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!

















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