Day 5 manic5 to goose bay / Happy valley
Woke up about 330 to the sound of rain drops. Laid there awhile longer so it could get light then packed up and headed out. Knew I should have gone done to the dam last night for some pics. Everything was fogged in. Oh well
First 100km were gravel to Relais Gabriel. Made good time, saw a couple porcupines and enjoyed the ride. I was a little worried about riding this section. Didn't know what the trucks would be like, what the road was like, etc.
This was probably the best section of gravel for the entire trip. The rain made the road just sticky enough so the traction was excellent. No graders or thick gravel sections. I took it easy at first, but 20 km into it, I was cruising around 100 then looked down and was doing 120.
No need to go that fast, so I'd slowed down and tried to keep it steady.
Stopped for breakfast at Relais Gabriel then headed out of the new pAved section.
It was a sweet section, just set the cruise on 120 and watch the km click by. I flew by the ghost town and didn't stop. Then hit the older section of pavement to firelake. Quick break to put in some gas then next 100 km of gravel to fermont.
Couldn't get a good feel on the road for this section so slowed down quite a bit. Luckily the rain had stopped, so I only had the road to worry about. The road surface was hard packed with marble sized gravel kind of sprinkled around it spots.
The mine near Fremont is huge.
Stopped on fermont for gas and a quick walk in the "walled city". They have everything there. Gift store, hotel, restaurant, strip club. It was a little early in the day though........
au revoir Quebec
Headed to lab city for soup at Tim Hortons and checked email.
Earlier in the week, I was checking out the Canadian thread and saw that one guys was in Goose Bay. I pm'd him to let him I'd be coming through and he generously offered me a place to crash.
I sent Straight_8 a note that I was still coming but would be til the evening.
The first section from LAb city to Churchill Falls was really good, fast pavement. Some guy passed me must have been doing 150. I don't really remember how far the pavement section lasted, but the gravel started and so did the construction sections. They were laying down about 2" of gravel that was compacted, but that didn't really make a difference on the bike. I could only manage about 40-50 kph through these sections. I had a couple close calls when I would hit a thick section. Nothing serious, but just enough to remind me where I was and how long a day it had been.
Gas stop in Churchill Falls then the last w 250 km. 160 km are gravel with construction. Thick new gravel that would just throw the bike everywhere. Slowed way done and just chugged along. Don't remember any real good sections.
Finally got to pavement and followed a truck into goose. He was rolling pretty good and I knew if I got in front I'd start pushing it again and wasn't in any shape to do that. I almost kissed this sign.
Found Staight_8's place. He met me with a big smile and a cold beer!! ADV'ers Rock!
I unloaded and he took me up to the overlook to check out the town. Back in for some excellent pizza then time to crash.
It was a really long day. A little over 13 hours on the bike and somewhere around 650 miles and all kinds of road and weather conditions. Looking back on the day, I feel like a missed a bunch, but I knew that going in. It would have been nice to be able to camp at Ranger Lake and enjoy the almost complete isolation, but the ice on the lakes didn't make that to appealing.
I can't thank Straight_8 enough for opening his place and making me feel at home.
Funny story - while gassing up in Churchill Falls, the Orkin lady stopped to fill up her truck and kind of gave me a strainge look as I was leaving. Didn't think much about it at the time. People always kind of look at me strangely. When I got to Straight_8's, he said his friend saw me earlier and wanted to check and make sure I got in. A couple minutes later, the Orkin lady showed up. Just goes to show how small the world is, even in such big country.