TLH Trip, Chapter Two

Steve Northrop blackgpz at
Sun Aug 17 18:53:06 PDT 2008

     Day five we needed to get up early and get going. We had 350 miles of 
gravel to traverse today. After a not very restful night (the street outside 
my window sounded like the Indy 500 all night), we had a nice breakfast of 
fresh baked goods, fruit and coffee. Bill misplaced his favorite gloves and 
thought maybe he left them where we had dinner. A quick trip up there and 
they were closed so we continued on after a little circular tour of Labrador 
City. The GPS' were showing different directions out, hard to believe when 
there's only one road in and one road out! Weather-wise it was the same as 
the day before, a little rain, a little drizzle, but mostly dry. Temperature 
was in the mid-fifties since we left Manic #5 and would stay that way until 
back in the states. The oddest thing we saw this day was an old man in black 
with a white beard leaning on a guitar case standing on the side of the road 
in absolutely the middle of nowhere, 90 miles from civilization in either 
direction. No vehicle, no other belongings, smiling at us as we ride by. 
Shoulda stopped and got his story but who knows what he had in that guitar 
case! We have also seen the occasional moose and black bear with a ptarmigan 
or two flying across the road in front of us. We are moving right along 
today, the worst sections being those that have just been passed over by the 
road grader. This redistributed the gravel across the whole lane so there 
was no two-track to ride in anymore. We hit a few construction spots too 
where they were rebuilding the road, we figured in preparation for the 
planned future paving. We were trying to make Goose Bay before 5:00 PM 
before the local Kawasaki dealer closed. It was called Frenchy's (imagine 
that) and we wanted to see if we could get a t-shirt or something. We pull 
up in front of it at about 10 to 5 and it's already closed! CRAP! We wonder 
how many motorcycles he sells for the short season above the 52nd parallel 
and there is only 26 miles of pavement in the whole city! We head over to 
the B&B where we are staying, not as nice as the last one but nice enough. 
The beer store is only a block away and we can do some laundry. Bill, Mike 
and I venture into town for dinner and find a steakhouse where they bring 
you your meat raw and you grill it yourself. Can't blame the cook for 
screwing up your meal! Back to the B&B for a couple cold Canadians and off 
to bed. We have traveled 1650 miles to this point.
     We don't have to catch the ferry from Goose Bay to Cartwright until 
5:00 PM. We sleep in a little today. We do a little bike maintenance after 
about 640 hard miles of gravel the last two days. We check out at 11:00 AM, 
hang out at Tim Horton's for while then head for the ferry terminal. We get 
checked in and ride down to the loading area where there are a bunch of 
other adventure riders waiting for the ferry. One group is from New 
Brunswick and there is one fellow that is a Polish national touring around 
on his BMW F650 GS. We hung out with them in the bar on the ferry. The 
2-berth cabins were about the size of a prison cell but I was self-medicated 
enough that I slept quite soundly. We are off the ferry at 7:00 AM with 
about another 200+ miles of gravel to travel today. We need to get to Blanc 
Sablon to catch the ferry to Newfoundland by 5:00 PM. Immediately upon 
leaving the ferry, we are encapsulated in a dense fog. The dust and mist 
cover any flat surface with a layer of mud as we ride. It's pretty slow 
going until the fog burns off a couple hours later. Initially the road from 
Cartwright goes inland but eventually returns to the coast where we travel 
through some quaint fishing/whaling villages. The gravel finally ends at Red 
Bay after 860 miles of it in three days. Bruce stops, gets off his bike and 
kisses the pavement. Great job by everybody, no crashes, not even a flat 
tire. It's only a couple hour ferry ride to St Barbe, about a 15 mile ride 
to the motel after we get off. We meet Jacek (the Polish national) on the 
ferry again and invite him to stay with us and have dinner. He's seen more 
of the US than I have and is quite an interesting guy. We have traveled 1950 
miles and are now in Newfoundland!

More later.

Steve in Western NY
'96 GPZ1100
'02 Daytona 955i
'08 KLR 650
"You Can't Fix Stupid", Ron White 

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