Quick report on a CW route through Labrador, Newfoundland, NB, NS from
Maine. My first ride report/posting so cut me some slack if I screw it up.
- 11 days 3,189 miles. Solo and would not have it any other way.
- Wildlife count; one bear, three moose, two dear, 6 wolves, and a couple of eagles fishing.
- Loved every minute of it especialy the Labrador part. Really had an awesome time. Would let out a howl of joy each morning as a rode out of camp. There was no place I would have rather been, and I felt fournate to have the experience. I have adventure traveled often, and have done a number of motorcycle trips and many surfing trips in Central America and in 42 of our US States, but something about this trip was very satisfying. I felt like I accomplished something.
- The VStrom ran and went flawlessly. I lost one bolt holding on the chain guard and replaced that in HVGB. The bike was a friggin machine. The only thing about the Vee was, I couldnt keep it from laying down in the soft sand when positioning for setting up camp. Four times I had to coax it back onto it wheels. I would have thought the bike would have more dignty then to lay down as soon as we went off road to find suitable camp site. I mean what would people think.....oh yeah there are hardly any people. I will admit that it was a relief after the first drop to find out that I could pick it up. From then on it was kind of funny.
- Nobbies are not necassary but I am glad I had them. My feeling was every advantage I could get to get me home safely was worth it. TKC's are cheaper then towing or hospital bills.
- The Jesse bags , engine guards, skid plate and other bike protection equipment was worth every penny(all bought second hand off ADVrider). A few scratches but pretty minor considering.
- The gravel road was a challange but a ton of fun. Really had to pay attention and I think it improved my riding skills. Some close calls but I would pull it out each time with some, but not a lot of road between me and the ditch, cliff, trees. Tough to stay on the throttle as you swim and fishtale down the road, but usually if I kept on the power the bike would find it's track after a bit of whaling around.
- Before I left, from reading the ride reports I thought I would be in a crowd of bikes but from Baie Comeau to Blanc Sablon I only saw 4 motorcycles. Most days I really only saw a dozen cars and trucks all day. Usually from 3pm to 11am the next day very little traffic would go by at all.
- Wilderness camping all but three days. One motel room in Lab city, one night in a snowmobile warm up shelter in Newfoundland, and one over night on the Port Aux Basque ferry. Only one night in a campground and no other nights in a town/settlement. Used a Hennssey Hammock and will never go back to a tent. Really had some excellent camp sites.
- If you wildrness camp be ready to share your site with wildlife. I spent a night with 6 wolves in my camp site. Around 10:30 on a beautiful night I walked out into the road and let out a howl, got a call back and thought that was cool. Howled again and got multiple responces back....now I'm thinking that I'm stupid. At 1:30 they are 6 within site of my campsite howling up a storm. Really amazing experience. After about an hour I ran to the Strom, started it up, and laid on the horn. Ran back to my hammock and got in with a couple of pots to bang and my hatchet. I heard them down on the tundra about a half hour later.
- Ran out of gas before Port Hope even after putting in my extra gallon from my jerry can. Scaring off the wolves used up my precious gas. I had only seen two bikes since Baie Comeau. One was the guy from Georgia on the Aprila who I read had a crash.(I read he got home but with busted ribs and collasped lung. Hope he is ok. He gave me matches as I had left my newly purchased lighter back in Churchil Falls. 30 seconds after I run out of gas a New Brunswick couple on BMW's show up and say.....you have no problem my friend because I have gas for you. They give me a gallon and off I go.
- Swam in two lakes and three rivers.
- By chance found a snowmobile warm up shelter and stayed in it my only other rain night. Set up my hammock inside, started a fire in the wood stove and was living like a King as the rain poured down.
- Made all the ferries and boarded within 40 minutes of arriving at the terminal. I did screw up and forgot what day it was and had hiked out a trail in Gros Morn when I figured out that I had the ferry reservation to Nova Scotia at 1:30 am the next morning. This was a 4pm. Hiked out 3 hours, broke down camp and flew 3.5 hours to Port Aux Basque. The whole way I keep passing signs that say 760 moose vehicles crashes in this section of road. Man I am an idiot. Got there at 11:30 and was first to board the ship at midnight. Ran up and got one of two available berths in the dormatory sleeping area.
- Excellent time in Newfoundland. Beautiful and friendly.
- Did the Cabot Trail in NS but the traffic was kind of a bummer after days of little or no other people on the roads in Newfoundland and labrador.
- Blasted 8 hours through NS and NB to my home in mid-coast Maine. Not fun but got me home on time to be with the wifey.
- Met some great people doing the trip along the way and enjoyed seeing them every few days.
Well it really was an awesome trip. Do it soon before more gets paved. Take your time and dont worry about making it to towns each night. Absorb the beauty of Canada at your own pace. Dont rush as you never know.... you may never get back to this place again. Each day as I rode I would envision myself blazing across a map, a lone motorcycle under the bright sun with dust flying and the guy on it with a huge smile spread across his face.
Thanks to ADV for providing a place to research the trip and to give me the confidance that I could plan it and actually make it happen.
Ride safe and have fun. Stromsurfer