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Old 06-18-2010, 07:27 AM   #1
dendrophobe OP
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Quick Jaunt to Newfoundland

Well, I leave tomorrow morning for a trip to Newfoundland. I only have nine days to get it done, so there won't be nearly as much rose smelling as I'd like, but... At least it's an escape from the monotony of my life. I plan on camping the whole way; for some reason, I feel like staying in a motel while motorcycling is cheating! Ah, how the Marines have ruined me...

I won't have computer access while I'm gone, so the majority of this trip report will be filled out after I return. I don't have a SPOT yet either, but found this program that will allow my phone to be tracked as long as I have cell signal. Not as good, but better than nothing.

Basically I'm booking it from VA up to Maine on 95, then traveling on the trans-Canadian to North Sydney, Nova Scotia, and catching the ferry up to Newfoundland. Riding from Port aux Basques to Gros Morne national park, where I'll hike to the peak of Gros Morne, and return to catch the ferry. I'll ride the Cabot trail before taking the ferry from Caribou, NS to Prince Edward Island, and then ride the bridge across to New Brunswick, and down to Bar Harbor, and back home.


GPS tracking powered by InstaMapper.com



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Old 06-18-2010, 12:09 PM   #2
Abenteuerfahrer
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I am doing the whole NFLD section now with my 1200GS and sidecar. You can basically get some idea what to expect this time of year although we went whole hog to St. Anthony while you do and turn at Gros Morne. You'll love Gros Morne....please, PLEASE take it easy as there have been 14 Moose incidents with humans...

You can read my daily live thread here.

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=588174

Cheers.....
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:52 PM   #3
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Looks like a great ride! I've read a bit of it, hopefully will get some more in when I have some time.

Thanks for the advice about the moose. I knew they were a problem, but that's excessive...

The tranquility of work (wow, did I just say that?) will be ended when I get off, and rush around making sure my last-minute bits of maintenance are finished. Oh, and that packing thing. Yeah, that too.

13 hours and counting.
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Old 06-18-2010, 01:00 PM   #4
DubCut
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Looking forward to your report, I've been thinking about making a trek to there either at the end of this summer or the next.
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:20 AM   #5
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hey,

let me know if your coming through central newfoundland, im in grand falls, would love to meet up for a beverage etc...

good luck, this place is amazing.
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:49 AM   #6
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Old 06-20-2010, 08:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abenteuerfahrer
I am doing the whole NFLD section now with my 1200GS and sidecar. PLEASE take it easy as there have been 14 Moose incidents with humans...
Hey there. I'm pretty sure I saw you this past week about 2 km's east of Appleton. I flashed my lights to you as I had just saw a moose about 3/4 km east of you. I was driving a white Ridgeline pickup.

Enjoy Newfoundland and watch out for the moose for sure!
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:07 PM   #8
Thorne
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Old 06-21-2010, 04:29 PM   #9
dendrophobe OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kojack
hey,

let me know if your coming through central newfoundland, im in grand falls, would love to meet up for a beverage etc...

good luck, this place is amazing.

Thanks, don't think I'll be coming through central Newfoundland though. This trip, I only have time enough to go up to Gros Morne and hike. A few days ago in Maine a guy from New Brunswick told me I should ride the old railbed on the way up, so I may try that.

Currently sitting in the North Sydney ferry terminal, waiting until my ferry leaves at 10:00. Should be in Newfoundland tomorrow morning. No computer with me, so my phone is the only Internet access I have... So ride report will have to wait until I get home!
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:51 PM   #10
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Looking forward to your report. I was in Newfoundland back in the summer of '06 and can't wait to go back again one day.
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:16 PM   #11
scarysharkface
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dendrophobe
Thanks, don't think I'll be coming through central Newfoundland though. This trip, I only have time enough to go up to Gros Morne and hike. A few days ago in Maine a guy from New Brunswick told me I should ride the old railbed on the way up, so I may try that.

Currently sitting in the North Sydney ferry terminal, waiting until my ferry leaves at 10:00. Should be in Newfoundland tomorrow morning. No computer with me, so my phone is the only Internet access I have... So ride report will have to wait until I get home!
We're a couple of miles West of you at the campground. Leaving tomorrow at 10:30 am. We're jeeping it this time (yellow 4-door wrangler), but will keep an eye out for you!

John
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:56 PM   #12
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Well, it's been a few days since my return, and I'm finally getting around to uploading pictures and typing up my report.

Two days before I left, I decided I wanted to go ahead and install a few things, like my radiator guard, headlight guard and folding shift lever. Of course, to install the rad guard, I had to take off all plastic bits, and get the bike naked. So here it is, two days before I leave. No, not nervous at all... riiight...



Got everything done, and the day finally arrived.
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:15 PM   #13
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Day One

Charlottesville, VA to Freeport, ME
Mileage - 683.5 mi
Left - 4:15 am EST, Arrived 6:40 pm EST

Day one of my journey begins! My unspoken goal for the day was to reach Freeport, ME. Officially the idea was to camp near Hamden, CT, but I wanted to visit Freeport again, and getting that far would allow me more time to explore New Brunswick and Nova Scotia before hopping on the ferry at North Sydney.

To accomplish this ambitious plan, I rose at 3:00 am, to be on the road by 4:00. Didn't end up rolling until around 4:15, and had to turn around at the end of the street to readjust my new shift lever, freshly installed and (foolishly) untested. Great way to start the day...

One good surprise was that my dad rode with me for a while to see me off. He has a 2008 BMW R1200R, which he loves. He went with me as far as Gainesville, in Northern Virginia, about two hours from home, before turning around. Actually, I found out later that not thirty seconds after leaving me, he ran out of gas! Thankfully a good Samaritan gave him a ride to the gas station.




The trip was uneventful from there, and I passed through Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey with ease. I worried about New Jersey's law against pumping your own gas, but apparently that only applies to cagers. I voiced my concern, and the attendant was just like "Nah, it's all you. You guys do your own." Fine by me. Everything went smoothly; until, that is, I hit New York.

Since my GPS (Delorme PN-60w) release date was pushed back (again), I was left to maps and internet directions for this trip. They worked really well most of the way. Somehow though, I ended up missing the road to go around the city, so I ended up on 95 in stop and go traffic in the middle of New york City. For an hour and a half. My thoughts: I have never seen a more abysmally unpleasant traffic situation in my life. Whoever designed those roads should be shot repeatedly in the scrotum with a bb gun, and then dragged by his toes through the monstrosity he created.



Finally I made it through New York, and out of that God-forsaken state. Of course, that just led me to Connecticut. I had never thought of Connecticut as a bad place to be; I hadn't ever given it much though at all, really. And maybe that's why it decided to hate me. Nothing nearly so bad as New York, but... During the few hours I was there, I was nearly merged into/cut off two or three times... I don't know what's wrong with people there, but it affects motorcyclists too. Out of at least a hundred bikers I saw, riding all sorts of different bikes, not a single one was ATGATT, and less than twenty were even wearing helmets. Even the couple I saw riding two-up on a R1200GS, while they did wear helmets, didn't have another piece of protective gear on them. I also noticed, beginning in Connecticut, but continuing North for a while, that none of the motorcyclists waved. There I was with my arm held out in greeting, and only one out of hundreds returned it. I don't know if I'm just used to Southern friendliness, but it rubbed me the wrong way.

After roughly fourteen hours or so on the bike, I arrived in Freeport. The first place I pulled up to was Delorme, but sadly, they were closed.



I then made my way to the L.L. Bean flagship store, where I decided that I was far too tired, and it was too late in the evening, for me to find a campsite.



A nice lady at L.L. Bean directed me to a place just outside of town, and I was set. For only $74 a night (that's $30 cheaper than even the Econo Lodge!) I get this charming little cottage all to myself. Some units have kitchenettes and fireplaces, but mine doesn't. It does have a shower, bed, and restful atmosphere though, so I'm happy. Sleep tonight, and we'll see what tomorrow brings.

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Old 06-30-2010, 07:28 PM   #14
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Go on, we want more!


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Old 06-30-2010, 07:47 PM   #15
dendrophobe OP
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Day Two

Freeport, ME to Amherst, Nova Scotia
Mileage - 448.5 mi
Left - 7:45 am EST, Arrived 7:45 pm Atlantic

I wake in a small cabin smelling of old wood, in a bed just on the firm side of comfortable. Slightly groggy from a much-deserved rest, my first though is, "it's cold!" Really it was in the lower sixties, but I was dressed only in skivvies, and when I'd gone to bed, everything was cozy warm.

I took my time getting up, fixed a few things that had been a nuisance the previous day, and got a cup of coffee. I discovered that my expensive new synthetic clothing had not even come close to drying overnight, so I used an extra tie-down strap I had to secure them to one of my panniers. That way, the sun and wind could dry them as I rode. Finally, forty-five minutes after my intended departure, I was on the road. I pulled a couple goodbye wheelies and hopped on the highway to leave Maine.

Nothing of particular note took place as I rode through Maine. I only hit one toll, and the riding was easy. A feeling of contentment came over me, and I couldn't help but smile. This is what a vacation should be. Gone were my stresses from home, gone were any deadlines, and most importantly, gone was that rushed feeling I had had the previous day. Even the other riders must have felt it, because it was at this point that they began to return my waves, sometimes even offer them first.


Entering moose country.

So lost was I in my happiness that I overshot my exit off 95. By the time I noticed, I was ten miles down the road, with ten remaining until the next exit. Ah well, savor the ride. I reached the exit a few minutes later, and began to turn around to get on 95 going South, when at the end of the lane, I saw a sign that said, "pavement ends." "Hmm, what's this?" I thought, and rode towards it. I'm still not entirely sure what it was that I stumbled upon. Was it a winter snowmobile trail? I had first thought it was meant for ATV's, but then saw a sign prohibiting their use. Whatever it was, it led me to several blissful miles of gravel and dirt riding.



I nearly ran over what looked like a pheasant, and crossed a very... well kept... bridge.



Signs reminded me that use of the trail was a privilege, not a right, as it evidently belonged to some tribe of Native American I had never heard of. Finally, my fun at an end, I turned back to the highway.



The road to the border was a wonderful sight. Nearly empty of traffic, it rose up and over hills, out through swathes of forest, and gave me a nice small-town view of Maine. Finally just after noon, I reached the border.



Now, I had always thought that the border between the U.S. and Canada was more of a formality than anything. Evidently, times have changed. A friendly but down-to-business young man in a bullet-proof vest met me, took my passport, and asked me questions. After he directed me to park my bike off to the side, he returned several more times over the next half hour to ask more questions. Finally, after having to strip off my shirt to show my tattoo and answer questions about my finances and intentions, I saw him approach once more. By this time it had been quite a wait, and I was sure he would say something to the effect of, "Sorry, denied entry. Back to the States you go, eh?" but he hands me my passport, compliments my bike, and sends me on my way.


Forbidden shot of my bike at the border...

And with that, I'm off down the road. I pull a particularly long and high wheelie on an empty road to say hello to Canada, and quickly note the change from miles to kilometers. No, sorry to spoil your fun, 70 is really 45. Oh well. I realize a short time later that I am in the middle of effing nowhere, and the sky is rapidly darkening. Thunder rumbles in the distance, and I'm quickly burning gas. Just in time, I spot a petrol station, and pull in. Wow, hadn't seen that in years. These pumps have no credit card slots, and there's no need to prepay. Amazing, isn't it, what can be done when you don't expect everyone to rob you blind.

There is a price to pay for such a thing though. The first pump I tried leaked all through the handle, spewing gas all over my hands, phone, and my sheepskin buttpad. No permanent damage done, but now everything smells, and I only got about a quarter's worth of fuel. I switched to a pump that worked, and grumpily got on my way.

The clouds that had been distant moved in while I filled up, and it began to sprinkle. Not a downpour, but just enough that I had to don the Frog Toggs. Unfortunately it wasn't enough to cool the day down at all, either. The rain was off and on for the rest of the day. Around there, I realized I hadn't had any lunch, so I pulled off to the side of the road by a pretty lake. The road was far too slanted for the side stand, and I needed to lube my chain, so I put it up on the center stand. Chain lubed, lunch enjoyed, I was ready to get back on the road.

As Murphy is wont to do, he decided to make life just a little bit more difficult then. I struggled for a moment to get the heavily laden bike off the center stand, and down it came. And promptly fell over. And it started drizzling again. Now, I'm a fairly strong individual, and have no problem picking the bike up when I flop it on the trail, even with a bum shoulder. But add my bags and all that gear, and that's just more than I can handle. While I labor to right the bike, dozens of cars pass and just look at me struggle. Finally I decided to remove the top case and the pannier I could reach, and managed to pick it up. Just then, now that the hard part was over, help showed up. A very nice gentleman and his wife saw me from the other side of the road, and fought traffic to turn around and get back to me. He did assist me by holding up the bike as I put the other cases back on to even out the weight, and wished me luck. We said goodbye, and I rode off. I need to get the hell out of New Brunswick.



Finally the rain cleared, and it began to get cold. As I rode along the highway, I kept seeing what looked like ATV roads running parallel to and butting up against the highway. I was short on time and had the wrong tires for all that mud, but I wished I could stop and ride them. Finally, after a very boring stretch of road, I crossed over into Nova Scotia.



I received some odd looks at the welcome center, and realized why when I looked down. Baggy Frog Togg trousers pulled up over the lower part of my jacket, a camelbak, and motocross boots squeaking to high heaven... Yeah, I'd be giving me looks too. Thankfully, someone directed me to a campground only a few miles away.

I arrived at the campground just as thunder resumed, and I scrambled to set up the tent and beat the rain. I failed. While I did get the tent itself up in time, the rainfly was merely draped over it sideways, and the panniers, tank bag and butt pad were still on the bike. Somehow I managed to get it finished and everything inside or under the vestibule before getting soaked, but it was close. I lay in the tent listening to the storm, and went to sleep. All in all, I'd still say it was a good day, but I hope tomorrow brings better luck.

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