The morning started out with a moan as I awoke to the sounds of light rain falling on the roof of a slightly beat up, but dry trailer. I was fortunate to find this place the evening before after a long wet cold day of riding on the Trans Labrador highway (TLH). At least I did not have to tent it. I could see my breath in the cold morning air but was warm and cozy in my sleeping bag. On any other trip I would have wondered about this questionable accommodation. But considering I was in a small fishing village literally in the middle of nowhere that at one time was only serviced by boats, and only recently had an all season road built to it, but was still 410 kms from the next closest little town,I felt as comfortable here as I would at any five star Hilton Inn.
My mind started to play the morning games I had felt over the last few weeks. How can I manage to get another hour of sleep in. Knowing all too well that Jeff and Joe where probably already up and getting ready to go. I eventually pulled the covers away. brrrrrrr ( and that is an understatement). I was AWAKE now. Next step was putting on cold clothes and then packing. Packing up everything into two dry bags each day had become just a regular part of the morning which I gave little thought too, sort of like making your bed at home and I didn’t give it a second thought, and I would say it had become quit easy and quick by this point.
Once up, clothed and packed I made my way to meet the guys in a little cabin made for two. It was warm, not only from the heat from the tiny wood stove but also with hospitality, as Pete was chatting up a storm as she cooked some toutou’s ,eggs and toast for the three of us who were squeezed into a table and bench built for two. Other than the undersized propane stove and Keurig coffee maker the cabin was straight out of the 1800’s, ordained with hand made quilts and crafts. What a awesome breakfast, and great to get warmed up before another day of chilled and wet weather on the TLH.
We said out goodbyes to Pete as well as another couple staying in the other heated trailer Pete had on her property. We then headed out.
The TLH is a dirt road that goes from point A to point B. Not sure it really serves and purpose even from a transportation or economical point. From those we spoke with it served more of a political agenda. Showing that the powers that be wanted to give something back to Labrador. What ever the reason there was not a lot to see other than trees, construction vehicles and dust, lots and lots of dust. Once in a while you would crest a hill and could see 5 km’s down the straight road to the next crest in a hill. However, it was there, so it needed to be ridden. This road was the main point of the entire 9,000 km trip. It is an adventure riders dream to do. With pride you can say. I’ve driven the TLH.
The day was going a long extremely well. We were making great time, and at times hitting speeds of up to 120 kmph. In hindsight perhaps a little too fast..or A LOT to fast considering the conditions of the road.
As we entered yet another construction zone one of the grader drivers jumped out of his grader and started waving us down with hand signals of large stones ahead. We all slowed down for a bit as the road was a little more sketchy in that area. After a few km’s we though the worst was over so again our speed picked up.
Then it happened. Jeff was up front and noticeably his body posture changed drastically. It was hard to see what was up as the road all looked the same and with the dust that was kicked up from the lead vehicle it covered the road with a “mist” of dust that made it difficult to see any transitions in the road surface more than about 30 meters in front of me. All of a sudden things were about to change and not for the best. The frantic hand signal from the grader driver was about this part of the road. It was B grade freshly laid and loose unpacked stones about the size of golf balls. My front tire hit the stones and immediately sent my bike into a shudder, with front tire wildly moving side to side, and the back end going in directions my front was not. I quickly felt my stomach enter my mouth and my heart rate jumped. This would get REAL bad real fast if I didn’t do the right thing. I began to gear down while continuing to give it a little gas to try and break free from the back tire sliding out. I fought the front wheel to try and keep it straight. With my heart racing and my bike wildly out of control at a high rate of speed, everything slowed down. I made the first 100 meters and for a brief second I think I felt the bike was coming back under control. When……
Wow, I am really getting ahead of myself of how I ended up on the Trans Labrador Highway. Why me and two other guys ( Jeff and Joe) would want to choose such a trip as this.
So let’s go back to the beginning.
Coming soon. The reason and the beginning of this epic 9,000 km ride/adventure in some of the most remote and gorgeous area’s of Eastern Canada.
Hope you stay with me over the next few weeks as I share my story with you