July 26, 2014. That’s the departure date for my trip to Mary’s Harbour and ultimately Battle Harbour Newfoundland /Labrador . Seventy one years and roughly one month from the day my Grandfather was shot down and killed over Bergen, the Netherlands. Roughly four thousand kilometers from his place of birth. I’m going to have to ride twenty eight hundred kilometers just to get to Mary’s Harbour, NL, five hundred and thirty of those kilometers on sand and gravel. Am I nervous? You bet but that’ll just keep me careful. Fifty six days might seem like a bit of a long lead to be covering this but it’s been my experience that the time creeps up on you and suddenly you’re down to your last few hours and there’s still a ton of stuff to be done.
Sure for most of my trips the planning is a week at best but those for the most part are in parts of the US and Canada that are pretty well populated (with the exception of Wyoming, which is big but people are thin on the ground, which is probably why I like it so much). This trips is across remote terrain. There’s only just over twenty nine thousand people in Labrador itself and you could fit two Wyomings in it. I’m sure I’ll meet up with people and other riders on the road, that’s half the fun but at the bottom of everything, I’m on a mission to tie up some historical family threads.
You can see the route here.
So the final destination is Battle Harbour. Here’s picture I’m, “Borrowing,” until I can post my own up.
I had most of today off and I decided that it was time to pull the trigger on a new tent, sleeping bag and mattress for the trip. It wasn’t cheap but I’ve learned the hard way to not skimp on gear. So now I’ve got a decent and light two man tent, a decent zero degrees sleeping bag and a small thermal rest sleeping pad, because I’m old and the ground is hard.
I’m going to try and space out the purchases because I’m not going to be super loaded with gear but the gear I do need isn’t cheap. I’m grabbing a spot tracker in a couple of weeks and getting a subscription so my wife can keep an eye on me and my progress as well as call somebody if I don’t move for a few hours or so. A camp stove is a must and a few days supplies. I expect to camp out a couple of nights at least, if not to just look at the stars without city lights to blur everything out.
The bikes in good nick all I need there is tires. Something I’ll be taking care of by the end of June.
This is finally happening.
It’s finally happening.