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Old 07-13-2007, 06:07 PM   #1
DRZ400SK4 OP
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Joined: May 2005
Location: Newfoundland
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A Little Ride Across Newfoundland

St. John's to Rocky Harbour to Port Au Port Peninsula to Rocky Harbour to Trout River to Rocky Harbour to St. John's.

2,260 kms in three and a half days.

My good buddy Lorenzo decided to brave a whole lot of painful saddle time, and courageously join me on my planned trip from St. John's, to do some touring on the West Coast of the Island of Newfoundland. He ended up following me for 2,060 kms of the total 2,260 km trip. Not bad, considering he was riding a bike that was originally sold as a non-street-legal dirtbike (KLX400R). That's just gotta hurt! I was riding my trusty 2007 model Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, which is an ideal mount for this type of long-distance cross-island trip.

Day 1...

We left St. John's at 9:00 AM. Weather was sunny as far as Grand Falls, and cloudly and dry all the way to Gros Morne National Park. We arrived at 6:30 PM after travelling 720 kms.

Day 2...

We headed south, back down Route 430 and Route 1, through Deer Lake along the beautiful Humber Valley, through Corner Brook, then westward to Stephenville. Our West Coast buddy 'Jon' (a.k.a. 'CoolHand') was waiting for us at the local Tim Hortons coffee shop, despite the fact that we were an hour and a half late, due to a late start from Gros Morne National Park. As soon as I suggested how great it would be if CoolHand could join us on a trip around the historic and scenic Port Au Port Peninsula, he was on it. His brother offered him his brand new CBR, and away we went. A slow ride around the bottom half of the PAPP, was followed by an extremely 'spirited' ride across the top half of the loop, once we realized we might run out of daylight, and have to ride through Gros Morne National Park in the dark. The Gros Morne area has one of the highest moose populations of any area in North America, so riding through there in the dark is generally a VERY bad idea.

Despite our best efforts to make time, after leaving to head back northward, we ended up riding through Gros Morne Park in the rain, as it was getting dark. We were very surprised not to see one moose along the entire 70 km run from Deer Lake to Rocky Harbour. Whew!

Total riding distance for the day was 590 kms.

Day 3...

Lorenzo had racked up 1,300 kms in 36 hrs on day 1 and day 2, and his body was starting to seriously feel it. So he slept in while I headed off down to Trout River and Woody Point. It was blisteringly hot down there, with temps well over 30 degrees Celsius, down along the sheltered side of Bonne Bay. The Tablelands Mountains were as awe-inspiring as it gets in Newfoundland & Labrador. They are the oldest exposed part of the Earth's mantle anywhere, and always seem to have some snow left on the tops to make photos look a little more postcard-like.

Total distance for me on Day 3 was 230 kms.

Day 4 (Friday the 13th!)...

Time to pay the piper! Rocky Harbour to Badger saw us riding through 252 kms of rain. Central Newfoundland welcomed us with sunny skies. When we reached Eastern Newfoundland, the hellish test of will began. From Clarenville to St. John's we had to deal with thick fog, rain, and high winds. Just no joy in it, let me tell ya!

We somehow made good time crossing the island from west to east, despite the bad weather. I pulled into my driveway at 5:15 PM.

Total distance for day 4 was 720 kms.

We had no flats, no breaksdowns, no crashes, and only saw one moose, and it was dead.

Here's some snaps...



Bonne Bay...


A 'sign shot' to make it official...


Bonne Bay...


Mid-park area...


Woody Point lighthouse...


Tablelands Mountains, on the road to Trout River...


The 'Cliffs' on the south side of the Port Au Port Peninsula...


Our rented cabin at Rocky Harbour...


Cape St. George...


Total on the trip meter from my driveway in St. John's, and back...
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DRZ400SK4 screwed with this post 03-04-2008 at 08:57 AM
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Old 07-13-2007, 06:36 PM   #2
cmoore
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Great Pictures. I just returned from your beautiful island and your pictures bring a tear to my eyes. I wish I could spend more time there. I found the Port Au Port Peninsula area to be the best kept secret of the west coast. Especially that little park right on the tip. Thanks for the great post. Charlie in Arkansas
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Old 07-13-2007, 06:42 PM   #3
GB
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Great pics and looks like an equally great ride.. thanks for posting
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Old 07-14-2007, 04:33 PM   #4
kelsow
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Location: Halifax Nova Scotia
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Can you take a bad picture in NL?

As always, awesome sights.
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