My Eyes Are My Ears: A solo journey thorough the USA and Canada by a deaf Adv rider

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Abenteuerfahrer, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,360
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona, USA
    Finally got some internet in Churchill Falls Midway Hotel. After transiting on the Ferry to Goose Bay. Got to Goose Bay at about 0800 hrs on Sunday and ALL was closed except one gas station. Was a rather nice day and decided not to linger there much longer and gassed up, headed for the second gravel section to Churchill Falls. Here are some pictures aboard the Ferry and gravel section(whew!!).


    Some beautiful splendor while still in Cartwright.

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    My last Caribou Burger before boarding the good ship; MV Robert Bond

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    A total of 5 riders went by Ferry as well. Two from Ontario, and two from Quebec. All including me were heading west, but separate ways.

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    Lining up for ship boarding. Took us almost an hour getting aboard as all vehicles had to back-in the front of the ship. A tedious task.

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    Super nice guys fron Ontario riding their Kawa KLRs 650's.

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    The author


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    Leaving Cartwright

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    Mess Hall(Galley)

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    Tables with fiddle rails; real ship

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    Ships Chow..........

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    Cartwright, Lab disappearing slowly in the distance.

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    My FIRST iceberg and this one is MINE!

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    Sunset over Labrador

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    Night Fall.............

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    Self portrait using the ships head(wc; loo; toilet) mirror...

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    Approaching Goose Bay/ Happy Valley shores..

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    The gravel road begins...........I was too nervous to write earlier. Remember I am an inexperienced gravel rider and ride a heavily ladden BMW 1200 GS. Overloaded with stuff I realized I don't need.

    This was the second section to the gravel road, probably the longest. I has been classified as gravel road grade class "A" by the Canadian government. It's more of a class "F" in my opinion. To me this it a horrendous road for motorcycles. They have covered the roads with fresh gravel rocks the size of golf balls and in other sections the size of softballs not counting portruding small boulders sticking out. Soft sand topped with gravel. I had about a couple close calls in spilling my bike. My tires were OK, but poor Brunhilde went through agony all day. I don't know what other riders have to say about the condition. It's my first..pictures don't show it, you must come and see it for yourself. Absolutely horrible. Limped into Chruchill Falls exhausted, dehydrated and beat. I know that the rest will not be much better or even get worse on Quebec's route 389. Took me a day to recover and write this. Furthermore trucks seldom slow down for you and you get to eat dust all day. Let me remind you that I am inexperienced in riding deep, deep gravel. Speeds should have been higher in order to ride a bit above the gravel line but it's my mental thing: the faster you ride and the harder you'll fall. The posted speed limit on the road is about 70 kph...I rode no more than 50 kph.


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    Sorry pictures don't show the real thing....was at times too scared to stop and take pics of boulders..simply plowed through them. Sore arms, buzzing hands.....

    the road crews tend to cover the rutted potholes with sand and gravel, woe to those who happen to think that the road is finally flat...kabowwww..your front wheel sinks in....beware.

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    BUT..there's still BEAUTY..

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    This is my favored section: notice the whitish strip..that's hard packed gravel on consistent material. It's the best rideable section but potholes are abound though. This is what I evisioned the gravel sections of TLH to be: packed hard "in". Not so it;s marbles...

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    Gas masks ready?......

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    Met 2 bicyclist traversing the entire TLH going at snails pace. How brave, determined.....Don't think BARRY HARLAN ever did this, eh?

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    ATTA GIRL......

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    3500 Megawatt production of power...in maintenance mode. Normally it produces about 5500 megawatts...

    More on this on another day. Plan to tour the facilities tonight.


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    Wishing you all a good day....


    YOUR MAN ON THE ROAD
  2. Old_Lion

    Old_Lion Crotchety Biker

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,275
    Location:
    Whiskey Pint, NY
    Google directions show:
    Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Churchill Falls
    291 km – about 11 hours 31 mins

    Linky

    From Churchill Falls to Baie-Comeau, QC
    833 km – about 22 hours 15 mins

    Linky

    Looking at the difference in time, does that mean that the road ahead is less strenuous?

    Four your sake I sure do hope so.

    George
  3. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,360
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona, USA
    OLDLION....

    the distance from Happy Valley/Goose Bay to Churchill Falls is 288 km(172 mi) and takes about 4 hours by CAR. Surface: Good Gravel-class "A" maintneance grade..BS!!!!. By motorcycle, depending on your riding skills, you might make it in 5 hours. Took me about 6 hours.

    Chruchill Falls to Labrator City is 238 km(142 mi)...takes about 3 hours by car. For me probably 5 hours.

    From Labrator city to Baie Comeau is about 581 km(350 miles). One more gravel road of 175 km(105 miles) but this one ain't funny either, probably worse. The rest is narrow, open...pot holed, cracked paved roads through twisty and hilly terain.

    The whole thng might take me another 3-4 days depending on my mood.
  4. Scoop

    Scoop runs with scissors

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    297
    Location:
    Thunder Bay Ontario
    Looks like you have avoided the bad weather, or it has avoided you. My fingers are crossed for this trend to continue.
    Best wishes as you ride.
  5. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,360
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona, USA
    To the scientific minded, ...NO excursion of this kind on the TLH by motorcycle is complete until you tour the Chruchill Falls Hydro Power development.

    One of the worlds great natural resources up here is the WATER. Churchill Falls was identified in the old days as a source of useable energy. and has today become the Churchill Falls Hydro development. The heart of the project is the 5,428,500 kw of underground power station, the largest in the world. A community of about 650 people make their home in the wilderness area and serve the company. This is a company town and everything belongs to the company; housing..schools..everything. The employees are taken care by the company....totally! Efforts were made to make the community one of the most advanced and comfortable of its kind. The community revolves around the unique town complex, the Donald Gordon Center. The Center houses a school, hotel, theater, library, bank, post office, recreational and commercial facilities, all under one roof. Residents enjoy modern living accommodations and recreational facilities. An indoor swimming pool, arena, curling rink, gymnasium, ski-hill, cross country ski trails, playground, ball diamonds and a community center provides facilities for many hours of active living. Facilities also include an interdenominational church, private run school system, medical facilities, fire department, and a small police detachment......all in one small town, the company is the BOSS!


    Facility tour guide..she was very effective in mouthing the session.
    Very high security was involved: picture ID...background check..etc. Entered the facility at 1900 hrs


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    The underground operation is about 1300' below in solid granite rock. The Falls were diverted and forced underground to operate the turbines. Awesome feat of engineering...you must see them.

    You can read more of this on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churchill_Falls

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    Generator area.....

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    Turbine area..


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    This is the companys credo inscribed on the wall:

    "The Mission of the Hydro Group of Companies is to provide electrical power and energy, on behalf of the people of the province, at least at the lowest cost consistent with reliable service, due consideration for the environment and the safety of our employees and the customer which we serve."


    GOOD NIGHT...

    YOUR MAN ON THE ROAD
  6. hondachopper

    hondachopper Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    85
    Nope...Barry didn't do it on a bicycle. He did the lab road in a van and he said that was difficult!!! Can't imagine what you're going through!!

    Be safe---take it easy and quit for the day if need be.

    Hondachopper.
  7. VespaMamma

    VespaMamma Shutterbug

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    54
    Location:
    North Carolina
    wow, breathtaking pictures of the sea, sun set/sun rise and your very own iceberg...is it named yet?? :lol3 you do look weathered and a bit beaten. A day or two of rest shall get you back up to the challenge. Hopefully, it won't get any more worse than what you've been through so far! Ride safe!!
    :clap :clap :clap
  8. ADV Goat

    ADV Goat Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Salmon Idaho
    Wow this is a great report can't wait to see more. I sold my KTM 950 Adventure and just reserved a R1200 GS Adventure will pick it up in a mounth I can't wait to start traveling with it.
    :clap
  9. wide track

    wide track Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    102
    I am not bashful, I have had a hearing problem most of my life. Started wearing hearing aids in 1959, its has been down hill since then. My problem is mostly word definition, I may be able to hear you, but not a clue as to what you said. I like you depend on closed captioning. The telephone is my worst enemy.

    I have done a lot of landscape photography over the years and I am impressed with your photography. Your view points have been great, I also see the Lumix is producing good results.

    Keep up the good photos and printed reports, I admire your moxie. Ride Safe
    <div style="border: 1px dashed ; margin: 5px; padding: 3px; background: rgb(255, 255, 204) none repeat scroll 0% 50%; overflow: visible; position: absolute; left: 0pt; top: 0pt; height: auto; width: auto; z-index: 10000; font-family: arial; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: normal; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0pt; text-shadow: none; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: normal; color: black; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; opacity: 1; display: none;" id="enhrdict"></div>
  10. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,360
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona, USA
    Left this morning at about 0800 hours in order to get to Labrador City in good time. It took me about 5 hours, while it normally takes 3 hours. Heard from a GS rider(2-up) at the Midway Inn in Chruchill Falls that there was heavy construction going on that stretch.

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    Carried an additional 2 gal can of gas..

    The first 25 km was my favorite road; hard packed dirt/mud(when it rains). This road stretch I consider class A+. Semi hard and excellent riding using Michelin Anakee's.


    Tires were singing: "O'sole mio....la di la da.....Was a happy man!

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    Environmental splendor with the hard packed dirt...

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    Remnands of the castrated Chruchill Falls river that was gored, diverted underground to supply power......

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    The beautiful Falls are no more, yet beautiful rock formation that was carved by the falls for generations.

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    Steel grated bridge over the former Falls..

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    Still good roadway....

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    Doable....50 mph...

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    WTF......marbles again...

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    Taking a break on Marbles....

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    Gazillion marbles, gravel, sand...boulders, you name it..

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    Leaf/Needle less tree landscape....strong winds also prevail here...coming across the roadway. Be careful where the winds will push you into...




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    That one I classify as grade "B"...reasonably rideable...

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    It's hard packet at the whitish strip... so ride on it up to 70 km/h if you feel confident...

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    MERDE(shit)....well getting closer to Quebec Province, got to practice some French...:evil

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    Like I said bikers have a love and hate affair with graders..they're fukin' up a perfectly good road

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    If you hit this "merde".... you end up in the deep ditch and be not found for days....bear chow...SO slow to a snails pace until gone

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    First Rail Road crossing that I encountered in the wilderness

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    Giving my wonderful steed, Brunhilde, a break, actually it's me that needs a water and expresso granola bar break...

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    Majestic Rivers abound with Trout and Salmon....

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    Free Snowmobile...

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    Went through heavy construction 4 times during the day. It was too cumbersome and rough trying to picture the sites. Had to occassionally stand on pegs in order to balance the bike through muck, rocks, sand and gravel at 5-8 mph. You try this with your HD, or Wing, he...

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    Voila, Labrador City in sight...but the road to get there was...more Merde, shit, Scheisse, Ca-ca...man, my arms and legs gave way...then finally I hit asphalt and zoomed off in GS style at 80 mph....glorious, breeze in the air, bugs in your teeth....aaaahhhhhh..I love thee O' asphalt! Wherefore hath thou been...?

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    Hereeeee it is: Labrador City, the last town in Labrador before getting to Vive la Quebec....:clap :thumb :wings


    Well, back to semi civilization, only for a day.. and hate it, love the wilderness, solitude, serenity...wet, cold. Will take gravel anytime over this MacDonaldized, Wal-Martized, Tim Hortonized town. No offense to the towns people..but it sucks after almost 10 days in wild, wonderful LABRADOR.

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    But tomorrow I will once again re-enter my realm...wild wonderful Province of Quebec for another 500 km of on/off twisty gravel and paved roads. So stay tuned....and practice your high school French, there will be plenty of it. Bonjour, Mes Amis!


    YOUR MAN ON THE ROAD
  11. VespaMamma

    VespaMamma Shutterbug

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    54
    Location:
    North Carolina
    yaaaaaaa, :beer you are almost coming to the end of your Labrador ride!! More glorious pictures of the wild frontier...love it! Can't blame you for not loving gravel..especially when construction crew working on laying new gravel as those are the worst kind to ride on!! Good luck and heed all those tight turns tomorrow...ride safe.
    :clap :clap
  12. pennymiler

    pennymiler Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    19
    :clap Howdy! Been reading all of this gravelly stuff with great interest! Shore wish i'd share all of this gravel with you!

    Keep it up and drive with care on the rest of the pesky gravel road! It will be over before you say Jackie Robinson!

    These pixes are great and pluhz keep them coming and you will surpass your frau in the photography department!
    :clap
  13. hondachopper

    hondachopper Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    85
    Smile---I like your "french". Learned a new cuss word!!!

    Enjoying your RR.

    Hondachopper
  14. pennymiler

    pennymiler Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    19
    Unnersan abuot the civilization bit, especially after a few days without it. Yeah.

    Probably the stiffest test lay ahead of you tomorrow as you will approach the gravel twsits and turns.

    Again, wish I'd ride alongside you beckoning you to speed it up, ha.

    Please acknowledge me, even though I am very confident that you recognize me!:wink:
  15. ruh roh

    ruh roh hey Yall

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    296
    Location:
    Central Ark
    well, Im gonna give it a try too. Headed to Colorado tomorrow. But i dont think i try gravel roads yet on my street tires and bike.

    we need invent Deaf wave too, ha. I vote for this : :clap

    hehehe
  16. hondachopper

    hondachopper Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    85
    Logged on to get my daily fix and no Abendteuerfahrer!!!

    Bet you're pooped with dealing with all that gravel. Looking forward to stories when you're up to it...

    Hondachopper
  17. pennymiler

    pennymiler Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    19
    Hey hondachopper, he busy counting all those gravel as he will not see any more today as he is fast approaching Baie-Comeau as he should arrive there by nightfall.

    Been tracking his movement from Labrador City as he left there yestiddy morning and stayed at a half way outpost near another hydroelectric plant.

    Looking forward to his post this evening as he shud be in the hi-fi friendly atmosphere.

    Way to go, adventure rider ( I dont know the German word for it yet, excuse me)! Attaboy Kraut!:D
  18. scubasmith67

    scubasmith67 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Naples, FL
    Great stuff, you are truly an inspiration. Your ride report is great! Lots of great pictures and the stories are very engaging and interesting. Such detail really makes me feel like I am there. Continue on your journey safely and I wish you all the best. :lurk
  19. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,360
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona, USA
    Veni Vedi Vici


    LABRADOR
    :clap :rayof :wings :wings :rilla :super
  20. Nan-Lo

    Nan-Lo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    606
    Location:
    Haverhill, MA
    WHOOOO HOOOOO!! Awesome job! :clap