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Old 08-07-2010, 09:45 PM   #8
PackRat OP
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Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Copper Canyon, Texas
Oddometer: 1,455
Day 14 - June 19th Goose Bay to Port Hope Simpson
Did a little shopping for gifts, packed clean clothes and headed to the gas station. While I was refueling a couple walked up and asked where I was going and I said “Port Hope-Simpson”. They asked “On the new road?” and I nodded in the affirmative. They said “I don’t know what you heard about it but it is 10 times as bad!” He pointed at his Camry and told me he “Almost tore up my car and it is 2 weeks until the next ferry!” As I was smiling, the wife looked at my dirty 'Stitch riding suit and muddy GSA and said “You must like that kind of road” with a trace of venom in her voice. I continued to smile and said “Yes Ma’am”.

I got to this sign and figured with the prospect of lots of lower gear riding I would be glad I stuffed the fuel tank (7.9 gallons) until it dripped overboard. This road was not marked well the day I was there and this sign is after you turn off Hwy 500.

I was constantly doing fuel computations from gallons to liters and miles to kilometers.

The first bridge had a steel grate deck with larger grate spacing than I had ever seen before and it was a “white knuckle” crossing as the knobbies sought any track but the one I was suggesting! I kept my head up, watched the other end of the bridge and let the bike wander “a little” but don’t expect me to tell you how much! It’s similar to teaching a student to hover a helicopter: “Keep your head up, look way out ahead of the aircraft . . .” I tried to make the motorcycle hover across that bridge!

This phase III had lots of construction in the heavy category – rocks the size of watermelons being dumped by trucks. The first 60 miles was fine but then the heavy stuff started and continued to about 85 or 90 miles. Very slow with 18 wheelers going so slow their trailers were swaying about 30 degrees each way at 5 mph. One finally stopped and waved me around.

Temporary bridge:

Construction crew is changing a couple of tires on this big blue dormitory trailer:

Some of the pickup traffic was flying at 70- 80 mph, making dust clouds much like a crop duster! I was running as slow as 2-3 MPH over the bulldozer divots and as fast as 70 on the good gravel. I came close to dropping the bike in a cross ditch the dozer had made to drain a gravel pit, from which they were hauling large loads. Seeing my predicament, the flagman actually jumped out of my way!

One of several temporary bridges:

If I had to sit through this construction, so do you!

They did try to level it!

Alexis Bay, finally!

The bridge to Port Hope Simpson in the distance:

I started at 10:45 AM and got to Port Hope Simpson 265 miles later on reserve fuel at 5:30 PM = 6 hours + 45 minutes either in the saddle or on the pegs. Very challenging surface and a million potholes. Lots of very remote rivers, tundra-like marsh, tall evergreen trees and a long straight road.

I saw no wildlife, but did see tracks of some bikes ahead of me.

Stayed at Alexis Hotel ($60.00) which had a good restaurant.
Ending Odometer 54004 = 265 miles.
"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 -
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