Thursday, June 28, 2007

Cross Country 2007 - Ride to Vermont

347 miles
As we approached Ottawa we entered more and more urban areas until we were in the city. It was a very different kind of riding. We both wanted to go sight seeing so we found a parking garage near the capital. We walked around what I am guessing was the parliament building. It reminded me of Notre-Dame in Paris more than any buildings in the USA.
We had lunch at Mc Donalds since their food tastes better when out of the USA and I find it funny. From there we walked down the river to the library. On the way there was a Jazz concert going on in a tunnel. The echoing off the tunnel with the river right there made for a perfect lazy afternoon. As we continued down all of a sudden a row of police cars and a limo sped by with the Prime Minister. I guess this little river makes for an easy get away road from the parliament building. We wanted to go to the library to check email (I had no phone service in Canada and needed to make sure my thesis had passed the final check.) We had to get a library card. It seems odd that it was so easy for people out of the country to get library cards but I guess many people don't plan on stealing books.
We had planned to visit Montreal also but all the signs were in English and French on top of an unfamiliar city and the first real traffic we had hit in the trip we missed where we were supposed to exit off the freeway. We were both to tired to head back through more traffic so we would just have to visit later. D. is much more experienced on a motorcycle and there were many times on the trip I had a hard time keeping up. I had explained that I didn't like splitting lanes, especially when it is illegal such as in Canada. At one point in the traffic I guess D. got fed up and swung around a bunch of cars on the right for a merging lane and there was no way I could catch up. Since my phone did not work in Canada I guessed that I would be making the rest of the trip by myself. Surprisingly my experience with traffic in Los Angeles and specifically lane choice I saw and caught up with him.
We crossed back into Vermont on a little side road since we had got so turned around in Montreal. It was literally a guard shack next to the road. Again no problems, and no passports needed. The border guard was surprised that I had ridden my motorcycle across the country but was more worried about what a tank bag was and that I didn't have any fruit in it. Most importantly, I had now been in Vermont the last of the 48 contiguous states. (So I still have Hawaii and Alaska to go.)
Now back in the USA we just wanted to find a hotel. The problem was there was a Austin Healy car show and road rally that filled up every hotel we went to.I was using the GPS to pull up hotels in the area and call them now that my phone worked again, all full, and all parking lots full of Austin Healys. We repeated this for each town we drove through with the same results. We ended up riding until 1AM where we found a hotel with a room. There were other people checking in that had the same problem as us so it really was a problem.

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