Trans-Lab: years of talking about it and we did it!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by scareraven, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. Yellow Iron

    Yellow Iron Long timer

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    I've read your ride report at least twice before and shared it with the guys months before we did the trip. You even ran into some guys I ride with ( redpower and Jim the gent
    I started reading it again last night with a better appreciation for what you guys were dealing with. We must have been super lucky and got a room at Churchill falls and got right on the ferry , ( that part of the story is coming up) I'll be hijacking one of your photos when we get there you have an excellent shot I would like to use.
    This trip is not for everyone you have to deal with weather and equipment all the way
    But we can now say we did it
    #41
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  2. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil. Supporter

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    Did you guys notice the drop off in the center of the bridge. We came down that hill and almost hit that bridge at around 45-50 MPH. We had to slow down because when we went through, they were doing construction and it was a one lane bridge. They were letting alternate sides go. Thank god that they had our side stopped and had just let it start going when we were coming down the hill so we were slowed to around 20. I don't think the drop off was as bad coming the other way. We didn't notice until we got almost on the bridge that the middle part had like a 4-6 inch drop in the center section. Hitting that at speed would have probably killed us. Absolutely scared the shit out of me because I was intending to ride the center until I saw what it was and then switched to the tire elevated part at the last second.


    Did you guys ever see any of my stickers? It sounds like you might have looked?

    KR
    #42
  3. Yellow Iron

    Yellow Iron Long timer

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    There are stop signs on both sides of the bridge
    I've ridden over abandoned rail road Bridges and you have to have a bit of speed to rumble over. But I wouldn't want to hit this sucker at 50
    I looked for stickers but we didn't stop at every bridge we were moving at a pretty good clip IMG_20170807_092711112.jpg IMG_20170807_092921678.jpg
    #43
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  4. scareraven

    scareraven Ninja Freak Supporter

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    As previously stated I was still shitting myself at this point. Haha. I remember thinking that the track part was the best option and then the realization abou how super slick wet wood and v twin torque/power mix terribly. Had a bit of a slide coming on to the bridge. I remember when they stopped for pics I needed a moment off the bike to get my head in a better space. To say I learned a lot is an understatement. I am actually looking for a cheap klx250s to learn some more stupidity on!
    #44
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  5. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil. Supporter

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    Yeah. When we went through we were doing the loop clockwise. I swear that was a 4 to 6 inch drop when we went over in the center section. Same terror when deciding at the last second to hit the high part. Like I said they were working on it so they were doing the control. No stop signs. It almost looks like there is fresh asphalt there. I really wonder if that was what they were fixing when they were doing the work. Because that doesn't look nearly as bad as what I saw.

    I am going through my videos but I don't think I had the camera on when we crossed the bridge. At least I haven't spotted that yet.

    KR
    #45
  6. Yellow Iron

    Yellow Iron Long timer

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    Yes it's a wild bridge in the middle of nowhere. Slick as a button in the rain just had to use caution. We just passed a truck he caught us again at the bridge so we hung out for a bit to let the truck get up the road a ways
    I figured I would put up my welcome sign photo also here
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    #46
  7. scareraven

    scareraven Ninja Freak Supporter

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    Sorry. I know there has been a huge delay in this report, but it has been a hard week and a new motorcycle will arrive faster if I take the over time when it is available. I have the rest of the week off and will update.
    Thanks
    #47
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  8. RG1984

    RG1984 Been here awhile

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    Did you manufacture the mounting hardware for the ammo cans?
    #48
  9. Yellow Iron

    Yellow Iron Long timer

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    Yes ammo boxes were all built a assembled in my garage. I had a thread running in GS boxers about them way back when I built them.
    Pretty tough here is the picture of the repairs after the trans lab I bent them when I had a parking lot tip over
    IMG_20171029_155006534.jpg IMG_20171029_155026058.jpg
    #49
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  10. Yellow Iron

    Yellow Iron Long timer

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    #50
  11. scareraven

    scareraven Ninja Freak Supporter

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    OK
    Long over due I know, and I am sorry. Life gets busy. I am really glad that I kept a journal to keep the timeline and fun stuff lined up in my head after a quick refresher.
    so.......
    As a quick over view of how it had been going and how this morning had b en shaping up, the only mirth we were able to gather was to keep telling ourselves the same joke over and over with varying levels of inflection.

    #51
  12. scareraven

    scareraven Ninja Freak Supporter

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    The heights of some days are only matched by the lows. Or the lows remind you how good you had it. We woke up in one funky smelling room: four guys' wet gear trying to air out was not pretty, and we kept as many windows open as we could. No one was really looking forward to go outside with the grey continuing to be the dominant color in our world. But its all part of Adventure! Right?
    Slogging on 'not quite dry gloves' for another day was not fun. I handed out a round of quick caffeine and we started off. At this point I think I got everyone addicted to Kopiko. Coffee candies that are basically a small cup of black coffee. Not a huge amount, but enough caffeine to get you through. As a night shift coffee addict, I knew I would need them. Breakfast was not even discussed, we had to push on and get Meaty's chain fixed. As I said before, we are a bunch of early risers. I think we were on the road not long after 6 that morning and we were determined to make this day count.

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    The whole morning was accomplished mostly on pavement. Small miracles I guess. We would only do about 65 mph since Meat was afraid to go any faster due to the worries about his chain. Honestly the frigid cold and wet would really have been a limiting factor anyway. I thanked Hades for the grip heaters I had on my bike (still one of the best purchases I ever made) and felt bad for the rest of the crew. Beardy Face had heated gloves but was wary of using them in the wet. He had some thick all weather gloves. Meaty was not banking on it being that cold I believe. His motocross gloves were painful to look at in that weather. And the Captain.... I have never seen him ride in anything but fingerless gloves. I hope his heater was working.
    Meaty must have hit his helmet again as before long we found out that we hall had an open channel on coms again. Not that we said anything much in our misery that morning. Beardy Face must have hit his limit. I flinched, as did the others when Beardy Face broke in over the blue tooth:
    "FUCK!!!!"
    -'You ok?'
    "NO! DOESN'T CANADA KNOW WHAT THE FUCK SUMMER MEANS?! ITS FUCKING AUGUST!"
    -----------dead air---------
    After a couple of hours, the sun that i was sure in my heart existed decided to shine again.
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    Beady Face was creeping closer and closer and I waved him by to enjoy some time in not cold and wet weather. Spirits started to climb out of the shitter at a steady 65mph all the way to Goose Bay. Jokes and general conversation began again over the shared channel and I felt like I would survive another day. Just about the time I thought I may be able to smile again, we ran into the hard pack dirt again. But it was dry, straight, and I had a wee bit of confidence from before. Adding to that the fact that I knew we would not be going over 65 I was feeling pretty good about it.
    Smile achieved. We passed a lot of road crews who all smiled and waved. At one point we passed some sort of operation that cleared the side of the road of trees and brush. Whatever they used to grind up the trees must have been strong as hell, they cleared a lot of miles pretty quickly. I can not even describe the awesome pine smell that helped me smile for a few miles. My old nemesis wet crotch and having to pee reminded me that my over pants were not, in fact, water proof and I regretted the decision not to bring another layer yet again. After finding pavement once more, we knew we were close. The sign for Goose Bay showed up and I may have peed a little. First stop was the fuel station and top off everything we had since we knew our longest stretch was next. Savior Jerry and his crew stopped by the fuel station on their way out of town and marveled that we had woken up in time to travel that far by breakfast. I told them they are all fuct in the head for pushing on and doing it last night in the dark! AAAAAND we find 'Frenchy's'

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    The relief in Meaty's tone was only out weighed by his trepidation that they may not have a chain for him. That would have changed a lot of plans......
    But this place is like many other in this part of Canada, they keep you going. They had what he needed. And everything else. It was one store that sold bikes, ATV, side-by-sides, snowmobiles, all assorted parts, was a Nike and Under Armour dealer, as well as sports clothes and athletic shoe store.
    I will never forget that face: We helped Meaty get his bike on the center stand and he realized that the clip on the borrowed master link was gone.
    His chain was being held together with the master link by tension alone.
    We have no idea when that bastard fell off, but the chain saw him through that far.
    Nervous laugh aside we all decided to take our own kits out and adjust and fix any issues we could. Chain adjusted, I tried to tackle my pervasive aux light issue. Once I used my now well practiced skills to pull up the dash, I realized that the amount of rain I was riding through had gotten every where. I pulled the relay off the line and water came out of it. Captain Stache who helped me wire them up originally felt bad and went into Frenchy's and got the guy to lend him an air line to blow it out. He came back with a handfull of black dust and told me they do not have the relay there. Meaty still had some time to finish his fix and the Capt. took off determined to get the part to get the damn lights working. Auto parts store was a bust, but he found a 4x4 place that had the proper part. Installed and generously wrapped in electrical tape: they worked again!!! A quick Tim Horton's breakfast and we have renewed hope for a good day and hit the road to head south to Port Simpson
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    I was gobsmacked that we had made it this far and had to get proof that Meaty was back on the road!
    #52
  13. scareraven

    scareraven Ninja Freak Supporter

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    Back on the road, the pavement ended quickly. I knew we had a long day on loose gravel and I had to make peace with healthy fear. Relax a bit, let the bike wallow under me a bit and try to enjoy the ride. Meaty was in front of me and the other two were so happy to be off the chain, they fucked off pretty quick. Buddy system out here. The road has a long drop off in places and unless you saw where someone went off it and into the trees, you could never find it on your own.
    Meaty was having issues with that big conning tower he put on the back of the bike. The weight that high up in the fuel cell was playing havok on his stability. He 'readied his suspension' by cocking his elbows out dirt style and took the time he needed to adjust. During this phase he told me he began to get a shudder in the front that he did not think was from the dirt. While not extensively worn, he seemed to think it was his 'full bore': the american copy of a korean copy of a shinko. Captain Stache was running the same tire and began to get a shimmy himself. They would make the trip, but confidence was guarded. With sufficient miles came the need to pee and my trusty steed "The Commander" did its first burp telling me she needed fuel.

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    Turns out that when you stop, you have about 2 minutes max before the black flies find you. Out in standing water bog country, we didn't stand a chance. Even for a refuel I put my bug net on. Meat stayed with me out of loyalty and they other guys came back to make sure I was ok, then took off because they could not stand the bugs. Don't blame them.
    Minor rant: I hate the fuel range on the 990 adventure. She is a thirsty bitch and can go 130 miles before the light comes on and 160 before she dies on the pavement. Why would you make an adventure bike with that short of a range? And my bigger issue? Safari Tanks are $1300 fucking dollars. The Rottwieler solution is $1800 and only another 1.8 gallons. There is nothing in between. I wish ascerbis would have something in the middle, but I digress.
    The roto pax did what they were meant to do and got me going again. I think in total I can get just shy of 300 miles on my current set up with a pull over to use the cans.
    At one point, as if to prove that we were right to still be wary, there was a Ford Focus upside down off the road and down 10 feet. It was not a bad curve, but the lack of traction and slightly stoopid speed could do that easily. It had been previously tagged and I spent a few years crawling through wrecks on the highway as an EMT. I had no need to check it out. Captian did a cursory inspection and we rode off a little more cautious. For a few miles......

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    I also found out that this section had a lot of 'washboard' ripples on the road. The first time I hit a long section I seriously thought I was about to 'eat shit'. My front end would unexpectedly dive after the first 20 or so feet of a long section of it. I think the vibration would cavitate the fork oil or something. After catching my vomit a few times I learned to lean back and let it soften and bounce back. Creepy shit for me being uninitiated. But to say I was happy was an understatement. I was doing it! Scared and soldiering on and actually having fun. And while not really warm, it was dry and sunny. When I stopped I had to sack up a bit and put my now dry pair of gloves in the boxes and put on my wet gloves to dry out while I was riding. I learned to pay the piper early in these days when I could so that I had a better chance of not having my fingers pruned up for three days straight and fall the fuck off.

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    Captain Stache: riding high looking over the bay at Port Simpson. It was about 3-4 o'clock and we had an accomplished day so far. I was pleading in my head to let us count our victory and stay here for the night. Precious petrol found in one of the two fuel station, hot dog stand, fishing and general stores. The what I believe 15 year old daughter would come out and read the gallons off the mechanical dial from the pump and go in to calculate your fuel bill.
    We talked about staying for all of 5 minutes. The black flies were way worse here. Locals said it was a light season for them, but we collectively said, 'still, you can fuck off' and we prepped to head off. I knew that the sun was setting soon and the prospect of more of the that road made me clench more than a little. I chugged a coke and got ready to go. Then the belly grumbles took hold and the boys said they wanted to stop there to eat. Fuck. Day light is burning and I felt sick from chugging that sugary bad boy.
    sigh
    We found the only place we could to sit down and eat. Basically this town is a ring road with about 2.5 dozen houses. Everyone bimbles around town in what ever they want. Scooters, quads, and 4 door side x side's for the whole family. I could only marvel at what they do in the winter up here!
    We rocked up as the modern marvels in town and had some reheated frozen food. Meaty's open pipe scared the shit out of a little girl who was just behind the bushes when he fired it up and we sheepishly left town.

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    Honestly: I regret that decision.
    #53
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  14. scareraven

    scareraven Ninja Freak Supporter

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    The road did not hold as much fear as it once did, and Meaty learned another valuable lesson. Drain the higher tank first and he will have less weight up high. Confidence all around we hit the hard pack about 70 mph or better and were all enjoying the last rays we could see by.

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    The coast was still in sight and wind began to pick up. I had the thought that it should have been a bit more wind in Port Simpson and that should have decreased the black flies. But the bitch goddess Mother Nature gives Zero Fucks when it comes to my logic.

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    We were enjoying the sunset a bit, but I started to get a little uneasy. There is dick all for light out here besides the sun and the wind was starting to pick up even more. At least my expensive, super bright aux lights were working to help me justify their purchase!

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    I got ahead and tried to get a few decent passing shots of the boys. Beardy face is an accomplished off roader with that tiger and was excited as hell! The sun finally went away and I had to deal with a terrifying section of road. My aux lights: failed.
    Fuck ME!
    Loose connection would make them blink in and out in the gravel. Beardy's were bright as hell and he had the front spot, which helped. But I was still dealing with my own inexperience, the weight and power of the bike, and that fucking wind! It was down right dangerous at times. The dust clouds that would whip over us meant I could not see 20 feet and I would borderline panic brake and almost tuck the front out of fear of running off the side of the road that I could not see. It was probably an hour or a little more of this but it felt like an eternity. I kept reasoning with myself that I could not turn back. By the time it had gotten that bad I figured we had gone too far anyway. I white knuckled through it and just figured that Adventure could be driving up my blood pressure, but this is the shit I will remember most when I think back. I was right about that.
    We reached Red Bay. Whew!
    We looked up at the lighthouse on the beach and realized that it was an even smaller town than Port Simpson. I felt bad that Captain Stache wanted to camp at the base of the light house and it already was late anyway.
    Made sense. I mean why would we push on now? The Ferry in the morning is not far. But...... it is first come first serve and we don't have tickets. And, wait!
    What is that?
    Is that fucking pavement??!?!!?
    Fucking try to keep up!!! WHoooooo!
    My only real regret here is that we did not do this in day light. We blasted down this road along cliff tops that I am sure had beautiful views, but we were black top drunk and ready to go as far as we could. Once again when we knew we were ahead of schedule: We chose to push harder. This was not a leisurely trip, HAHA!
    It felt so good to trust my tires again and be in a more natural equilibrium with my comfort zone.

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    We reached the ferry dock and passed a few cars and trucks waiting on the hill 'in line' as it were to get on the boat. It was pretty damn late and we were told that you can camp right next to the ferry.
    Really? We can camp here? There is the loading pad for the ferry, a few shipping containers and some excavating equipment lined up on about 200 feet of shore. That is it.
    Fuck it, says the traveler after a long day. We pull the bikes on the sand and throw up two tents. Meaty's two person held him and the Captain, while Beardy decided to be generous and offered me a spot in his to make the morning pack up easier. He had a three person tent that ended up being one on each side and line of gear down the center to keep us from cuddling. I'd call the big spoon, but he is bigger than me. All told, the highs and low of the day balanced way high. I felt better and more confident about the trip than ever before. Though this would be the end of big days off pavement.
    Not actually sure if this was kosher, I fell asleep quickly with the waves about 40 feet from me.
    #54
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  15. Yellow Iron

    Yellow Iron Long timer

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    Churchill falls.
    Alarm goes off and bam were up and out early everything was closed
    We made our way out of this little company community. It was gray and overcast as we rolled twards goose. We topped one hill and hooked a right and the landscape could have been from some apocalypse movie we were in the waste land and that kept up for miles. Shortly we would have topped out and started down into a valley . Now I know why it was called happy valley.
    There were small fishing cabins and some roads cut into the wilderness. Once again we followed the power lines into town .
    A quick gas stop as our savior and his clan met up with us again in the gas station.
    Then it was off to secure parts IMG_20170808_100140155.jpg IMG_20170808_100150052.jpg
    It was here when the true equipment test was finished. Everything that was going to fail did .
    While the boys were hacking on the klr chain everyone was checking and lubing chains. Me the BMW guy no chain I had a slight vibration so a quick check no oil was leaking out of the final drive so I chalked it up to tire vibration. First time on the full bores.

    With time to kill and parts available I figured it was time to check scareraven lighting problem. Being a road mechanic we were in the right place to do it. Not at camp or the side of the road. One little problem could get ugly fast out in the bush.
    We popped out the relay a quick voltage test and a little shake yes relay filled with water.
    Off to the auto parts. No deal ( long story) then off to the local 4x4 shop score .
    Back to the boys assemble the katoom and we were off
    #55
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  16. Yellow Iron

    Yellow Iron Long timer

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    With full tanks and new chains everyone was lubed and tightened. Then a final check but wait GS I didn't have the high beam on the vision x light only the Halo no led at the switch. No power to the switch meant the problem was supply to the relay or connection before the switch. Who cares I'm running I'll see if I had the same problem as scareraven and it would dry out.

    So we were off to Timmy's we saw on the way in.
    I'm always aware of my surroundings and there was a skechy guy hanging out when we pulled in . Most people if they are interested Wil come over and talk.this guy was just staying back watching our every move . I felt like a gazelle being watched by a lion on the African plains.
    We went in I kept my eye on the parking lot. And saw the mounted police pull in and lion boy disappeared down the road . The mounties . Talked bikes with us while we had breakfast we pumped them for road info the we were off IMG_20170808_112201245.jpg
    #56
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  17. Yellow Iron

    Yellow Iron Long timer

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    The required photos were taken leaving goose. A short bit of asphalt then the 250 miles no gas all dirt. IMG_20170808_120527100_HDR.jpg IMG_20170808_120559604.jpg IMG_20170808_130450895.jpg
    Getting out onto the gravel and no turns I felt comfortable I could easily ride 50+ I soon found myself at about 65 and the bearded one was right behind me just out of range of flying rocks and the cloud of dust.

    We passed a few pickups and big trucks it wasn't bad. At one point we stopped I was taking pictures everyone else went by I set out to catch up and realized how fast we were really going I caught meaty on the klr and scareraven. I was going to test their rock protection but decided to behave myself I couldn't give them the redpower full power pass .
    I caught up to the triumph beardo we was on he pulled over and we waited. On the top of the hill . Looking back down the hill that's when we saw something black one the road. Yes a very large black bear quickly made his way across the road. So quick no pictures beard went to look and it was off in the forest. The guys caught up and we were off again
    #57
  18. Yellow Iron

    Yellow Iron Long timer

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    So we were running the trans lab and until I read all the inside information from scareraven I couldn't figure out why the ktm couldn't go 125-150 on a tank full. It was the miles we covered until he had a bladder full. With a 30 gallon back pack filled with orange Kool aid now I know why we had to stop.
    We were out on the long stretch between goose and port hope when we ran the 170 miles and the ktm was out. In a minute we were swarmed by black flies and it was bug nets or close up the helmet and keep moving.
    IMG_20170808_130349521_HDR.jpg
    The ktm and tiger took on fuel. I still had 1/2 tank and meaty was running an auxiliary tank he could probably do 500 miles on the klr.
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    It was kinda a high point in the trip all the planning and gear everyone packed was coming into use. I mounted a 1 gallon can off the back for the just in case. It was for myself or to bail out one of the guys. My thoughts on it now if I had to turn around and go back 10 miles if anyone had problems that would add 20 miles and I would be out . So it was 1 gallon insurance.
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    So with full tanks and empty bladders we were off and running.
    #58
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  19. Yellow Iron

    Yellow Iron Long timer

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    IMG_20170808_145148225.jpg Off and running the reality of the trans lab hits when we see a car in the ditch. We stop and check out the wreck then push on the port hope
    We made the town in short time we had changed up the riding order and by the time we pulled in for gas I was riding sweep
    The bearded one went right past the gas and the ktm and klr made a quick right to the pumps. I had the bearded on on the com and he was just down the street at the other has chatting with savior Jerry and crew. I proceed to dump my 1 gallon in the bike and top off at the pumps. The guys were eating candy bars and chatting with the locals. The tiger rolled in with a tip on nearby food. So we rode and got a quick bite IMG_20170808_174927869.jpg IMG_20170808_185136815_HDR.jpg
    It was a small b&b it was like sitting in some ones living room. There were some local workers at a table across the room eating some chicken and rice it looked pretty good. A quick scan of the menu and I ordered a pizza sandwich the Jersey boys in me wanted a pizza and how could you screw up pizza. I was so wrong first bite ok second bite I looked across the table and looked at beardo who got the same thing. His reply yours cold too me "yes" we choked it down . Mistake #2 I heard someone say cheesecake. So I ordered it. Bam wrong again. It was cream cheese spread on a gram cracker with some kinda local Berry's .
    I passed it over to the bearded one just like the Mikey life commercial.
    With tanks and bellies full we rolled.

    Coms we're quiet and the sun was setting our riding order changed up again with the tiger up front with the big lights then the ktm with the flashing disco lights then the klr who's headlight is a candle in the wind and then myself.

    Darkness came fast and I still remember the couple we met talking about road conditions near Mary's harbor we took an easy pace and passed a couple real ice road trucks you could see them far away with big lights . No worries the turned them off when we approached.

    Red bay we saw asphalt a discussion about stay or go and we rolled onward to Blanc sablon under a near full moon peaking in and out of the clouds winding down the coast line . It's was epic. The darkness and the cliffs and the moon reflection off the water . For as much as we missed in the sights made up for not many would even think of riding at night and it was beautiful.
    #59
    bobw likes this.
  20. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil. Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,814
    Location:
    CT/NH
    I'm amazed you guys had no comments about that bridge? I thought that was one of the squirreliest bridges I had ever crossed?

    KR
    #60
    Yellow Iron and scareraven like this.