2up to Labrador - Another father/son adventure

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

  1. NorWis

    NorWis No longer a "Wanna Be"

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    Good luck to you! It was a lot of fun nd I wouldn't trade the experience for anything! :freaky

    This trip Dylan was old enough to understand the magnitude of a trip that long and being so remote. He also was, again, shown that there are good and caring people in this world. :clap

    Have fun and be careful!

    Todd
    #21
  2. NorWis

    NorWis No longer a "Wanna Be"

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    First of all, headnet and 100% DEET and you will be just fine with the bugs. I don't like to wear the insect repellant so we only used it on a couple of occasions.

    The camera was attached with a cord that fit over my helmet and I stashed it in a pocket that was left unzipped on my jacket. I can reach in and pull it out, lay it on top of my tank bag and turn it on with one hand. Once it's on it's a matter of point and shoot. I can drop it from my hand and not lose it, too. :evil

    The video is on the TLH during one of the days we rode it. Not a good day for us. Stay tuned for details...

    Todd
    #22
  3. NorWis

    NorWis No longer a "Wanna Be"

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    June 10, 2014

    Day 3

    We were up early again. Packed up and on the move by 8:30am. Before we left I took a few more photos of the campground as well as the park behind it:

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    It was still pretty early so no one was out.

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    This is the showers, restroom and laundry right across from our campsite.

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    Dylan ready to rock -n- roll!

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    The park right behind the fence at the back of our site:

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    We went to a Tim Horton's before we left town. As we were taking our gear off this woman walked up to us and started to plead her case for some cash. She said "I've had to resort to living in a TENT, can you believe it?" Dylan and I looked at each other and said "So are we?". She was not very amused but I gave her a looney to get something to eat.

    Once back on the road Dylan started to take some photos:

    He likes the shadow photos of the two of us riding:

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    He also liked the fact that they warn motorcyclists about the grooved pavement:

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    I like the fact that he is taking an interest in the sights and we get to see these sights from his vantage point. :wink:

    He also liked the rocks that were along the highway.

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    He liked them a lot: :rofl

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    Then we got to see some things that I think would be very cool. Your own little island:

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    We were heading north on the Trans Canada Highway (RTE 11) and went through a very nice town called Temagami. We stopped for gas and went to the local chamber to get a map. It was closed but a young lady in the library had a key and unlocked it and got us a map. Right behind the chamber/library was a float plane:

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    Nice little town that looked like it was a resort kind of town:

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    We were going through New Liskeard which is part of Temiskaming Shores. We were a little early for the Biker Reunion but boy were they all geared up for it:

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    We saw a lot of these little yellow banners all along the streets on the light poles:

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    We were cruising along pretty fast and it was hard to read the small print on the banners. Then we got to a corner and saw these larger banners. How cool is this?!

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    They were a fund raiser to "Battle Cancer". :clap

    We were getting ready to cross into Quebec!!!

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    Have you noticed the near perfect weather we were having? That's about to change.
    #23
  4. NorWis

    NorWis No longer a "Wanna Be"

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    I would encourage you to go back. It's beautiful!!!! :clap

    Todd
    #24
  5. NorWis

    NorWis No longer a "Wanna Be"

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    Day 3 continued

    Bonjour!!!!

    It's hard to see because it snuck up on me. The Welcome to Quebec sign. Not a very big welcome. Well, we were on some small back roads. We'll get a bigger welcome later.

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    This was becoming a long warm day. The road was straight as hell and there was nowhere to stop for a break. We were getting pretty tired and needed a longer break.

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    We were in Quebec and I thought this would be a great time to try out the few, as in very few, words of French I knew. We stopped at this motel/restaurant to see how we could do in ordering lunch:

    http://treynolds.smugmug.com/Labrador/Labrador-Day-3/i-DgdL54T/0/L/P1070681-L.jpg

    We went in and sat down in a booth. Several folks were there as well eating and talking. Couldn't understand a word of what was being said. No worries. The owner/cook/waitress/cashier came out and blurted something out that I didn't even begin to understand. I asked if she spoke english. No. Alrighty then, menu? Shrugs her shoulders. Menu, as I pretend to open a book. A gentleman next to us points to the wall and I see the menu written on the wall. Couldn't understand a thing written. Crap. I am failing miserably at this. The charades I was trying to play weren't working either. I asked for a drink. Soda, Coke? I point to the cooler as I see cans of soda. I get an Orange Crush for Dylan and a Ginger Ale for myself. That will do for now. :becca

    Going to have to do better than that if we're not going to starve.

    We pay for the drinks and head back out and mount up.

    Then you look at this sexy beast parked here and it all pays off.

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    Quebec had a few nice waysides or roadside parks.

    Dylan enjoying being off the bike for awhile. We had a few Clif Bars and granola bars that we could always snack on if we got hungry.

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    A strange picture to take but I don't get to see an entire city street with signs I can't read. I had no idea what some of these places were. :eek1

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    One thing I REALLY like about eating at a McDonalds in Canada. They serve packets of vinegar for the french fries!

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    We were stopping more often later today. I was trying to get further but we were both getting tired. I took a wrong turn in Rouyn-Noranda and that deflated us for a little bit. Found a nice place to camp in Label-Sur-Quevillon while we were eating at McDonalds (I think that was in Val d'or).

    It was reasonable, $20, and had showers and free laundry (found that out the next morning). Two young girls were at the office when we pulled up. The conversation went like this:

    Bonjour. Hello, do you speak english. Yes, a little. Thank you. Oui. How much for a tent site? $20. Great I'll take a site then.

    We finished filling out all the forms and the younger girl who spoke english says there is a $10 deposit for a key. What's the key for? Shower. What time do you open to get my deposit? 8am. I may be gone before then so I don't need a key for the shower. No toilet? You mean I need a key to pee? Oui, Oui. I need a key to go wee wee? She thought that was pretty funny but I think she was about to say the same thing. We go the key after leaving the deposit so we could use the showers and restrooms.

    A photo from the front of our site:

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    Also from the back. You can see the bulldozer had just spread some gravel out. Not a lick of grass in the site. Oh well.

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    We had to put on our head nets here. The skeeters tried to carry us both off but the head nets and a little DEET kept them at bay. We were in bed early after a long day.

    They had Wi-Fi at the office so we set up camp and went to the office to use it. The girl who spoke english was still there and was very helpful. Her name was Aurelie. She tried to get us to pronounce it better but we just butchered it. She laughed and thought it was funny. She was originally from Maine (explains the english). She pointed out the map along the Saint Lawrence Seaway on where we could watch for whales. Excuse me? Yes, you must stop to watch for whales. Cool!!! We're in! :deal

    We traveled 355 miles today and were pretty tired. We also went above the 49th Parallel today. We've been much higher but it was still a nice plateau to reach.
    #25
  6. wtmklr

    wtmklr Adventurer

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    I did the TLH back in 2012, great ride! Did you get a sticker?

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    #26
  7. NorWis

    NorWis No longer a "Wanna Be"

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    Whoa!!!! Where'd ya get that at? :eek1

    I looked for one like that but couldn't find one. Had to settle for a plain old TLH oval. Sure would like to get one of those!

    Todd
    #27
  8. wtmklr

    wtmklr Adventurer

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    I found it in a Gift Shop in Goose Bay. I'll try and dig up the name of the shop for you.
    #28
  9. R_Rick

    R_Rick Been here awhile

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    Please post the name of shop if you can remember it.

    NorWis, I am heading to Lab the end of next week. If I can track down the shop I'll pick an extra one up for you. Will send you a PM to get your address once I have it.
    #29
  10. NorWis

    NorWis No longer a "Wanna Be"

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    Thank you both!!! That would be very cool!!! :clap

    We stopped at a little store kind of an general junk/gift/souvenir shop about 5 minutes before it closed. The owner (a bearded gentlemen) said if you know what you want get it quick, I'm closing in 5 minutes. We just left.


    Todd
    #30
  11. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Long timer

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    Gee, you're going two weeks earlier than I am. I'm leaving Montreal on the 1st, for a counter-clockwise toure around the TLH. I too hope to find that gift shop.


    #31
  12. c-zulu

    c-zulu Resident Dirt Burner

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    Very nice. I'm looking forward to your review, I plan on embarking on a similar route mid September...
    #32
  13. wtmklr

    wtmklr Adventurer

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    I can't find the name of that gift shop, but it was on the corner of an intersection across the street from "Hotel North 2". In 2012 is was a green building.
    If you get the sticker, just make sure NOT to apply it to the bike until the trip is done! There was a rider a few years ago that had to peel the sticker off his bike mid way through the TLH. Due to a spill he was unable to ride the rest of the TLH, he was put on a plane and taken to a hospital and the bike was transported back to his home town. Moral of the storey - do not apply the sticker until you have survived the TLH!
    A link to my TLH Ride Report is in my signature line below.
    #33
  14. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    Screw applying it, I wouldn't even buy it until I was at my final exit point, and even then I'd cross my fingers. (Superstitious - Me? Naaaaaah :lol3)
    #34
  15. NorWis

    NorWis No longer a "Wanna Be"

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    June 11, 2014

    Day 4

    Leaving Lebel-Sur-Quevillon we took a picture of the sign on the office.

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    We also made an Inuksuk on the table to show we were there. Once you start spotting them you can see them EVERYWHERE!

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    We continued on heading north on route 113 toward Chibougamau. We had wanted to stay in the Reserve Faunique Ashuapmushuan instead of Lebel-Sur-Quevillon but that was well beyond the range we had in us. We stopped in Cree First Nation of Waswanipi to fuel up the bike and also ourselves.

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    Had a nice conversation with a fluent english speaking man who was really interested in our trip. I asked if there was a good place in town to eat and he pointed next door to "The Cafeteria".

    Had a great breakfast with some nice folks that spoke a bit of english.

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    A few things I had not fully learned yet; there aren't many signs on the buildings, they are at the road and are usually small. Light switches for restrooms are on the OUTSIDE not inside. Even though a campground may have "showers" you still need to pay extra for them.

    The "Cafeteria" from the outside.

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    Inside photo of cafeteria.

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    It may have looked like a restaurant on the inside but it still served cafeteria style. It was really good!

    I used to live on Poplar Street so this was cool.

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    A few other pictures of Waswanipi. There may have been more ATV's/UTV's than other vehicles.

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    A stop sign in Cree and english.

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    Only another 134 KM to Chibougamau! Then we will make the turn south and head toward Baie-Comeau. Notice the trees. That's going to change over the next few pictures.

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    You can see the trees getting shorter and skinnier. They are also changing to mostly black spruce.

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    We had a lenghty stop for some construction. This was a pretty buggy area and we kept our visors down as much as possible. It gets a bit warm and stuffy without any air movement. The guy in the car ahead of us had his window down. Once the bugs zeroed in on him they were relentless. We could see him flailing around inside the car. Then all of a sudden he opened the door and started to gag. I think he got a mouthful of them! Here we are outside and the bugs weren't bothering us as long as the visors were down. We found it a bit comical. :puke2

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    We were starting to see a lot more water now. Rivers, lakes, creeks, etc. The rivers are much larger in Canada and Alaska than they are in the northern US.

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    Then we would be driving along and boom, a massive amount of wood debris would be laying on the ground. Not from logging or the remnants of logging but a huge "lawn mower" kind of machine must have been used.

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    Very few waysides or rest areas up north. Just the SOS phones (the pic below is one of them) or later on coming through Labrador or Newfoundland (I can't remember) you would also see little safety huts with a phone, too.

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    Maybe this is how superman gets around, eh? :pynd

    Dylan gearing up to move on at the pull off for the phone. We carried our own satellite phone. It's in the orange pelican box on the top of the top case. Hmmmm, wonder if we needed it...

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    Back on the road Dylan taking more photos of the rocks:

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    At least at some of the construction sites you get some feedback as to how long the wait will be. 25 seconds left here.

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    Long straight (and boring) roads at times.

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    Not wanting to stop very often in the woods because the bugs can get pretty thick. If you're moving it's a non-issue. Coming in to La Dore and St. Felicien.

    We were hoping to get further again today but we just can't seem to break free of the 350 mile mark. We are going to stay in Alma tonight.

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    We stop at a restaurant in Alma before we head to the campground. We are both tired and hot and welcome the air conditioning! I was able to scratch out enough charades to get us a pizza ordered. Not real fond of the "pepperoni" in Canada. More like a bolgna than pepperoni I'm used to.

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    This is where it gets REAL interesting with the language barrier. We are going to camp at another municipal campground named Complexe Touristique Dam-En-Terre D'Alma.

    I went to the office and a very cute blond girl was at the counter. Bonjour. I say Bonjour in return and ask her if she speaks english. She says Why? Because I do not speak french. She speaks NO english at all so the charades begin. I find a picture of a tent on a brochure and get her to understand we would like a tent site. No power, no hydro. I pull out some cash and she all of a sudden gets a pretty darn good understanding of the english language. :becca

    No matter. The site was very nice and the campground was quiet, clean and at this time of year not very busy.

    The map of the campground and our site circled (you can hardly see it).

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    Our view from the campground once our tent was up. This is between Lac Saint Jean and the Saguenay River. I think they call it La Grande Decharge. Our first exposure to Hydro Quebec. Quite an impressive operation here. When we get toward the "Eye of Quebec" it becomes even more impressive! :eek1

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    The fly is not all the way on yet so we could get some air into the tent and air out our sleeping bags. Things were starting to, ummmm, smell a bit "different", yeah, that's the word I'll use. :loll

    We saw some guys rowing a skull.

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    Now it's shower time! I go to the restroom/shower house and find out that you have to plunk a quarter into the box to get 3 minutes in the shower. Crap. I go to the office and get some change from my blond friend and go back to the shower. I go into the middle shower (there's three) and prepare myself for a shower. Pop the two quarters in and nothing happens! :becca

    I get dressed and go back to the office and play charades with my friend again. I tell her shower 2 has taken my quarters (I gave two to Dylan) and didn't work. She says "No Douche?". Excuse me? Wild things are racing through my mind as to what she may be talking about. Wait a minute...shower/douche, I get it! Right no douche working. She gets on the radio and and speaks a lot of very fast french and I can hear "american" or something like that once in awhile. She says "No douche number 2". Ok, I get it. She gives me two quarters to replace the others and one is an american. I slide it back and tell her that won't work. She says in perfect english "I wonder how I got that". Why you little....

    I take my 6 minute shower and it feels really good! Sorry no pictures of that... :lol3

    We ride 350 miles today and are very hot and tired. We again go to bed early and are excited about getting to Baie-Comeau where we are thinking our trip will really start as we head up to Labrador and the Trans Labrador Highway. :wings
    #35
  16. NorWis

    NorWis No longer a "Wanna Be"

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    Good luck! If you need/want any additional info you don't see please let me know.

    Be safe!

    Todd
    #36
  17. NorWis

    NorWis No longer a "Wanna Be"

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    I'm not superstitious either but I always wait until the trip is over to apply them. I think my reasoning is I don't want them to get torn off from a drop! :lol3

    I could kick myself for not getting one of the "I survived..." stickers. All my Prudhoe Bay stickers didn't get applied until I was home. My ALCAN sticker was torn in half by a fall on the Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail. Oh well. Adds "patina", right? :lol3

    Todd
    #37
  18. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    Well I'm heading up there myself in August. If R-Rick or Mtl_biker come up dry, I'll try to find you one.
    #38
  19. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Long timer

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    I'm really enjoying your report and photos. Terrific!

    Just curious though... are you writing all this AFTER your trip, or are you still on the trip and writing it every night? I first thought this was "live" but now I'm thinking it's "pre-recorded".

    (Not that that's a bad thing.)
    #39
  20. NorWis

    NorWis No longer a "Wanna Be"

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    You would be my hero! :freaky

    PM me with a cost and shipping and I'll take care of it!!!! :deal

    Thanks,

    Todd
    #40