Riding the back country in northern NB and Gaspe, QC – Part II, Day TWO

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/Aug-4-to-6-NB-and-QC-Gravel-Ride

Aug 05, 2018 – Day two

Today’s route, 243 km total, 130 km gravel

The rain did not return through the night, though it did get a bit chilly. 13.5 deg C. is cool for August if you ask me. Still, the warm sun was climbing behind the screen of trees and gradually making itself felt. It was a great morning and looked to have the makings of a great day.

Enthralled by the mist and golden light I just stood around making photos for quite a while. Also, it felt really good to be out of the rain.

Eventually I put away the camera and made coffee. I figured I’d go up to Serpentine Lodge and get breakfast there. I parked my bike in the fuel shed and went looking for Alyre.

I found Alyre around back up to his elbows in grease working on his generator. Serpentine Lodge is off the grid and all needed electricity is generated on site – today just happened to be generator oil change day and Alyre had just drained the oil. Getting fuel or breakfast wasn’t imperative at that point so I chatted with him for a minute then went on my way.

No fuel for you!

I planned to take a different route than last time on my way to Kedgewick. I’d never been on this road and it started off full of promise.

What a great day!

Unfortunately my new route to Kedgewick wasn’t going to work out today, even though I’d only have to cut through the edge of the beaver pond it looked deep – and there was also that big dead tree floating there in my path.

Dam beavers!

Reluctantly I back-tracked and took the same route as last time.

I bought fuel and water in St. Quentin and continued on to Moose Valley Lodge. By the time I got there they were closing up the dining room and everybody left. I hadn’t really planned to stay at the lodge (they have cabins) but would have gone for a piece of pie in the dining room. No pie for me today, though.

So boondocking was in the cards again for tonight. I found an old cutblock road and followed it up and along the ridge to the end.

There I found an ideal, flat spot for my tent and got set up. It had been steadily warming up all day and now it was over 30 degrees C. and very humid. I found myself wishing for a bit of the cold air from this morning again. I still had some wet gear from the day before so I rigged a line and hung it to see if it would dry. Hopefully somebody flying over doesn’t mistake my clothesline for a distress signal and send the army.

The wide lens is distorting things, the tent was very level.

There was a nice sunset, though most of it was going on over the ridge behind my camp.

I made something to eat then enjoyed a nice cigar and a not-cold-but-at-least-not-hot beer I’d picked up in Kedgewick. Slowly the sun set all the way and the night settled in.

Although this spot is pretty remote and there are wild animals around I’m always careful to make sure any food or other scented stuff is kept behind at least two airtight seals over night. Aside from a few moose and deer tracks I’d seen in mud on the way in to camp I’d seen no other signs of any animals. There were wild raspberry bushes hanging with fruit as far as I could see, to me further evidence any local bears had other places they preferred for to hang out at.

After dark I watched some big and well-lit forestry equipment working over on the ridge across the valley for a while. Maybe they preferred working in the cooler night air than the hot day time – not sure. I eventually turned in and slept without a care and didn’t get eaten or molested by anything. The bear spray remains tightly sealed and unused.

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/Aug-4-to-6-NB-and-QC-Gravel-Ride

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