Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sun Sept 26

Last leg of the trip from Waterburry Center Vermont to home.
Weather not cooperating. Rain while riding down I89. Only accident of the trip happens while exiting the Interstate. While pulling up beside Mike at the stop line, I am suddenly on my side skidding to a stop. Happened @ under 10 kph. No injurys or major damage. More aerodynamic corner on my pannier though....
Home by 4pm. Nine days, ten provinces and states, just under 5500km and one day faster than our goal!

Sat. Sept 25

Drove from Fredricton NB to Waterburry Center Vermont (Just outside Stowe).
Slow traffic is a bummer on the mountainous and curvy highway.  End up driving after dark.  Really notice how poor the KLR headlight is...

Fri Sept 24

North Sydney NS to Fredrickton  NB.
Rain finally hits us hard.  Do to different travel goals Mike and I had talked about going our separate ways earlier in the day,  but because the the deteriorating weather,  agreed to stay together. While looking for a hotel to escape the downpour Mike sees something familiar.  The car he'd sold earlier that year in Ontario!

Thurs Sept 23

Arrive @ the ferry for about 6am.  Time for breakfast!   As always, we are a topic of conversation for everyone around us.
2+ hour ferry ride and we arrive on "The Rock".  And loose another 1/2 hour to Newfoundland Time Zone.
Driving on asphalt is a welcome change BUT will the wind ever go away?  I guess thats what we should expect a day after a hurricane!  No damage seen as this side of the Island was not directly hit by the hurricane.
Hard to enjoy the ride while keeping the bike at 45degrees into the wind.  Really bad along the coast, a little better as we move inland.
Make Port Aux Basques by early evening.  Both bikes get the worst gas mileage of the trip and are nearly empty as we pull into the gas station only 230km from our last fill.   Not fun to have to take one hand off the bars, in 60-80 kmph winds, to turn on your reserve gas so your bike won't stall...
Now, to the ferry to see if we can get on tonight.  Girl at the gate says she cannot change our tickets but tells us to come back @ 9pm and check in.  Maybe we can get on?  Only issue is we can't leave once we're in.   So if we don't get on we are stuck in the ferry terminal till 1:15pm tomorrow....


Wed Sept 22

Leave Goose Bay - Happy Valley (actually two separate towns) and get on the 510Hwy.  It's called the Labrador Coastal Drive, though 25% of it is no were near the coast and 75% you can't see the coast....
This will be our longest stretch without gas so we fill up all three Jerry cans.
The drive starts out VERY easy.  Hard packed gravel & no wind.  Yeah!  One long grate bottomed bridge was our only obstacle.  Knobby tires and grates don`t mix well.  Tends to make the bike a mite squirrelly!  No big problem though ans we easily keep a 110-120 Kph pace.
30 Km outside Port Hope Simpson Mike runs out of gas, and I`m 30Km into my reserve.  A quick top off from two of our cans of spare gas and we are back in business.
In town we fill up from the single pump at the general store.  Another 200Km of gravel until the pavement starts at Red Bay.  Little did we know how bad this would be.....
Return of the loose gravel and HUGE winds, with no trees, make this part no fun.  Slows me down to a crawl and is easily the worst part of the ride for me.
Pavement at Red Bay is a blessing as we stop for gas and to air up my tires.  
Another windy night means another hotel as we stop just outside Blanc Sablon, where the ferry leaves from tomorrow.  We use the internet at the hotel to determine that we need to be at the ferry dock for 5:30 (6:30 local)  to get in the first come first serve line-up.  It's going to be an early morning...
We also discover, to our dismay, that the Newfoundland to Nova Scotia ferry that we hoped to sleep on tomorrow night, is sold out! Crap!  We book for the next available one at 1:15pm Friday.  Maybe we can beg a spot tomorrow...                   

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tues. Sept 21

Lab City to Happy Valley-Goose Bay
Wet morning - Late start. Breakfast @ McDonalds. Walmart afterwards for extra gas cans after we learned it was over 400km between gas stations on the new 510.. Met two guys, from London ON, on KLR,s, who came throught the road from the other direction. Confimed that it was 400km to gas on the 510 hwy. Told us the road was good.
Left Lab City @ 10am (11 local time). First 100km paved! WINDY!
Stop @ end of pavement to lower the air in my tires and add clothing. Snowing. Meet two guys in pickup heading to Goose Bay. More info on road conditions - lots of construction. They give us their card and tell us to call if we run into trouble. JJ Trucking.
Road is ok to Churchill Falls except for loose gravel + wind. Hard packed close to town. Get gas in town, meet guy @ gas station who confirms the road is under a lot of construction. Says it's paved for the last 90 km to Happy Valley - Goose Bay!
Mikes other fork seal starts to leak (right one started before Lab City).
Parts of the road are OK but loose gravel and wind slow use down and scare the sh** out of me. We still manage 80-110km most of the time. Getting very tired.
Pavement does start 90 km outside of town but returns to loose gravel for long stretches. Made town @ 5:30pm. Too windy/cold to tent it. Stay @ Davis B&B. $70 and includes breakfast.

Sept 20

Nice morning. Breakfast @ camp. On the road by 7:30.
Hwy 389 started really fun. Lots of twisties. Made really good time. Still not fast emough for 1 car who passes us.....
look for the car @ the gate near the dam...

Lots of large hydro dams. 
Then the gravel started. Loose gravel & twisties sucks. One section with freash laid gravel, with no warning, had us both almost dump the bikes. Little sections of pavement were a welcome change.
Some straight gravel sections let us get to 110km. At one paved section we hit 140km while passing the same rig for the fourth time (he doesn't have to stop for gas or warmer clothing). Neat paved area that used to be a town. No buildings left but medians & driveways are still there.

Weather changed for worse as the day went on. Cold and rainy. Luckely rain was on/off. Really windy in sections. Got to Lab City 4:30pm (5:30Atlantic). Stayed @ Two Seasons Inn. $135:00 - ouch. Shower/bath and warmth worth it though. Snow forcast for tonight (shouldn't have watched the weather channel, not good - thanks Igor)!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sept 19

Early start. Survived the rain.
Eat breakfast @ 'Mikes' restaurent.
Went to $ store to get mini bungees' none there.
Nice weather again. Less wind. Beautiful drive along the St. Lawrence valley and beside the river.
Make Matane, where the ferry departs from, @ 2:30. Lucky as the ferry was just arriving. $41:25 for a motorbike and rider. What a rip!
Arrive @ Baie-Comeau 6:30.
Some guys smoking 'mary jane' on the ferry, beside cash office....?
Camp ouside town. $24.
Good pizza @ Pizza Royal. Had showers. $.25/5min.
Colder night.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sat Sept 18

Slow start. Didn't leave till almost nine. Had to go to Kingston to get Mikes passport (in the truck that died on him Thurs.) and his debit card (left at Canadian Tire Fri night).
Decided on an early lunch and left Kingston @ 11am. Weather was nice. 20 deg and sunny. Windy though.
Made great time until Montreal. CONSTRUCTION! Mikes bike overheating in stop and go traffic so we pulled off the highway into 'the Bronx'. Went to use GPS to get back to highway, after Mikes bike cooled down, but Mikes GPS had locked up...Mike having a BAD day. Luckly my new GPS worked. Camped about 30 km from Quebec City, in an RV park.
Rain @ night.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ready to go....

Last night before we depart.  Shrek got 2+ liters of new oil and a thorough washing .

Here are some pics
All cleaned up and ready to go...the bike that is!

Shrek packed and ready to go!

7am depart time from Mikes.  Loaded new maps into the new Garmin GPSmap 60CSx.  Now I'm WAY to late going to bed.....