Two Beards, Two Beemers: A Canadian Trip Too Short

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by HBN, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

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    The night was quiet and still. I woke around 6 and packed up the bike. I set off to visit that bakery I spotted yesterday in my quest for dinner. Turns out they have chili and sandwiches :huh
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    They also have hazelnut scones
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    I had two cups of coffee, used their wifi and then geared up and rolled down the road. I spotted a sign for a lighthouse and made the turn. I had time to kill till my ferry boarding.
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    Well what a landmark I have stumbled upon.
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    Speaking of stumbling, who the hell pulled the wool over my eyes!
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    Down in Blanc Sablon at the ferry terminal, I walked in and purchased my ticket. I couldn't resist snapping a photo of the bizarre wall decorations. They had most every common fishery represented.
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    I met this dude Steve on my ferry ride over to Labrador. He was driving his VW up through Lab back home to Toronto. Apparently his tie rod broke so he was returning to Newfoundland and subsequently Nova Scotia for the crossing back by Truro. He barely made it on our morning ferry. He also barely made it out of his car...
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    Ugh...yeah that'll do.
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    The rain picked up as the ship neared the coast of Newfoundland. Once docked, I geared up, started the bike and immediately realized I left my camera and headset charging on the 5th deck. SHIT! I was able to race up there and grab them without much hassle and return to disembark just in time. I fueled up and then turned south into a driving rain blowing hard off the whitecapped straight.
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    The wind blew heavy and I careened into the oncoming rain on more than one occassion. I totally understand how those big trucks get flipped over here so frequently.
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    A couple on the ship recommended I stop in Rocky Harbor at this small restaurant/bakery near the end of the road. I am cold and a bit soaked at this point so everything looks good.
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    Moose Stew it is!
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    I read about this beer online not long ago but was in a coffee sort of mood so didn't partake.
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    After devouring my meal, I decided to splurge for the night and took Steve's advice to check out the hostel in Norris Point. I asked the waitress and she gave me directions. I pulled in to the library/hospital/radio station/hostel parking lot and got off the bike. Guess who pulls in next to me? Steve. :rofl

    He grabbed a former orderlies room upstairs for $39 and I stuck with the ward for $29.
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    I had the whole place to myself though anyway. Time to dry out. It was still pouring rain outside.
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    Now to explore this awesome old hospital!
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    The only other hostel visitor was a single eldrerly woman who was living there for two weeks while she hiked and explored the natural beauty of Gros Morne. She invited me out to a free instructional presentation at the visitor center about the geology of Gros Morne. It was quite fascinating but the delivery was geared more toward children.

    Back at the hostel, I continued snapping photos and exploring the basement and main levels.
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    There was an active radio station humming away in the basement.
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    D200 Self portrait
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    Look what I found for bedtime reading material...
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    I took this shot the following morning.
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    The hospital bed felt exactly like you'd expect out of a 50 year old design. The sheets were sterile and the whole room had this old clean smell to it. I didn't hear any strange noises as expected. I slept pretty well and I was warm and dry.
  2. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    Thanks for the updates Mike. :clap

    I've slept in a lot of strange places before, but never before a former hospital; don't know how I'd feel about it. :hmmmmm
  3. LadyDraco

    LadyDraco KillerSmileIHazIt !!

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    Cool Mike...:clap
    Keep it coming...:freaky

    And Happy Belated Birthday!!!! :rogue
  4. UpST8

    UpST8 turnin gas to noise

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    Great stuff as always Mike!!! Thanks for taking the time to post it all :D
  5. LadyDraco

    LadyDraco KillerSmileIHazIt !!

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    Hey HBN did you get your Jam ????
  6. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

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    Aye yes I did! :clap

    Hope to have another entry in today by the way :thumb
  7. ecubed

    ecubed LFC Cat

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    Hi Mike,

    Your reports are great....it is my pleasure to ride along and to know and hang out with the author from time to time. What's in that pipe your smoking....fire dried moss and Birch bark? Your wanderlust is contagious and gives me inspiration !!!!

    E^3
  8. Clansters

    Clansters Tour Aegea

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    Great photography, and a trip.
    I like the sign that says "save a life slow down" :ear In my country even signs for people are not obeyed, let alone the ones for animals :evil:evil
    Great trip.
  9. NittanyRider

    NittanyRider Walking Contradiction

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    Good seeing you at BWDR!
  10. LadyDraco

    LadyDraco KillerSmileIHazIt !!

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    Glad ya got it Mike !!! :clap
  11. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

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    I rested very well through the night. The sound of the rain drove softly at the windows and the ward smelled rich of sea air.
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    When I awoke, the sun was just rising, the air was damp, cool and breezy. I made some tea and a cup of oatmeal then went out on the balcony in my pajamas.
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    This community garden was open game for us. Steve had a huge salad that day for lunch but I didn't take any. It is interesting how few vegetables are served on menus throughout the Maritimes. I have no doubt they are common on the home dinner table.
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    The view across Bonne Bay to the tablelands.
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    Shortly after I was granted a rainbow!
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    I decided to take my time waking up and go for a walk down to Norris Point.
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    This old ship engine was rusting away in the grass.
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    I packed up my dry gear and rode comfortable out of the park in the bright sun. It was such a welcome change from the previous day's rain.
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    I pulled in to Timmies in Deer Lake for some coffee and wifi. No surprise...Steve stopped in as well. The queue was hell so I gave him half my coffee and off he went. Just how long was the line? Ask this guy who is halfway through a chapter...
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    This Ski Slope is right beside the road along Deer Lake just north of Corner Brook
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    This water station was one of many I saw in small towns. Residents getting drinking water for homes without public water or a quality well.
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    I practically slabbed it out of Corner Brook and set my sights for Cape St. George. It was grey and I nearly missed a few big storms around the area. The Kippins River near Stephensville has these neat hoodoo like sandstone stacks.
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    The small spit of land connecting Cape St. George and the mainland.
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    The road around Cape St. George is incredibly scenic. It would be good in just about any vehicle. The sandstone cliffs drop 20 - 50 feet to meet the crashing waves below. Here and there, the streams jump off the cliff in glorious waterfalls cascading to the rocks below.
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    I spotted the most beautiful green beach down off the road. I rolled down the rocky ATV path to get a shot or two.
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    The trail dead ended in the pond in the background. Not good. I attempted to turn around but to my surprise, the surface was large rocks on top of loose sand. Great :eek1
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    Off come the bags and let the digging begin.
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    I'm digging furiously and have only succeeded in moving her forward a few feet when I hear the burble of an ATV. A honda three wheeler quickly materializes above me on the trail. The weathered man with ripped baseball cap turned backward, mismatching flannel pants and shirts and a semi-toothless brown smile yells "Fuck buddy! What'd you do here?!" We hook up the GS to his ATV with my straps and attempt to pull me out.
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    The ATV just digs into the sand. He says "I'll be right back" and hops on the three wheeler and disappears over the berm.

    Great...now I'm really stuck here.

    3 minutes later he returns with a bunch of old 2x4 boards :clap We built a small road to get the GS back onto a harder packed gravel.
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    We're not outta the woods yet though! I yell for him to stop but he doesn't hear and keeps on riding up the hill towing me behind. Keep in mine the straps are connected to my front forks so turning is interesting and the jerkiness of the terrain keeps throwing me one way or another. The rocks are quite large in one section and I am towed directly into a boulder big enough to stop the bike, cut the wheel and dump me off onto the hill. He of course is jolted to a stop as well. Looks back and says "Well what'd you do that for?" I was just laughing through the whole ordeal and shrugged it off as a hilarious fall. Without his help it would have taken me much more time to escape. Thanks dude. Before I could give him my bottle of whisky he was gone.

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    I ride up the road a few miles till I see a sign for a hidden waterfall. Sounds good! I park in the lot and walk the short trail to the falls.
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    The island of Cape St. George is bilingual and was settled by French fisherman in the 17th century. This doghouse is proof:
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    I picked up some whisky and chocolate at a small store and chatted for a while with the owner. As I was leaving, he ran outside and gave me a free postcard of the Cape. He said he took the photo himself then painted the watercolor. It was a beautiful picture and is hanging on my cubicle wall.

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    This bread oven operates every Saturday. I bet it is delicious!
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    The wind was blowing at least 35mph sustained. It was fast enough that if I jumped in the air, it would blow me downwind a half a foot. Riding the GS on the rocky soil was made even more treacherous by the wind as it kept throwing me off course. I had intended to camp here at the cape but it was too damn windy. I decided to continue on North and see what kind of sight I could boondock.

    The road leaves the Cape and winds up into the highlands along the coast.
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    This area is full of twisty roads, sharp rocks and short pine.
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    Looking down the coast, I believe JD Rocks has this same pic from his RR
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    The small town of Mainland, ironically set on an island beside a larger island, was home to some distinctively French homes. I couldn't tell what was up with these yard art fence things all over town. Anyone know :ear
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    Did some exploring on down the road.
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    I rode up along the coast to Lourdes and stopped for gas. From here I continued north up Long Point to the seasonal fishing community of Blue Beach. Since it was out of season, it was absolutely deserted.
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    I rode to the end of the road where it became much more rocky. I didn't really need to go on and get stuck again today so I chose to set up camp near this old truck. It was being consumed by the soggy soil below and salty corrosive air.
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    I've never seen a truck this rusted.
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    Proof it runs on flower power.
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    Time for some dinner: canned tuna and wild rice washed down with a Bud Light Lime on the beach. I spent about an hour just relaxing here thinking of how good this feels and how many rainbows I keep seeing.
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    I picked up a rock and put it in my pocket. It is now on my window sill
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    I chose to set up my tent on the third highest berm along the beach just in case the tides rise or a storm swings in. Here is another Rainbow.
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    Some sights in the window of one of the old shacks.
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    Newfie Flag
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    Another rainbow!? That is the 7th one I have seen on just this day - a record for me! Who says trip day #13 wasn't lucky after all!?
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    I made a fire out of driftwood and watched the full moon rise on the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
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    The blustery wind sent me in to the tent early. I purposefully set it up on the leeward beach on the island and under the rocky lip of the beachhead. This kept me pretty comfortable and much quieter without the rainfly flapping. The soft lapping of the gulf and the sound of running water on rocks as the wave retreated was the best natural lullaby of the trip. I slept and dreamed all night.
  12. Bigolechalupa

    Bigolechalupa Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Awesome update! I'm getting ready to plan my first motorcycle trip for next spring, and am thinking of going around Nfld. :)
  13. LadyDraco

    LadyDraco KillerSmileIHazIt !!

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    Great photos ...
    So many I really liked .. :clap
    I mention 1 the Gulls on the church !!!
  14. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

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    nice HBN, maybe your best entry yet of this RR, simply peaceful and relaxing.
  15. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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  16. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

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    As soon as I get my scooter up and running again :deal

    :lol3
  17. Tex76

    Tex76 Motersykle Advntyers

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    Yours are my favorite RR's to read, keep 'em coming!:freaky
  18. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    Gotcha; you know me, I just like to.....:amazon
    Let me know if you want a hand; I could be available one night this week.

    PS: got the aux lights mounted on the KLR last; damn what a difference!
  19. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

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    Hurricane Sandy passed, have the day mostly off, need to get some more of this RR up :deal
  20. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

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    My first thought upon waking up was "Good, I haven't been washed out to sea". I quickly packed as usual and hit the road after a granola bar. I'd find breakfast later...that and the rotgut Wisers Whisky wasn't setting well with me.

    On down the dirt road back to pavement.
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    I rode up along the north side of Cape St. George and looped back through the small bridge/causeway connecting it to the main-island. From here I set out for Stephenville. I had a small breakfast at McDonalds and checked my email. They were remodeling so the place had no heat. Not exactly ideal. This was across the street though.
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    Stephenville was once a very busy US Military Base.
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    I love old military bases so I rode around and took some pictures.
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    As I left Stephenville, I noticed a number of small but strong storms in my path southward. I stopped here for a bit and watched it pass beyone the highway while the wind whipped whitecaps on the bay.
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    Continuing south along the Trans-Canada, I chose to turn off on a random side road toward small communities named after people like Robinson's, McKay's and Jeffrey's
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    Just boring farm land, grey clouds, some surf and a dead end gravel driveway. Back to the Trans Canada.

    These septic system containers were painted up with happy children's characters. I think they're all full of shit. :rofl
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    The view from the Codroy Valley heading south. The steep and imposing mountain cliffs are beautiful in this grey chilling day.
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    So beautiful I decide to go explore them. I made it this far up a narrow powerline trail until I lost forward momentum and couldn't go any further.
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    YOu can see the road going up the center here. I will come back on a dirtbike some day :deal
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    I made it to Port Aux Basques and had a cup of Tim Hortons while checking the ferry schedule. They had moved it forward two hours so it was a good thing I stopped to check. I had a couple hours to kill till my evening departure. I decided to ride the road as far south east as possible until it ended.

    This cool diesel sidekick pulled in
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    This is the small harbor of Rose Blanche nestled among the rugged coast with white rocky cliffs.
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    I reluctantly shelled out $5 to take a walk and self guided tour of the lighthouse.
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    A face a mother could only love.
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    While touring the light, the wind and rain storm I had been waiting for finally hit. I hung out for about 10 minutes while the worst of it passed then made a brisk walk for the bike and my stich. I didn't want to get wet in my wool sweater if I could help it. Stich'ed up and back on the road, I made it a point to stop at this picturesque pond. They dot the landscape of the southern coast and are stepped forming a series of rich tannic ponds surrounded by moss and fir trees.
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    Harbour Le Cou is nestled away from the fierce sea behind Rose Blanche. It's brightly colored buildings are likely a welcome greeting for returning fisherman and residents. Unfortunately since the collapse of the Cod fishery in 1992, there are likely many fewer fisherman calling it home. One narrow street winds amongst the sturdy fishing homes.
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    I spotted a random road continuing north. It is the only road in this direction. It took me quite some time to find it but I did.
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    I figure if quads could get aruond the gate, I had a fair shot. Did and done!
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    The rocky, wet and rutted road travels through lush valleys of fir, rock and moss with a powerful river rushing below it. THis power station and water treatment facility must supply the towns below.
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    I had to be very careful on the slippery algae covered bridge. It also had a long drop down to the water in between the tracks:eek1
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    I made it up to a very steep part and finally saw a "NO TRESPASSING SIGN" Yeah time to turn around before I crash, get arrested and deal with that nonsense.

    By the time I return to the main road, it is pouring hard and my gloves are already soaked inside from standing on pegs/water running down cuff.
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    How fitting! I am riding directly into a thunderstorm, lightning flashing all around me, few trees and wide and exposed on a rocky landscape. Death Island indeed!
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    Yeah it was wet...
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    Damn! Truckers have all the fun! :lol3
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    My leather gloves stained my hand a bit
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    The storm passed after I wasted an hour in Tim Hortons.

    Cops at the donut shop? Also a quad in the parking lot. Yup, I'm up north!
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    I finally pulled up to the ferry and was first in line for the motorbikes.
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    I had a few hours to kill and passed the time with photos, making soup, chatting with fellow passengers and eventually meeting all the other bikers on the voyage. These folks were from Australia on R1150R's
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    She was from Smithers, BC
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    My newfound biker friends treated me to some beers in the lounge while we waited an additional 3 hours to leave port.
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    We had a good time swapping storied then around midnight went out separate ways to try and catch some zzz's. Unfortuantely the dark and once quiet berth I had placed my jacket in was directly above the engine room! I attempted to sleep in the chairs for an hour, then an hour on the floor before I grabbed my belongings and walked up a few decks to the children's playroom where it was quiet and nobody was around.

    I slept great!
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