Labrador, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia - another Ancient Mariners Adventure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by lakota, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Today was a fabulous ride. Have to start out with a shout out to Markbvt who gave me a route across Vermont. I cannot conceive how it could have been better.

    Again we were up at 5 and on the road before 6. The day started with a pratfall as I dropped the bike in the parking lot. Have no guess as to what happened but it would happen again later in the day. It was 47 degrees outside which is normally not cold but Annapolis has been in the 70s every morning for the last month so this was a shock. Put on the jacket liner and get out the medium weight gloves.

    The ride across Vermont was a day to remember. Here are scenes that interested me as we rolled along.

    Speaks for itself. This is right outside of Bennington

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    Jack enjoying Rte 7

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    Restaurant of choice for breakfast in Rutland - they’d better have pancakes and maple syrup

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    Food porn

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    Now on Rte 100. Nothing like having a covered bridge in your driveway

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    Rte 100 offers lots of this
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    Continuing along we found this

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    With this across the street

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    And these in the front yard

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    Fortunately he was not open because I would have had a real interest in the hack - the R1000R not so much



    Then there was this

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    Jack daring me to push him in

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    Farmers market in Waitesville

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    There were two other ADVers there but we didn’t find them

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    Who decorates there yard with a pile of bowling balls? (or Painted cannon balls)

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    The last stop in Vermont was lunch in Newport

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    A health food store where you didn’t have to eat Tofu - more food porn


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    There will be more of these along the way

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    Waiting to get into Canada

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    In a province I had not visited before

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    From here we decided on the direct route to Quebec and an early end to the day. At the last gas stop before the hotel I dropped the bike again in front of the gas pump. Who knows why? Careless I guess.
    And Jack failed twice today at getting pictures of bikes on the ground. As an aside buying gas with no French can be a bit of a problem but it all works out.

    Glenfiddich was used to toast the best day ever.
    #21
  2. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Day 3 Quebec City to Baie Comeau

    Today should be called the Day of the Spider. Since they came out I probably have seen fewer than 10 Can-Am Spyders on the road. Today we saw more than 30. Mostly 2 up. And all but one headed in the direction of Quebec City. Think I’d like to test ride one some day. Like when I get old.

    We were up early as usual but did not get on the road till about 7 because Jack’s bike was making strange noises. He added a couple of ounces of oil and all was well. Heading out of Quebec City the highway is like heading out of a city anywhere - industrial parks, car dealers, and RV sales. Slowly the suburbs make way to countryside and eventually the feeling is rural. Since the entire day is on a road that parallels the St Lawrence River there are some spectacular views to be had. One problem is that since the ride is easterly the sun makes reasonable pictures difficult. And there are no safe places to stop along the road. We have done our best to capture the essence of what we saw today.

    They don’t build them like this anymore

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    Breakfast stop

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    Obligatory porn

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    The views we had to endure while eating

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    The ST Lawrence River

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    Animal Planet interlude

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    Looking back the way we came

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    The way north eventually requires a free ferry from Baie-St-Catherine

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    A few motos making the trip

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    There are 3 ferries running so there is very little wait
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    This is how they build them now
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    Gotta love an area where they have these signs every few miles

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    More St Lawrence coastline

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    A park along the way celebrating a local’s love of dinosaurs

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    Eveyone who does this ride takes a picture of Manic 5. Here is a picture of Manic 1. (Manic= Hydroelectric Manicouagsan)

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    There was no good place to take a picture from the front so this is from the back.

    The best day ever.

    Tomorrow we finally hit the Trans-Labrador Highway.









    #22
  3. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Endeavor to persevere.

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    Jack, you gotta get on the stick with the GS in distress shots!! Just one of the mattress incident may have been front page. :lol3

    :lurk Ancient Mariners take really great photos! :lurk
    #23
  4. Aba Grizzly

    Aba Grizzly n00b

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    i suggest you have to get jack fired and get you another camera man. so many missed opportunities for REALLY good pics... :D

    enjoyed the writing. i suppose with this age you develop some kind of humorous point of view, when you don't really care what happens - you just enjoy everthing. :clap
    #24
  5. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    can't fire Jack - he laughs at my jokes:evil
    #25
  6. RunLongVT

    RunLongVT Been here awhile

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    Vermont
    Subscribed!

    Glad you liked Markbvt's Trans-VT route! He's one of the better route-makers I know - I followed him for 3000 miles this spring down to TN/VA/NC and back without looking at my own map once. He's up there on the TLH with you as we speak, so I hope you get to meet face to face.

    I'll be following you up there in a few weeks, so am eager to hear your reports on conditions, etc. Safe riding and hopefully there will be no repeats of the mattress incident... ever, as in, in the history of motorcycling from now going forward.

    -Paul
    #26
  7. Goldie05

    Goldie05 Fast George

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    I'm in too, wish I could be doing this too :D

    keep posting pics, love them :D
    #27
  8. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Endeavor to persevere.

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    A big +1 well said.
    #28
  9. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    The weather forecast was promising as we saddled up for the ride north and the start of the Labrador Highway. Wandering out of town we found the sign we were looking for.

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    This is what it looks like at the start of the highway at 0600

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    Since we had a picture of Manic 1 yesterday we stopped to tag Manic 2

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    When we tried to get Manic 3 we found a locked gate so here is the sign at the intersection with the main road

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    The road passes lots of lakes like this

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    Lots of construction areas along the way

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    Obligatory latitude sign

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    A view of the road before it turned to dirt

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    Eventually it began to look like rain so we pulled out the rain gear. It started to get heavy and we spent a lot of time getting out of the way of cars who wanted to go faster than we did. Speed limit is 90kph. We were going about 110 and were the slowest folks on the road. We were so worried about being overtaken safely that we missed the turn for gas and breakfast. We got to Manic 5 and asked where to get gas. We overshot it by 4km. Manic 5

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    After Manic 5 the road is primarily dirt (with a few short interludes)) all the way to Fermont.

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    The conditions in the dirt, even with the rain,were such that we could do 50+mph with no worries.
    Stopped and bought gas again at Relais Gabriel, which is the last service stop till Fermont - that’s about 180 miles.
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    More dirt road.

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    Bridge over one of the many rivers along the way. Note that one must stay on either the right of left track. There is no riding the center line.

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    The money shot. Tried to get back on the bike after the previous 2 pix and just went right over. Shut the bike down and took the pic before we picked it up.:rofl

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    Gagnon is a town along the way but it no longer exists. It is obvious that something was there. Unlike Centralia, the mining company picked up and moved out when the mine closed and they took everything with them but the pavement.

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    The road is paved for a good while from here.

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    Bikes at a rest stop on the side of the road. Gotta love the dirt.

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    Just after this stop the road crosses a railroad track and turns back to dirt with LOTS of loose gravel. The road and tracks run parallel to one another and cross one another many times (lost count).

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    A picture of an engine and rolling stock a friend asked me to get.

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    The road in the background. It is very dusty and when the big trucks go by (in either Direction) your world is reduced to the inside of your helmet - there is nothing on the other side of the face shield. The road and tracks together just before it’s back to pavement. Note the mine on the right and what’s left after strip mining on the left.

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    Finally the Labrador half of Newfoundland Labrador.

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    A long tough day. Tomorrow east across Labrador
    #29
  10. Alvingee43

    Alvingee43 Geeser Adventure Rider

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    :clap I heading up there next year so I am following along with your adventure. Hope to pick up some tips! And not tip overs!
    #30
  11. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

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    subscribed!:thumb
    #31
  12. RFlagg42

    RFlagg42 One hoopy frood....

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    Great pictures on the way up to Labrador City....:clap

    I found the section which kept crossing the train tracks to be tons of fun...and like you, I am always in such a rush to pick up my bike, that I forget to take the obligatory "napping" picture.
    #32
  13. frenchy750

    frenchy750 Work work work work work

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    Cheers to you, my friend!

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    #33
  14. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Some words about Labrador City. It appears that there are only 3 motel/hotel choices so you would be advised to make reservations ahead of time. We hit all three and appear to have gotten the last double room available. If you want an early breakfast Tim Hortons is the only choice. If you want an early start gas up the night before. Stations do not open until 7.
    Leaving Lab City on Rte 500 towards Churchill Falls the first 41 miles are paved. You can fly over this section if you ignore the impossible to ride 80kph speed limit.

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    Does this bike make Jack’s butt look fat?
    The view from the road.

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    Lots of boggy areas which require the road to be built up from the bogs.
    When the road turns to gravel you have two choices, sight see or ride. I know this has been said before but it is true. The gravel demands 100% concentration.
    The road looks like this

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    The gravel can be this

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    Or this

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    And if you get too close to the shoulder you may end up falling off this

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    The wind is no help either. It likes to surprise you with gusts that knock you off your line.
    The last 30 miles of this leg is hard pack dirt and you can make good time into Churchill Falls where everything you may want - restaurant, hotel, or grocery store - is in this building.

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    We caught up with Markbvt and his group at breakfast here.

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    They agreed that the gravel was a lot of work, It doesn’t get any better af to start. After leaving Churchill Falls. Instead of 70 miles of gravel you get 120 folllowed by 10 miles paved, another 30 gravel, and the last 20 into town paved. Since it was not wet the pace could be fast. Lots of construction zones, road graders, and surveyors.
    Road to Happy Valley

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    I know I missed a lot by the way we rode this leg but there really are only two choices, ride or look. And faster is easier than slower. I was aware of the surroundings and the beauty of it but did not really see it. I knew we were paralleling a river at one point but don’t ask me about it.
    It was a great ride but that’s what it was - a ride. And that’s what I wanted.

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    There should be 8 ADVers in Happy Valley Goose Bay tonight - Jack and me, Markbvt + 3, and Jim and Mark from Maine.
    We toasted the Best. Day. Ever!
    Tomorrow we join the (countless) few who have ridden Phase 3. The weather gods have been kind so far and hopefully their largess will continue. Although the forecast is for about 39 degrees F in the morning.
    #34
  15. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Endeavor to persevere.

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    I'll take your weather! Mid 90s at home all week:huh.

    edit...looks like Earl is gonna smack you this weekend.[​IMG]
    #35
  16. hector lethbridge

    hector lethbridge n00b

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    i live in goose bay and ride the tlh regularly. enjoy the trip and keep it all rubber side down.
    #36
  17. RunLongVT

    RunLongVT Been here awhile

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    Hi Markbvt!

    That's great that these grounps ran into eachother! Spontaneous ADV gathering in northermost Canada tonight! I'd love to see all 8 fully loaded bikes parked in a line... or perhaps riding in formation?
    #37
  18. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    The word of the day is DUST. As you can see from the following the dust cloud created by a moving vehicle is impressive. For an 18 wheeler it can block the sky. And if you ride second in a two motorcycle procession you get to suck dirt all day long. The dust all along the TLH is second to none.

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    The temperature this morning was 39F when we got up and got as low as 32F along the way. I had brought my heated jacket liner but was sure I would never need it this trip. Wrong bucko! Was really glad I had it and kept the heat on till about noon. Eventually it warmed up to the mid-50s and made for some great riding.

    To get to the beginning of TLH Phase 3 you have to ride back out of town and make a left. Immediately you are on the dirt. Then comes an open grate bridge. Then a road grader. Then you get to mile 3. The intel along the way was that Phase 3 was in the best condition of all the legs of the highway. The intel was correct. Don’t get me wrong - there was still loose dirt, gravel, graders, dust, more gravel, etc., but for the most part the ride was fast, as long as your attention didn’t wander. The engineers have built a fine road through the boggy wilderness and they deserve a shout out. The scenery is not very changing. You know you are alone out there as there is nothing other than construction sites along the road.
    Right after the start

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    It is about 240 miles from the start of Phase 3 to Port Hope Simpson so we decided to take a mental break every 50 miles.

    At 50 miles looking west

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    Looking east

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    Road surface

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    At 100 miles
    West

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    East

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    The shoulder is about an 8 foot drop

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    At 150 miles
    West

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    East

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    The side of the road is a little different

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    What is Jack doing?

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    Jack at the end of Phase 3 looking back from where we came

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    The Alexis River just before Port Hope Simpson.

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    The weather gods smiled on us again today. I can see how the road is a different beast with rain but we were lucky in that regard. We covered the ride to Port Hope Simpson in about 7 hours including rest stops. We are overnight in the Alexis Hotel here. Tomorrow we have another 125 miles of dirt and then it’s paved road again. We will again be tourists heading for the ferry to Newfoundland.
    #38
  19. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    that looks about right. rain starts tomorrow

    the ferry to Port Sydney could be no fun
    #39
  20. thatcanongirl

    thatcanongirl n00b

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    the bubba says hello and pointed to the pic of him on jack's bike and said, me, my bike.

    next year, can you hire me to document... that dust spot on the kodak zoom is plucking my nerves.

    love you!
    #40