Kelsow does NS to NL to LAB to QC to NB and home.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by kelsow, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,118
    Location:
    Halifax Nova Scotia
    This trip happened a few weeks ago so some of the info may not be as accurate as it should be but I'll do my best.

    5 of us left NS to NL to cross from the East coast to the West coast of NL, where I would leave the lads at some point to head north while they continued on to PAB.

    We were supposed to be joined by our friend Dave, but he had a car accident 2 weeks prior and couldn't meet us, so we brought him along anyway.

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    So along for the ride was TStrom (Greg)
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    Gasburner (Stever)
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    Jason404 (Jason)
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    Jspeed (Jimbo)
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    And me taking the pix,

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    On our way to Cape Breton,
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    we met up with Canadian FJR (Scott). He wanted to ride with us for a while but had to turn around due to work.
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    Our first stop was Cape George and the lighthouse. This is one section of road most people bypass on their way to Cape Breton
    and it is one of the better roads in NS.
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    Waiting at the Canso Causeway to open up to traffic due to a boat crossing through.
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    Being dicks,
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    Me
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    Seal Island Bridge,
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    Here we are at the ferry to Newfoundland,
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    WTF? Argentina?
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    I met this guy who was crossing Canada with his son in the sidecar. Very cool.
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    Getting into the ferry while having to listen to Harley "fags" (South Park reference) blip their throttles because of the echo of the ship.
    Asshats.
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    It was deafening.

    Strapping down,
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    Getting hammered on smuggled in home brewed wine. It packed a punch so thanks Jason.
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    Us on our way to getting loaded on $8.00 beers,
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    and full on foot long hotdogs. I think we ate about 12 feet of dogs,
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    Here enjoying the camaraderie of good friends in anticipation of a great ride.
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    #1
  2. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Halifax Nova Scotia
    Day 2
    We started the day all feeling a little groggy. Not sure if it was the alcohol or seasickness.
    Ether way, we were all feeling a little under the weather.
    The cure was a feed of grease and fruit and yoghurt.
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    After breakfast, we all went back to the cabins for a rest as our stomach's felt like this,
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    Getting ready to leave,
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    we had a little mishap. The crew was so fast in helping out I failed to get the pic,
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    Here's Greg not giving any fucks,
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    The fog was so think on the Avalon Peninsula, we couldn't see very far ahead so we rode slow and didn't take many pix at all,
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    With all of our rain gear on it was getting too hot so we stopped here to take off a layer,
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    At one point we were riding with our flashers on but the fog did lift for portions of the ride,
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    On our way to Hollyrood,
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    for coffee and treats,
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    Once past Hollyrood, we headed North,
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    This may or may not be conception Bay,
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    Most of us decided to head down this dirt road to see what was at the end,
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    Here is the lighthouse at Biscayne Cove, http://goo.gl/maps/Xuxnu
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    It turned out to be a perfect day once we rode out of the fog,
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    LOL,
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    From there we headed to St. John's where we were spending 2 nights in the city at The Sheraton where we got a fantastic rate
    due to Jason's sister being the chef there. She treated us with fantastic meals the entire time. Thanks Dana.
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    Those who don't know anything about George Street, it has the most bars and pubs per square foot of any street in North America.
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    It was a late night so I can't remember all of what happened and I wont tell you what I do remember.
    Let's just say we'll be back here the next night.
    #2
  3. MP5

    MP5 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
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    257
    Location:
    NB, Canada
    Nice guys. Thanks for the RR:lurk
    #3
  4. novaboy

    novaboy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
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    649
    Location:
    Rothesay, New Brunswick, Canada, eh
    Nice, can't wait for the rest. Looks like you hit George St on a good night.
    #4
  5. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

    Joined:
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    I was trying to find a way to get together with Geoff (Gee) from the Ride the Rock forum over the last day or 2 and we finally
    met in person after 8 years of chatting online. Believe it or not, I failed to get a picture of our meeting.
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    It was great to finally meet Geoff and his friend he brought along. UKBri (Brian) was spending a bit more time in St John's
    than planned, after his girlfriend had broken her leg on the Trans Lab. Brian was itching to get out for a spin so he joined us.

    First stop was Signal Hill,
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    Geoff, Jason, Stever and Brian.
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    This city was incredibly beautiful and could see myself living here easily.
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    Geoff took us on a little tour of the city then we headed to Harbour Grace for coffee and Blueberry Cobbler.
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    Some of the roads were quite narrow,
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    From there it was off to this gorgeous lighthouse in Butchers.
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    What a spot for a tent!
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    Now just to get the bikes down...
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    Geoff on his Triumph,
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    At this point, Geoff and Brian had to head back to the city so we bid farewell and headed to Bonavista National Park.
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    But first we had to pass by one of the most famous signs in NL, Dildo,
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    Here is the guy we met on the ferry to NL, a few days later. It looked like he was having a great time.
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    We had to stop at a tourist info booth twice as their information to where you could camp was dodgy at best.
    We were thinking that since it was a provincial park there would be camping. Apparently not.
    We had to find something in Elliston, 10 mins down the road. A week before there were almost 2000 people in town for an event.
    This week there were so few people in town, there wasn't even anyone running the campground. Sweet.

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    A Newfoundland dinner, (not jiggs) Bluestar and fries, dressing and gravy (FDG) Right some good b'ye
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    We weren't allowed to have open fires at the campsite so we had one on the beach.
    While looking for driftwood, I found a dead eagle that would come into play later that night.
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    Woah!
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    As the beer flowed into the night, it was soon time to burn said eagle. It was in honour of our American friend
    Dave who couldn't make the trip. We started singing "Fry like an eagle, to be free" We laughed, and got more hammered.
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    #5
  6. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

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    Location:
    Halifax Nova Scotia
    Apparently Elliston is "The Root Cellar Capital of the World" Who knew?
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    The scenery here was spectacular.
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    On our way to Dungeon Provincial Park, a road worker jumped out of his truck and stopped us so he could tell us where we should head.
    It was Spillars Cove and it didn't disappoint.
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    Here is Greg and Stever enjoying the whales off in the distance,
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    Jason and I decided it would be a good idea to follow the goat path to see where it went.
    I lost my momentum, and will to live,
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    This was a long way down...
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    From there it was a short ride to the Dungeons. Pretty cool spot.
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    We followed this dirt road for a bit which was heading to a lighthouse,
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    This was a gorgeous spot,
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    From there it was off to Twillingate,
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    "Get at me Wolf"
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    The road to Twillingate is very interesting as it goes over 4-5 islands via causeways.

    Here we are at the Long Point Lighthouse,
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    Interesting roof,
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    Me taking some shots,
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    I love the Newfoundland sense of humour,
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    Heading back,
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    We decided to head to Jason's parent's place as the weather was turning bad. It was about 2 hours away in Grand Falls
    and we almost made it there without getting wet.
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    We spent the night going from pub to pub and generally just havin a time.
    #6
  7. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

    Joined:
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    1,118
    Location:
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    Day 5
    We left Grand Falls-Windsor for Jason's parent's cottage about an hour away.
    We wanted to have a slice of Lefty's Pizza, but alas, it was closed.
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    On our way to Springdale (I think it was),
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    We had hope to get out cod fishing but due to the winds in the bay we had to wait for the following day.
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    So what else is there to do but to go riding?
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    We headed down the highway for a bit then onto the 391 to Harry's Harbour,
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    Happy bunch of goofs,
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    There was a huge walkway going up to the top of the waterfalls but I was so hot (as the weather was very humid) I decided to stay back to take some pix.
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    I wish I had suffered through as this is what treated the lads up top,
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    It was the brightest rainbow I had ever seen, but not a double rainbow.
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    Assholes,
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    Going farther down to road,
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    Langdon's Cove,
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    Just before Harry's Harbour,
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    There was nothing too picturesque here so we headed back to Jason's camp for....
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    "Moose meat and chippies" Whargarble!
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    Bunch of happy guys,
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    HUGE thanks goes out to Jason's mom and dad for their hospitality. It was very much appreciated.

    After many beers or glasses of wine it was time for bed.
    #7
  8. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Halifax Nova Scotia
    The next day, Greg and I wanted to ride, so as we headed out,
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    the other lads prepared for a day fishing for cod. First step was to get the boat out of the shed,
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    Next step was to start jigging,
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    WOAH! (just kidding)
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    More like it,
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    Pretty good haul for a couple of hours.
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    Stever.
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    Jimbo kissing the cod,
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    Roley poley fish head,
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    Greg and I rode to Gros Morne National Park as he had never been there before.
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    Going over the Table Lands, we rode into the fog that was so thick, we couldn't see a thing.
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    Here is a pano at Woody Point (I think)
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    On the way back, the fog had lifted which made for many more photo opps,
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    If you have the time while you're in NL, take the time to get off the beaten path as the scenery is gorgeous,
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    Woody Point is a great place to see, especially if you are lucky enough to catch their annual music festival. We weren't.
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    From here, we made our way to Norris Point. The GPS said there was a ferry but we couldn't see one so we had to ride.
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    Gorgeous town,
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    Next on the list was The Wreck of the S. S. Ethie (http://www.newfoundlandshipwrecks.com/Ethie/Documents/wreck_of_the_s_s_ethie.htm)

    Every time I'm here, it gets just a little bit smaller,
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    I took so many pix last time I didn't bother with many this go round.

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    Next was The Arches but first we had to stop here for a few pix,
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    Beautiful mountains with clouds rolling off the top made for perfect scenery,
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    The Arches,
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    The plan was to meet Stever and Jim in Cow Head (pronounced Cow-ead) for the night.
    Jason decided to spend an extra day ant his folks camp.

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    Tomorrow would be my last day with the lads as they were meeting Jason in PAB
    and I was heading north.

    Next installment: The Trans Lab 2.0
    #8
  9. 568V8

    568V8 Ontario Vstrommer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    208
    Location:
    Kingston, Ontario
    Your picture of the pebbles and rocks on the beach at The Arches has amazing colour. Nicely done.
    It all looks so familiar? Hmmmm ... Was I with you?

    windtogo.wordpress.com
    #9
  10. C-Stain

    C-Stain Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Canoodia
    :ddog

    What? You go and leave me hanging? Sheesh.

    Patiently waiting for more. Bring it.

    Excellent photography as usual. :clap




    Can I come next year?
    #10
  11. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

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    Halifax Nova Scotia
    Thanks lads.

    568v8, I took a quick look at your blog. It seems you were on our trip.
    How funny is that?

    Craig. I will bring it asap and we are not going to NL again next year.
    As much as I love going there, I need to see someplace else.
    #11
  12. littlelionmonster

    littlelionmonster Custom Faker

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    926
    Location:
    Shenandoah Valley VA
    love it!! I missed so much of the scenery this spring. And your pics are incredible.

    Looking forward to more.
    #12
  13. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

    Joined:
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    1,118
    Location:
    Halifax Nova Scotia
    Thanks littlelionmonster, it means a lot.

    I left the b'ys in Cow-ead and was heading to St Anthony (Saint-ant-ney) to see some icebergs.
    I did some research before hand and the sightings were sketchy. I stopped into St Barbe to see the ferry schedule and to my luck,
    the next one was leaving in an hour. Sorted.
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    While waiting for the ferry, I saw 3 bikes appear. They looked like KTM Dakar bikes. It was none other than Sam and Clair with a buddy Charles.
    They started their journey over a year ago in Africa.
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    This young couple sold everything they had to help finance their round the world trip.
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    We spoke at length on the ferry to Labrador about everything. They are an amazing couple. I wish I had taken a photo with them
    as she is a gorgeous girl. They were doing the trans lab for the first time and were quite nervous.
    I had done it before so I knew what to expect.

    The boat,
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    They were just going to Lab to find a place to stay for the night but I had other plans. Thinking back, I prolly could have joined them
    but I was worried about the weather and saw a window of oportunity and took it.
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    The section of pavement to Red Bay is fantastically fun but once there it changes drastically.
    This is still (in my mind) the worst section of "dirt" on the TLH. It's not really dirt but gravel/marbles.
    I found with my last minute selection in tires (Shinko 705's) that I had made the wrong choice.
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    I had stopped to air down the tires a bit and one of the Tire Beads had gotten stuck in the valve and immediatly went flat.
    So, a flat tire at KM#1 on the TLH. Bugger. Good thing I brought a pump. Phew.

    I didn't take any pictures along the way as I had done before as I was too concentrated on riding. It was trecherous to say the least.

    I figured if I couldn't see icebergs in St Anthony, I should be able to see them in a place called,
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    It was only a 55km detour, so there HAD to be some there, right?

    I absolutely love Inukshuks
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    Especially little doggie ones,
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    I made it to the end of the road to find my icebergs. Can you see it?
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    Let me get a bit closer,
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    I know this is cheating, but here is 1 pic from the previous trip to put things into perspective,
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    I was dunched.

    On to Port Hope Simpson,
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    Port Hope Simpson was my first stop for fuel along the way. The only camp ground in the area closed down a couple of years ago so I continued on.

    What I found was a small area where a grater was spending the night so I thought it was as good a place as any.
    Not worthy of any pix apparently. Camp 1 is here, N52 53.698 W57 08.652

    The bugs weren't too bad but bad enough to set up camp and crawl into my tent for supper and to watch a movie.
    I watched the first part of World War Z. Not the best choice when one is worrying about bears and hearing strange noises.

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    #13
  14. yellowknife

    yellowknife Is In Canada

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
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    717
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    Nova Scotia, Canada
    :lurk
    #14
  15. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

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    Feb 29, 2004
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    Halifax Nova Scotia
    Thanks a bunch. That means a lot from you.
    #15
  16. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

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    Halifax Nova Scotia
    Today started out ok. Got woken up by a grater operator and his was the first of 4 I would see today. UGH. The road from Red bay all the way to HVGB is dirt and scary in spots, very scary. Quite a few shit fuck oh god moments, but I haven't gone down, yet. One thing that rain is great for is keeping the dust down. That's about it but now the road is even more slippery than before.

    Once the rain stopped it was time to start taking a few more pictures. I wish I had made it here about 2 mins before,
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    You can see the dust in the background in this pic,
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    It was turning out to be a beautiful day,
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    HVGB! I made it! Fuel, lunch, time to hit the road.
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    Here's a pic of the lads strapping down on the ferry from Port Au Basque to NS. Their trip was essentially over. :~(
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    From HVGB there is very little dirt left at least to Fremont QC. If you wanted to ride the TLH in the dirt, you missed it all by about 3 years.
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    I was kinda happy to see the pavement due to my choice in tires,
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    This was all dirt for me 2 years ago,
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    I think we all knew about the fires in Wabush but there were some about 100k West of HVGB,
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    Back to some dirt/marbles,
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    Is this you?
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    Speaking of dry, how's yer mudder (sorry, inside joke)
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    More pavement,
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    and more...
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    and more...
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    and more fires as well,
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    Not the most exciting of days to be honest. I think I'm probably done with the Trans Lab. As soon as it's all paved it will be filled with RV's and harley pirates.
    For me, the adventure is no more. The isolation and scenery will still be there but it will never be the same.

    So I pull into Fremont and ask where is the best place to camp. I'm told the grave yard. Sounds awesome I think to myself.

    Yep, it's a grave yard all righty.
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    So I pitch my tent, make supper, have a glass of vino and fall asleep watching the 2nd half of World War Z
    No zombies in a grave yard, right?
    #16
  17. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Halifax Nova Scotia
    Well I didn't get woken by the dead but there was this train that blew it's whistle numerous times, just enough to wake me fully at 4:00.
    Oh well, at least it got dark at 10:30...
    I hit the road at 8:00 this was the first thing of interest I see,
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    It's the start of more dirt and about 30 train track crossings. I think it's safe to say that this section of dirt will never be paved, which is fine as it is
    a lot of fun, providing you have the right tires and would be even more fun if you have some skills and a KTM 990. I don't.
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    Some of the dust was so thick, I would have to pull off the road to let it settle for a few seconds.

    The road leads you to Gagnon which has an interesting past. http://www.ghosttownpix.com/ontario/towns/gagnon.html
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    More pavement and more fires in the distance,
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    Here as well. I saw many cabins that had been burned to the ground but many people had already started to rebuild.
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    Fire crew getting ready to break for lunch,
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    This too was all dirt 2 years ago,
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    Next stop was Manic 5. Pictures do not do this place justice. It's MASSIVE!
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    From Manic 5 to Baie Comeau was very twisty tarmac and I only had to pass one car the entire time. Unbelieveable really.

    This pic if for my buddy Greg. No fucks were given,
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    I headed west till I got to Portneuf-sur-Mer. I managed to find a camp site for 15 bux with laundry facilities.
    There was "Camping Karaoke" at this campground which proved to be very entertaining, for the singer. If you didn't own a boat
    you could spend hours on any of the numerous ATV trails. Ugh!
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    Good times. Tomorrow, Quebec City.
    #17
  18. Bear Creek West

    Bear Creek West Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    274
    Location:
    Kingston / South Frontenac
    Also very cool to see your perspective on a lot of the spots we passed through.

    Subscribed!
    #18
  19. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,718
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Terrific, Kelsow! Your photos are great!!

    My favorite one (wish they were named more clearly) is the one right after your text, "This too was all dirt 2 years ago,". Beautiful!!! That's the photo style I like best and you've done it real well.

    Oops, I just realized the link you gave me was for page 2 of your report... Now I've got to go back and read the first page.

    Leaving work in less than an hour for a weekend of camping out in Coaticook Quebec and tomorrow we'll ride to check out Lac Megantic and see how the recovery efforts are going. And we'll contribute to their economy by buying big and expensive lunches!

    Cheers!
    #19
  20. Bigolechalupa

    Bigolechalupa Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    149
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, CANADA
    Hey!! Fellow Haligonian here.....
    I'm IN :D
    #20