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Old 07-16-2013, 09:43 AM   #1
littlelionmonster OP
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Corporate Downsized - Screw it, I'm doing the TranLab

Alright, I head into work after a long weekend at the Outer Banks. Check my email and there's a meeting request from my manager. No big deal, happens all the time. Walk in the room, 10 other people and the HR manager are looking glum.

Most of you know whats next. Typical speech, business is down, blah, blah. Pack up your stuff and get out.

5 minutes later, I'm in the car headed home. Call the wife since she's on spring break with the kids - no don't come home, I'm just going to have a couple beers in celebration and go riding for the next couple days.

So what to do? We've got money saved up, since this isn't the first this has happened. With only two weeks vacation time, its hard to plan any type of decent trip.

What to do???

Luckily, I had just signed up for a track day at VIR in a couple weeks. Money's already spent, so better do that. First time on the track, so a big learning curve. Only got chewed out by the instructor once for being stupid.

The Speed triple ROCKS!

So what's next? Work on the resume, get a couple interviews lined up, which leads to the next opportunity for me. But there is no way I'm ready to get back to the grind. So I decide to head north for the Translab before its paved over and all the rivers are dammed.

I left on Memorial Day weekend and spend 2 1/2 weeks riding the Tiger. Quebec, Labrador, Newfoundland, NS(briefly) and Bay of Fundy. Met some great people, saw some amazing country and then spent another week and a half in Maine with my wife and kids.

Downsized! Hell yeah!







Lunch break is over. More later.
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Corporate Downsized - Screw it, I'm doing the TranLab

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Old 07-16-2013, 12:39 PM   #2
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Good for you for not moping around, I would have been puking my guts out.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:15 PM   #3
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Awesome stuff, looking forward to the rest, and good luck with the job search....when you are ready to get back to the grind.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:41 PM   #4
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Day 1. Staunton VA to Jim Thorpe PA via 1st grade class field trip.


My family was headed to Jim Thorpe for the holiday weekend and my son had a field trip too. Since we were trying to minimize the cars I gave my wife a ride to school with her wearing my pants. Was funny watching her strip down in the school parking lot.


Chilly day but fun watching him run around with classmates. I really enjoyed my time off and being able to hang out with my sons. Went on a couple field trips and taught the youngest how to ride his strider bike



Ended up leaving Harrisonburg around 3 PM and road balls out up 81. Really windy and kept getting colder as trip went. Hit some light rain once I got on 209 in pa. Made it to cabin but keys were not in lock box. Had to wait for cleaning lady to show up. 330 miles in 6 hours.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:49 PM   #5
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Day 2. Jim Thorpe to Bennington vt.

Nice ride traffic wasn't bad for holiday. Followed 209 up thru ny then kept heading north till hit rt 7 in vt.

For some reason, I did not take any pictures of the ride. I used to carry my camera on a next strap so I could take moving pics, but the new camera doesn't work for that. Its seems that once I get rolling, I don't like to stop.

Stayed at Woodford State Park just east of Bennington. Bugs were thick and I was tired. Got a big beer and some chocolate, made supper and crashed about 830.


Fell asleep listening to the owls.

Tomorrow Quebec!
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:52 PM   #6
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Congrats on your first track day, they are addicting, take a good look at your checkbook because that is the last time you will see it at that balance
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:58 PM   #7
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Lookn' forward to the next installments.

And how's that Tiger treating you? I've got about 20k relatively trouble free miles on mine now.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:30 PM   #8
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Please continue! The TransLab is on my list.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBlurr View Post
Congrats on your first track day, they are addicting, take a good look at your checkbook because that is the last time you will see it at that balance
No doubt! Once I get things a little more settled, I'm planning another one.

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Lookn' forward to the next installments.

And how's that Tiger treating you? I've got about 20k relatively trouble free miles on mine now.
Hey Tom - I have no complaints about the Tiger. I'm kind of embarrassed, but I only have 9k on it. The only thing I did during the trip was lube and tighten the chain and check the tires. And a loose battery terminal on the way home.

The stair tread mud flap is still hanging tough!

I'll try and get another update during lunch today. Started the new job last week, so still getting adjusted to things.
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlelionmonster View Post



Hey Tom - I have no complaints about the Tiger. I'm kind of embarrassed, but I only have 9k on it. The only thing I did during the trip was lube and tighten the chain and check the tires. And a loose battery terminal on the way home.

The stair tread mud flap is still hanging tough!

I'll try and get another update during lunch today. Started the new job last week, so still getting adjusted to things.
Paul- Good to hear and congrats on the new job.
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:11 AM   #11
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Hey Paul I am in for this, glad the bike is treating you good.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:54 AM   #12
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Day 3 Bennington to Quebec City

I like Vermont, but the 50 mph speed limit sucks. For some reason, I was really cold when I woke up. Thought I had enough clothes on, but it took me awhile to wake up and get going. Left camp at 7 AM and stopped at the Bennington monument then hit scenic 7 north. 40-50 mph the entire way to Burlington.

It was my sons birthday, so I stole his green ninja figure for some company. He was my little mascot for the trip.


Space - time vortex in Bennington. I remember reading about ability of the Tiger 800 to bend time and space and now we have proof!!

Bennington Monument - this things was huge.

Pretty country lots of garden centers and it was gas sale day!!

I passed a number of renewable energy installations in Vermont




Because I grew up on a farm. Used to spend the entire month of June riding/ driving a John Deere tractor


Made it to Burlington around 1030 Found some breakfast and walked around downtown a bit. After camping last night I decided to get a hotel in Quebec since I was pretty beat this morning, I got that reserved. Also found some capri long johns at the Gear Exchange store. $20 for nice merino wool!! I ended up wearing them for the next 2 weeks.

Headed north on Rt 2 thru Grand Isle and crossed into Canada at a lazy border crossing.

I think this is Whiteface Mt. Yes, that is snow. The guys at the Gear store said they got a couple feet 2 or 3 days ago.


With no big welcome sign so took a pic of French stop sign.



I originally planned go thru Sherbrook and Thetford Mines, but ended up wondering around the local farm roads, then just followed the freeways to Quebec. I guess I was tired of only going 50 mph.
Ninja was confused by all the strange writing on the trucks.


I hit rush hour traffic in Quebec city and no pics. Found the hotel and got settled. Hit the subway across the street for some dinner. Think I surprised the guy behind the counter when I asked him "parlez-vous anglais".

Spent the rest of the evening trying to figure out how long it would take to get across Labrador. I thought I spent enough time laying out the routes, but somehow, I forgot most of that stuff. I also did it on purpose. Usually I layout the route, drop it in the GPS and follow it. I didn't do that for this trip since I wanted to make up a lot of this as I went.

Tomorrow - Manic 5
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Corporate Downsized - Screw it, I'm doing the TranLab

Wife and kids left, I'm going to WV
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:33 PM   #13
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Day 4 Quebec to Manic 5 Hotel Lenergie

Got a good jump out of the hotel then spent longer then I thought getting gas, cash & breakfast. Tim Horton's is good stuff but twice in a day got old.


Great ride along the shore of the St Lawerance River. Some how I did not take pics of the big waterfall just outside Quebec City. Crazy scenery and good roads til Baie Comeau.



Came around the corner to what I thought was an accident, but the cable guy just needed to pull a cable over the road.



Crossing the Saguenay River



Got to baie comeau about 1230 had lunch at Tim Hortons again then headed out to Manic 5. My original plan was to try and make it to Reis Gabriel, but the 200 km of twisty, bumpy roads really kind of took it out of me. It was hard to keep eyes on the road from trying to look around. The ground is either rock, sand or bog. Thought I caught air on a couple of frost heave bumps.





Got to Manic 5 around 5 so not especially good time. Got gas and asked about a room and just decided to call it a day. Last section was really took it out of me and since the next section was 100 km of gravel, seemed like a good decision.


Power company vehicles


Fabulous Room


Fabulous Dinner


Tomorrow - Goose Bay - Happy Valley
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Wife and kids left, I'm going to WV
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Old 07-22-2013, 05:07 PM   #14
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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


Into Labrador!!!


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.
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:33 PM   #15
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Inspirational. I hope to do the same trip one of these days. Great writing and photos.

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Fabulous Dinner

Except for that photo. That's not right, man - you're on vacation!

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