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Sixguns

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

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Day 9

I slept in a bit and when I wake to check the ferry schedule from Baie Comeau to Matane, I note it does not run until 6pm. Not being interested in sitting about waiting on a 1hr boat ride, I decide to just ride down to Quebec and Montreal and cross via land into Maine.

This is a pleasant surprise as I ride the coast line on Route 138, I recall going through a section of park and riding until the road ended at the waters edge and you drive right onto a free ferry. It was awesome, some very beautiful scenery.20170719_130222.jpg20170719_125528.jpg20170719_125622.jpg20170719_125826.jpg20170719_125546.jpg

Hunger sets in and I stop at a little roadside cafe' for the only two items I have experience ordering in French. They are my favorite dish as well, hamburger frommage and demi poutine with a coke.  20170719_145713.jpg

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I continue on to Montreal thinking I will live it up a bit in sin city, get a good meal and see what the city has for entertainment.20170719_201623.jpg

When I arrive the city is very active, I see people about and hear music playing. Things are active and I am thinking this will be fun. It is beginning to become dark and I need a room and to get off the road soon.

I stop downtown at a Travel Lodge and discover  that they are sold out and I am informed that there are 4 more hotels on this main drag that I can check with.

I set off on foot to find them as traffic is horrible. At the next upscale hotel, I am thinking this could get expensive. Here I am informed that this main road is about to be closed for fireworks as they are having a summer festival and that all hotels in the area are full. The excellent host spent 30" placing calls to find me a room 10 miles out of town and informs me it will not be very nice, I accept and get directions.

Return to my bike and yep...it is now dark out. I drive 10 miles through Montreal streets in the dark with no headlight, fortunately I do not get stopped by the police nor die enroute.

So much for a fun night in the city, I order delivery and eat spaghetti in the room.

Day 10 or 11.

I put in my home address in the GPS and head for the border. 20170720_150258.jpg

Upon arrival, the US officer as expected is an absolute jerk. He wants to know how long I have been in Canada, I tell him I think this is day 10, he asks where I have been in Canada and when I tell him, NB, NS NF, Labrador, QC and Montreal...he wants to know why. I inform him of my desire to catch a brook trout in Labrador, he is unimpressed and asks 3 different times during converstion "what am I going to find when we search your bike". I declare the 2 pints of screech and two A&W shot glasses. He wants to know what I do for work, how long have I done that, when will I be retiring. He asks again, what will I find when we search your bike aside from the Screech and glasses. I take off my helmet and Sun glasses, look him in the eye and point to my camping gear, fishing gear, clothing etc and tell him what is in each pannier and that he is welcome to search it if he would like. He then says, your bike has damage how did that occur and I tell him, his reply is that is kind of fast on a dirt road don't you think. I got a little snippy now and said I had learned that and slowed down, he indicated that he didn't know why anyone would want to ride the Translabrador Highway, it was at this point I bluntly asked if he was going to search me now or was I free to continue on my way. He asked, where are you going and I said well according to my GPS 140 miles that way to the address on my passport. He then hands me my passport and says drive safely. JERK on a power trip!

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The ride home through Corbin Gore and Eustis is pleasant and when I arrive home my wife was happy to see me and very pleased that I came home 2 days early so I could accompany her to Caribou.

I will carry these memories with me for many years to come and have already decided that I will be returning back to the Quebec side of Labrador to fish the waters that I skipped.

Grampa did it. :)

THE END.

There will be 1 last post to do an overview and gear review.

 

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Overview:

•  4 nights hotel, 6 nights camping.

•  2 Countries and 5 provinces. Approx. 4,000-4,500 miles traveled.

•  4 ferry rides. 

•  2 nights of rain, only 1 day spent riding in rain.

•  Total spent out of pocket on the road. (meals, fuel, ferries and hotels) Approx $1,000-1,200.

•  Pack 1/3 to 1/2 as much food in future.

•  For the future, I have purchased business cards with all of my contact info to hand out to those you meet. Saves looking for pen and paper and losing stuff.

•  Despite going into my bank before departure and filling out forms of my travel plans and acct's to be used, they were still shut off twice as potential fraud and required calls to reactivate. Visa was taken everywhere but you want to make sure to keep some cash on hand in case the acct. becomes locked.

Best Gear

•  First and foremost the bike, very pleased.

•  Rok straps for securing gear. Clearly designed by a motorcyclist. 

•  Garmin Inreach Explorer +

•  all riding gear listed earlier. Held up well and protected me wonderfully. D30 armor works!

•  Thermarest Neoair Xtherm mattress, slept better than my bed at home.

•  used the Estwing hatchet and Katahdyn water filter a lot. (did not use saw)

•  EBay knock off Helinox chair. (did not use table)

•  Cabela's 2 person XPG tent, will need larger for another person and gear for the next trip.

•  MSR Whisper-lite Universal stove. Will work with all fuels, (gas, white gas or butane mix canister fuel) Can simmer or boil.

•  All MSR cookware.

•  Heidenau K60 Scout rear tire. (10,000 mile tire)

•  Verizon travel pass worked great when I had a signal.

Worst Gear

• HANDS DOWN, the Heidenau K60 Scout front tire, it plows and searches constantly. Replaced immediately upon return with a Continental TKC 80, put another Heidenau on the rear.

•  I had bought a 0° mummy style sleeping bag off Woot.com. The bag was warm, compact and sturdy and functioned just fine but I found that I just do not like the feel of sleeping in this style of bag, felt too confined. I desire the traditional rectangle style with more room to shift an turn.

•  Not completely sold on the Sena 20 communication device. Need more time to play with it and learn features/function.

•  The Nalgene soft waters bottles both burst in the accident.  I have bought a 48oz hard plastic Nalgene bottle for future use.

Again, I got lucky in the accident. These bikes are made to take a tumble.

Thankfully, bike damage is cosmetic and minimal. All parts ordered and received for under $300 and I will do the work. Needed 2 latches for pannier ($55 and $85), 2 plastic brackets to secure nose cone ($4.20 each), 1 side wind deflector ($42), kickstand safety switch washer and e-clip ($5), blinker lense and bulb ($25). I removed the BMW fog lights as they are $125 each and provide minimal light. While I like nice things, I am all about function over fashion. I bought a set of LED driving lights on Amazon to replace them ($27), mounting bracket for new lights ($13). Will need to reconnect headlight wires with shrink type connectors. May need new HID bulbs.  Worst part has been removing the adhesive residue from the Gorilla tape. :D

The big ticket items...intrument cluster $1,000, headlight assembly $1,000, windshield $500 were all undamaged. No tank or fork damage.

Thank you for following along and sharing my trip. 

Sixguns (Rob)

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Sixguns (Rob)

Thank you for one of the best reads on this forum in years.  I couldn't wait to get home each day to read the next installment.  If you have not thought of writing for an outdoor publication then I think it is about time to consider it.  Your descriptive writing style with the photos to chronicle your adventures is worthy of publication. 

You sir are a master story teller!

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58 minutes ago, Alan said:

Sixguns (Rob)

Thank you for one of the best reads on this forum in years.  I couldn't wait to get home each day to read the next installment.  If you have not thought of writing for an outdoor publication then I think it is about time to consider it.  Your descriptive writing style with the photos to chronicle your adventures is worthy of publication. 

You sir are a master story teller!

X 10

Ron

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I am humbled by your kind comments and glad that you enjoyed it.

It was a trip of a lifetime for me and I felt privileged to have the experience and felt a need to share it with others in hopes that they would chase their adventure whatever that may be.

I am glad I did it but would not do it again on 2 wheels, at least not before the paving is complete. I have already made plans in my head to return to the Quebec side to fish more, their side is not as restrictive with non-residents and I can be there in 1 day.

The region is striking with a remote beauty and vastness that touches you with it's undeveloped ruggedness.

Every rider has a different experience on this road, it can vary greatly day by day and week by week and is dependant on the weather, road condition and grader/construction.

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Very cool adventure, I am happy it was as eventful as you wanted it, and uneventful enough that you're home safe. Good for you!

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Thank you for sharing your adventure.  I eagerly looked forward for each installment.  Thanks again.

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Terrific report Sixguns! Thank you for taking the time to do this report i really enjoyed it!

I'm glad you liked the Manic-5 - relais Gabriel - Gagnon area...my backyard!

As of folks of Quebec we have douchebags like everywhere else but I think we are a polite and welcoming people in general.

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On 8/14/2017 at 11:04 AM, Sixguns said:

Northernfly, I thought you would enjoy the last leg of my journey.

My only negative experience with folks in Quebec was as a winter tourist in the old city during the carnival but it left a lasting impression.

Gee and Karl saved the day in a big way and restored my faith in your countrymen, lol.  

It is a unique and beautiful area for sure and I will be back up to fish your waters next season and likely more than once! :D

 

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Awesome report, from the detail to the incredible pictures of the scenery.  Thank you for sharing and welcome home!

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On 8/28/2017 at 5:02 PM, Swamptrout said:

Awesome report Sixguns!  I can't believe you did the whole thing via bike, that takes some nutts!

 

I totally agree w/swamptrout... I just can't believe that you did his on a bike. I get it, you're very experienced... but also a bit crazy ;)! 

If I did this trip, I'd certainly be using something comfy, enclosed and with four wheels :).

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Bet it's nice to be back where one can have a pick of so many types of adult beverages:D   Terriric TR Rob, it's one of the standing no-frills, undeveloped wilderness areas of the planet....an area which is the last stronghold of the native Eastern Brooktrout.. 

Kudos to you and your bike surviving the trip...pretty impressive!

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On 8/14/2017 at 11:04 AM, Sixguns said:

 

You know what they say. B)il_fullxfull.654062002_701r.jpg

Traveling by motorcycle, I feel more connected to the surroundings. The feel of the road, sights, sound and smells.

You are also more exposed to the elements and that comes with both risks and rewards.

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I just now added some pictures of the amazing wildlife shots that Craig Wiseman (The guide) had shown me.

They were dressing and quartering out the M-oose when they came across the Caribou that put on a battle royal for them less than 100yrds away.

He was hunting in Gros Morne on that hunt.

Another tidbit:

M-oose are not native to Newfoundland. Four m-oose were introduced to the island in 1904 as an alternative food source to supplement the declining Caribou population. By 1945 they had the highest M-oose numbers in North America. They thrived on the island and the m-oose population is currently around 120,000 or approx. 1 to every 4 residents.  They are the same genetic strain we have here in Maine, there are just more of them.

There are no natural predators for them and the population is kept in check/balance completely by hunting.

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Rob/Sixguns - Wow.  Just wow.  Tremendous story, very well told.  Hat's off to you for pulling it off; that took some guts to do alone! 

For about 5 minutes I thought I needed to run down to Max BMW this morning and buy a 1200GSA, but reality set in & I'll keep my "old man's bike" (1200RT).   I haven't the two-wheel experience you do nor any dirt time at all.  Incredibly impressed by your preparedness, just a great job.

Once again, hat's off and thanks for taking the time to share...would love to see you submit as an article to BMW MOA's magazine.  This tops any adventure riding stories I've read there!

 

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Sixguns - echoing all of the prior comments - what a great read. I don't ride - but I want to now. You really do have a way of pulling readers in - and a compelling story - the best I have read here I think. Your attention to detail in your preparation is apparent yet accessible - in many adventure stories I have read there is a level of arrogance that places it out of reach for the average guy. I think Jumbo John is right that you should submit this somewhere. Also - love the GSC golf ball to show the size of the gravel brings some home to Canada.

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Wow man awesome report if this one doesn't win as best of the year I will be surprised great job totally agree with Alan 

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Despite the reviews, I think that I better stick with my day job. :D

It was an awesome trip that I am so glad that I did. Just wish I hadn't listened to that damn flagger and learned the road conditions a bit more before I pushed it to the edge of my limits.

I have been looking at my route on Google Earth quite a bit and it really puts the remoteness into perspective. It is truly "The Big Land".

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I hope everyone that has read it will consider chasing an adventure for themselves no matter how far or big that may be.  Get out there and LIVE life! 

Sixguns.

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