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Author Topic: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014  (Read 13955 times)

ghYHZ

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Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« on: November 01, 2014, 01:48:34 PM »

Living less than 2 hours from the ferry terminal in North Sydney, Nova Scotia......I could easily squeeze a Newfoundland Road Trip into a long weekend. So on a Wednesday morning in early September I went online and Marine Atlantic had space for my car on the “Atlantic Vision” to Argentia NL that evening. I would do the trip in a loop.....arriving in Argentia near the eastern end of the island....then driving 900 km west across Newfoundland to return on the ferry from Port aux Basques (sounds like Port O Bask). The crossing to Argentia is a 14 hour “mini cruise” with cabins, buffet meals and entertainment.

Here’s a link to a map of my route. Google won’t display the ferry going over but it’s almost a straight line along the south coast between points “D” (North Sydney) & “A” (Argentia)

http://goo.gl/maps/hKdmw

NS TCH105 ends at the North Sydney Ferry Terminal:







Early the next morning Newfoundland came into view and it’s easy to see why it’s affectionately called “The Rock”......we docked at the former US Naval Air Station at Argentia.....passing the abandoned runway on the way in.





« Last Edit: November 01, 2014, 02:13:31 PM by ghYHZ »
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ghYHZ

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2014, 01:50:28 PM »






NL100 (on the left below) was constructed direct to the ferry terminal to keep civilian traffic off the former US Base (on the right)



Then it was onto St. John’s, pop. 200,000, the provincial capital........and some views from historic Signal Hill 





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ghYHZ

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2014, 01:51:36 PM »

This is not Mile 0 of the Trans Canada Highway but Mile 0 KM of the Trans Canada Hiking/Biking Trail that will eventually cross Canada. Newfoundland’s portion is built on the abandoned (1988) narrow-gauge railway that crossed the island to Port aux Basques. Prior to the completion of the Trans Canada Highway in the early 1960’s.....you took the train and most times the only link to the scatted communities along the shore was by Coastal Boats which stopped at a wharf every few miles. They were also operated by the railway. The history is told in the Museum in the restored CN Station.







At St. John’s the most easterly section of freeway in North America ends and tapers down to two lanes at Logy Bay Rd.......then across town and out the Harbour Arterial NL2 and on to Cape Spear, the most easterly point you can drive to. 





« Last Edit: November 02, 2014, 06:04:27 AM by ghYHZ »
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ghYHZ

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2014, 01:53:07 PM »



I spent the night in St. John’s then headed west the next morning where a slight detour off the TCH took me into Harbour Grace where the “Kyle”, one of the old Coastal Boats is aground opposite the town’s heritage park near where Amelia Earhart set out on her transatlantic flight  (not in that DC3 but in a Lockheed Vega) 






Newfoundland is known for some unusual place names...




« Last Edit: November 01, 2014, 02:07:10 PM by ghYHZ »
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ghYHZ

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2014, 01:54:29 PM »

Then continuing on across the island......




........To Gander and the airport there that sees numerous transatlantic flights in to refuel before heading out across the pond.
 



Approaching Bishops Falls on TCH1 and the nicely restored old RR trestle there:






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ghYHZ

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2014, 01:59:02 PM »

Here’s the Trans Canada Highway through the narrow Humber River gorge near Corner Brook and another section of recently twinned TCH. And in case you haven’t noticed.....there’s hardly any traffic. Other than the surge of 500 cars and trucks when a ferry docks.....you have a wide, straight highway nearly to yourself. Just watch out for moose (which I didn’t see on this trip)




Stephenville is the location of the former US Air Force Earnest Harmon Field. Walk around town and most of the streets are named for US States.





Carolina Ave crosses the ramp from the cold war era:




This abandoned bridge was on the original highway along the west coast.


« Last Edit: November 01, 2014, 03:41:50 PM by ghYHZ »
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ghYHZ

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2014, 02:00:50 PM »

Now back on the Trans Canada Highway and down the west coast of the island........

 




In Newfoundland it’s “Centre Lane Yield”





Arriving at the Marine Atlantic Ferry Terminal at Port-aux-Basques, there was time to stop for coffee before getting into the ferry line-up
 

« Last Edit: November 01, 2014, 03:07:39 PM by ghYHZ »
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ghYHZ

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2014, 02:01:46 PM »






.......Then the 6-hour overnight crossing to Nova Scotia with an arrival back in North Sydney the next morning at sunrise alongside the Leif Ericson:



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oscar

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2014, 02:19:09 PM »



Looks like you splurged on a room for yourself.  When I did the crossing in 2003, I slept in a big room with many bunk beds (moved fast enough to grab a lower bunk, since I thrash enough while sleeping to occasionally end up on the floor), using the sleeping bag and pillow I brought in case I needed to camp on my way back to Port-aux-Basques. 

We both did that crossing at night.  The Argentia ferry also makes the loooong crossing in daylight (I think usually the return to North Sydney), which I think would be extremely boring unless you can sleep through most of it.

Awesome photos, which I'll have to get back to later.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2014, 02:21:21 PM by oscar »
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xcellntbuy

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2014, 02:39:48 PM »

Absolutely wonderful pics! :clap:
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ghYHZ

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2014, 02:58:33 PM »

Thanks!

What you remember Oscar....were the Dormitory Sleepers on the Caribou and Smallwood (both ships now scrapped) and they were great. Rows of Bunks in a big room......people just wanted a place to put their head down for the night. You threw your sleeping bag in a bunk and just slept in your clothes. (There were also cabins available too)

Now the new ferries have all private room accommodations with two or four berth cabins with private toilet and shower. The cheaper accommodations now are similar to reclining business-class seats on an aircraft (but not as comfortable as those old bunks!)

The North Sydney <>  Argentia run is done overnight both ways now departing around 5 or 6 PM and arriving the other terminal the next morning.....and a nice mini-cruise with a buffet dinner, then a couple of beers along with some Newfoundland entertainment.....



« Last Edit: November 01, 2014, 07:38:05 PM by ghYHZ »
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SignGeek101

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2014, 04:36:46 PM »

Great pics!  :nod: Looks like a beatufiul place to visit.  :) Signage looks interesting in NF, especially the Clearview 60 sign on the Harbour Arterial NL2  :banghead:

I've never been down east. It would be a great place to visit next summer.  :nod:

MisterSG1

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2014, 06:10:00 PM »

My family being from Newfoundland, I laugh at their awful signs every time I there. I recall when they introduced km posts a few years ago which show up at every 10th km.

Here's the kicker, the exit numbers go up sequentially from Port aux Basques to St. John's.......yet the km numbers start at ZERO in St. John's and go up as you head towards Port aux Basques.

Specifically, the signage of the exits on the "Outer Ring Road" I recall is very poor. It shows the next exit for you to stay in the right lane as a pull through sign, but does not say how far away that exit is.
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1995hoo

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2014, 07:59:10 AM »

Thanks for the pictures. I've only been to Newfoundland once, on a family vacation in August 1982, and we only went to the west coast as far up as the general vicinity of Western Brook Pond (we camped at the Berry Hill campground in Gros Morne Park). I'd love to go back again sometime and take the longer ferry to the east side.

When I saw your subject line I thought "next time I visit Mom and Dad I'll have to borrow Dad's pictures to see what's changed in 32 years." Wouldn't be surprised if there haven't been very many changes on the western side of the island, although there was no Tim Hortons near the ferry terminal back then. I recall the cafe at the terminal advertised a "hamburger" that turned out to be made of soybeans or some such.  X-(

The thing I remember being cool about the nighttime ferry crossing was my father waking me up very early to go out on deck and watch the sun rise over the Gulf of St. Lawrence with no land anywhere in sight. I don't know whether he has any pictures of that.
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ghYHZ

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2014, 08:38:00 AM »

Thanks for the pictures. I've only been to Newfoundland once, on a family vacation in August 1982, and we only went to the west coast as far up as the general vicinity of Western Brook Pond (we camped at the Berry Hill campground in Gros Morne Park). I'd love to go back again sometime and take the longer ferry to the east side.

The last night on the island I stayed at the new Holiday Inn Express in Deer Lake which is very convenient for trips into Gros Morne Park but have also camped at Berry Hill on numerous trips. It had rained that last night but was starting to clear so I made a quick trip out to the coast as far as Western Brook Pond before heading to the ferry.





And the Ferry Terminal food hasn’t improved much over the years. My coffee and Muffin from Tim’s was fine until breakfast on the boat the next morning.
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kurumi

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2014, 12:06:24 PM »

Those are some great photos. Now I want to go there...
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leroys73

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2014, 03:07:49 PM »

I am re inspired by your pictures. Newfoundland and Labrador have been on my motorcycle trip list for the last three summers.  Each summer something has come up. Ferry info is always welcome, thank you for the pictures of the cabin.  I realize after viewing your posting I'll need to allow a little more time to enjoy the trip.  In 1975 a buddy and I drove from Oklahoma to the NB, PI, NS but didn't make it to "The Rock".  I have regretted it ever since.     
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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2014, 04:52:13 PM »

I really want to head out there someday.  Not happening any time soon though (especially since I want to do St. Pierre et Miquelon as well) since it would require a minimum two week long vacation (assuming 8 hours of driving per day).
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Duke87

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2014, 07:35:09 PM »

assuming 8 hours of driving per day

This is a nice leisurely pace. I always get in at least 12 hours per day on multi-day roadtrips. Though I suppose if you want to sightsee and not just drive, the number will be lower.
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vdeane

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2014, 01:18:56 PM »

assuming 8 hours of driving per day

This is a nice leisurely pace. I always get in at least 12 hours per day on multi-day roadtrips. Though I suppose if you want to sightsee and not just drive, the number will be lower.
Sightseeing is part (I'd want to at least a few stops to spice up the trip, especially with St. Pierre et Miquelon), but mostly it's because I tend to get rather exhausted after 9 hours, and wouldn't want to push myself to that point on a sustained roadtrip.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2014, 01:38:06 PM »

When I'm far away and not with a less patient companion I'll drive many extra hours to drift down side roads, wander without looking at any map, or just park and set off on foot.  I may not cover much extra linear distance this way, but I use all the gas in my personal tank, so to speak.
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ghYHZ

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2014, 02:37:17 PM »

assuming 8 hours of driving per day

This is a nice leisurely pace. I always get in at least 12 hours per day on multi-day roadtrips. Though I suppose if you want to sightsee and not just drive, the number will be lower.
Sightseeing is part (I'd want to at least a few stops to spice up the trip, especially with St. Pierre et Miquelon), but mostly it's because I tend to get rather exhausted after 9 hours, and wouldn't want to push myself to that point on a sustained roadtrip.

Yeah….you’d want at least a week and a half.

I believe you’re in the Albany area and Google is showing a 16 hour drive to the ferry at North Sydney.

An easy 2 days each way. Freeways….and not busy once you’re beyond Bangor. The last two hours to the ferry is mostly super two or good two-lane…..and use the overnight crossings to save a day.

It’s 900 km across the island and I’ve done it in 10 hours with a couple of stops but to see anything you’d want three or four days. In NFLD you really have to get off the TCH…… out to Fogo Island  or the Viking Trail up the west coast to L’Anse aux Meadows and Gros Morne National Park. 

And you say you want to go to St. Pierre? That ferry (passenger only), leaving from Fortune, is about a three hour drive off the TCH. Allow another day or so on SPM.
 
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oscar

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2014, 03:04:55 PM »

And you say you want to go to St. Pierre? That ferry (passenger only), leaving from Fortune, is about a three hour drive off the TCH. Allow another day or so on SPM.

Plan ahead and check the ferry schedules, especially if you want to do just a day trip.  I tried to do that in 2011, but didn't get to Fortune early enough in the day, and couldn't hang around to try again the next day.

Also, you might need to exchange for euros to spend on SPM, one other thing to check in advance.
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KEVIN_224

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2014, 02:06:26 AM »

These pictures look awesome! My one question: Is the half hour time difference between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland Island that big a deal? Sadly, Bangor, Maine is the farthest east I've been in my lifetime.
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Molandfreak

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Re: Newfoundland Road Trip - Sept 2014
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2014, 02:23:56 AM »

My goodness, what kind of camera do you have? :awesomeface:
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