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Grampa caught a brook trout in Labrador - My 2 wheeled Labrador Adventure

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The view coming into port (Port Aux Basque Newfoundland) was striking. It is truly a big rock and a bit foreign looking with a rugged beauty.20170713_065223.jpg20170713_065337.jpg

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I have to add 2 side notes before I begin Day 4 on the Island of Newfoundland.

I met a couple from Colorado who were 62yrs old, recently retired and traveling the US and Canada via motorcycle (He was on a BMW F800 and she on her own F700). They had sold their home and had been traveling now for 6 months and would continue for another 6 months before stopping. I was a little jealous and felt inadequate.  :rolleyes:

They were just awesome folk with an adventurer's spirit.20170713_072618.jpg

Now, I had mentioned the Newfie heading home for a visit.  I was to see him again in the am as I was out on deck. He pointed out a mountain in the distance and said "You see that? That is Tit mountain, every Newfie is welcomed home by the lands bosom". He then shared that there is a matching mountain beside it but that it was just out of view currently.

When we unloaded and got moving, I chuckled at his comment and the image but did not stop for a picture as I did not want all that 4 wheel traffic in line behind me to get ahead of me and slow me down. I did however look it up online when I got home.

"Tit mountain" is formally known as Twin Hills but I do see where he got the reference. twin_hills.jpg

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Day 4

We all get off the boat in an orderly fashion and head North on the open road.

There is a section of this road just above Port Aux Basque that has some high wind warnings and they ain't joking either.  It is called "Wreckhouse" and due to the unique geography of the area, large flat barren expanse of land that runs between the Long Range Mountains and the ocean with a Southeast wind create winds that are high, constant and dangerous. (Up to 120mph sustained) Reports are that there are times when 3 tractor trailer trucks have needed to run "side by each" (that is a French term) to keep them from being blown over onto their sides. During the winter approx. 15 different trucks end up toppled over on their sides in the ditch from the wind. The winds can last for days and have even been documented to blow a 200,000 pound railroad car off the tracks onto its side.  Called the 2nd most windy place on earth, CRAZY!

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It is here that I come to the realization that speed limit signs are merely a recommendation. Good time is being made, I do enjoy a spirited ride. I was running 80mph in about a 60mph cross wind with buffering that makes you spontaneously pucker from time to time. All of a sudden a white IROC Camaro from the 1990's passes me and quickly pulls away out of sight. (That is not an easy thing to do up here as you can see a long ways, lol)

Then an older gentleman in a full size Chevy pick up with a bed full of lumber supplies passes me and is steadily pulling away from me, so I kick it up a notch and tuck in behind him. We run about 95mph on up to an Irving Big Stop just South of Gros Morne Provincial Park entrance where we both stop for gas. He comes over and chats a bit when he sees my Maine plates, warns me about m-oose and heads on his way. I have not encountered a single police vehicle in Canada on any of the roads that I have traveled so far, nor have I needed them...so I am fine with that. :lol:

It is here that I decided to fuel up my body. I have noted that it pretty consistently costs me about $42 to gas up the bike at each stop and another $20 per meal to fill my belly.

This is the only place so far that I have run into poor customer service. By nature, I am a pretty decent tipper and will usually give 25% but if service is very cheerful or attentive it goes up from there. I like to chat and I like prompt drink refills and if I get that and the "Twin Hills" are generous 50% is not unheard of. The meal was standard truck stop fare but 3 different servers brought various parts of my meal, drinks and slip. None were friendly, offered a refill or brought the check after sitting for approximately 15 minutes twiddling my thumbs and wishing I had at least received 1 refill. I left a $2 tip on a $23 mediocre meal. The 3rd waitress who only dropped the slip on the table as she passed by tried to call me out on it (I think) when I gave her $25 and said she could keep the change. She asked if everything was ok or if I was not satisfied. I replied the "food was fine, thank you". I will add that this was the only stop on my entire journey where less than superb service and pleasant converstion was had. 20170713_103226.jpg

Next up is the gem of Newfoundland and my personal favorite thing of the whole island.

Stay tuned.

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What an awesome adventure and recap!   Thank you for sharing, it's great to take such an amazing trip vicariously during a lunch break!! 

Sounds as though we are quite similar in terms of families.  Though I'm down in Portland now, I hail from Bangor with family in Caribou, my father having suited up for the '69 hoops team alongside Thurston and the boys.  Growing up in the late 70's / '80s, I always got a kick out of how that State championship was still much talked about. 

Looking forward to the next chapter of your trip! 

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Thank you for the feedback and glad you have enjoyed it.  So far, it has been traveling, soon we get to some adventure. 

Being a County boy comes with a great source of pride for me and yes back in the high school days of the early 80's it seemed that athletics took priority over academics. At the time, I was ok with that but when it came time for college I wished I had better study habits...had to work my butt off for grades that came easy in high school, lol. 

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Gros Morne Provincial Park

This to me is a sight that is understated. My goodness what natural and unusual beauty. It is a must see and pictures do not give this natural wonder proper justice.

Gros Morne is a part of the Long Range mountain range with its flat peaks, moonscape topography and natural freshwater fjords formed by years of glacial grinding. Scientificly it is significant as well, it is the only place on the globe where the earth's core or mantle is exposed above ground. Formed half a billion years ago when the earth's tectonic plates shifted and collided with such force the earth's mantle was pushed high above ground. When the glaciers receded, mother nature showed her artwork...wow!

Note one picture below where on the left side of the road is a regular rocky mountain that looks like anything we would see here in Maine and on the other side of the road is an equally impressive mountain of rusty colored moon looking structure.20170713_133841.jpg

The water in this region is so pure and clear it is unique as well. Every view, turn and vista is just breath taking. Snow continues to cling to the mountain crevices in mid July.

Taking pictures on motorcycle is a chore anywhere on the island of Newfoundland. It requires that you come to a complete stop. Place the bike in 1st gear and turn off the engine. Plant your feet firmly (difficult to do with a 32" inseam and a 35" seat height) then use your leg muscles to steady the bike...before you take your hands off the handle bars to snap a quick photo. More than once, I almost tipped over from the never ending wind. 20170713_125209.jpg20170713_125511.jpg20170713_133252.jpg20170713_133022.jpg

Another pleasant surprise, it is Canada's 150th birthday this year and entrance to all of her Provincial parks is free. Thank you Canada!20170713_123150.jpg

 

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From the park, I head North again. The plan is to see how far up the road I can get before darkness settles in. I am looking to make it to St. Anthonys "AKA Iceberg Alley" on the Northern tip. The scenery goes from beautiful and lush to stark and barren. 

Miles of ocean on the left, roadway dead ahead and 6ft tall black spruce to your right. Then open bogs, muskeg and tundra. I learned some of those little trees are old growth forest and are up to 120yrs old.20170713_170007.jpg

It is pretty sparse and not much to see aside from the occasional little seaside village.

Now this is in no way a reflection on the people of Newfoundland, they are awesome and I will review that dynamic in a bit. This is my opinion of the environment only.

Newfoundland is a harsh, ominous, hostile and unwelcoming environment. It is as if nothing wants to grow there and quite honestly...it feels like it doesn't want you there either. The constant wind would drive me nuts and I find it relentless and unsettling.20170713_163209.jpg

Jackpot! I am lucky enough to spot a small group of approximately 20 Caribou out on the open Tundra approximately 500yrds out. (It was 10" earlier in a spot just like this, don't look to hard...I did not get a picture of them)

The people who call this place home are some hardy stock indeed. About this time my oil light comes on in the middle of no where, I continue on a few miles up the road and see a small roadside store where I stop.

To check and fill the oil properly on a BMW it needs to be placed on the center stand. Try as I may, it is just too damn heavy. Unload the strapped on cargo and try again, it was a grunt, kick and lift but there she is sitting tall and pretty. Check the sight window and sure enough, needs just a little drink to top her off. Hmm...that is a funny cap, how do they expect you to get that off. Looks like it needs a special tool which didn't come with the bike. Improvise using 2 edges of the raised triangle and the back side of a Leatherman blade. Now how to pour oil into the cylinder head in all this wind without spilling it all over. No problem, drank a 5hr energy and cut the bottom off, instant funnel.20170713_153522.jpg

Go inside and spent an hour talking with a local fella about the area, wildlife, winter and commonalities. He was a character and enjoyed the company, pretty sure some if not most of his stories were embellished to pull my leg, his sense of wit and humor were great. Told a story of chasing Caribou 2 up on a sled and the fella on back jumping onto a Caribou's back and they will collapse cause "they ain't got much for leg strength" and feeding them candy, "they like it".  Lol20170713_155412.jpg

I continue on and stop for the night at a quaint little hotel in Plum Point, 10" after checking in the dark sky unloads with a heavy passing shower. So far, I have managed to stay dry.20170713_182853.jpg

Tonight I eat pizza and partridge berry cheesecake, life is good.20170713_202517.jpg

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Day 5

I have a ferry appointment at 1pm today to go from St Barbe Newfoundland over to Blanc Sablon Labrador.

So I get up early and head for St. Anthony with the hopes to see an iceberg.

As I roll into town, I can see a couple out in the distance. I stop at a gas station, fill up and ask where I may go for a better vantage point and they direct me up the road to the lighthouse.20170714_080543.jpg20170714_080302.jpg

There are 3 icebergs total but they are a good bit off shore, doesn't matter...I seen em. 20170714_080036.jpg20170714_080437.jpg

Back down the road I go to be on time/early for the ferry.  Not much of a terminal, this ride over will be on the Apollo. It is a 2hr float for $18. 20170714_100629.jpg20170714_121841.jpg

I had to stop and think whether or not to share this next bit. Decided that I would as I want to give insight into the culture, region and people that I met/experienced. I also share this with the upmost respect for the family and loved ones.

You will note in the 1st picture here the RCMP mobile crime unit is inline behind my bike. They are heading to Muskrat Falls as there is a new major  hydro project going on which is like 3 x over budget and the many of the locals are unhappy over the development.20170714_114741.jpg

Shortly thereafter, you will note the Crime unit is gone and a red truck is now in it's place. I learned through conversation that this was a "mercy float" and that there was a body/casket in the back of the truck. 20170714_121320.jpg

This realignment was done so that the truck would be the 1st vehicle to exit the ferry. Uncle Bob had died while in Newfoundland and the family was taking him home to Labrador to be buried. There were 12-15 family members (children, middle aged and a couple elders) who were accompanying the body and it was sweet to hear them speak of their loved one and his last ferry ride. I found this very touching and heartwarming. The everyday world of this vast land that is so closely connected to the water is very similar yet different from our lives here in Maine.  May Bob rest in eternal peace and I hope that his loved ones cherish the memories. I felt priviledged to witness this today.

 

 

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While on this short ferry ride, I saw 2 men putting new line on their fly reels and struck up a conversation. Come to find out, they are both fishing guides from Newfoundland that have 10 days off to explore and fish on their own terms and for their own enjoyment. They would be chasing sea run trout and atlantic salmon on the Pinware river.  It was immediately clear that all 3 of us have a shared passion for fishing, we clicked and chatted for most of the ride, they were full of stories and advice. I have maintained contact with one of them as he had showed me some spectacular hunting photos on his cell phone. I will show them to you when I figure out how to copy and upload them.20170829_190730.png20170829_190817.png20170830_203308.png20170830_203342.png20170830_203405.png20170830_203435.png20170830_203830.png20170830_203801.png20170830_203730.png20170830_203830.png

If you are looking for a good hunting and fishing guide in the Newfoundland region his name is Craig Wiseman. He was very open, friendly, knowledgeable and loves chasing big antlers! His pictures will speak for themselves.

Now about those icebergs...there were only 3 to be seen in St. Anthony and now I know why. They were all down here in Labrador. :lol:20170714_132011.jpg

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Absolutely stunning! 

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So we hit land in Labrador and I head towards Red Bay dodging the pot holes. This road is paved but is full of 1 foot deep pot holes. No problem on my dancing Caddis, she floats over and around them with ease.

There it is the "sign" that I have seen so many times online and ridden so far to finally see in person...the destination! I have arrived in the "Big Land".20170714_151223.jpg

As I drive along, I cross the Pinware river and think of my new found friends and the adventure that awaits them, sure looks fishy to me.

I stop at the 1st little store I see and enthusiasticly purchase my Labrador fishing license ($18). It is official, the purpose for this journey is about to become real. 

I turn left onto the dirt of the infamous Translabrador Highway route 510, I am excitedly anticipating the adventure that awaits me on this 1,160 mile stretch of road that is a mix of approx. 500 miles of pavement and 700 miles of ever changing dirt conditions which will take me through the wilds of Labrador and return me towards home.20170817_204839.png

Everything comes to a stop before it evens starts, I see there is a truck parked crossways blocking my entrance with a flagman holding a stop sign.

I ask "how are the road conditions" and he replies with a laugh "the road is closed". I have a brief moment of WTF running through my mind with a "now what do I do" when he explains that they are blasting up ahead and I just missed the explosion. The road will reopen in about an hour as soon as they can clear the debris.

No problem, I am on vacation with no where to be, so I put the kickstand down and proceed to chat with the flagger. He is married with a family which he hates being away from. He leaves home and spends his work weeks in a construction worker camp about 25miles up the road. He tells me of the plentiful fish his coworkers catch daily from the small pond behind their camps. We discuss the black flies that are surrounding us. He is the 3rd Canadian on this trip that has asked me about Trump, our political system and how the healthcare system in America works. He is shocked at the cost of my biweekly healthcare premium. 

Road is about to reopen, I note the traffic that has formed a line behind me and ask "how fast does traffic travel on this road?" He replies, "They are going to be running about a hundred clicks (62mph) and you're going to want to stay out in front of them or you will be eating dust the whole way".

I wish him well and proceed along behind the "pilot truck" and weave my way through the dump trucks, pay loaders and graders. There is considerable debris to drive over and around through this short section and several times I need to stand on the pegs to navigate the hazards. Must have been a hell of a blast.

The pilot truck pulls over and I kick up the speed. The road is long and wide and in good condition. Initially I am hyperfocused and tense getting a feel for riding on marbles over a hard packed surface. The rolling views keep wanting to pull my attention away but that would not be wise so I stay focused. Soon I am rolling along 60-65mph feeling the bike move and wander on the surface below me but it has a rythym and I begin to relax my death grip on the bars.

About 5 miles in after just thinking "this road isn't so bad" I crest a knoll and I see a slight change in the road coloration (barely discernable) about 100 feet ahead. I consciously avoid the front brake while quickly trying to tap the rear brake to scrub some speed. Then it happens, oh ****...the front tire begins plowing in 4" deep class B blast rock 1-2" in diameter and the bike begins a violent fishtail as the back end tries to pass me. Only 1 thing to do if you are going to come out of this and it is counter intuitive. Down shift and hit the gas with the hope the front tire will rise and the rear will grab some traction and straighten out. Remember 45yrs and never had a "get off" at speed?

Well that changed abruptly as the rear of the bike was skipping side to side, it very quickly but in what seemed like slow motion to me swung out from under me. I hit the road with force and I could first hear and then see the bike sliding ahead of me over the rock strewn surface. This old 200lb fat man was sliding along right behind it at 60mph over 2" rock.20170714_165256.jpg20170714_165240.jpg

Just making sure folks are following along, to be continued...stay tuned.

I will be away with the family for the weekend and may not be able to update until Monday. I have been posting this from home post the trip so it must have worked out. :wacko: 

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Incredible.  Your level of planning and preparation is amazing.  I just got back from my longest ever bike ride, also in Canada, but nothing like this.  Myself and two friends, with whom I've been riding for almost 50 years, took our beemers and rode up around the Saguenay Fjord and back down 381.  Parts of the landscape there were quite rugged and we had a little ferry ride as well, so there's that.   The dumping doesn't look good, but I'm guessing and hoping it wasn't a tragedy.  Looking forward to the next installment.

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So I am not sure if Caddis was a little over enthusiastic to finally be on the dirt roads and near our destination but she really wanted to fly. Only problem was her wings were still to fragile and wet.

So...it felt like I was on my feet before the sliding even stopped, was upright in a fighting position and looking for whoever knocked me off. What an adrenaline dump! There is plenty of fight and no flight in this ol Irish boy.

Checked myself over and everything seemed to be intact and working. Started to collect my gear that was strewn about. Then thought, pictures...I need pictures of the bikes first dirt nap. :lol:

I then looked poor Caddis over thinking 1.) She was going to be a heavy lift.  2.) That nose cone looked like a problem. 3.) Hope the side pannier can be reattached.

After about 5 minutes or so, along comes the 1st pickup. A nice husband and wife on their way back to Cartwright stopped to check on me.20170714_165300.jpg

I assured them that I was fine but wasn't so sure about the bike. He helped me pick the old girl up while his wife collected some additional gear that went down over the bank. (Sure glad that 1ft berm at the edge stopped the bike and I from going down there)  20170714_165453.jpg20170715_135203.jpg20170715_135229.jpg

He held the nose while I broke out the Gorilla tape and bungie cords. Red Green would have been proud.  The ratchet straps were the cats meow for the pannier.20170715_135210.jpg

Clearly the headlights were no longer operational as the wires had been pulled out behind the forks.  Turn it on and find nothing seems to be working. Oh no, first sense of panic sets in, this could be bad.  I wiggle things around and try to see if the ignition wires are affected, looks intact so I mount her to see if I can find neutral.

Found it and she fires right up and I discover the instrument panel works as it should. What a relief, she is driveable.

I must say, I felt very lucky after all of the reports I have read of injuries, death and disabled vehicles after such events on this road.

I thank the nice folks for their support and assure them that I will be ok and continue my journey at a much more modest pace. When I laugh and tell him, "the important thing is that I am fine, it is just plastic and all part of the adventure"...he slapped me on the back and said "thats the spirit". They go slow and watch me for a mile or two in their review mirror then they pick up speed and pull away.  I am overly cautious now and every little drift, wobble and slide puts your heart right up in your throat.

I am posting a couple pics of my own and a couple from another fella who did the same thing (crash and all) in the same general area a week later. He got some good pics that demonstrate the condition of the road surface. This stuff is not friendly on 2 wheels!20170716_104720.jpg332449002_U4UFr-M.jpggrade-b-construction-ston.jpg

I continue on for several hours heading for Port Hope Simpson. This picture captures the mood nicely as things feel a little dark and melancholy. 20170714_192654.jpg

 

 

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I cross the Alexis river and soon near Port Hope Simpson. I see a small sign that says Alexis hotel and turn right onto a small dirt side road.20170714_191241.jpg

I continue down this road thinking does it really go anywhere, then I see it, like an oasis in the desert. I don't care what the room costs, I am getting a bed tonight.

The hotel is very nice and modern given the location, it has a dining room and restaurant on site. There is a small general store next door with a gas pump. Due to the hour everything is closed. 20170714_194645.jpg20170714_195501.jpg

I do not unpack a thing off the bike and simply want to rest. The journey is starting to take its toll on both the bike and I.

I have the hotel clerk heat me some water and I eat a bag dinner tonight. 20170714_220913.jpg

Then I log into WiFi and gently try to inform my wife that while I am 100% A Ok, I did have a little mishap in the dirt today. She doesn't necessarily believe me and says, send pictures. I reply, "who says I took any". I decline, saying it looks worse than it is and there is no need to worry. She said, "don't you have a bunch of dirt road left to ride", I indicate that yes, I was only about 5 miles in on the 1,160 mile section of the Translab when I took the digger. 

She inquires if I got a police report and notified the insurance. I chuckle and said it doesn't work that way up here. The only way for me to communicate is by WiFi and text or otherwise, I would be speaking with her on the phone currently.

The earlier pictures of my riding gear were taken here, that is why they looked dirty, dusty and worn. I can honestly say that the quality gear saved my a$$ literally.

I pull back the curtain to my bedroom window and see this. I am quietly grateful that no such services were needed for me today.20170714_194912.jpg

The helicopter leaving the following am, sorry realized I was in vertical video and turned the phone to horizontal. Lol

 

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After a good night's rest I head out in the am to access the condition of the bike and see what else she may need for tweaking. 20170714_193635.jpg20170714_193647.jpg

I remove the protective cover to the left jug and remove all the crushed rock that got jammed in there, I see some rocks tucked up under the tank and along the exhaust and remove them as well. It amazes me that they stayed put for about 4hrs on a bumpy road, lol.20170715_074756.jpg20170715_074812.jpg

I repack my gear and lower the center of gravity on the rear. A fellow comes out with his morning coffee and begins to chat. Mind you, the black flies are hot and thick.

This fella is about 6'6" and 300lbs with a deep baritone voice and that Newfie/Labradorian accent. The coffee mug looks like a tea cup in his hand. He says "have a little accident did ya" and we discuss what happened and where. He sees my Maine plates and tells me he has been there when he used to pick up snow blowers in Manchester NH for resale in Labrador. Then he says, "you traveling alone are ya, you got some big balls, I am from here and even I wouldn't do that. I ride snowmobile and won't go out by myself" he goes on to say "people don't realize it is as easy to die here in the summer as it is in the winter, in the winter you die of hypothermia but in the summer...if you fall over that bank right there and nobody is there to see you do it, unless you can crawl back up, you stay there...big set of balls". I think of those words often as I continue on my journey with a new level of respect for the road and region.

We discuss the road conditions, fishing (he and his wife and son are headed to the Churchill area to fish) and his home here in Labrador. Now these folks like to string you along a bit so it is hard to tell for sure about this but he informs me just how lucky I was that the bike was rideable. He indicates that when vehicles crash and/or are disabled on this part of the Translabrador that you simply take off the plate and find another ride onward to your destination as no one is coming to recover your vehicle. He said the insurance will total the vehicle due to the cost of recovery.  I did see this later that same day and have no reason to doubt his words.20170715_140034.jpg20170715_140041.jpg

I do indeed feel both lucky and grateful.

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Terrific TR Sixguns....terrific pics of some beautiful country.   One thing, being "over cautious" isn't a bad thing when traveling out in wilderness/semi-wilderness.....

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I must say that throughout this trip, even when I was upside down on a dirt road approximately 1,500 miles from home...I never felt "alone".

The Labradorian and Newfie people are just so down to earth and friendly. They are like family, there is a genuine concern and curiosity about them.

You are not a tourist but rather a traveler and you can tell they welcome you to their land and home. They are prideful of what they have and it shows. It is as if they appreciate you being there and they want you to see, share and experience first hand what they so enjoy about living in the big land.

You can tell they come from a background of community where there is both a self-reliance and also a duty to support one another. I love that they are so curious, they want to know your name (first and last), they want to know where you are from and what brings you there...then they promptly ask with sincerity, "how is your trip going, are you doing ok, is there anything you need?". 

Reminds me of being a kid up in the county, you knew your neighbors, had respect for others, made conversation with the people at the next table in a restaurant, hold the door for strangers and offer support to one another in a time of need. 

There was never a doubt in my mind along the way that these hard working, determined folk would go out of their way to ensure that you were supported and safe before departing company or I have no doubt that they would take you home with them. The world could use more people like this.

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Day 6

Here we go...today will be the most isolated and remote section of road that I will travel. 20170821_150017.png

This is the section where the Canadian government hands out a satellite phone at either end. Really, for a minimal deposit you can request a Sat phone right from one of the hotels and return it at a hotel in the next town. It will only dail emergency services. I pass on this as I have the Inreach device.

This section of road is the part that causes the most fear and trepidation for most riders as there is nothing, no gas, no food, no shelter for the next 410 kilometers. This section of the road is what most motorcyclists bring extra fuel for.20170715_091449.jpg

The R1200GSA has a 8.7 gallon or 33 liter tank, so fuel will not be an issue for me. I top her  off and begin the day. (Mileage has been running between 40-45 mpg on the dirt)

No trepidation for me, the road is in much better condition than that which I encountered yesterday and my plan is to finally to relax, take my time and stop to fish my way across this section.20170715_103931.jpg

I absolutely love this part of the ride, you literally pick a horizon 2-3 miles out and drive to it, then you do that again...over and over all day with no end in sight. You do this all day long!  It feels like man has never set foot in this part of the world but you know otherwise. To see such a vast undeveloped land mass is a joy. 20170715_121302.jpg20170715_112941.jpg20170715_124416.jpg

 

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This is where I also come to fully appreciate the 2 biggest enemies of a motorcycle traveler in this region. It is not the blast rock as I had thought earlier, lol.

First the black flies, I had been told they are worse this year than usual. All I can say is...wow, they are absolutely horrid. How they find you so quickly in the middle of no where is down right impressive. Within 30 seconds of stopping and opening the face shield they have found you, within 1 minute they have formed a cloud and fully surround you, within 2 minutes they have landed on and cover you and you slide them off of you like and extra layer of skin in sheets of meat. 

In my prior readings a fellow rider had said..."the blackflies are so big and bad up there that you can see them sitting on a limb, they will fly down, take a bite of meat right out you...then fly back up to that same limb and look you right in the eye while they sit there and eat it". :wacko: 

He only embellished a little bit.  Honestly, they affected my fishing plans and volume of fish pictures. There was no changing clothes or footwear. I fished in my waterproof riding boots and pants. Simply removed my jacket and donned a fly net for my head.  Permetherin spay and 100% Deet spray had a minimal to marginal effect on them.  Just brutal! 

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The 2nd bane of the motorcycle traveler on this road and region...his arch "nemesis" is the grader.20170715_124358.jpg

I encountered no less than 5 today. They take a decent road and resurface it for reasons only the operators understand. This creates a 1-2ft berm which you must cross over into the opposing lane (and recross back over quickly if a truck is suddenly coming at you) or try to sneak around them on the right which is often either a soft or unsafe shoulder and crowded for space.

The road is now unable to be read, there is spread rock and gravel everywhere with no hard packed tire tracks to follow. You may think it is a stable road surface only to abruptly find out that you are driving right along at a good clip and suddenly wallow into what was a 20 foot wide by 60 foot long hole 6" deep that has been filled in and smoothed off but remains soft.

These graders can show up anywhere and surprise you but it is said the most dangerous grader is the one that you don't see. Because if they have completed their work and already left the area, you may get a soft surprise in the road. I had no pic's of the graders in action, other than the 1 parked above, so here are a few examples from others on Google to give you the idea.Grader02.JPG1010618.jpg20120801-P1010564-XL.jpgP1000227-624x468.jpg

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OMG what an adventure!!! Great pictures and great storytelling. Keep it coming :)! Most of us if not all of us are dreaming of a quest like this one. Can't wait for more!

 

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Thank you for the feedback, it is a long story...but it was an equally long trip. Glad folks are following along and enjoying it. 

I am trying to do justice of the trip in the retelling of what I experienced. I did not keep any notes, so I am trying to hit the highlights by breaking it down into day by day bites and give as much insight and detail as possible without droning on too much. :D

Course, I write like I talk and I am from the County originally, so that is not always a good thing. I am sure my old English teachers would be shaking their heads, lol.

Sixguns

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Sixguns

Your writing skills are just fine.  If any of your english teachers are reading this report, they would be as intrigued and captivated as we are.  

 We are all living vicariously through this story.

Thanks for sharing and keep the reports coming.

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Finally...it is a fishing report! :D

I stop at a small stream and quickly decide to fish in the clothes I am wearing due to the hoard of black flies.

I string up my go to fly, what else but a size 12 green belly Elk Hair Caddis and head over to the water.

I am restricted to trout waters only, which cross a road and either the bridge or a nearby tree will have a notice posted on an 8x10" laminated notice telling me to proceed with fishing or not. I can then fish 400 meters up or down the water.

Here is the first stream, me with a line in the water and with a fish on. 2017_0715_08542800.jpg2017_0715_08542100.jpg

Both the fishing action and black flies are so busy, I take very few pictures. I have dunked and ruined my last 2 Android phones and while the latest Samsung S8 plus is allegedly water resistant, I no longer chance it and leave the phone in my vehicles, so I use the waterproof Fuji streamside.2017_0715_09002900.jpg

The fish are nothing particularly special, they are primarily 4-10" with the occasional 12" thrown in. What is striking is the color of these native little gems. Talk about orange with bright color and spots, beautiful.2017_0715_09005900.jpg

The other amazing thing is how hungry and plentiful they are. Literally, I caught 30 fish in about 20 minutes.

I kid you not, I took the fly out of a fishes mouth dropped the fly by my leg and bent over to release the fish when I saw another swim past my hand and take the fly 1 foot from my leg, fish on! It was crazy busy and fun.

I also quickly realize just how wet and rough the vegetation and terrain can be to navigate and ambulate in. The weather continues to be 80's, sunny and bright.  Very warm in all this gear!

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There is a guy from Maine who crashed on that section of road a few years back. He hit one of those soft wallowing spots that the the grader left and he had been cooking right along. He was carrying extra gas strapped to the side of his bike, which spilled and caught on fire on his hot engine and then that blew up his gas tank and his bike...He had been thrown from the bike (luckily) and was on the side of the road.

Some Cree Indians saw the smoke from the distance and came to see what was going on and found him unconscious lying there...this a was few years ago...he has pins in his leg now...

..damn I hate get offs...

Wicked good story so far..

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Yep...Haymaker is his handle and I had read his story. Hence, the reason for the extra insurance purchase before my departure. He did a (sucessful) do over this summer about 2 or 3 weeks before my trip and met up with some of his rescuers. He has been sent a link to this story and has responded but he is currently up at the Fundy Adventure Rally. No moss growing under that boy!

I had a pretty good idea what I was getting myself into and it surely lived up to all of my expectations and then some.

FYI - this old fart just learned how to upload some some short cell phone videos to YouTube and put them where they belong in the previous posts. Saved a couple of them for stories yet to come.

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