Monday, July 9, 2012

From Fjord Ranch to Manic 5

As you may have noticed, the time of posting and time i put in the blog don't match.  I'm playing catch up as i'm going in and out of internet and cell zones.  can't do much about that.

tday 2 July 8

Last night I could have asked for better!  I woke up in the early morning shivering.  It cooled down quite drastically and i was not dressed appropriately.  the 2lbs sleeping bag didn't cut the mustard and I was too lazy to wake up fully and go put one some warmer clothing. From the sounds of it, the wind picked up quite a bit and i guess because we're right on the st lawrence the wind brought cold.

I didn't set an alarm, namely due to my phone being dead.  I think it was about 7:30 when i got out of the tent.

Today i tested out the mountain house scrambled eggs and bacon, with a nescafe 1+2 instant coffee.

Me, first thing in the morning, thinking about the freeze dried eggs.

I took out my little stove and heated up some bottled water.  2 minutes later i have a 3 cups of boiling water.  One cup of boiling water in the bag of eggs and sealed it back up.
I took two packs of the coffee for the mug and filled it up with water.
The coffee is pretty damn good.  I like not having to fuss over whiteners and sugar...
After waiting 5 minutes for my freeze dried eggs to soak up the water, I ate.  No bad. No good.  Meh.  At least it gave me some much needed energy.  It cost about $7 for the bag of eggs and bacon and it's supposed to be 2 portions. really? i could have easily eaten two bags of this stuff (not for the taste or texture). lesson learned, don't buy eggs in baggies.
Would you eat this?

The eggs didn't do much for me, but the coffee was so good i was gulping it down, hence the little amount left in the mug.  I snapped a pic of myself to see if my mood changed after the eggs and coffee.

Still  bagged from lack of sleep/cold/shitty eggs.

I showered and broke camp as i wanted to get to the Manic 5 dam by nightfall.  The plan was to camp overlooking the dam.  more on that later.

went north to the ferry (free) to get to Tadoussac and onwards to the 389 at baie comeau.

waiting in line for the ferry

me on the ferry and not pleased that i couldn't put the sidestand down and held the bike up the whole time. bike is too heavy and can't be on side stand when sitting on it..


The road here on the 138 is nice and twisty, but with one problem... The wind! The only song that comes to mind riding this road is "come sail away" by Styx sung in Cartman's voice... you guys.  I couldn't take pics due to the wind.  I needed every thing i had to stay on the road.  The KLR is a giant sail.

I wanted a coffee, but saw a restaurant on the GPS at the Econolodge.  As the eggs did not suffice, I went in for Second Breakfast, expecting more of the same crappy restaurant food.

I was denied this.  Instead of crappy food, i found the restaurant had both A la carte menu and brunch buffet.

brunch buffet it is!  everything i had was good and had second helpings.  the "red sausage" is pretty much hot dogs in some syrop.  was delicious.

I took some tire pictures, to see what the 389/trans lab would do to my tires.

The food was a welcome gift as i would need every ounce of energy to fight the winds until bai comeau. After a coffee at Tim Hortons (probably the last i will see for a long time) I decided to go to walmart across the street for a few supplies.  Water (always needed), some hot chocolate (after 8 rocks), some nut bars and a can of... hell, i can't remember. It barely all fit on the bike, but fit it did.

I filled up and headed up the 389.  I turned on the GoPro on video because there's nothing but twisty roads.  I can't work with the videos on the road, but at the start of the 389, there's  a sign that says twisty roads, 211km (and large trucks).  vids will be uploaded at a later time.

It isn't the most technical road i've been on, but with the huge potholes, massive frost heaves and tar snakes that could eat a tire, it really keeps you on your toes.  And trucks.  Lots of trucks.  I followed one guy who kept his speed up in almost every curve.  This caused him to go wide more than a few times. Once he was completely in the other lane.  Dangerous roads.

The winds had died down, but were still constant.  So a Windy Windy road i rode.  I was keeping a good pace, my lines and apexs were all off, due to the road conditions, and once... just once, i came close to going over the yellow with a late apex.  I was going a good  pace, and a car was following a bit close so i kept going.  I was distracted and coming in too hot.  Unfortunately a pickup was in the other lane.  I almost target fixated on the pickup, which would have drifted me into him. No matter, I looked where i wanted to go and i missed him by at least a foot... ok, maybe by about 8 inches.  You know how guys and inches are.

The road surface was good at this point and i made up some time.  I came to a stop due to a van sideways in the road.  With the tiretracks on my side in the ditch, the broken glass in the road and the crushed roof, i think the van rolled over.  I'm not sure of the camera was rolling at this point but i hope it was.  I asked if they needed anything, they didn't and no one looked hurt.  about 10 minutes later an ambulance with lights and sirens was going past me.  Not sure where he was going, but it would be far from the nearest medical assistance.  I decided to slow up a bit.

I came back behind the truck that was going over the line.  This time, i didn't pass him like i did before (quickly and almost in a blind corner).  Word of wisdom, if there are no passing lanes and you need to pass a big truck, wait for a long hill.  They can't get up that fast and even my little thumper can pass them easily.

I got to the Motel L'energie which is the only gas stop in 200+km in either direction.  Miss this one and you're boned.  I went in looking for oil, and decided to just get a motel room instead of the little niche camp spot overlooking the Manic 5 dam  As it was raining (drizzling) on and off, cold and windy. I now regret that decision.

first, the room.  Ok room, a double bed and a TV that gets 5 channels all in french. yip.  what do you expect for $95 in the middle of nowhere?  should have camped.

next the Restaurant.  to call it that is to shun all restaurants in the world.  This is a cafeteria and a bad one at that.

i decided to go with their special of the day #1, the minute steak.  This came with a Soup, a drink and desert.
The soup was a cream of chicken.  It kinda tasted like bland chicken and seemed to be made entirely out of flour (to thicken).  Think a watery chicken soup base with flour in it. meh.  Next the minute steak.  This was the most disgusting thing which i've ever eaten (in it entirety). it was the toughest piece of meat i've encountered.  Tough enough to BEND A FORK when using the side of the fork to cut instead of a knife.  The butterknife did the job, but didn't cut it so much as snap the pieces off.  It was served with a watery gravy you could see through.
It came with mixed canned veggies a ball of mashed potatoes and a salad which... what do you call some shredded iceberg with a slice of tomato on it? nasty.  you call it nasty.
The meal #1 should have been call the Shoeleather Surprise for the texture, the taste and that it appears to have been boiled in a pot with old shoes.
Finally the dessert.  Lemon pie, but i'm not sure if it was a merange or whipped cream.  it had a texture somewhere in between.  the pie was actually very good and it seems that at least whoever made that, knew what they were doing.

The half baked bisquick was better than this crap.

I wrote for a bit and decided to go to the office to see about some oil for the bike.  they had every oil except the oil i run, 10w40.  the car oils have the friction modifiers that the wet clutch on the bike doesn't like, and the diesel oils ALSO have modifiers.  crap.  no oil here.  running low too.

next time i find oil, i'll be buying 2-3 quarts... I've used up one Litre since leaving home.

I went up to the spot i was going to go camp at.  There's a nice firepit in the middle and every firewood piled up.  I regret getting this motel tonight.

Even though while i was up there is was quite windy and raining, it would have been awesome to see the dam at night.  right now, i'm too tired to care about the dam at night.  I've seen pictures.  good 'nuff!  I did take pics and that dam is HUGE.  you cannot grasp how big it is unless you are right there.
See that little white blob on top of the dam in the center?


obligatory bike pic

tomorrow i go up this road.

Maybe I'll come back one day, maybe not.  Oh well... some you win, some you lose and some things stay the same.


  1. Hey Al, that dam looks amazing. Keep the food pics coming(especially the bagged eggs). How are the bugs?

    1. bugs have been good, only a few bites... dam is huge. massive. i'll try to keep the food pics coming :)

  2. Enhanced! I'm laughing out load at my desk right now and everyone wants to know what is so funny...