2up to Labrador - Another father/son adventure

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by NorWis, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. NorWis

    NorWis No longer a "Wanna Be"

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Northern Wisconsin
    Here we go again! :ear

    We're leaving Sunday morning! :eek1

    I had planned on leaving on Saturday June 7th but we had a huge storm system move thorough and I did not want to start our trip being miserable.

    It was a toss up as to go back and attend the D2D and ride the Dempster or do something a bit different and ride to Labrador/Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, etc. We opted to see Labrador and experience the "other" side of Canada.

    I didn't plan this or overthink this trip like I did going to Prudhoe Bay. We had a great trip but leaving much of it unplanned is what we want to do this time. It's all about the journey rather than the destination. :eek1

    I did however pan a preliminary route for the first 8 days just to give us a path to follow. I wanted to avoid the traffic and congestion with Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City so I planned a much more northern bypass:

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    This is just my thoughts and not written in stone. Any other ideas? I did not plan a route after hitting the ferry at Blanc Sablon. We'll also be staying on Prince Edward Island and hoping to hit Niagara Falls on the way home. I've seen it but Dylan has not.

    A few photos of the trip preparation are below. After Alaska and the Dalton my shocks bit the dust as well as the damn fuel strip. I scheduled them to be replaced a few weeks ago when I was finally able to afford the hefty price tag.

    The shocks after being installed at Nicks BMW (now Tytler's Cycle):

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    The Dalton and my trip on the Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail last year didn't help the longevity.

    The long winter was miserable but I stayed healthy throughout the entire winter! :gdog

    Then it hit the fan about two weeks ago. Came down with a sinus infection and pneumonia! :dog

    I went to my physician and explained my dilemma about leaving and not wanting to have to deal with health issues on the road in another country and he said; Ok, we'll start some antibiotics:

    [​IMG]

    It took me about 7 days to feel like I had the energy to get things prepped and packed. That doesn't include riding the bike and camping for the next 3 weeks!!!

    I had a hell of a time getting new tires mounted and everything packed up.
    #1
  2. NorWis

    NorWis No longer a "Wanna Be"

    Joined:
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    Northern Wisconsin
    I have been using Heidenau K60's or TKC 80's on my bike. I couldn't get the K60's and I thought we would be doing a whole lot more paved than gravel so I opted for Metzler Tourances.

    The Tourances laying in the sun to help "ease the pain":

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    My K60's still had some life but I was bitten by needing new tires before I was ready on our previous trip. I would have gladly put on another but these are so popular this time of year I couldn't get one (in time):

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    Shoeless in the rear:

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    New shoe mounted on the back. What a pain in my behind. I hate paying someone to do it yet I REALLY hate to do it myself. I don't do it enough to be very good at it. My enlarged belly from being lazy this winter didn't help either!!! :loll

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    The front complete:

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    The crap under the bike is ash from my grill earlier that I hadn't cleaned up. Remember that lazy attitude from this winter? :evil

    I had taken a trip last fall with some friends along the Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail. It was a blast but I really wish I had a smaller bike and a bit more experience on trail riding. I finished the entire trail from Galena, IL to Cornucopia, WI with only minor damage:

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    Looking out across Lake Superior at the end of the trail:

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    The entire group at the finish:

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    That was fun and for me VERY challenging. The sand and almost all gravel gave me a lot of "pucker" moments! :eek1

    For more photos with no ride report you can get them at:

    http://treynolds.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/TransWisTrail

    I like showing off our great state!!! :clap

    I sheared off one of my fog lights. I removed the stock lights last year but opted to reinstall them repaired and also add a couple more lights. They make us a bit more visible now:

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    I'm not sure how much we'll be posting while actually on the trip. However, if you are interested here is the SPOT link if you want to follow along? :wink:

    https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=a041538c8e41a72ec

    Our plan is to be back home for our towns July 4th celebration!

    Todd
    #2
  3. Canadian FJR

    Canadian FJR Been here awhile

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    Looking forward to the full report on the Trans Lab. Glad things worked out with your tire.







    Canadian FJR
    (NSDSC Member)
    #3
  4. nick949eldo

    nick949eldo Long timer

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    Location:
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    From your map (although its hard to tell because of the scale) it looks as though you are taking 144 north from Sudbury to 101, then Timmins before heading east.

    I would thoroughly recommend Highway 560 across to Shining Tree and Gowganda and Elk Lake to Englehart.

    http://goo.gl/maps/z4EVL
    (check it out on streetview)
    It's a paved, scenic and twisty road and one of my favourites.

    Have a great, safe trip.

    Nick
    #4
  5. jit6oocc

    jit6oocc Oups...

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    Alma, Qc
    When you'll come down south from Chibougamau toward Roberval and Lac-St-Jean region, don't hesitate to contact me if you need anything. Have a great ride!

    From my two big thumbs...
    #5
  6. jit6oocc

    jit6oocc Oups...

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    Alma, Qc
    Just saw the date... Anyway, if anyone needs help, just PM me!

    From my two big thumbs...
    #6
  7. fastredbike

    fastredbike out riding

    Joined:
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    Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
    checked out your Spotwalla page, looks like you've had a good trip so far and are not far away. If you are coming through New Brunswick and need anything give me a holler.

    I'm looking forward to some pics of the trip and especially interested in the condition of the TLH and how much is still unpaved.

    thanks for posting.
    :thumb
    #7
  8. NorWis

    NorWis No longer a "Wanna Be"

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    Our parting shot as we left for three weeks on our adventure. An adventure it was, too! :deal

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    Very few photos were taken the first few days. I've traveled this path more than once and didn't think we would see much that would warrant the camera to come quite yet. I was wrong!

    We saw three Bald Eagles and a moose along M28 as we headed toward Sault Ste. Marie, MI. She was standing along the highway and folks were pulled over and out of their cars taking photos. She was looking a bit edgy to me. It didn't take us long to get back ingot he groove of riding together. Dylan has proven himself to be a great passenger! :clap

    We stayed at the Aune Osborn campground. It is right on the river and felt as if we could reach out and touch the ships as they were passing. It was really windy and took both of us to hold the tent from blowing away.

    Dylan relaxing after getting camp set up.

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    After camp was setup and we worked all the kinks out of our bodies we went down to the river to see the ships going by.

    We were only about a mile from the locks. I was amazed at the amount of ships and the frequency they were going by. The campground attendant said they got such a late start this spring it has been non-stop.

    A few of the ships we saw go by in the couple of hours we were watching.

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    A video, too:

    <iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="360" src="http://api.smugmug.com/services/embed/3360176180_htCmGHM?width=640&height=360&albumId=42659792&albumKey=kVZQjf"></iframe>

    Dylan took this shot and was trying to get the either the sun reflection with a rainbow from the spraying water you see in the distance or the "beams" of light. He couldn't remember:

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    A great day with great weather, that won't be the case the entire trip...hint, hint.

    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Been here awhile

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    Sounds like you're having a great trip so far! Good for you! And it's probably something Dylan is going to remember for the rest of his life. Wonderful!

    Please give lots of detail about the Trans-Lab... where to camp, get fuel, showers, etc. etc. I'm planning to do this myself (so far all alone) in a counter-clockwise direction starting on Aug. 1st. So I'm following threads like yours with great interest.

    Ride safe! And watch out for bears!

    Eldor
    Montreal
    #9
  10. shallowskiff

    shallowskiff Been here awhile

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    Watching your report
    #10
  11. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

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    I wish you a great trip. Bring some bugs spray. You will need it between Baie-Comeau and Blanc Sablon. I was up North a few weeks ago and I won't return until all the black flies are dead...

    That's when I woke up. One eye is shut (a bit difficult to ride) and the lip is swollen.

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    An hour or so later. At least I can have a 3D perception of the road.

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    And don't forget the longest distance between fuel is 420km (260 miles). Have fun doing the remaining 600km of dirt roads. Those are being paved at a high pace these days. ;-)
    #11
  12. NorWis

    NorWis No longer a "Wanna Be"

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    Northern Wisconsin
    It's a great trip! Weather can dictate how well it goes or doesn't go. Not to spoil anything...yet. If you don't get answers that you're looking for please ask! :deal What may not seem significant to one rider could be very significant to another.

    One difference is I had a youth with me and needed to look out for both of us, safety, security, things to do, etc., so that may be a bit different.

    It's a great trip. Glad we got to experience the wildness of Labrador before that "ambience" is gone forever. :cry

    Todd
    #12
  13. NorWis

    NorWis No longer a "Wanna Be"

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    :eek1

    OMG!!! We had flies and bugs but never got bit like that!!! Maybe you taste better!!! :lol3

    We had head nets treated with Permethrin. We used them on our Prudhoe Bay trip as well and were VERY pleased. At night we would place them on the outside of the tent above us between the tent and fly. Kept some of the little buggers from buzzing around.

    Hope you're OK.

    Todd
    #13
  14. NorWis

    NorWis No longer a "Wanna Be"

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    On day 1 we did 354 miles. We also stopped at a Taco Bell (we don't get that very often so it's a treat). :wink:

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    One last ship that passed by us:

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    We will see more ships, but we'll be on them! :ear

    We walked around the park and campground taking in the nice evening breeze and cooler temps. One plus was there weren't any bugs driving us crazier.

    A good day overall!
    #14
  15. NorWis

    NorWis No longer a "Wanna Be"

    Joined:
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    June 9, 2014

    Day 2

    Dylan and I are both early risers. We both pitch in to break camp and pack so we can get out of the skeeters and move on. We get to see more wildlife in the morning and miss a lot of the traffic. It was pretty cool this morning, 50 F, so we put some layers on to fend off the cool temps.

    We fueled up in Sault Ste. Marie, MI before we headed over the border to Canada.

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    Once over the border we had to stop at Tim Horton’s and get a few Boston Crème’s and a hot chocolate for Dylan. I wanted some coffee! Tim Horton's has become our goto place for Wi-Fi, snacks, meals, etc. I guess it's a home away from home.

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    I took a really bad selfie… :brow

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    Sorry, but you'll see many more of these. Some are quite comical. You've got to entertain each other somehow!

    I listen to music from my iPhone (now in airplane mode) but my mind still races on things to do. I started to play around with the Contour helmet cam to see if I had that working correctly. Before we left I had just found out Contour is back in business! :clap

    This video has a giant Inuksuk at Carolyn Beach

    <iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="360" src="http://api.smugmug.com/services/embed/3369406104_kQpVktL?width=640&height=360&albumId=42659800&albumKey=mXq7zQ"></iframe>

    I took three short videos as we headed toward North Bay. It started to get really warm but as long as we were moving we didn’t feel the heat.

    <iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="360" src="http://api.smugmug.com/services/embed/3369407526_DgqRNWL?width=640&height=360&albumId=42659800&albumKey=mXq7zQ"></iframe>

    <iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="360" src="http://api.smugmug.com/services/embed/3369410317_LxmJmwk?width=640&height=360&albumId=42659800&albumKey=mXq7zQ"></iframe>

    I was glad I had tested the helmet cam out early in the trip and had plenty of batteries. Along the TLH there would be more opportunity for some video and I didn't want to miss that!

    We saw one black bear early this morning but weren’t fast enough with the camera to get a photo.

    Still taking random photos. This is of a little tourist trap of an Indian Village:

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    When we arrived in North Bay the traffic got really congested and folks were zipping in and out of different lanes of traffic. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any crazier I see this person:

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    Hmm is that really….

    A scooter pulling a Burley?

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    Sure is!!!

    We stopped and asked a few times about places to camp. No one knew of anyplace to camp in the area. We drove along the shore and spotted a sign for the Champlain Tent, RV and Trailer Park. Score!

    We pulled in and met the owner “Todd” and got a site off in the shade. $28 with the shower house very close by. He must have thought we needed it! Todd came back to the site to show us the area and to read us the rules. No loud music, no partying late, no picking anything in the woods (it was a park) and to be careful at the end of the road because he was feeding the deer and a buck was back there getting kind of possessive. He also told us "Remember, for every mosquito you see, I've killed a million of his brothers by fogging the entire area."

    We could only use Wi-Fi while up by the office so I made a few trips there to let my wife know where we were and that we were ok. Saw some pretty odd looking structures built around trailers.

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    This was the time that I had to come up with our route. We were either going to go east and have to contend with the traffic in Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City or take the northern route up to Chibougamau and avoid all that high speed slab. Dylan thought going north would be cool to experience some of the French Canadian culture. Ok, then we will go north! We’ve got nothing but time, and good weather, at least for now. Hint, hint….

    We did 308 miles today. It went from cool to pretty warm. We're going to begin experiencing some new sights and get exposed to things well out of our comfort zone.

    I have never traveled someplace that did not speak english as a first language. We were going to go from English to French to quite possibly Cree. It's all about the journey and not the destination. I kept telling myself and Dylan that as well. After making it to Prudhoe Bay and back we were pretty confident this wouldn't be as "adventurous".

    Wrong, very wrong... :ricky

    I keep getting asked to "make sure you talk about the Trans Labrador Highway (TLH)". Don't worry...I will. Just to show you what to expect from an extreme; here's one video clip (sorry for the moisture on the lens). Yes, that's snow. Yes, that's rain. Yes, we're 2up. Yes, we're VERY heavy. Yes, I have Metzler Tourances mounted on the bike. Yes, it's VERY slippery. Yes, the gravel on the surface feels like marbles on a countertop. Yes, I don't always do what's easy...

    <iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="360" src="http://api.smugmug.com/services/embed/3372739847_5FPbMj7?width=640&height=360&albumId=42659800&albumKey=mXq7zQ"></iframe>

    :yikes
    #15
  16. kag

    kag Wander Lust

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    Very cool......my son and I are doing this ride next summer.
    #16
  17. WNDRLST

    WNDRLST Adventurer

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    New Mexico
    Cool trip! I'm longing to do a ride from New Mexico over to Newfoundland, mostly traveling north of the border. Looking forward to the rest of your report!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #17
  18. MotorcycleWriter

    MotorcycleWriter Long timer

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    I was born in Newfoundland back in the '60's. My dad was stationed at NAS Argentia flying anti-submarine patrols out over the North Atlantic. We left for Jacksonville when I was only a few months old. I've always wanted to go back...
    #18
  19. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Been here awhile

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    Geez, I'm worried enough about the vicious blackflies as it is. Now I'm TERRIFIED!!!

    Did you use any kind of bug spray or repellent? I'm looking at one of those portable ThermaCell gadgets which a friend swears work for blackflies.

    I'll be doing the trip starting Aug 1st and HAD planned on doing as much camping as possible.


    #19
  20. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Been here awhile

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    Norwis, on the "really bad" (your words) selfie you took, it looks like there's a shock cord around your neck. Is that what's holding your camera? Can you please describe a little about how the camera is attached and how you take photos "on the move"?

    And the photo of the bad road with heavy equipment... is that still on your way to the TLH or are you already on it?

    Maybe I'm going to have to slap on some TKC80's for this trip instead of my Anakee 3's. (I've got a second set of wheels with the tires already mounted so it's pretty easy.)
    #20