It's actually August 6th as I write this. I'm packed, the bike is packed, I've mowed the lawn. Up until about 4 hours ago, I didn't have the saddlebag liners I'd ordered, and I was in a panic. I picked the liners up at 4:30, came back in rush-hour traffic, and started packing. Urg. Not a lot of room on a motorbike.
Now I just have to try to sleep, for tomorrow I go!
I woke up at 4:30, and went back to sleep. At 7:20, a truck arrived across the street (outside my bedroom window) to start unloading 3-foot square rock slabs for the neighbors' new pool. Joy. I stayed in bed 'till 8, then gave up and got ready. At 9:15, stomach full of butterflies (and nothing else, I'm far too excited for food), I patted the bike, and uttered the trip mantra - "Let's see what this baby can do!". (Note - that's from Road Fever by Tim Cahill, about his trip accompanying Gary Sowby [I bet that's spelled wrong] from the tip of South America to the tip of Alaska in 23 days).
As planned, I set off up Kingston Road (Rt. 2). The first 50 km took an hour, because until Bowmanville, it's all urban. Nothing very interesting happened until after Colburg, where the road opened up some. Had a gas and liquid stop, but I still was too excited to eat. I was keeping a running total of roadkill, but that was just getting depressing by the end of the day.
Downtown Kingston was a joy to drive through, (not!) but I did get some pics of this tanks - a Sherman with HVSS suspension, 76mm long cannon, and wet stowage. After Kingston, 2 goes right beside the water, and it was a lovely drive. Some high clouds had appeared, giving the occasional bit of shade.
From Gananoque to Brockville, 2 is a great motorcycle road. As if to make up for everything up till this point, it turned into a road with no traffic, sweeping curves, and good pavement. Lovely. Here's a view from the road.
Up to Cornwall was good, but there was more traffic. Lot's of bikes from the U.S. side. The east side of Cornwall is more scenic but crowded, and speed limits are 60kmh instead of the usual 80kmh.
I reached Lancaster, last exit before Quebec, at 5:00, and gassed up and finally had something to eat. Leaving the restaurant, I took the wrong road, ran into roads blocked by construction, and ended up doing 50km before giving up and getting on the 401. My plans was to stay on 20 EST, go south around Montreal, and find a place to stay. I had decided on a change in plan - I'm going through Quebec on 20, because there's a couple of roadside attractions I've always wanted to stop in and see, and so I'm going to try.
Going around Montreal was an excellent plan, and since it was now 6:30, traffic was not an issue. Until I crossed the Pont Champlain, because they don't tell you which lane you should be in until it's far too late. I ended up headed for Sorel on 30 Est, but by now I was tired and was willing to stop at the first motel I saw.
There is a ring around Montreal with no motels, and I was in it. Luckily, 30 Est crosses 20 Est, and I was back on track. To the lady in the blue Jetta who came up on the shoulder and crowded me into the cones at the construction zone, only to get off at the next exit - " !". Finally, passing St Hubert, I saw a sign for a motel called "Rive Gauche". I also saw the sign in the picture. Hey, I'm no dummy, I got off the highway.
Not a bad first day at all. 642 km driven in 10 hours. I saw lots of things I'd never seen, and had some great driving. Cheated death from other drivers twice. The weather could not have been better.
Tomorrow night, I expect to be in New Brunswick.