Monday, July 9, 2012

Manic Monday to the Big Land

July 9th.

I now don't regret not camping.  Looking outside shows rain and i suspect it was raining for most of the night.
I got up at about 7am, but was awoken during the night dying of heat.  WTF.  I guess i like to keep the hot side hot and the cold side cold.  Mc D AL T.

Last night my hands started itching pretty bad.  I'm hoping the hives aren't coming back because i'm off the steroids and have nothing to combat it with.  I'll have to deal with it as it comes.

Feeling rough this morning.  Hands felt swollen, back was stiff and hurting... not in the best of shape.  I guess it could be expected since i put on about 1100 kms in two days and I haven't ridden that amount of distance since my last trip in November of 2010.

I went out for a smoke and a little red squirrel came running to me.  It came and sniffed at my naked toes.  I suspect that this one was given food by people a lot.  A motel employee yelled out to me as she walked by "It looks like he's interested in your toes this morning!".  Guess that she knows this critter herself.  Damn thing kept running around, staring at me right in the eyes, wherever it was.  No food for you little red rat.

That got me thinking to breakfast and the abysmal supper i had the night before.  I didn't feel like given them any more of my money, so I had this:

I packed up and got moving at about 8am.

Motel and restaurant

You can't make it out, but gas is $1.58 a liter. That's $6 a gallon.

The road leaving Manic 5 was pretty horrible.  My front tire kept on wanting to wash out on me and had no traction whatsoever.  Yay for street tires (90/10) when i should have been running dirt tires.

I had a couple of Oh Shit moments, but luckily no underwear needed to be changed.  I stopped after about 40km to take a smoke break.  My shoulders, back, legs and mind was killing me.

I got to the Gabriel Relay station for a gas up and some breakfast.  I was hoping it would be better than the Motel I was at.
Taking my lighter out of my pockets for a smoke, i notice i have no money.  DAMMIT.  there goes ~$160 that i had in my pocket.  It's in one of two places... on the counter at the motel cash, or on the side of the road between the Motel and relay station.  rule of thumb, don't keep all your eggs in one basket.

$7 breakfast was good but somewhat lacking a sidedish... 

Beast all muddy

My lower legs were full of mud and i could begin to feel the cold water be absorbed by my wool socks.  I had my liners in, but still cold somewhat.  My feet were wet, but not fully cold.  yay for wool.

I had the  GoPro going today on and off but I don't know what the quality will be like as the lens was fogging up.  stupid rain.
The bike's first little problem cropped up here.  I started it up and found that the neutral light was always on. Later during the day it would go off, or flicker... it just did anything it wanted.

It turns out that they had 10w40 motorcycle oil here, so i bought the last two remaining quarts.  They must have  been there a while as the white containers are stained yellow. nice.

The gas here was over $1.70/ litre.  That's $6.50 a gallon for my American friends.

The road from here was mixed... from nasty wet slippery sand where it wants to eat my front tire, to smooth new paved highway.  Whenever i hit paved sections, I tried to make up some speed.  There's a lot of construction on the road but as it's quebec, what do you expect.

One thing to note is that the driving here kinda sucks.  The truckers are mostly ok, but the dudes in the pickups don't give a crap about anything.  They pass in blind corners, tailgait, etc.  I let all of them pass on the dirt/gravel/sand sections.  There was a good paved section from a bit before the Ghost town of Gagnon to Fire Lake.  I stopped at the ghost town for a smoke but as all the structures have been removed, all that is left are the sewer grates and the pavement with curbs.  It's the only paved section i saw any kind of dividing lines marked on the road.
Between Gagnon and Fire Lake I passed the only other motorcyclist since leaving that morning and didn't pass another after.   

I noticed the lone biker, on what seemed to be ... a KLR!  we both recognized each other's bike and gave an air High 5 as we passed.  I think it was a red KLR, and he had a helmet cam mounted as well. hah.  True Bromance...

The rode from Fire Lake onward was more or less hell.  I almost washed out a few times as it's sandy/muddy with washboard. nice.  Did i mention this thing has more curved  that most roads i've ever seen?  This includes the tail of the dragon and the famous CA 1 in California.  

You want a twisty road? the 389 is it.  This section is... just horrendous.  I think my pucker factor went so high i won't be able to crap for a week.

At one point before hitting Fermont I came upon some mining operation.  The water was totally red but i don't think my camera picked it up.

There was a massive mining operation (couldn't take pictures), where it seems they are just ripping the mountain apart.  Lots of money here.  40 or so kilometers, this happened:

I finally hit the border of Labrador!  I got into Lab City at 3pm (4pm?) and headed right to a Tim's (the only one) and almost crashed on the road turning into it due to gravel/sand on the asphalt.  almost.

I went in for a coffee and to warm up a little.  My hands were numb and my feet were wet.
Sitting inside with my jacket off, i left a big puddle from the excess water off my jacket, pants and boots.

I searched on my cell (yay for service) and found a hotel nearby called the Two Seasons. Off i went to see if i could get a room.
Well, lo and behold, there was a last minute cancellation and got a room for the "inexpensive" price of $140. ouch.  shut up and take my money!\

suit up to dry, the dehumidifier on and my socks wrung out (i'd say 1/8 cup of  brown water) i set out for food.
Not much in Lab city, that's for sure.  A McDonalds across the street, a restaurant in the hotel, and a few pubs.  I walked over to a place called Mary Brown's Chicken.
I was hungry  real hungry so I took the 5 piece chicken deal which came with a medium fry, medium salad  and two drinks. $20... expensive, but everything here is.

Hell, a large coffee at Tim Hortons is $1.96. 36 cents more expensive than back home.

When i told the dude behind the counter it was to eat in, he stalled for a second. Ha.  
The dude was interesting.. chubby dude with shaggy hair, dimples and look of sadness in his eyes.  If I lived in this town, I'd be sad too...

I'm a pig.  I ate all the chicken and macaroni salad and most of the fries.  I took my time.
By far better than KFC, but still not better than The Old Country Store in Mississippi.

Spending my time in the Hotel lobby  for most of the night as this is the only place the wireless signal seems to work.
Time to go dry out everything and get ready to get wet again tomorrow.  More rain to come. meh.