Why do I feel stressed, anxious and little nervous about this upcoming trip? Maybe because it's the biggest, and longest motorcycle trip I've ever been on? Could it be the fact we will be riding on very long gravel road through a sparsely settled region that has taken the lives of other riders? Am I being a little over dramatic, maybe, but it still weighs on my mind. It's not like we are going to a foreign country where we can't speak the language (ya I can't speak Newfie, however my french sucks), and have to worry about banditos, and crooked federales. I could be over thinking the whole damn thing.
Maybe I am concerned about leaving my family behind for two weeks......actually there is no maybe, I am. Not that I worry about them coping, my wife is more than capable of handling just about anything that crops up, except for when the internet goes down, or there's a problem with the wireless. Usually I am concerned that she is going to do some kind of reno to the house. The woman has skills with power tools. I once came home to new baseboards she installed on the main level of our house, and I won't even get into the giant hole in the kitchen wall. It's just hard being away from the ones you love for extended periods of time. I know because work takes me away from them all the time.
The one thing I am looking forward to is being away from my Blackberry and anything work related for two weeks. Being a pilot and the 24/7 on call that it brings with it, I am always attached to the damn Blackberry. This summer in particular I am growing very old of it, and I am beginning to hate my job.
Anyway, back to the planning. Last evening I sat down and did up a list, and tentative schedule of things I want to do on this trip. I most likely will not do this trip again, not in the near future anyway so I have some must do items.
As far as scheduling goes, the only thing we must make is our ferry to Newfoundland at 2345 on August 25th, and to be home 14 days later.
Ride part of the Railway Trail
Spend some time in Gros Morne, boat ride up Western Brook Pond. Maybe camp at the Blow Me Down's as well, and do some hiking in that area.
Visit the St. Anthony area. St. Anthony and Raleigh are where my family are from. My sister and I are the first and probably last generation of Burt's to be born and raised in "town" St. John's. I haven't been back to the area in a very long time and want to get a lot of video and pictures. L'Anse Aux Meadows, well it's the Vikings and they beat Cabot and Columbus to the new world by a few hundred years.
Once over in the Big Land, the Labrador, I'll be back in my old stomping grounds from the early '90's when I flew small bush planes here before there was a road to Goose Bay. Unfortunately having flown here, I never did get the opportunity to tour around on the ground. So a visit to Red Bay is in order to see the historic whaling station, Point Amour lighthouse. Pinware River where my father had one of his first engineering jobs surveying the new road. Interesting story of him swimming across the river, which I'll explain later.
Happy Valley Goose Bay was my home for a year and a half, and I spent many more years flying in and out of Goose. I haven't been back in close to 10 years so I am really anxious to see what has changed. I'd like to go down to North West River, Muskrat Falls, and hopefully convince my cousin Greg Baikie to take us for a little run in a helicopter.
In Churchill Falls a tour of the giant hydro facility is in order, likewise maybe a tour of the iron ore mines in Lab City.
I want to camp in Gagnon, the former mining town in Quebec that is part of Route 389 to Baie Comeau, it is now gone and is a nothing but a ghost town.
The more I think about it, the trip has become less about the bike, and more about a rediscovery of my past, to try and stir my memory and mix the new images with the old ones in my past before they are lost forever.
One month and thirteen days to go.