Goose Bay and beyond

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Jeff Munn, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. Jeff Munn

    Jeff Munn Just along for the ride..

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    What the heck, if I don't start this soon, it will never get done.

    What follows is a ride of lethargic proportions. What began as a great boastful idea late at night around a campfire, suddenly became a reality when the cosmos aligned properly. So with the confidence inspired by pure ignorance, becoyote and I launched on our summer expedition to the Great White North. The goal? Ride the Trans-Labrador Highway to Goose Bay, then home thru Newfoundland, taking in as much of the Canadian Maritimes as we possibly could, never back-tracking, camping the entire way, and keeping the expenses to under $50 a day. Shear lunacy according to every Canadian we met! But then again, most of them didn't even know The Trans-Labrador Highway existed, and none of them had ever met a true Advrider either...

    [​IMG]

    Backtracking a bit: I had met becoyote ( hereafter referred to by his code name of Brian) earlier this year thru Advrider. We both live in southeastern Virginia and soon started swapping tales and sniffing each other's garages. Then we did an adventure GS weekend to West Virginia to check out each other's riding styles. You can find that Ride Report here........

    Found out we had similar styles of packing our bikes, and decided to try something a little different.

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    So with the loving understanding of our wives and insurance policies current, we blasted north in pursuit of fame and glory. The next couple of weeks was the type of ride we had dreamed about, with surprises almost everyday. Riding desolate yet pristine regions on roads bulldozed out of nowhere, moose, real Viking settlements, fjords, face-plants, screech, shipwrecks, whales, campfire camaraderie with fellow riders, 2 nations, 3 time zones, 5 provinces, 6 ferries, 15 days, 30 foot tides, 700+ miles of unpaved roads, and 1535 km across one of the last mainly untouched provinces in Canada... Labrador. I swear it will be weeks before I get this damn grin off my face. Boy howdy, did we have fun.

    [​IMG]

    Now all I have to do is get off my ass and start posting some pictures..
    #1
  2. Metal Doc

    Metal Doc Duc addicted

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    :lurk




    Please do post more.
    #2
  3. Snuffy

    Snuffy Long timer

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    #3
  4. Beez

    Beez Given to fly

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    This is gonna be good.
    #4
  5. norton73

    norton73 drinkin'

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    Lookin' forward to this tale :nod
    #5
  6. GSGIRL

    GSGIRL Neither here nor there

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    :lurk This looks good.
    #6
  7. richro-vs

    richro-vs Rider

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    I have ridden with becoyote on the dragon a couple of times. Up with the pics.
    #7
  8. Dave Lee

    Dave Lee Dave Lee

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    Good one Jeff. I enjoyed your first episode of the trip up north and will look forward to the rest. I take it that all that wood wasn't to build a stockade to keep the Canadians out of your tent?
    Cheers.
    #8
  9. B.E. Coyote

    B.E. Coyote (Super-Genius)

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    Hey Rich! Hope those lights went together well. Just gotta be patient with the pics I think we have about 700. Toughest part is deciding which ones to post.
    Out 700 pics I think we probably have 4 or 5 hundred good ones.

    Fun ride.

    Brian
    #9
  10. gary5410

    gary5410 Been here awhile

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    :lurk

    I'm jealous already!
    #10
  11. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    wow
    can't wait...
    i hope you find a site to host ALL 700 OF THEM!

    greg
    #11
  12. richro-vs

    richro-vs Rider

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    Hey Brian,
    Lights went on great and really helped this weekend since I was leaving at 4 in the morning. Autoswitch is awesome. Sorry about my impatience. I will bring Nick if you do a fall ride in WV. Later Rich
    #12
  13. Jeff Munn

    Jeff Munn Just along for the ride..

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    I'll try not to disappoint anyone, but all this pressure is killing me....

    Here is the best job I could come up with for the entire ride route on one map... Our plan was to ride clockwise. North to Quebec, cross the St. Lawrence River, take the last road in Quebec north the Labrador City, cross Labrador on the Trans-Labrador Highway to Goose Bay, and then the overnight ferry from Goose Bay to Cartwright. From Cartwright we'd run the newest portion of the Trans-Lab (opened in 2004) 200 miles south and back into Quebec, ferry to Newfoundland, explore like the Vikings for several days, ferry to Nova Scotia, do the Cabot Trail, the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, and re-enter the USA via island hopping intra-coastal ferries. No worries!

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    I don't want to bore anyone so I'll just skip the first 700 miles day of pounding up the eastern seaboard. What can I say about the I-95 corridor and trying to get past New York City before rush hour? The only real thrill was starting this trip on what was to become the reoccurring thread of the trip; large bodies of water. Our gateway north was the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, that 18 mile engineering wonder that spans the mouth of the Bay and allows a bypass to Wilmington, Delaware, thus avoiding the lunacy of I-95. Sure it costs $10, but the savings in traffic and stress are priceless. For those of you who have never heard of it, it combines 2 underwater tunnels with 16 miles of bridges to span the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and connect Virginia with the rest of Virginia on the Eastern Shore. The tunnels are there to prevent our Atlantic Fleet from being trapped in port if an enemy dropped a bridge to seal the Bay. I stole this photo from www.cbbt.com

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    At the end of the day we were safely camped in a Sharp Bridge State Park in the Adirondacks. Happy to be on the road and to have the single biggest mileage day of the trip out of the way early, all we wanted to do was get to Canada and off the interstates. You can tell by the looks on our faces that we loved the first day of riding. Hmmm, beer! Liquid bread and the dinner of champions. And before you ask, no, Brian did not star in The Disney Movie "TRON".

    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow, Quebec! I always wondered if that nasty reputation that Quebecers have was true.
    #13
  14. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    #14
  15. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

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    Actually I've found it largely isn't true. Except for the occasional asshole in the vicinity of Quebec city, but then again you'll have that in any big city.

    I think the people of Quebec are referred to as "Quebecois", if I'm not mistaken :dunno
    #15
  16. Jeff Munn

    Jeff Munn Just along for the ride..

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    Thanks man. I never took French so I was guessing. And you'll see that we're in violent agreement on that other topic as well. :D
    #16
  17. Jeff Munn

    Jeff Munn Just along for the ride..

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    The next morning we were on the road bright and early. Hit the border north of Plattsburg by 0800.

    [​IMG]

    Headed to Montreal and then decided to run east along the St. Lawrence River without crossing over. That way we would avoid the hassle of riding thru Montreal and Quebec cities. Viva Hwy 20 to Riviere du-Loup! It was a long boring haul, but man we made great time.

    Crossing the St. Lawrence was our first of many ferry crossing. Unfortunately since it was the last major holiday weekend in Quebec, we had a 4 hour wait for our ferry.

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    Passed the time napping on the beach, fixing our lunch, and just watching the world go by.

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    It was here that we learned just how important Labrador is to the people of Quebec. When one very nice lady asked us where we were going, we told her we were going to ride north to Labrador and cross on the Trans-Labrador Highway. She looked at me like I had an appendage growing out of my forehead and said, "You mean there is such a thing?". We found that same disbelief in almost everyone we spoke to. Heck, all the Quebec maps we had didn't even show the road we were going to take north! Everyone seemed to know Labrador was there, but no-one seemed to give a damn, and they wouldn't think of driving there!

    [​IMG]

    We crossed the St. Lawrence in late afternoon to St. Simeon, then raced northeastward along Rt 138 to try to get as many miles under our belt as the setting sun would allow. Doinked into yet another ferry not 25 miles down the road, crossing the Saguenay River. Met a great Quebecois on an BMW R1200C who led us on a spirited run eastward to a campground that he knew of right on the St. Lawrence.

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    The place was filled with sea kayakers (kayakois?) and whale watchers, camping along the river. Watching the sun rise over the St. Lawrence was a fantastic way to start our run north.

    [​IMG]

    I was pumped like a kid on Christmas morning. The ride was about to start. The interstates were behind us. Man, I just knew it was going to be a good day to ride.

    So before we launch northward on the real adventure I have to say this. In my opinion, the reputation of nastiness and distain from Quebecois towards everyone else is undeserved. We met the nicest people in Quebec, were never treated rudely, and were approached at every stop by people interested in what the hell was going on with these bikes loaded like Conestoga wagons with USA plates. Everyone was super, even if they didn't even know there was a road that went from Quebec to Labrador!

    With that said, we fueled in Baie Comeau and turned north on Rt 389, heading for the unknown. The real adventure was just beginning. We were over 1200 miles into the trip, but Goose Bay was still 1100 km (675+ miles) away.

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. DoctorIt

    DoctorIt vrooom!

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    "kayakois" :lol3


    :lurk
    #18
  19. Dave Lee

    Dave Lee Dave Lee

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    Did you encounter the 'Language Police' in Quebec by any chance or is your French up to scratch? The place is supposed to be more french than France. I hope you flew the French Battle Flag with pride!

    Standing by for the next installment..

    Ride on!
    #19
  20. MGB

    MGB ex. BmwDuc

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    since I was born in Goose Bay. Guess I should have given you the address before you left..........
    #20