Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Copper Canyon, Texas
Texas to Goose Bay, Labrador -Solo- 2010
I attempted this trip in August 2009 and cancelled it after riding two weeks during Hurricane season and dodging Hurricanes Bill and Danny. After getting to Maine, I decided that paying to go to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland so I could sit and watch rain was a poor choice! So back to Texas for Plan B….go in June of 2010.
Now Phase 1 of plan B, Amendment 6, Modification 3, Version 4, reprint and do-over twice (This is starting to sound like a government operation, isn’t it!) is now under way. Several friends offered to ride with me for several stages but most backed out and I rode with Eric for two days in Illinois. Most riders have more sense than to start a trip that required BOTH hot and cold weather gear, and survival & camping equipment.
My objective was to go all the way to Goose Bay, Labrador, tackle the Trans-Labrador Highway, camp out as much as possible, go slower, see more, take lots of photographs, see old friends, make new ones, stay off the super slab, use as many small roads as possible, and smell a lot of roses. This is the first trip that I have ever planned with no time frame except to be at ferries when I had to. I didn’t know when I would be back home and I decided to spend more time talking to folks along the way – especially the old veterans in the breakfast cafes along the way (now that I am one!)
Day 1 - June 6 (Odometer 46461) Low temp 80°, high102° in Denton, Texas. Stopped at the McDonalds in Whitesboro, TX. My ‘02 GSA looks like it has already hit a dozen yard sales:
Hustled up to Arkansas where there are no bad motorcycle roads! Ran up Hwy 123 from Clarksville to Harrison…always a great ride! Dodging buzzards, turtles, tourists (oh, I are one!), and the usual dead deer.
Piney River Bridge:
The Mt. Judea store sells T-shirts that say “I survived Hwy 123” – I passed on that one: I didn’t need to double my summer wardrobe yet!
I started looking for a campsite about 4:00 PM and found several state parks closed (seems the economy has hit a lot of states and these are high on the hit lists). I considered pulling off and finding a remote campsite – or like we said in Recon, a harbor site…however, here it could become a “kudzu cavern or coffin” and grow over the tent, bike and all by dawn! (like the song “The MTA”…. “Will he ever return….” That’s what happens to your mind when you listen to XM Radio while riding.) I also noticed that campgrounds are not popular on small back roads, and by 8:00 PM, I felt like a glazed donut so I opted for a small Mom and Pop motel near Poplar Bluff, MO. I know, you are saying to yourself: “what a wus!” Captain Morgan and I assumed the position!
Ending Odometer – 50,088 = 647 miles.
Day 2 - Poplar Bluff - low 83°, 94° high. I headed up into Missouri and drove east on Hwy 142 to Fisk, where I really appreciated the city park rest rooms for their instant availability and very clean condition (enough said- use your imagination!!) For the record, a lot of construction zones have porta-potties in case of any gastric distress!
Went to Cairo, IL to see Fort Defiance at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers but it was closed down, chained shut and overgrown! I then went north on Hwys 3 and 127 to meet Eric in Anna, Illinois. We went east to Golconda and Cave in Rock;
Cave in Rock:
This was a site of river pirates back in the day! There is also a small free ferry that goes over to Kentucky that I had taken before.
We then headed north on small back roads looking for campgrounds and found a city park in Grayville, Ill that was free, quiet and had all the necessities (rest rooms were a little rough). There were two restaurants downtown (1 Mile) and we had steaks at one and breakfast at the other. Eric and I flew helicopters in the Marines and Captains Eric (who has quit drinking) and PackRat had a great night (without Captain Morgan’s – the things we do for friends!) and assumed the position of “duty rack
Ending Odometer – 50412 = 324
"Packrat" IBA# 11205, AARP, ATP, CFI, A&P, USMC
Rigor Mortis will be the first indication that I've grown up!!
Yungas Rd.-Bolivia, Alaska '08 - Labrador '10 -