I know that there are a lot of TLH write ups out there but I thought I'd throw mine out there...if nothing else, for my own keeping of the memory bits.
So here goes:
I'm not sure how the seed got planted, but somehow it got in there.
It weaseled its' way in, took root and wouldn't go away....the Trans Lab.
I did what I do:
--I read ride reports...lots of ride reports.
--I read web sites.
--I make check lists.
--I go on Google maps and plan routes.
It all sounded fantastic!
At the time 1,100 km
of gravel roads through a place that I didn't know the slightest thing about....Labrador.
Best of all, it was essentially in my back yard.
After a false start last year, I was bound and determined to go this year..especially after hearing that the roads are quickly being paved taking away part of the challenge...
What started with 4 dwindled down to 3 and then 2...
I was worried I would be making this trip by myself.
Would I do it?
I guess I'll never know...it didn't matter, I had a 2nd.
The date was set and bits and pieces were rolling in for the bikes.
We spent money on some things but others would suffer budget cuts: skid plates and good tires were a necessity but "frivolous" things like fancy luggage were replaced with duffel bags and garbage bags.
Ratchet straps, ropes and borrowed gear would be the theme.
Who cares, vacations were set...we were going!
Saint John, NB to Baie Comeau, PQ = 626 km
Just like MIB, I was about to put on the last suit I'd ever wear (at least for 9 days).
We had a fairly long day planned to catch the ferry at Matane, PQ for 5 PM but it was all paved...how hard could it be.
We were chomping at the bit a ready to hit the road...though the weather was looking a little sketchy, we shoved off from Jeff's place at 7:30 AM sporting our sweat-lodge replicating rain suits (sorry no photo).
The bikes were shiny and clean.
My orange 2011 with 13,000 km and Jeff's blue 2010 with 10,000 km.
A short while into the trip we had a luggage malfunction.
Jeff felt the bike lurch and we pulled over to find that his ratchet strap had cut through and busted his signal light....oops.
*Watch for the yellow Dollarstore rope that held things together admirably the rest of the trip.
After getting that out of our systems, we actually made good time going up through Chipman, Doaktown, Miramichi and Bathurst (all places we have been to too many times to count).
More fun came when we came to the end of New Brunswick and I realized that for all my planning I forgot to actually find out what exits one should take when trying to get to a ferry somewhat off the beaten path...2nd oops.
Minor hiccup and we had it to the land of half price beer...
Blasting through Quebec on our way to the ferry...this would be indicative of things to come.
Straight as an arrow roads that go on for ever.
The road surface would get a lot better though...
Doing some stretches on the way to the ferry....600 kms on a KLR seat will do that to a fella'
And we made it!
The first milestone reached...the ferry, our ticket across the St Lawrence and into Labrador...the best words "Reserve pour Motos
We're on top of the world!
Champions...no one can defeat us...
Is that a ferry? Good thing they don't mind the fog...
We were given the signal, you're at the front of the pack motorcycles...lead us in.
Lead us to Labrador...
I put on my helmet and thumb the starter...expecting the 651 cc thumper to explode into life...NOTHING.
I check again...cycle the key.
Surely there is some mistake...I thumb the starter button several times even though there is no beautiful green
light staring back at me.
It must be in gear...
It must be the sidestand...
It must be....DEAD
The attendant is starting to give me the old googly eyes...
I tell him no problem and try to jump start the bike going down the ramp into the ferry.
Shamefully I push my bike over to the bike area and strap it down.
I've been defeated...for now.
Painfully I walk away from my bike.
This can't be happening...
Jeff and I head top side where I run over the circuit in my head trying to figure out what it could be...
Surely it must be the main fuse?
Luckily I have 1.75 hours to sit there and worry about it...
I hope I don't have to see you again.
Somehow I make it through the ferry ride and finally get back to my baby.
If you thought pushing a fully loaded KLR into a ferry is fun, try pushing it out...
I think that I could have picked up the bike and chucked it up the ferry ramp.
Once on level ground started checking the obvious things: main fuse looked good...I pulled it out of the rubber holder and checked it myself...TWICE.
Pulled the tank off and panels thinking something was shorted out...but it didn't make sense.
We then tried jump starting the bike FOUR times in the parking lot....
Mother F*%ker let me tell you that the only thing heavier that a KLR....is running beside a KLR pushing it and then trying to jump start it.
The last time Jeff and I dropped it in the parking lot...can you say crash bars?
Needless to say, the people in the parking lot waiting for the ferry were getting quite a show (and with no cover charge).
I was just about to start ripping parts of Jeff's bike to troubleshoot pig-a-saurus when Jeff asked me what the red capped thing was above the "main fuse" that said FUSE on it....
Well obviously Jeff, that's the main fuse for the 2nd gen KLR's....
I think you know where I'm going with this....
An important lesson was learned that night...I'm not sure exactly what it was...but it was important.
Finally made it to the Hotel Le Comte in Baie Comeau.
What a first day!
TO BE CONTINUED......