Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Grove City, PA to Essa, ON, Canada - April 29 & 30

We had a fairly uneventful ride north to Erie, PA, before heading east on the I90 into New York State towards Buffalo.  At this point the miles seemed to add up quickly and we were at the Peace Bridge and returning to Canada by early afternoon.

The Canadian Customs Official was fascinated with our passports given the number of stamps and interested in our trip, and before you know it we were in home territory.
I had one last mechanical issue to deal with.  I wonder if my bike just didn't want to go home, as it threw the drive chain on a speed bump only metres into Canada!  Since it is springtime in Ontario, there was a convenient construction zone that I was able to roll into to complete a quick repair.
Back on the road, we stopped at Dual Sports Plus in Stoney Creek to say hello.  The folks at DSP were very helpful in getting us geared up before departure (with equipment and advice!), and they have been following our blog with interest.

From Stoney Creek we rode to Mississauga to stay at my folks for the night where we shared lots of stories and pictures from the journey, before heading north to Essa by  midday the next day.  We had a drink (and I had a cigar!) to toast our safe arrival home, before Petra's folks came over to celebrate and suffer through our stories and pictures!

Our ride took us to 14 countries in 89 days with a total distance of 24,145 km's.  With only 65 days on the bikes, that's an average of over 370km's per riding day.  We've seen remarkable landscapes and incredible diversity, met fascinating people, been awed by the kindness and generosity of strangers, challenged by roads, rivers, heat, cold, wind and natural disasters...in all a fantastic adventure.

In some ways it will be difficult to adjust to a normal life, but in other ways we are just on a journey of a different kind...each day may bring new challenges to adapt to, obstacles to overcome and sights and sounds to enjoy - but I think we're up to it!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wytheville, VA to Grove City, PA – April 28

We got up early intent on covering a lot of ground today.  Yesterday’s clouds had cleared, but it had gotten even colder.  It was only 2 degrees C when we got up, but warmed to 8 degrees by 9am when we got underway.  As cold as it was, we were still better off than some, as areas to the northeast had received up to 10 inches of snow overnight!

We broke the ride into thirds with two stops for food and to warm up and ended up putting a lot of distance behind us.

We rode into West Virginia on the I77 to a point north of Beckley, and then north on Hwy 19, stopping for a diner lunch outside of Summersville.  From Summersville we continued north to the I79 stopping in Washington, Pennsylvania for a warm-up before passing through Pittsburgh and on to Grove City for the night.

Despite the cold, we rode almost 570km’s today and have only about 500km’s further to go before completing our journey.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cherokee, NC to Wytheville, VA – April 27

What a miserable day.  The weather was terrible again.  It was raining so hard this morning we waited until 11am before moving.  Even in a light drizzle we were soaked quickly by wheel spray from other vehicles as we rode the Appalachian Expressway to Asheville, North Carolina.

We  had a nice lunch at the Lucky Otter in Asheville – it’s a small restaurant where everything is made on site.  Good food.

After lunch we rode the I26 to Johnson City, Tennessee, where the sky turned green and black again.  As we turned north on the the I81 and into Virginia the storm let loose and we were soaked again, but able to stay ahead of the worst downpours.

By 5pm we had reached Wytheville and stopped to look for accommodation for the night.  It was only 8 to 10 degrees C for most of the day and we were frozen through.

We’re just a few miles from the West Virginia State line, so if the weather clears up for tomorrow, we’ll try to cross West Virginia and continue into Pennsylvania.