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AL "FLYING CANUCK" 01-20-2013 06:12 PM

Blitz to Labrador with Des!
Good day!

I would like to thank the riders who have done such a trip before and have shared with us their pictures and Ride Reports!! You gave us the idea to do the same and it is our turn to share our adventures! Hopefully, this RR will also encourage others to do a similar trip and discover some great parts of Eastern and Northern Canada such as Quebec, Newfoundland - Labrador and the maritime!

Comments under each picture!

The following was our itinerary .... basically 7,000 km (4,500 miles) in 12 days thru the Canadian provinces of Quebec, Newfoundland - Labrador, New Scotia and New Brunswick. We were lucky to have the perfect weather for such a trip......not too cold, not too hot and just a little rain to keep the dust down....

We consider ourselves fortunate to take on such an adventure with a new Yamaha Super Ténéré 1200XTZ and a new BMW R1200GSA! Here, our 2 fully loaded adventure bikes along a gravel road around White Lake between Buckingham and Montpelier in Western Quebec.

Des on his new GSA who is finally realizing one of his dreams at 57 years old .....very happy to be part of it!!

Small world.....we met with some others happy Adventurers from Ridaventure doing the Moto Trail Adventure annual cross country ride at a rest area by Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci .

We took as many secondary roads as at St-Raymond....a nice little town North of Quebec City....where my grandfather is originally from...

Short stop at the impressive St-Anne de Beaupré Basilic, located just Est of Quebec City, for a small prayer which will bring us good luck throughout the trip....

It is in 1658 that the Britons at sea, rescued by their appeal to the grandmother of Jesus (Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré), launched the project to build a shrine in his honor. So it was a place of périlinage since that time but with different churches and the beautiful Basilica which was built in several stages from 1923 and completed in 1962!!

Beautiful landscapes all along the coast from Baie St-Paul to Tadoussac!

Tadoussac's ferry in the background provides the Saguenay river crossing for free!!

The beautiful shores of the Saguenay River which join the St-Laurent River!!

Monument on the Chemin du Quai near White Island just before Baie-Comeau on the St-Laurent River Northern coast!

On the same site ..... a few monuments of dinosaurs.......

Des on the highway 389 between Baie Comeau and Manic 5 going North, nice sceneries all along the 210 km (130 miles) of asphalt without any gas station and/or services...

Brief stop at Manic 2 on highway 389!

We've arrived at Manic 5 (Daniel Johnson Dam) which is one of the most beautiful dam in North America. Just before reaching the dam turn left on a small gravel road for less than a mile going uphill and turn right at a rest area where you will be able to have a great panoramic view of the dam. The dam was built between 1959-1970 and is over 700 feet high and 4.311 feet wide and contains more than 2,200.000 m3 of concrete making it the largest dam of its kind in the world. Note on the right, the twisty road going up which is the one that you must take for Labrador!! Also note that there is a free guided visit of the dam, a gas station, a small convenience store and a motel restaurant!

Here is a small portion of the huge reservoir Manicouagan view from the top of the dam..... from here it is generally gravel roads!

The road and the sceneries are breathtaking all along the Manicouagan's reservoir!

Des riding towards the Relais-Gabriel. Here you can get gas, some rooms and a restaurant. You are only 100 km (60 miles) past Manic 5 and you have another 270 km (170 miles) to Labrador City ..... so it is better to fill up just in case!

another breathtaking scenery of the road............

Arrival at the old ghost mining town of Gagnon which was founded between 1957-1960. There were nearly 4,000 people at one time living here with a church, schools, shops, airport and was abandoned and dismantled in 1985 during the mining crisis. There are only some sidewalks remaining and a mobile camp for road workers who are in the process of paving the road!

Arrival at the Fermont Iron mine after the last 100 km (60 miles) across a very twisty road crossing the railroads numerous times! The mine and the town were founded in the sixties and seventies. More than 1,500 people work there, and nearly 3,000 people now live in the city.

The famous Fermont truck monument just before crossing the border into Labrador.

After a day of more than 900km (560 miles), we stayed at this very comfortable and pretty much only hotel in Labrador City ..... here I surprised Des cleaning my windshield ........ thank you my friend!

We stopped at the Yamaha dealer in Wabush, near Labrador City to tighten my loose steering bearing ...... I think that we have settled this issue for good because it seems that it was not tightened to 94 foot lbs as recommended. A garage with friendly people who seem to be ready to help all riders no matter the brand, there is even a Yamaha dealer in Goose Bay ..... Again thanks to Hewlett Minpaco mechanic John!

Many lakes along the road to Chruchill Falls which is 300 km (186 miles) from Labrador City. The road is approximately 50% gravel and 50% pavement!

The hydro-electric station at Churchill Falls is the second largest in North America with nearly 6,300 MW and is the second largest underground station in the world after that of a LG2 James Bay also in Quebec.

After Churchill Falls, Des is riding away passing one of the few tractors trailers that we have meet towards Goose Bay which is another 300 km (186 miles) which 2/3 is still in gravel.. ...........

The descent into the Goose Bay Happy valley........

All kinds of beautiful landscapes and rivers along the way!

Happy Valley!!!!


Des in front of the Goose Bay Air Base where we spend the night......!!

As soon as you leave Goose Bay to go to Blanc Sablon ... you can see this warning panel .... basically 420 km of gravel (260 miles) without gas ....this is the longest section without gas of the trip .... my little 5 liters for my XTZ should suffice and the GSA is o.k. with its +/-34 liters huge gas tank!!

Here I am after crossing the steel bridge at the beginning of road 510 just south of Goose Bay ....

Des on the Trans-Labrador .... it was a day of riding simply memorable which we will never forget.....

Plenty of wide open road, we only met a few vehicles all day long!!!!

Bye bye !!!! These big adventure bikes are made for this type of roads!!!

Des having the blast of his life riding the Trans Labrador in perfect weather conditions..........

I must stop to refuel the XTZ at the Cartwright junction after + - 350 km (220 miles) from Goose Bay .......just another 106 km (65 miles) before a gas station at Fort Hope Simpson...

Des riding down the hills to Port Hope Simpson!!!!

Our Mascot, a gift from a good friend, followed us all the way....

Arrival at Red Bay by the Atlantic Ocean - the gravel section between Port Hope Simpson and Red Bay is pretty rough with very sharp rocks.. be careful.!!!!

Beautiful sceneries along the Atlantic coast with the view of icebergs drifting away...........

Rock at the top of a hill which has been brought there by a glacier many moons ago......

Fresh air, rivers and valleys along the coast...........

Another memorable day which ends this time in West St. Modeste at the Ocean's View Motel - very nice place to stay! All along the coast there are plenty of hiking trails leading I'm sure to many paradises ....we'll have to go back ..... you can see Des raising his arms in victory of completing the Trans Labrador Highway!!

The landscapes of the coast of Labrador are unforgettable .... Note that the last 100km (60 miles) is paved to Blanc Sablon .....

Des in front of the lighthouse at L'Anse Amour which is the highest in the Canadian maritime's provinces with its 33 meters. The lighthouse has been built in 1857 and recently renovated and transformed into a museum!

Nice beaches close from Blan Sablon.....

From here, you can see the Newfoundland's coast across the channel.......

The ferry "APOLLO" from Blanc Sablon in Quebec to St. Barbe Newfoundland takes +/- 2 hours!

Once you arrive in Newfoundland aware of the moose ..... only 2 mooses were introduced on the island in 1878 and 4 others in 1904 and today the moose population has just exploded. ..

We have seen many moose during our trip including this big one .....

Curiously, many gardens are made along the road .... probably for accessibility and soil quality ......basically there is very limited farms in is the main activity...

L `Anse au Meadow vestige of the Vikings small settlement long before Jacques Cartier and Christopher Columbus .....

We spent the night at St. Anthony with its magnificent cliffs and glaciers out at sea.... .......

Excellent meal at the lighthouse in St Antony near the cliffs ....

Many fishing sites along the west coast of Newfoundland - here hundreds of lobsters cages!

Nice rest area along the Western cost!

Des taking a break along the western coast of Newfoundland.....

Arrival at the magnificent Gros Morne National Park - don't miss it!

More of Gros Morne National Park landscape which reminded me of Norway!!

Another great place to take a break!!

The South part of Newfoundland is also magnificent .... a great island to discover.....!!!

Near Port aux Basques where you take the ferry to the main land....

Practically a brand new ferry for the crossing from Port aux Basques to North Sydney which takes between 5-7 hours .... almost $100 for a person with motorcycle!

Bye bye Newfoundland which is gradually disappearing in the fog and mist....the people of Newfoundland are extremely friendly which makes the visit of the island even more pleasant.

We crossed Nova Scotia and New Brunswick very quickly ... lack of time and the advantage to have big dual purpose bikes ......

View of the St-Laurent river from our motel at Rivière du Loup!!! Many boat trips leave from here to go see the whales....

I got home the next day on Sunday evening and unfortunately learned the death of my grandfather during my trip, so I left the next day to Northern Quebec for another 600km (372 miles) to the small village of Gallichan in Abitibi where I was born because the funeral was in the afternoon. Again I met with some good friends ( here with Ann690 and Bill911) from Ridaventure ....Thank you to have been there for me!!

The next day, I rode to my hunt camp where I hunt moose every year .... just to relax alone after this great adventure and the bad news.....

As you can see, I do have a nice hunt camp.....

I had to release the pressure which was welcome after quite the Adventure....

Return the next day home via Ontario for another 600 km (375 miles) ......the XTZ looks similar to a Bison...... I've been riding too much... the XTZ has also performed extremely well .....

I would like to finish my RR by making a tribute to my good friend `Des`, a person who always think of others before himself, and after more than 30 years serving his country in the Armed Forces, he finally bought the bike of his dreams ... it has been a lot of fun to ride with you and I wish you more adventures of that kind....


Rest in peace Grandpa!!

Cheers et a bientôt!!!

GB 01-20-2013 06:26 PM

Great adventure!! thanks for the detailed report and pics :thumb

nick949eldo 01-20-2013 06:26 PM

Terrific pictures! Looks like you had a great time.


Cannonshot 01-20-2013 06:46 PM

Thanks! Great pix, story, and ride. :thumb

Rutabaga 01-21-2013 03:44 AM

Thanks for your great report and pics. What a wonderful advertisement for Canada and our sport. Very nice. :clap

yellowknife 01-21-2013 04:00 AM

Thanks for posting this RR
It was well done with many fine pictures.


BKMLWR 01-21-2013 09:43 AM

great report...:clap:clap:clap

eemsreno 01-21-2013 10:42 AM

Great pictures thanks for putting this up.:clap

markbvt 01-22-2013 05:35 AM

Nice; amazing up there, isn't it? When was your trip? Looks like you were there a little before we were this past summer (last two weeks of August).


AL "FLYING CANUCK" 01-22-2013 09:12 AM

Thanks to all for your comments! This is much Appreciated!


Originally Posted by markbvt (Post 20547472)
Nice; amazing up there, isn't it? When was your trip? Looks like you were there a little before we were this past summer (last two weeks of August).

Yes, indeed! We did our trip the last week of June and first week of July, I guess we can say that we have been lucky with the weather for that time of the year!

Very glad that you have enjoyed your trip also!!!


_serhan_ 01-23-2013 01:06 PM

Thanks for sharing!
Great trip, I like to do it one day myself.

shojac 01-23-2013 02:10 PM

Thanks for the write-up and great photos. I made almost the same route in Aug of this year, although I think we had a little worse weather. My wife and I (two-up) went north from Blanc-Sablon to HV/GB, but turned around because of some info from some other people about the road going to Lab. City.
You metioned the road From Port Hope Simpson to Red Bay the worst part was around Marys Harbor, really deep and loose.
We also caught the Appollo ferry. It was amazing to watch it turn around and back in to the dock, I would have run over everything trying to do that.:wink:

MatatuPuncher 01-23-2013 05:18 PM

Wow, that was a really nice write up. You have a great flow to your writing style. Thank you for the contribution.

AL "FLYING CANUCK" 01-24-2013 05:06 PM


Originally Posted by shojac (Post 20559015)
Thanks for the write-up and great photos. I made almost the same route in Aug of this year, although I think we had a little worse weather. My wife and I (two-up) went north from Blanc-Sablon to HV/GB, but turned around because of some info from some other people about the road going to Lab. City.
You metioned the road From Port Hope Simpson to Red Bay the worst part was around Marys Harbor, really deep and loose.
We also caught the Appollo ferry. It was amazing to watch it turn around and back in to the dock, I would have run over everything trying to do that.:wink:


You are right about the impressive Apollo Ferry tight 180 degrees turn and Mary's Harbor road conditions....

The 530 km (330 miles) from Labrador City to Goose Bay is approximately 50% paved and is not too bad however it can be tricky and muddy if it rains especially with all the big trucks working in paving the road and when dry the dust can be dangerous as you don't see much when meeting, passing or following did one of the best part of Labrador and in both directions which made you surely see more stuff and differently for the same area......

Thanks much and all the best for 2013!!!

AL "FLYING CANUCK" 01-31-2013 10:33 AM


Originally Posted by _serhan_ (Post 20558561)
Great trip, I like to do it one day myself.


You will enjoy it for sure, wide open space, great discoveries and awesome people!!!!! :nod


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