Newfoundland and Labrador from ND

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by motobiko, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. motobiko

    motobiko biko I rido

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    271
    Location:
    Colstrip, Montana
    Hello All,

    Whelp, summer is here and it’s time to ride. I’m heading north in eastern Canada to James Bay, then the Labrador Highway and on to Newfoundland. I’ve been to 11 provinces/territories in Canada before on my KLR in 2012, so need to get the last two provinces to complete the tour.
    I live in Montana, but left my parents farm yesterday morning near Milnor, ND.
    Route planned-
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    Then back to North Dakota.

    Bike of choice-
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    2010 Ktm 990 Adventure R. 113hp and endless smiles.

    I’m currently having breakfast at Tim Horton’s in Nipogon, so don’t know how many chances I’ll have to get WiFi for updates before eastern Quebec. Stay tuned.

    -Luke
    #1
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  2. TRoberts

    TRoberts Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    St. John's, Newfoundland
    Most excellent Luke. I was in Montana and North Dakota riding my GS last month. Let me know if you need anything while in St. John's, Newfoundland and enjoy your trip.
    #2
  3. RedUly

    RedUly Esse Quam Videri Supporter

    Joined:
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    I just got back from Newfoundland. I'm looking forward to following your adventures.
    #3
  4. motobiko

    motobiko biko I rido

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Colstrip, Montana
    Thanks man. Hope you enjoyed those states. The beartooth pass is pretty epic in MT.
    When you leave Newfoundland, do you usually take the ferry from Argentia or basques? I haven’t decided which one I’m going to use to depart Newfoundland on.
    #4
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  5. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Looks like a great plan. I went to Newfoundland in 2016 and took the Basques ferry both ways. I want to go back and take your route. Please advise a bit about the Saint Barbe ferry if you could? Maybe time to cross, if pre-schedule was needed and cost for you and bike.
    I'm looking forward to hearing more.
    #5
  6. motobiko

    motobiko biko I rido

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    271
    Location:
    Colstrip, Montana
    Day 1- Sunday the 14th.

    Left my parents farm by Milnor, ND about 7am. I live in Montana but was on the farm with my pickup and hauled the bike there.

    Went east to wahpeton and jumped on 210 to Duluth. I have been to Duluth a couple times but it’s been 8 years. Stopped at Betty’s pies north of there for a slice of blueberry. Good stuff.
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    Went north on highway 61 from there. Stopped in Tofte for some groceries. No other Ktms in sight.
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    Rode up a little more and turned off on some gravel. Stopped at the Eagle Mountain trailhead to hike Eagle mountain, Minnesota’s highest point at a whopping 2301’ in elevation. My 10th state high point. I like to hike. About 7 mi round trip.
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    I like the Norwegian heritage of this area.
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    Stopped in grand portage at the casino to get some Canadian bills. The internet exchange rate was .77, but the casino gave me .74 usd for cad. Got an extra $26.35 on $500 that way.
    Canada!
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    Found a nice stop to camp off the highway between Thunder Bay and Nipogon.
    48.582800, -88.799100
    About 500 mi today.
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    #6
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  7. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    I live in Minnesota and going around the great lakes over the next week. Were you happy with this camp spot? It looks like about the distance I will be traveling today.
    #7
  8. motobiko

    motobiko biko I rido

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Colstrip, Montana
    Day 2
    Left the campground around 9, stopped at Tim hortons in Nipogon for breakfast. Then Tim Horton’s in Hearst for lunch. Then Tim Horton’s in Cochran’s for supper. Gotta love Tim Horton’s. Always fresh. E309787C-6410-4F59-8BCD-036C37753AEA.jpeg BCBA75BB-5F42-4F2D-BB3A-A096099DB9DA.jpeg

    I took highway 11 north from Nipogon. I have been around Lake Superior on my Vulcan 1500 back in 2011 to Sault Ste Marie on 17, but never north of there. Not a lot of people just forests and lakes.
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    The mooses are huge in this
    part of the world.
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    I decided to take highway 652 out of Cochrane as a shortcut up to highway 109. Few miles out of town turned to gravel.
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    Looks like an adventure!
    Turned into about 70mi of gravel. Pretty loose stuff too. Had to slow down to 35mph sometimes. Wasn’t very hard packed.
    Came up on a calf moose and mom. Baby ran off the road right away but mom hung out for a while. Had to wait to until she got off the road to sneak by.
    Pulled off the road to camp around 11pm. Another 500 mi day.
    #8
  9. motobiko

    motobiko biko I rido

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Yes I was. About 80 yards off the highway, so you can hear cars going by all night, but good flat ground in the trees off a gravel road. Didn’t see any private signs saying no trespassing. It’s just a little pull off with 4 wheeler trails around it.
    Have a great trip!
    #9
  10. TRoberts

    TRoberts Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    St. John's, Newfoundland
    There's pros and cons of the ferries I guess. I'm from Port aux Basques originally (born there) but I live and work in St. John's so I always leave the Province on the ferry out of Argentia. I like this ferry... it's a longer route (leaves around 5pm and you roll off around 9am the next morning) so chances are you would like to have a cabin to sleep in rather than on the floor. The Port Aux Basques ferry is a shorter run (6-7 hours I think?) and can be a day or night trip. The Argentia ferry is more expensive especially if you get a cabin. Reservations are recommended for either run but motorcycles can usually be accommodated last minute. Cabins book up fast.
    #10
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  11. TRoberts

    TRoberts Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
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    Location:
    St. John's, Newfoundland
    Also Luke, if you enjoy hiking there is some fantastic routes to be done in Gros Morne National Park and also the East Coast Trail which runs virtually the entire length of the east coast of the Avalon Peninsula. You can check out the east coast trail website and I have most of the trail maps if you are interested.
    #11
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  12. motobiko

    motobiko biko I rido

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
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    Location:
    Colstrip, Montana
    Day 3

    Yesterday I only did about 400 miles. It was pretty windy up north and rained a bit.

    It was raining on my tent from 6-9am so I didn’t get up real early. I was concerned the road would be really slick if it got too wet but it wasn’t horrible. Did 70ish miles of gravel before hitting pavement again.
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    Campsite
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    Wild strawberries for breakfast
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    I love maps.me offline maps. Always picks the best roads to travel.
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    Sometimes the road gets to be too much and you just have to stop for a 60 rack.
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    The road up north.
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    Swishy tundra!
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    Pulled into Fort Rupert about 1030pm. Super windy north of matagami. Probably 40+ mph gusts. The trees were really whipping around.

    Attached Files:

    #12
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  13. RedUly

    RedUly Esse Quam Videri Supporter

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    I took the long one, which I believe is out of Argentia. It's 16 hours and runs overnight. I bought a cabin and slept all night, which was great. I found it very easy to sleep on the ferries. If you're not going to get a cabin, the shorter one would probably be better.
    #13
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  14. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    A nice spot and good eyes. It was nice to have a camp site known before getting here. Tent up and not many bugs. Thanks again.
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    #14
  15. russ4ru

    russ4ru All Time n00b.

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    Damn... 60 Canettes :jack !!!
    #15
  16. motobiko

    motobiko biko I rido

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    Location:
    Colstrip, Montana
    Haha no problem man. Glad it helped you out.
    #16
  17. motobiko

    motobiko biko I rido

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
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    Location:
    Colstrip, Montana
    Day 4 7/17/19

    I camped by the beach in a bunch of weeds. Bad idea I think there were chiggers in them plants. Got bit by something and have some nice red spots. But there’s also a ton of mosquitos, flies and gnats up here too. A constant annoyance of the north.
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    Went to Alexis cafe for breakfast. They had a nice plate of eggs, bacon, potatoes, and toast for $11.
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    The bank nearby had WiFi so I snuck into their network for a bit. Checked adequa-te things and went to clean up camp. Can you see the bike/tent?
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    I rode south of town to see if I could get on the beach. Supposedly the water is Nunavut, making my Moto tour of Canada complete once I hit Newfoundland. Alas it wasn’t meant to be. The trail was for four wheels and had a ton of ruts. After a mile and a half I bout went off the road so I parked and walked down a bit but didn’t see the road going to the coast. Had flies and gnats all over me on this trail. Shoulda got my bug net hat out.
    I had to push the bike back uphill on the trail, which is always awesome on a 1000cc loaded adventure bike. It took me about ten minutes to get back on the trail.
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    Went back to the bank after this and sat outside using their WiFi and looking at the Canada east map I had. Everyone walking by wanted to know where I was from when they saw the bike. I probably shook hands with 15 people in half an hour. The Cree people are very friendly.
    Did some pics by the beach too!
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    #17
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  18. motobiko

    motobiko biko I rido

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Colstrip, Montana
    I was just about to head out of town the same day when I was cornered in the grocery store by some friendly locals. They don’t get a lot of tourists here, especially on bikes.
    Pat was really nice and drove me around town and gave me a tour in his highlander.
    He knew a lot of history about the Cree nation and just the area in general. Evidently the town of Fort Rupert celebrated 350 years last year. The Hudson Bay company established their first outpost here back in 1668. The Cree evidently were quite welcoming and helped them out. I might have learned some of this back on grade school but don’t remember.
    We went out of town to the east and near km markers 20 and 22 saw some cool stuff. Traditions teepee with pine branches on the floor. Smelled like the forest that’s for sure.
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    Some they would cook in.
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    Went down to the Rupert river and climbed the hill to see the view from and lookout tower.

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    Pat took me back to his house in town and we had dinner that night before I left. Really friendly guy. It was nice to get a tour from someone who knew the area. And a nice home cooked meal(with beer).
    Only drove about 80 miles after that before camping at the Rupert river off the James bay highway.

    Attached Files:

    #18
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  19. GravelRider

    GravelRider AKA max384 Supporter

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    Subscribed!
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  20. Hakatan

    Hakatan quality > quantity

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    Perusing my Colorado Benchmark...
    I was just in NFLD for the first time last month, hiking the East Coast Trail outside St Johns and in Gros Morne National Park. Beautiful area, I really hope to come back on my bike, and get to Labrador too.

    Enjoy!
    #20