Labrador

Got to Labrador City last nite.  Lots of gravel roads.  Stayed at a nice campsite - no facilities like electric or water $11.50/nite - but next to a lake    - heard a loon.      Town came into being in the 1950’s.   A guy said they close the schools when it is more than 55 Celsius below - about 2 times a year.   That is about 67 below in F as I calculate.   Said it is too cold to snow much in jan - march - but starts in Oct and more in the spring.   Northern lights 200 days a year.

 

Labrador city campsite

Labrador city campsite

Big country - big mines  huge iron ore mine- saw an old 200 ton dump truck.

some new big ones are worth $8 million each - driver can’t see closer than 25 ft. away.  

old truck

old truck

Drove on a lot more gravel road to get to Churchill Falls - limit was 70 km/hr.   Could do that most places and some places 100 (60 mph).  some rough spots where they were working on the road.

People in Newfoundland are supposed to be the nicest anywhere - but will have to go some to beat Labrador.

 Drove to Churchill Falls - Big hydro  - up to 5500 megawatts - transmit down at 750,000 volts.  Up to 5500 megawatts.   it is a company town - owned by the company and everyone works for them - a new town.  A huge project - the generators are 1000 ft underground.   We stopped in the big town building - motel, gym, pool, grocery store, private schools, post office, etc.   Asked about camping - he said no campgrounds, but we could camp in the parking lot, use the plugs they have for the winter to plug in the cars, use the heads and the gym and the pool and the showers for free.  The whole town has free electricity.    One guy was changing tires in the parking lot.

BMW

BMW

To Happy Valley - Goose Bay

Drove over another 200 miles of gravel - stopped along the way and fished one of many places possible. Had about 4 hits, but no trout.   One was on for a short time - will try again on the new road south.

Cache River

Cache River

Stayed at the only campsite – north of town toward North West River. Only two other campers there – even though there was a weekend North West Beach festival on the weekend. Other two were both SUV types with tents.
We saw those and van type campers and 2 VW Westvalias, but almost no 5th wheels or travel trailers on the Trans-Labrador highway – saw no motor homes. There were quite a few pickup – campers.

There were some trailers and 5th wheels parked at construction sites along the road.

 

The new road from Happy Valley south was pretty interesting – roughly 200 miles of gravel. Most of it was very good – easy to maintain the speed limit of 70 KM/H, you could go 100+ in places. There was one stretch of about 20 miles that they were still finishing. The base was there – but they were applying the finish coat – and making it wider in places. It took about an hour for that stretch, There was a working stone crusher on the side of the road as well as many backhoes and big trucks and graders working – had to stop for them frequently. Of course it was dusty.

Stone Crusher

Stone Crusher

road work

road work

 

There were a couple of fishy looking streams and lakes along the road – but no easy pull off sites. Once the road construction guys finish with a quarry or a place they use – they usually block it off. Was trying my luck and a game warden stopped – showed my license and talked to him – said there were some pike where I was fly fishing. Said I needed a steel leader and a bigger fly to catch them. He said fishing was slow lately – had stopped no one with fish. He wouldn’t give me a note to that effect.

Otter Creek

Otter Creek

 

They were wearing headnets – guess they aren’t beekeepers. Bugs are pretty bad – but I have seen worse black flies in the Adirondacks in upstate NY. Have a head net with me but haven’t used it yet, just insect repellent. He said wolves could get to 200# up here.

 

We decided to stop in Port Hope -Simpson for the night. There is a small campsite behind the hardware store – right on the bay. Electric, water and sewage hookup for $20, but showers are $5 extra (?!). It is poorly maintained, but nice view

 

There are some cool wood outboards still used for fishing here in the Alexis Bay. They are catching shrimp here now.

Wood workboats

Wood workboats

 

It is only about 70 more miles of gravel before we hit the pavement at Red Bay – a very interesting looking old whale outpost – and then less than that to the ferry at Blanc Sablon – just over the border in Quebec. We will probably stay in the last town in Labrador, L’Anse-au-Clair. tomorrow night - then catch the short ferry across Bell Isle Straight (iceberg alley) to Newfoundland. Icebergs from Greenland come down along this coast – then some go down Belle Isle Straight and some go down the east side of Newfoundland. Hope to see one.

One of the things that people do in the winter is cut firewood for the following year - you see big stacks of firewood alongside the road.  There are also sleds (komotiks) that they used to pull it out with snowmobiles, Seems to be a lot of softwood - not much hardwood available.

Qomotik and wood

Qomotik and wood

To The ferry.

We finally got to Red Bay - an old Basque whaling town from the 1500’s - nice tour and saw some parts from a Basquee whaling ship that they found sunk in the Harbor.    Had a caribou burger at the restuarant and Mary Anne had fish soup and Poutine - French Fries with brown gravy and cheese.  We could see a small iceberg.

Iceberg

Iceberg

We were on the paved road and went down to withen site of the Straight of Belle Isle - could see Newfoundland.  

CAmpsite-Belle Isle Straight-Newfoundland

CAmpsite-Belle Isle Straight-Newfoundland

   Effie went wading in the Straight off a nice beach -   even a sunbather.

Sunbather

Sunbather