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Old 10-03-2012, 08:52 PM   #91
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Quote:
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some very nice pics gents, mike what are you using for the HDR (at least I think its HDR?)
Thanks! I am using an HDR setting on my Lumix for some but mostly post processing them in Picasa. It is free and doesn't have the functionality of some of the more advanced editing suites that Beard uses but it gets the basic job done for my tweaking. No awards but easy to use for some fun pics here and there.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:35 AM   #92
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Great pic as always buddy...

The sculptures remind me of the ones I saw in ND...
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:17 AM   #93
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[QUOTE=Dr. Beard;19733561]
I wake up refreshed and ready for the road. Side note: I'm one of those people who, when pointed home at the end of trip, just want to get there. I'd done the math & thought it was just too damned far.

What do you think?



I think its the most I95 in one day that anyone would ever want to see.
Glad you had a good time on your trip.
Great riding and pictures.
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:36 AM   #94
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I just downloaded all the videos from my camera and will be posting them in a few past entries as well as all future entries moving forward.
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:04 AM   #95
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Oh No!!! Danger Will Robinson, DANGER!!!


Your ride report has fallen back to Page 3!!

But seriously, I'm jones'in for another update!

Missed that you're weren't part of things for the last update there Beard; it's always interesting to see how two people have a different view of how a day went. Having done a lot of solo travel, and a fair amount of travel with others, I know the pros & cons of both, but you guys at least had the #1 rule of travelling with another rider covered, which is to make sure that your riding companion is someone you mesh well with.
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:23 AM   #96
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Your photos are fabulous and i appreciate the view from a CFA(come from away)s perspective. We have it very good for riding here.
And for camping. There was no hassle from the police because it is not illegal to camp in Newfoundland. You can pitch a tent on any public land. Sometimes fires are prohibited but the signage on the highways let you know this. I keep seeing RRs of people hiding to camp and find it amusing.
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:11 PM   #97
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I know I know!

RR with vids will resume shortly...when I get back from Canada again!
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:21 AM   #98
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I know I know!

RR with vids will resume shortly...when I get back from Canada again!
Heheheheh...I know, I just enjoy....


Nice shot of Niagara btw.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:40 PM   #99
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Day 10: Big Brook, NL to Trans Lab Hwy

The wind howled through the night but I was relatively comfortable. I woke once or twice as passing showers sounded on the tent roof but slept well. When I awoke, it was a grey morning where the sun was obscured by clouds and the sea breeze blew strong off the water coating everything in a film of saltwater. I packed all my personal gear into the bike and began making a cup of coffee followed by some oatmeal. I glanced down toward the town and was surprised to see a cow and calf munching their way through town.


They heard me and sauntered off into the bush. Shortly thereafter I witnessed a rainbow as the sun peeked through the clouds. What a great way to start my 26th birthday.


I cleaned my cooking utensils and donned my riding gear. I took in my surroundings and then set back on the gravel road toward the paved highway. I didn't get very far until I had my first mishap. The locking mechanism on my right side case had worked loose and I hit one pothole too many. Off she goes!

This was only the first of many "Where the fuck did my Jesse bag go" moments

I made it to the main road and then worked back toward the Viking Trail. I had fuel in the tank but just enough to get my across the Taiga to the first small town of Eddie's Cove. Cool. I struggle the 40 - 50 miles toward Eddie's cove fighting a headwind across the open expanse of taiga. The rain picks up as well turning a cold and grumpy situation worse. The only vegetation are small pine trees dotting the low moss and ground heaves. The fuel light comes on. I keep on riding.

I pull into Eddie's Cove and quickly realize I have already exited Eddie's Cove and there were no gas stations to be found. Shit. Onward to the next town. I'm over 210 miles now on one tank and have no idea how much farther I can go until empty. The following two towns either have no gas or a closed gas station.

It is Sunday in Canada and you know what that means? Nothing is open.


I have to resort to filling up with my extra 2L of fuel. I'm hoping this gets me to a gas station or I'll be knocking on a local's door. I bet they'd have gas and give me a hearty smile anyway so I'm not too stressed.


I make it to St. Barbe on empty again but fill up at an open gas station. I immediately ride across the street to get my ferry ticket to Newfoundland for $11. You can really tell the difference between subsidized and nonsubsidized ferry services! I walk next door to the Motel and decide to treat myself to a birthday meal. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day so I might as well have a hearty one.

Two big pancakes and coffee hit the spot. The waitress never managed to bring my bill so I left her a $10 note and rode down to wait for the ferry. It was sprinkling and then turned into a constant rain while I sat on the bike watching cars, trucks, vans, RV's and tractor trailers board.


Finally I was one of the last vehicles onboard.


I stowed my gear and grabbed my chargeables then walked up a few decks. The ship had led a storied pass in the northern Atlantic and Scandinavia. The decor was heavy on wood paneling, outdated smoking/party rooms and velour chair cushions. There was a small cafe, store selling local trinkets and a mini arcade for the screaming teenagers. I found a free map and decided to plot a course for the day.
[IMG][/IMG]



My first adventure would be to ride as far south along the coast as the road would allow. Unfortunately I would not come near the funny bay.


The three hour ferry ride was uneventful and I chatted with some fellow passnegers about Labrador and things to see/do.


Here I am getting my first glimpse of the fog-shrouded coast of Labrador.


The ferry docks and my first stop after disembarking is the terminal to check on the return schedule later in the week. After learning when the boats sail, I set off to discover Labrador. My heart is full, the sky is a dull grey and I couldn't be happier as I ride into Quebec...wait a second...Quebec?


La Brador is the northernmost city along the coast in Quebec and is just south of the ferry terminal. I spotted this neat Inookshok there.


I rode along the lonely two lane road south to the beautiful Brador Falls.




This is the view of my bike and the twisty road that ascended into the clouds. This hill was so steep I was shocked to see the 18% grade sign on my return trip later that day.


The scenery here was absolutely stunning.




It reminded me of the western coast of Ireland with the climate and low lying vegetation. It is an interesting feeling knowing that there are no towns and no roads at all in any direction west for hundreds of miles. It really is quite desolate out that way.


I work my way through many small fishing communities along the coast. Most have a large general store, some sort of take out diner and a gas pump or two if they are lucky. I finally meet the end of the road in Vieux-Fort (Old Fort)


I then take a small break for a granola bar and to be barked at by a curious dog.




This man processes fish at the plant beside the dock.




I turned around and retraced my steps along the twisty coastal road at a brisker pace than my first pass. I spotted two small fishing shacks down a boulder-strewn road jutting out into a peninsula. Sure why not. Have GS - WILL TRAVEL


This sorta dead-ended so I turned around and worked back to the road fighting the rocks, sand and staying upright. Lovin' it.

This is the view looking down on Brador Bay on the road with 18% grade. I pulled in the clutch and gained speed on my descent.


One observation about Candian construction signs, they are VERY exact. Case in point:


I stopped to fuel up and was surprised that fuel was cheaper here than in Newfoundland. The french speaking gas station attendant in braces took my cash but kept her distance. It must be the scary beard, pink suit and glasses. I don't blame her.



The road snaked north along the coast passing in and out of small towns and rising to high cliffs and plateaus overlooking the rocky coastline.




The Pinware River is truly a beautiful and wild sight.


This direction flows to the sea




The road crews had built a new highway directly over the mountain toward Red Bay. The road was nearing completion but still closed, forcing me onto the old twisty road along the cliffside following the river upstream. It is so much better, although rough, but I hope they keep it open once the new section opens.


Not long after, the road sinks toward Red Bay.






The sea fog here was otherworldly and shrouded the bottom 20ft above the water in a thick white blanket.


I rode into town and grabbed gas, air, some chocolate snacks and the weather report.

This is the beginning of the Trans Lab Hwy (or the end if coming from the west)


Off I go!


Road conditions were great. The dust wasn't terrible and the ruts were mostly filled.






The first stop after 30 miles or more is Lodge Bay. There is a small informational kiosk and a bench. I ate some kippered herring and watched while the Buick Lucerne I passed at 70mph 20 minutes ago overtook me.


Onward up to Mary's Harbor.



I inquired about the boat ride to Battle Harbor but learned it had already sailed at 6:00. It was 6:30. Onward!

I decided it was getting to be about that time where moose come out of nowhere and Mike gets sleepy. There are miles of fir trees and not much else. I spotted a woodpile along the roadside and drove down into the sandy work area.


Yup I think this will work for a campsite tonight


The smell of freshly cut pine was intoxicating.


After setting up my tent and covering the bike, I walked down to the lake behind the logging clear cut for my evening bath. It was the kind of peaceful solitude where you hear nothing but an occasional bird and the silence begins to roar in your ears.


I bathed in the fresh rust-colored water (likely from the tanins in the soil/decaying matter) and expected the flock of woodland birds pecking at my clothes to steal my watch or underwear. They did not. It was incredibly peaceful.



After the relaxing bath, I slowly walked back to camp down a cleared path of moss and lichen that sank 5 or 6 inches with each step. It was like walking on a giant sponge. The flies and mosquitoes began to come out when I sat still so I activated my new mosquito repellent device my father gave me as a birthday present. The little propane heater set to vaporizing the repellent and quickly the bugs were no longer an issue. This gave me enough time to prepare a can of beans and drink some Crown Royal. I smoked my pipe and looked at the Milky Way stretching across the northern sky. This is a birthday I am sure to remember.

I fell asleep slowly. The sound of silence was so loud it kept reverberating in my ears like a hollow echo on both the high and low registers. If you've ever heard it, you know what I"m talking about. I expected a visit in the night from a curious moose or a black bear but neither bothered me. Hotel Wood Pile was a success.
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:08 PM   #100
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Day 11: Trans Lab Hwy to Pinware River



I rested until the rain let off for a moment. It tricked me into loading up the bike right as it started to pour harder than before. I did however learn to disassemble the tent underneath the rain canopy. REI

There was a heavy fog. There wasn't any dust though.


Well why the hell not!?


I should mention that there were Inukshuks dotting the mountains and small hills throughout Labrador. This was by far my favorite on the road to St. Lewis.




The graders were out on a couple of sections. I found that they made the road much smoother save the boulders that are turned up or in the newly plowed crown.




I pulled into Port Hope Simpson for fuel and some coffee.

I hear rumors of a beautiful woman whose family runs this gas station. I didn't see her but I believe I met her mother.



The famous sign:

I wouldn't have the time to continue all the way through but I certainly will someday.

Road conditions were great. I was comfortably cruising around 60mph and could crank it on some straighter sections with better visibility. The road is actually quite smoother over the speed limit for this GS.




I think I've found Alexander Supertramp!



This was one heck of a strange roadsign. Spotted in Charlottetown.

I saw no aliens or flagmen.

I did see some boats.


Then read up a bit about the town's history.




Chillin by an island in Wild Bight 52.686815,-55.924536






Pinsent's Arm


I turned around at this point. This was the farthest north I had ridden on a motorcycle in Charlottetown (52.772343,-56.116302)

That sinking feeling sets in knowing that you have to turn around and the trip is on it's tail end. I hate that feeling but am strangely comforted by it as well.


The return ride was bright and clear. The wind blew a steady 15-20 mph throughout the day and became incredible erratic the closer I got to Red Bay. I was almost blown off the road on a bridge near a wide valley and lake. A tractor trailer wisely sheltered up the road waiting for a safe calm time to pass.





The fog was incredibly thick in Red Bay. It lifted just long enough to reveal a ghostly shipwreck. All shipwrecks should be unveiled in such a manor.




Pinware River rest.


I decided to set out to grab a bite to eat and a beer somewhere along the coast. I rode as far south as L'anse Au Loup looking for a bar or restaurant to no avail. They only had a bakery. I wound up riding back up the coast to Red Bay to dine in the small restaurant/gift shop.


A cup of coffee and the cod fish and chips rated best in Labrador by Frommers guide. She mentioned it twice.

It was delicious and the coffee was a welcome warmth.

The fog remained thick after eating as well.


This is up the hill at Country Cat Pond dotted with small cabins.


I spotted a sweet spot to boondock off the road just up the cliff from the Pinware.


Doesn't look like I'm the only one here though


And some of this



I slept fine though
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:34 PM   #101
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Day 12: Pinware River, LAB to Norris Point, NL

The night was quiet and still. I woke around 6 and packed up the bike. I set off to visit that bakery I spotted yesterday in my quest for dinner. Turns out they have chili and sandwiches


They also have hazelnut scones


I had two cups of coffee, used their wifi and then geared up and rolled down the road. I spotted a sign for a lighthouse and made the turn. I had time to kill till my ferry boarding.




Well what a landmark I have stumbled upon.




Speaking of stumbling, who the hell pulled the wool over my eyes!


Down in Blanc Sablon at the ferry terminal, I walked in and purchased my ticket. I couldn't resist snapping a photo of the bizarre wall decorations. They had most every common fishery represented.
v

I met this dude Steve on my ferry ride over to Labrador. He was driving his VW up through Lab back home to Toronto. Apparently his tie rod broke so he was returning to Newfoundland and subsequently Nova Scotia for the crossing back by Truro. He barely made it on our morning ferry. He also barely made it out of his car...



Ugh...yeah that'll do.


The rain picked up as the ship neared the coast of Newfoundland. Once docked, I geared up, started the bike and immediately realized I left my camera and headset charging on the 5th deck. SHIT! I was able to race up there and grab them without much hassle and return to disembark just in time. I fueled up and then turned south into a driving rain blowing hard off the whitecapped straight.


The wind blew heavy and I careened into the oncoming rain on more than one occassion. I totally understand how those big trucks get flipped over here so frequently.


A couple on the ship recommended I stop in Rocky Harbor at this small restaurant/bakery near the end of the road. I am cold and a bit soaked at this point so everything looks good.


Moose Stew it is!


I read about this beer online not long ago but was in a coffee sort of mood so didn't partake.


After devouring my meal, I decided to splurge for the night and took Steve's advice to check out the hostel in Norris Point. I asked the waitress and she gave me directions. I pulled in to the library/hospital/radio station/hostel parking lot and got off the bike. Guess who pulls in next to me? Steve.

He grabbed a former orderlies room upstairs for $39 and I stuck with the ward for $29.

I had the whole place to myself though anyway. Time to dry out. It was still pouring rain outside.




Now to explore this awesome old hospital!


The only other hostel visitor was a single eldrerly woman who was living there for two weeks while she hiked and explored the natural beauty of Gros Morne. She invited me out to a free instructional presentation at the visitor center about the geology of Gros Morne. It was quite fascinating but the delivery was geared more toward children.

Back at the hostel, I continued snapping photos and exploring the basement and main levels.
















There was an active radio station humming away in the basement.


D200 Self portrait










Look what I found for bedtime reading material...




I took this shot the following morning.


The hospital bed felt exactly like you'd expect out of a 50 year old design. The sheets were sterile and the whole room had this old clean smell to it. I didn't hear any strange noises as expected. I slept pretty well and I was warm and dry.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:39 AM   #102
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Thanks for the updates Mike.

I've slept in a lot of strange places before, but never before a former hospital; don't know how I'd feel about it.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:07 PM   #103
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Cool Mike...
Keep it coming...

And Happy Belated Birthday!!!!
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:31 PM   #104
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Great stuff as always Mike!!! Thanks for taking the time to post it all
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:16 AM   #105
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Hey HBN did you get your Jam ????
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