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Old 09-28-08, 03:13 AM   #1
Erick L
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Atlantic Canada - Photos

Hello folks,

Some pictures of my trip around the gulf of St-Lawrence. For the largest display available, press F11 and click on the main image on the right. Use the left and right arrow keys to naviguate.

Atlantic Canada - Around the gulf of St-Lawrence

And here's the map (google map)

I rode about 2300km in six weeks. Most of the riding occured in the first three weeks. I think I was still averaging 100km a day after 18 days. Nearly a week was spent on the Nordik Express boat between Labrador and Rimouski. I was very lucky with the weather, especially considering the rain we had this summer. Only a handful of rainy days. Everything went so smooth, including replacing a broken stove pump and getting a new bank card after losing my wallet. I think I used all my karma points, and then some.

I particulary enjoy natural areas so the national parks were the best parts. The wildlife was abundant. I knew I'd see some but I never thought I could photograph so much and so close! The biggest highlights were the Cape Breton Highland park on the Cabot Trail and Gros Morne park in Newfoundland where I spent a full week is simply superlative! The short ride (15km one way) through the Tablelands is surreal. The whole west coast of Newfoundland is fantastic riding, "bike bliss" as I thought so often. Newfies are good natured folks. Labrador is great as well, so much that I'd like to go back there during iceberg season and ride to Cartwright.

Anticosti was a bit of a let down due to the Sépaq and illness. Sépaq manages the parks and reserve in Quebec and it's run by a bunch of a-holes. Not many people like them and it's no different on the island. everyone resident I talked to hates them over them. the Sépaq "owns" close to 2/3 of the island and most of the rest goes to private outfitters. I was there during hunting season and they simply don't want anyone without a gun (and a couple of grands) on their territory. I spent some time on the western part where there's no hunting and then I got sick. Almost three days in bed, then a couple more of not doing much. Too bad. I put fat tires just for the island. I had heard many things about the road conditions. It turns out the road is just fine. Perhaps the gravel is sharper than elsewhere but not bigger. Anyway, I didn't get a flat. I'd like to go back although with more time. Deer were introduced in the early 1900s and they strive. There's well over 100 000 of them. Other species were introduced as well, notably red and silver foxes.

For the techies, I rode a Surly LHT 52cm. I changed the saddle for a Brooks B17, the bar for a Nitto Noodle 46cm and added Paul Thumbies. The bike performed well above my expectations. It gives a little verticaly for comfort but is very rigid lateraly. Camera is Nikon D80 with three lenses ranging from 12 to 300mm. There's one photo I regret not taking. A dog was trotting towards me with its tongue hanging out. Very friendly dog. It followed me a little and the instant I saw him in my mirror, I thought it would make a great shot... but I got lazy and kept riding. Damn.

The best pleasant surprise was highway 4 in Nova Scotia. The "Little Cabot Trail" isn't too shabby either although this was my only full day of riding in the rain. It's nothing like the real Cabot Trail though. The worst part were some bad roads in New-Brunswick, especially around Shediac, and highway 6 in PEI, which connects two parts of the PEI national park. The road has no shoulders, it's hilly and traffic is quite moderate. The park itself is great though, and cyclists don't have to pay the entry fee.

Bye!


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Old 09-28-08, 05:44 AM   #2
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Great pictures!
I haven't been farther east than Montreal and have been really wanting to head out to that area.
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Old 09-28-08, 11:04 AM   #3
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I like these ones


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Old 09-28-08, 11:15 AM   #4
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Spectacular photos! Well done. How did you carry your camera gear and where? Taking a SLR would provide the best opportunities to take photos but I'd be worried about the weight and damage.
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Old 09-28-08, 06:06 PM   #5
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Erick, awesome...just awesome photography!

I grew up on the west coast of Newfoundland, but haven't visited in a long while. Just curious: I thought the TCH had all paved shoulders, but from your photos, it didn't look to be the case.

And, the hills... haven't lived in the flatlands so long, I can't imagine Cape Breton and Gros Morne...

And the beach camping! What a wonderful trip...

Last edited by gerv; 09-28-08 at 06:06 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-28-08, 09:14 PM   #6
Erick L
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Thanks everyone.

The TCH has paved shoulders, the Viking Trail from Dear Lake and up the west coast does not. Well, there's a 18 inch shoulder, sometimes a bit less. Traffic is low enough, expecially north Western Brook Pond.
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How did you carry your camera gear and where? Taking a SLR would provide the best opportunities to take photos but I'd be worried about the weight and damage.
I carry it in a Lowepro photo backpack sitting on the front rack platform. It has both photo and non-photo compartment. I used to strap it sideways on the rack but using the top compartment was a pain (nearly impossible) and it wasn't very securely attached when I took the camera out. I dropped a lens on asphalt and later dropped everything on the gravel shoulder. Finally, I put the front panniers on the high rail and strapped the backpack with the shoulder straps towards me. The panniers prevented the bag from sliding sideways. The shoulder straps went around the bars, through the top handle and were attach to the stem with a buckled strap. It's much more secure and it gave access to the top compartment. Not sure it's clear... This picture shows the set-up a little. I added a layer of foam under the bag and with the second set-up, the bag is a bit suspended, or at least the sides rest on the panniers' top pocket instead of the rack.

For weight, all you can do is stop worrying. It is heavy but I knew it beforehand. I also carried tripod and even the battery grip with AA batteries, just in case. The photography is too important for me. I'm pretty happy with this set-up and never once wondered how I could shave weight.
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Old 09-29-08, 10:02 AM   #7
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Erick,
Always look forward to seeing your great photos. I am glad you don't mind carrying the extra weight! My wife will be excited to see this as well since we are planning a tour in the same area next summer (and also because she has a blue LHT wiating to be picked up which she hasn't seen yet). We only allowed 2 1/2 days for Gros Morne but that might have to change after seeing your photos (especially if we will have to wait for some clear weather).

Where did you stay in Gros Morne and did you fly out of Blanc Sablon or is their boat service?

Paul
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Old 09-29-08, 12:14 PM   #8
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Nice photos. Does your tripod get dirty being on the back like that?
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Old 09-29-08, 01:15 PM   #9
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Outstanding, thanks! I've driven pretty much that whole route (incl Nfld but not Labrador), biking would be much better.
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Old 09-30-08, 10:15 AM   #10
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Where did you stay in Gros Morne and did you fly out of Blanc Sablon or is their boat service?
I entered the park in Wiltondale, stayed at Lomond campsite, two nights on the Green Gardens trail, one in Trout River, then crossed to Norris Point (the taxi boat was more like a small tour, complete with live music!), two nights in a KOA camp and another in Shallow Bay at the northen end of the park. I stayed a week so I'd have time for hiking. You could spend less if you don't hike. There are some interesting boat trips as well. You absolutely HAVE to ride to Trout River. It's a 30km round trip.

You could also go around north of Bonne bay and take the taxi boat to visit the Woody Point/Trout River area. 6$ one-way, 10$ round-trip, loaded bikes aren't a problem. To illustrate how smoothly things went, just after I got back in Woody Point from the Green Gardens trail, it started raining. In time for needed laudry and a warm meal and coffee next door. There's also a taxi nearby in who will take you anywhere in the park for 10$.

I took the Relais Nordik out of Blanc-Sablon. Price came to around 320$ although I paid a little more coz I broke the cruise in two by stopping on Anticosti island. The lasts 6 days on a rather small boat. It's actually a cargo ship. The towns on the coast aren'T always close and if the boat is late, you might not have time to visit.

Quote:
Does your tripod get dirty being on the back like that?
Not really, but the tension screw came off the ballhead from the vibration, and I later lost the quick-release screw! I was very lucky and found that one back on the gravel road.

Thanks!
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Old 10-02-08, 06:35 AM   #11
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i was in cape breton, exactly a year ago.. very hilly and not the kind of backroads you feel safe on ..unless you are in a car!..
did you get down towards sydney? there is a great bnb on the trout river..,,,, brown trout!.. i liked it so much i am going back next summer...... earlier tho, ran into a lot of bad weather in october.
nice shots, thank you..
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