There were heat warnings regarding southern New York for the upcoming weekend. Temperatures were forecast to be in the mid 90's with the humidex exceeding 105 F. They were even canceling the horse racing a Saratoga Springs. A look at the broader map showed that the heat wave was extending across many states.
We left the Super 8 in Massena, New York at 7:30 AM and followed Highway 37 southwest along the shore of the St. Lawrence River to Ogdensburg. I opted to use the Ogdensburg Prescott International Bridge because I prefer Highway 416 route to Highway 17 rather than going through more of Ottawa. Highway 37 is a parkway with pretty scenery and very little traffic.
Arriving in Ogdensburg, we stopped for final US gas at a Valero station I remembered using on a previous trip. After fueling the Equinox, I moved up so the trailer door was even with the gas pump. The bike tank was quite empty after the ride in from the Soo last week, so I was happy that the hose was long enough to reach inside.
There were some older cars with Ontario plates filling up next to us. Both drivers were stymied by the pump asking for their Zip Code before allowing them to use their credit cards. I shared the Postal Code 3 digits plus 00 trick and they were able to pay at the pump. I don't know why they don't post this gem at the pumps, especially near the border. The drivers were heading for the Syracuse Nationals and the gentleman with the Chevy told me he painted motorcycles for the dealerships in Ottawa.
The US bridge plaza was deserted as we started across the 1.5 miles of badly aligned steel grating. It was even more deserted, if possible, on the Canadian side. I pulled into the lane with the only green light and had to wait while the agent left whatever he was doing and came to the window. I declared an estimated $100 in parts used to service the bike and another $80 of 5 Hour Energy drinks (I use a lot and they are cheaper in the USA). That satisfied him and he welcomed us home. I worry at these quiet crossings that they might be bored and want to search travelers just for something to do, but this was a good day.
There was little traffic on Highway 416. There was not much of anything so, when Sandy asked about a bathroom break, I was watching. It was a while before a sign said there was an Ultramar gas station at Exit 57. After I took the off ramp, I was presented with the following sign:
My interpretation was that there were several gas stations to the right and one of them was an Ultramar. After proceeding several miles down a two lane road, we came to an intersection with traffic lights. There, the sign we saw was:
Left turn or straight ahead? There was oncoming traffic so I went straight and ended up in the village of Manotick. This was a quaint place with a lot of new development around it. What it did not have was a gas station. Or a fast food place or anywhere else that might conceivably have a public rest room. Realizing that my reliance on signage had been misplaced, I queried the trusty Zumo and found I should have gone left at the traffic light. We finally negotiated our way to the Ultramar while I roundly questioned the parentage of whoever was responsible for signs in what turned out to be Nepean.
After the Ultramar, I made my second mistake. I asked the GPS, which was one for one this morning, to take us home. What I should have done was return to Highway 416 at Exit 57. Instead, the infernal Garmin took me (along with a great amount of other traffic) through a lot of road construction past new homes and a nice looking golf course to a mall. This was next to 416 ONLY a couple of exits up from where we got off. There were many stores there including A Tim Horton's, where we made one more stop before resuming our interrupted journey.
Turning northwest on Highway 17, we encountered a stiff headwind. The car was working in 5th and sometimes 4th gear to keep up the speed, especially when we started to encounter the steep hills. The rest of the trip was uneventful.
It was 91 F as we pulled into our driveway at 3:45. After unloading the gear and the bike, plus tightening the lock coupler on the hitch to eliminate the rattle next time around, I worked up a decent sweat. Lucky the house A/C was working fine.
The mission was accomplished and every maintenance item in my GoldWing service log had been attended to. At the rate we ride these days, I should have years of happy motorcycling ahead of me. Of course, the way I felt on the Wawa ride, the rate of travel might increase in the future.
Today's Route (378 Equinox/trailer miles):