Riding the bike with a leaking fork is a bad idea on several counts. Two that immediately come to mind are getting oil on the front brake rotor (never a good idea) and getting the front axle out of line (I actually did this once). So it would be a trailer road trip. And we were in no rush to get started early since today's destination was only Renfrew, Ontario.
I called Barry at Adirondacks and Beyond to confirm Thursday. He said they were ready and had all the necessary parts. Then I went on line and added thirty days of US coverage to my phone plan. After hooking up the trailer, I loaded the bike (which I had cleaned a little bit over the last couple of days but don't tell anyone). We had lunch and were ready to go.
I should mention that Sandy and I had new cameras. After some experimenting and finding what did not work, I ordered her a Canon Powershot SX 620 HS. It only has two buttons on top. On/Off and Shutter. It is the size of a deck of playing cards and almost as light. The lens cap retracts automatically when it is turned on. And it takes pretty good photos, all things considered. I liked it so much that I ordered one for myself for those times when I don't want to lug the T6 around. All the photos here were taken with one or the other of the 620's.
Before leaving, we had to fuel the car. Mobil gives me the most points, so we stopped there. Imagine my surprise when the automatic fuel shutoff didn't do its job. The lady at the cash said it had done the same thing for a previous customer but she thought it might be a temporary thing. Really!! It wasn't temporary and I was lucky I keep my feet well back when handling gas pumps. She went out and put an out-of-service bag on the nozzle.
At 12:25, we were rolling east under overcast skies. The two-lane summertime blues includes slow motorhomes and construction flag persons. We ended up in a line following and 5th wheel and got stopped by two flaggers before Hagar. That is in the first 30 miles.
They were blowing up a solid rock hill at the second stop to straighten the highway and get it away from the Veuve River, which was starting to erode the roadbed.
To offset my road craving for all things carbohydrate, we stopped at the No Frills grocery store in Sturgeon Falls to get some Turkey pepperettes and string cheese. Then we stopped at Tim's to fill my coffee cup. Sandy declined going to Mickey D's for a smoothie due to her sore throat and settled for a Tim's Salted Caramel Iced Cappuccino. Large. And she finished it off right in front of me as I drank my black coffee.
As we left Sturgeon Falls, I saw what looked like a yearling black bear run across the road in my rear view mirror.
Highway 17/11 around North Bay has a lot of traffic lights. Most of them were red. Then there was a construction zone where they were improving the road so people could get to the next red light faster. At least our side was moving. The northbound Highway 11 into town looked pretty jammed up. Happiness was North Bay in our rear view mirror.
It has been a while since we covered this stretch of Highway 17. Many spots triggered memories and I periodically had to pause the audiobook autobiography of Wild Bill Hickok so we could share them. There was one more flagger at the Corbeil turnoff, where they were reducing another solid rock hill to rubble. Traffic was steady until the Kiosk turnoff, after which we had the road largely to ourselves.
OK, a word about that. Coming back from our first long trip in 1976. We left Halifax at 9:00 AM Atlantic Time. It was about 5:00 AM Eastern and our only stops over the last 1,075 miles had been to gas and go. We were coming down the big hill in the next photo when I fell asleep. It was blind luck that I woke up just before the road turned to go under the railway track. Myrt's was open 24 hours a day, so we stopped for a coffee.
As we were tooling along through the Petawawa military range area, we heard a "POP POP POP" sound. People towing trailers don't like unexpected noises. I checked my mirrors and didn't see anything. Another "POP POP POP" and I pulled over on the shoulder, getting out in the 88 F heat and doing a walk-around. Everything looked OK. As I mulled over the possibilities, we heard "POP POP POP POP POP POP POP POP POP" from beyond the trees. The Canadian Forces Coyote Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle is armed with an M242 Bushmaster 25 mm chain gun and it sounds just like this. Mystery solved. We moved on.
In 1978, we left Sudbury after work on a Friday night to attend the Laconia Classic in New Hampshire with a friend named Ed. It was a weekend trip, so we rode well into the night. As we passed the first Renfrew exit and met a car coming the other way, Ed's headlight suddenly exploded. From the glass shards, we guessed that he was hit by a beer bottle thrown from the car. He had a Windjammer SS fairing and the sealed beam was held in by a silver ring, which was nowhere to be found. I led to Arnprior, where we bought an automotive light and duct taped it onto the fairing.
On the way back, we stopped and looked through the ditch. There was the silver ring.
The Days Inn in Renfrew apparently used to be a Best Western according to the Facebook check in options. We arrived just after 5:30 PM and settled into our room. Then we had supper in the attached Four Continents Restaurant. We had Caesar salad (mine with chicken) and were the only patrons for most of the meal.
I sorted photos and wrote this post. The WiFi went down just before I finished so I switched to the phone hot spot and burned a little data to get done. No need to rush off in the morning because we have a short way to go and a long time to get there.
Today's Route (244 Equinox/Trailer miles):