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Old 09-06-2012, 10:48 AM   #16
markbvt OP
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Thursday, 23 August 2012: Port Hope Simpson, Labrador, to Mistaken Cove, Newfoundland

I awoke in time to witness a beautiful sunrise.














We stopped for breakfast nearby, where we chatted with a couple from Ottawa we'd seen ride in the previous evening on BMWs. They would become recurring characters in this story. Then we headed on toward Red Bay.


The road gets extremely rough in some places with relentless potholes. I actually started to worry I'd blow a fork seal or something. Also, about 20 or 30 miles before Red Bay, we came upon a section of road that had a sandy surface, which was sketchy as hell. The Tiger's rear end started fishtailing, but held on.

The landscape approaching the coast is amazing. Desolate and mostly treeless.














Soon enough we made it to Red Bay.


And the end of the gravel.


There we ran into a couple who'd just driven the Trans-Lab in their Mustang. They'd used duct tape to protect the paint finish and began peeling it off.


I was amazed at how well the Tiger's tires had worn so far.




The Tiger was pretty dirty by this point.










We headed down the pavement toward Blanc Sablon.


In Blanc Sablon we caught the ferry over to Newfoundland (where we once again ran into the Ottawa couple we'd met in Port Hope Simpson).








Unfortunately the weather awaiting us in Newfoundland wasn't quite so good.


We rode a short distance north to a spot I'd found on my previous visit to set up camp. Unfortunately, as we were setting up our tents, it started raining, so once tents were set up we fled inside them. And stayed there. All evening. The rain just wouldn't let up, and eventually both our tents started leaking. We had a miserable night.

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Track for the day:
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My ride reports: Missile silos, Labrador, twisties, and more

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Old 09-06-2012, 11:09 AM   #17
sevenpointsixtwo
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Day 6: Port Hope Simpson, NL to Mistaken Cove, NL

Getting up early in Port Hope Simpson doesn’t really get you anywhere; there’s one restaurant and it opens at 8, so we circled the town and eventually made our way back to the B&B and restaurant, where the riders from Ottawa had stayed the previous night.

My DRZ looks downright diminutive compared to this beast of a GSA:


When we stopped for a break approaching Red Bay, Mark reported that the Tiger was beginning to feel really sketchy in the deep sand, which made for really slow tiring riding. I hadn’t actually noticed that the road condition had changed that much; it was dustier and looked different nearer the coast, but the DRZ (and tire choice) worked so well that everything just stuck.



I adore the scenery near the coast; the barren landscape and abundant lakes make for some amazing riding:


Just as I was starting to feel really comfortable on the gravel, it ended in Red Bay.


Well, that was fun! Once back on the pavement rolling into Blanc Sablon, I actually started missing the dirt and the potholes. Luckily, the ride was scenic enough to distract me.

Shinko rear tire holding up very well so far:


As was my JB-welded subframe (a few days before the trip, I had noticed a hole where a boot, presumably, had worn through the side of the square aluminum tube. It wasn’t cracked, but I didn’t fully trust it so liberally applied JB weld to the whole area on the recommendation of Tom, who build the rack for my bike.)


Everything was dusty on my bike too:


Waiting for the ferry in Blanc Sablon:


Big ferry! (Little did I know, this was nothing compared to the crossing to Nova Scotia):


Labrador, accomplished!


Buhbye Labrador (technically Quebec):
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:14 AM   #18
markbvt OP
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Friday, 24 August 2012: Mistaken Cove to Gros Morne NP, NL

Thankfully by morning the rain had stopped long enough for us to emerge and pack up. Both of us found pools of water inside our tents. Packing up a wet camp isn't much fun, so we got it over with quickly and took off.

Our intent was to head up to L'Anse aux Meadows, the northern tip of Newfoundland and site of a Viking settlement. Unfortunately as we rode northeast it started raining again. And it was chilly out. We eventually made it to St Anthony, where we sought asylum in a Tim Horton's as the rain continued. As we warmed up (I was cold and David was freezing -- I have more natural insulation than he does) and the rain showed few signs of stopping, we decided to give up on L'Anse aux Meadows, which really deserves to be seen in good weather. Eventually we suited back up (much more warmly -- in my case with electric vest, in David's with several layers of fleece) and headed back south.

Due to the wetness, my point&shoot camera that I normally keep on a lanyard around my neck stayed in the tank bag, so there are no pictures from the ride. Finally as we got a good distance south, the weather dried out, and by the time we reached Gros Morne National Park, the sun was shining. We pulled into the Green Point campground, and the first thing we did was put out all our wet gear to dry.




Then we enjoyed the nice evening ourselves.


The Green Point campground is beautiful, and this evening was popular with the RV crowd.


At the campsite next to us, we found a German couple in a big RV with a scooter parked behind it that was in the process of being revived. David and I both have German parents and speak the language, so we had a conversation with the guy auf Deutsch. Seems he and his wife have spent much of the past couple of years traveling the world, and on this particular leg had bought the RV in California and were in the process of driving around the continent. The scooter had been sitting since their last visit, so needed a little TLC.


Walking down to the beach, we crossed a stream coming down the cliff. The woods further upstream had colored the water a deep reddish brown the color of tea.






We were treated to a beautiful sunset, which helped to make up for our craptastic previous evening.






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My ride reports: Missile silos, Labrador, twisties, and more

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Old 09-06-2012, 11:25 AM   #19
Canuman
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Some may feel that Labrador and Newfoundland have been "done to death," but I've read your prior reports and don't get tired of looking at the excellent pictures or reading your commentary. Each time, it's a different experience.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:55 AM   #20
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Day 7: Mistaken Cove, NL to Green Point, NL

The previous night, having disembarked the Ferry in St. Barbe and, after much deliberation, ridden north to Mistaken Cove to camp, we set up tents in the rain and hunkered down inside, trying to stay dry.

We failed. A clear patch of weather in the morning allowed up to pack up our drenched tents and air mattresses, pull on damp riding gear, and grumble off northwards toward St. Anthony and L’Anse aux Meadows.

Arriving in St. Anthony after a grueling, wet, cold, miserable ride, we stumbled into the nearest Timmy’s in an attempt to dry out and warm up. Two extra-large coffees later, I really had to pee but was starting to feel a bit better.

A little slice of home. Apparently, in this neck of the woods, “Boston Creme” is sometimes called a “Bismarck.” Who knew?


We sat in Timmy’s until the weather looked a bit more promising, and decided to skip L’Anse aux Meadows and head south as quickly as possible to try to hit sunnier skies.

Once the skies cleared, it became a warm and sunny day! The ride along the coast was gorgeous, and rolling into Gros Morne National Park was my first glimpse of how awesome Newfoundland would be, after a pretty crappy welcome.

We stretched out all the stuff in the grass and let it dry out:


The campsite at Green Point had a nice rocky beach and an amazing view:




The only local fauna we’ve seen so far was very interested in Mark’s helmet. But not for long!


Spaghetti and “Meat Sauce.” I found my fork, so no more eating with the wrench.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:13 PM   #21
markbvt OP
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Saturday, 25 August 2012: Gros Morne NP to Twillingate, NL

After breaking camp the next morning, our first stop was one of Gros Morne's other campgrounds to shower, since Green Point has only very basic facilities. While there we ran into our Ottawa friends again.

Post-cleanup, we rode into the town of Rocky Harbour for breakfast. Nice view from the restaurant.


Then we hit the road through the park and down to Deer Lake.








In Deer Lake we got onto Trans-Canada Highway 1 to head east. This is mostly a very boring road, though does have some nice scenery interspersed with the long dull stretches.










We stopped for gas and a break along the way.


Eventually we got off the TCH and on the secondary road up to Twillingate, which is a much nicer ride offering some great scenery.








Twillingate is a beautiful little town built around a natural harbor.




We continued on to the northern tip of the island to a campsite I'd been clued into thanks to Sakurama's excellent Trans-Lab ride report from a few years ago. Absolutely awesome spot.






After scoping out the camping situation, we rode back to Twillingate for dinner. The view from the restaurant at which we had amazing fish&chips did not suck.


Then we rode back and set up camp. It still amazes me what a fantastic campsite this was, complete with a spectacular sunset.










Stats for the day:


Track for the day:
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'11 Triumph Tiger 800 XC / '03 Honda XR650L / '01 Triumph Bonneville cafe

My ride reports: Missile silos, Labrador, twisties, and more

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Old 09-06-2012, 01:10 PM   #22
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Day 8: Green Point, NL to Sleepy Cove, NL

As usual, Mark’s pictures from this day overshadow my own, so I will defer to his post for the nicest shots!

Here he is taking one of those shots:


The campsite at the tip of the island is absolutely stunning:


The town of Twillingate is obscenely picturesque:






Getting back to the campsite at Sleepy Cove, I decided to set up my tent at the top of a hundred-foot cliff. Be careful getting up in the middle of the night!


I wish I could have gone swimming here; the water looked almost Caribbean (a helluva lot colder, I’m sure!)


We had a fire at the top of the cliff and watched the sunset. I was definitely coming around to Newfoundland!
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:14 PM   #23
markbvt OP
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Sunday, 26 August 2012: Twillingate to Terra Nova NP, NL

Sunrise the next morning wasn't too shabby either.






We broke camp and headed back into town for breakfast.


Then we set out to ride along the northern coast as much as we could.


For the most part the ride was fairly dull and the road did not have a good view of the coast, but it eventually opened up and gave us some nice views, and a great spot to stop and take a break.










Heading onwards, we passed through a small town that had this DC3 on display.


And behind it, this ship sat in the harbor looking very much as though it had run aground 80 years ago and been abandoned aside from an occasional paint job to keep it looking presentable.


We set up camp for the evening in Terra Nova National Park, where we got rained on again. But near our campsite was a shelter, so we took refuge there instead of fleeing into our tents. While we were there, an Australian couple on BMWs showed up, parked their bikes in the shelter, unpacked their gear, and started cooking dinner while telling us about their extensive travels. Great folks. One of the things I love about motorcycle touring is the fascinating people you meet along the way; unfortunately I usually forget to take pictures of them to include in the ride report.

Eventually the rain stopped, and David and I went back to our own campsite and cooked an extremely tasty dinner of bratwurst and sauerkraut (did I mention that we're both German by heritage?).

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'11 Triumph Tiger 800 XC / '03 Honda XR650L / '01 Triumph Bonneville cafe

My ride reports: Missile silos, Labrador, twisties, and more

Bennington Triumph Bash, May 30-June 1, 2014
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:54 PM   #24
Klay
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I found my way up to that same spot past Twillingate 12 years ago. Newfoundland is so alluring. Fantastic story here.
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:58 PM   #25
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Love the trip report and the photographs. Myself and my wife just got home from a 5 day trip to Twillingate and Fogo Island. Saw many of the same beautiful places. Looking forwards to the rest of your adventure!
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:29 PM   #26
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Great job!

Love the pics...

We met the RDS guys in Relais Gabriel....they were having a good time.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:59 PM   #27
sevenpointsixtwo
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Day 9: Sleepy Cove, NL to Terra Nova National Park, NL

Just a few additional photos from today to add to Mark’s post.

The majority of the ride was a little boring, and thus painful on the DRZ. When I had great roads or great scenery to keep me entertained, I tended to forget my dirt-bike induced discomfort. Sadly, Route 1 across Newfoundland had little of either. Our route up the North coast was nice in places, but riding the ‘Z for hours upon hours every day was starting to wear on me, especially now that we had left the gravel behind us.

To alleviate my aching.... everything, we stopped at a nice cove for a break and some photos. I jumped around on the rocks and only got a little splashed by the good-sized surf breaking on shore:


We arrived in Terra Nova National Park and set up camp before the rain started again. Mark decides it’s easier to ride through the campsite than to turn his bike around:


The aforementioned dinner; bratwurst:


Und sauerkraut:


And good ol’ Newfoundland Screech. We couldn’t find any locals to “Screech us in,” sadly, so we made due with our friendly Aussie neighbors to weather the storm.


Our mates were sick of riding in the rain too, so decided to park and camp inside the shelter. Good on ya!
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:03 PM   #28
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Nice

Looks like big fun! Nice pictures too!
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:15 PM   #29
markbvt OP
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Monday, 27 August 2012: Terra Nova NP to Chance Cove Provincial Park, NL

Next morning we waved goodbye to our Aussie friends and continued down Highway 1. We spent part of the day riding up the peninsula between Trinity Bay and Conception Bay, but it was pretty built up, and after riding through Labrador and western Newfoundland, we didn't have the patience for population. So we headed back down to the TCH and over to Rt 10 along the eastern coast of Newfoundland.










Along the way we stopped off at a fish market and picked up a pound of ultra-fresh cod, then continued heading south and set up camp in Chance Cove Provincial Park. Once again we had a pretty decent view from our campsite.




I began cooking dinner using our two camp stoves and limited pots and pans (next time I have to remember to bring along a small skillet). We'd picked up some rum, which factored into the recipes and also went straight into our bellies.


This dinner ended up being the best of the trip, at least as far as camp meals went. Super-fresh fish is so delicious. I started by sauteing fresh mushrooms in olive oil, salt, and pepper, with a little Screech added later for flavor and deglazing. We also added some canned asparagus spears. David, meanwhile, got a packet of Knorr mushroom rice going on his stove and cut the fish into segments that would fit into our limited cookware. These went into the pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper, a little cayenne and garlic salt, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. I only had enough room in the pan to cook two pieces at once; the last two got a Screech deglazing as well. It was a really, really good meal. I was busy cooking, but David got a few pictures that I'm sure he'll post.

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'11 Triumph Tiger 800 XC / '03 Honda XR650L / '01 Triumph Bonneville cafe

My ride reports: Missile silos, Labrador, twisties, and more

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Old 09-07-2012, 04:28 AM   #30
sevenpointsixtwo
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Day 10: Terra Nova, NL to Chance Cove Provincial Park, NL

Our morning in Terra Nova National Park consisted of taking incredibly long, hot showers in an attempt to wait out the rain showers passing overhead. Luckily, the showers were free and the facilities were without a doubt the nicest campsite bathhouses I’ve ever had the pleasure of showering in!

We departed the campsite alongside our mates from the previous night, and parted ways at Route 1, headed south. After a bit of slab, we turned off onto the “Irish Loop Drive” (Rt. 10) that circles the southeasternmost peninsula of the island. Spurred by gorgeous scenery and fantastic roads, I was again able to ignore my discomfort and enjoy the ride. We stopped for groceries and were pointed to the nearest fish market by a nice lady outside. A few minutes up the road, we came upon the “market,” which consisted of a guy’s house with a quonset hut and a few shipping containers out back. He slapped down a bag of fresh-caught cod on the scales. “5 bucks.”



Not bad for the best damn camp-food I’ve ever eaten. Kudos to mark for cooking the mushrooms and asparagus with olive oil and Screech!



After a roaring campfire and polishing off our second flask of Screech, we packed it in and looked forward to finishing our Newfoundland odyssey in the morning.

The aftermath:
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