Friday, December 28, 2012

Post Christmas

Dec 28, 2012

Got the new steering head bearings installed on the DRZ.  All's well.  Since I can't ride offroad yet, I rode it to work to keep things all running well.

I finally got the bone growth stimulator a month after the doc ordered it.  Turns out the delay was at the doc's office.  The insurance company requested information that the doc office staff sat on for a while. Anyway, got the device.  30 mins a day the little timer clicks away.  I have no idea if it's working or not.  Won't know until mid-Jan when the doc xrays it again.  

I'm still pretty low energy but not the devastating exhaustion that I've been feeling.  I'm trying to get out on the bicycle but I don't usually get more than 5 miles.  I guess that's better than nothing.

I got out on the kayak a couple of weeks ago and did ok.  I only went 4 miles which is half of my normal kayak outing.  But it didn't bother my shoulder at all.  Probably because the kayak stroke comes from the torso, not the arms.  Muscles are weak but otherwise everything else was ok.

I got an invitation to go back and finish my trip by joining with a friend and his friends on their trip in June.  This one will avoid the gravel and will be on street bikes.   That sounds like a good plan to me.

So now I wait until mid-Jan.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

DRZ and healing issues

Nov 15, 2012

The shock on the DRZ needed servicing.  I got it back and installed it on the bike.  As I started to push it out of the garage, the front end wouldn't turn at all.  Like the forks were locked.  I dismantled the front end to find the lower steering head bearing was shot.  It was a mess.  I cleaned it all up and ordered a set of new bearings.  Hopefully they'll arrive today and I can install them this weekend.

My collarbone is not healing.  The doc ordered a bone growth stimulator on Oct 30.  I have yet to receive it. It seems the doc office dropped the ball.  The insurance company requested more information from the doc and he hasn't sent it yet.  I've been making phone calls to get it done.  Since next week is a holiday, I'm sure nothing will get done then so who knows when I'll get this thing.  In the meantime, I still have a broken bone and can't so my normal stuff.  Every day they delay is a delay in my recovery.  Pisses me off that they're dicking around at my expense.  I've been nice so far but that's about to end.  

Next week is Thanksgiving - my fave weekend of the year!  I'll be going rv camping with my friends as we do each year.  We have the full T-giving feast.  This year is Myakka River State Park.  I can't wait!!

More later.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Shoddy suspension?

Sunday, Oct 21

Took the rear shock off the DRZ yesterday, packed it up to send to get serviced/inspected and repaired if necessary.  When I was cleaning up the bike and checking it over for damage, it dawned on me that the rear shock may not be working properly and that may have contributed to my crash.  Doh!!  We'll see.  The shop will test it before they do anything to see if anything is wrong with it.  

Feeling better today.  I worked outside all day - mowing, prepping the rv for an upcoming trip.  Stuff like that. I'm really tired now and I hope I don't pay for it tomorrow.  I tend to have a really good day, then a bad day.  Every other day has been the trend.  I'm hoping to stretch that out a bit and have a couple of good days before I have a bad one.  This healing shit is S-L-O-W!!!  

That's it for now.  Time for bed.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The DRZ is home!!!

Oct 8, 2012

Got the DRZ home!!  Yay!!  Woohoo!!  Drove up to get it.  4210 miles in 3.5 days.  Holy cow.  I didn't do it alone, thank goodness!  Hurricane helped me.  He did all the night driving.  It would have taken me FOREVER if I had done it myself.  And it was a much more fun trip with him along. 

Update on my collarbone:  It's not healing.  Not good.  Doc says let's wait for the 3 month mark when we can try some non-invasive proceedures.  They have a 85% success rate.  If that doesn't work, then he'll have to go in and fix it surgically.  That would suck. 

That's it for now.  I still have to wrap this up.  I know, I know...  it takes energy to think and I don't have it right now.  I'll get there.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Saturday, Sep 29

I will be driving up to Nova Scotia to get my bike.  Ugh.  Oh well, it has to be done.  To make it at least a teeny bit more interesting, I plan on stopping at the LL Bean store in Maine, and hope to see some leaf colors somewhere along the way.  No time for anything else.  Just gotta git 'er done.  :-(

The ribs has pretty much stopped hurting.  My collarbone still hurts and I still can't lift, push, or pull with my left arm.  As soon as the doc says it looks like it's healed pretty good - as in the bone pieces reconnected - I'll start working it to get back in shape.  Wait...  I shouldn't say "get back in shape" because I never was in any "shape" anyway.  I mean that I want to get back to normal use and not have to think about it anymore.

That's it for now.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

DRZ finally delivered!

Friday, Sep 14

Finally my bike has arrived in Nova Scotia!!  Holy cow, what a cluster that was.  Now I have to figure out how to get it home.  I got an estimate from only one company of just under $1000.  That would be about the cost of fuel for me to go get it myself.  However, the company listed no trucks and no drivers (how are you going to transport a shipment with no trucks and no drivers?!?), and only had one review that read like they posted it themselves.  I'm just not comfortable with hiring someone like that.  

The other option is a bucket brigade with friends.  The only problem with that is timing.  Winter is coming on and I'm concerned about not getting it back before snow and ice covers everything and makes it impossible to move.  

I don't know what I'll do.  Nothing for the next couple of weeks anyway.  But I need to get things rolling.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Post home update.

Tues, Sep 11

Yesterday was not a good day.  I felt like crap, achy, and stuff just kept going wrong.  There's something wrong with the left front wheel of my truck.  I thought it was a tire getting ready to blow (front end shaking, tire hotter than a $2 pistol), slowed down and nursed it home.  Mobile mechanic says it's not the tire, it's probably the wheel bearings.  Holy crap, the whole wheel hub/bearing/rotor assembly is new!!!  Had it replaced under warranty several times now.  Geesus. Now I have to take it back to regular mechanic tomorrow to see if he can find out what's wrong with it.

Had my local doc appt today.  There's quite a gap in the bones and he doesn't see signs of healing.  However, that's not unusual and he says to give it more time and see how it's doing in 3 more weeks.  He was kind of on the fence about if he would have plated it or not when it was still fresh.  He's inclined to let them heal naturally vs surgery.  So we'll wait and see how it goes.  In the meantime, I can't go play.  That really sucks.  

Still haven't heard a word on my bike.  Tracking number still doesn't work which means it hasn't been shipped yet.  I'll give it until the end of the week and I'll email them again for a status update.

Friends are working out a sort of bucket brigade to get it down to me.  I have the best friends in the world!!  I hope it can all happen soon.  The weather is going to turn soon and it needs to move before then.  

I'm taking the rest of the week off work to get my head together.  I just can't face it now.  I need to settle back in to home for a bit.  

I'll try to work on a wrap up and then put this blog to bed.  I need to move forward.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

On the road again.

Thurs, Sept 6.

I'm leaving now heading for home.  Sans bike.  I can't express how upset I am about this whole situation.  And if one person says "well, it's all part of the adventure", I'm going to kick their fucking ass into oblivion.  

Evening update:

I'm in a hotel on the outskirts of Boston.  Made good progress today.  Hope to get a long day of driving in tomorrow.

OMG, do I hurt!!  I can't get comfy driving.  I have to move the seatbelt off my shoulder.  No matter where it hits, it hits something broken.  Then the muscles in my back on my good side are screaming trying to take up the slack for the other side.  Feels like a hot knife in my back.  I try to stretch it out but I can only move so far.  I have a tennis ball that I put between the knife spot and the seat and try to release the knot but no go.  Owie, owie, owie.  

Time for bed.  I'm tired.  Nighty night.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labour Day in Canada

Monday, Sept 3.

Today is Labour Day.  Or perhaps a better name would be "No Labour" Day?  Nobody is working today, including the shipping company that has my bike.  The only good thing about not having my bike yet is that I have more time to recuperate before I start the drive home.  I can't drive long periods of time like normal.  It's probably going to take me a bit longer to get back than normal.  

The strong pain meds are gone.  All I have now are the OTC ones.  Aleve.  It doesn't work nearly as well.  My broken bones ache and the muscles that are having to work overtime are screaming too.  It wakes me up in the middle of the night and it's hard to get comfortable enough to fall back asleep.

On the good side, my hosts are absolutely THE BEST. I have a comfy bunkhouse all to myself and they're watching over me.  We go for walks and hang out.  I've been watching movies I haven't seen before.  They have an awesome dog to play with (Clayton) and their cat Bunny has adopted me.  She stays with me practically all the time.  

It's absolutely gorgeous up here.  Of course I haven't seen it in the winter snow.  But this is the kind of place I dream of for when I retire.  

Oh!  One of the things I've wanted to do FOREVER is to see the Bay of Fundy.  I was able to do that.  It's not far from here.  One day we went down and watched the tide drop.  It's not the big wall of water that most places make it out to be.  But it does rise and fall fast.  And the currents look treacherous.  I'm glad I got the chance to see it.  It's pretty darn cool.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the bike will show up tomorrow although I serious doubt it.  That would be too optimistic.  But I think I'll load all the stuff I'm not using up into the truck just in case.  That'll be that much less to do later.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Looks like I'll be here another week.

Everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong, and will probably continue to go wrong.  I'm going to be delayed by about a week getting home.  This sucks.  

I was ready to be home last week.  Ugh.  

I think this "adventure" has officially turned into nightmare.  Mama is not happy.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Ooops! Too long since last update.

Sorry about that!!  

Monday, August 27.

I got to my friend Pete's place and have been hanging out here just recovering.  I haven't done anything until today.  I drove around for a little sightseeing.  Went by the Bay of Fundy but really didn't see any tidal action.  Drove down to Cape D'Or.  It's really beautiful here.  All over.  Dramatic coastline or rolling farm land.  Really nice.  

Other friends are starting to show up so starting today, it ought to be party city.  Not that I'm a party gal.  But it's fun to watch.  

Finally got hold of the guy in Port Hope Simpson about my bike.  I had called and left messages as well as emailed the guy but who knows what happened to that.  He said he wasn't in any hurry because he was waiting to hear from me.  Doh!!!  Holy cow.  Anyway, he said he was going to get the bike off the road today or tomorrow.  Then the shipping sequence can take place.  I hope they hurry up because I need to start heading home.  

I'm doing better each day.  Hopefully that trend continues.  

Thanks for all the emails and calls.  It's pretty remote up here and I have no phone or data and just occasional wifi.  I can send and receive texts though.  

I'll update again when I hear where my bike is.  

Latah gatahs!!  C

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A new day.

What a difference a day makes!  

Yesterday (Weds, Aug 22) I flew from St. Anthony Newfoundland to Halifax Nova Scotia.  I wasn't feeling so well and it was a rough day.  Got in here last night late and went right to bed.  Woke up this morning feeling much better.  I didn't have to struggle as much to get out of bed.  That's nice!  

Today my friend Pete is picking me up at 4 so in the meantime, I thought I'd wander over to the Titanic museum.  

That's it for now!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Tuesday, August 21 update:

In a hotel in St Anthony NL.  My flight to Halifax isn't until late tomorrow afternoon.  Spent the day sorting out all my motorcycle gear and putting it into a couple of bags I can take on the plane as checked baggage.  Other than that, nothing else going on.

Tried to get a rental car to be able to go to L'anse aux Meadows but there are none available.  

Feeling just so-so today.  I think it's all catching up to me.  I need to slow down a bit.

Oh, good news...  I contacted the company that will be shipping my bike.  That's all taken care of.  They'll let me know as soon as they have possession of the bike and are ready to ship it.  That's one less thing to worry about.  

That's it for now.  Latah gatahs.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Finally free!!

Monday, August 20 - update:

I've been released from the hospital!!  No surgery required.  Woohoo!!  At the hotel now.

Well, getting out of this little town - even though it's the biggest town for a zillion miles around - is nearly impossible!!  There are no rental cars.  There used to be a "bus" that would run back and forth between here and a town 7 hours away but it's no longer in service.  There's only one flight per day that leaves from this airport and the airport is an hour away from town.  There's one guy who shuttles people to the airport and I think he only does that once a day.  

Anyway, the best scenario would have been if that bus was still in service and you ride down to Deer Lake, catch an Air Canada flight directly to Halifax, Nova Scotia ($385).  Since the bus doesn't run anymore, I have to fly from here to St. John's Newfoundland on a small regional airline, catch an Air Canada flight that goes to Halifax with a stop in...  Deer Lake!  Doh!!  That crazy scenario costs $1000 for the airfare part alone.  Nevermind the shuttles, hotel, extra bag fee*, trip insurance**, etc.  Ugh!!  

I would have never been able to pull together the whole thing.  I was searching google for solutions when I came upon the town website and on there was info for a travel agent!!  Woohoo!  Called her up and she arranged everything.  Turns out the guy who drives the van to the airport here is her father-in-law or something of the sort.  

*In trying to think of how to get all the gear that was on my motorcycle back home, one of the clever nurses at the hospital said just get a couple of suitcases and put everything in those, pay the extra baggage fee, and check it onto the planes.  Well, wouldn't you know that after she got off work, she went home, got an old duffel type bag, and brought it back for me to take.  How awesome is that?!?!  Then, the front desk gal at the hotel I'm staying at brought in another big duffel for me to use!!  All I have to do is split everything up so that each bag isn't more than 50 lbs.  Problem solved!!

**The travel agent asked me if I had travel insurance for my motorcycle trip.  I didn't even know there was such a thing!!  So if you're planning on a trip like this, check into it!!  It would be well worth it.

My awesome friends that I had planned on meeting at the end of August in Nova Scotia, are driving my truck up from NY.  All I have to do now is get the bike shipped to NS and then I'll have everything together and I can drive home!!  While I'm waiting for them to show up, I can rest up and I should be ok to drive home.

BTW, I'm doing much better today than yesterday.  I'm moving much better.  Still need the pain meds and the doc said I'll need to take the loopy-head stuff especially when I'm travelling.  I'm glad I have them if I need them.

I'm really sad I can't do my tour of Newfoundland.  I was really looking forward to seeing the island.  But I'll just have to come back and do it another time. That's now on the bucket list.

Stay tuned...  the adventure isn't over yet!!

PS...  for those following my SPOT - Jeremy will be taking SPOT with him since he's still on the bike.  That way his family and friends can follow him on his adventure.  I'll have to take it after Nova Scotia when I head home so you'll be able to follow me again then.  It won't be as exciting though as being on the Trans Lab.  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The saga continues.

Sunday August 19th update:

The doc I saw in the ER came by today and asked me if I saw the bone doc.  I said no.  Nurse said he was here yesterday but didn't come by.  I asked if he was going to come by today and they said no, probably not until Monday.  WTF?!?!  So I'm just sitting here waiting?  I could have done that in the hotel across the street!!  Crimony!  So I continue to wait for the doc to stroll his butt in here and tell me if this needs surgery to fix or not.  Sheesh. 

In the meantime, it seems that it's not so easy to get off this rock.  There are no rental cars.  I found that I can fly from here to St Johns and then get a rental car and drive back to the ferry.  The nurse said she knew what airlines go where and she'd come back later to help me figure it out.  Thankfully Jeremy got on the ferry this morning and is on his way here.  Then we'll figure out a plan.

Sounds like my friends are working out a plan to drive my truck to Nova Scotia where we were going to be meeting anyway.  That would be great because then I can have the bike shipped there (avoiding border issues) and I can drive home from there.

I know some of you think I should just get on a plane and fly home and deal with my shoulder there but I've thought about that and think it's best to get it done here.  If I wait, I'll have to find a doc at home who will see me, wait until I can get an appt there, then wait until they can schedule surgery, etc.  By that time, my shoulder would have healed a good bit in the wrong way and would be more complex to fix.  The fix would not be a complex one if I can just get it done now.  I'd rather just have it fixed here and get on with things.  So I think that's what I'll do.  That's all IF the doc says it needs fixing.  I still don't know that yet.  

Anyway, I'm doing better today.  It doesn't hurt as much as yesterday, my head is clearer, I'm moving around better.  I still need the pain killers but I'm taking ones that don't mess with my head.  I hate those.  I'm taking a powerful NSAID class drug.  It works well but is limited to 5 days max.  By then, Aleve will probably work fine.  

I found a pepsi machine.  That's a nice treat!  The food really sucks here.  I bet prisoners have better food.  The breakfast is 100% carb laden which is the total opposite of what I need.  Can't wait to have a proper breakfast!  And lunch and dinner for that matter.

I'm doing ok.  I'll be glad when I can move on.  Maybe I can still salvage some of this trip.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

It's an adventure all right!

Just not what I was hoping for.  Yesterday, Day 6, I crashed about 100 miles south of Goose Bay.  We had stopped for a break and when we started rolling again, the gravel was thick and loose.  It's really hard riding in that unless you get some speed up.  Once you get moving faster, the bike just floats on top of it and it's smooth sailing.  But before I could get up to speed, the front end started wobbling.  The cure for that is to give it a little more throttle but that didn't work and it got worse until it was a full on tank slapper and it pitched me off high side.  I fell hard on my left shoulder and broke my collar bone and a couple of ribs.  

A French Canadian couple came along behind us and gave me a ride to Port Hope Simpson (they were on their way to Blanc Sablon).  I went to the clinic there where they flew me out to St. Anthony's Hospital.  The clinic doesn't have xray equipment or a doc on staff so they fly folks to St. Anthony's on Newfoundland island for that.  I'm currently waiting on the bone doc to see what needs to be done.  Hopefully just sit still for a while until it heals.  

Once I get finished here, I'll get a rental car and continue on.  Bummer not to do it on the bike but a car is second best.  It'll still work!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Churchill Falls to Goose Bay

This post is incomplete.  Pictures will be added later on when I can get them uploaded.

Day 5:  Light rain when we left.  Stayed that way for the first few hours.  Then it cleared up.  

120 miles of gravel road today.  It was like riding on marbles most of the time.  But if you went fast, it was fine.  60mph was the perfect speed.  

Once we got out of the rain, the road got really dusty.  A truck would come by and we'd be engulfed in a huge dust cloud that we could not see through at all.  

It was beautiful scenery again.  From Churchill Falls, the road starts dropping south again.  It changed from coniferous forest and sphagnum bog to a mix of conifers and hardwoods and sandy soils.  

We stopped just outside of Happy Valley/Goose Bay at Muskrat Falls.  It was about a 10 minute hike and it was well worth it!!  I took video of it and will have to post it later.  More on the falls in a minute.

When we got to HVGB, we stopped for gas.  While paying inside, a lady was asking us where we were from, etc.  I asked if she knew of any campgrounds in the area and she said there was one way out of town but that we could come camp in her yard.  So here we are, tents in the backyard and we're hanging out with her and having a great time.  She fed us, let us shower, and we even did laundry.  She rocks!!!  Thanks a zillion, Janet!!!  :hugs:

Janet was telling us that the Canadian government is preparing to dam the falls for hydropower.  What a shame to lose those falls!!!  While we were hiking there, there were workers clearing a path to the falls.  I'm glad we got to see it like it should be and I took video.  I will post it to youtube.  Sad though that the only way to see it will be on youtube videos.

That's it for today.  Sorry no pics yet.  It's hard to upload now.  I'll post as soon as I can.

The trip so far...

This post is incomplete.  Pictures will be added later on when I can get them uploaded.

Day 1:  Rode from NY to Quebec City.  It was all interstate riding.  Made it to just north of Q City and stopped for the night at what appeared to be a campground.  Turns out, it was part of the Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre.  It was a place for those visiting the Shrine to stay.  It cost $5 for the night.  The Shrine was quite an amazing building.  

Day 2: We got an early start to go to Baie Comeau.  The road followed the coastline and went through many small villages.  

There was a ferry crossing where we waited a few turns before we were able to get on the ferry.  

Rain was off and on all day.  It wasn't too bad though.  Luckily, we're waterproof for now.  

We met a couple from south Florida on the ferry who told us about the whale watching in the area.  This is the time of year for whale watching.  With that information, we decided to get a campsite at a campground just outside of Baie Comeau that was located on the water.  We thought this would be a good way to see some whale while we were here.  Well, the fog was thick and we could barely see anything.  Instead we had dinner of croquettes de poulin (which is chicken nuggets).  When you're a starvin' marvin, it's amazing how good those can be!! 

Day 3: We rode from Baie Comeau to Labrador City.  The road was paved and twisty but in disrepair.  It didn't matter - we were enjoying it.  About halfway up, we came to Manic 5 (Manic Cinq).  It is a MASSIVE hydropower dam.  We stopped there for fuel and food and a few pics.

(insert dam pics)

After Manic 5, the road was a patchwork of unpaved and paved sections.  

(insert pics)

The scenery is fabulous!  Hilly, coniferous trees, lakes...  really beautiful. 

(beach pics)

This road is under construction in places.  They're working on paving it.  There was a lot of truck traffic too.  

(construction pics)

Finally, we reached Labrador.  Yay!!  Back into English speaking territory.  However, you can't understand what they're saying any more than the French.  Crazy accent they have up here.  We were told that the farther east you get, the worse it gets.  Haha!!  

(labrador sign)

In Labrador City, there were no hotel rooms available at all.  One hotel had a sign that said "No vacancy until August 2014".  Insane!!  We went out to the only campground in town and didn't like what we saw so we started searching for a spot along the road.  We found an RC aircraft field that had a perfect spot to pitch tents so that's where we stayed. 

(jeremy's campsite pics)

Day 4:  Labrador City to Churchill Falls.  Yesterday, after the stop at the beach, we noticed that Jeremy's KLR headlight was out.  On the ride to Baie Comeau, we meet a fella who said he lived in Labrador City and had a garage there.  If we needed anything, just stop by.  I said we would stop by to say hi at the very least.  So first order of business was to stop there to fix the light.  I also, lowered the front end of my bike because with all the weight on the back, the front end was really squirrely at low speed and in turns.  It felt like it just wanted to fall into the turns too quickly.  I didn't want to get on sketchy gravel road with it being so twitchy.  Jeremy's headlight issue was a blown fuse, burned out bulb, and a burned out turn signal bulb.  It took more time to unload and reload the bike than it did to fix the problem!  My bike was an easy fix.  I just didn't have a 12mm socket to do it myself.  

Bikes fixed and on the road again.  Another day of off and on rain.  Temps were good - cool enough to not sweat but warm enough not to freeze.  Again, more beautiful scenery.  There were a lot of what appeared to be peat bogs mixed in with the coniferous forest.

(road pics)

There was a lot of heavy construction on the road to Churchill Falls.  About 50 miles was gravel and under construction.  

We arrived at Churchill Falls and decided to try to see if the one hotel in town had a room.  They do!!  Woohoo!!  That gave us a chance to try to dry out our tents and other gear.  

(gear drying pics)

A hot shower was nice as well as a meal of pizza (for me) and pasta dish (for Jeremy).  

(food pics)

Time for a good sleep!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A quick update...

Today is August 15th.  I'm in Churchill Falls, Labrador/Newfoundland.  So far, so good.  It's been rain off and on; paved and unpaved roads.  Internet access has been spotty.  All's well.  Working on updates with pictures but getting the pictures uploaded in challenging.  Otherwise, having a blast and making good progress.  Stay tuned for more quick updates as well as detailed posts.

See ya!  C

Saturday, August 11, 2012

It's time to ride!!

Wow!  I can't believe it's here already.  I'm at the starting point.  Tomorrow is the first day on the motorcycle.

Yesterday and today I had an uneventful drive.  Almost all interstate.  Stopped for lunch yesterday with Shawn and had a yummy shrimp burger in NC.  Made a little detour to visit my friend Kevin in VA.  Got to see the new abode.  Love love LOVE the garage!!  I want one of those!  Now I'm at Kathy's house hanging out with her awesome family.  I have the greatest friends!!!  

I have two pics for today - the bike on the truck...

And Marvin!!  He's excited about the rover landing on his homeland but he's more excited to be on this trip!!

Tomorrow it's on to Quebec City!  

A bientôt!!  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

In the meantime...

I thought I'd post a link to my trip to Moab UT.  It's got lots of pics.  Can't go wrong with that.  :-D

My week in Moab UT.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Can you say... remote?

For those of you watching my progress, I thought I'd post the most remote leg of the route.  It's about 260 miles between services which means I have to carry an extra 2.5 gallons of fuel on that leg.

View Larger Map

So when you see SPOT's bread crumbs along this part of the road, keep your fingers crossed I get good gas mileage!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

17 days and counting...

How about a map of the route?  

I'll be starting in NY and travelling clockwise.  I hope to spend some time exploring Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.  I will definitely see the Bay of Fundy which is something I've been wanting to do for years. Also on the list is L'anse aux Meadows.  Those crazy Vikings!!  

So there's the route.  À la prochaine...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Tick tock tick tock...

Now it's just a matter of waiting until the magic day of departure.  I've run the gear tests.  The game plan has been laid out.  Not much left to do.  A few minor tweaks here and there but that's it.  

GPS routes have been created.  I decided to create a base route in segments that mostly correspond generally with a day's worth of travel.  That holds true especially through the Labrador section.  For Newfoundland, that changes a bit.  Because there are so many options, I decided to create Point A to Point B segments and then create optional detour routes off of that.  For instance, a basic route from Gros Morne NP to St. Johns is a multi-day affair. There are several options for riding along the coast vs quickest time highways.  If I were to create a route that encompassed all the coastal riding, I'd need a month just to get from Gros Morne to St. Johns!  I don't have that kind of time yet.  (Soon, my pretty.  Soon.)  I've created multiple routes off the main route that can be detoured to depending on time and whim.  

Why all the creation of routes ahead of time?  Because right now, I have all the time in the world to study maps, explore, and play around with the computer and GPS.  While on the road, I don't want to take the time to do that.  Plus, I don't plan on bringing my computer.  

That's it for now!

Monday, April 30, 2012

So what is this trip I'm gearing up for?

Now that there's a lull in the prep action, I thought I'd post a bit about the trip itself.  

I'll be starting out in NY.  I'll ride up into Canada at Quebec City (most likely) and head north from there to Baie Comeau (270 miles).  From Baie Comeau, it's 361 miles to Labrador City.  About 134 miles in, the pavement ends and the gravel road begins.  Right before Labrador City, is the border of Quebec and Labrador.  This is where the Trans Lab starts.  

The Trans Lab exists as a mining access road in Labrador.  It's in the process of being paved.  Once it's paved, the "adventure" will gone so that's the reason for riding it now.  

From Labrador City, it's 151 miles to Churchill Falls and then 181 miles from there to Happy Valley/Goose Bay.  From HVGB to Port Hope Simpson, it's 254 miles of NO SERVICES.  No food, no fuel, no lodging.  Nothing.  This is the stretch where I'll have to carry extra fuel.  I have a 2.5 gallon fuel can and hope my gas mileage will be normal and that'll be enough fuel.  If my gas mileage sucks, it'll be a nail biter for sure!!

From Port Hope Simpson, it's 136 miles to the ferry crossing at Blanc Sablon.  Here's where I'll catch the ferry over to Newfoundland.  

In Newfoundland, the plan is to explore!  I'll head up the coast from the ferry landing to L'anse aux Meadows.  This is the only known site of a Norse or Viking village in Canada.  After that, I'd like to head down to Gros Morne National Park and maybe spend a day or two hiking and enjoying scenery there.  Then it's out to St. Johns on the far eastern coast.  From St. Johns to the ferry at Port aux Basques, there's an old rail bed that is now an unpaved trail.  It would be fun to ride this to the ferry but I'm not sure if the condition will be good enough.  I don't want to have to battle a fully loaded bike on crappy trails.  That's not fun.  So not sure what route I'll take to get to the ferry.

Speaking of ferry, Port aux Basques is where I'll catch the ferry from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia.  In Nova Scotia, I'll meet up with some friends and we'll spend a week hanging out and exploring Nova Scotia.  

After Nova Scotia, it's back to NY to finish the trip.  Total mileage will be about 4000.  About 1000 miles of that will be unpaved.  

So that's the trip overview.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Everything but the kitchen sink.

If I could carry a sink, I would!  That's just the kind of gal I am.  But my bike is little and I need to limit what I take.  But let's not go crazy, right?!?  Here's the gear I'm taking:

REI Half Dome 2 Plus tent
Big Agnes down sleeping bag
Thermarest (2)
tent ground cloth
tent/thermarest repair kit
Alite Monarch Butterfly camping chair

Coleman Peak1 Micro Butane stove
Katadyn Base Camp water filter
can opener

plastic garbage bags/
rain poncho/picnic table cover*

*these can be used as tent ground cover, to cover gear, to sit on, etc.

tent lamp/batteries
tarp clips
toilet paper

air pump
Enduro Star Trail Stand
faceshield cleaner
chain lube (WD40)
extra bolts
thread lock
tie downs
patch kits
extra oil
tow rope
gas cans

Baby powder (for tire changes)
Spare air filter
socket and ratchet for axle nuts  
siphon hose
duct tape
jb quik
bike tool kit
blue gloves

oodles of noodles
coffee / tea
toilet paper

MTC gear
toe heaters
rain gloves
elect vest
elect gloves


Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Waterproof Camera/batteries/charger/tripod
Garmin Montana 650t gps/charger

wet ones
hand sanitizer
nail file
toilet paper

paper map or atlas
bug nets
gas can

I've taken almost all this stuff on the test trip.  The only thing I didn't take was the gas can.  That will be empty most of the way.  I'll only need it in the very remote stretches.  
All this stuff goes into Wolfman Expedition Dry Saddlebags, a Giant Loop Coyote, a couple of kayaking dry bags, and a ATV Logic tank bag.  

So there you have it.  The gear list.  

Until next time...  :-D

Monday, April 9, 2012

Testing... testing... 1... 2...

This past weekend, I took a trip up to north Georgia for some Easter camping.  I loaded up the DRZ with all the stuff I'm going to take on the Trans Lab trip.  I wanted to see how it was all going to work, how the bike was going to handle - that kind of stuff. 

First, the loaded up bike.

Before I ever got out of the driveway, I discovered issues.  First, I couldn't wear my Camelbak!  I had too much crap on the bike and barely any room for me.  So I had to strap that down on top of the bike.  Second, the comm unit I had on the helmet didn't have a jack for my mp3 player input.  Doh!!  No music for the whole trip.  I'm going to try to solve that by getting a Y connector where I can have two lines into one - one line for mp3, the other for my GPS (Garmin Montana 650t).

Got on the road fairly early.  I was following a route I created on the computer and downloaded to the GPS. About 30 miles into the trip, the GPS froze.  I had to stop and remove the battery and reinstall it before it would work again.  Then it happened again a little while later.  Ugh!  Looks like I'll have to make another call to Garmin.  

I saw a picture opportunity and as I rode by I thought I'd just stop on the way back.  Then I said no, I have to turn around and go get it.  I'm really bad about seeing something and not stopping for a pic.  This is what I got:

Haha!!  It's Mater!

A little later on in the trip, the clouds increased and it started to get dark and dreary.  It then started to rain lightly and the temperature dropped.  I didn't bring any clothes for cold weather because the forecast had been for nice weather.  After a while I was so chilled that I decided the next Dollar General store I saw, I was going to stop to get a sweatshirt.  That's what I did.  And I scored!!  I got a sweatshirt for $1 and a stocking cap for $0.50.  Haha!!  The stocking cap made the helmet bearable.  It doesn't fit right and I decided it's not going on The Big Trip.  I'll wear my street helmet.  Anybody want to buy a helmet?

After I got north of I-16, the GPS turned me to the west a bit.  I didn't think much about it at first - I just thought it was a jog in the route and I'd be turning north again soon.  But after a while, I realized it was trying to route me onto I-75!  I specifically set up the route NOT to get on the interstate.  Dang it!!  What is this crazy GPS doing?!?  I had to stop and figure that out.  This is a new GPS and I haven't learned everything about it.  It's a bit more complex than my old nuvi 550.  

I made it up there in a longer time than it should have taken but that was ok.  It took eight hours and should have taken six.  I have scheduled eight  hours riding per day for The Big Trip so that was a good test.  I was fine after riding  eight  hours.  

Overall, it was a good trip up.  It was great camping out and testing out the new tent and gear.  I packed everything back up much better than I had originally and had it organized much better as well.  The trip back was GREAT!  The Airhawk seat cushion was fantastic!  No achy butt.  The return trip only took six hours.  

Next up, I'll list the gear and equipment I'm planning on taking.