The next morning was grey, overcast, and wet. Liquid sunshine, if your glass is half full. We had over 600kms to cover today, and like Pete said, once through the Matapedia Valley in Quebec it was like a commute home.
After a coffee and breakfast sandwich, ordered in my tres bonne francais, we hit the wet roads. On the way out of town we stumbled upon Matane Motosports. I had a sick feeling in my gut all morning, and it was concerning my bike and the clutch issues I was having. So we stopped in to have them look at it.
In broken french, and broken english, a lot of finger pointing and the international language of hand gestures we got it sorted it out. They had me in and out in 45mins. The slave cylinder was filthy dirty, the mechanic removed and gave it a good cleaning. I think a pound of Labrador dirt came out of it. They were great to deal with. Check them out if you are in Matane. The sell Kawasaki, and KTM.
The bike was back in working order and the bad feeling in my gut now gone away we headed out of town in the pouring rain. It rained pretty hard off and on until we got to Bathurst, New Brunswick where we stopped for a snack.
Kevin Rhea, if you're reading this, and I hope you are....the X-Moto suits are awesome, neither Pete nor I got the slightest bit wet. A little damp around the wrist cuffs, but that's it. These suits rock, and I'm not just saying that because they are a sponsor, if they leaked I'd be sure to tell.
Feeling a little lonely since we left Oliver in Baie Comeau, we happened upon another rider at the Tim Horton's. Leslie is from Ireland and flew into Anchorage, Alaska with his bike back in July, and was enroute to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, before heading back to Toronto to fly home.
Pete could only understand about half of what Leslie was saying. His thick Irish accent was pretty close to the Newfie dialect so it was fairly easy for me. Leslie decided to ride with us as far as Miramichi, so once again Pete and I had a European riding partner on big BMW.
Before parting ways in Miramichi we traded phone numbers and emails, passed on some info about Newfoundland and told Leslie to ring us up when he passes through Saint John on the way to Toronto.
We put the hammer down in race to get home. Well as much as a KLR can put the hammer down. Pete was mustering up a solid 100km/hr as the overloaded KLR shook it's way down the highway.
I can just imagine how Pete was feeling on the KLR, because I was starting to get sore on the Vstrom, which is comfortable. 10 days of solid riding was starting to take it's toll. The good news is we were passing underneath the exit signs for Rothesay and would be home in minutes. I couldn't believe we had done it. We had planned and dreamed of this for a year and now it was over.
Our families thought we were coming home on Friday, so to show up unannounced on Tuesday was quite a surprise. Boy was it ever nice to be home and be able to hug my family again.
It was a hell of trip, a once in a lifetime trip for Pete and I, and hopefully the beginning of future trips, and a working relationship with Canada Moto Guide, and Hemmings House Pictures.
I want to especially thank my family, Kim, Maggie and Katie for encouraging me and supporting me on this little adventure. I love you.
Kevin Rhea at Olympia Motosports, for taking a chance on us, when no one else did and for sending us the X-Moto suits that worked oh so well.
Greg Hemmings of Hemmings House Pictures, dude, not only are you our surf buddy, but you have inspired me to take more video, get better at it, and editing it. You took a chance on us too. Thanks buddy.
Pete, what can I say, other than your snoring fits and foul smelling flatulence, you are a great guy to be on the road with and the real hero of this trip. Anyone who goes from getting his licence in May and four months later is riding through the gravel roads of Labrador with bear spray burning his junk (you thought I wouldn't bring that up again) on an old KLR is a something else.
Even though you invited yourself on this trip, I couldn't imagine doing it without ya. I can't wait for the next adventure.
The people we met along the way was what made this trip great, from our adopted third team mate Oliver, relatives I never knew I had, strangers helping out in the middle of nowhere, to other adventurers.
Dwight Burditt aka Kedgi, dude you are inspiration to adventure riders everywhere
Zac at Canada MotoGuide.com for publishing our blog updates, and upcoming web series.
I also want to dedicate this blog and the upcoming video web series to the riders that never made it home from their adventures. Riding motorcycles is a risky yet rewarding lifestyle, and every riding season some have unfortunate accidents and never make it home.