Friday, August 14, 2015

Flat Bay to Winterland via Buchans (on an ATV Trail) and the Wind Blows On...

Following a quiet evening of visiting with the Legge family and their daughter and company where I was presented with a gift of moccasins, I slept like a log and was up at 6AM.  By 7AM I'd consumed a breakfast of champions (toast and peanut butter) and was ready to hit the road.

The day was overcast but the sun was working hard to break through the clouds!  A great day for riding east...

The scenery was breathtaking!  At every turn I was reminded how small and insignificant I am in this vast land... and that I was not alone.


At the Borgeo turn off I briefly debated turning south and going to Boergeo - just to say I'd been there... and, I'll not likely be this way again... after doing the math I quickly vetoed the idea - an hour and half down, at least an half hour to poke around, and an hour and half back... too far as I had a lot of ground already to cover...

The road was in fine shape.  No hidden rim crushers... nice packed gravel and it stretched on and on... this was gonna be fun!  Lots of changing light, and my head was constantly swivelling, trying to take it all in!


The bridges were a particular joy as the vista afforded of the expanse of water always brought forth an involuntary intake of breath in sheer delight of what was on display around me - on either side - the water of life flowing onward... never to be in this place in this manner ever again...



And then... the road began to narrow...  and narrow some more until it was as if I was riding an ATV trail!  By this time I was 80 or more kilometres in.  Do I keep going or do I turn around?  I wrestled with this question at each washout (no pictures as I was too busy picking a line) and at each water crossing (no pictures as I was too busy dumping the water out of my boots)... 


Eventually I came to a sign.  Buchans.  This was good news.  I knew I was going the right way.  I also knew I was closer to the end then the beginning... so I kept heading onward toward the NE.


The further north I went the closer I got to Red Indian Lake.  What a huge body of water!!  It was at about this point that I came across five moose who were making their way across the road as they travelled along a power line cut.  I'm glad they didn't pay me any mind.  Unfortunately I was unable to get a picture of them.


Above is a shot of the aftermath of a 700lb motorcycle falling over when the operators stops on an off  kilter hill and can't hold it up as it starts to go...  I'd stopped to get the picture below and when I put my right foot down there was nothing... and over she went.  No harm no foul.  Picking it up took two tries... and yes, I had to put my back into it!!


I took this picture below to give you an idea of the "rim busters" that littered this road.  Sharp pointed rocks that are three quarters buried and there is a pointed part jutting up - ready to crack your rim if you hit it the wrong way.  There is no casual riding on a road like this!  Standing up on the pegs looking far ahead picking your line...


And then you come across this... a sentry in the road way!  No way was he moving... and I wasn't getting close... as long as I moved slowly along he trotted in front of me.  If I stopped he stopped... and so I putted along until we came to a "Y" in the road.  He went left and I went right... and I think that's why I ended up north of Buchans instead of coming out in Buchans... oh well, more gravel is good right!!


Another river crossing...


A final view of Red Indian Lake...


And then a ride on the pavement into Buchans to find coffee... alas there was nothing to be found in Buchans... nothing!  I'm told it was once a happening place... but there is not much happening there now.  The one cafe is closes up and even the swimming pool is empty...


From Buchans it was on to Badger and then Grand-Falls Windsor where I fuelled up.  With a full tank of gas my belly needed filling so I stopped for a lunchtime breakfast at Bishop Falls and from there is was quick moving in the rain on the TCH until I reached the turnoff to Marystown.



About 70KM out of Marystown my eye caught movement off to the left.  I pulled over and sure enough it was a Caribou.  This warranted getting out the camera...

The iPhone didn't quite capture it...
Even with the DSLR with a Zoom Lens
he was still a ways away...
And the wind blows..
As a navigated boulder strewn roads, whacked my mirrors on tree branches as the road became an ATV trail, and then sped along the TCH in the rain through Terra Nova National Park there were four  constants in my mind all day:
  1. My God its windy...
  2. What vast barren beauty...
  3. Am I ever small in the grand scheme of things...
  4. My God its windy...
And wind is not likely to stop anytime soon... so like the trees perhaps all we can do is seek to grow where we are planted... and, if you look closely at those firs that point to the direction the wind blows there is lots and lots of tender new growth... tender shoots of varying shades of green... roots planted deep they will prevail against the harsh bitter wind... and they will provide shelter for the new seedlings that sprout below their limbs in the fertile soil of the bog...  Those firs, they may not be the prettiest, they may not be the straightest... but they've grown in the harshest of conditions and in that - there is always hope for the rest of us...

...on the Sabbath Road...

717KM with an average speed of 71 KM/H
320 KM of Gravel Road

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