TLH Trans Labrador Highway Question and Answers

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Newfie Rider, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Newfie Rider

    Newfie Rider Been here awhile

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    After completing the TLH, I thought it maybe a great idea for those who have also completed it to share experiences, or maybe even answer some questions for future riders.

    It is definitely a great trip here in North America. Even though a few sections will be completed for paving..it is still good to give it a go.

    The most challenging part for me was from Fire Lake to Baie Comeau. The oversized trucks and dust made things quite interesting.

    Clockwise or Counterclockwise ???????????????

    I did it CCW and encountered the large trucks from Fire Lake to Baie Comeau. If someone can chime in who did it CW it would be great. I would think travelling with the traffic would be better than against!

    My ride report here:
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=804532

    I am sure there are many many other. Maybe people can link all the reports here.

    If you are at all thinking about this....DO IT! :clap
    #1
  2. wescnmbkr1

    wescnmbkr1 Adventurer

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    Thanks for the great posting of the Trans Labrador Highway. Planning this for next summer. Great Information!
    Thanks for relating cautions where needed.
    wescnmbkr1:*sip*
    #2
  3. selkins

    selkins No hay banda!

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    Agreed it's a great ride. My biggest flag for caution had to do with the bum-rush between the ferries at Cartwright and Blanc Sablon - a 60+ mph, 300-mile rolling caravan / dust-cloud. Alas, no longer relevant with the mid-section of TLH having been completed.

    Scenery-wise I highly recommend the poorly-marked, two-track dirt road that heads south starting about 20 miles out of Happy Valley. Terminates at a mile-long hiking path to Muskrat Falls - very nice.
    #3
  4. Udo

    Udo Been here awhile

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    Just ran the Trans-Lab a few weeks ago. Was able to run the unpaved sections on a fully loaded R1200GS with TKC-80's at 50mph without a problem. Yes, it rained hard the last day heading towards Port Hope Simpson, but again,no problem.
    #4
  5. Newfie Rider

    Newfie Rider Been here awhile

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    Did you by chance see Thop on his KLR and bright yellow panniers heading ccw?
    #5
  6. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    I would stop for the free Damn Tour in Churchill Falls, go swimming in the pool, do some laundry and have a beer.

    In Lab City I would arrange a tour of the big pit mine if your into that stuff, it's an impressive hole.

    +1 on Muskat falls. Also neat old Hudson Bay Fur trading post outside Happy Valley to the North across the river.
    #6
  7. Newfie Rider

    Newfie Rider Been here awhile

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    When we arrived at Lab City, a couple guys stopped us and suggested to head up to the "Look-Out" for an awesome view of the area. Road looked a little sketchy for laiden down bikes, so we opted out.

    The Churchill Tour is a must see. Also, in Red Bay (End of Pavement CCW, or beginning of pavement CW LOL) has a great basque whaling museum there.
    #7
  8. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    I find this route interesting... actually I´ve got a friend who lives in Philadelphia, and have thought about the possibility to ship my own bike over (or of course renting a bike could be possible as well, it´ll depend on many things, like how long I could stay, etc).

    I know it´s a tough question to give a definite answer to, because the pace of travel that people like to do, does very a lot. But if you were doing this, do you guys reckon 4 weeks would be adequate time for a ride starting and ending in Philadelphia, visiting Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, then do the Trans-Labrador Highway, and on the way back make a detour to see the Niagara Falls? If I estimate 4000 miles for that loop, am I in the ballpark?

    I´m afraid I´ll have trouble to arrange even 4 weeks, but any shorter (coming over from Europe) probably would not make any sense either.
    #8
  9. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    Four weeks would be enough time for you to do all that, and also take in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, the Gaspé Peninsula, the Adirondacks, and most of New England.

    If you just wanted to do what you said above, you could easily do it in a little over two weeks.

    --mark
    #9
  10. Newfie Rider

    Newfie Rider Been here awhile

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    TO do the complete loop entering New Brunswick border from Maine, down through Nove Scotia,(one day) across to Newfoundland (Over night) (If you wish to explore NFLD a bit, give yourself 4 days)if not, travel directly from Port aux Basque ferry north to St Barbe(one day), then cross over to start the Labrador route back to Baie Comeau (4 days) Then take the northern coastal route through Quebec City, then onto Ontario.. 4 weeks will be tight but do-able
    #10
  11. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    Ok, thanks... I hope I can manage in the near future a long enough vacation, that doing this would become feasible!
    #11
  12. Newfie Rider

    Newfie Rider Been here awhile

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    Note, we deviated from our planned trip, we travelled directly from Lab to Matane, next day motel in Marimachi, then onto PEI with a cabin. Next day directly to ferry crossing to PAB

    Breakdown of distances and places to stay

    Stats on my trip:
    DAY 2 Sunday July 1
    Springdale – St Barbe
    6hrs 525km
    St Barbe RV Park
    Tent site
    877-2515

    DAY 3 Monday July 2
    + 1 ¾ Ferry Crossing
    Ferry @ 1030
    Check in 1hr prior. Reservations recommended
    Ferry $ 11.50 (Motorcycle and driver)
    Blanc Sablon to Port Hope Simson
    5 hrs 220km
    Alexis Hotel (Margret)
    $145+ 10 for cot ($175)
    709 960 0228

    Day 4 Tuesday July 3
    Port Hope Simson to Goose Bay
    7 hrs 410km
    Hotel North 2
    382 Hamilton River Road
    Happy Valley
    1-888-892-5505
    $139 double room ($157)
    Conf# 027168

    Day 5 Wednesday July 4
    Goose Bay to Lab City
    8.5 hrs 535km
    Duley Lake Park
    (709)280-1128

    Day 6 Thursday July 5
    “OUR FREE DAY”
    Two Seasons Inn
    1 800 670 7667
    Conf # MC2D266234
    $140 ($158)

    Day 7 Friday July 6
    Depart
    Lab City to Baie Comeau to Matane
    9hrs 580km
    Plus 2hr ferry (11hr)
    Ferry to Matane $42.50 (Bike and driver)
    Conf #48524
    Check in 30min prior
    1-877-562-6560
    Baie Comeau to Matane Ferry
    2000 hrs
    Camping Riviere Matane
    150 Route Louis Felix Dionne, Matane , QC
    Site #71 $23 tax in
    Conf # 205 281 408 52
    418-562-3414

    Day 8 Saturday July 7
    Matane to Mirmachi
    5hrs 345km

    MATANE TO MIRMACHI
    Route 195 to Amqui
    Route 132 to 11 (Bridge turn off)
    11 to 134 to Campbellton
    134 to Blair Malcolm rd to 11
    11 – 280 to bypass Dalhousie
    280-134
    134 to Bathurst to Miramichi
    Cont on 134 to 116 North Black River road - CAMP

    Camping Mirmachi
    116 North Black River Rd.
    Black River Bridge, NB
    (506) 773-6252
    Conf # 064920
    $25
    Day 9 Sunday July 8
    Mirmachi to Bay St. Lawrence
    9.5 hrs 690km
    MIRMACHI TO BAY ST LAWRENCE
    11 to Richibucto
    Cont on 11 to Bouctouche
    EXIT 32 B
    LEFT 515
    Right 134 Cross Bridge Left on 535 to Dixon Point
    535 to Bridge at 134
    134 to Shediac
    Get 11 to 15
    15 to Port Elgin to 16
    Left on Main St to Tidnish Road NB970
    970 to 366 Sunrise Trail​
    to Pugwash on 6 to Pictou
    Pictou 106 to 104 TCH east to 105
    105 to Bay St. Lawrence Road

    Jumping Mouse
    3360 Bay St Lawrence Road
    $25 Camp $40 Cabin
    902-383-2914
    Cabin Booked
    jumpingmousecamping@gmail.com

    Day 10 Monday July 9
    Bay St. Lawrence to North Sydney
    2hrs 150km
    Ferry $100 (bike and driver)


    My estimation of costs

    Gas
    3300 kms round trip
    18ltrs/320kms X 3300kms
    186 ltrs total @ $1.4/ltr
    Gas. = $260
    Ferry. = $154
    Tenting = $123
    Hotel shared. = $150
    Food. $20/day. = $200
    Total = $887
    Money I left with
    $990


    Here is my actual breakdown, note hotels were split 4 ways (two extra cots) except for Miramichi we had 2 rooms


    Cost gas Full tank from deer lake
    port aux choix
    13.035 ltrs. $17.00
    Lans a Clair
    18.9ltrs(rev can) $24.00
    Port hope
    10.56ltrs $15.00
    Goose Bay
    10.44ltrs. $13.60
    Churchill
    13.795 ltrs. $18.75
    Lab city
    13.461 ltrs. $17.89
    Manic 5
    20.6 ltr (5 in rev) $35.00
    Baie comeau
    17.04 ltrs. $22.22
    Bathurst
    16.741 ltrs. $20.78
    Bouctouche nb
    10.256 ltrs. $12.51
    Pei
    13.63 ltrs. $15.93
    Badeck. NS
    16.395 ltrs. $20.28
    Sydney
    7.165ltrs. $9.41
    Pasadena
    18.00 ltrs. $24.12
    Total gas $266.42

    Total
    Hotels
    St barbe $25
    Port hope $40
    Lab city. $40
    Marimachi $55
    Pei cabin $20
    Matane. $5. Tent
    Total. $180
    Ferry.
    St barbe. $11.50
    Matane. $44.25
    PEI. $40.00
    Pab. $94.23
    Total $189.98

    Total gas $266.42
    Total lodging. $180.00
    Total ferry. $189.98
    Total trip. $636.56
    Food Roughly $200.00
    booze. $75
    souvenirs $60
    Total money spent $950 approx
    #12
  13. X1Glider

    X1Glider Been here awhile

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    Guys, I'm doing this solo next month coming from Houston, Texas. As you've just been, I have a few questions. I'll be travelling CCW. Here is just the loop part I am concerned with. I'll play the rest of the trip by ear.

    [​IMG]


    1. Ferry from NS to NF: I have a few stops until I get to Sydney, NS so I don't know what day I'll be there. Do I "have to" reserve the space on the ferry ahead of time? Or is it easy enough to just slip in unannounced? I plan on going into Argentia to get to St. John for the sole reason I am not interested in backtracking the same road before heading north.

    2. Money: Cash-wise, I hate carrying cash and would rather pay by card but realize there are times that I must. Going into the middle of nowhere is one of those times. I'll be hotelling it the whole way.

    So, for hotels, eats and fuel, what's a good rule of thumb for how much cash to bring along? Likelyhood of being able to use the card?

    3. Ferry from NF to LAB. Again...is it necessary to have a reservation from St. Barbe?

    4. Hotels: As I don't know what day I'll be where or at what rate I'll be traveling at, how do you feel about availablity from just showing up?

    5. Fuel? I've got 8.5 gallons in the Stelvio. Good range for the trip from what I can tell. What's the furthest between fuel stop? Also, operating hours... do I need to make sure I hit certain places before 4 or 5 pm? Worries about someone not opening up one day because they felt like staying in?

    6. Road conditions and tires? Sounds like there's more pavement than I anticipated. I was only expecting to see a mile's worth in HVGB and LC.

    Are the gravel raods pretty well graded and hard? Or are there deep and soft sections that will sink the battleship unexpectedly?

    I was thinking of prepaying for some TKC80s at a shop in St. Johns to get them ordered up and then swapped out on arrival. Sound like I have the right idea? Now I'll need to find a shop in St. Johns...

    7. Can't think of any other concerns except what I shouldn't miss out on. I've riden to NS twice but never had enough vaction time until now to actually ferry over to NF. So what recommendations for "must see" things do you have?

    Sorry for the long winded post, especially since I haven't posted a thing in 3 years on here. Thanks guys.
    #13
  14. X1Glider

    X1Glider Been here awhile

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    BTW, I don't think I've streesed enough about how excited I am to do this. I've been doing the trip on Google's Street View for a while...where a street view is available. Will be great to get out of this 100 deg heat and flat, brown terrain.:ricky
    #14
  15. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    Lots of motorcycle shops in St Johns to install rubber. Of course you know of the trailway from St Johns to Port aux Basques and everywhere in between but the coastal loops are where it is at for scenery and people. You can talk to anyone anywhere anytime. No strange looks just anything you want or need is just to ask.
    #15
  16. X1Glider

    X1Glider Been here awhile

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    Is there a particular shop in SJ you recommend? A quick search turns up Honda One and the HD dealear. I think I know which one I'd pick of the 2. The sooner I get them to order a set of TKCs for me, the better.
    #16
  17. Newfie Rider

    Newfie Rider Been here awhile

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    Hi Murph! Backdraft here :wave:wave:wave
    #17
  18. Newfie Rider

    Newfie Rider Been here awhile

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    Excellent, great questions:

    1. Ferry from NS to NF: I have a few stops until I get to Sydney, NS so I don't know what day I'll be there. Do I "have to" reserve the space on the ferry ahead of time? Or is it easy enough to just slip in unannounced? I plan on going into Argentia to get to St. John for the sole reason I am not interested in backtracking the same road before heading north.

    You should definitely make reservations for the ferry, also may consider getting a berth as you will be on the cattle boat for 18 hours

    2. Money: Cash-wise, I hate carrying cash and would rather pay by card but realize there are times that I must. Going into the middle of nowhere is one of those times. I'll be hotelling it the whole way.

    Credit cards and insta bank no problems anywhere that I can recall. Carrying a lot of cash is unneccessay.

    So, for hotels, eats and fuel, what's a good rule of thumb for how much cash to bring along? Likelyhood of being able to use the card?

    3. Ferry from NF to LAB. Again...is it necessary to have a reservation from St. Barbe?

    When you get closer or can confirm when you will be crossing, it would be wise to book. Make note that some days it leaves St Barbe at 8 am and others at 10:30am (other crossings throughout the day I am unsure of times)

    4. Hotels: As I don't know what day I'll be where or at what rate I'll be traveling at, how do you feel about availablity from just showing up?

    For the most part there shouldn't be any problems with accomodations, OUTIDE OF LAB CITY, near impossible to get a room there. The place is booming with activity and accomodationsare at a premium.

    5. Fuel? I've got 8.5 gallons in the Stelvio. Good range for the trip from what I can tell. What's the furthest between fuel stop? Also, operating hours... do I need to make sure I hit certain places before 4 or 5 pm? Worries about someone not opening up one day because they felt like staying in?

    From Port Hope to Goose was the longest distance between gas stops, 410 kms. Port Hope station opened between 8-6 (IIRC), if your bike cannot go that far, instead f carrying a gas can on the entire trip, in Port Hope, buy a gallon of windsheild wash, and dump out the cotents and use that for the extra gas (Not UL approved, but should work)

    6. Road conditions and tires? Sounds like there's more pavement than I anticipated. I was only expecting to see a mile's worth in HVGB and LC.

    Red Bay to Goose - dirt, first 60 or so kms from Goose to Lab City paved, the last 100 or so kms into Lab City is paved, 40 kms south of Lab city paved, section from Fire Lake to the top of Lac Manicouagan is paved and boring, with construction. Dirt then to Manic 5, then pavement the rest of the way.

    Are the gravel raods pretty well graded and hard? Or are there deep and soft sections that will sink the battleship
    unexpectedly?

    Roads are well graded, loose service, keep an eye on the grader berms, and going around corners too fast

    I was thinking of prepaying for some TKC80s at a shop in St. Johns to get them ordered up and then swapped out on arrival. Sound like I have the right idea? Now I'll need to find a shop in St. Johns...

    What DaMurph said !

    7. Can't think of any other concerns except what I shouldn't miss out on. I've riden to NS twice but never had enough vaction time until now to actually ferry over to NF. So what recommendations for "must see" things do you have?

    Western Brook Gorge north of Rocky Hr, Red Bay Museum, Churchhill Falls Hydro tour (must see)
    #18
  19. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    There are these options in St Johns but might i suggest the Toy Box as well. Honda One is fabulous at getting tires. Toy Box is Avalon Motorrad and as such has experience balancing single sided rear wheels. If you want to start the Trans Lab on the freshest rubber possible there is a shop in Lanse au Loup, Labrador that has helped many an ADV rider. Rapid Power in Steady Brook NL will put you only a few hundred KMs below the ferry at St Barbe. I only have experience with the St John's shops and if you are gonna ride the trailway you may wish to apply new rubber there. Hope this is helpful.

    Hi back, Backdraft/ Newfie Rider. Rose Bowl location gave it away for me long ago.:D
    #19
  20. X1Glider

    X1Glider Been here awhile

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    Thanks a lot guys for the good info.

    I'd like to do a little look around on the rock before crossing over. Place looks amazing on Google Street view. So that should give me time to plan a ferry reservation at St. Barbe. Sounds like the big ride really needs to be narrowed down to a solid date so I'll have to plan my days on the way up there. I thought I'd take a day to mess around in NB and enjoy the infinite number of dirt roads and covered bridges.

    Good advice on Avalon. Looks like I'll be calling them come Tuesday.

    As for hotel stays in Lab City, I expected to get raped on price considering the location. Considering it's a miningtown, I guess I didn't expect it to be a vacation destination for people other than us nuts enough to ride through for no other reason than to do it.
    #20