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Pete Knowles

Pete shares her adventure to Canada and the beautiful scenery along the way. I met up with 11 of my Weatherford biker friends at 5:00 am, on June 5, trying to beat the Texas heat and we did a pretty good job until 11:00am!  By then we were in Louisiana and it was as hot as Texas, but wewere excited to be on our way to the mountains!!  We went thru the Natchez Trace Parkway in Tennessee, Blue Ridge Parkway, Smokey Mtns and it was awesome.
The smells of Tennessee, North Carolina, New Hampshire and New Jersey were some of the sweetest road smells ever!  Not that I have a nose for highway smells, but hey, when you are used to
Texas highway smells in the heat, then you know what I’m talking about!  These mountains have wildflowers and flowering trees that grow wild beside the roads and makes for great smelling road trips.  Ok, enough about the smells.   The scenery was awesome!  We stopped for viewing, picture taking, resting our tired butts and for quenching our thirsts, mentally and physically.   These stops couldn’t come fast enough for me!   I found out my stamina ain’t what it used to be, but I did keep up (most of the time) and will elaborate later on.  We rode the Dragon’s Tail, which is 318 curves in 11 miles.  That was awesome and fun the first time, but the other two times was a little much We arrived at our hotel early and decided to ride the curves before it got dark.  Then we had to ride the 318 curves BACK to get to our hotel.  By this time, I’m tired and getting somewhat grumpy and needed a relaxing drink
and some dinner. Keep in mind that we are on our bikes 8 – 10 hours a day and
add 636 tight, winding curves with other bikers that try to show how fast they can or can’t make a curve leaves one a little testy at the end of the day.  Got a good night’s sleep and ready to go at 8:00 am the next morning only to find out the only way out of this cute, little, mountain town is thru the 319 curves AGAIN! I don’t know how many bikers have done these curves 3 times, but this biker never wants to see another S or U-curve again.  Did I say NEVER?  After riding these beautiful curves, we take another road that lead us to something called the SNAKE, with has 438 curves in 12 miles.  After my eyes uncrossed and we stopped at a great café for food and souvenirs, I announced that if we were going on anything that had “parkway” after it, I was going to take the Interstate, if there was one. Come to find out, a few others felt the same way so off some of us went to explore the Interstate.  Half the group wanted to stay on the “parkways” and the other half decided to meet up somewhere in Massachusetts which brings me to a little “episode” where I didn’t want to keep up anymore.  When we split, I was with a group that went to New Jersey via the Interstate, to see the Jersey shore and we had been riding through NY and CT and by the time we got to Boston, the traffic and the heat was just like Texas. My legs were numb, my eyes were drying out and it was Happy Hour somewhere, and all I wanted to do was stop, have a drink and wait until the sun went down, but NOOOOOOOO!  These guys (men) didn’t want to stop.  I motioned that I was pulling over to a rest stop.  I was DONE and was going to pitch a tent and stay there until I could feel my legs!  We met another couple that also stopped to rest, and they were on their way to a little beach resort for beer and pizza! EUREKA! My kind of people!!  I told my friends I was going with them and would meet up with everyone else later, but NOOOOOOOOO, again, was voted out.  We got off the interstate and took a more scenic ride to a small town in Maine where we met up with the rest of the group, got a room and had our first taste of Maine seafood.  The next day, we woke up to 44 degrees! Packed up our bikes again, ate more seafood for breakfast and made it to Portland, ME for a lobster lunch on a floating restaurant!  I ate clams and lobster and the view was fantastic!  The floating restaurant was next to a marina, and   people were out on their small yachts (or really big boats) talking and laughing, and the dogs were getting acquainted or protecting their territory; couldn’t really tell which.  We were going to ride up the Maine coast, but the traffic was way too slow-going.  There were traffic lights almost every mile or two and we needed to hit
the road to get to Canada.  We made it to Callis, ME, which is on the Canadian border.  The temps were so cool that we had to pull out our leathers. Not at all what we are used to here in Texas.  Again, found another restaurant and ate seafood until we were stuffed.   I was in heaven!!  The next day we went thru Customs, well, almost made it thru.  One of the guys that rode with us is a principal at Rio Vista High, and the border guards picked him
to search!  He’s a big, burly guy with a shaved head and I guess he did look a little thugy, but after a short search we were on our way again.  We took a ferry over to some small islands, rode around until we found a Mom and Pop-type café and bar called the 74th Squadron.  Got back on the ferry and rode to St. John to see the reversing tides.  Every 6 hrs these tides fight for dominance.  One tide is salt water and the other is fresh water and every 6 hours they reverse their flow.  I have never seen anything like this; the river was running in one direction, then it would slow down and actually at 6:38 pm it stopped and was as calm as Lake Granbury at sunrise.  Then, right before my eyes, it started running the opposite direction.   Me and my friends looked at each other as if we were in the
Twilight Zone and wondered if we had gotten some bad lobster.  It was WEIRD but beautiful. Next stop was the Bay of Fundy where the same 6 hrs is a sight to see.  We didn’t get to see the little bay towns full of water.  All we saw were all the lobster boats sitting high and dry because the tide was out.  These boats know they have 6 hrs to go out to
get the lobster nets and get back in before the tide leaves them high and dry.  It’s like little ghosts towns all along the shores. It was now time to start riding back to Texas.  We stopped in Niagara Falls and took a tour of the Falls and under the Falls.   Again, awesome sights!  Then went on to NH to a Harley Rally, where it rained most of the time, but the lobster rolls were to die for.  I’m a big Elvis fan and we stopped in Memphis to see his
house and the Lisa Marie. It took about 4 days to get back to Texas (2 were in the rain)
and as soon as we hit the Texas border, we were wishing we were back in Canada!  The heat hit us like Satan himself was standing guard, but once home and unpacked and thinking about what I had just been thru and the 5800 miles I went, I realized that I would do it again in a heartbeat.  Just give me time to rest my butt and get an air-cushioned seat for my bike and new friends that can stay gone longer than 2 weeks!  OR I could fly up to Maine and eat my way back (now THAT’S what I’m talking about!)

The next big trip is next year to the West Coast to ride up Hwy
101 and see the Sequoias.  Stay tuned!