipped the back roads and the hyper-expensive Express Toll Road 407. For the first time in quite a while, we followed the 400 right to Highway 401. Just after 5:00 PM, the 401 west was somewhat busy, whichcontinued through Mississauga where they are still working to add more lanes. 

Highway 401 West traffic

Pearson International Airport

Always planes coming and going

A new local stadium under an inflatable dome

 Driving into the sunset

Not much snow down here

Winter sunset

We arrived in Woodstock before 7:00 PM and stopped at Subway to get something to take to the hotel with us for supper. I had a chopped salad and the girl who prepared it remembered me from the last time. Then we checked in to the Best Western Plus . The clocks change tonight, it is a full moon, next Friday will be the 13th and there is a nasty new virus starting to affect the world. Nothing to worry about.

Today's Route (315 Equinox miles):