Detroit to Newfoudland and back in 10 days

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DetR6oit, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. DetR6oit

    DetR6oit Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
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    158
    Location:
    Warren, MI
    In July I bought a new KTM Adventure, and one week later I was headed out to Newfoundland. Obviously 10 days was no where near ideal but I didn't have much vacation time left at my normal day job. They actually let me take off a few more days extra over the amount of vacation time I had left so I could do this trip as it was. It also meant that I didn't stop and take pictures along the whole length of the trip to make a real cohesive ride report but I still have a few good ones to share.


    West side of the cabot trail, cape breton. Amazing and beautiful area. Bike riding paradise. Surprisingly few tourists and traffic considering the amazing beauty of the area. My only problem was fuel. Just make sure you stay aware on gas especially as it gets late. Stations are far in between and none are open very late. As I got to Cape Breton on the way to Newfoundland had some time till the next scheduled ferry. I was planning on going through the cabot trail on the way back when I had a little more time, but with the extra few hours I decided I would check it out and get a sneak peak with the rest of the daylight and then head back out to catch the ferry. I headed north, on the eastern part of the cabot trail and with fuel starting to get low, I was planning to get gas the first available station. By that time however it was late enough no stations were open. Knowing there were no stations the way I came, for at least the previous hour, I kept on thinking "keep going and the next town would surely have a station that was open a little later" since it was just getting dark. I believe I went all the way to neils harbor and found nothing open, and the fear of running out really started to set in. By looking at the map there didn't look like there would be anything till much further so I made the choice to turn around. I had probably had at least 35 miles just back to the Trans canada (105) and it once I headed towards North Sydney I had no idea how much further to a station. Darkness set in along with my ideaa that I might be spending the night ont eh side of the road and not making the ferry. I rode in the most fuel conserving way I could even hitting the kill switch on a extremely long downhill grade. To my dismay when I made it to north sydney there was nothing open so I made the choice to just get on the ferry and hope there would be something once I got off the ferry in the morning, with a little fear of running out of fuel on the ramp up into the boat :lol3 Once parked in the staging line for the ferry though I opened the filler caps and could still hear fuel sloshing around so my fears eased up a bit.


    On the Cabot trail. Most are from the western part.
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    nice twisty road all off in the distance.
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    Another lesson I quickly found out was dealing with getting a ticket for the ferry. I didn't make reservations since I was unsure of the time I would be able to get there, or possibly even the day. So I planned on getting a stand by ticket, not imaging that it could be that crowded especially for just a motorcycle. I found out that my extra sightseeing for those few hours probably hurt me too as when I arrived around 11pm the stand by line was packed and I would miss multiple boats before I got on. I spent the whole night in the parking lot and I believe a total of 9 hours. At first it was a surprisingly comfortable reprieve from the harsh schedule with no choice but to sit and relax and I actually ended up getting a little sleep. As morning approached and I grew tired of sleeping hunch over onto the handle bars with a jacket as a pillow, while it seemed like boat after boat left I quickly became anxious to get out of the parking lot that started to feel like a detainment camp. I believe it was nearly 8 in the morning and the next ferry was finishing loading up and with yet another 5-10 cars in front of me. It wasn't looking good again and the prospect of another 3-4 hours was crushing, and I wasn't the only one it seemed as a guy from Ontario in a car behind me with his family could be heard swearing and complaining they were missing another boat. A worker with a radio walked along side the line and up next to me, just looking at me and the bike and then over the radio he asked if there was room for a bike. With some of the sweetest words I have ever heard the worker on the ship radioed back "yeah send him up, he is the last one". I eagerly pulled onto the ship and quickly fastened down the bike in anticipation of what at the time felt like a 5 star cruise ship after the confines of the staging parking lot. :lol3
    The ferry to Newfoundland.
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    As the ferry got underway, I stood on the deck for a while watching the ship leave port, along with what seemed like almost every other passenger on the ship. Only minutes after the front door of the ship closed, it quickly thinned out to just a few people. I stood there for a while hoping to see a whale or anything interesting, but after a short time we sailed into a heavy fog which meant I could go find myself a nice comfortable seat, and try to get in some further sleep, and not feel like I might miss out on seeing something scenic.

    With the heavy fog, coming into Port Aux Basques and Newfoundlands unique terrain seemed in a strange way, surreal as the rocky outcroppings suddenly appeared, with almost a spookiness to it, that quickly went away more and more as buildings and houses became visible
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    A little ways up the road from the ferry I got to pose with the sign
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    Entrance to the harbor of St. Johns from signal hill.
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    St. Johns
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    WWII bunker. The Ferry I rode on was the second one named Caribou. The origianal Caribou ferry was sunk by a U boat during WWII.
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    Somewhere in or around Gros Morne
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    some logging road a little ways off route 480 that I went a little ways down to test out the dirt ability of the new bike
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    there is a reason for all the moose signs. For days beforehand anyone who found out I was going to newfoundland around the eastern canada area just warned me of moose over an over. All the semis in Newfoundland have the huge bumper/brush guards because of them. Everyone told me not to drive at night at all and that I probably would see ten of them at least. Only saw one moose though in the end. This picture was down a road called the Caribou trail because they are real common in that area too.

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    after this I headed to the ferry and it really started to feel I was headed home. This time getting to the ferry I once again bought my stand by ticket and pulled into the parking lot behind a line of motorcyles. I didn't even know what time the ship was scheduled to leave. I think I waited a whole 3 minutes before they had our column of motorcycles get ready to pull in the ship.:clap I think you can imagine how happy I was at this development after the previous staging line experience.

    I finally had time to more thoroughly explore the cabot trail, where I took most of the pictures that led off my report and after that, all that remained was a quick and very wet, rainy loop across the confederation bridge to check out PEI and charlottetown. This was really the last of my exploring and the boring and harsh freeway miles back home were all that was left since I only had a day and a half left to make it back to Detroit.

    This was my first adventure trip on a motorcycle and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Day in and day out since then all I can think about is where my next trip will be.
    #1
  2. Roboter

    Roboter Vagabond

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
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    949
    Location:
    Deutschland
    This is a beautiful RR!!! As fellow Detroiter I know what its like to leave SW michigan in your tracks for a bit.
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
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    67,924
    Great ride to NFLD...:thumb

    Hope you can show us more of your ride :lurk
    #3
  4. Crilly

    Crilly Long timer Super Supporter

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    :norton Went to NF from WI and back in June. Never saw a Moose, but we were sure looking.
    #4
  5. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    DetR60it.....great pictures. Thank you for taking me there.

    ROBOTER...in regard to the Nitsche German translation; I think you used machine translation. It is better to say:

    "Denn glaube mir: Das Geheimnis, die größte Freude am Leben zu finden, ist gefährlich zu leben!"

    "Believe me: To find the secret of lifes greatest happiness, is to live dangerously"

    ~Nietzsche
    #5
  6. Dave Noel

    Dave Noel Giv'er

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    Where the sun shines first
    Great photos and report so far.

    Looks like you headed down towards Burgeo and all the caribou. Be happy if you don't see the moose:D
    #6
  7. Ericc

    Ericc Happy Camper

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    16
    I have not been quite that far east, but I am planning on it. So you bought the KTM adventure? Good choice! It was a close second for me.

    Look forward to seeing pics from your next triip.



    Enjoy,

    Eric
    http://www.bmwr1200gs.com
    #7
  8. DetR6oit

    DetR6oit Been here awhile

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    Warren, MI
    was kinda bored so I added some more pictures and added in more details of the trip. Still not that all the complete but should be a little better.
    #8
  9. DetR6oit

    DetR6oit Been here awhile

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    Yeah a little ways. Didn't head all the way down, maybe just an hour or so in, due to time, but its a great road. Definitely will finish it next time around.
    #9
  10. sunsurfnride

    sunsurfnride Been here awhile

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    Newport, Mi
    great photos, nice bike, I'm jealous oh and keep the photos coming.
    :lurk
    #10
  11. cbennett5199

    cbennett5199 Adventurer

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    Really beautiful pics! Nice job, and thanks for sharing!
    #11
  12. jpcopster

    jpcopster Adventurer

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    Aug 29, 2008
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    Brilliant, really brilliant! Thanks for the great RR, nice pictures BTW ..

    JP
    #12
  13. xdbx

    xdbx Motorcycle Connoisseur

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    Somehow I missed this when you wrote it. What a sweet way to break it in! Especially the wilderness picture with no plate. Classic :lol3
    #13
  14. Just_Jake

    Just_Jake You lookin' at me...?

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    Some awesome shots. Thank you.
    #14
  15. DetR6oit

    DetR6oit Been here awhile

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    Warren, MI

    There was a cardboard temp plate but it didn't last long in the rain and wind of newfoundland :lol3


    Didn't really have any problems with no plate either. I was worried about border crossings but going from to New Brunswick to Maine they said nothing, going NY into Ontario, nothing again, and then the last border crossing back into Detroit was the first time anything was said and I just showed my paper work and he let me go on.
    #15
  16. Bowes

    Bowes Oman Dirty Biker

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    Great report and pics....please continue:clap
    #16
  17. tipler

    tipler Been here awhile

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    the Newfoundland
    Hey, I can see my house from there :) Great ride report.

    #17
  18. darwinBlacky

    darwinBlacky ADVRider

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    Surabaya,Indonesia
    shiny bike and beautiful place ...
    awesome :clap :clap
    #18
  19. g®eg

    g®eg Canadian living in exile

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    that'd be SE Michigan......

    :D

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    PS: great ride report!
    #19