10 Trans-Lab

Getting to the Trans-Labrador Highway

Round trip the ride was about 10k miles. There were many things to see along the way.

  • Craters of the Moon National Park, ID
  • Visited USS Morton buddy in Salt Lake City, UT
  • Arches National Park, UT
  • Independence Pass, Rocky Mountains, CO
  • Pikes Peak, CO
  • Visit with my Midway Island buddy Chuck and his wife Diane, Mukwanago, WI
  • Something “wild and crazy”, a tour of the Jelly Belly Factory, WI
  • Visit with Brenden, met him in Anchorage, Alaska the year before, Chicago, IL
  • Visit with my USS Morton buddy, JC, aka “The Illustrious One”, Chicago, IL
  • The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OH
  • Niagra Falls, Niagra Falls, NY
  • The Erie Canal, NY
  • The Adirondack Mountains, NY
  • Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond, Concord, MA
  • Two of Jack Kerouac’s favorite watering holes, The Rainbow (Now Charlie’s), and Worthen House and his grave site, Lowell, MA
  • Flower Pot Rocks, Hopewell, New Brunswick
  • Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
  • Alexander Graham Bell Museum in Baddeck, NS
  • Gander Loop, Newfoundland
  • Cape Spear (eastern most point in North America) and Signal Hill, St. John, Newfoundland
  • Viking Trail and Gros Morne Provincial Park, Newfoundland
  • Red Bay, Labrador

Trans-Labrador Highway Proper

The Trans-Labrador Highway is close to 1000 miles of gravel. We rode the Trans-Lab in 2010 when it was under significant construction in preparation for paving large portions of it. Most of the road was easy gravel, though construction zones proved more difficult. These were scattered across the length of the highway every 50 miles or so. At each zone they were in a different phase of construction:

  • We were often routed down soft dirt onto one-lane temporary bridges and back up into soft dirt.
  • We competed with graters, often losing as they covered the remaining 12″ strip of packed dirt with 2-3″ of soft dirt.
  • A few times we hit unexpectedly deep dirt of 12″ or so.
  • One section of the road was covered with rocks ranging in size from golf balls to softballs which lasted about 10 miles. It was so rough the world was a blur unless I stood up. I broke a pannier on this section.
  • As we approached Labrador City we were both caught off guard by what looked to be packed gravel but,  was actually a thin layer of gravel over 1-2 inches of sand.

I compared each work zone to a carnival ride. You had a ticket but didn’t know what ride you were getting on.

Getting Home From the Trans-Labrador Highway

It was a long ride home as well. We had been on the road for 32 days so took a more direct route back via the Trans-Canada Highway.

  • A UNESCO designated world heritage treasure, Old Quebec, Quebec City, Quebec
  • Lake of the Woods, Ontario
  • Terry Fox Memorial, Thunder Bay Ontario
  • Visited my high school buddy, Bill and his wife Chere, Coeur d’Alene, ID

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