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Author Topic: Newfoundland & Labrador  (Read 7698 times)

leroys73

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Newfoundland & Labrador
« on: February 10, 2016, 01:03:20 PM »

I am struggling with my planned trip to Newfoundland and Labrador.  I will be traveling by motorcycle from Dallas to Northern Maine (two 1000 mile days), across NB, bridge to PI, ferry to NS and ferry to Newfoundland then a ferry to Labrador.  I'll return to Newfoundland and take a different ferry route to NS then loop NS before heading back to Dallas via Cincinnati.

I am an experienced long distance motorcycle traveler.  I have been working on this trip for a long time so my route is already planned in good detail including must see places and stops.

My problem is the time of year.  The way it looks at present i will leave Dallas, TX around June 10 and arrive on Newfoundland 8 to 14 days later (depending if I loop NS before or after going to Newfoundland) putting me on Newfoundland between Jun 18 and June 24. 

I would like to leave for Newfoundland in late July but I have another trip to the NW US planned for July 30 to August 9 that is not flexible. I really don't want to run the two trips close together but considering the weather up there in June I may need to.

One consideration I have looked at, although it would push me, is leaving for Newfoundland following the same route as above the last half of August and after my NW trip.

I will be riding a motorcycle and I plan to camp about half of the nights.  What can I expect weather wise in June as to temps, wind, rain?   

Thank you
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US 41

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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2016, 03:22:07 PM »

I entered Canada at around 10 PM at Sault Ste Marie, ON, on July 5th. I was in Canada all day on the 6th and 7th. I was there half of the day on the 8th at Niagara Falls. Here was the weather pattern for me.

July 5th (night)- rain
6th- rain all day
7th- no cloud in the sky all day
8th (morning)- rain

As far as the temperature goes it was 70's the whole time (perfect). There were no mosquitos, biting knats, etc. The farthest east I drove was Ottawa. I did do some Quebec driving from Pembroke, ON to Gatineau. The day I was in Ottawa was the 7th and it was the most perfect day. I could actually see myself living in Canada or northern Michigan in the summers one day.

I would think that June would be pretty similar. As far as rain goes it is pretty similar to the midwest and eastern US. It's more of a hit and miss thing. I always seem to run into heavy rain at some point on my road trips. June-August is definitely the best time of the year to visit Canada.

I'm sure you already know this, but the bridge to PEI costs $46 CAD ($33 USD, cost is for round trip, you pay when you leave the island). I remember that being a jaw dropper when I first read that.

If you wanted to get really adventurous you could take the ferry from Fortune, Newfoundland to Saint Pierre and Miquelon which are three islands that are actually part of France. I think the ferry ride is one hour long. It costs $93 CAD (67 USD) to take the ferry (round trip), but if you want to go to France while you're up that way there's your opportunity. FYI it is a passenger only ferry and parking for your motorcycle costs $10.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2016, 03:34:40 PM by US 41 »
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USA (38)= AL, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MS, MO, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WV, WI
Canada (5)= NB, NS, ON, PE, QC
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Alps

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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2016, 06:31:37 PM »

I was there in August and it was all 60 degrees and raining. Truth be told, you're lucky at any time not to deal with cold and rain when you're surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. I wouldn't bother moving it to July, it's all a crapshoot.

I'll say this - you save $20 by looping NS first, going through NL, then doing PEI at the end - the bridge toll (leaving the island) is cheaper than the ferry. Both are free entering the island.

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leroys73

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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2016, 10:22:01 PM »

Well you guys came through for me.  I appreciate the information.  It appears June or July or August won't make a lot of difference.  I think I'll stick with the June trip.  I know the weather will be unpredictable any time.  I just thought later would be better odds for warmer and less wet.  At least in June there will be more day light.  Maybe less tourist.  The ferry and bridge options to PI were new info for me, thanks.  I knew both had a fee but I did not realize they were free going to the island but cost to return.  Maybe I'll just stay. :hmmm: That is an interesting concept.

A buddy and I visited the Maritime Provinces by car in 1975 when I was 26.  I always regretted not going to Newfoundland and Labrador.  Back then there was no bridge to Prince Edward Island and I can't remember if we paid both ways or not. Returning to them while adding Newfoundland and Labrador has been on my list for years.  At my age I am running out of birthdays, so I need to get up there. 

After this trip I can say my made in the USA Honda VTX 1300R motorcycle has taken me to 49 states, DC, and all of the provinces except Nunavut.  I'd love to ship it to HI but too many $$$.

Thanks again
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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2016, 11:02:16 PM »

I was there in August and it was all 60 degrees and raining. Truth be told, you're lucky at any time not to deal with cold and rain when you're surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. I wouldn't bother moving it to July, it's all a crapshoot.

I'll say this - you save $20 by looping NS first, going through NL, then doing PEI at the end - the bridge toll (leaving the island) is cheaper than the ferry. Both are free entering the island.
Agree with the weather assessment. I was there in 2006 from July 31 to August 12. The day we arrived it was in the middle of a rain storm with 50 degree weather. It was sunny and in the 60's for about half the days, cooler and cloudy the rest, including a torrential thunderstorm one evening. The major issue with traveling was road construction (the common refrain was there were only 2 seasons in Newfoundland, winter and construction) where traffic on routes, including the TCH, would suddenly be halted for long periods of time, often with no warning, usually with little or no detour routes available.

ghYHZ

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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2016, 05:17:34 AM »

Living in eastern Nova Scotia and two hours from the ferry…..I’ve been to Newfoundland often.

Although most of the island of Newfoundland is below the 49th parallel which is the same as the US-Canada Border all across the west, the weather is greatly influenced by the surrounding water. June and early July can be cool and wet but it’s a crap-shoot as I did an ATV tour on the abandoned Newfoundland Railway inland away from the Gulf in late June 2009 and it was sunny and hot (‘80s)

As the waters in the Gulf warm….August and early September are a great time to travel.

Here’s a trip across Newfoundland on Labour Day weekend in Sept 2014. Mostly sunny and warm but overnight showers one day.

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=13851.0

I did a circle-trip on the Trans-Labrador Highway about 6 years ago over the July 1st Holiday weekend. Weather was sunny and in the 70s on the Island but got cool, cloudy and rain and mist when I crossed to Labrador. Farther inland it did warm up but the black flies at that time of the year are atrocious!
 
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3594.msg79396#msg79396

A couple of updates to that report. Although the Trans-Labrador Highway is still gravel from the coast to Goose Bay (540km)….the 530 km from Goose Bay to Labrador City is now paved.

I’ve gone to Labrador for work in mid to late September and days are sunny and in the '60s but there’s frost most nights and you can get a rainy day too..

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=10565.msg250871#msg250871
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ghYHZ

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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2016, 05:48:57 AM »

Regarding the PEI Ferry:

When the bridge opened in 1997, the bridge toll was set at the same rate you would have paid if still crossing on the Marine Atlantic Ferry it replaced. That has increased yearly based on annual inflation and is currently $46 (cars) $18.50 (motorcycle)

The fare on Northumberland Ferries (which continue to operate in summer) at the eastern end of PEI to Nova Scotia was always higher. Currently $70 + $5 fuel surcharge. Motorcycle: $40 + $5 fuel surcharge.

(Bridge crossing: 13 KM, NFL Ferry: 22 KM)

And you only pay the bridge toll or ferry one-way as they are collected upon leaving the Island. So the choice is yours if doing a circle trip: Cross over for free on the ferry, return via the bridge and save $30 (car). Or…….have your free crossing on the bridge and pay the higher ferry rate to return to the mainland.
 
Funny how people have no problem paying a fare on the Ferry but find the bridge tolls outrageous. (You have to pay for a billion dollar bridge somehow!)

Also…..it’s all about convenience. I can remember coming back from PEI as a kid. Leaving the cottage early on a Sunday to beat the traffic after a weekend at the beach. Sitting in the car in long lineups on the dock for two or three hours……hot, sunburned……inching forward with each ferry crossing.

And in winter waiting for the winds to stop or the ice to clear. Now you cross the bridge on your schedule.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2016, 05:52:44 AM by ghYHZ »
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2016, 09:29:19 AM »

How is the bridge holding up that harsh environment?
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GaryV

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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2016, 12:46:45 PM »

How is the bridge holding up that harsh environment?
There's other bridges in equal or worse environments that are holding up just fine with regular maintenance.  Mackinac Bridge comes to mind.
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ghYHZ

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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2016, 03:27:23 PM »

Here’s a few winter pictures when you definitely wouldn’t be taking you bike to Newfoundland.

We usually make a couple of trips each winter to Marble Mountain in Corner Brook. Over on the ferry Friday Night....two days skiing.....ferry back on Sunday night and at work by 10 on Monday morning.

Arriving at Port-aux-Basques





The drive on TCH1 up the west coast.





Marble Mountain Resort along the Trans Canada Highway in the Humber River Valley.







Those unique Newfoundland names even on the ski trails.

 



Heading home Sunday night.




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Pete from Boston

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Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2016, 04:19:58 PM »

That's the coolest-looking ski lodge I've ever seen, and only 1000 miles from here.  When does their season usually last until?
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ghYHZ

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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2016, 04:45:18 PM »

That's the coolest-looking ski lodge I've ever seen, and only 1000 miles from here.  When does their season usually last until?
Usually early April and it is one nice hill with lots of snow!

http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/PlacesToGo/MarbleMountainResort
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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2016, 10:59:04 PM »

Quote
How is the bridge holding up that harsh environment?

They built the bridge with winter (and ice in the strait in particular) in mind.  Part of the reason it ran $1B is because they had to build it rugged.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2016, 11:33:59 PM »


Quote
How is the bridge holding up that harsh environment?

They built the bridge with winter (and ice in the strait in particular) in mind.  Part of the reason it ran $1B is because they had to build it rugged.

I sure hope so.  I crossed it one year in mildly bad weather in October and the sea was angry enough that day to give us pause.  I would hate to be on it in a genuine winter storm.
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dcbjms

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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2016, 10:37:42 AM »

Do the cars still get washed once they get off the ferry in Newfoundland in winter?
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ghYHZ

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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2016, 10:59:46 AM »

Do the cars still get washed once they get off the ferry in Newfoundland in winter?

It’s getting ON the ferry on the Newfoundland side. Don’t think it is as much a concern in winter. You still drive through the inspection building and there is a solution on the floor….and they also check to see if you are carrying any plants or soil.
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leroys73

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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2016, 01:33:07 PM »

Thanks again for the more info. 
I remember in 1975 waiting forever in line to return from PEI. 
I will not be going on the Trans Labrador.  My motorcycle this trip is not fond of 500+km of non paved roads.  I'd do it on a dual sport.
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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2016, 11:10:01 PM »

As I usually end up down there every summer as my extended family is from there. I'd like to mention on a side note that Newfoundland has VERY poor signage. Get this, they use sequential exit numbers like NY on the Trans-Canada Highway, however, they have mile markers at every 10th kilometer. The exit numbers increase as you go east on the TCH, but the mile markers start from the east end in St. John's and ascend going west. Yes, I am absolutely serious.

I've only been on the Avalon Peninsula so I've never actually been on the drive across the island, but if you have any questions about St. John's, you can ask me if you want.
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GaryV

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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2016, 08:05:37 AM »

... however, they have mile markers at every 10th kilometer.

So they have signs like 6.2, 12.4, 18.6, 24.9 ...    :bigass:
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ghYHZ

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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2016, 08:49:51 AM »

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Alps

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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2016, 10:34:43 AM »

As I usually end up down there every summer as my extended family is from there. I'd like to mention on a side note that Newfoundland has VERY poor signage. Get this, they use sequential exit numbers like NY on the Trans-Canada Highway, however, they have mile markers at every 10th kilometer. The exit numbers increase as you go east on the TCH, but the mile markers start from the east end in St. John's and ascend going west. Yes, I am absolutely serious.

I've only been on the Avalon Peninsula so I've never actually been on the drive across the island, but if you have any questions about St. John's, you can ask me if you want.
What they consider an "exit" is fairly random, too. Some of them are cross streets. Many major cross streets aren't numbered, though. I've also found four different generations of signs kicking around. I'm sure their philosophy is only to replace as needed.

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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2016, 01:58:37 PM »

As I usually end up down there every summer as my extended family is from there. I'd like to mention on a side note that Newfoundland has VERY poor signage. Get this, they use sequential exit numbers like NY on the Trans-Canada Highway, however, they have mile markers at every 10th kilometer. The exit numbers increase as you go east on the TCH, but the mile markers start from the east end in St. John's and ascend going west. Yes, I am absolutely serious.

I've only been on the Avalon Peninsula so I've never actually been on the drive across the island, but if you have any questions about St. John's, you can ask me if you want.
What they consider an "exit" is fairly random, too. Some of them are cross streets. Many major cross streets aren't numbered, though. I've also found four different generations of signs kicking around. I'm sure their philosophy is only to replace as needed.

I'm not exactly sure what their philosophy is, Alps. Most likely or not, I will be in Newfoundland this summer, and I figured I may actually try to do some road geeking of my own around the St. John's area. Trust me when I say this to everyone, it will be hard not to laugh at how poor their signage is. I could google street view it, but that's very time consuming, and well actual pics look better. A lot of it looks very unprofessional.

The mile markers showed up rather recently, like 2011 or so. Or maybe a few years before that. It was around the end of the 2000s, beginning of the 2010s....

Mind you, the only portion of the TCH I've ever drove on (or even seen for that matter) is the portion from Whitbourne eastward, where the freeway portion of the TCH begins.
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Chris

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Re: Newfoundland & Labrador
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2016, 10:08:23 AM »

A 160 kilometre segment of the Trans-Labrador Highway will be paved from near Charlottetown to Red Bay. $ 63.8 million in funding has been announced for this paving project.

http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2016/exec/0627n03.aspx

 


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