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Old 07-22-2013, 06:07 PM   #16
littlelionmonster OP
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Location: Shenandoah Valley VA
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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, 07:33 PM   #17
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Inspirational. I hope to do the same trip one of these days. Great writing and photos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlelionmonster View Post
Fabulous Dinner

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

Blixa screwed with this post 07-22-2013 at 07:39 PM
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:40 PM   #18
goosecreek
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Paul that snow looks real nice about now . I would love to take a ride like this .
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:20 PM   #19
littlelionmonster OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blixa View Post
Except for that photo. That's not right, man - you're on vacation!
Don't worry, I made up for the soup later in the trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goosecreek View Post
Paul that snow looks real nice about now . I would love to take a ride like this .
I think the Goosebay area had a couple feet of snow right before I came thru. Then it got up to 80 and it all melted. I was really lucky with weather in Labrador. Just the little bit of rain when I left Manic 5.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:43 PM   #20
IgoFar
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You got lucky. We rode the Relais Gabrial to Manic 5 section on 7/8 and it was by far the worst section of the trip. Deep gravel, deep sand, large rocks, grader berms, graders, trucks, dust, you name it. It didn't hurt my feelings one bit to finally get on tarmac for good.
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:13 AM   #21
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OK, time for the next installment.

Day 6. Goose Bay to Red Bay

Straight's Dog


Straight_8 and I spent a little while talking about what to expect on the stretch from GB to Port Hope and on to Red Bay. He's been all over the area and had some really good advice on routes and safety tips.

The long section to Port Hope was supposed to be in good shape and the section into Red Bay was supposed to be pretty rough and WINDY!

and check out ICEBERGfinder.com to see where I might see some bergs.

He showed me around the AF base quickly, then he headed into work.

I was messing around with the remote for the iphone camera. I needed a better tripod.




Then I gassed up, double checked the Tiger and headed out around 9. Wasn't sure where I was going to stop tonight, but I wanted to catch the Blanc Sablon ferry to NF in the morning. Just had to get close enough for that.




The bridge from hell. The grating on this made the bike feel so squirrelly, I was glad to see the other side.


Churchhill River. The government is in the process of building a dam, so I was glad to see this before the changes.


Then it was 400 km of gravel to Port Hope. About 20 kms into, I looked down and saw this on the GPS.


It made me laugh. Where else was I going to go?




Saw this guy rambling up the road. I was able to shut the bike down and coast a little closer to him. I was still a long way off, but he looked like a pretty good sized bear, compared to what we have here in VA.


Half way.


The road was, in my opinion, pretty good. I just decided to keep a steady pace for the day and ran between 90-100 kph and let the bike dance underneath me. Met a couple graders, but nothing as bad as the construction sections from the day before.

Even though this section was in the "middle of no where", there was a steady traffic flow. Enough that if something happened, it would be too long before someone would be by. The trucks and other cars were pretty decent to me. They would slow down so the dust wasn't too bad and when they would overtake me, they would usually wait until I signalled them to go around.



Almost made it on one tank. Got 380 before I stopped. I probably could have made it into Port Hope, but I didn't want to run out in a bad section of road.
Talked to a German couple just outside Port Hope as I was filling up. They were riding around NA for the next couple months. They were the first ADV'ish riders I had seen since I left the US.

Stopped and refueled the bike and me.


The weather had warmed up and I changed to my lighter gloves and take off a layer. Somehow, I spaced off the iceberg overlook but stopped to check at Mary's harbor and just happed to see a couple bergs floating.


Mary harbor to red bay SUCKED!!. Windy, roads sucked and then temp dropped a good 20 deg.

Frozen lake




Finally made it to Red Bay and the end of the gravel. I almost kissed the road. Road up to the hotel and asked about a room, but I didn't want to spend that much, so I stopped at a gas station and asked. Got a decent B&B that was just around the corner.

What the decor lacked, the view made up for.
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:44 AM   #22
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Day 7. Red Bay to ferry to st Anthony

After a good night sleep, I woke up at 430 again. Didn't have breakfast til 7 so just laid there enjoying the warm and hoping the ferry wouldn't be full. I was early in the season, so I wasn't too worried.

The B&B lady made good breakfast - 2 eggs and toast. She wasn't much of a talker and, coming from me, that's saying something. Loaded up and headed out. Wasn't to cold but the wind started to pick up once I climbed out of REd Bay.

Ran along to coast for awhile, saw a couple more bergs, topped off with gas, got a couple strange looks from locals


And made it to the ferry.


Was nice not to really have to push today.

not really sure what this is about. I didn't see the driver, so I can't confirm anything.




On the Ferry.


I found a seat in a quiet section until the bus load of Canadian Rangers moved in. I guess its like the Boy Scouts, but with girls. Good kids, just a little noisy.


So I moved downstairs and got a second proper ADV breakfast. Bacon, Sausage and coffee


Called home and talked to the wife. Was good to hear her voice. Today was my son's actual birthday day, but he's already had 3 parties so I think he'll be fine.



Got off the Ferry and headed to L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site It was a very windy ride up the coast and fought it all the way up.

Finally made it to the historic site.


Turned out that today was the first day it was open for the year!!





Found out the Pistolet Bay campground was closed so headed to St Anthony to eat and find a place to stay. Called around and landed in a nice b&b for $65. Not bad for a hotel quality and breakfast. I highly recommend the Trailsend B&B





Saw a road on the map for old American base so road out to find it. Led up to the cell tower that had excellent view of the bay and more ice ergs.





Headed back unloaded did some bike maint and worked on the plan for the rest of the trip. Turns out the ferry from Argentia to NS didn't start running until later June, so I needed to figure out how to get back and forth across the island and still do something else besides sit on the bike.
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:08 AM   #23
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Day 8 - st Anthony to Norris point

Slept in a bit then got ready and loaded up the bike. There was frost on the seat. Glad I didn't camp.


Good breakfast at the b&b. Talked to her for awhile and got a suggestion to stop by the salmon cave. River cut thru a ridge so the salmon run thru a tunnel. Nice ride cool and clear and the wind finally died down.

Saw the first moose of the day and a couple carribou.






Stopped and hiked around salmon pool. Near place. It had a couple camping spots and nice river to do some fishing.





Then kept rolling to arches park.



Picked a couple small rocks that caught my eye then called the Bonnie Bay hostel to check on a room.




I read HBN's RR where he had stayed here and wanted to check it. Its an old community hospital that has been turned into a hostel/library/gym. Here's their FACEBOOK page



Got here around 3 got the room and went to get some real food. AFter I unloaded, I forgot to take off the rok straps and it ended up getting it ripped off in the chain. Have to find some webbing a buckle to fix it.



Luckily, that is the worse thing that happened during the entire trip!!

Pam fried fish and fries for supper.


Stopped at the Gros Morne visitors center to figure out Friday. Then came back, found some desert and walked around a bit.



I was the only person in the hostel that night. Quiet. Luckily, the community guard dog was on duty. This was probably the ugliest dog I've ever seen.


View from the hostel deck. Looks like some weather is moving in.....
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:18 AM   #24
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The salmon pool looked intresting thanks for the link.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:37 AM   #25
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Nice LLM!

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Old 07-29-2013, 10:38 AM   #26
littlelionmonster OP
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quick Lunch time update - not many pictures from today.

Day 9 Norris point to Terra Nova park

Wet and cold ride. Woke up earlier but didn't leave til 7. Drizzled most of the day. Missed the Tim Hortons at deer lake so kept rolling till my feet got cold and went to Springdale?. Warmed up then off again. More drizzle nothing heavy but still cold. Had the gerbing cranked up the entire trip.

Stopped in gander at the air museum and found a grocery store. Air museum was smAll but interesting. Important base in WWII and used for Cuba and Russia to fly back and forth. Pictures of Casto sledding. Wouldn't see that in the USA.
Ninja trying to fix the plane


Gander COOP. Pretty decent selection of food. Got a couple apples for the road.


Made it to terra by 230. Grabbed a sight next to the shelter just in case and got set up thought the rain was going to catch up but never did. Made supper watched the squirrels run around. The little bastards are pretty brazen. They would chase each other around the tent, bike and almost up my pant leg.

Terra Nova has the nicest bathrooms. I almost set up camp in here.

A nice walk by the stream. Bugs weren't out yet either.


Was good to slow down and actually be warm. I actually was able to wear shorts for the first time in a week.

Caught up on some email.


tomorrow - B-36 crash site and St Johns!
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:27 AM   #27
skyguy
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Good stuff - keep it coming! I've been up in the Maritimes, but never made it to Labrador & Newfoundland. On the list...
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:48 PM   #28
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Day 10 terra nova - b36 crash - St. John


Day started slowly. No real hurry today. Short ride the crash site then couple hours to DaMurph house in St. John. Made breakfast packed up then stopped by store to check email and weather. Looked like rain so got going to site.

Had to chase this little guy off the table


Ride back to the sight was nice. Here's a link to another ADV'ers RR
B36 Crash near Clarenville

Another little fishing village back off the road. GPS actually took me right to the place. Just follow the road and go past the slate factory then follow the road for the quarry.


Only a little sign that would let you know about the site.




Short hike up to top of the mtn. To look at the wreckage.


Was a big Cold War bomber and the only thing in tact was the tail section. Thing must of explored when it hit.




Came down and started to rain so took off. Got back on the trans Canada. The narrow section of the island had lots of fog and wind. Stuck behind a pickup and just tried to keep moving. Finally made it to St. John.


While in Goose Bay, Straight_8 suggested I contact DaMurph in St. Johns for a place to stay. Plus a couple other RR mention meeting him and how great a host he is. Murph sent me a note and said no problem, we've got you covered.

When I got into St John, I called Murph and gave him the wrong address to meet me but made to his place a little later. Super nice guy and his sister lives in a little town that is just south my place in VA. Hung out for a bit and since it was actually warm. Did some laundry and enjoyed a little down time.

Time to air stuff out


Since the weather was nice, we ran to cape spear and thru down town past the docks.
Eastern most point in North America



St. John has a nest feel. Kinda like downtown Staunton in a bigger setting.

and it has a harbor.


Had an awesome dinner of spaghetti and met Danellia, Murph's special friend. We talked for awhile, then I crashed. 2 weeks on the road, ice bergs and 50 kph cross winds were catching up with me.
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:14 AM   #29
EnduroAV8R
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I'm doing the TransLab in September with a buddy of mine. What was cell service like on the trip? Especially on NL Island.

Great ride report. It's been helping us plan our trip.

Thx.
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:29 AM   #30
littlelionmonster OP
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I'm doing the TransLab in September with a buddy of mine. What was cell service like on the trip? Especially on NL Island.

Great ride report. It's been helping us plan our trip.

Thx.
Have fun! Early September is supposed to be a great time to visit.

Cell service on the TL was only in the towns. I knew I was getting close because all the txt messages would come thru at once on go off in the ear buds. It was kind of funny.

I don't remember exactly how service was in NF, since I didn't pay too much attention. Definitely had service in most of the towns, but there were sections of the TransCanada that didn't. I'd call it spotty at best.

You could also post up in one of the regional sites and ask.
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