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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am wondering how I want to get to Newfoundland.

Here is the obvious way. I am planning a Cape Breton Island circuit. From North Sydney NS I can take the ferry to eastern or western Newfoundland, ride across Newfoundland via the TransCanada, and take the other ferry back to North Sydney.

If I want to avoid the chance of running my V-Strom into the side of a moose on Newfoundland's highways, I can leave the bike in Nova Scotia and use the bus to go across the Big Island. That saves the cost of ferrying the bike to and from Newfoundland, a matter of CDN$120 or so. Colour me yellow.

But what about Labrador? If I don't mind a few hundred kilometers of rather miserable road, I can take highway 389 north from Baie Comeau QC to Goose Bay Labrador (1115 Km.). The ferry to Cartwright on Labrador's coast is not very expensive, then some more gravel (~320 Km.) and I reach pavement at Red Bay. A brief ferry ride across the Strait of Belle Isle gets me to the northern tip of Newfoundland, and I can ride south to Channel Port aux Basques and the ferry to North Sydney NS.

Please tell me of any experience you have on Labrador's highways. I do not enjoy riding on gravel, but the V-Strom and I can handle shoddy pavement and potholes and the like.

This link is interesting reading. It suggests the road from Baie Comeau to Goose Bay is truly the road through Hell! I am thinking that an old fart ought not to try this alone!
http://users.metro2000.net/~cdc/magna/travel trips/goose bay 7 96/cross labrador highway.htm

And just how daunted should I be by Newfoundland's moose in late June or early July? I won't be out when it's really dark, and I am willing to follow other vehicles, as I did crossing Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Manitoba, and North Dakota last year. I saw dozens of the deer, half on the hoof and half road kill. Despite my precautions, two deer crossed the highway less than fifty feet ahead of me. Silly me, I had let my guard down because I was in a town and going about 25 Kph.

Funny thing, whenever I mention WHEN I am going to ride through moose country, somebody mentions that that time of year is when the bull moose is at his randiest and behaves most unpredictably. No matter what time of year I say, that is the response I get. Those guys must be mighty horny!

If you have any guidance for me, please respond. You don't need to tell me to visit
www.ridetherock.com
which is a great site for learning about the bikers of Newfoundland and Labrador!

One more website shows a Florida bike in Labrador. That's an excellent omen!
http://gpadventure.com/2006/07/25/ferries-dirt-and-too-many-bmws.aspx
This rider completed his Labrador ride despite fracturing a foot and recuperating for a couple of weeks in Port aux Basques. Well done, Guido!

Thanks,
Keith Falkner
Sarasota Florida
 

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Keith, by all means go to NFLD. Was there in 2001 and really enjoyed the trip. Drove from West to East and back again across the Rock to see Spear Point/Spear Cove forget which it is. Furthest point East on North American continent. Rugged and beautiful. What ever you do should be an adventure, there is just so much to see.
 

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Hi Keith,

That sounds like it will be a great trip. Where will you depart from and what time frame are you giving yourself. I would like to plan a similiar trip.

Joyous
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Newfoundland ... so far

Thanks for the encouragement, Water Warrior and Joyous7. I have become a participant at www.ridetherock.com and learned a lot about the Big Island and Labrador.

Time frame: I expect to leave Toronto on Sunday June 24 in the afternoon and ride along familiar and unfamiliar roads to Eastern Ontario. The next day I expect to reach New Hampshire or perhaps Maine. I hope to spend four or five days in Newfoundland, going from east to west. The Newfoundlanders with whom I have conversed have suggested several places to see, some scenic, some historic, and some fun to ride.

More later, because I have some urgent work now.

Keith
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Timing!

Hey, Joyous,

I edited my post to provide my starting point, Toronto Ontario Canada, and to correct the date to Sunday June 24, at about the time you were asking me my starting point.

Why Toronto? My wife and I lived in Toronto before moving to Florida, and we both have friends and relatives there. We visit Toronto one or two times a year, and this year we expect to hit the Big Smoke (one of Toronto's many nicknames) mid-May.

You are probably aware that Massachusetts' weather is much like Southern Ontario's. I will ride around nearby Ontario in May and June, to get myself accustomed to long days in the saddle, and to try out various bug repellents. I understand that mosquitoes in the East sometimes have two engines and sawtooth proboscises, so I want to be ready to make myself unattractive to them. If Ontario's Black Flies do not like me well enough to eat me, I think I will be OK in Newfoundland. Labrador is a whole different story, and I think I am not up to a solo jaunt on 500 miles of gravel and 100 miles of badly maintained pavement. I suspect I will leave Labrador until I can take a self-contained motor home there.

I plan to ride east through New England and back west through (mostly) Québec. I drove through Vermont in 1994 and through New Hampshire in 1978, so I know the terrain a little bit. I want to go through the less traveled parts of Maine because I greatly enjoy secondary roads, and I suspect I will find a lot of miserable roads in Newfoundland.

If you are seriously contemplating a trip to Newfoundland, you should certainly visit www.ridetherock.com, because the denizens you will meet are friendly and ready to brag about their province.

Keith
 

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I have only drive it on four wheels but the run from St. Anthony down to Port aux Basques is fabulous and on the Strom it would be incredible. Just try not to think about the fog and moose.
 

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Wow....that will be a great trip then.....If you need to hold up in New England, I have an extra little apartment not being used....you are welcome to it. I live in a very pretty part of Massachusetts.......with the band stand on the commons....very small town......Barre, Ma.
Is your wife traveling with you for the trip?

Joyous7
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Let the Professionals deal with the Moose

CYKZflyer, my plan for moose is the same plan I used with success last year for deer, on my trip to BC. I wait for a huge truck to pass, then I ride in its wake. My chance of hitting a large animal is pretty small. If the truck is carrying a lot of chickens, I find out fast, and wait for another truck.

And fog, I have ridden enough in Ontario that I know fog pretty well. Of course, Newfoundland will have some things to teach me. Trepassey Newfoundland is "Where t'fog is born" as they say.

Both these hazards can be reduced if you have the time to wait them out and something to do while you wait. I think I can manage that. I do not often seek virtue, but if patience is a virtue that can save my bones and my bike, well then I can be patient.

Wiarton Willie apparently did not see his shadow on Feb 2, so I hope you get the early spring he predicts.
Keith
 

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Keith...

Moose are far more of a problem at night, than during daylight hours. You can reduce the moose danger by a factor of about 10, by simply not riding at night on the island of Newfoundland.

If you decide to come to the island via the Argentia ferry, I may be open to personally acting as your guide through some, or possibly all, of these truly amazing Eastern Newfoundland routes...

-Port Blandford to Bonavista (Route 233 and 235)
-Whitbourne to Old Perlican to Mahers (Route 80 and Route 70)
-The Irish Loop (St. John's to St. John's Route 10 and Route 90)
-Placentia to Colinet to Holyrood (Route 100, 92, 90)

There's a very good chance I will have a new DL650 in my shed, by the time you plan to arrive here on The Rock.

P.S....

Here's a link to a handful of my photos of Newfoundland...

Photos From The Island of Newfoundland
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Replies to Two Astute Bikers

Joyous7, thank you for the offer of hospitality, but I do not plan on going as far south as Massachusetts. My wife rides several miles with me, but not several hundred and certainly never several thousand. If you wish to join me for part of my ride, I will try to keep you aware of my plans, but they are affected by many factors over which I have little control, including weather, fatigue, wildlife, and breakdowns. I like Highway 3 through New Hampshire, and I hope to dive into the hinterland of Maine, mainly because I ain't afraid of no mosquitoes.

Newfoundlander, I think I have seen your avatar on the Rock, but never mind that. Your photos are delightful, well composed, and above all alluring.

Of the 48 contiguous states, the last I visited was the prettiest by leagues. Idaho is delightful. I followed the raging Salmon River, and adored it. Lewis and Clark, two lusty and vigourous (I can spell in Canadian, eh?) explorers pronounced that river useless for navigation, and chose the Columbia instead. Hey, how many Florida bikes pass snowplows in June in Idaho? the answer is ONE, and I ride it!

Of the ten provinces, I suspect that Newfoundland is the loveliest, and I look forward to learning how and why this is so. Please understand that British Columbia is completely terrific, so the bar is set mighty high. I am looking forward to enjoying Newfoundland, and I fully expect that I will turn my back on Port aux Basques and head gung-ho for the Trans Labrador Route. We shall see.

Thanks for your support. Ain't it amazing how the choice of motorcycle can turn out to be important in so many ways?
Keith
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Rockin' on!

Joyous7, I thank you for the offer of hospitality. You are more than gracious, but I think I will be fine in my little tent. I tend to ride until weather or fatigue or prudence suggests I stop. Consequently I sometimes wind up where I do not totally belong, but then I can have another adventure. In Idaho I felt a tad spooked after running over a hapless rabbit, so I just let off the throttle and turned in the next lane when the bike slowed to a crawl. I wound up in a farmer's field. If you have seen sod farms from the air, you have probably noticed circles of green from the enormous irrigation machinery. Well, circles cannot cover the ground completely, so there are wedge-shaped pieces of leftover terrain. I had set up my tent in one of those, and eventually the farmer came along to see what I was up to. He and I jawed for a while, then he let me stay there, and I left in the morning without seeing him again.

I think you have gathered that I ride alone. My wife likes comfort, and there is not a lot on the back of a V-Strom and in a small tent. She will wave good-bye and welcome me back; in between she will visit her daughters in Toronto.

Let me try to predict when I will ride off the ferry in Argentia Newfoundland. The ship runs 3 times per week, and leaves North Sydney NS at 7:30 AM Monday & Wednesday, and 3:30 PM Friday. It arrives on the island some 14 hours later, where clocks are 30 minutes ahead of Nova Scotia's Atlantic Daylight Time, so I disembark at about 10:00 PM Monday or Wednesday, or 6:00 AM Saturday.

Until this moment, I have not been planning where I want to spend each night, but it seems I will want to catch the Friday June 29 ferry. I look at the map of Canada on my wall, and I think that will be possible if I start from Toronto on June 24. 24:Cornwall ON, 25:Augusta ME, 26:Moncton NB,27:Guysborough NS (There's no train to Guysborough) yeah, I can do it.

In a shorter period in 2006, I rode from Vancouver to Toronto, so I am confident I can reach the ferry by June 29 at 3:30 PM. When my plans get a tad firmer, I will make a reservation. That's cool; I'll watch fireworks in Saint John's on Canada Day!

Keith
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I would enjoy company and a guide!

Newfoundlander, I look forward to riding with you. Current plans, which I expect to modify because of complications that I expect but cannot predict, suggest I will be rolling off the ferry in Argentia on Saturday morning June 30.

If I have misread the schedule or wrongly applied the half-hour time difference, that prediction becomes nonsense.

Many complications might occur to change my schedule, but as June approaches I will be able to make firmer plans. I will keep you posted, probably on the Rock instead of here.

Thank you for the assistance and the welcome that you have extended to me and to the other riders who have expressed interest in visiting your province.

Keith
 

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Sounds good, Keith...

Keep us posted on the RTR Forum, as the date approaches, and we may just send out a posse to meet you.

If it's a nice day, and you're up for an interesting ride on the day you arrive, I would suggest you book yourself into the Harbour Quarter's in the town of Bonavista. It's about 300 kms from Argentia to Bonavista, and the last half of it runs through one of the best coastal roads on the island. It would be a great way to start your island visit, and the location would leave you many options for explorartion, when you awake on the second day.



Also...

When you get off the boat in Argentia, there is a very picturesque community nearby, by the name of 'Placentia'. There is a very nice restaurant there called 'Belle's'. This is a fine place to gather your thoughts, once you've disembarked from the ferry. It would also be a convenient place to meet you, if we end up coming out that way to share a day of riding with you.

Belle's...

 

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Keith...

Moose are far more of a problem at night, than during daylight hours. You can reduce the moose danger by a factor of about 10, by simply not riding at night on the island of Newfoundland.
+1
I would not ride from dusk to dawn, other than that I wouldn't worry about it, just keep your wits about you. I came close to hitting a moose last September, on Rt 9 in Maine, at ten o-clock in the morning, sun splitting-the-rocks.
 

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I would not ride from dusk to dawn, other than that I wouldn't worry about it, just keep your wits about you. I came close to hitting a moose last September, on Rt 9 in Maine, at ten o-clock in the morning, sun splitting-the-rocks.


Yep...

Here's a shot I took of a small bull moose, eating his lunch no more than ten feet from the road, in Gros Morne National Park (Route 430). I took this photo in the middle of the afternoon...



The last moose I encountered, walked right up to me in my girlfriend's driveway in the City of St. Johns', and stuck it's head through the passenger side window of my Jeep. It was a young calf (A Mini-Me moose). A very surreal experience at 4:00 pm on a sunny day.

But there seems to be a higher incidence of moose collisions within the boundaries of our two nationl parks. No hunting in these areas has allowed the moose populations to become particularly dense. Moose are not indigenous to the island, so they have no natural enemies here. So be particularly mindful of them while riding through both Gros Morne National Park, and Terra Nova National Park.
 

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When we come to Nfld this summer, will consumption of much Screech make the moose disappear or multiply?

Curious

Cheers!
 

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shall keep that in mind!
i actually picked up the nfld screech in PEI (they drink there??)
 
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