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Old 06-07-2014, 04:26 PM   #1
NorWis OP
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2up to Labrador - Another father/son adventure

Here we go again!

We're leaving Sunday morning!

I had planned on leaving on Saturday June 7th but we had a huge storm system move thorough and I did not want to start our trip being miserable.

It was a toss up as to go back and attend the D2D and ride the Dempster or do something a bit different and ride to Labrador/Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, etc. We opted to see Labrador and experience the "other" side of Canada.

I didn't plan this or overthink this trip like I did going to Prudhoe Bay. We had a great trip but leaving much of it unplanned is what we want to do this time. It's all about the journey rather than the destination.

I did however pan a preliminary route for the first 8 days just to give us a path to follow. I wanted to avoid the traffic and congestion with Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City so I planned a much more northern bypass:



This is just my thoughts and not written in stone. Any other ideas? I did not plan a route after hitting the ferry at Blanc Sablon. We'll also be staying on Prince Edward Island and hoping to hit Niagara Falls on the way home. I've seen it but Dylan has not.

A few photos of the trip preparation are below. After Alaska and the Dalton my shocks bit the dust as well as the damn fuel strip. I scheduled them to be replaced a few weeks ago when I was finally able to afford the hefty price tag.

The shocks after being installed at Nicks BMW (now Tytler's Cycle):



The Dalton and my trip on the Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail last year didn't help the longevity.

The long winter was miserable but I stayed healthy throughout the entire winter!

Then it hit the fan about two weeks ago. Came down with a sinus infection and pneumonia!

I went to my physician and explained my dilemma about leaving and not wanting to have to deal with health issues on the road in another country and he said; Ok, we'll start some antibiotics:



It took me about 7 days to feel like I had the energy to get things prepped and packed. That doesn't include riding the bike and camping for the next 3 weeks!!!

I had a hell of a time getting new tires mounted and everything packed up.
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2up to Prudhoe - A father/son adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=814026

2up to Labrador - Another father/son adventure
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=984421
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Old 06-07-2014, 05:04 PM   #2
NorWis OP
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I have been using Heidenau K60's or TKC 80's on my bike. I couldn't get the K60's and I thought we would be doing a whole lot more paved than gravel so I opted for Metzler Tourances.

The Tourances laying in the sun to help "ease the pain":



My K60's still had some life but I was bitten by needing new tires before I was ready on our previous trip. I would have gladly put on another but these are so popular this time of year I couldn't get one (in time):



Shoeless in the rear:



New shoe mounted on the back. What a pain in my behind. I hate paying someone to do it yet I REALLY hate to do it myself. I don't do it enough to be very good at it. My enlarged belly from being lazy this winter didn't help either!!! :loll



The front complete:



The crap under the bike is ash from my grill earlier that I hadn't cleaned up. Remember that lazy attitude from this winter?

I had taken a trip last fall with some friends along the Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail. It was a blast but I really wish I had a smaller bike and a bit more experience on trail riding. I finished the entire trail from Galena, IL to Cornucopia, WI with only minor damage:



Looking out across Lake Superior at the end of the trail:



The entire group at the finish:



That was fun and for me VERY challenging. The sand and almost all gravel gave me a lot of "pucker" moments!

For more photos with no ride report you can get them at:

http://treynolds.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/TransWisTrail

I like showing off our great state!!!

I sheared off one of my fog lights. I removed the stock lights last year but opted to reinstall them repaired and also add a couple more lights. They make us a bit more visible now:



I'm not sure how much we'll be posting while actually on the trip. However, if you are interested here is the SPOT link if you want to follow along?

https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php...1538c8e41a72ec

Our plan is to be back home for our towns July 4th celebration!

Todd
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2up to Prudhoe - A father/son adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=814026

2up to Labrador - Another father/son adventure
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=984421
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Old 06-21-2014, 04:17 AM   #3
Canadian FJR
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Looking forward to the full report on the Trans Lab. Glad things worked out with your tire.







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Old 06-21-2014, 05:25 AM   #4
nick949eldo
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From your map (although its hard to tell because of the scale) it looks as though you are taking 144 north from Sudbury to 101, then Timmins before heading east.

I would thoroughly recommend Highway 560 across to Shining Tree and Gowganda and Elk Lake to Englehart.

http://goo.gl/maps/z4EVL
(check it out on streetview)
It's a paved, scenic and twisty road and one of my favourites.

Have a great, safe trip.

Nick
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:12 AM   #5
henryporter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorWis View Post
I have been using Heidenau K60's or TKC 80's on my bike. I couldn't get the K60's and I thought we would be doing a whole lot more paved than gravel so I opted for Metzler Tourances.

The Tourances laying in the sun to help "ease the pain":



My K60's still had some life but I was bitten by needing new tires before I was ready on our previous trip. I would have gladly put on another but these are so popular this time of year I couldn't get one (in time):



Shoeless in the rear:



New shoe mounted on the back. What a pain in my behind. I hate paying someone to do it yet I REALLY hate to do it myself. I don't do it enough to be very good at it. My enlarged belly from being lazy this winter didn't help either!!! :loll




Todd
This winter?!
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:53 PM   #6
NorWis OP
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Day 6 continued

Yup, we're on route 389. As you can see...in the rain, on the gravel. Oh, well. What's a little adventure, right?



We were glad our suits kept the rain out and that we were dressed pretty warm. We learned our lesson in British Columbia that taking layers off to cool off is a LOT easier than trying to dig them out and warm up once chilled. You can see Dylan getting prepped to get back on the bike. Even pulling his buff up high on his face.



Damn choice of tires is really starting to haunt me. You can see that there is quite a bit of sand on the road, too. Pay attention to that detail. Not the sand. The choice of tires. It will reappear and you WILL be tested!



Heading almost due north. Making good time. We don't race. We're heavy and I'm old. Don't want to have to have Dylan put into practice all the things we've talked about. Dad's epi-pen is where? What button do you push on the SPOT if we have a problem? Where's the key to the satellite phone? We had gone over all those things before we left. He's prepped and a smart young man. He can manage in a crisis if we (I) need it.

We cross the 51st Parallel. These little signs creep up on you!



Dust? You are kidding me! The sandy areas dry quick. Gotta ask yourself what's better; A little bit of rain to moisten the road or dry road and dust. I'm going to go with dry.



Trees are getting shorter again. Not like the tundra we experienced on the Dalton but noticeably shorter vegetation. You can see for a long way on these straight areas.



Why you ask would you take a picture of a gravel road? Well, that's to show people, because you can't "feel" it, so you have to "see" it. Imagine what it would be like walking on a counter top covered with marbles. That's what some portions of 389 were like. Hard pack with fresh gravel kind of floating on top.



At one point the back of the bike took a little, ok, big whoopty do, that's one of those technical terms, and Dylan tapped me on the shoulder and said "I almost wet myself".

We had many close calls like that and it helped me keep things in check and slowed me down. If you are riding the TLH or 389 this year...be careful.

Sometimes you felt kind of silly sitting at a stop light and you can plainly see there is nobody coming. In this one there is a vehicle coming through.



We needed to get off and rest a bit so we stopped at a "Rest Area" in Relais Gabriel. It had a little pavilion and picnic table. We snacked and drank some water. A gentleman drove up to the bike as we were leaving and was interested in our trip. He said he came up here fishing 20 years ago and never left. He and his wife have a place just a bit south. Told us some history and points to try and look for on our trip. He said he likes talking to the bike riders cause they are so nice and friendly. Very nice guy.

That's a long straight stretch of road.



I couldn't help myself here. I know it's graffiti but it made me chuckle.



I know this isn't the "Top of the World" highway. I've been on that! It's close though!!!!



OMG, I know some may not agree but I was REALLY glad to hit pavement again. I was tired. This gave both of us a bit of a second wind from having to constantly be on edge. Also gave my "pucker string" a rest....



Still a whole lotta road out there in front of us!



The terrain was again changing. This is so cool to be able to, up close, witness the environmental changes that were taking place. I have a a great appreciation of our environment and revel in taking it all in.



Several areas like this can be found along 389 (and the TLH). I kept being told to "just pull off and camp" but didn't feel comfortable doing that. Had I been alone or didn't have a youth with me I may have.



A distant view of Lake Manicouagan. What a spectacular natural resource.



The obvious scars of a forest fire. I read a ride report while researching our trip that must have happened during the authors trip. Route 389 had been closed because of smoke, fire, safety, etc.







I've never been labeled as being "very smart" and here is proof in this series of photos.

As we approached the bridge over Rivière Hart Jaune, I started the Contour helmet cam. I then proceeded to begin taking photos while the camera was "rolling". Dylan was not happy.

The video first:



Then the photos I took:







Yes, it's a wooden bridge. Don't see many of those where I'm from.



Taking a digger here would not be cool.

The amount of water going by was a bit unsettling.





Dyaln was not a happy camper. Too many gotcha moments lately! You've got to give him a lot of credit for hanging in there and being a great passenger!

We still have a long way to go yet today. We've tried to stop and rest more often so that we can, hopefully, make it to Labrador City.

Another selfie. I'm getting better, right?



More day 6 coming...
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2up to Prudhoe - A father/son adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=814026

2up to Labrador - Another father/son adventure
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=984421
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:02 PM   #7
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On these gravel roads, some TKC80 would be the minimum knobbie tire you'd want. Tourance are indeed too slick for that. The front wheel must have been floating all around. You are brave my friend ;-)
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:40 PM   #8
nick949eldo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MassiveLee View Post
On these gravel roads, some TKC80 would be the minimum knobbie tire you'd want. Tourance are indeed too slick for that. The front wheel must have been floating all around. You are brave my friend ;-)
People spend far too much time agonizing over the tyres they think they need for the TLH, as if the tyres alone are going to be the panacea for all their real or imagined troubles. The key is matching road speed to the rider's ability, regardless of the bike or tyres. The K70's on my Eldo were more than adequate. Knobblies are no special help on the kind of surface which one finds on the TLH and 389.

Nick
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:15 PM   #9
NorWis OP
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Day 6 continued

Village of Gagnon

I'm unsure why but I was fascinated by the story of Gagnon. I wanted to camp here but I was so tired and we needed to push on to Lab City. After we went through Dylan said it was kind of "spooky" seeing all the remnants of a city but no buildings or even people.

The is a video of the ride through Gagnon. You can see the sewers, the boulevard in the middle of the highway, the curbs. Imagine people living here, shopping, growing up, growing old. Where were you born? Where did you go to school? Oh, well, the town is no longer there....



I wanted to spend some time in Gagnon but we really needed to push on. I want to keep this section of day 6 separate from the next part so I'll end it here for now.

More coming...
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2up to Prudhoe - A father/son adventure
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2up to Labrador - Another father/son adventure
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Old 06-21-2014, 06:13 AM   #10
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When you'll come down south from Chibougamau toward Roberval and Lac-St-Jean region, don't hesitate to contact me if you need anything. Have a great ride!

From my two big thumbs...
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Old 06-21-2014, 06:26 AM   #11
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Just saw the date... Anyway, if anyone needs help, just PM me!

From my two big thumbs...
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Old 06-21-2014, 06:49 AM   #12
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checked out your Spotwalla page, looks like you've had a good trip so far and are not far away. If you are coming through New Brunswick and need anything give me a holler.

I'm looking forward to some pics of the trip and especially interested in the condition of the TLH and how much is still unpaved.

thanks for posting.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:22 PM   #13
NorWis OP
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We're off!

Our parting shot as we left for three weeks on our adventure. An adventure it was, too!



Very few photos were taken the first few days. I've traveled this path more than once and didn't think we would see much that would warrant the camera to come quite yet. I was wrong!

We saw three Bald Eagles and a moose along M28 as we headed toward Sault Ste. Marie, MI. She was standing along the highway and folks were pulled over and out of their cars taking photos. She was looking a bit edgy to me. It didn't take us long to get back ingot he groove of riding together. Dylan has proven himself to be a great passenger!

We stayed at the Aune Osborn campground. It is right on the river and felt as if we could reach out and touch the ships as they were passing. It was really windy and took both of us to hold the tent from blowing away.

Dylan relaxing after getting camp set up.



After camp was setup and we worked all the kinks out of our bodies we went down to the river to see the ships going by.

We were only about a mile from the locks. I was amazed at the amount of ships and the frequency they were going by. The campground attendant said they got such a late start this spring it has been non-stop.

A few of the ships we saw go by in the couple of hours we were watching.







A video, too:



Dylan took this shot and was trying to get the either the sun reflection with a rainbow from the spraying water you see in the distance or the "beams" of light. He couldn't remember:



A great day with great weather, that won't be the case the entire trip...hint, hint.

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2up to Prudhoe - A father/son adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=814026

2up to Labrador - Another father/son adventure
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=984421
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:26 AM   #14
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Sounds like you're having a great trip so far! Good for you! And it's probably something Dylan is going to remember for the rest of his life. Wonderful!

Please give lots of detail about the Trans-Lab... where to camp, get fuel, showers, etc. etc. I'm planning to do this myself (so far all alone) in a counter-clockwise direction starting on Aug. 1st. So I'm following threads like yours with great interest.

Ride safe! And watch out for bears!

Eldor
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:39 PM   #15
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Watching your report
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