Friday, August 02, 2019

Sudbury Ontario to Grove City Pennsylvania

Day One On The Road To WWR XIII

Rick "Wolfman" Jakubas (VROC #3), along with #1 Ken Bass, Coyote and Toj, was a major factor in the development and growth of the Vulcan Riders and Owners Club. Rick designed the website and established a lot of what became the VROC culture. Unfortunately, we lost him to a wreck on the Blue Ridge Parkway back in 2005. Every year since then, we have gathered at a different location each years to celebrate the Wolfman's Wandering Rally. Last year, it was Williams, Arizona. This year, organized by Southern Draw and his lovely lady Southern Charm, we will be convening at Fontana Village Resort in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.

Yesterday afternoon, I hooked up the trailer and loaded the bike (I remembered to put the antennas down this time). Then Sandy and I packed and loaded everything except the overnight bags.

 Loaded and ready yesterday afternoon

What can I say about another trip to North Carolina? We left under blue skies just before 8:00 AM. I found the 60 F air to be comfortable but I know Sherm would have been looking for a jacket.

 Ready to roll

 Nothing ahead of us but open road

 Big crane for the new French River bridge

 New bridge over the Pickerel River (green snowmobile bridge in foreground)

 Friday of the long weekend and the workers took the day off

 Northbound traffic started to get heavy around Still River

We stopped at McDonald's in Parry Sound. I got coffee and Sandy got a smoothie. I have never seen this restaurant as busy as it was today, and it was only Friday morning. I guess a lot of people figured they would get a jump on Civic Holiday long weekend. My only beef was that this place had two pull-through lanes for trailers and both of them were occupied by solo cars ( despite there being a lot of car parking spaces open). We parked in one of the bus lanes.

Inconsiderate or just unaware?

The further south we went, the heavier the northbound traffic became.On Monday, the jam will be just as bad or worse but it will be going the other direction. I could not live in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) unless my days off were Tuesday/Wednesday).

 Leaving Barrie

 One cloud near Highway 89

 Holland Marsh

 More construction in Vaughn - condos?

 More of these

If 400 north traffic was heavy, I figured 401 west would be bad too. The 407 Express Toll Route charged an outrageous amount to use it but it did make the journey to Hamilton a lot easier. We splurged. It's a nice road, too bad Mike Harris sold it to foreigners.

 UFO masquerading as a movie theater at the 400/407 junction

 Not sure what this was but it looked fast

 Burlington Skyway

 Steel mills in Hamilton

 Brief traffic jam on the QEW

As I was contending with a short-lived traffic jam on the Queen Elizabeth Way, the phone made a sound (Bad To The Bone) indicating a text had been received but nothing came up on the car entertainment centre. The car usually reads me the text. It seemed that while the phone was connected for Bluetooth audio (we were listening to a book), it was not connected as a telephone. After some fussing, I discovered that the phone was connected to the Zumo GPS. I thought I had disabled Bluetooth on the Garmin (I use it for hands free phone when I'm riding the bike) but I guess I hadn't. Fixing it was easy once I realized what was wrong.

 Welland Canal locks from the Garden City Skyway

 There has to be a Gomorrah around here somewhere

We stopped at McD's in Fort Erie because I like to approach border crossings with a clear conscience and an empty bladder. And I got yet one more coffee.

 We don't do Duty Free and a rule

 Getting on the Peace Bridge was a little tricky

 Everyone is going to Canada today

 This is why we have NEXUS cards

 No waiting, drive right up

Quickest border crossing ever. Citizenship? Canadian. Trailer plate number? I knew where the registration slip was right off the bat. Anything to declare? One bottle of bourbon. Please roll down the back window (tinted). Have a nice day. And that was it.

The NEXUS card and E-Z Pass both came in handy today. No waiting in line to access or leave the NY Thruway either.

 A single underdeveloped wind turbine along the NY Thruway

 Traffic was moving well on I-90

 Stopped for gas in Erie Pennsylvania

 This oddity didn't appear to handle very well

But this did

South of Erie on I-79, we stopped at a WalMart in Edinboro, Pennsylvania and got some snack food (cheese for me) and a couple of prepared Caesar salads. I was set to find a nice restaurant but Sandy wanted to eat in the room.

We arrived at the Super 8 at the Grove City exit (just south of the I-80 intersection) at about 6:00 PM. After getting the gear to the room, I went through the end of day chores while Sandy watched TV and caught up on her phone.

The plan is to go to Abingdon, Virginia tomorrow and spend two nights. If the weather is good, we will unload the bike on Sunday and ride The Snake and maybe the Jeb Stuart Highway (58). If the weather does not cooperate, we will unhook the trailer and drive those same roads. ETA to WWR XII at Fontana Village is Monday afternoon.

Today's Route (501 Equinox/trailer miles):

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