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Day 190 – 16th June 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on June 16, 2009

Tuesday – North East, New York

Another late night, will I never learn! And, did I ever mention sometimes I hate bloody electronics, more faults today, I did not touch wood after my comments the other day obviously

I managed to sleep in a little bit but not enough, this is starting to wear me out. I checked some mail etc, but I was too tired to tackle a blog entry and the next one I needed to do was the Niagara Falls trip, I had taken about 160 photos, so a lot of weeding out to do there.

After some nice bacon and egg breakfast I got ready to go. I had arranged to meet up with the second daughter, Paddy who lives in Fort Erie which is on the coast of Lake Erie and on my way back to the states. I do not have the time to do much more of Canada at this stage, but later, on the west coast I should be fine, I hope.

See you later Yvonne, nice meeting you again, don’t forget to send an email address and I can send some photos to you all 🙂

I am glad I left at 9am, as I was supposed to meet before midday, and the traffic was horrendous, basically making about 5mph and this is an 8 lane expressway, hah! These photos are from when it thinned out a bit, it was too dangerous to get my camera out prior to this, but it took me 45 minutes to travel 20 miles!

Once clear of the jam it was just make time to get south, I was doing fine until I took another wrong turn. I had written these instructions down from google maps and obviously I have misinterpreted a turn somewhere. But, I figure, all I need to do is find water and follow that road along there, I hope so anyway. It is hard to navigate when I have been mollycoddled for so long with a GPS, and of course having no street directory, makes it worse. Anyway I was temporarily geographically challenged, until I asked someone in a garage, he pointed me down a narrow lane way and said at the end of the road is the one I want. Fort Erie is the black dot in the centre near the water.

Excellent and I even found the house easy enough. Here I met Paddy and her husband Geoff and after a short chat, we then walked down to a local Tom Horton place for a feed.

We never did remember each other either, mainly because as a young 6, 7, 8 year old, at that time girls were not on the horizon. But, we had a good time and it was great to meet you both. After about an hour and a half I headed back to the states, they told me it would be easier to just head across the Peace bridge, right near here, rather than go all the way back to Niagara Falls, so I took their advice.

As you can see I was a happy chappy, my GPS started to work on the bridge 🙂 I then had to negotiate border control and homeland security. He was unimpressed by the fact the Canadian people had stamped the passport nowhere near the beginning of the passport, just picked a page at random and stamped it so he had to go searching. After a bit of a discussion, it turns out that I cannot extend the 6 month visa I have, I must leave on September 26th. But, he said when I return, if I can prove that I have a flight home, money to cover me and there should be no reason why I would be refused entry. It sounded OK but it is still not assured, and of course there is nothing I can do about it now, I will have to wait until I return from South America.

Do you relise I have crossed the border twice and did not get any duty free booze, but I have no room really, maybe next time. After this I grabbed my map book and picked a place on the map, away from the coast where I could maybe find a motel, as I needed some rest. I chose a spot called Corry, in Pennsylvania and near Ohio where I was planning on going soon. I took some dodgy streets to get out of Buffalo, but eventually managed it and headed west along the coast.

I was heading through wine country, my mum and dad would have a ball through here in the right season, hint hint 🙂

This is where I noticed my SPOT device was switched off, how can that be? I turned it back on again and put it back into track mode. The indicator lights were both green, and as the batteries were only a week old, I did not expect them be too low already anyway. I kept an eye on it and sure enough after about 10 minutes it was turned off again, damm, this could be a major problem. After about 3 goes, I took the batteries out, cleaned the terminals and tried again, this seems to have cured it for the moment, but is it reliable, I am not sure.

Another thing I noticed but did not notice, if you get my drift, is my TomTom GPS. Because I am tired I missed the fact it was not shutting down when I shut the engine off. Saw it, but did not pay any attention until I got into Corry and found the town a crap hole, with no accommodation worth a pinch. So, when I dialled in a motel, I chose one up at a place called North East, this was when I saw that the GPS had been running off batteries for a while and was very low. This meant no power from the mounting bracket, it was a brand new bracket before I left OZ, the old one had karked it, so another bit of electronics designed specifically for a motorbike, has apparently failed. Grrrr. 😦

I found the motel eventually and took it whatever the cost as I needed to sort some things out. First up, I checked all the power connections, thanks for the multimeter John, power was definitely getting to the bracket, but I could find no voltage on the connecting pins where the GPS sits. Onto the internet quick smart to get some email addresses for the company who sold it to me. I ended up sending three to three different email addresses for TomTom Australia, every single one of them came back as faulty, dammit!

By now I was pissed off, and as it happens, right next to the motel was a bar, so of course let’s have a couple, get some sack time and use the phone tomorrow. First I cooked some dinner, but no microwave in the room, so I used my billy and gas stove, of course the smoke detector went off, so had to quickly remove the battery 🙂

Well, at the bar, I met a couple of people as you do, this is Tom and Eric, pipeline workers away from home for a while, we got talking and had a few beers. Can you see where this is leading?

I liked the sign above the bar 🙂

After that it went downhill of course, I ended up chatting with a few other blokes and Rick, in the singlet, talked me into going downtown to a bar called St Joes, this was after the lesson on how to wear a cap in the US. Needless to say it was another long night and I was doing nothing for my needing a rest!

Oh well, tomorrow is another day, you only live once 🙂

Day – 262 miles and 422 km
Trip – 18,808 miles and 30,269 km


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7 Responses to “Day 190 – 16th June 09”

  1. John said

    Great to see the trip is still going well and no problems with the bike. I picked up my new bike today, 2009 brand new 1000cc Vstrom. Was going to get the 650 but we still do a bit 2up .
    Anyhow keep up the good work


  2. Bruce in WA said

    That’s not an uncommon problem with the Tom-Tom. And they are NOTORIOUS for not getting back to you. Took my bro-in-law 5 weeks SOLID to get any action.

    • travellingstrom said


      I had big problems with the TT1, but never expected this from the new designed mount for the TT2.

      Funnily enough, the next morning it started to work again and is still working, but unreliable imho


  3. Jack Bowen said

    TS I think I noticed your spot issue. I had noticed that it appeared you were spending more time near the CNN Tower than I expected you to. Then I think I remember **pop** you were in Ohio. Now you are heading to the Queen City. I would offer to ride to SD with you but Trooperette and I are going to cheat and trailer past SD to Cody Wyoming. I am taking my mother and my cousin there to visit someone. Trooperette and I will then ride back to SD to the rally. After the rally we will ride around in the Yellowstone area and possibly go to north west Montana. Maybe we can eat some road together then. My truck, trailer, extra used tires and tools will be in Cody Wyoming if needed June 26th thru July 3rd. I think you have my number, but in case it is 765.894.6088 Trooperette’s phone is 765.894.6884 she has a scala rider and can answer while riding.

    • travellingstrom said

      Hi Jack

      If I am stuck in one position, but the unit is working, then the last spot will still increase in numbers. So, the last road one may be 20 for example, and the next one may be 32, thi sis maybe because I am having lunch or something, or lying by the road 🙂

      Thanks for the offer of tools etc, I am actually in need right this minute of an oil change, well within the next 1000 miles, so a day or so.

      Do you know anyone in Indiana or Michigan, or west of there?

      See ya at the gathering Cheers Richard

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