Sunday, July 8, 2012

Flat Bay to Port Aux Basque to North Sydney and Home!!

I was up at 5AM and packed up my stuff.  It felt good to be heading home.  It had been a grand trip and there are not many motorcycle trips where you can say that in seven days you only had 2 hours of rain!!  We had luck!!

I wandered downstairs and put the kettle onto boil - saw the fresh bread and could not resist!  Two slices with some jam on them sure hit the spot!  I read the departure note from Walter and could not find words at the moment to reply.

I drank my coffee and watched the morning unfold in Walter's front yard - hoping to see a moose or two (there had been two in the yard the day before and I am told there were two there later on the morning we left!).  No moose sighting for me though!  As before, the only moose I saw in Newfoundland were on plates...

I checked my email and caught up on the news and make a second cup of coffee.  Al wandered down, used the washroom and then went back up to bed - checking with me as to what time we needed to leave in order to catch the ferry.

About six Al was up again and ready to go - barely!  We loaded the machines and set out with Al leading the way.  Things got interesting when he forgot to turn at the Church.  Both he and I came into a tight turn a little too fast... glad the brakes were working!  We eventually got turned around and got out to the highway.  No traffic to speak of - and we set our sights on Port Aux Basques.

At South Branch the landscape started to change and became much more hilly - mountainous even.  Just past the signs warning of high wind speeds I ran out of gas.  I had not filled up when we met Walter and Ernie at the Ultramar the other day... luckily I had filled up my 5 litre can earlier - "just in case" - and well - "in case" happened!!

As we rolled on toward the ferry terminal I continued to be impressed with the ever increasing size of the hills!  Dirt biking in the back country here would be amazing!!

We gassed up in Port Aux Basque at the Irving and then made our way to the ferry terminal.  We were in the compound ready to load at 7:58AM - two minutes ahead of the deadline!  As we shed some gear other bikers arrived: the three lads from Quebec who we had met in Churchill Falls and again in Goose Bay who had lost their companion in a crash, a guy from Michigan on a V-Strom who was ending a three month ride across Canada, a guy from Moncton on a cruiser... all who were fascinated to know that Al had done the Trans Lab on a Harley Softail... he will be a legend for years to come...

He may be a legend... but as soon as he found a comfortable chair on the MV Blue Putees ferry he was lights out... sleeping for 3 of the 5 hours of the crossing - waking only to eat!!  I was going to take a picture - but - decided against it... he looked too peaceful to be blackmailed!!

We each had a breakfast sandwich from the cafe before the ferry had departed.  I warned Al not to waste his money - was awful - don't waste yours either.  Toast is a safer option from the Cafe!  About 11:30 (Newfoundland time) we made our way to the Restaurant had lunch - pan fried cod.  It was pretty good - the fish was - the vegetables however were rubbery and tasted old and the potatoes I am sure came from a box!!

Again with our bellies full, Al went back to sleeping and I settled into reading a book and dozing with occasional glances out the window.

We landed at 3PM and were soon on the road out of North Sydney in the thick of ferry traffic.  I don't know why they don't put bikes on the ferry so that we can get off first - because you spend the first hour off the boat passing all the slower traffic!!!

By 5:45PM (Atlantic) we were in New Glasgow getting gas.  It had been a spirited ride!  Al had decided to visit a friend in New Glasgow before head home so, with a hug and a commitment to do a ride together again next year we parted company.  I called Anna to check in and found out my mother-in-law was there, so I opted not to go home by the Sunrise Trail - I jumped back on the Trans Canada and before too long I was getting hungry as I neared Masstown.  I remembered John Tonks saying good things about the new fish and chip place there - I pulled off...  and man was it good!!

I ordered a two piece haddock and fries and it could have fed two people easy!  The pieces of fish were huge!  It was cooked to perfection and the fries were pretty darn good too!  I could only eat one piece so I tucked the other in the saddle bag and brought it home.

I pulled in the garage and was soon after greeted by a limping dog, a nephew who had shot up in height, a son that looked weary from work and a smiling wife who was happy to have her husband home safe and sound.

It was a grand trip.  We travelled 4307KM.  A little less than 25% if that, 1,083KM was gravel!  We covered an area of 543,102 sq kilometers and we both returned home with no injuries (besides Al's stubbed toe), no significant mechanical issues or fractures in our friendship!  It is a "big land" get out there and enjoy it!

4307 KM (including 3 ferry crossings)
1038 KM of gravel roads!!
1,000's of memories to last a lifetime!
On the Sabbath Road... home nursing a cold!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cox's Cove to Flat Bay... via Cape St. George

We awoke on Saturday morning to cloudy skies, heavy with the threat of rain.  Over a few cups of coffee a plan was developed: head toward Flat Bay through Corner Brook, stop in Corner Brook for breakfast and then head out toward Cape St. George.

With the bikes loaded, after a brief visit with Glen, we headed inland, leaving the beautful view of Cox's Cove behind.  The further inland we went, the less threatening the sky seemed.  In Corner Brook we motored around for a bit trying to find a place for breakfast.  Asked one fellow (a city street worker) and he suggested Tim Horton's - Al and I agreed - that's not breakfast.  Then he said, "dere's a place down at d'end of d'mall that you could try..."

And find it we did, after a tour of the back parking lot of the Corner Brook mall - Arom'a Plus.  We had a fine scoff - a full breakfast as they say in Newfoundland.  I had eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausage, ham and bologna - and ended up sharing some of my meat with Al who only had eggs and bacon!  We were set for the road!

Onto the Trans Canada we headed south with very little traffic - until we reached the turn off for Stephenville - then the northbound traffic picked up - boat traffic it seemed to be...

Cape St. George, NL
We turned off onto the RTE 460 and headed west through Black Duck Siding, Stephenville and Kippens.  As we reached Port Au Port West, the clouds broke open!!  At the turn off to RTE 463 out to Cape St. George we had to stop.  We pulled off at the little community centre and stood under the eve's of the roof and smoked a cigar - waiting for it to ease up.  After about 15 minutes we were good to go - and the sky seemed to clear the further west we went.  The south side of Cape St. George was quite enjoyable - lots to see - the north side less so.  After a steep climb up from the Cape and then a gradual descent, the land began to remind me of Prince Edward Island.

Just before we joined up with RTE 460 for the return leg, there was a restaurant on the left hand side of the road, up on a little hill.  I tell you this because I can't remember the name of it... but I can sure remember the food!  We had the daily special: pan fried salmon.  Al had mashed and I had fries!  Was it ever good!  We also had a little visit with a couple from Burlington, ON and another couple from Cascadia, Oregon.  They were quite intrigued that I had travelled through their community last summer on my Sabbatical journey.

With our bellies full we made our way to Stephenville were we stopped for supplies.  I needed some hearing aid batteries.  The drugstore in the grocery store didn't have any so we had to go to Wal-Mark - but not before we stopped for some adult beverages for the evening.  At Wal-Mart I got my hearing aid batteries, granola bars and some reading material for the boat.  New destination? Flat Bay.

Flat Bay, NL
Flat Bay barely registers on Google Maps.  It is not included on my GPS map - and I had added it manually using coordinates.  Now, you may be wondering, why all this trouble to go to Flat Bay?  Well, it was a pastoral visit.  One of the men that I work with at the prison, Hilroy, his family lives in Flat Bay and I wanted to connect with them again, as I had met some of them earlier and I felt that they might benefit from a visit and extended conversation.

Hilroy had told me to stop at the Ultramar on the Trans Canada and ask for directions to his brother's place.  So, leaving Stephenville, past Noel's Pond and through Stephenville Crossing we went, stopping at some construction on the bridge over St. George's Bay for a light to change.

We turned onto the Trans Canada and not long afterward we came to the Ultramar where we pulled in.  Al went directly to the pumps to fill up.  I parked and was headed in to ask for directions when I noticed two men in a blue pickup looking at me - expectantly - it was Walter and Ernie.  Walter is Hilroy's brother.  After greetings all around, Walter told us to follow them in - no need for directions!

15KM later we were parked in Walter's yard where we met his wife Melita and got a tour of their beautiful home - tucked into the woods on the edge of the bog.  We were prepared to tent in the area but they insisted that we stay in the house - and with the threat of moose flies and rain - we were quick to accept.  As we settled in, Walter took us on a tour of the community Flat Bay.  During this tour I learned about the closure of small costal communities.   Between the mid-1950s and the early 1970s, the Newfoundland government led by Premier Joey Smallwood closed 250 coastal villages. Thirty thousand people were uprooted and relocated to larger villages and towns - Flat Bay was one of these villages.  But slowly people started coming back!

Pitcher Plant
Bake Apple
Walter showed us some of the homes his extended family lived in, like the one he is renovating for his grand-daughter.  He took us for a walk along some of the shoreline trails and then out to the pow wow grounds - and it was here that I learned this his daughter, Liz Lasag, is the Chief of the Flat Bay Band - now known as No'Kmaq Village.

Returning to the house, the tour wasn't done.  A quad ride on the bog.  I found this experience so amazing as I'd never seen or ridden on such a spongy surface!  Step on it and it squished like a wet sponge.  Walter pointed out plants such as the ever present bake-apple and the pitcher plant (Newfoundland Provincial Flower).  As we headed back toward the woods on the quads I soon realized that riding a quad over this surface was much harder work then riding a motorcycle!  It took all your arm strength to point that thing where you wanted it to go - and there was no using your body to lean it!!  Thankfully we stopped for a few photo breaks!!

Returning to the house Melita had a meal ready for us: moose steak and vegetables with a lemon custard for desert.  It was delicious!!  All of it!!  This brought my count of moose sighting up to two - both on plates!

With our hunger sated Walter took us across the road to meet his daughter and show us her home - that he had built for her, based on her plans.  Its a beautiful home - so full of character and love.

The House that Walter Built
Walter tells the story of how one day he had a crew of men working and Liz showed up with pay packets for all the men.  In Walter's envelope there was Canadian Tire money... he laughs and you can see the love in his eyes and you just know how important his family is to him.  After a tour of the house we sat with Walter and Liz and Liz's partner and shared some stories about family, culture and faith - a enlightening and informative time with a bright articulate young woman!

Returning to Walter and Melita's home we settled in for more conversation.  Walter showed us family pictures, Melita shared some photos of sunsets taken over the bay and we heard story after story about life in Flat Bay, about people leaving and returning, about the various cultures that have married and intermingled, about the deep connection to the land and family...

In the midst of this, I turned on my computer to show Walter and Melita pictures of my two boys and while doing that I checked my email - it was here that I learned that Anna's cousin, Randy Czapalay, who had been battling a cancerous brain tumor had died.  His mother Joan had asked me if I would take part in a graveside service for him in Port Greville.

Al and I had been weighing what to do next.  I was filled with cold.  With our visit here we had accomplished to two must do items: the Trans Labrador and a visit to Flat Bay... we had thought about heading down to Burgeo on Sunday morning... but this news decided things for us.  We were heading for the boat on Sunday morning.

I called Marine Atlantic and changed our reservations, called Anna and told her we were heading home, emailed Joan and let her know I would be home on Sunday evening and then called the hotel in North Sydney and cancelled our reservation for Thursday morning.

With all that done, Walter brought out some snacks: chips and pepperoni and salami, and as I teased him, when we were full, he brought out the good stuff, homemade bottled salmon - yum yum yum!!  It went very well with the Black Horse - not so well with the Honey Brown.

Eventually I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.  I needed to go to bed.  I headed upstair to bed and left Al and Walter having "one more".

Our track for the day: 319KM

Our elevation profile for the day!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Gros Morne to Cox's Cove...

I awoke - late for me at 7AM.  Al was still snoring.  I packed my sleeping bag and mattress.  Al was still snoring.  I took down the tent and packed it all on the motorcycle.  Al was still snoring.  I made coffe and enjoyed the morning.  Al was still snoring.  I made another coffee and took it down to the common area where I uploaded some pictures and updated the blog.  Al was still snoring when I left - and when I returned at 9:30 AM he was sitting at the table drinking coffee.

We'd decided last night to run up to Trout River.  Al wanted me to see the Tablelands.  I'm so glad we did.  Majestic and awe inspiring are the only words that can begin to describe the grandeur!  We made it to the end of the road and saw the beginning of the Trout River Small Pond (as opposed to Trout River Big Pond !?!?) and then we turned around and headed for Corner Brook.

The plan was to have lunch and then visit Headline Holstein's, the second largest dairy farm in eastern Canada run byPauline Duivenvoorden and Phil MacLean.  Phil is the son of David and Catherine MacLean and the brother of Donna Tourner, all three who are clergy with the United Church.  

We had understood that David and Catherine would still be there - but this morning learned that they had left for the boat.  As David and Catherine were no longer there we decided to head to Cox's Cove after lunch - just for a ride to kill some time before we went to the farm.  Well, plans have a way of changing.

After the 40KM drive on the Trans Canada to just before Corner Brook and the 35KM drive into Cox's Cove I was toast.  Tired and groggy.  I needed to stop.  I saw a small sign for Island View Cabins... we'll stop there!  And then I saw another smaller sign "Wedding" pointing in the same direction and there were cars blocking the road!  Darn, I thought!  No chance of a room there....  

I left Al at the harbour and ventured up anyways - up the steep driveway, manoeuvring around all the cars, wearily climbed the stairs and asked, "Any chance for a room?"  A small woman (Agnes) with a personality three times the size of her small stature replied, "Why yes me dear.  We'll fix you right up!"

Elizabeth (the owner) had me sit down and in no time they had me registered in a sweet little cottage (Al says its too nice to be sharing with another man!) and Agnes was guiding me down to the cottage carrying my coat for me (the coat likely weighed as much as her!).  Its a beautiful place.  The view is a gift - as is the soft sofa and the hot shower.

Elizabeth and Glen relocated to Cox's Cove from Calgary 18 months ago.  As Glen tells the story, one night sitting on the deck they decided to leave Dodge and three days later the house was sold... they arrived here in January and once they arrived it snowed for 30 days straight!  Awesome place.  Awesome people.  Come for a visit!!  Island View Cabins

We unloaded what stuff we needed off the bikes (including our dirty clothes) and decided to go down to the harbour to see what we could get for supper.  Lobster @ $4.99/lb... too good to pass up.  With the lobster safely stowed in the saddle bag, being kept cold by the six pack of Bud Light (Al's choice - not mine!!!) we made our way back to the cabin.

Al inquired about washing clothes and Elizabeth informed us that they have a laundry service: $8/load washed and folded...  what service!  Agnes brought them down to us just as we were putting the lobster onto boil - and she gave us some advice on how much salt to put in the pot - we didn't have near enough salt in the pot!!

Today has been a real gift.  A short ride on the motorcycle with some amazing scenery and to arrive at this spot feeling so awful and to have the privilege of enjoying this view for a time... such a gift.

This morning driving down the road in the valley between Green Garden on the one side and the Tablelands on the other, following Al, he lifted one hand off the handle bar toward one side, then the other off the bar to the other side, and then both off the bars in what was clearly a sign of praise/awe.  We stopped at a pull out a bit down the road and he said, "It humbles you..."  Indeed it does.  Travelling in such a vast land, filled with such beauty reminds me that I am but a speck in the galaxy... and that I had best know my place, appreciate it, and live it as fully as possible.

We enjoyed our lobster supper.  The dishes are still waiting to be done.  There is a bit of haze rolling in and they are calling for rain for the next two days.  We are hoping that we can connect with Walter and if we can, we may head for home sooner then expected - we're not sure - we're just gonna play it by ear.

If the value of the day were to be measured by distance covered, today would be a bust... however, if the value of the day is measured in beauty seen, experienced and appreciated, then today was a real winner!! 

On the Sabbath Road - in Cox's Cove, NL
A complete gallery full size pictures from today can be found here.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Plum Point to St. Anthony... and Gros Morne

An amazing day - as they all have been!  This morning I was up again at 5AM and like a mouse, I packed my bike and I head out to St. Anthony and L'anse aux Meadows.

The drive to St. Anthony was a mystical delight - fog rolling over the road, at times I would drive under it and other times through it - being ever careful for moose... didn't see a one though!

In St. Anthony I headed out to the end of the road - Fishing Point.  There was a lighthouse there and there were trucks all lined up with men sitting in them looking to the water.  I asked one guy what was up and he says, "Well, see we all gets our coffee and come's out here's for a chat and to watch the whales and icebergs before we goes to work... there's one - see that fluke..." and like that I was entranced!  We saw three whales breach and one blow - they were chasing the caplin.  And then, the same fellow says, "And see dat der iceberg through de fog..."  And sure enough there it was barely visible through the fog.  Here is a link to the story in the local paper.

With my senses full of whales and icebergs I was reminded that my belly was empty.  I headed to a local restaunt and enjoyed a fishcake breakfast!  Yum Yum!  Between bites I uploaded some pictures and chatted with Anna and a few friends on Facebook.

With my belly full I headed to L'anse Aux Meadows.  It was a beautiful morning.  Walking down to the site I met some folk from Winnipeg who were members of the United Church - Atlantic Garden City.  I told them of my connection to Augustine United and we spoke of the upcoming General Council.  They told me that there minister is going - I told them that I was going and I promised to make contact with their minister in Ottawa - its a small world!

It was about this time that I realized that I was coming down with a cold.  My throat had been scratchy and now my nose was running.  Not good.

Al and I had planned to meet at the Irving next to the Motel around 1PM.  My timing was going to be tight.  Do I take the shorter road - the one I took on the way up?  Or do I take a different road?  My philosphy of trying not to travel the same road twice won out and I turned off the 430 onto the 432 toward Main Brook.

This is a "protected road" so there is no building allowed.  It was a fine road.  No traffic.  Nary a moose either!  I filled up with gas at Main Brook, got some Fisherman's Friends - hoping they would soothe my sore throat.   What they didn't do the scenery did!  Before I knew it, I was at the Irving and Al was ready to go...

Southward we went on RTE 430 (The Viking Trail).  More beautiful scenery that even my cold could not diminish!  At Parson's Pond we stopped at a little store and I got some cold meds (the non drowsy kind and given the weather was nice and forecast to continue to be that way, we decided to camp at the south end of Gros Morne.  I tried to stop and take pictures - but eventually the desire to just enjoy the road won out and I gave into the temptation to carve some of those beautiful corners coming down into the valley and rising again to the tabletop area.

At Wiltondale we stopped for gas and decided to eat before we heading in to find a campground.  Eat we did.  Al had a traditional caplin dinner and I had moose stew!  Awesome!  I also had an Iceberg Beer, brewed by the Quidi Vidi Brewing Company in St. John's.  Went well with the moose!

At the little store next door I bought a Quidi Vidi sampler pack and tucked each bottle away in various places on the bike - and we headed in to find a campground, ending up at Lomond Lodge.  It's a beautiful place - except for the constant sound of the generator  50 yards away from me.

After setting up camp I had a shower and then we met some of our neighbours - Darren and his son came over and said hello - offering us space in their cooler for the beer.  We shared a few stories - Darren rides too - a Suzuki Marauder.  He's put 300KM on it this year.

As the evening progressed Al and I made the decision to forego running across the Island.  We're just going to stay on the west side.  On the 6th we will take a run up to Trout River through Gros Morne and then turn around and head into Deer Lake.  Phil MacLean, son of David and Catherine MacLean, and brother to Donna Tourner has a dairy farm in the area - we hope to stop in and see his setup.  Donna had said David and Catherine were there - but as it turns out they are leaving on the 6th - catching the afternoon boat... Al has a friend in Corner Brook that he wants to see and then we thought we'd take a run down to Burgeo, on the south shore of Newfoundland - just to say we'd been there - before we go and visit Walter.

As I finish writing this, its 8:30 AM on Friday morning.  I slept unti 7AM and as far as I know, Al is still asleep - hope he wakes up soon!!

Full size pictures for the day can be found here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Goose Bay to Blanc Sablon... no, make that Plum Point

5AM came on time.  With over 9 hours sleep Al was up as soon as I flushed the toilet!  By 5:45AM we had the bikes packed and were sitting in the lobby of the Hotel North 2 waiting for Jungle Jims to open so we could get breakfast!

I saw fishcakes on the breakfast menu and got excited... Al suggested that I find out of they are frozen - as I would no doubt be disappointed if I got them and they were... I asked... they were... I ordered bacon and eggs instead!

We were on the road by 7:15AM with 500+ kilometers of gravel road ahead of us.  The road was in great shape... by great I mean in better conditions than some towns in Nova Scotia - one in particular with a men's prison in it by the same name - but I won't mention any names...  Ann Murray was born there but won't come back for fear of ruining the suspension on her Escalade...  figure it out yet!?!

 There is not much to write about 500+ KM of gravel road.  The scenery was breath taking - rocks and trees and trees and rocks and old stunted trees and more rocks... barren and oh so beautiful.  Perhaps I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.  You can see the pictures here.

When I wasn't watching the road in front of me I was looking at the clear blue sky and noticing the contrails stretching overhead: planes carrying many people from many places to many different places over the Labrador sky...

A journey such as this gives a mind time to think - think about the bumps in the road, the wrongs turns taken and places one has been and hopes to go...  I got to thinking about the conversation Al and I had last evening - he asked me how I came to be at Springhill, in prison ministry.  I told him the story of John Tonks seeking me out and how things unfolded from there... but as I drove today and thought some more I realized there is more to that story and it has to do with Lowell Vessey seeing goodness, seeing potential in me, and encouraging me to consider ministry... and I think that is why I am so connected to the work at Springhill - claiming the goodness in myself and seeking to help others see the same in themselves...  big thoughts for a big land...

With a stop in Port Hope Simpson for gas we reach Red Bay at 3PM.  We had completed the Trans Labrador Highway!!
No more gravel on this trip!!
We arrived in in Blanc Sablon in time to catch the 6PM Dangerous Goods crossing... seemed to fit... we were feeling kind of dangerous!!  On the board the Apollo we enjoyed a roast beef dinner and conversation with a guy from Newfoundland who works on a blasting crew in Labrador... he's going fishing on his four days off!  Nice and quiet he said!!

10 minutes off the boat we found ourselves in the Plum Point Motel where we met Sandy who was wondering around the parking lot with a beer in hand looking for a conversation.  We had a good chat with Sandy and found our more than he likely planned to share with us about the tragedy in his life and the toll it is taking on his current relationships.  Wish you well Sandy and hope things get better for you and those you love!

Al enjoyed a shot or two of Captain Morgan Premium and I had a couple of India Beers - another Newfoundland staple!

On the Rock!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Grand Hermine Lake to Goose Bay...

Up at 4AM as a result of the call of nature, I exited the tent (awkwardly I might add) to a slightly overcast morning... Did my business and crawled back into the warm sleeping bag and tossed and turned, waking again at 5AM.  It was light enough to see the watch so it was time to get up.

I rolled up my sleeping bag and mattress and donned my riding liners and then followed natures call again - and went for a little walk to the shed down the way - a two seater but I had no company except the mosquitos!

Returning to the camp site I stowed my gear and packed up the tent... and I guess Al heard the sound of zippers and me grunting... soon he was up and doing the same... packing away his tent and mattress and sleeping back in the midst of a fine drizzle!

Notice the orage rocks!
My a coffee would be good... except it wasn't where it was supposed to be.  So,I packed up the JetBoil and then realized the bag with the coffee was in my pocket...  so, unpacked the JetBoil and boiled some water and ah... that fist sip was good!  And then it started to drizzle again!

We packed er up and hit the road and had about 45 minutes of off and on again rain and drizzle - but thankfully - by the time we hit the gravel (114KM from the camp site) - the rain decided to quit!!!

About an hour later we needed a break and I saw these flowers on the side of the road - they are not exactly the same as the ones I saw on the volcano in Iceland - but the are not far off - delicate little puff balls in this harsh unforgiving climate.

While I think of it, Al had told me last evening as we stood by the coffee pot, about the Caribou moss - when it is wet it is a slick as slime and when it is dry it is as rough as sand paper... like this big land - its a land of contrasts!

The road continued to unfold before us - destination?  Churchill Falls and breakfast!!  After about and hour and a half we crossed the Churchill River - dry as a bone!  It has of course been diverted for the hydro electric project!

The last 40KM into Churchill Falls were the worst 40KM of the day!  Bolders in the middle of the road, washboard upon washboard and dump traffic as the picture shows!  Al looks pretty small behind that big truck!

Arriving Churchill Falls we gased up at the only gas station - the Ultramar and then found our way to the only restaurant in town: The Midway Travel Inn.  There eating our breakfast we heard the sad tale of three fellow motorcyclists from Quebec, whose companion had a crash about a 100KM east of Churchill Falls and was airlifted to the hospital in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.  Not the way he wanted to get there... and a sober reminder to us to take it easy and be careful...

With breakfast eaten we set out east again on HWY 500 toward our destination for the night... it was as our fellow french travellers said, "slippery" - that is to say, there was lots of loose gravel and you needed to choose your line carefully and look and steer (loosely) in the direction you wanted to go!

With a few stops along the way for "bum breaks" and "scenic interludes" we arrived in Goose Bay at 1:30PM and with a stop at the Tourist Information Building quickly a room at the Labrador Inn.

A helpful staff member advised us to take everything off the bikes and into our room... up a flight of stairs to protect it from walking into the woods.  As a result I type with a 5l can of gas next to me on the desk - good thing its a non-smoking room!!

We had supper at Jungle Jim's... its was a good as Jungle Jim's can be... the portion sizes were hearty!  Al had fish and chips and I had fajitas - and we both cleaned our plates like good little boys!

As I finish the blog for today Al is snoring away... no doubt dreaming of the 500+ kilometers of gravel road that await us tomorrow morning.

Final stats for today: 491 KM - 350+ of that gravel with significant elevation changes!!

On the Sabbath Road... in Goose Bay!