July 19, 2009 GMT
Cape Cod To Canada

I had the whole of Mashamoque campsite to myself in Connecticut on the way to Cape Cod.

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Mashamoque State Park Camp Swimming Pool - Connecticut

On arrival at Nickerson State Park at Cape Cod I could only get one nights camping as they were fully booked. The traffic was busy and the scenic coastal roads I imagined, had a row of guest houses advertising private beaches blocking the view. I decided to see as much as possible of Cape Cod in one day then move on rather than try to find new accommodation.

I headed for Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod which is the site of the Mayflower Pilgrims first landing in November 1620.

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Pilgrims Landing - Provincetown Cape Cod

Provincetown was interesting. Narrow, mainly pedestrian streets with arty shops, cafes and restaurants selling lobster dishes. There were lots of antique shops but no grocery stores. I guess if you live in Cape Cod you eat out all of the time!

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Provincetown - Cape Cod - Massachusetts

Although normally avoiding the Interstates and major roads I opted for Interstates 3, 93 and 95 to get through the built up area of Boston. I was stuck twice in long tailbacks of traffic due to road works reminding me of motorway travel in England made worse as motorcyclists donít filter through the traffic here. I donít know whether filtering is illegal or frowned on as antisocial queue jumping but I havenít seen any motorcyclist do it. I restricted myself to lane hopping, tempted though I was to ride between the lanes as I would in the UK.

Once north of Boston I started looking for a campsite but the first few were fully booked. All the Americans that donít go to London for their holiday come to the New England coast. I had arrived in the peak holiday season.

I eventually found a campsite at York Beach, Maine but had missed out staying in New Hampshire.

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Maine Coastline Near York Beach

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Mount Washington New Hampshire, Somewhere On The Horizon Taken From A York Beach Park

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Ogunquit Beach, Near York Beach - Maine

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Perkins Cove - Maine

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Private Beach Perkins Cove Maine

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York Beach Lighthouse

I booked the next two campsites, further up the coast of Maine on the internet to make sure I had accommodation. Naturally, on arrival they had plenty of space available!

On the way to Camden State Park I passed through Newcastle. Nothing like my home town of Newcastle upon Tyne.

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Newcastle, Maine

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Newcastle Church, Maine

I trekked to the top of Mount Battie in Camden State Park which had good views of Camden harbour.

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Camden Harbour

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Camden, Maine from Mount Battie

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Mount Battie

On a second walk to the top of Mount Meganticook (1385í) there were a couple of snakes. One curled up under a rock in the summit cairn. The first wildlife to stand still long enough to get its photo taken!

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Snake in Mount Megunticook Summit Cairn

The last full leg of the east coast of America was only 136 miles to Cobscook Bay State Park. This was just 32 miles from the Canadian border.

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Cobscook Bay Camp Picnic Area With Atlantic Views

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Cobskook Bay Campsite

The scenery changed dramatically. The trees were sparser, shorter and comprised mainly of conifers and silver birch.. It has also got cooler. Still warm but a cool breeze required digging the jumper out from the bottom of the pannier.

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Cobscook Bay, Maine

I passed Fort Knox at Prospect, Maine. Building took place from 1844 to 1853 to protect the Penobscot River from a British attack. The river was attacked by the British during the War of Independence and again in 1812 and it was thought we might have a third attempt. The British never did attackÖÖ or we could just be biding our time! The fort was used during the Civil War and the Spanish-American War.

Fort Knox - Penobscot River, Maine

Entering Canada
Entering Canada at Calais, I got a six month visa and was advised that I should be able to renew the Canadian and American visas at any border point when the time arises. I can stay in America and Canada until Christmas with the current visas. I havenít decided what to do for the winter yet. I donít think I will have time to cross Canada to Alaska then head south to warmer weather this year. Options under consideration so far are:

1. Store the bike and fly somewhere warm and cheap for the winter
2. Ride south as it starts to get cold and miss out the North West
3. Ride south to warmer weather then ride back to Canada in the spring
4. Find a cabin to rent in Canada for the winter

I havenít done much research into any of the options yet but donít want to miss going to Alaska and the Canadian North West. I will probably head west and decide as it gets cooler.

Shortly after crossing into Canada I saw my first bald eagle sitting on the side of its nest. A great way to start a new country!

The first stop was Fundy National Park, New Brunswick which claims to have the highest tides in the world. The sea certainly disappears at low tide. The area is also known for its sea mists which were prevalent during my stay.

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Mist On The Salmon River, Alma, Fundy Nation Park

Enroute for Moncton, New Brunswick for the bikes 12,000 mile service I stopped off at Hopewell Rocks, a coastal beauty spot. Low tide is the best time to visit to enable walking out to all the rock outcrops.

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Hopewell Rocks

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Hopewell Rocks

At Moncton I had to leave the bike overnight to ensure the engine was cold when checking the valve clearances. I would have preferred to remove all the luggage and the additional fuel tanks at a campsite and have ridden the bike to the garage just for the day. Staying at the Címon Hostel, Monkton for the night gave me the luxury of a roof over my head instead of canvas for a change. I was also able to exchange the books I had read. A great place to stay if you are ever in the area.

I saw two bald eagles flying along the river bank at Monkton whilst having lunch. This makes three bald eagles, a symbol of America that I have seen in three days in Canada. I never saw one whilst in the USA!

The weekend I arrived in Canada was the same weekend as Horizons Unlimited meeting in Virginia. It would have been nice to have been there but unfortunately I was heading in the opposite direction. I won't have time to get to the next one in Western Canada in August either. Hopefully I will catch an HU meeting somewhere on my travels.

Once I collect the bike I am heading for the Cabots Trail, Nova Scotia.

Posted by ianmoor@tiscali.co.uk at July 19, 2009 11:05 PM GMT

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