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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Day 1, July 19th

As I got off work on the 19th in the morning, I decided to sleep for a bit then pack up and go.
As being on a first solo motorycle trip out in regions I'd never been before, I overpacked some things, but under packed others. Mostly overpacked. A friend (J.G.) gave me some adivce "pack less than more. Bring warm weather riding gear, if it gets cold, layer a rain suit to stop the wind. You know they have stores in the maritimes if you forget something"

yup. overpacked. The stuff I forgot, I bought. I didn't overpack that much though... but i could easily cut it down to half of what i brought. I was ready for almost anything! (except the one thing i couldn't prepare for which happened 3 times)

I decided to leave at night, hopefully missing sunday traffic on the way up the St Lawrence.

At 6pm I left the apartment. I Visited my dad along the way... for some reason he was really worried about this trip. Left there at 7:45pm.

I rode up alongside the Ottawa River, went through montreal on the Big 4-lane hiways and rode on and off the major highways into the night. at around midnight a very thick fog rolled in and no matter what road i took, the fog was there. I couldn't go very fast as i couldn't see and my visor was fogging up too much. i couldn't ride with clear glasses either as they would fog right up.

Trying to keep next to the major highways (as gas stations during the night aren't often open in small towns) I took many smaller roads. a few animals darted out that night. A cat, a mouse, and a dog chased me barking. That scares the crap out of you in pitch black darkness with fog.

At one point I crested a little hill and on the other side there was something in the middle of my lane, which looked like an animal about 4 feet long and brownish and at least 6 inches tall on its side.

I didn't try to avoid it since if skidded on it, i'd be toast. Motorcycles are funny that way. So i made sure i was pointing dead center, stood on the pegs a little and ran right over it.

ta-thump. It felt like I ran over a hard tennis ball. I stopped to make sure everything was ok, but I didn't go back and look. I didn't think it would be very safe for me to be standing in the middle of a dark road in the middle of the night (probably 2am at this point) with all the heavy fog.

The next time i pulled over i checked the bike for any damage and/or blood. I could find neither on the bike. maybe it wasn't an animal?

I checked out the bike and had myself some coffee. I took these pics to remind myself how cold and soggy it was riding in that pea soup. my jeans were soaked, but I used the rain liner in my jacket and that kept me dry. my gloves were soaked. I couldn't ride with either a clear visor on the full face helmet or clear glasses since they fogged up, so I rode with no eye protection. Couldn't really go any faster than 50-60km/h. It was a really slow going night.

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