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Four Corners - Day 12

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Start Location: Watertown, NY
Ending Location: Quebec, PQ
Miles Today: 349
Trip Miles: 3318
States Visited: 12
Provinces Visited: 2
Low Temp: 73 degrees
High Temp: 87 degrees
Min Elevation: 49'
Max Elevation: 479'

Route Map:

The day is starting out cloudy and overcast. It is notraining, but the humidity is so high it almost feels like it is misting. Shortly, the skies become very ominous and we discuss putting on our rain gear. We decide to chance it, and it pays off. The clouds break up and the sun appears. After about 30 miles or so, we come to the 1000 Islands Toll Bridge. Very picturesque. We arrive at the Canadian border at 9:00 am to go through customs and there is almost no traffic. We have our passposrts in hand, but they are not needed. I guess we don't look like terrorists. We are officially in Ontario, Canada.

Our first stop of the day is at the Ontario Visitor's Center to get a map and select a route for the day. There is also a huge tower with a spiral stairway on the outside up to the observation deck. If we had more time (and energy) we might have considered climbing to the top, but the road is calling us. We decide to take the 1000 Island Rd that runs next to the St Lawrence Seaway. The homes and views are incredible. Many of the islands consist of just a single home. I spotted a great house for us, but then I realized exactly where we are and remember about the whole winter thing. It wasn't for sale anyway.

This road ends and we pick up route 2 just before Brockville. As we are going through Brockville we get detoured due to a triathlon. Bob comments that it would really be neat if we could see the racers. Within the next mile or so, he got his wish.The road just seems to go on and on. There are many small towns and parks along the way and one is more beautiful than the next. We don't make great time, but remember, it is all about the journey. Today we are definitely enjoying it. Eventually, we decide that we need to move along a little more quickly and take route 401 to the Quebec border. Once again we stop at the information center and realize that we are in a foreign country. Everything is in French. We are hoping that everyone is bilingual (except us).

Route 401 becomes 20 Est (even I can translate that to east) and we head for Montreal. We actaully get to see the city at a slower pace than planned. Like almost all large cities, the traffic was miserable. I think we are fortunate that it is Sunday. We see a most interesting structure that we have no idea what it is. It looked like a mesh sphere and I am guessing that it lights up at night. I can also see a building that looks like a sports stadium, but I am not sure of that. If anyone knows what this building is, please let us know so we can identify it.

We find that it really pays to look closely at the billboards and signs along the road. We see several billboards advertising Nip and Tuck. The picture is censored somewhat by the telephone pole. Trust me that it wasn't censored in real life. Bob spotted several "Moose" signs instead of "Deer" signs. I didn't see them, so no pictures. I will try harder tomorrow. We make it to Quebec City, but only pass on the south side, so the picture is not great. Another day is history.

After we get to the motel, I do a quick inspection of the bike - check tire and shock pressures, check oil and coolant level, and generally look for loose parts or bolts. Everything looks great, even the oil that has 3000+ miles on it looks relatively clear and very clean. I'll probably look for a shop at around 5000 miles to have it changed. I also need to have one of the headlight bulbs replaced at the same time. I did have an issue with the volt meter display that I designed and installed. Twice today it stopped updating. I could still switch screens but the different screens did not update their values. I don't have the code for the program with me but I think I know what the problem is and will have to modify the program slghtly when we return. We had another issue one day in Montana - the display updated correctly but the rest of the screen was garbled. I think it may have been a display interface problem. We'll have to keep an eye on it.

On a final note, Linda really outdid herself today. She took over 100 pictures. You have to love digital cameras. We finally used up the first set of batteries. We took regular alkaline batteries instead of rechargeables to make things simpler and they seem to last forever - it was a good choice.