Here is my small trip plan:
Ten weeks from now (mid-July), I’ll be embarking on a trip of roughly 3600 (3906 with St. John’s Visit) miles taking 82 hours of total riding and ferry time. I’ve split this trip planning into a few parts and there will be some detours / scenic routes along the way that add miles: http://i.imgur.com/W8D4WcF.png
◦ The route we take and where I think we’ll stop
◦ Solicitation for recommendations based on our route & stops where to eat, camp, hotel or drink and see
◦ Solicitation for scrutiny of my packing list and things I may have missed
◦ Solicitation to find 1-2 additional people who are interested in embarking on this trip
The plan is to leave New Hampshire early morning on the 20th of July and I have until August 5th to get home. 17 Days is 6 days more than is necessary to complete this journey but I am adding that buffer to ensure I’m not missed at work should I have a severe mechanical breakdown, medical issue or both. A day of downpours, a couple of flat tires and a sprained wrist could eat up those days easily.
Leg One: Hanover New Hampshire to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland. 1,221 Miles (1965KM) / 24 Hours at an average of 250 miles per day if all goes well for 4 total days of riding.
July 20th:Up at 5:30AM, Omelets and Superfood smoothie, bikes are already loaded up fresh tires installed, fresh oil and air filters, cleaned gear and ready to go with GPS coordinates loaded onto our SatNavs
Two Options for Day One:
◦ One: From my house to the Tadoussac ferry,the trip is fairly basic. it’s 414 miles (666KM) and 7.5 hours of riding to get to this point. If I was going solo, I would do this in the first day. Push the bike and myself to get out of the population centers but also I’ll be passing a lot of mechanics so any mechanical issues would likely pop up in that first leg with a long day of warm weather riding among the pot-holes of Quebec, traffic and very loaded up bike.
◦ Two: If I add a few personalities to this trip, then a stop in Quebec City is more likely and I’m only interested in this because I love Dinner & Breakfast in Quebec City. It’s a wonderful city so I won’t put up a fight if we end up stopping there for an evening.
The Ferry leaves every 20-60 minutes and there is no fee. First practical question, each of us will be traveling with jet-Boil canisters and gasoline packs, The Ferry has limitations on ‘dangerous goods’so I’m curious if we’ll have issues after we declare these.
July 21st:1500KM OR 1300KM depending on where we slept last night to the end of leg one. No matter where we wake up, we have roughly 4 days of travel to go to our destination. I think we’re best suited to arrive at Relais-Gabriel, Quebec, Canada that evening, aka Crater Lake. 500KM-700KM is a good figure for a hard day of riding, we’ll be closer to the Trans-Labrador but not so tired that we can’t setup camp.
July 22nd:800KM to go, hopefully we are on schedule to do this in 2 days easily. This day, if we must, a stop in Labrador City and stay in a hotel, our last night in luxury I think, good night’s sleep, good shower and a restaurant cooked mail.
July 23rd: 530km (330 miles) is nothing considering this section is now entirely paved. We will have to stop at least once for fuel. I get 300 miles to a tank on the GSA and I’ll have a 2 gallon reserve tank with me. That stop will likely be Churchill Falls, about 243Km from Labrador City. From there, it’s 193 miles to the end of Leg #1, Happy Valley-Goose Bay. I’m not opposed to pushing forward a bit more and camping further down the route if we made good time today.
Leg Two:Happy Valley-Goose Bay to St. Johns Newfoundland which is 1590KM or 987 Miles. 20 total hours including 2 hours on a ferry over 2 days.
July 24th:We leave Happy Valley and and head to Saint Lewis, 7 hours of riding over 457KM (283 miles)
July 25th / 26th:I’m not sure where we should stop on this section. I’m looking for some recommendations. It’s 15.5 hours and 1195KM (742 miles) which is impossible in one day. I also consider this to be the first section where we as a group decide of it’s worth skipping St. John because we lost too much time due to medical or mechanical issues or if there was a group consensus to take a day trip elsewhere or enjoy a rest-day, I think St. John could be on the chopping block in which we’d stop somewhere like Deer Lake (?) which would make this day only 350 miles over 9 hours (2 of which is ferry time).
July 26th:We either continue on to St. John OR we head south from somewhere near Deer Lake. This is where dates begin to get fuzzy.
Leg Three:Newfoundland to Nova Scotia (Yarmouth)
7/27 OR 7/28:
◦ From Deer Lake: 19 Hours, 1174KM (729 miles)
◦ From St. John: 25 Hours, 1785KM (1100 miles) (this would include backtracking back through
Deer Lake and I’d probably propose to the group we stay an extra day in St. John to explore the sights and relax a bit even splitting up if we wanted to).
Assuming we leave from Deer Lake, the 27th will be 12.5 hours of travel over 470KM (292 miles). 9h15m of this will be the ferry leaving Marine Atlantic – Channel-Port aux Basques Terminal and entering Sydney NS.
This is an overnight ferry so we’d be arriving fresh and ready to ride on 7/29.
7/28 OR 7/29:
Sydney NS to Yarmouth NS: 7 hours 698KM (430 miles). If we follow the southern and more desolate part of NS, it’s 8.5 hours and 733km (455 miles). Big day and I hope we can make it to Yarmouth for sundown and a B&B stay.
It’s a possibility that we skip Yarmouth and go to Dartmouth instead and then head North West to Digby instead skipping Yarmouth. All depends on timing and group feeling
Leg Four:The quiet ride home: Nova Scotia to New Hampshire.
July 29th or 30th:Departing NS (Digby) and hopping on a ferry into Saint John NS ($106) 10 Hours and 15 minutes over 828km (514 miles) if we take the ferry from Digby to Saint John NS (2.5 hours ferry)
Departing Yarmouth (8:30AM) and taking the ferry to Portland Maine (2:30PM) $189 10 Hours of travel time (with 7 of that being the ferry from Yarmouth to Portland ME)
Looking for some practical advice on which is the preferred method that people think we should take. Note that advice is appreciated but at this point in the trip, dates, group-thought on how much slab time they want and scheduling issues could make the decision for us despite one being the preferred method
Sleeping, Eating, Fueling Up:
This section is the more practical planning where input from the audience would be appreciated. This is the nitty-gritty of where to sleep, eat and get fuel on this trip. In order, here are our stopping point with an asterisk on towns that are ‘might visit’ depending on how things go down. I have no issue of showing up in a place, finding fuel, finding a diner and asking “where can I setup camp?” but there’s a lot of knowledge here that those who have done the trip could help. Also, I prefer hotels so if a hotel split 2 or 3 ways is just a little bit more than 3 people camping, I’d prefer to get a hotel. My back and neck appreciate a bed.
- ◦ Tadoussac QC
- ◦ Quebec City QC
- ◦ Relais-Gabriel QC
- ◦ Labrador City
- ◦ Happy Valley-Goose Bay
- ◦ St. Johns NL
- ◦ Deer Lake NL
- ◦ Sydney NS
- ◦ Yarmouth NS
- ◦ Digby NS
- ◦ Portland ME
Places to See, People to meet, Things to experience:
Using the list above and the route list, I’m soliciting feedback for spots along the way that you consider “unmissable” As I don’t plan on doing this trip again, I’d like to take as much in as I can without delaying the trip too much. “Just head 8 hours out of the way” isn’t going to work for me unless there’s a pot of gold.
This is everything I’ll personally be bringing. I’d love the opportunity to travel with someone else so I’m not duplicating our gear too much. We don’t need two of some of these things
- ◦ Motohansa Tool Roll for BMW bikes
- ◦ JB Weld
- ◦ Zip Ties
- ◦ Thread Locker
- ◦ A few spare T25 BMW Bolts
- ◦ Gorilla Tape
- ◦ Super Glue
- ◦ Air Filter
- ◦ 2 Gallons of fuel
- ◦ 1 Gallon of Drinking Water + 3L HydraPak that I’ll fill at fuel stops
- ◦ Goretex Riding gear
- ◦ Face Net for Black Flies
- ◦ Leatherman Surge Multi-Tool
- ◦ 2-Person Tent (3-season) with footprint
- ◦ 20F Comfort sleeping bag
- ◦ Air Pillow
- ◦ Therma-rest 3-season sleeping pad
- ◦ Inflatable Sleeping Pad (goes on top of the therms-rest)
- ◦ Kermit Chair
- ◦ JetBoil w/ Hand Grinder and 10 days of Coffee beans (30 grams per day)
- ◦ One pair of socks per day (essential)
- ◦ Clothes so that i can at least have a new shirt every 2 days, re-use a pair of jeans the whole time
- ◦ Forma Adventure Boots
- ◦ Klim Badlands Suit w/ Warm base-layer
- ◦ Shoei GT-Air w/ Comms
- ◦ MotoPumps w/ Plug Kit for tubeless tires
- ◦ Anti-Gravity Battery Starter in case we kill one of the bikes overnight
- ◦ Backpacking first aid kit with nothing expired
- ◦ Tylenol / Advil
- ◦ Non-Drowsy Sudafed
- ◦ Bottle of Bourbon to share
- ◦ Bear Spray
- ◦ Spare Rok Straps in case we drop the bike and break the luggage mounts on the hard luggage and need to strap down the old fashioned way
- ◦ Ratchet Straps to pull the bike out of a ditch
- ◦ Toiletries
- ◦ Tech gear (will break out into a separate post if requested)
- ◦ Thin Micro-fiber Towel (for drying random things, never leave home without your towel)
- ◦ Camp utensil / cooking set
- ◦ Dry food (need recommendations on what would travel well and not be too high in sodium)
- ◦ Should I consider carrying a spare tube for each tire to get me to the next place if I have a side-wall blow out?
- ◦ Lip Balm
- ◦ Sunscreen
- ◦ Garmin InReach w/ SOS
- ◦ Fire starters
- ◦ Lighter
- ◦ Some lighter fluid
- ◦ bug repellent
- ◦ Lots of backup battery packs to keep devices charged and re-charge at night and charge those up by day off the motorcycle
- ◦ Kind Bars
- ◦ Multi-Vitamin
- ◦ Bear canister
- ◦ Bluetooth speaker for camp music if requested by the group
- ◦ Headlamp / Flashlight
- ◦ Poncho Hat for rainy nights around the fire
- I’ll update this list as I remember things I own or as people here make suggestions.
What if others want to join?
- I have one person already interested. I think he’s a go but we’ll need to meet up in person before the trip and ride together a bit to see how we mesh. Maybe camp one night as well. Just to make that in person connection and ensure we can spend 2 weeks together. He and I are going to split hotel rooms when the price is right. I think if we were to have one other person, it would make sense to also make it 2 other people so that those 2 people can also split a room and hopefully it’s two people that know each other already. There may be a time where one of us has a mechanical issue that ends their trip and one person stays behind with them as a sacrifice and the other 2 push on. We really shouldn’t ever leave one person behind all by themselves. It also means if 1 or 2 of us wants to have a rest day while another wants to explore, they’ll most likely have a buddy to join them instead of it being solo exploration.
- What are some requirements if you want to join us? A few come to mind and I’m just laying it out there.
- ◦ Spatial awareness.Knowing what direction we’re going by looking at the sun and knowing roughly how many miles it’s been since our last stop or fuel up. Knowing an hour has passed and we’ve gone 40 miles and we’re heading east is something important to me. Lots of millennials lack spatial awareness and it’s why I rarely camp with people my age.
- ◦ Being able to shut-up.After 5 days on the Sena communications and sitting around a campfire talking about nothing, some of us who are more introverted reach a “glass-full” situation. Introverts aren’t anti-social but their cup of social time fills up and they need to empty it. That means a day of just sort of quiet time in their helmet, in their tent reading, etc. I’m one of those people so 3 days of quiet time over the course of 2 weeks is really nice.
- ◦ Mechanically savvy.Changing your own oil, stripping down your fairings, knowing your bike is overheating or a clutch is failing is all it takes. Nothing excessive
- ◦ Having a bike that is mechanically ready to travel 4,000 milesin 2 weeks. New tires, brakes, air filter, oil, healthy battery that can hold a charge, a comfortable seat and fuel range to get between stops and hauling what you need to setup camp solo and contribute to shared resources. I think Touring and ADV Bikes are probably the best candidates for this tour. With an iron butt, you could do this on a larger dual sport.
- ◦ A bit of self-reliancegoes a long way
- ◦ The financial means to pay a mechanic to fix an issue if it arises and it’s beyond our capabilities as a group. Leaving you behind because your credit limit is $500 and you have no cash is going to suck for everyone. Again, why I don’t travel with millennials
- ◦ You should be able to ride 500 miles in a dayand be able to do at least 250 the next day. If you haven’t done his before, do it before the trip. Pick a spot 300 miles away, get there and go home the same evening. You start to consider each stop and how long you spend peeing, eating or getting water. The most I’ve done is 700 miles in a day. That was really tough! All highway so earplugs and a comfortable seat were a must.
I have an R1200GS Adventures that is liquid cooled and fairly new. We’ll have no issues with packing space, fuel range and no chains to fail. The bike is under warranty but I have a tool roll and various kits to fix things
I think that covers it. I’m looking forward to feedback from the peanut gallery. While I’m not asking this group to completely design my trip 100%, I didn’t want to over plan and get too into a specific place or stop emotionally and have a different recommendation arise for a place that’s much cooler and worthwhile.