Trans Labrador Highway/Newfoundland/NovaScotia run 2017

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by CavReconSGT, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. oliily

    oliily Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2015
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Montreal
    I just completed The Trans Labrador Highway starting from Blanc Sablon in Quebec, riding a V-strom 650 on street tires (conscious decision, I knew I will pay the price in time and stress). The gravel starts at Rad Bay and up to Port Hope I found it the most difficult part due to the garvel being loose on very hard white clay, riding like on bearing ball. It is mentally tough since the conditions change every few dozen meters, have to constantly search for the most stable trajectory. On the other hand I think another recent R&R on this site found out that stretch quite easy, the riders had knobby tires so I guess that their grip on the loose gravel is quite good.
    From Port Hope to Happy Valley 320 km alternating loose gravel with washboard conditions, I felt lucky being born human and not a tire or a shock absorber. The last 30 km are fully loose gravel not very well packed, in view of laying down asphalt sometime in the future. I had the same experinece on the Veteran's Bridge with the added problem that coming from the South the bridg is right after a corner with very little visibility (you can see it in the video posted by kr1) and one has barely the time to allign the moto with the bridge and then let it go based on inertia, do not change direction, brake or accelerate and you should we make it to the end of the bridge after dancing a bit. I will write to the Government of NF and Labrador, they should fix the bridge, one day somebody will be killed. Strange bu the bridge is of the exact same construciton as the otehr one between Happy Valley and Chruchill Falls (also shown in this RR) where the bike was very stable, no problmes. There is something fishy wiht the Veteran's bridge. Suggest kr1 to also complain to the government, the more we are the better the chances for them doing somthing. The owner of the B&B in Happy Valley told me that car drivers complain of loosing control on that bridge, one of them even thought he had a flat tire.
    There are two more stretches of unpaved road, one of 67 km starting after Fermont and ending at Fire Lake and another one of 101 km from Relais Gabriel to Manic 5. I did no find them too difficult, but the feeling of difficulty depends on the person, its skills, the tires, weather (rain or not, wind), etc. The total of unpaved road is 626 km, which about 400 miles. My total ride from Montreal was 3964 km with an average of 528 km per day.
    #21
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  2. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    CT/NH

    Thanks for writing this up. I actually was wondering if using street tires would make the bridge easier to ride. I am surprised. I thought that it might be easier with street tires. I was also wondering if cars had the same problem.

    As far as complaining. I agree its dangerous. I don't know if there is anything that they can do about it. The other thing is the other bridge doesn't have as wide holes, and it doesn't have any teeth. I don't know what contributes more to the problem. I do know I read they had to close the bridge to everything but walking traffic once because the bolts were falling out of it. That was fixed but for a while no trucks could drive over and they were pictures of people having to walk over the bridge because it wasn't safe with any load.

    KR
    #22
  3. Yellow Iron

    Yellow Iron Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,424
    Location:
    Mountain Corners North Jersey
    I was on the trans lab 2 weeks ago
    Every question is how much is dirt and the comments are go before it's all paved.
    This it what makes it an adventure.
    I enjoyed it a lot. it was the changing conditions that made it challenging.
    As far as the bridges go I didn't have a problem. Put your dirt skills to work and ride it.
    Myself and the other guy in our crew if 4 could ride at speeds of 60+ mph on sections and the two others were at about 40mph. When we got to port hope it was getting dark we rode port hope to red bay at speeds around 40mph +or- depending on the gravel in the dark it really wasn't that bad.
    #23
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  4. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    CT/NH

    I agree that if you are going to go, go now, while there is still some gravel. That is why I did it this year. I wish I had done it years ago when there was more gravel but I just learned about his road last year. That being said, prepare as best you can. It is a very isolated area. If something goes south, you are a long way from assistance or help. My next installment will have a picture of someone less fortunate than us. This ride I was with another person, usually I am solo. Solo riding adds another dimension to the ride and you other solo riders should be aware of that if its your first time.

    Don't be afraid to change plans as you go. I do it all the time. Focus on the goal. My goals are almost always: to come back, to see things I've never seen before, and have a great time. I use to be involved in SAR. I know and have read about too many people that have died from what we use to call "target fixation". They are so focused on killing the target or getting to top of the mountain that they die in the attempt. They don't keep their eye on the bigger picture, they don't have clear situational awareness. Getting to the top of the mountain is optional, getting back is required. My attempt to get to Caniapiscau is one of those. I changed plans in 2016 and decided that my skill level wasn't up to making that ride. I reasoned that it will be there in 2018 and I will make another attempt. I have more gravel experience under my belt so a better chance at making it and likely will attempt it again in 2018.

    The army taught me in NCO school to always have a detailed plan, and more importantly to be aware that no plan ever survives the first few seconds of an encounter so be prepared to adapt and think your way through. That advice has served me well through the years.

    And to make it clear, I'm definitely no smarter than anyone else here and probably not as skilled a rider as most here. I have just made more mistakes than most, and tried to learn from them.

    KR
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  5. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    CT/NH
    Day 5 July 26,2017

    Started: 0607
    Ended: 1847
    Today's Mileage: 233
    Total Mileage: 1881


    Today's Route (in RED):

    upload_2017-8-28_0-8-20.png

    The temperature started around 45 degrees and rose to 60 degrees and was beautiful today.



    We stopped to check on this young guy who had somehow run off the road. He was OK but the car was going to need to be towed. Having been to my share of auto accidents as an EMT it looks like he just lost control in the soft stuff and ran off the road into the ditch after spinning out.

    upload_2017-8-28_0-8-36.png


    After around 270 miles without any gas, we find the first gas station and fill up:

    upload_2017-8-28_0-8-52.png


    Areas where the graters went through:

    upload_2017-8-28_0-9-2.png

    When the graters went through an area you really needed to make sure you stayed out of the berm they pushed up. There were areas that could have loose dirt 4 to 6 inches deep. You didn't want to hit that.


    CONT>>>>
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  6. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    CT/NH
    Just about to the end of the dirt section when entering Red Bay:

    upload_2017-8-28_0-10-19.png

    Where we came from:

    upload_2017-8-28_0-10-33.png

    We had tickets to board this ferry. These ferries operate mostly for commercial traffic. As such, commercial traffic has priority. We got up to the doors of the ferry, and there was one small car and our two motorcycles. At the last minute another tractor trailer showed up and was loaded and we were bounced to the next ferry.

    upload_2017-8-28_0-10-51.png



    upload_2017-8-28_0-11-1.png




    CONT>>>>
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  7. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    CT/NH
    We had several hours to waste so we decided to go and get a good lunch.


    Place to eat: The Anchor

    upload_2017-8-28_0-13-44.png


    Lobster club sandwich:

    upload_2017-8-28_0-14-8.png
    Not bad.


    While we were at the restaurant I talked with the waitresses and they told me about a place to camp near a lighthouse that sounded great. We decided we would exchange our tickets for 6PM tonight and get tickets for 10AM the next morning and try to camp near this lighthouse. We went to the ticket house and their policy is that they will not exchange tickets. So, we had no choice but to go out tonight.




    Place to relax and pass the time:


    upload_2017-8-28_0-14-24.png

    CONT>>>>>

    Attached Files:

    #27
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  8. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    CT/NH
    Fish and Game officer and boat:

    upload_2017-8-28_0-17-7.png



    Ferry we eventually got on The Apollo:

    upload_2017-8-28_0-17-26.png


    upload_2017-8-28_0-17-53.png


    Bike on the ferry:

    upload_2017-8-28_0-18-12.png

    CONT>>>>>
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  9. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    CT/NH
    An hour and a half on the ferry and we were in Newfoundland. After getting off of the ferry the next objective was to find a place to sleep. We came across a B&B on Flowers cove called French Island B&B. We checked and found that she had a room with two beds. $70 per night. $35 each. Was clean, internet access, with a full breakfast and even a deck. The owner was a wonderful hostess.


    French Island B&B:

    upload_2017-8-28_0-19-50.png



    View off of the deck:

    upload_2017-8-28_0-20-5.png


    Ends day 5.
    #29
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  10. CrashBar

    CrashBar Just Wanna Ride

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    211
    Location:
    Somerville Ma
    Just did the TLH in the opposite direction Aug 14-17. Thanks for the write up and Pics, our weather was much more gloomy (45F and pouring the Fermont to Manic 5 stretch) and we didn't get a lot of good pics.

    For the poster potentially on street tires, we were on 1200 GSs on Anakee 3s, got a lot of warnings from folks going the other way that we needed a more agressive tire but we did fine. We has a guy on a loaded ST1300 on street tires just behind us and he seemed to do fine.
    #30
  11. oliily

    oliily Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2015
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Montreal
    I did fine too, but it would have been easier on better grip tires on loose gravel.
    #31
  12. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    CT/NH
    Sorry your weather wasn't better. Ours was so much better than we had any right to expect. In the Labrador region it rained only a few times. The weirdest part was it always seemed to rain on us, heavily a couple of times for relatively short periods, but the sun was almost always out. We only had one cloudburst, torrential, and that will be revealed latter. It wasn't on the Trans Lab highway.

    KR
    #32
  13. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    CT/NH
    Day 6 July 27, 2017

    Started: 0553hrs
    Ended: 1449hrs

    Today's Mileage: 172
    Total Mileage: 2053


    Today's Route (in RED):

    upload_2017-9-12_22-14-11.png


    The temperature started around 50 degrees and rose to 70 degrees and was an incredible day.



    Went to the Viking sites. The first place we stopped is called Norstead and is a reconstruction of the Viking village as it would have appeared. It also contained a long boat that was constructed and sailed on the ocean in a reenactment of what the original Vikings would have done and then it has been maintained at this site.

    upload_2017-9-12_22-14-44.png



    Long boat:

    upload_2017-9-12_22-15-51.png

    CONT >>>>>
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  14. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    CT/NH
    This was a reconstruction of a church in Sweden of a church that was constructed by one of the Kings for his mother.

    upload_2017-9-12_22-19-37.png


    upload_2017-9-12_22-17-42.png

    Meeting area long house:

    upload_2017-9-12_22-20-10.png

    Blacksmith work area:

    upload_2017-9-12_22-20-35.png

    CONT>>>
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  15. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    CT/NH
    While I enjoyed the Norseman site, I really wanted to see the actual Viking site which is a Canadian national park. I had even sent away for a FREE Canada parks Pass in the mail earlier as I had read about this great deal on the internet. With this pass you have access to any park in Canada, you are allowed free entry. I was walking into the entrance of the L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site in Newfoundland all excited as I remembered my pass. I had to walk all the way back to the motorcycle because I initially forgot about it. I was now all excited knowing I was going to get in for free. All my effort, holding onto this flimsy paper pass, getting it months earlier, bringing it 2000 miles, making sure I knew where it was located and not losing it when the wind blew it out my gloved hand by chasing it down in the parking lot while my fat ass was running after it in oversized motorcycle boots. All of this will now be worth it. I walked in and hand it to the kid at the counter and he said: "Oh, that's funny. I was just going to ask you if you have one. I was just going to give you one"


    SON OF A BITCH!!!


    Some pictures of the actual Norse site:



    upload_2017-9-12_22-21-44.png

    After the Viking sites, we drove over to St Anthony to get some food. Had lunch at a great place called Lightkeepers Seafood. We were in what is called Iceberg alley:


    And while we were there eating lunch we happened to notice out the window an iceberg slowly floating by. This berg was much larger than it appeared. It’s hard to get a good perspective with nothing but ocean. It can’t be seen but there is a large boat that was near it doing iceberg sightseeing.


    upload_2017-9-12_22-23-48.png

    At the restaurant, we had Thai moose spring rolls for appetizers. They were great. And some fish and chips using cod that was also excellent.

    upload_2017-9-12_22-24-14.png

    CONT>>>
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  16. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    CT/NH
    upload_2017-9-12_22-24-53.png

    upload_2017-9-12_22-25-7.png

    upload_2017-9-12_22-25-19.png

    So, back to the B&B and Curt checks on the computer to see when we can book passage to Nova Scotia on the ferry. The ferry couldn’t be booked because it was filled. Earliest we could book was for the midnight crossing on Saturday (07/29) at 11:45PM.


    Ends day 6.
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  17. Tabasco

    Tabasco Freedom Is A Full Tank

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    423
    Location:
    Colorado
    #37
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  18. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    CT/NH
    #38
  19. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    CT/NH
    Yep. Looks familiar. Liked the videos very much. You caught some very good pictures. It was a pleasure talking to you on the ferry. Sorry the first picture didn't come out better. Looks like you had quite a journey. Are you posting a report of your trip somewhere? Do you have other Youtube videos of the trip posted?

    I see that the Facebook page has pictures.

    Regards,
    KR



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #39
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  20. Tabasco

    Tabasco Freedom Is A Full Tank

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    423
    Location:
    Colorado
    Thanks for the pics....... No report but all the pics are on that page under albums with each leg in its own album. All album names start with Newfoundland 2017. https://www.facebook.com/TabascoGS1/ A few videos are under the videos on that page also but I have to upload a bunch yet and try to do some edits. Unfortunately I did the bonehead vertical phone video mistake so not real, um, breathtaking :-) Terry
    #40
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