Trans Labrador Highway/Newfoundland/NovaScotia run 2017

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by CavReconSGT, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,051
    Location:
    CT/NH
    To read this report from the planning stages start here:
    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/trans-labrador-highway-run-orma-lake-rd-2017.1223256/



    Day 1 July 22,2017

    Started: 0800
    Ended: 1930
    Today's Mileage: 527
    Total Mileage: 527


    Today's route:
    upload_2017-8-6_20-52-6.png




    The weather was beautiful. Sunny and in the 80's. It started cloudy in the high 50's but got much nicer as the day continued.


    Crossing into the Canada through customs was very uneventful. The usual questions and a quick look over by the customs agent and we were in.


    Driving over the St Lawrence waterway
    upload_2017-8-6_20-52-24.png


    While riding down Rt 138 we saw this unfortunate scene. A mother skunk was run over. The odor was what you would expect. The babies were milling around mom. I am hoping they got out OK. We also saw a porcupine that was trapped on the road seeming to not know which way to head. Also hoping he made it out of there alive. People were slowing for him.
    upload_2017-8-6_20-52-51.png

    The original plan was for us to find a campground first night. This was a more built up area so we didn't want to risk stealth camping in a place that would find us on private property. Problem was, there was the Quebec Music festival going on. Every campground within around 100 miles had no vacancy. We started looking at hotels and finally found one called Motel Le Banube in La Malbaie, Quebec. Fairly clean, not too expensive, and with a vacancy. All the necessary requirements.


    The most interesting thing I saw that day was at the motel, they had a band playing in their motel. I went in to ask a couple of questions and saw country western line dancing, being sung in French. Can't say I'd ever seen that before.


    Ends day 1.
    #1
  2. Mustang28027

    Mustang28027 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    180
    Location:
    Concord, NC
    Following. I REALLY want to find out about the TransLab. How much is paved versus gravel. Can a Universal Japanese Motorcycle do it on street tires?
    #2
    jackoamerica likes this.
  3. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,051
    Location:
    CT/NH
    Day 2 July 23,2017

    Started: 0713
    Ended: 1905

    Today's Mileage: 421
    Total Mileage: 948


    Today's Route:


    The weather started colder. Around 48 and only got to around 55. It rained every now and then sometimes moderately but not for very long.

    A couple out there on Urals with sidecars for 31 days from Pittsburg, NH.


    Rt 138 ferry:


    Curt's photo of what we think were a couple of whales while crossing on the Rt138 ferry:


    Manic Cinq (Five) Large dam


    Road goes on forever:


    Gagnonville is another ghost town in Quebec that I wanted to visit and camp overnight.

    Tent setup for the upcoming night next to a river in Gagnonville:



    Ends day 2.
    #3
  4. Red KLR

    Red KLR Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    Moncton , NB.
    Gagnon , no ville !
    #4
    Newfiebullet likes this.
  5. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,051
    Location:
    CT/NH
    There is a Gagnon and then on the maps there is a Ville de Gagnon - Gagnonville. On the map, it appears to me that Gagnon and Gagnonville are two different areas. Gagnonville is the ghost town. I'm just going by what the maps show. You may have more knowledge about the area though.

    upload_2017-8-10_15-40-14.png

    upload_2017-8-10_15-41-43.png
    #5
  6. Red KLR

    Red KLR Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    Moncton , NB.
    I see by the maps you provided why you would think that way and you may be right although I have never heard of it referred to anything other than Gagnon . The airport was known as Gagnon . I am no French language authority but Ville de Gagnon means town of Gagnon . The ghost town is the one on Rte 389 , the other one is somewhat removed from Rte 389 ; in any case it's an awesome ride ; I did the TLH a couple of years ago counterclockwise ; loved it !
    #6
    CavReconSGT likes this.
  7. Midwesttrekker

    Midwesttrekker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    110
    Location:
    O'Fallon, MO
    Do you have mobile/wireless data coverage up there, or connecting through some wifi?
    #7
  8. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,051
    Location:
    CT/NH
    The only connection I had to the outside world was through a Garmin inReach. I suspect in that northern area from Baie Comeau to Red Bay there is no cell coverage except maybe in the three or four towns in those northern areas. And you would only have coverage in those areas if you have either a international plan or Canadian plan.

    There were some hotels in the cities and I am told that the DOT buildings all have wifi. That is very few and far between though.

    KR
    #8
  9. Midwesttrekker

    Midwesttrekker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    110
    Location:
    O'Fallon, MO
    Ah, Ok. I thought you were posting while still on the trip! lol
    #9
  10. Newfiebullet

    Newfiebullet Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    533
    Location:
    Goose Bay, Labrador
    That's a google translation issue. The proper translation would indeed be "town of Gagnon".
    #10
    CavReconSGT likes this.
  11. 1/2crazedbikr

    1/2crazedbikr Go Big or Go Home!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    Oddometer:
    301
    Location:
    Deland, Florida
    Thanks for the report! Looking forward to the rest as I hope to head up that way next summer...
    #11
  12. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,051
    Location:
    CT/NH
    Day 3 July 24,2017

    Started: 0803

    Ended: 1631

    Today's Mileage: 290

    Total Mileage: 1238


    Today's Route:




    The weather started pretty cold. The temps eventually went up to 63 with no rain and beautiful skies. But, before that, we woke up to a surprise:






    Based upon what I had read, I had expected temps at night from 45 to 49. I was surprised at how cold it was that night. I had not brought sleeping equipment for temps below freezing so that night I was cold all night. Fortunately, during the riding we both had heated gear and that was the only night that it went below freezing.


    We eventually got to the border of Labrador:




    Stated on some of the gravel. About 60 miles of gravel in this section. During this run I got little wide in one of the turns and almost dumped the bike. I was able to recover but it was a wild ride.:




    During the trip we also can across an area where the train tracks crossed the road many times. There was a plant were they were doing a lot of mining and the trains were being used to move the material. Along the tracks near the processing plant we saw reddish water that we couldn't understand.




    There was a very long train that was very long and must have contained the ore that was being mined in the area.:






    I had some stickers made up for the trip that I wanted to put on some signs as I passed through the area. It has a QR code that people could use to look up information on the trip.


    After crossing this bridge which crossed over the Churchill river for the first time.:






    CONT>>>
    #12
    bobw, Tabasco, B10Dave and 2 others like this.
  13. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,051
    Location:
    CT/NH


    The Sticker


    I put this first sticker up.





    Just a little place to stop for a while. Bike still fully loaded.





    We stopped in Labrador City for gas. During the stop, this little guy came over with his mom. He loved motorcycles. His mom said that whenever he heard one he runs to the door to watch. I asked her if he wanted to sit on the bike and she said he would love it:




    When mom took him off the bike, he screamed so long that she eventually brought him back to sit on it for a little more time. But all good things must come to an end and he was shuttled into his car and they left. I heard him still screaming as they pulled out of the lot. Curt accused me of being an instigator.


    We eventually got to Churchill falls filled up with gas and had a late lunch which was beer battered cod that was good. The service was less than spectacular. This building contained a grocery, hotel, restaurant, and gift shop. There was no vacancy at the hotel so we kept moving. We were told we could camp on the side or rear of the local church. Curt and I pondered the pluses and minuses and decided to move on.




    We went outside the town a little way and looked at a road called Orma Lake rd. The intention was to drive this road to the end which was around 100 miles one way. When we got there and tried it, it was a much more difficult road to drive, especially on a heavily loaded bike. Between the ruts and roots and other items sticking out of the road up into the roadway. Not the standard gravel road. After driving it for a mile or so, we decided it was not worth doing for the whole distance.




    After leaving the Orma Lake road, we got back on the main road and continued east and found a spot a little further up the road, off the highway on a side road that was stealthy. It was an “abandoned” road and construction area that was used for access for the construction of the high-tension lines. We pulled into a corner of the area that was hidden from the main road and set up for the night:


    Curt setting up for the night.:




    My setup.:







    Ends day 3.
    #13
  14. 1/2crazedbikr

    1/2crazedbikr Go Big or Go Home!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    Oddometer:
    301
    Location:
    Deland, Florida
    Nice
    Nice campsite!
    #14
    CavReconSGT likes this.
  15. Red KLR

    Red KLR Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    Moncton , NB.
    [QUOTE


    Curt setting up for the night.:




    My setup.:







    Ends day 3.[/QUOTE]

    Love to read TLH reports , and especially interested in stealth camping locations !
    #15
    CavReconSGT likes this.
  16. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,051
    Location:
    CT/NH
    Day 4 July 25, 2017
    Started: 0702
    Ended: 1642

    Today's Mileage: 410
    Total Mileage: 1648



    Today's Route (in RED):
    upload_2017-8-22_9-21-41.png


    The temperature started around 45 degrees at wake-up. Rose to around 60 and went down to 55 with some light rain and clouds most of the day.


    When we left our campsite, I decided to drop off a sticker on the upright of one of the nearest signs.

    [​IMG]
    upload_2017-8-22_9-22-2.png




    Did I mention that there were some black flies? There were times it seemed like you could grab a handful in one swipe. And it only would be literally, a couple of minutes, before they would tell all their friends and we would have quite a convention of them. The only thing you could do was to jump in the tent, or be moving or if you were lucky, a good strong breeze.






    There was an older man from Florida we kept passing. Started with him way back on day 2. He was holding up traffic for a very long distance at that time. Today, we ran into him again and kept passing him then he would pass us. This went on for quite a while. We did talk to him at one point. He was traveling around in his camper. Started from Florida, said he was in Connecticut and now was up in Canada traveling the Trans Labrador highway like we were. He just pulls off into rest areas and sleeps when he gets done for the day.

    [​IMG]
    upload_2017-8-22_9-22-27.png


    We stopped in Goose Bay/Happy Valley and got gas and something to eat. We ate at the A&W.

    [​IMG]
    upload_2017-8-22_9-22-41.png



    CONT>>>>>>
    #16
    B10Dave and EdChap13 like this.
  17. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,051
    Location:
    CT/NH
    I had never eaten at one before and it was a good burger and onion rings. Goose bay is a Canadian Air Force base that has been in use since WWII. The Canadians and Americans use to conduct low level training there during later years. It was also a very active base during the Cold War. It was also part of the Pine Tree NORAD DEW line during the Cold War as well as a SAC base for US bombers. Now it’s a shadow of its former self but still in use. Before the addition of this road that we are riding, the only way there was by flying in or by ferry.

    [​IMG]

    upload_2017-8-22_9-24-47.png

    Heading south after leaving Goose Bay. This is called Veterans Memorial bridge south of Goose Bay crossing the Churchill river. It is without doubt one of the most erratic bridges to ride on I have ever encountered. I don’t know if it is because of the size of the openings, or the steel teeth that protrude, or a combination of them.






    [​IMG]

    For those that don’t ride motorcycles, I find steel bridges can be a challenge to varying degrees. Some are really no challenge but others can be a handful. But this one was the worst I have ever come across. I had read about others warnings about this bridge so I slowed down upon the approach to around 30 miles an hour. It still was fast enough to really feel the way you appeared to have no lateral control over the bike. It wandered by itself both left to right and back with no real purpose or control.

    [​IMG]

    upload_2017-8-22_9-25-13.png

    [​IMG]

    upload_2017-8-22_9-25-44.png

    upload_2017-8-22_9-26-2.png


    CONT>>>>>>
    #17
    mbabc, Tabasco, bobw and 1 other person like this.
  18. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,051
    Location:
    CT/NH
    upload_2017-8-22_9-40-8.png

    When we crossed, I decided that it would be a good place to paste another sticker. I pasted a sticker on the back of the sign and within ten seconds, a policeman appeared driving around the corner. We acted normal and they proceeded through. Curt was convinced that if we get in trouble we should just throw up one of these stickers and a policeman would appear. I didn’t want to test the theory but did keep my eyes open whenever I planned on putting another up.



    [​IMG]

    upload_2017-8-22_9-40-37.png

    [​IMG]

    upload_2017-8-22_9-40-50.png




    Curt found a great little spot out of traffic, not that there is a lot of traffic out here. At a sandpit. We saw some interesting tracks in the area and a hole that looked big enough that something might have been living in it with claw marks in the dirt on the side of the hill where the hole was.



    [​IMG]
    upload_2017-8-22_9-41-13.png


    Ends day 4.
    #18
    B10Dave, Midwesttrekker and JoeR68 like this.
  19. DukeMButu

    DukeMButu Minister of Culture

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    190
    Location:
    Coming to a town near you soon!
    Can a Universal Japanese Motorcycle do it on street tires?


    Yes, If the bike is light enough you can pick it up if you go down. This is not a high speed event. I rode with a guy on an Old Sportster 883 and he did it in style. If you are not in a hurry this is one of the classic rides in North America. If you only have two weeks of vacation, ask the Boss for four weeks or quit your job. This is a crowd pleaser - 'fo sho!
    #19
  20. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,051
    Location:
    CT/NH

    Sorry. Somehow I missed this.

    If you are heading from NC I would take 4 weeks. There is around 370 miles of gravel total. Some of it was very loose. I don't know about that bike so I really can't make an educated guess about it. I also don't know your skill level. You may be far more skilled than I. I was and am very happy I use TKC80's. If there is enough rain, there are areas that would get slick, I believe. Taking your time would help. But, you can be lulled into going 50-55 mph and then hit a section were 35 is too fast. Being able to spot those areas are key.

    Sorry I can't give you a more definitive answer. Good luck.

    KR
    #20
    bobw, Mustang28027 and B10Dave like this.