TLH2010: Return to the Trans-Lab and Newfoundland

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by markbvt, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    Ever since I finished my first trip to Labrador last year (see the RR linked in my sig below), I've been plotting a return to experience it again, and of course to ride the newly-completed Phase III section. As MZcountryboy said in my ride report last year, Labrador has a draw, and I couldn't get it out of my mind for months after I got home. I was eager for more.

    So I started planning my return -- but this time, since my buddy James wouldn't be able to come along again, there'd be no support vehicle, and I opted for my V-Strom instead of the XR650L for its superior ability to carry supplies and operate at highway speeds on the paved portions of the trip.

    Originally the plan was to ride the Trans-Lab to Blanc-Sablon, then take the Relais Nordik coastal ferry along the St Lawrence to where Rt 138 begins in Natashquan. But this ferry turned out to cost nearly $500 once factoring in bike, rider, cabin, and food -- too expensive. So the route went back to the standard one through Newfoundland and Cape Breton.

    I also started talking to several other friends about the trip. It quickly caught the attention of my friend Roman, who had been wanting to do a long trip up into Canada. My buddy Jason, with whom I'm planning to ride to Alaska next year, was interested as well. And eventually the group was joined by Martin, an ADV inmate from New Jersey who found out we'd be doing the trip at the same time as him and asked if he could join up with us as far as Newfoundland.

    So over the summer, bikes got prepped, supplies were ordered, and plans were finalized. The evening before departure, I packed the bike and tried to go to sleep early.

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    #1
  2. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    Day 1: Saturday, 28 August 2010

    We set off bright and early, meeting in Essex, VT, at 7am. Jason, Roman, and I headed up to Derby, VT, to meet up with Martin, who'd started his trip the previous day and ridden as far as southern Vermont.

    We stopped off for gas...
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    Then rode over to the arranged meeting spot to pick up Martin.
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    From there we crossed the border into Quebec and took back roads past Sherbrooke.
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    Approaching Thetford Mines, we got into some heavy rain, but it cleared up eventually. By the time we'd passed Quebec City and were on Rt 138 heading northeast, it was beautiful out again.
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    We reached the Saguenay fjord and boarded the free ferry. Here's Jason and Martin; in the background are some unrelated riders we'd end up following through the twisties later on.
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    The Saguenay area is beautiful.
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    On the other side of the fjord, we followed those other guys for a little while...
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    ...then turned off at Camping Paradis Marin and set up camp.
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    And Martin and I grilled steaks for dinner. :dg
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    Stats for the day:
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    Track for the day (fully interactive -- zoom in as much as you like; also note that using the toggle menu in the upper right-hand corner, you can change the type of map that's displayed):
    <iframe src="http://www.swyve.org/stuff/tl2/20100828_track.html" width="600" height="600" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0">
    <a href="http://www.swyve.org/stuff/tl2/20100828_track.html">Click here for the map</a>
    </iframe>
    #2
  3. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    Location:
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    Day 2: Sunday, 29 August 2010

    We got up early Sunday morning, cooked a tasty breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon, and hit the road. Heading east, Rt 138 passes through numerous small towns and various kinds of countryside.
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    We made it to Baie Comeau and turned onto Rt 389. Of course we had to stop for the mandatory pics at the sign announcing the start of the Trans-Quebec-Labrador road.
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    We headed north on the paved road to Manic 5, enjoying the twisties along the way, and eventually stopped for lunch. Through no planning on my part, it ended up being the same spot I stopped last year -- just a convenient spot, I suppose.
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    Jason.
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    Fun road.
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    We continued north to Manic 5 and stopped for gas and a snack.
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    Then continued on to the Manic 5 dam itself.
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    If that dam ever breaks, those buildings down there might have some problems.
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    The road climbs up to the top of the hill, and the fun begins!
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    On the gravel.
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    It had rained heavily earlier in the day. We kept coming across mud holes in the road. For the most part these were no real problem... or so we thought until one of them claimed Roman. His front end augured in (Martin and I suspected that the F800GS's undersprung forks contributed to the problem), and he went over the handlebars. Headlight/instrument cluster broke off.
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    We duct-taped it back on.
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    Roman's luggage was banged up too, but serviceable, and the bike started up fine. Roman himself was a bit bruised and his shoulder a little tweaked, but otherwise okay. The bigger issue was that Roman's confidence was badly shaken by crashing only 35 miles into the gravel. But once the bike was cobbled back together, he agreed it made more sense to continue on to Relais Gabriel, since it was closer than backtracking to Manic 5, and by the time we got there he felt a good deal better.

    We ended up camping at a primitive site about a kilometer past Relais Gabriel.
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    The night was clear and beautiful.
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    We built the mandatory campfire, and Roman opened the bottle of tequila he'd brought.
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    Eventually I turned in and slept soundly... until I awoke in the middle of the night thinking a bear was walking around our campsite. But then I heard a tent zipper and realized it was just someone getting up to pee. :rofl
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    Stats for the day:
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    Track for the day:
    <iframe src="http://www.swyve.org/stuff/tl2/20100829_track.html" width="600" height="600" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0">
    <a href="http://www.swyve.org/stuff/tl2/20100829_track.html">Click here for the map</a>
    </iframe>
    #3
  4. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Diamond Bar, CA.
    Wow. :eek1

    Nice job on the Strom Mark! It looks rugged! :thumb

    I look forward to another excellent report.

    Q~
    #4
  5. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    Day 3: Monday, 30 August 2010

    I awoke just before dawn, as the clouds above were being painted in deep reds.
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    We broke camp as it began to drizzle lightly and headed over to Relais Gabriel for breakfast and expensive showers. While we ate, it began raining more. Great.

    As we sat around waiting for each other to shower, a fascinating bike rolled up to the gas pumps -- a stripped-down Ninja 650 with Versys forks, a V-Strom front wheel, and knobby tires. Astride this custom ADV beast was David, aka jdrocks, who would become a recurring character in this story. We chatted for a while, then he set off down the road as we waited for the last of our group to get showered.

    Finally we got going. We kept the pace pretty slow as it was still drizzling and the road surface was variable. Eventually we made it to Gagnon.
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    From there the road was paved to Fire Lake, and thankfully the weather improved. At Fire Lake, the road turns back to gravel, and the section known to locals as the Mini Trail begins. We took a short snack break.
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    Jason.
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    Martin.
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    Roman.
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    We headed up the Mini Trail, which is a twisty road of loose gravel and lots of railroad crossings. It was slow, sketchy going, made more difficult by the trucks that would blow past and stir up so much dust that we were momentarily blind. Naturally this happened most often on blind, uphill, tight left corners. But we all stayed upright and stopped occasionally to catch up to one another.

    Most of the way along this section, I rounded a bend and found David (jdrocks) snapping a photo of me from the side of the road. So I stopped and chatted with him while waiting for the others to catch up.

    Here comes Jason.
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    Beautiful land up there.
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    David geared up and went on his way.
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    We took a short break, then followed. Soon made it to the big mine shortly before Fermont.
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    Here comes Martin.
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    Big tires!
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    Soon after the pavement began, and then, of course, we made it to the Labrador border. Time for another mandatory pic.
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    We grabbed a quick lunch in Lab City, then thoroughly enjoyed the 50 freshly-paved miles of Rt 500 before once again hitting gravel. I have to admit -- once the Trans-Lab has been paved, I'll go back just to enjoy the sweeping turns and the awesome scenery that I'll actually be able to look at when I don't have to keep my eyes glued strictly to the road in front of me.

    But soon the pavement ended, and we were given loose, marbly, mostly trackless gravel to enjoy. It made for stressful riding as our bikes squirmed around beneath us. We stopped to take a short break at one of the easier spots along the road.
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    When there were tracks like that in the gravel, it was easy to ride. Trouble was that those tracks kept quickly running out.

    We stopped to camp at the same place I did last year -- happened to be a convenient clearing a little more than halfway between Lab City and Churchill Falls.
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    Stats for the day:
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    Track for the day:
    <iframe src="http://www.swyve.org/stuff/tl2/20100830_track.html" width="600" height="600" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0">
    <a href="http://www.swyve.org/stuff/tl2/20100830_track.html">Click here for the map</a>
    </iframe>
    #5
  6. MZcountryboy

    MZcountryboy Long timer

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    Location:
    Northeast Kingdom, Vermont USA (close to Canada!)
    Great story so far.........


    :lurk :lurk

    I missed out on Labrador this summer - glad you got to enjoy it.

    eagerly awaiting more....
    #6
  7. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Day 4: Tuesday, 31 August 2010

    Sometime during the night it began raining, and was still at it when I awoke shortly before dawn. But as I lay in my tent needing to pee, the tapping of raindrops on my tent slowed, then stopped. I crawled out of my tent and said, "Oh, wow!" The rain that had just moved past was catching the dawn light and put on quite a display as the sun came up.
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    We packed up and headed east. The road continued to be sketchy until about 30 miles before Churchill Falls, at which point it changed to hard-packed dirt, nearly as good as pavement. We enjoyed the easier ride, then stopped in Churchill Falls for breakfast.
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    Here we wound up running into Marty (aka lakota) and his buddy Jack. They ate faster than we did and were soon on their way again.

    Eventually we gassed up and got going too.
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    The road from Churchill Falls to Goose Bay was more loose gravel. The graders have been busy this summer. The whole road was much easier when I rode it last year.

    The scenery along the way is desolate and beautiful.
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    Tires were wearing okay.
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    Eventually we reached a freshly-laid-down ribbon of pavement. It was still soft.
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    The ground around here was covered with this whitish stuff. I'm not sure what it is. I'm also not sure what gorse is, but it sounds like what this looks like, so I'm going to go out on a limb and call this stuff gorse.
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    Jason was ready to get going again.
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    The pavement ended after 10 miles or so, we rode another section of gravel, then the paved road into Happy Valley-Goose Bay began. We stopped at the sign for the mandatory photo.
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    Then we rode into town, went grocery shopping, and rode up to Gosling Lake Park and camped on the beach.

    Martin expressed his disappointment at not having seen any moose yet, although we had seen some wolves on the side of the road earlier in the day. A construction crew had started feeding them, so they didn't bother to run away in the presence of humans. One of them apparently looked like it was about to lunge at Roman as he rode by. So it was with thoughts of wildlife that we drifted off to sleep that night.

    Stats for the day:
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    Track for the day:
    <iframe src="http://www.swyve.org/stuff/tl2/20100831_track.html" width="600" height="600" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0">
    <a href="http://www.swyve.org/stuff/tl2/20100831_track.html">Click here for the map</a>
    </iframe>
    #7
  8. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Day 5: Wednesday, 1 September 2010

    September decided to start out cold. I had to crawl into additional clothes overnight because my 35-degree sleeping bag wasn't keeping me warm enough. When I got up in the morning, there was frost on my bike.
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    The cold air made for a very picturesque dawn.
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    We got ourselves moving, stopped by Tim Horton's for breakfast (where we ran into a pair of ADV inmates from Maine), gassed up and filled our auxiliary containers, then rode off to tackle Phase III.

    The first 60 miles were hard-packed and mostly free of loose gravel. As good as pavement. We stopped so Martin and Roman could empty the first of their spare gas cans.
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    After this the road turned to more loose and mostly trackless gravel. We stopped after another 60 miles to empty more fuel containers.
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    Martin.
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    Misery approacheth.
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    After a truck passed, we had to wait a while for crosswinds to blow away the dust.
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    All the construction on Phase III was finished, but there was an awful lot of loose gravel. But we reached the end without any incidents (I spotted a large black bear running off as I approached, but it didn't attack any of us so doesn't count as an incident).
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    From there it was much of the same to Port Hope Simpson. Jason was having a much easier time of it -- he'd found a speed at which his Tiger smoothed out and cruised easily over the gravel, as I had on my XR650L last year. But I hadn't found a speed that worked well on the V-Strom, so there were plenty of pucker moments, though thankfully no crises.

    We made it to Port Hope Simpson and gassed up, and everyone was appropriately smitten with Cindy, the daughter of the gas station's owner, who rides a KLR and has become something of an ADV celebrity thanks to past Trans-Lab ride reports.

    Roman and Martin decided they wanted to sleep in real beds, and Jason and I didn't want to pay for them, so they got a room at the local B&B while we went off in search of the campground, which turned out to be the RV park just down the street from the B&B. We pulled in and got off the bikes.
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    While I went off to look for whoever was in charge of the RV park, an early-'90s F650 Funduro pulled in. The owner of the RV park came out, told us it would cost $15 each including a shower, and the F650 rider, Don, a 63-year-old retired schoolteacher from Cape Breton whose favorite word was clearly "fuck" as he employed it liberally, talked the guy into letting us sleep on the floor of the washroom trailer instead of outside in tents. Mission accomplished, Don rode off in search of beer while Jason and I began moving sleeping bags inside.

    Dirty Jason. I thought it was funny that the vents on his helmet had allowed little dirt horns to form on his head.
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    Dirty Triumph. The Trans-Lab dust (I call it labradirt) has a way of getting everywhere.
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    It especially likes to cake onto rear wheels.
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    Tires were still wearing okay.
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    This is the RV park. We took over the white building to the left.
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    This is Don. He likes beer. In fact, when we (well, actually, he, with minor assistance from Jason and me) finished the first eight-pack, he sent me out for more. Also, Don complimented the mop behind him on her beautiful head of hair.
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    We sat around and chatted with Don for a while till he decided it was time to go to bed, whereupon he retired into the adjoining room, in which he'd commandeered a disused and suspiciously-stained mattress. Terrific guy. He graciously invited us to stop by Sydney on our way through Cape Breton and sleep in the cabin cruiser in his barn, but we wouldn't end up having the time. If you're reading this, Don, thanks for the invitation, and it was truly a pleasure to have met you!
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    After Don went to bed, Jason headed out to his bike to gather a few things while I unrolled my sleeping bag. I soon heard voices outside, and fearing an incident, went out to investigate. I found Jason talking with three local teens who'd been wandering by in the dark and yelled over to him. We ended up chatting with them (three brothers -- twins, about 18 or 19, and their younger brother, 16ish I'd guess) about what it's like living in Port Hope Simpson. The older two were clearly a bit bored by the place, but the younger one spoke at length (in that fascinating Scots-Irish accent native to Labrador and Newfoundland) about how much he loves going out in the boat and just sitting out there on the water, and his run-ins with fishery officers (his family's boat is the slowest in town, and the fishery guys like to pick on them because their boat's too slow to get away), and how ridiculous the fishing limits are (particularly six salmon a year for an entire family -- I agreed enthusiastically that that's an insane limit).

    It was one of those unexpected encounters that reshapes your view of humanity, however slightly. Jason and I both had our guard up at first, assuming we were about to get fucked with, because that's the most likely outcome in this sort of scenario in the world we come from. But these kids weren't up to anything, they just felt like chatting with a couple of strangers on bikes. After fifteen or twenty minutes of pleasant conversation and laughter all around, they went on their way and wished us a safe journey.

    Jason and I agreed afterwards that we were glad we'd chosen not to stay at the B&B with Roman and Martin, because if we had we never would have met these various people. I said it then, and I'll say it again now: the people in Labrador and Newfoundland are, generally speaking, among the nicest you will ever meet.

    Stats for the day:
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    Track for the day:
    <iframe src="http://www.swyve.org/stuff/tl2/20100901_track.html" width="600" height="600" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0">
    <a href="http://www.swyve.org/stuff/tl2/20100901_track.html">Click here for the map</a>
    </iframe>
    #8
  9. RunLongVT

    RunLongVT Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    103
    Location:
    Vermont
    Great report so far, Mark! Looks like you guys had great weather for the most part.

    Labrador was crawling with motorcycles this year!

    I was planning on heading up on September 21, but haven't been able to find any riding partners. Anyone planning to head up there next week?
    #9
  10. bikerjarrel

    bikerjarrel AutumnRider

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Burlington, VT
    Can't wait for more. Beyond jealous. I've spent about three weeks in Alaska. Toured it mostly by foot, canoe, and air. Touring it via Motorcycle would be spectacular, but bring a gun. The locals thought I was nuts for hiking without one and they were right. My brother and I got stuck between a cub and its mother. Nothing happened, but we were very lucky. I would consider flying out and renting a dual sport, I just don't have the time for the trek to Washington State, which is where you'll probably pick up your ferry. Amazing report. Keep it coming :lurk
    #10
  11. bikerjarrel

    bikerjarrel AutumnRider

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
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    Burlington, VT
    I see the semi dual sport rubber, but they still look more street than off road. Was he okay with the 17inch front wheel and was the suspension stock?
    #11
  12. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    No ferry. We're riding to Alaska, not taking a boat. Why take a ferry when you can ride the Cassiar Highway?

    Stock suspension, although the Tiger's suspension is pretty good and Jason had it set up pretty well (the rear got chattery on washboard though, as did my Strom's). He did fine with the 17" front wheel and Pirelli MT60R tires, which are a bit more aggressive in person than they look in the pics -- though the rear was very worn by the end of the trip.

    Also, Jason's a small guy, so wasn't working the suspension and tires as hard as if I were riding the bike, for example.

    --mark
    #12
  13. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Imbecile

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    13,815
    Location:
    Vigo
    Lovin' the pics!
    #13
  14. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
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    4,542
    Location:
    Diamond Bar, CA.
    Still good... :thumb

    Q~
    #14
  15. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Day 6: Thursday, 2 September 2010

    Jason and I roused ourselves and headed over to the B&B to meet Roman and Martin for breakfast, then we all set off down the remaining stretch of gravel to Red Bay.
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    There was a lot more of the loose, sketchy gravel to contend with; I spent a lot of time riding tracks on the wrong side of the road, or packed areas left by graders on the side of the road. But we soon made it to the end of the gravel.
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    Martin kissed his bike...
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    ...while Roman was very happy to see the pavement.
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    I made Jason take a picture of me to prove I'm not imaginary.
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    Red Bay.
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    The labradirt is going to take a while to clean off my jacket...
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    ...and my bags.
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    From Red Bay it was an easy pavement ride to Blanc-Sablon, where we got in line for the ferry. The guys from Maine whom we'd met at Tim Horton's in Happy Valley got there shortly before us.
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    Did I mention labradirt gets everywhere?
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    Soon Marty (lakota) and Jack pulled up as well.
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    Departing Blanc-Sablon.
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    Martin on board.
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    As we neared Newfoundland, we spotted a whale breaching repeatedly off the port bow. Martin, who was pissed at still not having seen a moose, excitedly yelled out, "Fuck you, moose!"

    Upon disembarking in St Barbe, Newfoundland, we gassed up, then said our goodbyes to Martin, who was going to ride up to L'Anse aux Meadows that evening because he needed to make the haul down to the ferry in Port-aux-Basques the following day so he could meet his wife in Sydney. Jason, Roman, and I, meanwhile, had more time, and preferred to set up camp while the sun was still up, so we rode a short distance north and ventured out a gravel road heading towards the beach. We found a nice spot to camp in what was apparently a quarry.
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    Stats for the day:
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    Track for the day:
    <iframe src="http://www.swyve.org/stuff/tl2/20100902_track.html" width="600" height="600" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0">
    <a href="http://www.swyve.org/stuff/tl2/20100902_track.html">Click here for the map</a>
    </iframe>
    #15
  16. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    Day 7: Friday, 3 September 2010

    We awoke to a beautiful, clear morning.
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    We hit the road and headed north toward L'Anse aux Meadows, site of a pre-Columbus Viking settlement. We stopped off at a Tim Horton's for breakfast, waved at Martin as he rode past in the other direction, and came to the northern tip of Newfoundland.
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    Then we headed over to the historical site and walked out towards the recreated settlement. Rugged, beautiful countryside up there.
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    The Viking houses were made of sod and actually seemed quite comfortable on the inside.
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    These remarkably authentic-looking men were working on this boat. I wonder if they have winter gigs as pirates or at ren fairs down south somewhere.
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    On the way out of the historical site, we finally spotted some moose and thought of Martin. How he would have enjoyed this!
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    We headed south, enjoying the beautiful countryside along the way.
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    We picked up some groceries and fresh fish in Rocky Harbour and set up camp in Gros Morne National Park's Green Point campground. It sits on top of a hill overlooking the sea.
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    We picked a nice spot shielded on three sides by woods.
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    Roman sporting his new Trans-Lab t-shirt.
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    Once again we were treated to a spectacular sunset. The sky up here seems to enjoy putting on a show.
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    Stats for the day:
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    Track for the day:
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    #16
  17. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,120
    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    Day 8: Saturday, 4 September 2010

    We got going a little late this morning, stopped for breakfast in Rocky Harbour, then stopped off at the Gros Morne National Park visitor's center for an updated weather forecast, as we had heard that Hurricane Earl was supposed to be hitting Newfoundland that evening. The forecast confirmed that Earl would be moving up the western coast of Newfoundland, with 60+mph winds expected. So we figured it would be a good idea to head east.

    Back out in the parking lot, we ran into Alex from Ontario.
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    In the course of conversation, it emerged that he'd ridden over on the ferry with ADV inmates MZcountryboy and Goodolguzzi on their way to the Skibum Soiree. Funny, since I know MZcb and was wondering if I'd run into him myself at some point on the Rock.

    We said goodbye to Alex and headed east with Twillingate in mind as a likely destination, but after an hour on Highway 1, we were really bored and stopped to take a break at an info center on the side of the road. As it happened, there was a harvest festival going on there, and a whole bunch of locals were milling about. We were given some advice about the area, and since we were feeling lazy and definitely didn't feel like spending too much more time on Highway 1, we opted to head up to the nearby town of King's Point and get a motel for the night to wait out Earl. Turned out to be a good decision.

    We rode around the area a bit and checked out the high waterfall just north of town.
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    Then we rode back towards King's Point, which is situated on a long arm of the sea, forming an excellent natural harbor.
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    We stopped off at the By the Sea Cafe, and Roman couldn't resist the poutine.
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    The cafe partially sits on a pier; this is the view from the back porch. Highly recommended -- super-nice staff, good food.
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    It started raining around 8:30 as Earl approached, and we turned in early.

    Stats for the day:
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    #17
  18. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,120
    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    Day 9: Sunday, 5 September 2010

    By the time we awoke the next morning, Earl had moved on and the sun was shining. It was hellaciously windy though.
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    We had breakfast at By the Sea Cafe, then headed out for the slog down Highway 1 to Port-aux-Basques. There's a lot of fantastic riding in Newfoundland, but for the most part, Highway 1 isn't it -- especially in high winds. I got my worst-ever gas mileage on the V-Strom.

    There is some occasional nice scenery though.
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    Nearing Port-aux-Basques, we caught up with a familiar ADVified Ninja 650 -- David (jdrocks)! We all stopped for gas, then continued on to J.T. Cheeseman Provincial Park just outside Port-aux-Basques to set up camp, since we all had reservations on the following morning's ferry.
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    David took the campsite next to ours.
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    We cooked dinner, made a campfire, burned a particularly horrible shirt of Roman's, and enjoyed our last evening in Newfoundland. I enjoyed the Rock immensely, and will definitely be back.

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    #18
  19. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,120
    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    Day 10: Monday, 6 September 2010

    We got up early the next morning and got ourselves over to the ferry dock at the appointed hour. We were originally booked on the Caribou, but our tickets read Atlantic Vision... but oddly enough, the ferry that was actually present was the Leif Ericson.
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    The sun was still just coming up.
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    We stood around for a while, and the Leif Ericson departed without us. Soon thereafter, the Atlantic Vision docked. Jason and I sighed and went into the terminal building to find some breakfast.
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    Eventually we boarded the ferry and strapped down.
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    Departing Port-aux-Basques.
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    I've heard that the Atlantic Vision has suffered from a lot of mechanical problems, but she worked fine for us and was fast and surprisingly luxurious. $20 including tax got us an all-you-can-eat buffet lunch featuring a number of very tasty entrees, sides, and desserts. We ate for much of the crossing.

    Upon docking in North Sydney, we disembarked and headed for the Cabot Trail.
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    David was going this way too.
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    From there we headed up to Meat Cove to camp.
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    And who did we find greeting us at Meat Cove? Martin and his wife Lorena!
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    As we ate dinner, the sun set.
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    We built a campfire with Martin and Lorena and chatted for a couple of hours, being joined at times also by the folks at the next campsite, also ADV inmates. Meat Cove was like a mini ADV rally that night.

    Stats for the day:
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    #19
  20. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,120
    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    Day 11: Tuesday, 7 September 2010

    By morning the weather had clouded up. We broke camp, said goodbye to Martin and Lorena, and took off down the western side of the Cabot Trail.
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    We stopped in Cheticamp for breakfast and discussed which route to take homewards. Roman announced that his shoulder and ribs were still bothering him from his crash at the beginning of the trip, and he was tired of camping and was going to head straight home. Jason and I decided to head up into New Brunswick towards the Gaspé peninsula.

    We said goodbye to Roman down at the Canso Causeway.
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    Jason and I rode along the coast, eventually stopping to camp at Amherst Shore Provincial Park. Nice campground there.
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    Stats for the day:
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    #20