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Trans labrador HWY in Winter

Discussion in 'Canada' started by paulmondor, May 16, 2007.

  1. oatie

    oatie Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    17
    Perhaps someone has mentioned this. Have you considered a heated shield for your BVS2 Helmet? Any Ski Doo dealer up there should have one. They work really well in cold weather.
  2. paulmondor

    paulmondor Iceman

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    626
    Location:
    Victoria BC God's garden
    January 23, 2008
    Breaking News!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The Baie Comeau medical journal has documented what is believed to be the world’s first case of resurrection.
    On the evening of January 22<sup>nd</sup> 2008 after coming back from what is considered and impossibly cold accomplishment, riding the Labrador Highway in winter on a motorcycle from Baie Comeau to Goose Bay and back in temperatures that hovered for a couple of days around -55C, Mr Paul Mondor also known to many as “Iceman” approached his bed at the residence of Mr Rene Roy at around 10 PM and is believed to have fallen asleep before his body actually hit the hay. With the help of sonic analysis technology and infra red graphic display instrumentation the witness to this event (The owners of the house) confirmed that indeed Iceman had lost consciousness before touching his mattress. To further the proof, the loud sonic emanation coming out of Iceman as well as his face who splattered on the pillow like a blob of pudding dumped on any surface were accompanied by spasms and unrecognisable sounds. After a few seconds of this, all activities of the brain stopped as Iceman stopped moving and breathing (Some argue this is Apnoea!)
    The drooling that followed and the motionlessness suggested that indeed death had occurred. According to witnesses at around 8 AM Iceman for some unknown to the medical and scientific community came back to life as his brain sent an electric impulse signal to brain making it say “Heeey Colisse que j’ai dormi? J’penses que chu mort pendant 8 heures!”
    Translation: Heey for Fu$#%^’ sakes! Did I ever sleep! I think I died for 8 hours!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    This also vigorously brought back in the debate between the medical and scientific community, the topic and age old argument as whether or not the brain or part of it is still functioning during death’s occurrence!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Evidence of that was gathered in the room where Iceman was sleeping by the owners as they were making the bed. Quote: “Apparently he did die according to the smell of flatulencies in here strong enough to peel the paint off the wall! End quote.
    Strengthening even more the theory that the human brain can indeed sustain bowel and gas functions in times of complete shut down!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We have learned from a reliable source that Mr Mondor has signed the “Donor” part of his driver’s license, bringing hope to the world of science and medicine as well as the ever growing community of motorcyclists around the world that one day this myth or for now this so called “Confirmed Theory” will be brought to light.
    It must also be mentioned that the possibility for a human being and body to produce an exciting life and enough methane to power a top fuel drag car will be studied as well.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Until then, it is hoped that as motorcyclists around the world exhaust themselves in the Adventure Motorcycling segment will gather enough information to sustain this theory.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Note to reader<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Study on the possibility of surviving inside a caribou’s ass has begun but due to enough gathering of data and the remote areas where this study can be performed as well as the difficulties encountered while trying to recruit volunteers for this study could mean the results could take years to be published.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    PS posting of the travel of Iceman between Baie Comeau and <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Joliette</st1:place></st1:City> are to follow shortly

    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
  3. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,540
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    /oatie]Perhaps someone has mentioned this. Have you considered a heated shield for your BVS2 Helmet? Any Ski Doo dealer up there should have one. They work really well in cold weather.[/quote]

    He seems to get stopped by the cops quite a bit. Heated visors aren't street legal.

    A dumb law, yes.
  4. Kyler

    Kyler Geezer

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,874
    Location:
    Just north of Keedysville, MD
    I'm thinking Paul views anything heated electrically as blasphemy. Now if it is heated by a caribou, that would be fair game.:lol3
  5. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,540
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    I think he's more than happy to elecrically heat his cameras, so he can take a few more damn pictures.

    The only reason there's so many pictures of Timmies, is because that's when his camera is still warm, I swear!!

    Speaking of swearing, I'm learning to spell all those swear words I've been hearing from my French friends my whole life, Tabernac, this place!:D
  6. RivahRider

    RivahRider Windrider

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    178
    Location:
    Lancaster, VA.
  7. RivahRider

    RivahRider Windrider

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    178
    Location:
    Lancaster, VA.
    Imagine being out there depending on electricly heated clothing and having a dead battery. Wooops!! That Caribou would look pretty good.
  8. Moving Pictures

    Moving Pictures Sir Loin of Biff

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,317
    Location:
    God's Country, New Brunswick
    But Paul, old bean: all your bits are fookin' useless now. Who wants a lung or a kidney with frostburn?
  9. D-Mac

    D-Mac Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    613
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan
    I was following this thread until I left for Suriname, South America on the 17th. Just spent 3 hours of internet time catching up BUT WAS IT EVER WORTH IT!!!! (damn it's hot down here.....can't wait to get back north and cool down...your posts are helping with that too).

    This is one of the greatest feats of human endurance I've ever read about. I can't even begin to understand what it must be like to be so isolated and in such extreme conditions.

    I suggest you try something easier when you get back. Maybe a short hike up Everest without oxygen? Free diving under an Antarctic ice sheet?

    Thanks for taking us on the amazing journey (I especially love the French Canadian phrases and sincere accounts of your trip). You're the real deal!!! If you haven't done it yet, you should find a publisher as soon as you get home!!

    Cheers, D-Mac
  10. paulmondor

    paulmondor Iceman

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    626
    Location:
    Victoria BC God's garden
    Leaving Baie Comeau on January 23 at 30604 kms on the clock
    Weather -20 Damn! It is warm.

    It has been a good night! See below! I get up at 8:00 Am to get ready and go! But first things first and I let Los Tabarnacos know that WE are having breakfast at Tim Horton’s and that I will leave from there!

    After a good breakfast and a good cup of black plasma I suit up, say goodbye to Rene and head down the road. Even though the road is a lot nicer than what I have been on for the last 5 days what makes it easier is that it is a balmy -20C. YooHoo! Finally! Spring weather! There is obviously more snow around now than there was when I came by. Which tells me that after all, weather wise speaking; the weather is following me just like last year! Might just be my colisse de paranoya?? (I am French! What’s your excuse?)
    Anyways! As soon as I get to Outardes the wind joins me in my treck but?[​IMG]? It has decided it is going the other way! In these parts of PQ the altitude is like the possibility of a politician screwing you. It goes up and down but mainly stays up. And at times my speed goes down to 60 km/h. the roads are clear in some parts and in others the snow drifts are everywhere.
    I am keeping an eye on Frosty as she is losing quite a bit of oil through the air box and vents no damage here and she is purring, but I make sure the oil level remains high enough. The vibration caused by the sprocket crown bearing going into retirement remains the same and I keep an eye on this as well! That is the only thing the TLH has damaged. Considering the savage beating Frosty took for over 1200 kms of roads (TLH) that have been so many times harder on her than the rest of the Cross Canada trip all together; she is doing unbelievably well! Nothing so far has broken! Like I said before; “I am convinced that NO OTHER bike would/could have done it. I am sad to think that they will not make the 650 GS anymore. I know that this was their best bike. I have had all of their models and I can tell you that I am trimming my stable down to one bike and it is Frosty. I catch myself thinking/hoping that BMW will realize what mistake they are making by not making the small GS anymore and start again next year! The new 2008 F650GS is a twin cylinder 800cc engine. It is not a 650 and even though it is based on the F800 engine which is damn good, many people including me do not see why more than 650 is needed? You will have an impossible time trying or even dreaming you can convince me or others who have travelled on the 650 singles that more will be better.
    I have crossed the country twice on my faithful Frosty and in conditions that are insanely hard on a piece of hardware. And I have done many other long trips on her.
    Except for riding at 120 mph all day, there is nothing she cannot do that the big adventures do! I know I have those too.

    Anyway! I am sad to see that we will not be able to get some more Frosty.

    Back to the trip to Joliette! The trip to the Tadoussac ferry is a mix of high winds, hills, snow drifts and covered roads in higher altitudes. When I got on the ferry there was a bunch of sledders there as well.
    [​IMG]

    Without getting into details I can tell you that their display of manhood got seriously dampened by the arrival of a little 650 cc motorcycle in their winter world. They would not look at me, talk to me or even approach me. Maybe it had something to do with someone (Not me) making the loud comment! “Man that was funny! I was parked beside them as you were coming down the hill toward the ferry and as I was talking to them they literally quieted down as they saw you and went back to their machines. Suddenly their “We own our winter land” behaviour completely stopped and walked away!
    They heard this fellow say this on the boat and that was it! Well you know? It was funny in a “you had to be there” way

    After pictures were taken, addresses exchanged and hands shaken we al parted and I kept on going.
    The weather got progressively worse as I crossed little village after another. But the scenery was nice when the weather would break and give me a chance to enjoy the scenery.
    [​IMG]

    When I hit Baie St-Paul, that was it. Winter was in full gear. Nothing but wind, snow and drifting squalling white stuff everywhere! But i still enjoyed it as it was not nearly as cold as what I had seen lately. And with all the people around and quickly realized that I did not react the same way to my environment!
    Something I will have to work on. As I went up the hill coming out of Baie St-Paul the snow was everywhere. Traffic had really slowed down and it got slipperier.
    I went up and across these parts at about 60 clicks and just scooted along.
    When I got to the downhill side of it coming into St-Anne de Beaupre it was pretty much the same and it stayed this way as I went across Beauport, Quebec and through Donnacona and Trois Rivieres.
    I stopped for about half an hour in Louiseville at La Porte de la Mauricie. This is a stop area/ truck stop i stopped at many times in my trucking years. And foolishly enough I willingly took 10 years of my life by having an A&W chicken sandwich. This tasted good, but I always wonder if what they serve is really coming from anything that was once part of the animal kingdom!
    I always say I do not mind eating anything that had a face or a mother at one point. But I am sure if you read what these places put in their sandwiches there are very few if any ingredients which name does not have numbers in it.
    You see stuff like Water, agua, sugar and preservatives and then stuff like Holycrapnite 259, livakilla1, stronggasite378 and whatdafukarium2098.

    I cannot remember the last time I ate in a fast food burger joint. Probably has something to do with the time when I was trucking and stopped at one of these service plazas along 401 and bough 2 burger king burgers. One for me and one for my Dog Breaker (Bless her soul! I still cry when I think about her!)
    As I ate my burger she was sitting on the double bunk in the sleeper in front of the burger, looked at it, walked away and laid down in the back.
    To make along story short, 30 minutes later I had to call dispatch and ask them to send a driver. My girlfriend at the time drove 500 kms to come and get me and after going to the hospital found out I had food poisoning!

    Here is a hint! Give a bite of whatever you are about to eat to your loving do! And if does not eat it?[​IMG]?? Neither should you!
    Anyways! After this I made to my mom’s house where she almost got into complete cardiac arrest as she saw my walking up the stairs and knocking on her door! I guess once a mom always a mom! She does not care if I am 2 or 47! I am still her little boy!

    Had coffee at moms and then went to my brother’s where they were happy to see me again!
    Now I am ready to put myself, them and Frosty through another 5200 kms of winter riding before I finally make it home.

    Frosty should be ready around Friday! So I am getting a lot of (needed) rest. I will be ready when I take off!

    I heard they have reopened the TCH around some of the Great lakes! Hee! Hee! It will be fun!!

    Iceman out tabarnac!!!!
  11. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Super Supporter Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    120,268
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
    Great story! Sorry to hear about your dog.

    Ride safe.
  12. paulmondor

    paulmondor Iceman

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    626
    Location:
    Victoria BC God's garden
    Ok! I have to fess up here! After talking to Melanie yesterday evening and drilling her as to how she is hanging on through all this and finding out that she is ok. Well! As ok as one can be when they are looking at their loved one daily, taking chances with his safety for way too long over way too many days, I came to the conclusion that she will and so will I, be ok only when I get home. As for her that is a given! As for me? Weeeeelllll! I am sometimes a threat to myself while standing still.
    Anyone who knows me. I am really knows me! Knows this. I can out of nothing, create something that will make anyone go “what the F&^%$#!!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Blame it on my 2 brain cells! BTW these 2 cells conversations these days consist of “Colisse! On aurait du proceder au trou du cul de sincreme de caribou! <o:p></o:p>
    For Fu^%&*%# we should have proceeded forward with this dead caribou’s ass!!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Where was I? Ah yeah! Turning my life into a fire breathing, mind numbing, Holy shit producing time bomb!
    I have proven many times that with only 2 brain cells that I can make choices that will make someone go “HMMMMM! Should we put the stray jacket back on? For our own sake! Anyway a nice example is this trip. Even though a lot of us do not know each other and have never met, we somehow, through the internet, connect. By connecting like this we end up caring and by caring we……., well you know the rest!
    Because I know you care, I did not want to worry you, and by not wanting to worry you I kept a couple of things away from this tread.
    The road around Fire lake immediately after Fermont coming east which last a whole butt puckering 65 kms I think was the home of not only 1 close encounter with a truck but 4. It was also the birth place of not 1 but 3 snow bank diving. Out of the 65 kms of road between Fermont and the end of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Fire</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Lake</st1:placetype></st1:place> I met have seen, actually seen, maybe half. The rest was auto-guiding Frosty and pointing her in the right direction.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Each time the trucks appeared in a curve and each time neither of us was to blame.
    I still have a piece of missing material in my underwear that was sucked in by the great powers of the pucker Gods.
    Well! You know! The dead caribou has my head up his ass and my ass got the arctic fleece. All is fair in the war of tension.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I chose not to write about it because I thought that I would hear too many “paul! This is stupid! Turn around! And that it would make me turn around! Like I said I like to push myself in ways that sometimes defy my own understanding. This was THEE biggest time of them all.
    From my own perspective it was a good call! From the point of view of some of you it might be too! From Melanie’s looking back it was then but she wonders now why I do something like this.
    Beside being able to create and invent some new swear in my mother tongue as I see a Kenworth W900 with a “wide Load” sign on front bumper carrying 4 huge tires, and each one being able to swallow me in threads and not leave a mark on the actual carcass like OAHhhh Tabarbac moman! Heille colisse ca passe pas tusais bain Sincreme de colisse! Qu’est ce que j’ai pense maudite crisee de mule ensoleillee? St ciboire de calvair the pretre fiffi d’crisse ca va tu faire mal en sacraman! Whhoo! Whoooooo Whooooahhhhh! <o:p></o:p>
    Soeur blindee de colissee que ca là passer proche. Paul tès bain codingue colisse d’epais d’osti! St eucharistie d’crisse reveille ou bain sort du ch’min!!!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    So looking back! This road was absolutely insainly unsafe and just downright freaking dangerous! Like <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Wayne</st1:place></st1:city> said in Wabush! “This road is dangerous in day time on a clear summer day with no traffic! I just do not want to think what it will be like for you on 2 wheels today!”
    And to think that asi sat on that snow bank freezing whatever balls I had left at that time thinking it was still safer to sit here and freeze for 20 minutes (Which I did!) than to go on and still decide to move on because I believe that when your time has come you will go. I chose to do what I wanted. If it was now I had to go. Well dammit I will go doing what I love!
    I am in a way saying “I am sorry” to those who worried about it and really believed what I was doing was foolish.
    But the truth is! I AM NOT! Because I still see this fateful moment on the 18<sup>th</sup> of June 2006 take place in front of my eyes. When my best friend Ian Anguish ahead of me onhis bike doing what he loved so much, on a perfect northern California day at slow speed with no obstacles and nothing blocking his view, lock the front binders because he thought he was about to hit this little fawn that came running. He never hit it. His SV1000 flipped, he broke his neck and the tailpiece of his bike rammed in cervical spine making sure this was his last day.. I had enough time to say “Oh shit No! Ian! NOOO! And crawled by his side in enough time to hold his hand and feel go home
    <o:p> </o:p>
    It was his time. It was his to go home! He could have chosen to stay home with his family, he could have gone to work or he could have mowed his lawn. The truth, at least my truth is that he would have gone at that precise moment at 11:13 AM on June 18<sup>th</sup> 2006 no matter what he was doing.
    Instead? The switch went off while he was doing what he loved, in an environment he dreamed about and with his buddy. Painlessly and quickly.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    So yes! I did what I did because I needed to feel this again! I needed to remind myself that I can push so far my mind will freak and still go on because if it is not my time, nothing will happen! I felt Ian riding with me and I felt dad! Melanie was with me and so were so many others.
    So yes I lied! To prevent those who don’t believe in what I believe from worrying too much. Would I do it again the same way? Yes! But I would not lie about it like I did!
    Because by hiding this, I kept many from feeling all they could feel. And end up at the end of the day saying things like “Holy shit Man!” and giggle as you sit back in the chair.
    Feeling that raw mind numbing, heart stopping, gut wrenching fear the way I did to the point where it paralyses you and stops you in your track to the point where you have only 2 choices. To keep going or turn around! I chose to keep going! I chose to let the absolute fear in my mind and heart dance with my faith in my beliefs and the giggles brought on by the sheer conflict of these emotions dancing together.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I literally could see Dad and Ian by my side! This is not a figure of speech! I could see them and feel them traveling every life sucking kilometres of this road with me and guide me.
    I talked with them, laughed with them afterward and cried with them and at every steps in between surrendering so many times and holding on more again, knowing that they would tell me `Go on Paul!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I might have said this before and I will say it again! But make no mistake about it. Every time I make a choice that takes me places I have not been or scare me out of my comfort zone (The place I hate the most on earth) this “Need to feel” thing will kick in.
    I just hope that if you choose sometimes to do it and push through, that you will have the same kind of co-riders and passengers I had with me.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Just be happy I did not have to shove your head up a dead caribou’s ass!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Iceman out :freaky
    <o:p> </o:p>
  13. Kyler

    Kyler Geezer

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,874
    Location:
    Just north of Keedysville, MD
    :poser:poser:poser
    :poser:poser:poser
    :knary:knary:knary
    :bow:bow:bow

    For someone who speaks English as a second language, you sir, are a master poet!
  14. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    23,090
    Location:
    Way Out There.
    Paul,

    I hope I get the chance to meet you some day.

    Enjoy your ride and *know* that you're never alone.

    bon chance,
    Laurent
  15. tsilliker

    tsilliker Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    Simply astounding, Paul!

    Glad you're OK.

    For a taste of what Paul saw in Quebec, here is a pic taken in northern Quebec on the James Bay road a few Januarys ago. This was another migrating caribou herd.

    We were cold weather testing a Toyota Prius for the Toronto Star. I was behind the wheel of the Prius when this shot was taken. Amazing how you can sneak up on a caribou when running on battery power...

    [​IMG]
  16. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,893
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    I like the way you think, Paul. And I really enjoy the way you take the time to share and put it into words.

    I too adopted the "time to go" attitude a number of years ago after going through a few experiences similar to what you did on that fateful day with your best bud Ian.

    Wishing you the best in your continuing adventures and thank you again for sharing, Mark H.
  17. Beast Rider

    Beast Rider Beast Rider

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,417
    Location:
    Orlean Virginia
    Paul,
    As an ex Canadian Military guy...and a rider...I cannot begin to tell you how much your posts have meant to me. The real gist of this is preparation, determination, and loss of some number of brain cells. I have for a number of years made treks up to James Bay fishing by canoe , by myself , for a couple of weeks...and some folks said I was nuts, (not as nuts as you I might add), but that was not at all the case. There is a rush that cannot be described, that you get when you plan for and accomplish a dream. You should know that this feeling never leaves you.....I know that since I just retired after 37 years with a company that was after my service in Military....and I am beginning to plan my next canoe trip.....by myself... I have tracked both this trip as well as your last year's one across Canada and admire your determination and free spirit. Just keep doing whatever you need to do.....with sound preparation and planning.....and as you have said....when my time is up....it's up. Thank you for everything you have helped us all here to live with you....and most important....for yourself...take care and a ride safe for the rest of your trip. You have been....and continue to be....an emissary of what a motorcycle rider really is.....and a Canadian to boot EH!
  18. DC950

    DC950 Microadventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,530
    Location:
    Seattle and Las Cruces, NM
    Paul

    there are very few things I think I could not do. Your trip is one of the few. Amazing journey. Thanks.
  19. Nice_Rumble

    Nice_Rumble Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,418
    Location:
    New London, NH
    I found the guys that own the sleds on a local sled forum.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    "That's too funny, those are our sleds in the background. We saw that guy on the bike and didn't think anything about it. Here's my pic, the bike is off to the left, I didn't get a pic of the bike. FYI, the ferry ride is free."

    I guess these guys are not Adventure riders, otherwise they would have been all over Paul.

    [​IMG]
  20. Invisible68

    Invisible68 n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3
    Paul, You are an inspiration to all of us, not only with your rides but with everything in life..... make a plan, commit to the plan and then do the plan.... I stumbled across this a couple of days ago and read the whole thing and also read all your other threads....Incredible... You are a man to look up and admire.... If you ever decide to ride across the USA and need a place to stay in Iowa(I'm just off Hwy80) just let me know, I would be honored to have you and frosty anytime!!!!:thumb