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Old 08-21-2007, 07:49 PM   #1
kawasnikov OP
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Joined: May 2006
Location: French freezing trails
Oddometer: 34
Most northern point reach in motorcycle in Eastern North America

(Please be kind for the grammar, English is not my first language)

Finally, we did it

We reach the most northern point with motorcycles in eastern North America. N54.50.000 W66.50.000. That trip was initiated by a friend 2 or 3 years ago. In the last month we have that project built up. We did our homework and decided we were going to do it this summer, between the July 25th and august 1st 2007.

So we start, 7 friend and relations from Montreal, Sherbrooke and Drummondville in the province of Quebec. By 11:00 hrs we are stopped by a defective KTM 950 clutch cylinder. We repair the best we can with liquid metal and the owner of the bike decided to end is trip right there.

We then continue our route and reach the first camp (Manic 5) late that night, around 23:00hrs. It give us a nice 900km for that first day. Not to say that I had slept only 3 or 4 hours the night before and find the last hour really hard to stay awake. But, what a view, Manic 5 barrage at night is wonderful.

And this is the camp the next morning. For the first night outside, nobody resist to the sandman.

This is the place where we remember the popular “Fun start where pavement ends”. Here we have PowWow950 followed by Martinfz1.

It was almost attended… the first flat. We all carried 2 tubes a patch kit and we had 2 fronts and two rear spare tires for the whole team. It’s like a practice for our expedition. Our motivator Trailrider650 seems to think of making a rubber areola with that tube. When you know he does 6 or 7 flats during the trip… He has better done it.

It’s also there that KLRider blew his air compressor.

The second day we ride to Fermont. This is when we arrived to the iron mine. With, following us, our smile across our faces and 67km of really, really, really curvy road. As PowWow950 said that landscape look like to be part of Motocross Madness. On the pic : Gaspesien1150 and Trailride650 with his blown fuse.

2nd day camp. We find us a place in Fermont on the back of the church and get our intensive course on how to endure black flies.(And we used it a lot) The people from all places tell of a record year for black flies. For the people from the south, black flies are like red ants. You don’t want to have a night with them.

The team starts to forge and get prepared for the next stages. We motivate ourselves and tell stories about… motorcycle. Be sure that we keep the brown bottle (beer) for the night. Hey we are on vacation. I also catch something. If you can find gas you can find beer… wherever you’ll be.

As usual: Gaspesien1150, Kawasnikov, KLRider, PowWow950, Martinfz1 and Trailrider650.

Typical landscape that been burn by a forest fire a couples years ago.

This is the northern censored version of the paint named “Le bain” (the bath). The water is so cold that you lost all virility almost instantly when you go wash yourself. And take care not to add some black flies attractive smell, like soap. We are already too visible for a minority up there.

Another flat stop gives us a good view of the road on the dams of the Smallwood reservoir in Labrador. It also give you a nice view of what position not to take in the black flies zone. Always keep the flesh hidden.

We were really surprised when we find that monument nowhere along a snowmobile trail. It’s the passage of the 53rd parallel.

“This monument erects in 1970 mark the meeting point of Indians, going down to Sept Iles after the hunting season. Indians and whites contribute to this realization of Mr Alexandre McKenzie sr. Owner of this lot.”

It’s also there that we realized the distance we where from our home. On the other side of the reservoir, the Quebec. It’s another beautiful land.

Thinking moment before attacking the rails. It does not seem too bad!

The adventure is not even going on the rail that we are stop by a flat. Only 3 or 4 kilometer has been done. We already think we were not going to make the ride.

The landscape are so beautiful that we go forward. These little ilands are everywhere on the reservoir and that view came back each 4 or 5 kilometer on the 76 kilometer of railroad.

Now a pause of vibration and we take time to study the rails. The GS is heavy to get over the rail. The KTM also demand that we take care of it’s balance. The KLR are a lot more at ease to get in and out of the rails. The day is long, we tough we did it in 3 hours it took 8 hours to do that small distance. And we did not stop to have a diner. There were section of the rails full of nails and metal pieces.

Yep, it’s clearly more difficult than we tough. We do a couples kilometer and are stop again, and again and seven times before we reach the end of the track.

We lift our sleeve and have a look at the moose habitats. At all moment we look to see some wild life, but nothing. Except for Gaspesien1150, he saw a black bear on the side of the railroad and it turn around, (Not Gaspesien, the bear ), when he saw the bike. On the next pic we can think that it is feasible to ride along the track. Trailrider650 tried it on around 500 meters. What a laugh when I saw him cruising the bush. It’s really loose and sloping.

Feeling better we get to the barrage, where we will quit the railroad couples hundreds foots farther. Me (Kawasnikov) and Trailrider650 taking the pose to remember the passage of the most unknown part of the expedition. Too our surprise the ties (wooden beam) are spaced not more than 6 inch and that way the crossing went smoothly.

After the barrage we took the road that services the iron mine with the railroad. It begins fairly large to finish like a jeep trail. Bumpy enough with a couple of mud hole and some good size rock. You have to take care where you’ll put your wheel.

Hey guys, we did it! Schefferville here we are. We've been welcome by a crowd of… euh anybody here ? We then drive to downtown… (for the people living in a city (+1000000 occ.) the term used here have no meaning with traffic! It just describe a bunch of houses together).

We ask a young girl where to find the Montagnais gas station. (On the left of the big green building on the precedent picture) At the gas station we understand that the services vehicles are not replace often.

We filled up the bike and join our hostess by phone. She will join us at the gas station. Tonight we sleep inside. An expedition of that kind have to be celebrate. Ok it’s more beer, I know but we are on vacation… euh I think we forgot that. Not already at the “beerstore” that we are the local attraction. Everybody want to know where we are from and how we came in the city. From the locals, we are the first to reach Schefferville with motorcycles.

One of the first to welcome us was Peter “Johnny Cash”, signer and with talent.

That night we’ll be greet with a Caribou steak and a lot of beer. Our host are marvelous. On Sunday morning we head to see the iron mines, Impressive, gigantic and… rusty l We would have like to take more times in Schefferville. But it will probably takes us another 8 hours to ride the railroad. So hurry up… en route.

Here’s an overview of Schefferville. The city has 3000 inhabitants with 10% of white. 30 years ago it was reverse with 20000 inhabitants and 10% of Indians. Times change. There are rumors of the mines reopening since 20 years but a number of geologist from many country came to see what’s still underground in the last 2 years. That could change the city into a real city again. (Without the traffic lol).

This is the barrage where me and Trailrider650 pose at our arrival. There’s certainly some big fishs in those reservoir and lakes. We also forgot to go fishing while in that paradise.

This is an adventurer formation going back to civilization.. I would have stay there a couple more days, but it would have been to risky to come back alone. The pictures does not gives justice to the reality. Under 50km/h I had the impression that the bike would fall apart. The start and stop section were really dangerous. Few section give me some cold fear.

I’m sure you all have seen a flat tire. But one like that, not sure. That’s nail. It took a rag and a lot of WD40 to take it off. The rim was a little bit scratch and the rubber band destroyed. Another time the “Duct tape” saved our live. The tube was puncture in 2 places. That tire did the ride to Manic 5.

Leaving the rails in Esker and the KTM is on a flat again. But that time on the front. While exiting the rail PowWow950 pinch is tire between 2 piece of metal. Martinfz1 will arrive in 20 minutes because he blew up is rear shock. What a mess, the oil boiled inside and spray it’s way out. All my appreciation to the lower bask of Martin to have done the ride back .

The road between Esker and the 500 (Trans Labrador Highway) even if it’s tight was fairly flat and ridden well. The only point here is that we want to join Esker to Labrador city without fuelling at Churchill falls. So we bought a couples liters at Esker and another couple of liter (+/- 25L.) from a fisherman going back home. That man was so pleased to meet us that he didn’t want to be paid. But we paid him and promise to send him a picture of us with him.

After a couples of days sleeping outside and riding to many hours on railroad, what can be better than to step on an highway ?

The place is not as exotic then Esker (nowhere) or Schefferville, it’s Baie Comeau. When you go there you usually just pass by. That day I took the time to look around. Moreover, one of us ad to stay there after a crash north of Manic 5.

Not wanting to let PowWow950 alone without resources I stay in Baie Comeau with Gaspesien1150 24 more hours. This is where I head solo for the trip. All the team mate head on there way from Manic 5 and Baie Comeau. We race, yep, we race all day of the whole 6 days trip. But now I’m on my own and I’ll slow down. I almost lost my heritage when my family hear that I did not go fishing in Schefferville. But we did that trip for that ! The people in Baie Comeau are too cool. When I stop taking that last picture a truck stop by the other side of the road and the driver come by me to ask a couple questions to the nut that carry all is camping gear and a spare tire on is bike. He is a future adventure rider and he’s building an adventure bike with a KTM 640 SM. So he offers me a coffee and go see is bike and give him some advices. While there I took a shower (I probably smell s** a mile around) lol

Thank you for the coffee and the shower. With off road wheel and a 640ADV fuel tank on hand you are on a good start.

Another place where we do not stop usually. Baie des Jeremys, on the 138. And American Indian community was there long time ago… nice place.

Here I am, in Baie Sainte Catherine. It’s 23:00hrs and it smell rain. I stop by a rest area. The one where we lost our first partner, K2Ride. In my rush to build up my shelter I wake up my neibor in the camping car nearby. I tough, while looking at the flashlight that search around the camping car, hey you hear a Harley, well ok half an Harley (my KLR with a Supertrapp) and you immediately tough to protect yourself. Next morning while dismantling the camp I hear “A small coffee?” hein…”well, yes thank you”. “It will be ready in 10 minutes”, “cool”. I finish packing my things and head to the camping car. That’s a smell of a real coffee. And I was right, my neibor is a French that sold everything to make a round the world trip. We had a good talk about “The trip” and 2 hours later I was again on my way home.

This is where i start to relax, I really in the mood to go back home. Everything is pretty, everything smell good, … well almost. I take many road that lead to the shore of the St-Lawrence river. Baie des Rochers (Rock bay), superb, calm and refreshing.

And then, I do what a was here for this week. I go fishing and I take nothing, are the fish all up north? Nothing’s bad, I’m sitting there under the sun with a cold beer and I think of that journey.

I had a lot of fun this week. We were a wonderful gang and even if I had my diverging opinion on that expedition. Nobody blew his fuse (except Trailrider650, that why he does not have a light on his bike on the 4th photo). it is the kind of wrinkle that makes you reflect, every time we have has to surpass itself that makes us reflect. It was a beautiful gang or team. I have to write it to past tens because it will not exist anymore. It would be surprising that we get together exactly the same people in the same kind of adventure. Somebody will always be missing, there will be always one of the excess. It is little as for My journey, I met extraordinary people. People who shared some hours of discussion with me and that's right which made my journey. I shall see again can be not these people there, can be that yes and I wish it. But it is as I met them that they made my journey. Quite as gang. Learn has to live people all around they are much more short-lived than the landscapes at the end of the road. If ever people around you are not livable take advantage of the landscape.

That’s how I saw that marvelous adventure.

P.S. Your comments and questions are welcome and if you ever need a guide to Northern Quebec, drop me a line.
Weather is not always perfect for riding, that's adventure.

KLR650 2004 +60,000Km (gone)
KLX470SR 2004 +58000km It's a good year!
DL650 2010
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:56 PM   #2
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Wow..Outstanding that's one heck of an adventure.. I've not seen anyone report on a ride to this destination... Thanks for the detailed report and awesome pics
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:10 PM   #3
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Nice report

You guys did quite a!
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:14 PM   #4
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By rail?


Great Report!
Red hair & black leather, my favorite color scheme.

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'83 Kawasaki GPz 550
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Go out for adventure. Come home for love.

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Old 08-21-2007, 08:32 PM   #5
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Great trip and story. Really enjoyed it

I have a question though..from Lab city to Shefferville, is that the railroad and is it the QNSL?

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.” (Coelho)

Attico screwed with this post 08-22-2007 at 07:33 AM
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:56 PM   #6
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Thumb Whoa!

Now that's different Heck of a ride there.

I have to ask...looks like the rails were smooth & shiney. Like...from use. Did you not encounter any train traffic?

Thanks for taking the time to do the report
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:23 PM   #7
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Wow! Nice ride...

I've been to the Yukon twice and I always thought the eastern continent would be a good trip. Seems like a lot of riders go to Alaska, but very few take on eastern Canada.
Jim R.
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:46 PM   #8
kawasnikov OP
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Location: French freezing trails
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To answer Jasong70:

" I have a question though..from Lab city to Shefferville, is that the railroad and is it the QNSL?"

We enter the railroad at Esker and it' Tshiuatin Railroad from there to Schefferville. From Esker to Labrador City it is QNSL. Oh yes, Jasong70 if you do not "quote" me it will make a lighter page.

To Waywardson:

"Did you not encounter any train traffic?"

I was part of our homework to know when there is train traffic or not. But we inform the maintenance crew from our presence on the railroad. As it is not recommend nor permit to do so. Hummmm... maybe you can forget that part

To Jimmy650:

"but very few take on eastern Canada"

Yes that's right. Probably only because it is not know as Alaska. As per the local people in Schefferville we are the first to link that remote city.

I'll try to add a couple more photos and thank you for the comment.
Weather is not always perfect for riding, that's adventure.

KLR650 2004 +60,000Km (gone)
KLX470SR 2004 +58000km It's a good year!
DL650 2010
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:55 PM   #9
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That was a crazy ride, and I think the flat tire with the railroad spike is the flatest flat ever!

What is this?

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Old 08-21-2007, 09:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jasong70
Great trip and story. Really enjoyed it
Do everyone a favor and edit the pictures out of your post!
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by kawasnikov

faaawwwwk!! and I thought the nails around here were bad
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Old 08-22-2007, 02:22 PM   #12
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Great report. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-22-2007, 04:26 PM   #13
kawasnikov OP
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Originally Posted by 100mpg
That was a crazy ride, and I think the flat tire with the railroad spike is the flatest flat ever!

What is this?

This is the Manic 5 dam. Built between 1959 and 1971 it measure 1,3km (4265 feets or 0.8 mile) long and 214m (702,1 feets or 50 floors) high. On the picture you can see about 1 km in lenght. It is one source of electricity for a couples of north eastern states.
Weather is not always perfect for riding, that's adventure.

KLR650 2004 +60,000Km (gone)
KLX470SR 2004 +58000km It's a good year!
DL650 2010
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Old 08-22-2007, 05:40 PM   #14
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NO MAMEN !!! or in English WTF!!! your ridding it is so amazing, only to be over shadow by the story, what pictures, what a fu**** nail, and on a rail? I am so little now... a nobody not even a rider...

Thank you for sharing

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Old 08-22-2007, 05:53 PM   #15
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Now that was a true Adventure, Thanks for sharing !!
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