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Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Goose, the Trans Slabrador Highway and Flying over Marbles

I've done some dirt riding in my day, but really only very little high speed stuff, and not on a big bike with 70/30 street/dirt tires, so it's amazing how over 500kms of gravel highway in the last two days makes you feel comfortable on the stuff. 

Although today was mostly paved road we did do 60km of gravel, with some of it on the marbles again. Shit, this is easy now, on the pegs, on the gas, we were ripping across the stuff at over 90kph, thinking we're Marc Coma or Cyril Despres, pulling into Churchill Falls like we had all won the Dakar. Shit, we are lame.

We had a late start in Goose this morning, mostly my fault. I was at my cousins place sharing yarns and having three too many beers. So it was a little foggy in my world this morning, causing a weather delay in our departure. 

We, I mean Pete and I got in some maintenance on the bikes, lube chain, make sure nothing is loose. Oliver is on a basically brand new BMW 1200GS, he just starts and goes. Damn he has a nice bike.

We met up with a fellow advrider, Jimmie. We had met thru www.advrider.com, and he agreed to take us on a little tour of the Goose Bay area. Jimmie is a helicopter maintenance engineer with the Canadian Forces and works on the search and rescue birds.

We rolled into Jimmie's place around 10am, and immediately fell in love with his garage. The young fella has the toys. Ya, he's not married. Not one, but two KTM 640 Adventures, a Gas Gas 250 enduro, and a new Ossa trials bike, plus the F250, and camper in the driveway. What the hell did I do wrong? 

The man himself and one of his two husky pups. 

Jimmie opted for the pool option from Ford for his F250. Like the way he thinks.

So we left Jimmie's Taj Ma Garage, and headed up to Dome Mountain for a good look of the Goose Bay area. We rode on the road, Jimmie rode in the ditches, at speeds of up to 90kph. It was fun to watch and I was very jealous, wished the Strom was capable of that. 

The view from Dome Mountain was awesome.

We then headed back towards the airport and got the usually pics in front of the airplanes photos.

We then ventured down to the Otter Creek floatplane base, Lab Air has a twin otter there, and since I worked for them 20 years ago, it was fitting to drop by for a visit.

It was getting late, so we parted ways with Jimmie, he was off to go ride some dirt, and we had a date with a waterfall after a quick visit to Northwest River. Jimmie thanks for the hospitality, you are an awesome dude.

We gassed up in Goose and made a short 20km run to Muskrat Falls. It's the site of the new hydroelectric dam being built on the lower Churchill River. The falls are still there, but won't be for much longer. It's pretty impressive and you can get right down by the edge of the water.

Oliver pretending to be Captain Morgan

Most of the 284kms of road to Churchill Falls is now paved, and they are working like mad to get it finished. Only 60km of gravel is left. So I won't bore you with the Slabrador part, other than it is a pretty damn nice piece of road, silky smooth, and almost void of any traffic.

A lot of Labrador was ravaged by forest fires this year and the damage is quite evident while riding the highway. The good news....new growth has already started.

Our late start in the day was a benefit, I knew it would be, not only did it help with my slight hangover, but all the road construction crew was pretty much gone for the evening when we rolled through the last 60km of gravel before Churchill Falls.

We are hunkered down at the Midway Travel Inn for the night. Tomorrow the short run to Wabush/Lab City.

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