Riding the back country in northern NB and Gaspe, QC – Part I, Day three

Prologue:

For years I’ve been exploring the huge network of gravel roads throughout New Brunswick.  Many of those are in the Northern parts of the province and are often quite remote.  I’ve also heard great things about terrific gravel roads in the interior of the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec and wanted to ride them.

Using my own research and other routes provided by friends I put together a multi-day ride that would cover some familiar territory as well as lots of places I’ve never been.  Due to time constraints, weather and other commitments I had to do the trip in three stages, with a total of 10 days of riding in June and August, 2018.

Over the three trips, with some backtracking to and from my home base, I covered a total of 4,131 km of NB and QC with an estimated 30% or better of it on gravel. Here’s what the whole thing looks like:

If you’d like to view high-res versions of the photos in this post, use this link to head on over to the associated Smugmug gallery (all images copyright Doug Smalley):

https://dougsmalleyphotography.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2018/June-16-to-18-Gravel-Ride-to-Northwestern-NB

June 18, 2018 – Day three

Today’s route:

The long, wet 318 km trip home.

I woke up fairly early and immediately knew I had a little problem – it was still raining, and harder than it had been the night before.  It’s the part of moto camping that I least like – packing up the camp in a pouring rain.  My MSR Hubba Hubba tent has never leaked, though, so all the gear I’d brought inside with me was dry.  I waited a little while to see if it would let up but after 30 minutes it had not.  I was headed home today and didn’t really have a huge ride ahead of me, I knew the worst part would be managing breakfast, breaking camp and packing up in a chilly, drenching rain.  Sometimes when faced with a problem I procrastinate – I give myself lots of time to come up with solutions.  Other times I just dive right in and this was one of those times. 

I had brought my lightweight rain suit inside with me the night before so I had that on from the start.  I choked down a cold energy bar for breakfast but camp coffee is something I really enjoy so I decided it was worth the effort.  It was a miserable job but I got all packed, loaded and into my riding gear as quickly as I could. By 8:17 I was ready to leave.  I was dry inside my gear, but everything I touched was wet and cold – I already kind of felt wet, it was still raining and I hadn’t even left yet.

Bike warming up.
haven’t left yet but I’m already sick of the rain.

I’d decided on a slightly different route home and would not have a chance to fuel or buy anything until I got to Sunny Corner 175km away.  I had plenty of fuel so I wasn’t worried about that.  It was a long, wet 175km.

Stopped in at Serpentine Lake again, not as photogenic as the other day.
exploring
fun
feeling dark and dreary, by now my feet are wet in my “100% completely waterproof” Forma boots.
Even wet, it’s a heck of a nice place to ride.

I saw some moose along the way and eventually came to an abandoned campground I knew about.  I was ready for a break so went in to explore.  There were actually several vehicles and tents set by the lake up in there but the place looked very forlorn.

20180618-DSC05488
Please pardon the raindrops on the lens.
Wishing for a cheery campfire to warm up a bit.
Nearing Sunny Corner and the end of the gravel.

By the time I got to Sunny Corner it was 1:15 and the rain had mostly stopped.  I had lunch at the Subway there then hit the road for the 142km drive home, of which there are no pictures.

If you’d like to view high-res versions of the photos in this post, use this link to head on over to the associated Smugmug gallery (all images copyright Doug Smalley):

https://dougsmalleyphotography.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2018/June-16-to-18-Gravel-Ride-to-Northwestern-NB

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