Tuesday, September 7, 2010

From Digby to Truro - the back way...

I love riding the roads that other riders say are their favourite so when Sea Dog the Magic Man and his lovely wife Jocelyn agreed to take me to Truro on a sight seeing adventure I agreed whole heartedly. These two Canadian Lone Wolves took me to see some spectacular sights - the roads are not in the greatest shape so caution should be exercised (One rider found out the hard way that speeding on ill kept back roads will land you and your bike in the appropriate respective hospitals)
Just outside of Digby 20 minutes or so was this incredibly windy little road that brought us down to this great river...

Annapolis Royal
Annapolis Royal
We HAD to stop in at the Leather Barn - what a great little shop!

Fort in Annapolis Royal
The old Fort in Annapolis Royal
 Canada's OLDEST community
This old fort is incredibly well cared for and maintained - it is Canada's OLDEST community!
In fact - Port Royal as it used to be known was the capital of Acadia and later Nova Scotia for almost 150 years, until the founding of Halifax in 1749.

There is no way for a picture to show you just how high or how steep the banks are here but the whole fort is surrounded by these incredibly steep banks...
Look Off” in Blomindon
Last stop before parting company and heading in to Truro: “Look Off” in Blomindon
From the Look Off you can see almost all of the Annapolis Valley - breath taking and stunningly beautiful!

I want to thank Sea Dog the Magic Man and Jocelyn of the Canadian Lone Wolves for being such incredible tour guides and thank you to Sea Dog's step mom for the fabulous lunch!

Until next time...ride safe

Monday, September 6, 2010

The final day of the Wharf Rat Rally 2010

Last day at the Wharf Rat Rally saw me ride with my brothers and sisters of the 1st & 2nd CAV units - myself being from 3rd CAV meant that all of the units were represented!

It was an honor to ride with Trapper and to meet so many really wonderful people.

I got to hang out with Melinda from Cycle Source magazine and Bean're and Kendra - today was my day to be a photographer and a reporter.

In spite of the hurricane and the fact that the ferries were not running on Saturday - Sunday turned out to have a large crowd and although down from years gone by - still a decent turn out.

The people of Digby themselves were very warm and funny and the riders who came from as far away as Florida and Texas were incredible ....here are a few pictures and a bit of video to showcase the rally...
Trapper Cane of the CAV as we get ready to go in the parade through town
Trapper Cane of the CAV as we get ready to go in the parade through town
1st CAV, 2nd CAV - Air Force and 3rd CAV Patches
1st CAV, 2nd CAV - Air Force and 3rd CAV Patches
Trapper showing the flag
Trapper showing the flag that bears all of the unit patches for the CAV

Trapper and his gals
Trapper and his gals
A cute sign in Pam the Tee Shirt Gal's Booth
A cute sign in Pam the Tee Shirt Gal's Booth
Theresa "Sweet T" Davidson
Her hubby Bob the Tattooist died of a heart attack and 
we held a minute of Thunder in his memory for her

The Digby Scallop Queen
The Digby Scallop Queen

Trapper assisting his newest conquest into his side car...the lovely 89 year old Pauline all the way from Texas gets her first motorcycle ride
Add caption
The Yarmouth Bike Gang came out for a while....

And these lovely ladies in pink were promoting Johnny Pag motorcycles

a rather interesting sign for you to draw your own conclusions from...
One of the smallest bikers at the rally!
Yes - the Wharf Rat Rally survived Earl and while attendance was down and the weather was not always ideal, the riding community still found ways to entertain itself!

Next destination...Truro
Until then...ride safe

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Wharf Rat Rally - doesn't give a Wharf Rat's Ass about Earl

That was the caption on the buttons that the rally coordinators had made up to sell - they sold out really fast too!

The rally is very small compared to last year. There are a number of reasons for that. The Economy, the increased cost to rent a booth and EARL. My conservative estimate is 3,000 bikes and there are only a few vendors, maybe 40 including the custom bike builders and the "VIP" booths like mine. The vendors report that business has not been that great and they too attribute that to the economy and the fact the Earl kept so many riders away.

The organizers have been slammed with all kinds of changes to their plans - the school is now prepared as an emergency shelter for people so bikes are left out in the elements - Earl is at the time of writing still a hurricane and here in Yarmouth we have seen high winds and lots of rain.

None the less - every attempt was made to entertain the riders who did come and while the beer garden was hardly used and the music was not all that well received the Wall of Death, Beanr'e and the Sea Dawg the Magic Man were big hits as were the demo rides by both Harley and Honda, the Hub City Stunters and the FMX stunts. I have not been to see the two stunt shows yet nor have I had the chance to see the demos but I did see both demos in Moncton at Toys for Big Boys...

Here are some of the random shots I have from the rally so far...

My booth with all of the Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Information, the Stanford Inn's Offer to Riders and of course our special printed edition of the paper - some tees and hats to sell to help with gas expenses and the conga donation bucket - if people flipped me a few dollars to help with expenses I gave them a Free Subscription to the paper...it all helps!

Day one Pic at Wharft Rat Rally
Day One Pictures (For me day one was Thursday Sept 2nd)
Beer Garden with the harbour in the background
Beer Garden with the harbour in the background
Privateer Harley-Davidson
Privateer Harley-Davidson

One of the builders from Quebec
Day Two Pictures: Friday Sept 3rd

The Canadian Lone Wolves
The Canadian Lone Wolves show me their good side...
My friend Sweet T at the memorial booth for her hubby Bob Davidson the Tattooist who was a big part of the regional riding community. Bob passed away from a heart attack

A much busier street on Friday than it had been on Thursday but still a far cry from what last year brought

The vending area of Water Street - a rather small vendors market compared to previous years
These unique bird houses didn't go over well even though they were widely admired - I think most riders will be waiting to see if they have room in their saddle bags or tour packs...
Tammy & Daphne of the Comfort Inn in Yarmouth
Tammy & Daphne of the Comfort Inn in Yarmouth - these gals and their staff KNOW the meaning of customer service. Because of them, when Earl was scheduled to hit the area, the ensured my bike had a safe place to stay at the Shell station - thank you JIM!!!! (Jim is also a rider and he allowed not just my bike but two other Comfort Inn Customers rides to be stored next to his in the "empty" bay of the station)
Luc Le Blanc and his Family - Luc owns Kent Kounty Customs

Strip Club Choppers!

The Town Crier from Annapolis Royal - Peter Crofton Davies & his Escort Valerie Davies
The Town Crier from Annapolis Royal -

Gents from the Wall of Death
One of the gents from the Wall of Death

Kendra - a quirky, funny and warm Floridian
Kendra - a quirky, funny and warm Floridian who rode with Beanr'e...I love the tail girl!
Beanr'e in the go cart in the wall of death - HELL YAH! Go Beanr'e


Mailman shows off those sexy legs
Beanr'e being chased
Beanr'e being chased by the bike..
Sea Dawg the Magician
Sea Dawg the Magician entertains the crowd..
Mailman shows off those sexy legs of his while Joe looks on...Yes the people who travel with Beanr'e are all characters!

While the rally itself is smaller and less organized than in years gone by - the riders are what make the whole thing fun and interesting. The backdrop of Digby Harbour, the hospitality of the business people and the Nova Scotian's (which is legendary) was fantastic...

Once the new team that is organizing the rally has a chance to gel I am sure things will rock yet again and of course hopefully by then the economy will have recovered and Mother Nature will be gentle and kind again....

The volunteers like Terry, Victoria, and so many more who busted their humps - thank you - you made all of the small stuff stay small by looking after we vendors,"VIPS" and customers with so much grace and dignity. You are a credit to the rally and the community.

Well - today is Saturday - Earl day and I am taking advantage of a down day to get the books caught up, the blogs done and the last newspaper before my holiday begins - finished...I will have another update after tomorrows day of wandering around!
Until then - ride safe..

Two hours to be a tourist

On September 3rd - my second day in the Digby area I finally had the opportunity to get out and about for a bit.

I had an interview with Jim - one of my tour guides from the 2nd...Jim is a DJ for the local station in Yarmouth - CJSL the Wave 95.5 and I decided that I would visit a few things in Yarmouth and get to know the city better and then I wanted to retrace the route the guys had taken me so I could take some photos...

I rode around town a bit and went to the water front....
Yarmouth Waterfront
The Yarmouth Waterfront is very attractive
Water Front
Water Front
Retrofitted old Building
The old buildings in town - many are very well preserved and retrofitted - being used as shops and offices.

Frost park
The beautiful Frost park ...

Frost park
The beautiful Frost park ...
At Frost park

I had the pleasure of visiting the Firefighters Museum. The amount of history in this small building is stunning and the quality of the displays - impeccable...
The Military Stature on the main street
Firefighters Museum
Firefighters Museum
Old Office Equipments
The office equipment of the day - notice on the left top corner the fire bell

Oldest steam pumper
The oldest steam pumper - 1863 Amoskeag

I enjoyed the time in the museum - there is so much to see in there and they span over 100 years of fire fighter history. You Fire Fighters who ride really need to make this museum a must do - get it on your bucket list boys and girls!

For more information on the Museum visit: www.firefighters.museum.gov.ns.ca

Church Point

No visit to the Yarmouth - Digby area is complete until you have
visited Church Point
visited Church Point

St Mary's Church is the largest Wooden Structure
St Mary's Church is the largest Wooden Structure
It took two years to build - 1903 to 1905 and took 1500 volunteers to erect
The wooden walls are covered in canvas and white washed.
The church boasts 41 stained glass windows that were shipped from France in crates of molasses to protect them.

French Canadian artist Louis
French Canadian artist Louis St Hilaire painted 9 religious symbols on the ceiling - one of them reportedly represents a motorcyclist

Organ boasts 999 pipes
The organ boasts 999 pipes and is one of 6 models in Canada - it was built by the Casavant Brothers of Quebec

Artifacts of previous priests
The church is a registered museum and has two rooms that hold the artifacts of previous priests and other religious artifacts of the time.
The Alter which was built by Father Jean-Mande
The alter was originally in the old church that had been built in 1820 - the alter was built by Father Jean-Mande - the original priest who founded the parish in 1799

Great Collections
The collection is stunning and in very good shape

St Bernard
I don't have much information on the next church - St Bernard - it was the architecture and the extreme contrast to St Mary's that caused me to want to stop in
The Church constructed with 3' thick granite walls
This church is constructed with 3' thick granite walls

The Church

That was the extent of the tourism stuff I was able to do in the two hours I had to be a tourist - the Yarmouth region is SOOOO pretty and the ride along the coast line is nothing short of stunning.

Until next time - ride safe..