Not our Best Day

Fox Hwy 389Before we started out this morning Mike took the garbage across the road to a forestry campsite. He encountered a red fox up close and personal. Even kicking gravel at it didn’t deter it. Since Mike didn’t know if the fox was rabid or friendly this was rather disconcerting. Other than that there has been a decided lack of wildlife and birds around the area. You don’t even see roadkill and given the maniac truck drivers you would expect to see lots of that.

We left the 94 km marker on Highway 289 before 10am. At 8:15 pm we arrived at the 496 km marker. Enroute we had the joy of buying gas for our rather large RV at $1.35 per litre. 10+ hours on the road with only a quick stop for a short awful lunch and we had not gotten 400 km (250 miles). Actually I don’t know how we got that far. For extended periods of time we were driving at 10 – 15 kilometres per hour. Not only do we have another 100 km to go on this road but apparently we have yet to hit the worst part of this bumpy, windy, hilly road. That is hard to believe. In addition, when this road ends we switch over to the Trans Labrador Highway for almost 1200 km and we are a little worried that it is a similar road.

Parts of the road are paved but even then it is extremely bumpy. Lots of the road is gravel and washboard. The is the first time I have ever been really pleased that we bought a new set of dishes that don’t break. We have two big concerns at the moment. Our main electronic system for the driver that shows our external cameras as well as all our radio and other audio isn’t working properly. While driving Mike always has the screen set to show the car that we are towing and what is behind us. When we put on our direction signals the view automatically switches to the camera on that side and allows Mike to see where the curbs and obstructions are for the RV and the car which is a long way away. This unit obviously didn’t like the severe bumping around and isn’t working properly at the moment. The chances of finding anyone to repair it over the next few weeks are slim. Our other concern is the fact that the rack the bikes are on is bending backwards, away from the RV. It is very strong metal and can’t be bent by hand. If it bends much more and snaps then the bikes would hit the Lincoln, roll underneath it, demolish the bicycles and badly hurt the front end of our car. Currently there is nothing we can do about it except cringe every time we go over washboard type roads. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

We had previously heard that this was bug country and the news was accurate. The bugs flying around the outside of the RV are huge with many small ones thrown into the mix. There may be a small leak somewhere in our RV that has allowed mosquitoes to get in while we were sitting here this evening. They are still flying around as I am typing this.

STS009_ManicouaganIf you look on the map you will see an almost perfect circle of land with water all around it. It was originally caused by a meteorite hitting earth and has been modified by man to be a very large reservoir. I read that the astronauts in space can see it with their naked eyes. The picture here was taken from the space shuttle. This area is sometimes called the “Eye of Quebec”.  René-Levasseur Island is the large island in the centre of Lake Manicouagan. This is the world’s second largest lake island after our own Manitoulin Island. I was fascinated with the look of it on the map and I was really hoping to get close and possibly go boating in it. That didn’t work. There is one road, with very few options and very few places to even pull over. Every hundred kilometres or so there is an SOS phone booth. The road starts off interesting with lots of trees and water but the bumps quickly outweigh the scenery. I am a little worried about the next 1,000+ kilometres. Of course I was the one who chose the route which doesn’t make me feel great.

There aren’t many places to pull off the road and the trucks drive unbelievably fast along it. Luckily we are self-contained. At the moment we are parked at the edge of a gravel pit in the middle of nowhere. You would think that the one benefit would be peace and quiet. I can’t believe the noise of the trucks racing past, there is an active train track for the mines somewhere close and they run often. I haven’t got to bed yet and I am not looking forward to it. Mike’s says in addition to the external noises there is a mosquito he can hear in the bedroom. Great night ahead.

Next stop Labrador.

P.S. We just got an internet signal for a few minutes and this is what I read about the Trans-Labrador Highway that we are going on next.
“Trans-Labrador Highway: The remoteness of the Trans-Labrador Highway challenges drivers from around the world. To survive this epic roadtrip into unparalleled wilderness, one must be as capable of dealing with mechanical faults as with persistent bloodsucking insects, bone-soaking rain, and moose hell-bent on auto-suicide. For much of the 1185km you can feel like the Last Great Driver on Earth.” Another website calls the highway “the loneliest road in the world”. I will report when I can. Sometimes if we find a restaurant at a campsite for the miners or foresters they have internet we can use. Bye for now.

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