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

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

  1. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Endeavor to persevere.

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    From Alabama to Newfoundland, it's all Appalachian
    So Yamaha is importing them into the US in 12? Sorry about the hijaX

    #61
  2. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    no problem - it's a good question

    fyi the ferries are cancelled for tomorrow so what that means for me on Sunday is another good questions

    photos uploading to photobucket as we speak
    day 7 ride report soon
    #62
  3. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    First a shout out to the Alexis Hotel in Port Hope Simpson. Carol, Jessica, Jodie, and the rest of the staff made our stay a most pleasant one. A great place to stay if you are in PHS. An ancient mariners 4 thumbs up recommendation.
    The were 9 ADVers at the hotel, Jack and me, + 5 guys from Mass, and 2 from Newfoundland doing the TLH CCW.
    We managed to keep ourselves under control and actually eat breakfast before leaving the hotel at 0700. We were to be tourists today and visit a number of places we found in the Labrador Coastal Highway guidebook.
    First stop was St Lewis, the easternmost permanent community on mainland Canada.
    The road to St Lewis

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    And it is the place where you can drive a vehicle the farthest east in mainland Canada.

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    The next stop was Mary’s Harbor, a picturesque fishing village 30 km up the road.

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    Had a drink and nice talk with Mr Ackerman, whose family has owned this store for 50 years.

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    Back out on the highway we had 30 of the toughest miles so far this trip.

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    I thought the hard stuff was done yesterday and had a hard time keeping my mind in the game. Lots of loose gravel and speeding cars were not a good combination this morning. The ride was exhausting. Talked to 6 other riders later in the day and they all agreed this ride was a bear. You probably heard my sigh of relief when we finally reached pavement at Red Bay.
    During the 16<SUP>th</SUP> Century Red Bay was used by the Basques as a whaling port

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    Red Bay was our lunch stop at the Whalers Restaurant

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    Today’s porn

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    Cairns like these were used by the native population to mark trails and to show friendship

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    Harbor entrance

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    Now we were going 60 or 70 mph on pavement till we got to L’Anse Amour. We went down a dirt road for about 1km to see this burial site.

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    This burial site predates the Pyramids

    Then back up on the road to our hotel. Since it was so early in the day we thought we would go find the ferry terminal in Blanc Sablon and have an idea what to expect in the morning. The 1530 ferry was just arriving so we decided to see if we could get on. Success.
    Waiting for the ferry

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    On the vehicle deck secure for sea. I used my own tiedowns but there are some available on board if you need them

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    Leaving the pier

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    Town of Blanc Sablon Labrador

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    The crossing of Strait of Belle Isle was uneventful.
    And now we sit in the Plum Point Motel for the night.
    Tomorrow the Vikings.
    And maybe worry about what Earl will do to our ferry ride to Nova Scotia,
    #63
  4. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Day 8 Plum Point to Shallow Bay
    The first rule of travel, adventure or otherwise, Read the brochure or other information so you know what time your destination opens so you don’t waste an hour - or read the restaurant signs so you find the one that is open and can et the wasted hour back.

    We were up and ready so we decided not to wait for the hotel restaurant to open but rather to head down the road toward L’Anse aux Meadow and the Viking settlement National Historic Site
    On the road north

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    At the park entrance - for the misadventure getting here reread paragraph one.

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    100,000 years ago our ancestors began to leave Africa and migrate to the east and west. 1,000 years ago the descendants of those who went east and those who went west met when the Vikings encountered the native people of Vinland. This sculpture represents the meeting of the “Two Worlds”.

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    Reproductions, using local materials, of the types of building that were here 1000 years ago

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    A docent in the large building can fill you with lots of interesting information. For example, all the dead were taken back to Greenland for Christian burial; the settlement was used about 8 years over a 25 year period.; the settlement was not intended to be permanent because there were no privies.

    The sites of the actual buildings

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    Visitors Center

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    The view the Vikings would have had waiting in the summer for the boats to arrive from Greenland

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    Finally breakfast

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    Today’s porn

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    On the road south

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    In Port au Choix. At one point there were 500 fishing boats here

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    The wind really blows here

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    Back on the highway

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    Stopped in Shallow Bay for the night. About 240 miles to the ferry tomorrow. All ferries for tomorrow are cancelled. How that will impact us on Sunday is the next question. We will know soon.
    #64
  5. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Endeavor to persevere.

    Joined:
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    I am having a really good time following Y'all. Thanks for all the work. :thumb

    These photos are my favorites. My Archaeological sense is tingling!!:deal
    I had no idea that there were intact burials in the New World from that long ago. Also the distance from the Bering land bridge is interesting. Asian folks crossed the land bridge +- 16000 years ago. Uh... Discovering the New World. Europeans love to claim the discovery of countless places that Asians have occupied for thousands of years.
    The expanses of time are what get me... The fact that this burial predates the Pyramids is understated. :) This predates them by 2500-3000 years!!! The Pyramids predate Christ by 2500-3000 years... The mind boggles.
    Ride Safe.



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    #65
  6. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Earl is coming, Earl is coming!

    We are up and out the door at 0630 heading to Port aux Basques. The plan is not to dawdle and get to the hotel before the wind and rain begin in earnest. We are concerned somewhat as to how the ferry schedule will be impacted.
    One of the best sunrises of the ride

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    Along Rte 340 south

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    What’s in your rear view mirror?

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    Clouding up thanks to Earl

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    The road after Corner Brook looks like most any road you have ridden - sometimes 2 lanes, sometimes 3, sometimes 4. Pretty but nothing that made me want to stop and take a picture.

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    This sign was different - it is not related to Earl. And it was true. Very high winds made riding difficult, as tough as anything on the ride. Then we saw cars with wipers on so we stopped and put on rain gear. The wind died and the air was damp. I was told that road gets closed sometimes due to wind.

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    The road is in great shape - only two construction zones in 240 miles. One interesting thing about eastern Quebec, Labrador, and Newfoundland the speed limit must be advisory and are posted only to keep the sign painters employed. In one section today we were in a line behind a LEO. The speed limit was 80kph and all of us were going 125kph. If you drive the limit you are a hazard.

    Wildlife report

    Quebec - one porcupine who tried to take out two Harley riders we were following

    Labrador - 3 wolves between Churchill Falls and Happy Valley. One about 50 yds from a construction worker and two sleeping on the road till we woke them up. Talking to a local later he surmised that they were being fed by the work crews. Probably not a good thing for the future.

    Newfoundland - three moose too quick for me to get a picture.

    Ferry update. The first potential ferry is at 0200 Sunday depending on the weather. We will go there about 0100 and see if we can get on. If not we are probably stuck here till 1600 Sunday at the earliest.
    #66
  7. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    up the road at cape st. george also waiting out the storm. i got a reservation for monday but it might be screwed up now. maybe see you down there.
    #67
  8. freeflow

    freeflow get in or go in

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    great pictures and detailed report lakota. :thumb

    that last section north of red bay is definitely different geology...pretty cool....we loved it....
    #68
  9. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Imbecile

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    Great report!
    #69
  10. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Endeavor to persevere.

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    spot says that they have been ferried> :thumb
    #70
  11. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Earl came and went. There was more wind than you can imagine and about 3 hours of heavy rain. Since we were hunkered down for the duration we got the executive suite at the Hotel Port aux Basques in order to have more room and not trip over each other. We kept following the ferry schedule updates on-line and revising our plans accordingly. The last schedule we saw had a ferry leaving at 0600 with no passenger info and another leaving at 0800 with loading passengers at 0600. Therefore we decided to get to the ferry at 0400 and see about the 0600 boat. Turns out that one was for commercial vehicles only but the good news was they loaded us immediately onto the 0800 one. When we got on board we asked about and got a cabin and went back to bed. The boat left on time and crossed in 4 ½ hours. Some folks got sick- Jack said the boat was moving around but I felt nothing - professional training. Was too lazy to take the camera to the room so there are no pictures of the crossing.

    We were lucky as the boat that was to leave from North Sydney broke down so the next boat leaving Port aux Basques wouldn’t be till about 2000 tonight.

    On the auto deck waiting to leave.

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    After we disembarked we headed over to Louisbourg to see the fort there that was built in the 18th century. It was closed, presumably because of the hurricane.
    The sign

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    We tried to find an alternate way in but this was a close as we could get

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    We are now in a hotel somewhere west of North Sydney. They got the power restored at 1130 this morning.

    Tomorrow the Cabot Trail.
    #71
  12. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    thanks to everyone who has been riding along with us
    #72
  13. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    We were up early but then had to wait to leave since there was not enough light in the parking lot to see to get the bikes loaded.

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    Shortly after 6 we finally got moving. This bridge was on the cover of the menu in the restaurant where we ate last night and I had wondered where it was. Little did I know it was 2 miles down the road.

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    Then it was over to Englishtown and the first ferry of the day- a 10 minute ride for $5.

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    This got us to the Cabot Trail.

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    I have heard lots about this ride, mostly good with some negatives. From my point of view it is mostly good. The negatives are all because there are a few sections where the ride is like riding in any number of places. But those spots are the necessary evil that gets you to the good places.

    Shots along the Cabot Trail

    Sometimes there are signs in both english and celtic

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    thought Lady Lakota, my daughters, granddaughter and the distaff readers would enjoy this sign

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    Looking back along the east coast

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    Scenery

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    Thirsty Hiker - recommended

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    Looking back

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    More east coast

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    a replica of a Sheppard's hut built to honor Angus MacDonald, who donated a chunk of land to the park

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    A photo of a post card showing part of the ride through the park. The previous picture was taken at the third switchback up the hill.

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    Headed to the west coast

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    The road south along the west coast

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    What's wrong with this picture?

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    Right after I took this we left the National Park and continued south. There are two construction zones in the park - one at the east entrance and one at the west.

    At a gas stop
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    More along the west coast

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    After the Cabot Trail the ride did get a little dull. We were heading to Prince Edward Island and the road to the PEI Ferry is mostly slab. But we prevailed and got to the ferry landing 10 minutes before they were ready to load. And the motorcycles were loaded first. And more good news - you pay only to get off the island so the trip over was free.

    The ferry

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    Waiting

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    Ready for sea

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    We used our own tie downs as the ones the boat provided were too big

    Looking down the auto deck

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    After arriving on PEI it was 28 miles to the motel - and 20 miles to the first gas station. Be forewarned if you go via the ferry.

    A great day of riding

    Chocolate!


    #73
  14. CDCSlim

    CDCSlim Rock On

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    Thanks For The Great Pics. Glad Earl Didn't Mess You Up Too Much.
    Ride Safe!
    #74
  15. hookeniggy

    hookeniggy Been here awhile

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    Nice report and thanks for sharing, i'll be taking my Super Tenere to Labrador around September the 15th, so really enjoyed the picture's, so did you guys go to the legion in Port aux Basque?
    #75
  16. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    never left the hotel until we went to the ferry
    #76
  17. ktjim

    ktjim longtime n00b

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    Geezer,

    Checking out your report on the ferry from Port aux Basque. Great job. Marc and I holded up in Deer lake for the "hurricane". Did a couple extra loops around Red Indian Lake and Port au Port Peninsula so we are behind all you guys now. Dock in 1/2 hour. Hope to meet you in the marbles again !
    #77
  18. hookeniggy

    hookeniggy Been here awhile

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    You guys missed out, if you're in Port Aux Basque on a saturdaynight, go to the legion, all the other bars shut down around 22:00 hours, and everybody will all head there, including bar-owners, its the most hospital saturdaynight you've ever experienced, good excuse to come back eh..
    #78
  19. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    The concern of the morning was where was the rain. Old People MTV, aka The Weather Channel, was predicting rain and the radar showed a line of thunderstorms moving our way. Jack opted for putting on his rain gear but I thought it was too warm to start out that way and that I could put it on later if necessary. I told Jack it would just make him mad and he allowed that it wouldn’t be the first time, nor the last, that I would do that. Naturally, 10 miles down the road, we had to stop while I got the suit on.

    The first stop of the day was Cavendish PEI, the site of the building that inspired “Anne of Green Gables”.
    The park was not yet open but the park warden let us take some pictures.

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    The house

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    Now we need to get breakfast. We ended up here. High on our recommended list.

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    XXX breakfast porn

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    Lobster Benedict and the best potatoes of the trip

    Leaving PEI we used the Confederation Bridge - the longest bridge in Canada. The Bridge is 13km long and takes 13 minutes from the toll booth to the other side.

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    Here’s the deal. Getting onto PEI is free. You have to pay to leave. It’s about 38 dollars on the ferry and 17 dollars on the bridge.



    Then it was off to Moncton and the BMW dealer - Jack needed a bulb for his headlight and I didn’t pack a 24mm wrench for tightening my chain.. Thankfully I had no tire problems on the ride.. A shout out to Shawn and the crew at Atlantic Motoplex for their assistance and interest in our trip and getting us back on the road.

    One failure of my planning was underestimating the distances in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. That gives us an excuse to come back.

    We wanted to be in Maine tomorrow so we had to hurry today. We rode the slab across NB to get to Hartland to see the world’s longest covered bridge.

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    I really wanted to ride down the pedestrian walkway.

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    We liked the ride so much we did it twice.


    Miscellaneous stuff
    Broken stuff
    Jack lost his custom ear plugs and is using store bought foam.
    The temple on my riding glasses broke off and I am wearing my progressive lenses - that’s bifocals to the uninitiated.
    My GPS (Zumo 550) touch screen has gone nuts. Anyone know how to reset it?

    What’s going on in my headset
    We are using SENA SMH10s which are quite an improvement over the Blueant Interphones we used to use. Longer battery life and the ability to use and charge simultaneously.
    So we are riding along and Jack says “I’m going to slow down because the brush on the side of the road is not cut back far enough and I want to be able to spot moose on the side of the road.”
    Me “okay”
    5 minutes later
    Me “ there are two moose in the road
    Jack “What?”
    Me “Moose in the Road”
    Jack “What?”
    Me “two moose just crossed the road”
    Jack “didn’t see them”

    And later
    “How come there are many signs saying “lots for sale” and none saying “not much for sale”?
    See what I have to put up with.

    We are now in Woodstock NB and will cross into Maine in the AM heading for Mt Washington.

    Had our traditional toast.

    Chocolate.
    #79
  20. skierd

    skierd Wannabe Far-Rider

    Joined:
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    Every time the touch screen on my streetpilot 2720 would go nuts, it was just really dirty. Try cleaning it with glass cleaner at best, or at worst a wet paper towel. If it gets coated in dust/grime it'll get false inputs from it.
    #80