Thursday, August 11, 2005

Moncton, New Brunswick

11:09 p.m.

Comfort Inn, Moncton, New Brunswick

Frustrated again. Not able to publish to the blog for some reason. To me that's the only reason for staying at a motel; otherwise, it's a waste of money. The TV is on constantly, it's difficult to formulate any thoughts, or recollect the day's events. It's driving me nuts! (I thought I would get the whining out of the way immediately.)

Began the day without a firm plan. We were still considering the Cabot Trail ride, however it was overcast and a strong wind from south was blowing in a storm.

Packed up the bikes and went a few hundred yards down the highway to the "Cedar House” for breakfast. Noticed immediately the mature staff, very different from many restaurants we’ve been to. They were professional, very pleasant, and kept busy. A very good home-style breakfast. Before leaving, I took a photo of “The Spaghetti Benders’” sign next door.

Assessing the weather prospects, we decided to "kiss off" the Cabot Trail. Pulled on our foul weather gear, but it proved too warm a day for all the layers. Driving down the highway, I was actually hoping for rain to cool things down. It was threatening, but just not coming.

All covered up, I was becoming claustrophobic. We finally stopped and took the gear off. "To hell with it! I'd rather get wet than be this hot."

I noticed that there was no shortage of enticing bakeries as we headed south! Comfort food. Passed through Whycocomagh again, stopping to take a photo of the "Alice’s Restaurant" sign. The restaurant seemed to be doing a good business today. "Wish I were hungry!"

Connecting with a place is so unpredictable. You can place yourself in a position to make it more possible, but you can’t force it. Somehow, I just haven't connected to anything in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (other than a memorable dinner!) Granted, we haven't allowed much opportunity, as we've been driving so much.

Riding, you observe strange things as the mind has time to wander! Like the eye’s process of moving a grain of sand from its outer edge toward the tear duct, in the process, coating it to prevent damage. It doesn’t need help to do the job.

We raced south. Found a Visitor Information office at Antigonish. These places continue to impress me with the excellent service they provide. The gentleman behind the counter, wearing a lighted Christmas tree pin and Christmas tie, was very candid. He said the catamaran that sails from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia to Bar Harbor, Maine is not worth the drive to Yarmouth. “you can save two hours, and lots of money, just driving straight to Maine from here.” (We had been intending to take the ferry which travels at speeds over 50 mph and makes the 100-mile crossing in less than three hours. (Along the way, I had also wished to stop at Peggy's Cove to see the monument to the Swissair Flight 111 disaster.)

Outside, a couple saw the catamaran brochure in my hand and warned “you better call for the rates before you go down there.”

I followed their advice, calling the 800 number. They were right, the rates quoted were substantially higher than those listed in the brochure, and then they added fuel surcharges and security fees. What sealed it for me, the catamaran decks are fully-enclosed. You can’t stand outside in the fresh air.

Decided to head direct for Vermont. I’m ready to finish this segment so that I can move on to Mexico; the sooner, the better. This phase has proven expensive, and it’s draining my funds faster than I anticipated.

I know I've been away from California too long; I'm starting to crave Mexican food!

My odometer passed the 22,000-mile mark as we made for the New Brunswick borderline. Very strong crosswinds out of the south as we passed just above the Bay of Fundy’s furthest reaches.

Stopped for the night here in Moncton. No room at the "Holiday Inn Express", we settled for the neighboring "Comfort Inn." Dinner at "St. Hubert’s" (I couldn't get salmonellosis again!) Moncton (of which I had never heard) is a big-time city, I guess. "The Rolling Stones" will be performing here soon!

On TV tonight, the riveting story of Timothy Treadwell, who spent 13 summers documenting his life among the Alaskan grizzly bears. In 2003, he and his girlfriend were killed by a "rogue grizzly". Werner Herzog worked with Treadwell to create a film called Grizzly Man, now being released.

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