Newfoundland Advice

Discussion in 'Canada' started by BDMF, Dec 15, 2004.

  1. BDMF

    BDMF Adventurer

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    Anybody out there willing to offer some (vaguely) useful information on touring Newfoundland? I'm looking at a 2 week trip, probably get 10 days on the island. Can I see everything? Nope, and I dont plan to. But you've got to start somewhere. Bike of choice for the trip is a KLR 650, so roads can be somewhat more primitive than the R-RT crowd may like.

    Been someplace you liked?
    Been someplace you loved?
    Been someplace you wouldn't miss if you went back agian?

    Let me hear about it. I'm looking for ideas, good bad indifferent (with a preference for the bad! :evil )

    Thanks!
    #1
  2. Deuce

    Deuce Crazy Canuck

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    I lived on the Rock for 5 years. If there was work for there I would go back. The best thing about Nfld. is the people.

    1. Go in late July or August
    2. turn left at Deer Lake and see Gros Morne National Park.
    3. Keep going and see Lans Aux Meadows where the Vikings hung out for a few years :nod
    4. Take in the Lobster Festival at Cow Head and take a boat ride up the Fiord. :thumb
    5. Head to St.John's but try and take the side roads. You will be going on and off the Trans Canada to do this.
    6. Do the Avalon Peninsula loop
    7. Go drinking on George St. in St.John's :freaky
    8. Go to Cape Spear and Signal Hill
    9. Bring good rain gear
    #2
  3. Different Drummer

    Different Drummer On The Road Less Traveled

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    #3
  4. BDMF

    BDMF Adventurer

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    Excellent advice!

    Gros Morne is on the itinerary, and the back country/smaller towns are the draw. I've crossed paths with a couple of Newfies, had to have an "interprtor" tell me what the hell "Boiy" meant ("boy"). Apparently it is used at the end of sentences as punctuation instead of a period. :D

    I would like to see some whales/icebergs/wildlife while I'm there. As for the moose, well, too qoute the gas station owner on the Cabot trail I talked too a couple of years ago "Ya know aboot da moose, eh?"

    Yeah, I know aboot da moose. I almost knew more about them than I cared too. :eek1

    I've sent for the tourist info. Do they include a free sample of Screech in the package? Hope so!

    Anyway, the target this year is the rock, with maybe a short side trip to Labrador on the way back. But I really want to concentrate on the rock.

    I'll be checking out the trip reports. And I'll be emailing about some specifics. The more info I have before I get there, the better off I'll be.

    This weekend I'll be imbibing some liquid inspiration and starting to compose the Official trip Dirty Limerick, currently title "The Lobstermans Daughter" After all, what is a road trip without an official dirty limerick? :wink:

    Thanks for the info, anything other thoughts and input will be most welcome!
    #4
  5. dragoon

    dragoon I'm the REAL Dingo Joe

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    Where ya' from BFD? :ear When are you thinking about going? Don't worry, not looking to tag along :lol3

    We're planning a trip there the last 2 weeks of July. Don't know jack about it yet.

    I'm from OH
    #5
  6. BDMF

    BDMF Adventurer

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    Actually, It's BDMF, as in
    Brain
    Dead
    Mother
    Fcukre

    :D

    Although I like BFD, maybe I need a name change!

    I'm in Chicago, actually I'm in the scenic urban sprawl to the west (Oh look! Another Starbucks in a strip mall!) :puke1

    Looking at late June early July, but that isnt set in stone. Kinda depends on whats happening in the area. Rain isnt really an issue, snow isnt really an issue, ice is an issue.

    Fact is, sometime in June/July/August is the plan.
    #6
  7. dragoon

    dragoon I'm the REAL Dingo Joe

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    Here's our tenative plan. There are 4 of us that have traveled on & off together for years. This year we are going to NF but we are going to pick a date and meet in Dildo, NF :lol3 We will leave independently of each other and meet there but travel back together.
    #7
  8. BDMF

    BDMF Adventurer

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    I know the plan! I'm going with a buddy of mine, probably meet up with another along the way.

    As for Dildo, yep, we have to stop by there. I want to get a t shirt for my ex wife, something along the lines of

    "My Ex-Husband went to Newfoundland and all I got was this lousy t shirt from Dildo!"

    The general concensus seems to be that she will not think it's as funny as we do. Well, she never had much of a sense of humor anyway! :lol3

    I'm chasing down a bunch of info. Happy to share anything of interest that I may run across. Some of the stuff in this thread has been a good starter. I'm also looking to pick up a set of topo maps for the area. Your welcome to a set of copies if you like. For what the Canadians charge for that stuff, a set of copies is the really cheap alternative. Should we happen to cross paths, you welcome to ride out with us. Tagging along isnt a big deal, riding at your own pace is. If we match on that, company is always welcome.
    #8
  9. BDMF

    BDMF Adventurer

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    Hmmm, the shirt joke is funnier if the words "tshirt from" are in really small letters.

    Well, I guess this is where the BD part of BDMF comes in.
    #9
  10. dragoon

    dragoon I'm the REAL Dingo Joe

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    Are you planning on riding up and around or ferry from Baaa Haaaba (bar harbor) to NS and ferry to NF?
    #10
  11. Jman

    Jman a.k.a. FUglyK

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    You might also want to drop a line to A.K.A. Brad Vardy. If memory serves correctly that is one of his all time favourite places to be. I am sure he would also be a wealth of information.

    I need to get out that way one of these years. Enjoy :thumb
    #11
  12. BDMF

    BDMF Adventurer

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    We have 2 routes right now, trying to narrow it down, refine the trip:

    London, ON – Davidson, QC (Hostel)
    Davidson, QC - Peribonka, QC (Hostel)
    Peribonka QC – Labrador City NL
    Labrador City NL – Goose Bay NL
    Goose Bay NL – Cartwright NL – Ferry
    Cartwright NL – Blanc Sablon QC
    Blanc Sablon QC – St. Barbe NL – Ferry
    St. Barbe NL – Ramea NL (Hostel)
    Ramea NL – St. John’s NL (Hostel)
    St. John’s NL - Porte aux Basques NL - Ferry
    Porte aux Basques NL – Sydney NS
    Sydney NS – Wentworth NS (Hostel)
    Wentworth NS – Campbellton NB (Lighthouse Hostel)
    Campbellton NB – Quebec City QC (Hostel)
    Quebec City QC – London ON

    Here are the alternate waypoints:
    London, ON – Sydney NS
    Sydney NS – Porte aux Basques NL – Ferry
    Porte aux Basques NL - St. John’s NL (Hostel)
    St. John’s NL - Ramea NL (Hostel)
    Ramea NL - St. Barbe NL
    St. Barbe NL - Blanc Sablon QC – Ferry
    Blanc Sablon QC – Cartwright NL
    Cartwright NL – Goose Bay NL – Ferry
    Goose Bay NL – Labrador City NL
    Labrador City NL - Quebec City QC (Hostel)
    Quebec City QC - Davidson, QC (Hostel)
    Davidson, QC – London ON

    Other than the start/finish, the whole thing is open to modification.
    #12
  13. BDMF

    BDMF Adventurer

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    Hey Fugly, thanks!

    I'll drop him a PM, see if he's got any info. :thumb
    #13
  14. dragoon

    dragoon I'm the REAL Dingo Joe

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    Dirt Dog has also made this trip and one thing I gleened from his recommendations was to do NS first. He said NS seems too tame after being in NF :dunno
    #14
  15. BDMF

    BDMF Adventurer

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    I've been to NS. It was nice, people were great, food and beer were good. Next stop, NL. I want to hit Nunavut, but we seem to have a couple of small problems. My riding buddy claims that the lack of paved roads, towns/supplies (i.e fuel) and water crossings make the trip impossible. Sure, so these are all relevent, but hey, at what point did logic become an issue? Next he's going to tell me we cant ride motorcycles to the top of Denali! :lol3
    #15
  16. RedRyder

    RedRyder Jose Adventurista

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    No need to pack much food, just bring a garden spade :D [​IMG] Oh ya and some alcohol to put on the rocksalt holes in yer arse thar bye :rofl You're gonna have a great trip there bye's. Of course nobody lives on the Island any more, cause there aint no work much. Seems like every mill/mine town in the rest of Canaduh has a Newfie club tho. Talk to any of them and they all would give up there highflyin, fancy livin, big money life on the mainland for subsistance living on the rock.
    Funny story happened cpl weeks ago in the centre of the universe (Toronto :evil ) I was down there with my wife for the Moto show and we were heading back to the airport on the shuttle bus ( big greyhound type thing). So happened the driver was from the rock and when we stopped to pick up a single lady at the Sheraton and he found out she was headed home to St.Johns...... well the ride got real interesting after that. :rofl He put her right behind the drivers seat so they could talk, and talk and talk and talk. Well that was cool with me untill they got talking about a transit strike in St.Johns and you could see that we were moving along at an increasing rate of speed. This is on the 6 or 8 lane Gardner Expressway. That wasn't enough tho, cause then they got to chatting about the St. John Leafs Hockey Club now playing in TO cause they are a farm team of the Maple Leafs. Whoooaa!! now we are passing everybody and we are in the super express lane. Still cool. But then he reaches under his seat and pulls out the weekend paper and proceeds to start reading it to her. :freaky This is no Sun small edition type paper either. I saw her look around at the rest of us passengers then, looking for some kind of way out i guess, but all she saw was the abstract fear in our eyes. Then he opened the paper up and spread it completely across the steering wheel. We were doing close to 140 km's by then, vehicles on all sides , in front and behind. I heard a whimper from my wife and I think I could smell the odour of urine eminating thruout the bus. I swallowed hard, looked up and saw the exit ramp for the airport approaching like a Martinez fastball at a peewee game. We made the ramp with all the wheels on on side of the bus in the air, settled back down and seemed like we coasted the rest of the way to the airport. As we were getting off the bus the driver was saying to each of us " have a safe trip there bye"

    Don't mean to hijack the thread, just an insight into carefree newfie life for you. :thumb

    I did the same trip you are planning two years ago solo. It rained............a lot :1drink :1drink :1drink
    #16
  17. Kaumajet

    Kaumajet H.I.D. Positive

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    BDMF, thanks for the PM.

    I'm actually from Newfoundland (Corner Brook), born and raised, and lived there until I was 35. I flew helicopters on the island and Labrador from 1981 to 1996, then moved 'away'.

    I have done extensive riding on the island when I lived there, and have been back a few times since I left 8 years ago, including two weeks there last summer and a three week trip in 2000.

    Some observations:

    Your route is optimistic for two weeks. The run through Labrador is going to chew up more time than you've alloted, and your island portion includes a huge double-back (St. Barbe - Ramea - St. John's - Port aux Basques). There is no way to get to Ramea from St. Barbe other than taking the 430 to the TCH, then to the 480. To get to St. John's, you double back the 480 all the way, and take the TCH. To get back to Port aux Basques, you backtrack almost your entire route. There is a private logging road from the 480 to Buchans, but you see nothing but trees for virtually the entire length, and it doesn't cut out much of the backtrack.

    If it were me, I'd skip Labrador and head straight to the Rock. Cross from Sydney to Argentia, do the Avalon and St. John's, then the Bonavista and Trinity loops back to Gander.

    From Gander, head west to Deer Lake, then up to Gros Morne Park. Relax there (as others have said), do the Western Brook boat tour, go out to Trout River for a seafood dinner, then back to Deer Lake, Corner Brook and west toward Port aux Basques. If you have time, you can take the 480 to Burgeo, and the ferry to Ramea, then double back and hit Port aux Basques for the ferry to Sydney.

    Labrador could be its own trip, with some great riding through Quebec going and coming.

    Start with the 155 to Lac St Jean, then down the Saguenay gorge to the St. Lawrence. From there, it's north east to Baie Comeau, Manac 5, Wabush/Lab City, Churchill Falls, Goose Bay (lived there for 7 years). Take the ferry to Cartwright, then road down to Blanc Sablon. If you have time, you can head over to the island and play around on the north end of the Northern Peninsula for a day or so, then back to Blanc Sablon for the ferry ride down to Havre St. Pierre. From there, you can ride all the way home down the St. Lawrence seaway. If you have a lot of time, cross the river from Sept Iles and do Gaspé.

    Personally, I think the route you planned is all-day-every-day, with zero time to smell the roses. It'd be tight to get it done in two weeks, but if that's your style, it's probably doable.

    Must see in Newfoundland:
    Gros Morne
    George Street in St. John's on a Friday night (or any night)
    At least one of the big loops - St. Mary's, Trinity, Notre Dame Bay, or Bonavista
    Gros Morne
    Trout River

    Spend some time in the small towns.

    That should give you something to chew on for a while :lol3

    BTW - Re: Nunavut, there are no roads leading there. It'd be a long, wet ride :evil
    #17
  18. TREE

    TREE Interloper

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    Hello BDMF. Brad has covered most all the bases so I will just add a link to my trip up the west coast to St Anthony and southern Labrador / Goose Bay loop. The photos may give you a few more ideas about places you might/might not want to see.

    http://www.geocities.com/translab99/

    Must see spots in the west for me ( I have been biking there since '73 ) are: Port aux Basques to Rose Blanche, Codroy valley loop, 140 km road to Burgeo ( you'll think you're in Alaska, it's that huge ) , Corner Brook to Bottle Cove, Trout River, Western Brook Pond, St Anthony, Blanc Sablon to Red Bay, loop from St Anthony south thru Englee and then back west.

    The road from Burgeo to Buchans is a great adventure, dirt and gravel ( on my RS and a buddy on a GS) but you miss a lot of scenery near Cnr Brook and Deer Lake. We missed Ramea but I would still like to see it .

    You'll never regret spending time on the Rock ....... people are unreal.
    ( the waitress in Buchans told us to go to her house and use the garden hose to wash down the bikes, then her husband took us all over town in a half ton to show us the abandoned mining operation ).

    You will have a great trip............
    #18
  19. BDMF

    BDMF Adventurer

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    "Funny story happened cpl weeks ago in the centre of the universe (Toronto ) I was down there with my wife for the Moto show "

    :rofl :rofl :rofl :rofl :rofl :rofl

    Brad, I sent another PM.

    A big part of the trip is trying to set it up to see the interesting things AND spend time just talking to whomever we meet. The trip definately needs some refining, or I need to take 3 weeks. I'm thinking 3 weeks, gotta run that by my riding buddy and see if he can get the time. :D :nod

    Rain? well, as sick as it sounds...I actually like the rain. Sucks when i'm trying to sight see landscapes, but riding in it doesnt bother me, camping/hiking in it is just fine, wandering around towns is cool too. But then, I've spent the money on gear that works in the rain.

    I've got a lot of information to sort thru here. Time to break out the map and start looking at specifics agian.

    Yep, the ride to Nunavut would be wet, but only the part where we ride across the Hudson Bay!! :lol3
    #19
  20. aj226

    aj226 Sloth Supporter

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    One of the more important things to consider when plannning a trip across The Rock is the size and speed of the Newfoundland moose. Don't plann too much driving after dark cuz' with bikes and ditch donkeys the bikes loose most of the time.
    #20