From WKW (who knows where) to H.V.-G.B.
In the morning, we wake up to dark clouds and a still stiff breeze. Little do we know this is pretty much what the weather will be like for most of the remainder of the trip…
A good breakfast cooked in the screen room (yep, still standing!) and we’re on our way for the final push to the end of the road.
We drive, drive and drive some more when all of a sudden…
The sun breaks through…
Pavement appears again…
YESSSS !!!!! Can’t go no further than this. This IS the end of the road.
Excerpt from a Wikipedia article about Happy Valley – Goose Bay:
Happy Valley-Goose Bay displays a subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc), marked by long, cold, and snowy winters, and short and mild summers. Autumn and spring are very brief and last only a few weeks. The average high temperature stays below freezing for five months of the year and the low does so for eight months. Snowfall is very heavy, averaging nearly 460 centimetres (180 in) per year, and occurs in all months except July and August. Precipitation, at nearly 950 millimetres (37.4 in), is significant year-round and is heavy for the city’s latitude.”
Snowfall occurs in all months of the year?!? Oh! Except July and August… But we’re in September now… I guess that means those dark clouds could be dumping the white stuff on us anytime now… I don’t think we’ll be hanging around Goose Bay for very long…
We find a campground (believe it or not) and set up shop. For our one and only night stay in Happy Valley.
In the morning we enjoy a smorgasbordic breakfast…
…Break up camp and go explore the area a little bit. That’s when we find out a road is almost completed that will connect Happy Valley to Cartwright and ultimately to Blanc Sablon back south on the St-Laurence river where it will cul-de-sac. This will then make Cartwright the northeasternmost point you can reach by road in Canada. And suddenly, Happy Valley doesn’t sound as exotic or extreme anymore…
The road is scheduled to open to the public in mere weeks so, surely, it must be drivable in a Landcruiser as it is… We find the new bridge that marks the beginning of this new section of road and give it a short try. It looks like the trucks could easily handle it.
But after quick calculations we come to the conclusion there’s just not enough time left to our vacation for us to drive the extra 1600 kms roundtrip. Sad.
I guess we’ll have to come back this way then…
With this, we point our vehicles to the south and get started on the way back with the satisfaction of having reached our set goal. And with virtually no major failures too!
We had been lucky to this point with the mosquito deal. We had had some but nothing really extraordinary. But, on the way back our luck turns …
We stop and stay for the night near a small hunting camp in a clearing and Man, it’s unimaginable! The little blood suckers will drive you nuts!
Your best option is to stay indoors but if/when you NEED to go out then a mosquito net, gloves and heavy pants and somekind of jacket and boots are a must as those guys will bite you through your T-shirt and socks! Best to stay inside and watch them congregate by the zillions in the screens of the camper…
And so our drive back home was a slow, virtually uneventful one save for the fact that we got ample opportunities to test our’s and our equipment’s ability to resist bone breaking rough roads, man eating mosquitoes, and persisting, lingering seemingly never ending rain, rain and more rain…
A bit more specific:
Although this has been a fairly easy, leisurely trip, it’s given us a chance to experience what works and what doesn’t with the truck as well as with our personal equipment.
- Reasonable on fuel
- Some degree of comfort (as compared to ATVs…)
- Excellent in high winds (camper)
- Camper is rain proof (has been heavily tested)
- Camper is bug proof (to some degree)
- Stove – fridge combo is great
Needs to be improved:
- The stock 2H engine will get a turbo
- A second way of raising the top is needed
- Need to re-organize the camper so we can sit/sleep/eat in it with the top down
- Camper needs insulation
- Install somekind of heating system
- Need more lights in and around the camper
- Suspension seats would be a great addition
- Could use a sink
- Truck roof leaks
- Electricals in general need improvement
- General food preparing related items
- Porta potty
- Most everything, really
- The screen room shelter (too bulky and heavy to haul around)