Corporate Downsized - Screw it, I'm doing the TranLab

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by littlelionmonster, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. littlelionmonster

    littlelionmonster Custom Faker

    Joined:
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    OK, time for the next installment.

    Day 6. Goose Bay to Red Bay

    Straight's Dog
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    Straight_8 and I spent a little while talking about what to expect on the stretch from GB to Port Hope and on to Red Bay. He's been all over the area and had some really good advice on routes and safety tips.

    The long section to Port Hope was supposed to be in good shape and the section into Red Bay was supposed to be pretty rough and WINDY!

    and check out ICEBERGfinder.com to see where I might see some bergs.

    He showed me around the AF base quickly, then he headed into work.
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    I was messing around with the remote for the iphone camera. I needed a better tripod.
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    Then I gassed up, double checked the Tiger and headed out around 9. Wasn't sure where I was going to stop tonight, but I wanted to catch the Blanc Sablon ferry to NF in the morning. Just had to get close enough for that.

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    The bridge from hell. The grating on this made the bike feel so squirrelly, I was glad to see the other side.
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    Churchhill River. The government is in the process of building a dam, so I was glad to see this before the changes.
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    Then it was 400 km of gravel to Port Hope. About 20 kms into, I looked down and saw this on the GPS.
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    It made me laugh. Where else was I going to go?

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    Saw this guy rambling up the road. I was able to shut the bike down and coast a little closer to him. I was still a long way off, but he looked like a pretty good sized bear, compared to what we have here in VA.
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    Half way.
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    The road was, in my opinion, pretty good. I just decided to keep a steady pace for the day and ran between 90-100 kph and let the bike dance underneath me. Met a couple graders, but nothing as bad as the construction sections from the day before.

    Even though this section was in the "middle of no where", there was a steady traffic flow. Enough that if something happened, it would be too long before someone would be by. The trucks and other cars were pretty decent to me. They would slow down so the dust wasn't too bad and when they would overtake me, they would usually wait until I signalled them to go around.

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    Almost made it on one tank. Got 380 before I stopped. I probably could have made it into Port Hope, but I didn't want to run out in a bad section of road.
    Talked to a German couple just outside Port Hope as I was filling up. They were riding around NA for the next couple months. They were the first ADV'ish riders I had seen since I left the US.

    Stopped and refueled the bike and me.
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    The weather had warmed up and I changed to my lighter gloves and take off a layer. Somehow, I spaced off the iceberg overlook but stopped to check at Mary's harbor and just happed to see a couple bergs floating.
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    Mary harbor to red bay SUCKED!!. Windy, roads sucked and then temp dropped a good 20 deg.

    Frozen lake
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    Finally made it to Red Bay and the end of the gravel. I almost kissed the road. Road up to the hotel and asked about a room, but I didn't want to spend that much, so I stopped at a gas station and asked. Got a decent B&B that was just around the corner.
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    What the decor lacked, the view made up for.
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    #21
  2. littlelionmonster

    littlelionmonster Custom Faker

    Joined:
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    Day 7. Red Bay to ferry to st Anthony

    After a good night sleep, I woke up at 430 again. Didn't have breakfast til 7 so just laid there enjoying the warm and hoping the ferry wouldn't be full. I was early in the season, so I wasn't too worried.

    The B&B lady made good breakfast - 2 eggs and toast. She wasn't much of a talker and, coming from me, that's saying something. Loaded up and headed out. Wasn't to cold but the wind started to pick up once I climbed out of REd Bay.
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    Ran along to coast for awhile, saw a couple more bergs, topped off with gas, got a couple strange looks from locals
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    And made it to the ferry.

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    Was nice not to really have to push today.

    not really sure what this is about. I didn't see the driver, so I can't confirm anything.
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    On the Ferry.
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    I found a seat in a quiet section until the bus load of Canadian Rangers moved in. I guess its like the Boy Scouts, but with girls. Good kids, just a little noisy.
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    So I moved downstairs and got a second proper ADV breakfast. Bacon, Sausage and coffee
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    Called home and talked to the wife. Was good to hear her voice. Today was my son's actual birthday day, but he's already had 3 parties so I think he'll be fine.

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    Got off the Ferry and headed to L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site It was a very windy ride up the coast and fought it all the way up.

    Finally made it to the historic site.
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    Turned out that today was the first day it was open for the year!!

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    Found out the Pistolet Bay campground was closed so headed to St Anthony to eat and find a place to stay. Called around and landed in a nice b&b for $65. Not bad for a hotel quality and breakfast. I highly recommend the Trailsend B&B

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    Saw a road on the map for old American base so road out to find it. Led up to the cell tower that had excellent view of the bay and more ice ergs.

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    Headed back unloaded did some bike maint and worked on the plan for the rest of the trip. Turns out the ferry from Argentia to NS didn't start running until later June, so I needed to figure out how to get back and forth across the island and still do something else besides sit on the bike.
    #22
  3. littlelionmonster

    littlelionmonster Custom Faker

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    Day 8 - st Anthony to Norris point

    Slept in a bit then got ready and loaded up the bike. There was frost on the seat. Glad I didn't camp.

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    Good breakfast at the b&b. Talked to her for awhile and got a suggestion to stop by the salmon cave. River cut thru a ridge so the salmon run thru a tunnel. Nice ride cool and clear and the wind finally died down.

    Saw the first moose of the day and a couple carribou.

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    Stopped and hiked around salmon pool. Near place. It had a couple camping spots and nice river to do some fishing.
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    Then kept rolling to arches park.

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    Picked a couple small rocks that caught my eye then called the Bonnie Bay hostel to check on a room.

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    I read HBN's RR where he had stayed here and wanted to check it. Its an old community hospital that has been turned into a hostel/library/gym. Here's their FACEBOOK page

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    Got here around 3 got the room and went to get some real food. AFter I unloaded, I forgot to take off the rok straps and it ended up getting it ripped off in the chain. Have to find some webbing a buckle to fix it.

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    Luckily, that is the worse thing that happened during the entire trip!!

    Pam fried fish and fries for supper.
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    Stopped at the Gros Morne visitors center to figure out Friday. Then came back, found some desert and walked around a bit.

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    I was the only person in the hostel that night. Quiet. Luckily, the community guard dog was on duty. This was probably the ugliest dog I've ever seen.
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    View from the hostel deck. Looks like some weather is moving in.....
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    #23
  4. goosecreek

    goosecreek Waiting for spring

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    The salmon pool looked intresting thanks for the link.
    #24
  5. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Endeavor to persevere.

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    Location:
    From Alabama to Newfoundland, it's all Appalachian
    Nice LLM! :thumb

    :lurk
    #25
  6. littlelionmonster

    littlelionmonster Custom Faker

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    quick Lunch time update - not many pictures from today.

    Day 9 Norris point to Terra Nova park

    Wet and cold ride. Woke up earlier but didn't leave til 7. Drizzled most of the day. Missed the Tim Hortons at deer lake so kept rolling till my feet got cold and went to Springdale?. Warmed up then off again. More drizzle nothing heavy but still cold. Had the gerbing cranked up the entire trip.

    Stopped in gander at the air museum and found a grocery store. Air museum was smAll but interesting. Important base in WWII and used for Cuba and Russia to fly back and forth. Pictures of Casto sledding. Wouldn't see that in the USA.
    Ninja trying to fix the plane
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    Gander COOP. Pretty decent selection of food. Got a couple apples for the road.
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    Made it to terra by 230. Grabbed a sight next to the shelter just in case and got set up thought the rain was going to catch up but never did. Made supper watched the squirrels run around. The little bastards are pretty brazen. They would chase each other around the tent, bike and almost up my pant leg.
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    Terra Nova has the nicest bathrooms. I almost set up camp in here.
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    A nice walk by the stream. Bugs weren't out yet either.
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    Was good to slow down and actually be warm. I actually was able to wear shorts for the first time in a week.

    Caught up on some email.
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    tomorrow - B-36 crash site and St Johns!
    #26
  7. skyguy

    skyguy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
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    151
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Good stuff - keep it coming! I've been up in the Maritimes, but never made it to Labrador & Newfoundland. On the list...
    #27
  8. littlelionmonster

    littlelionmonster Custom Faker

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    Day 10 terra nova - b36 crash - St. John


    Day started slowly. No real hurry today. Short ride the crash site then couple hours to DaMurph house in St. John. Made breakfast packed up then stopped by store to check email and weather. Looked like rain so got going to site.

    Had to chase this little guy off the table
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    Ride back to the sight was nice. Here's a link to another ADV'ers RR
    B36 Crash near Clarenville

    Another little fishing village back off the road. GPS actually took me right to the place. Just follow the road and go past the slate factory then follow the road for the quarry.
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    Only a little sign that would let you know about the site.

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    Short hike up to top of the mtn. To look at the wreckage.
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    Was a big Cold War bomber and the only thing in tact was the tail section. Thing must of explored when it hit.

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    Came down and started to rain so took off. Got back on the trans Canada. The narrow section of the island had lots of fog and wind. Stuck behind a pickup and just tried to keep moving. Finally made it to St. John.


    While in Goose Bay, Straight_8 suggested I contact DaMurph in St. Johns for a place to stay. Plus a couple other RR mention meeting him and how great a host he is. Murph sent me a note and said no problem, we've got you covered. :clap:clap

    When I got into St John, I called Murph and gave him the wrong address to meet me but made to his place a little later. Super nice guy and his sister lives in a little town that is just south my place in VA. Hung out for a bit and since it was actually warm. Did some laundry and enjoyed a little down time.

    Time to air stuff out
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    Since the weather was nice, we ran to cape spear and thru down town past the docks.
    Eastern most point in North America
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    St. John has a nest feel. Kinda like downtown Staunton in a bigger setting.

    and it has a harbor.
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    Had an awesome dinner of spaghetti and met Danellia, Murph's special friend. We talked for awhile, then I crashed. 2 weeks on the road, ice bergs and 50 kph cross winds were catching up with me.
    #28
  9. EnduroAV8R

    EnduroAV8R n00b

    Joined:
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    1
    I'm doing the TransLab in September with a buddy of mine. What was cell service like on the trip? Especially on NL Island.

    Great ride report. It's been helping us plan our trip.

    Thx.
    #29
  10. littlelionmonster

    littlelionmonster Custom Faker

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    Have fun! Early September is supposed to be a great time to visit.

    Cell service on the TL was only in the towns. I knew I was getting close because all the txt messages would come thru at once on go off in the ear buds. It was kind of funny.

    I don't remember exactly how service was in NF, since I didn't pay too much attention. Definitely had service in most of the towns, but there were sections of the TransCanada that didn't. I'd call it spotty at best.

    You could also post up in one of the regional sites and ask.
    #30
  11. mcgarrett

    mcgarrett Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Golden Isles, GA
    Great Ride Report. I did the TLH a few weeks after you, and I'm glad the weather had warmed up a bit. There were still plenty of challenges, though.
    #31
  12. littlelionmonster

    littlelionmonster Custom Faker

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    Hey Mcgarrett - I followed your report too. Glad I didn't have to worry about fires.

    You should head west and hang out with the Catherder group. We're pretty decent.
    #32
  13. littlelionmonster

    littlelionmonster Custom Faker

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    Day 11. St. John area

    I took it easy and slept in til 730. Murph made an excellent breakfast and after I took a walk around the neighborhood to get loosened up, we headed out later to hit signal bill and roads up north.

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    Lots of twisting and great overlooks. Dave knows all about the history and showed me a couple spots where the whales will feed.

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    I guess there used to be a light house here, but the govt took it out and put in a helipad. I'm not sure why since its at least 30km and 3 dirt roads from anything.
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    Had the best fish and chips for lunch served by a cute girl in yoga pants. then headed to his place.
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    I didn't fell like fighting the wind anymore so we didn't head south. I took a nap then we went downtown to walk around a bit.
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    Seal skin boots
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    Got a beer and sat on his deck just enjoying the day.
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    Had cod tongues, lobster and flipper pie for supper was all good. Seal looks like pot roast but has a richer flavor. It was good.
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    I really can't thank Murph enough for opening his home and showing me around for a couple days. This was the first time in my travels that I had used the tent space thread and out of all the the things I learned on this trip, this was probably the best lesson.

    Make a local connection.

    Its one thing to travel to and/or through a place, but to really experience it, its important for me at least, to talk with someone who lives there.
    #33
  14. flyingz06

    flyingz06 Been here awhile

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    WHERE is that water pic at? Beautiful!
    #34
  15. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    You are more than welcome. We had as much fun as yerself and I got the same treatment in Nova Scotia last month thanks to LittlePeter. Pass it on.

    We watched the whales feeding 50 meters off the shore yesterday. Nice shot of the Apple Blossoms BTW.
    #35
  16. goosecreek

    goosecreek Waiting for spring

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    Man this just keeps getting better.
    #36
  17. Overcomb3

    Overcomb3 Icy PUMA

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    Bay Area
    Beautiful!!! Your doing a great report. Keep it goin man. I'm in!
    #37
  18. littlelionmonster

    littlelionmonster Custom Faker

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    It was in between Red Bay and Blanc Sablon.

    this is close to where I took it. 51.589763,-56.709366 West Saint Modeste.

    I remember coming around the curve and having my jaw drop.
    #38
  19. littlelionmonster

    littlelionmonster Custom Faker

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    Hey Murph!! Good to hear from you. Where are the whale pics? I need something else to make my wife jealous so I can head back north.
    #39
  20. littlelionmonster

    littlelionmonster Custom Faker

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    DAy -12 St. John's - Gros Morne cg

    Just a long day in the saddle. Newfoundland doesn't look that big on a map until you start adding up the mileage. The ferry from Argentia to NS didn't start running until 2 weeks later, so back across the island I headed. My original plan was to head to Twillingate for the night, but the weather changed my mind. Whats the point of camping on the ocean cliff if you can't enjoy the view. Plus after learning more about the Gros Morne park, I wanted to spend some more time there exploring and hiking.

    Got up early and got loaded, said good bye and thanks to Murph, then headed out.

    Chilly most of the way across. Narrows was decent no fog or wind. Rain started at terra nova and lasted to Gander. I stopped at an overlook at Terra Nova that was a couple of kms off the main road. It was raining a bit, but I swore it started snowing for a couple minutes.

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    Then the wind picked up. Was brutal and thought I was going off the road a couple times.
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    Found the Trans Newfoundland rail trail in badger and jumped on for a bit but wasn't feeling it, so I got back on highway.
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    Under different circumstance, this could be an awesome trail to ride.

    Got to Trout River campground but was still closed. So rode back thru the tablelands
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    and the wind to Lomond CG. Decent but not as good as terra nova. But better view.
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    I got camp set up and made supper then decided to do a little bike maintenance, which didn't go so well.

    Slippery shoes + uneven gravel + long day =
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    No harm done, so I cracked open my bottle of Screech and some pineapple Crush crawled in the tent to listen to the wind blow.
    #40