Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 4 and Heading North

Day 4

Baie-Comeau, QC to Labrador City, NL

Total Km – 600 (2159km)
Litres of Gas – 41 (132L)
Cost of Gas - $46 ($138.50)

Very happy to be pushing and rolling on baby! Really happy to finally hit the gravel. The stone. The dirt. Really happy to stop, take pictures, relax, and see the great things to see. A great day. And to top it off, I am squatting at the moment.

I rolled out of Baie-Comeau with 20L of gas in my tank, and an extra 10 litre spare, at 6:45 am. It was raining and it was cold. It stayed like that for the next 90 minutes. Eventually, the skies opened up and all I saw was blue. Thank you.

The first 220km of 389 north is pavement. It wouldn't have a stretch more then 400m that was straight or flat. It was awesome driving! Twisty, turny, up, and down the road went like a roller coaster. It takes you past 2 very impressive hydro electric dams called Manic 2 and Manic 5. They are enormous! I could only imagine billions of gallons of water pass through that place daily. They were the biggest man-made structures I have ever scene except like a sky scrapper or a big airport.....

The road then turned to gravel for the next 100km or so. I was great through it. The bike just mowed over it. Taking the turns was the hardest part of being in the stuff. But I quickly adapted pretty well. The only problem is you start to get too confident and get going too fast and then problems come up. Lots of turns and ups and downs. The road alternates between pavement and gravel for the next 250 or so kilometres. The dust is also really bad from the big rigger who keep on truck'n.

I counted a tonne of chipmunks today. I probably saw 12 or more. There were plenty of crows too. But so far I have been skunked in my goal of seeing big northern game.

The trees are all coniferous and the ground is very marshy and bog like. Lots of lakes and rivers cut through the country side of course.

I'll back up to last night for a quick moment. At 9:00 I went out to get something from my bike and low and behold there was another KTM 990 parked right beside it. So I knocked on the outside sliding door of the person next to me and it was his. He was an absolute wreck. He had just driven 800km to get to Baie-Comeau from Churchill Falls. The distance is difficult, the terrain is no picnic, being in the dark is dangerous, but he said the rain is what killed him. He was sooooooo glad to be in a hotel room after such a day of driving.

He grabbed a drink and came into my room. He told me lots of look-out-fors and gave me some pointers as he just finished doing and out and back. He didn't think my spare 5L gas canister was going to be enough so we traded his 10L for mine. He was going home and getting gas was not going to be an issue any longer. He ran out of gas a few times. He said the weight of the bike and the wind is really going to change your typical gas mileage consumption. 5 extra L will not do. Thanks Mike! He was from Maine. (He had never heard of the Maniacs, however.)

I got in a run again. 23 awesome minutes for a total of about 22km over the last 4 days. Oh well. Such is my situation at the moment.

So that is about it. Unless you are wondering about this squatting.... I just pitched my tent tonight under the clear skies of western Newfoundland. (Actually I pitched it in an industrial park in Lab. City where the huge town water silo is.) I had a cook-out too of a mixture of rice and Chunky Beef and Potato soup. No permit. No site. No problems.

Let's hope.....

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