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Trans Labrador 2005
Until the Mid 1990’s, travel across Labrador Canada was limited to Air, Snowmobile, Dog Sled or Walking.  With the Advent of the Trans Labrador Highway or Rt 500 and as the Locals call it, “The Freedom Road” (as it gave them the freedom to move) , one can now drive from Goose Bay/Happy Valley Labrador to Labrador City, Labrador,  and then connect to Quebec RT 389, also a wilderness road, ending up at the St Lawrence River.

Since the Trans Labrador Highway was built, I have wanted to drive its length, Connect to Quebec Rt 389 and make a giant circle ending back at home.  The actual distance was 3411 miles with 539 miles on  various conditions of  Gravel Road.  In Quebec from Mount Wright to Fire Lake, you drive thru the Iron Ore Mines on old ungraded, washboard, potholes made from mine tailings.  This section of the road was worse than terrible.  Yet it’s the only access  for Labrador City and Goose Bay/Happy Valley (during the winter)  by car or tractor trailer.

From Goose Bay to Churchill Falls is a distance of  288 KM with nothing but you and the Gravel…No services of any kind, not even people.  And from Churchill Falls to Labrador City it’s a run of 238 Km again with nothing but you  and the Gravel.  Once entering Quebec on Rt 389, more gravel wilderness road  down to the  Manic 5 Dam with only one fuel stop at Relais Gabriel.  Then continuing on to Baie-Comeau is another  221 KM of desolate beautiful wild country on a rough rolling, narrow, washboard, potholed,  Tar road..

In making this wilderness run, you will be driving on 539 miles of Gravel Road.  This road has many  faces.  You will experience loose stone, like driving on Large Marbles, Serious Washboard and Many Miles of driving on Boulder Heads, Narrow Bridges, Steep Grades (18% at Manic 5), Soft Shoulders and Serious Drop Off’s.  You will not find Radar Traps.  There are no cell phones up there,  If you want communication, a Satellite Phone is required.  You must be prepared to handle your own problems.  Broken Windshields and Flat Tires are a special Hazard.  

Serious planning went into this trip.  The Carryall, now named “Sweetheart” for how she ran and  performed flawless.  Only a sticky door lock required some graphite lube in Newfoundland.  She ran 3411 miles and consumed 131.64 gallons of Cetane Boosted Diesel for a mileage of 25.9115 MPG.  She never skipped a beat, drew large crowds of people, asking all kinds of questions and shooting  lots of pictures.    I told ‘Sweetheart’ before we left,   “You fail me and I will paint you  Pink and send you to the Crusher in Mexico”  With that our  Labrador Adventure Expedition started on July 6, 2005

Labrador now has a new Highway, RT 510 that runs from L’Anse-au-Clair to Cartwright, Labrador.  And presently a link is being built that will connect Cartwright to Goose Bay/Happy Valley, Labrador.  When this is complete in a few years, it will be possible to drive from L’Anse-au-Clair to Labrador City all on wilderness gravel road.  This is one of the last true long distance gravel roads in North America.  When you reach North West River, Labrador you are at the END of all roads in this part of North America.  To drive further north, one must go to Alberta, Canada.
Date(s): 1943 Dodge Carryall Expedition. Album by CarryallPaul. 1 - 417 of 417 Total. 68199 Visits.
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Route of Expedition

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July 6 2005
Ferry across Lake Champlain, NY

The boats turn to ships real soon


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Total inspection, Hardening the nose and loading GPS way points

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Loaded, ready to roll

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Top of Cadillac Mountain, Acadia
National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine


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Line up to board Cat Ferry

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Inside Cat Ferry car/truck deck

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Cape Forchu  Lighthouse, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

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East Baccaro, Nova Scotia

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Liverpool, NS

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Visit to  cdnBRUCEcdn in Bridgewater, NS

Thanks Bruce for the GREAT route to bypass Halifax


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cdnBRUCEcdn  1957 Power Wagon

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Trans Canada Highway 102 heading for Truro, NS  Running 60 mph

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Canso Causeway to Cape Breton
Nova Scotia


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Motel at Inverness, NS

That evening all the local kids and their trucks showed up to check out the Carryall.


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Inverness, NS

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Heading North up Cape Breton Island

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The next series of pictures are all within the Park

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Whale Watching at Pleasant Bay, NS

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Cape North, NS

Really Great Food and right across from Motel


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Motel, Cape North, NS

Again tonight, many people stopped at the motel to look at the Carryall.  Its hared to miss from the road


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Heading south towards North Sydney, NS

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Englishtown, NS

Another cable ferry.  Short 5 minute ride that saves tons of miles


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NOrth Sydney, NS

Marine Atlantic Terminal.  The ship is the MV Caribou which we will take north for 6 hours to Channel-Port aux Basques, Newfoundland. Note trailers loading top and bottom decks.


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We are in the boarding lanes.  Before we boarded, the entire lot was full of cars and trucks.

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Rain and Fog = Fog Horn every 2 minutes.  After a while you get used to the fog horn and dont hear it.

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Bugs Green and Debbie, Newfoundland.  Newfie music is something like Bluegrass and country. You should hear him on the fiddle doing the Orange Blossom Special.   Bought a few CD's for the ride.

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MV Caribou Chief Steward playing the Spoons.

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Sunset from the MV Caribou.  It will be after 10m pm Newfoundland time when we arrive in Channel-Port aux Basques, Newfoundland

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Channel- Port aux Basques, Newfoundland.  Today the crossing took 6 hours.  A crew member told me during the winter with Ice and heavy seas he has seen the crossing take 15 hours.

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Ready to unload

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I never saw this beautiful Plymouth load.  I believe its a 1959 ???

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Snow Plow on the old Channel-Port Aux Basques to St. John's Train

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Now that the TCH connects the Island of Newfoundland the train is no longer in service.  However the road bed is a atv and snbowmobil trail for the entire distance of almost 900 km.

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Controls for the Snowplow

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Picture of this Plow fighting snow on the tracks

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Cape Ray Lighthouse

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TCH headiung north towards Stephenville, NL

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Little Burnt Bay, NL

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Clioff is a great guy.  I stopped at his little park, he came out to look at the Carryall.  he built his home and gardens and park.  He was born on Exploits Island.  CLiff invited me in for some pie.  We had a nice visit and I left some PW Maple with him.

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Original Fish Scale

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High School was having a car wash and The Carryall really needed a Bath

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The following pictures are all from north Twillingate Island, NL

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Long Point Lighthouse, North Twillingate Island, NL

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Long Point Lighthouse /Carryall

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MV Sir Robert Bond will be our home for the next 43 hours up Ice Berg Alley to Goose Bay, Labrador

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Time  to Load.  This is the point of no return.  From here you are committed to the 539 Miles of Gravel that lay ahead.  Carryall is running as expected, green light, load her in.

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Seating on the MV Bond.  Some people elect to sit in one of these seats for 43 hours.   I got a nice cabin.  After 43 hours the people in these seats have a blank stare and are drooling

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My Cabin on the MV Sir Robert Bond

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Some of the Ice Bergs coming down Ice Breg Alley

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Cartwright, Labrador.
The Logs will be loaded on ocean going barges and towed south for 8 days.  They will end up at Grand Falls/Windsor for processing.


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The next series are  from Cartwright, Labrador.  We were in port while cargo was unloaded.  Then back to sea, finally into the Hamilton Inlet and Lake Melville to Goose Bay/Happy Valley Labrador

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Wonder what is in those salvage overpack drums ?????maybe I dont want to know

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Cartwright, Fire Dept

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While in Cartwright, the Chief Engineer came by and wanted to see the Carryall.  We went down on the cargo deck and I gave him the Nickle tour.  Then I looked at him and said  ITS YOUR TRUN....I want to see the engine room and everything below decks.  He said follow me.

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The MV Bond is Twin Screw. There are two 2200 hp diesels on each prop, driving thru a reduction gear box providing a constant prop shaft speed of 200 RPM's.  Speed and direction is controlled by prop pitch

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CO2 fire protection systems

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Stern Thruster

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Prop Shaft

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Bow Thruster

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Air Operated valve on bow Thruster

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Spare Connecting Rods for engines.

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If you dont get a cabin, some people opt to sleep on the floor.  Must be a hard trip

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Arriving at Goose Bay, line handlers coming out to meet ship

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Landing at Goose Bay/Happy Valley Labrador

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I pulled over to get a picture and before I was done people started to stop and ask questions.  I was here for over an hour

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Heading to North West River.  The end of all roads in this part of North America.  They say to drive further north, one must go to Alberta, Canada

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This is it !!!  The end of all roads

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This is the former USAF SAC Base at Goose Bay, Labrador

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RAF Vulcan Bomber

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Live Newfoundland/Labrador Highway Camera, Goose Bay/Happy Valley Labrador

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View from mountain top of Former USAF Sac Base, Now 5 Wing Goose Bay

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Chruchill River.  The water you see has gone thru the Hydro Power Project at Chruchill Falls

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Best Motel on trip.  Simply beautiful at Goose Bay

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Here we are, the purpose for this trip

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Belive the sign, there is nothing ahead but you and the gravel for a long time

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This next series of pictures are from Goose Bay to Churchill Falls, Labrador

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East / West Hammer Lane on the Trans Labrador Highway.

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When a truck passes, stop, close the window, your in for a white out of dust.

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The original Highway went up that hill.  Many hills and curves have been rebuilt or moved

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The road gets worse, better, worse and better.  Its a road of constantly changing conditions

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Osprey Nest

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Here comes my friend, the Grader.  Smooth road for a while.  Keep off the wind rows where he grades.  Stones as large as concrete blocks lurk in the wind rows.  Eventually they will be graded off the road

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Caribou are shot and quartered right along roads

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The sign red numberf showing Mega Watt output did not come out well.  AT the time of this picture, the Site was supplying 3513 Mega Watts.  During the winter, the output is 5500 Mega Watts.

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Churchill Falls is a company town with about 200 people.  All homes are only on one side of each street to make room for blowing snow

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Engine Heater plug'in everywhere

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Security, Fire Station and Main Control Room

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11 Penstocks are 40 feet below the water and drop 1000 feet the the turbines

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Main transformer room for the 11 transformers.  You are now 1000 feet underground

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Pipes are drilled into the walls to measure if any water is seeping in behind the rock

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These cars are always here, key in and run each shift.  They are the emergency escape.  Its about 2km till they reach the outside thru the tunnel system

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Refuge behind these doors.  Fire/Smoke/water tight. Inside is food, water for 60 people for a month. Fresh air to the outside and diesel emergency power

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Your at 1000 feet underground. This is the largest Under Ground Hydro Plant in the World.

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This device marries the two huge over head cranes so they can lift the 600 ton rotors in the generators .  One is shown on the next page with the tour guide

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This is the turn to the Esker Railroad station.  I went in about 50 miles, more on Esker In the Trip Log

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Following few pictures are on the Esker Road

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Back on the Trans Labrador Highway heading to Labrador City

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Cindy II an old Bombardier was sitting by the railroad tracks on the Trans Lab Highway.   Its like a trun back in time, both rigs are old.  I would love to have brought her home with me.  When I got to Labrador City, I found the owner
uses it all the time in the winter.


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TAR, TAR, TAR  WOW, coming into Labrador City.

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Leaving Labrador at km 0.  At the Quebec Border.  Now the road will get really bad in places

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Into Quebec, the Tar only lasts for about 15 miles.

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This sign is CRITICLE  !!!  If any of the lights are on, the road is closed between those points.  There is no bypass or other road.  STop turn back.

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I am now on the road at Mount Wrght Iron Mine. The road base is mine tailings, ungraded, pot holes, worse than worse.

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Fermont is the last little town before going back into the bush

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Yor now on Quebec Rt 389 and will be on it for many a long hour.  11 hours from Labrador City to Baie-Comeau Quebec

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Towers at the closed Fire Lake Iron Mine

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Back on Tar as we approach the Ghost Twon of Gagnon

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Note the driveway cuts wherre the homes once stood

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You will see this a few times on Rt 389. Your on Tar,and road goes back to Gravel

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The old road heading up the hill

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Hard to figure, no house, no road, no path, just a mail box ?

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Relais Gabreil comming into view
51.19.34  LAT
068.07.21 lONG

The only fuel on this bush road


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The Motel unit in the rear  is available

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These overnight Cottages are also  available.

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Diesel 1.19 Per Liter.  I filled up, as I wanted to keep my Jerry cans for an emergency

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I hope its not a real SOS.  That phone is 97 km away.

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No Moose, No Bear, No Caribou, just a lone Porky.  I think he spoke French, I called at him to turn around for the picture, he just kept going.  Oh Well

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Top of Manic 5 Hydro Project

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Check the 18% grade, with twists and switchbacks

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Manic 5 and water from Space Shuttle

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This is it, back on TAR.  At Manic 5,  TAR starts all the way to Baie-Comeau

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Ferry at Tadoussac Quebec, crossing the Saguenay Fijord. Very Beautiful Area

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I think the Big Guy coppied my Color

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Crossed the St Lawrence River at St Simeon / Riviere du loup, Quebec

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Line up for Ferry

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Running on Auto Route 20 in Quebec, heading home.  Running 60 mph and they were blowing my doors off passing me

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Almost home, I will be in my own bed tonight.  After 18 days on the road, it will good to get home

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I got the  T  Shirt

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Sweetheart got the Badge

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Scanned picture of Western Brook Pond, Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland.  I will return with my M-37 Bandit.  Its a 2 day hike into this point

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to-rebuild
Follow the link in the picture to visit the complete reconstruction.
From a Rusty Bucket of Bolts to Sweetheart


   
 
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