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it's an L for me
:banana

we're going to do Gaspe off road this summer I think
we did our gapse trip.. great time!


two old guys take their BRP's north to the land of poutine....
or.... how we chased never-ending rain for three days and then saw the sun

so, we have been planning a trip to Gaspe for a bit and the time finally arrived for our trip to start.

it begins:

Day before.. trying to figure how all this will fit...



Merc is all packed up though



I arrive at the crack of 10:00.... and get a serious ration of shit...



and we're ready



... to be continued
 

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so we rock out of F-ing-ham, and the skies are a bit grey. Calling for showers on and off... it'll be a theme for the next few days, cold front moving slowly north-east.. at about the same speed as a BRP.

gas stop along the way



not a lot of pics, we swung past Sebago in Maine and kept going north. The weather got on & off brighter, but never promising.

finally arrived just outside Mount Blue State Park in Maine.



stopped for food & drinks and found this fellow



should have slapped the Contender hat on him....

we get up the road to Mount Blue & set up..



get some bacon on



me and the Merc are feeling good!
we'll see how long that lasts!
 

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it was kind of drizzly on & off as we sat & drank that night. we had Merc's nifty nylon cover over us though, so we could drink away.

we had covered a bit over 200 miles to start



trip was off & running

unfortunately.... it PISSED down rain that night, and while this pic doesn't do it justice, we had "a river runs through it" campsite.



ah well... into every life a little rain must fall. We were about to find out how much a "little" really is.

day one is over... day two is beginning....
 

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day 2;

so we set off from Mount Blue after a proper (bacon filled) breakfast.



Light mist, but it wasn't too bad, until we got about 15 minutes into the ride, then it started pissing down again. Not many pics this day, just too crappy. Every time we turned east (or even north-east) the skies would open up... was someone trying to tell us something?

At Skewhegan we tried turning northwest a bit to stay out of the front we kept catching.. it worked for a while, but at Dover Foxcroft we got pissed on once again


We got to Howland & started thinking about a hotel instead of a campsite. We'd hoped to make the border, but the Gamin wasn't hopeful of lodging, and eastward meant rain, so we went north instead. Ended the night at the EconoLodge in Millnocket.



good time to let things dry out!

about 200 boring / wet miles behind us.

 

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day 3;

I woke up fairly early (well really early compared to Merc aka "sleepy" of the seven dwarfs). So I figured I'd get him moving by going across the street and grabbing a coffee from the local Dunkin. To ensure success I got him a large latte.... all for naught however, as he was pokey as always even after coffee. I went out & started packing up my bike... sun shining.. feeling good. By the time his nibs had showed his face it was raining again. So we went across the street and had breakfast. merc was in his glory when we came out & no rain... but that wasn't to last either. Shortly after setting off we caught up with the rain and proceeded to get pissed on all the way from Milnocket to Houlton. We decided to press on further north & see how that would work out, as every time we had gone east: RAIN!

We roll up rt 1 and then 1A with blue skies just mocking us ever so slightly to our west. Nothing but rain and we're both feeling a bit like turning it around... then entering Van Buren, the sun comes out!



woo-hoo!!



time to dry stuff off:


Merc gets his wet stuff off... beware possibly NSFW pics....





 

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consult the Garmin



we look at where we'd like to be, and how far we need to go. we decide it's "doable" and cross the border. first thing we see is a Tim's so we're in for a coffee, then the long & boring slog up 17 through New Brunswick. We had a "better" route planned out, but wanted to cover some ground. Sun stayed out all day and we found ourselves in Tidehead.

nice twisty road leading up to this overlook / picnic area:





snapped some pics looking back up the bay



amazing how a bit of blue sky can make you "stupid happy"



more in a bit......
 

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so anyway... after snapping some pics we saddle back up & ride into La Belle Province!

we stop for some gas and start thinking about a place to set up camp for the night. we decide to get some food:



food was good, waitress... no English, but she was nice, and we met a guy who said "well.. there's a campsite right on the ocean down there". Cool!





off we went to check it out.
really nice place & relatively cheap too!
we set up & start drying shit out.



 

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next day the sun is shining bright & all is good with the world!!



view down the beach



you can tell merc is full of bacon & coffee at this point...



we set off to cross the interior, life is sweet! until...



we stop to check the map or something & a guy in a car pulls up, very animated in French... pointing
 

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"the strap, he break" and with a smile and a Gaelic shrug he's off. We picked the bits out of the rear break and carried on.

Now at this point I need to mention that I neglected to load the map for Quebec into the 2610...

so the cross country route I had loaded is giving us grief... we stop for water (but not gas... which will be important later) and decided to try and follow the route anyway.

The 2610 wants us to go down a few "roads" that are chained off, so we dodge and dive in the general direction. It also seems to have gotton the idea the BRP will walk on water, so some doubling back is involved too. After a while though we get on these gravel / dirt roads! Yaaaa Hoooo! Merc & I are ripping along, heros in our own minds & generally having a ball until..

I come ripping around a corner and see a dog sitting in the road, well wait... not a dog... a wolf? naw too small (the whole time I am closing at about 50 mph)... it's a fucking coyote! shit!!!! it sees me jumps up and runs to it's right (my left) sweet, I'll just bear right and ... doesn't the stupid fucker look over it's should and cut right in front of me!! It basically gets clubbed by my left front fork and left boot and goes rolling off towards the edge of the road. I slow to a stop, just as merc rounds the bend. He sees the coyote too, but it's not in great shape as it makes for the woods

as I catch my breath I demo the ADV / BRP back rest



then check the GPS for more info.



G®eg 1, coyote 0



we take it slightly easier from this point....

to be continued
 

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so.. where was I?
oh yeah.. off into the interior!

so we rip along with nary a care in the world, no traffic, great roads and it's E-M-P-T-Y!!! I mean no one around, no one at all!





We get to a fork in the road & the GPS is being less than specific so we maintenez le droit. and Merc takes the lead. Well the roads sort of meander around, and the GPS is showing us a) heading south now & b) getting further from the track.... we decide to go back to the cross roads.



Remember I mentioned not getting gas? The BRP gets pretty good mileage, but looking at our maps & the GPS we know three things for sure;

1. we are in Gaspe PQ
2. we are about 50 miles from zero fuel
3. we are at least 50 miles from civilization if we got back the way we came

we decide to head back in "fuel conservation mode".

coasting down hills & and not really cracking on, I reach reserve & begin to sweat... merc has a b***** tank, but I have our spare cooker gas bottle

as it turns out merc hits reserve same time as me. we get to the end of the road, no town, no nothing... a turn to the left shows an 80 km/h sign, a turn to the right says 70 km/h... hmm civilization? off to the right we go. nope, that road turns north, but we saw a dirt track south. we NEED to go south, so we double back. it really weighs on your mind when you've no gas, and no idea where you really are. getting to the end of the dirt road we find a little town, St Alphonse. They have a caisse popular.. they have a Quebec liquor store... they have no gas! merde!! we head into town (east) and I see another road south. I keep telling myself "gotta get south". As soon as I make the turn GAS!!! cool!!!

we gas up & crack on south, very relieved. upon reaching the coast we decide "Carlton sur Mer was pretty nice..." so we head back, get another camp site, and set up

the lighthouse at the end of the point



 

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cooking & drinking supplies ready
life is good!



so day four ends up being about 220 miles to nowhere... in hindsight we think we were within spitting distance of Murdochville... but can't be sure. and anyway.. this is a really nice spot for the night!

 

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And I assume they're good for cold-weather riding based on the Nova Scotia trip?
They have a removable thermal liner. They work well as cold weather pants, rain pants, and over pants. Only time they are less than perfect is if it's really hot... no venting.
 

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hmmm what day is it? day 5?
as usual up way before sleepy... (he's on holiday he'll tell you).

anyway, waiting for my coffee



and some food



walking to the bathrooms this struck me as really funny... must be on the road too long



coming back I get roped into helping the girls across the way sort their tent out.




they didn't have the post-things in the end of the poles..good deed for the day!
 
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