: Tour du Nord IV - February 2008
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Feb 16th, 2008, 01:49 PM
Received a text message from Peter this AM
We are in Newfie! Ferry ride on schedule & uneventful. nhref accident bonnet fell
on finger. Stitches er, ok now. Leaving port au basque.
Feb 17th, 2008, 01:43 AM
Gale force winds delayed ferry about half an hour. Breakfast was excellent.
Scavenger hunt in Port Aux Basque went well until the wind slammed Pete's hood on his finger.
Rest of group spent time trying to find Pete, until hearing that he was at hospital.
Eventually left Hospital in Port aux Basques at 11:30 (3 hours late), arrived in St. John's at 10:30pm.
Abba Inn is excellent, we have the building to ourselves, with 3 rooms opening onto common kitchen and living room. Overlooking the beer store.
Excellent ride, 65mph in whiteouts in Wreckhouse, icy in Deer Lake, but then 80mph+ in good weather, 65mph after nightfall, in Terra Nova NP.
Pete reports that his finger (now with 5 stitches) is feeling good.
Photos available later tonight.
Feb 17th, 2008, 02:20 AM
Ride to Portsmouth and Bavarian Auto was no problem, nor was the ride to Calais. Found an outstanding restaurant at the beginning of the Airline with the largest portions of lobster rolls, lobster stew and fish and chips I've ever seen
Heading out Friday morning, the flat tire monitor started blinking but since I'm riding Nokian Hakkepollitas (not run flats) and the ride hadn't changed, knew they weren't flat. We all pulled over, I kicked the tires and reset the sensor and all was well.
Outside of St. John (NB), a cinder block sized chunk of ice fell off a tractor trailer going 65 mph, bounced on the asphalt and into my MINI going 75 mph just at the driver's side fog light section of the front bumper. Didn't bother to check until after going through the Bay of Fundy park and found a chunk taken out and and other damage. CAA pointed me to a GM dealer in Moncton, where they were kind enough to take the MINI in, looked it over, assured me it was still held on solid, did a couple of minor things and sent me on the way without a bill. (The owner of the dealership is about ready to open a MINI/BMW dealership. The non-customer care they exhibited bodes well for the future MINI clients!)
This morning, left the ship and went to Timmy's without incident. But as I left on the scavenger hunt I heard a clunking coming from the front right quarter. Thinking it was a suspension problem, I pulled into the lee of a building to get out of the wind. Turned the wheel, popped the bonnet and put my left hand on the body while looking into the front passenger side wheelwell. Wind picked up, bonnet came down on my hand. Fortunately, I had a long enough reach to be able to unlatch the bonnet!
Hopped in the car, bloody hand out the window in 15 degree F cold and headed for the hospital. Fortunately, although it wasn't on Ross' scavenger list, I had passed the hospital so knew where to go. The emergency room nurse put some gauze on the gouge and told me to register before she could work on it (said in a very polite Newfoundland manner, really). Long story short, they have one doctor who was called in to take a look. He sutured the finger and I was on the way about 2 hours later.
As for the sound, it went away after I kicked off ice that had accumulated in the wheel wells and along the body. My thinking now is that some ice had got up into the body. The car drives well, even when trying to keep up with Geowit at 80 mph.
So, we got to St. John after dark but the drive was uneventful. Continuing this trip's theme, it seems every restaurant served pretty much only fried foods . . .
Feb 17th, 2008, 04:18 AM
Ross' trip photos - ongoing, now includes Feb 15 and 16 (http://www.trusler.net/PGSystem/PhotoSiteIndex.htm?photos.htm?jsDatabase=Album0000 1490.js)
Feb 17th, 2008, 11:08 AM
Greetings from the first souls in North America to see the sunrise today!
Feb 17th, 2008, 11:24 AM
What a great sunrise picture. After conquering the Cabot and then St. John you've managed to capture the whole sun for yourselves too! What's a mere finger or fog light or two anyway in exchange? Such exotic accomodations what with a view of the beer store and all.
ArcticMINI Rules :cool:
Feb 17th, 2008, 06:07 PM
Obligatory "Annettized" photos...
Feb 17th, 2008, 09:05 PM
Everything feels better after a few beers, eh Pete? Wow, a typical Arctic run adventure, I suppose, though we had thus far managed to avoid trips to the ER :p Glad to hear you're on the mend, and that you guys are having a good time. Safe travels on the way back. Can't wait to see all the pictures!
Feb 17th, 2008, 09:22 PM
NoNo, what happened? Are you at work? Online on the weekend?
Feb 17th, 2008, 09:26 PM
I'm at my parents. It's Sunday, and that means Mom's cooking! :D
Feb 17th, 2008, 09:35 PM
Say hello for me
Feb 18th, 2008, 12:42 AM
Glad to hear your ok! nhref. Darn I can't believe you haven't seen any Newfies.....Boohoo!
Feb 18th, 2008, 12:48 AM
Glad to hear you guys made it to St Johns. Too bad about NHRef's finger but I guess things could be worse. Hope you are having fun and safe return!
Would you believe the contract still hadn't been sent by the buyer's attorney on Friday! I could have been there! D'OH
Feb 18th, 2008, 03:15 AM
Feb 17 photos (http://www.arcticmini.com/public/2008/ross/0217)
Cape Spear, Signal Hill, End of the Trans-Can, restaurants, fishing villages...
Feb 18th, 2008, 02:15 PM
Nice pictures. Stocking up on the potatoe chips, pretzels, snacks & BEER. :smile: What was the name of the restaurant you ate at?
Feb 19th, 2008, 03:32 AM
- we are recognized at many places we now go as "the MINI people". Some remember that we were in Labrador last year!
- Start out at 7:30am from St. John's.
- Drive out to Dildo for required photo.
- Snow starts 1 hour out of St. John's.
- Arrive Gander for lunch, and then get a backstage tour of Gander Int'l Airport. Highlights include placing rally decal in International lounge where all visitors will get to see it for many years to come.
- dinner in Corner Brook at authentic Italian restaurant
- torrential rain and freezing rain after Corner Brook. Unable to see lanes, George forced to go wrong way as highway became divided, Bob and Ross struggle to escape a snowbank at 50mph while in a puddle almost 18" deep. Ice under puddles almost everywhere to St. George.
- Warms up as we descend, rain tapers off, but then wind picks up in the wreckhouse, creating involuntary lane changes
- dense fog as we approach Port aux Basques
- arrive at ferry with 9 minutes to spare!
-group meeting in the bar onboard concludes that it was indeed a very good trip Also resolved that Ross will be driving a MINI next year.
- No photos to upload since this is a lousy time-limited ferry computer
- Pete, Ross, Peter and Sarah will be touring the Cabot Trail tomorrow.
Feb 19th, 2008, 12:20 PM
You go ahead and eat all the "authentic" Italian food you want when I'm not around.
Feb 20th, 2008, 03:05 AM
Checking in from Summerside (yeah - it's really warm today), Prince Edward Island...
A non-eventful overnight ferry ride brings the group back to Nova Scotia on time this morning. We skip the boat breakfast and head straight to Tim Hortons for coffee and morning grub. Geowit and Oldpaint begin their estimated 2-day journeys back home, while the rest of us head over to the Cabot Trail for some hill climb twisties and awesome sights. Lunch in Cheticamp, outside Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Finding convenient gas off the TCH near Truro, NS is a PITA. NHRef and MinorRoadsKill travel onward to Moncton, and then to Maine.
A few pics from Newfoundland:
At "mile 0" start of the Trans Canada Highway:
Gander International Airport (where dozens of trans-Atlantic planes were grounded on September 11, 2001):
Sunset in Bauline, Newfoundland:
...and yet another ArticMINI adventure comes to a completion. Stay tuned for more photos. :)
Feb 20th, 2008, 03:14 AM
Beautiful pictures as always, Peter. Maybe I'll make it next year. :)
Feb 20th, 2008, 08:14 AM
Pulled in 30 minutes ago.
Wonderful ride along the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton, with beautiful vistas. Ross and I left Peter and Sarah after crossing into New Brunswick, stopped in Moncton to get his car and then headed for St. John NB and Calais ME.
Snow started falling at the Tim Horton's in St. Stephen and continued for about 30 miles on the Airline. Road was pretty much snow covered until Bangor.
A couple of heading nodding incidents prompted me to take a 15 minute nap at the Kennebunk rest stop on I95. (I've never seen so many tractor trailer trucks there in 40 years of traveling that road ~ I counted over 60!)
Getting pulled over for allegedly going 78 on I95 just before the split for I295 had kept me wake until then. (I told the officer I had set cruise control for under 75, which he reminded me was still above the speed limit.) Got off with a warning . . .
A great time!
Feb 20th, 2008, 09:16 AM
Pete - thanks for letting us know you're home safely. Looking forward to more pictures and stories when you've rested up -- and also hoping to hear the rest have made it home without incident.
Feb 20th, 2008, 11:55 AM
Wise of you to take that nap, glad you made it home. Now the rest of you do the same!
Feb 20th, 2008, 07:02 PM
Congratulations to all you noble arctic MINI explorers! I'm awe and looking forward to continuing to live vicariously - with wood stove burning. :)
Feb 20th, 2008, 08:20 PM
Loved all the pictures (well - all except the one of finger stitches).
One of these times I'm gonna make this run - this year had the time but not the money.
So vicarious for me as well
Feb 20th, 2008, 09:15 PM
Back about 2 hours ago. While making a pit stop in the woods of NS, Geowit and I decided to run over to Halifax to check out the new Clubman and have some lunch. We made it to Houlton before 8pm where I quit for the evening. Geowit was going on to Portland or so before calling it a day. Pictures later.
Feb 20th, 2008, 10:47 PM
2005 Radisson: Check
2006 St. John's: oops
2007 Goose Bay: Check
2008 St. John's: Conquered
Feb 20th, 2008, 11:13 PM
Even though I'd driven the Cabot Trail in summer, seeing it again in winter seemed even better than I remember. Because it was completely deserted, we could stop and take pictures anywhere on the road.
Pete and I made great time to Calais after picking up my car in Moncton around 6:30pmAT. Near white-out conditions from Calais to first bit of Airline was a little hairy. After the weather cleared up, I nearly fell asleep on the Airline a couple times. My radio went dead in Bangor about 3 blocks before splitting off from Pete, robbing us of a chance to have the proper goodbye befitting of travel companions. Arrived at hotel around 12:30am AT, asleep less than 5 minutes following a call to Pete letting him know I didn't just disappear. In the car for almost 18 hours since the ferry, moving continuously for more than 42 hours!
On the road again by 8amET. Fabulous weather today. US2 was pretty slow again. Learned that at least in Central Maine, a drunk gerbil with cataracts has a better sense of direction than TomTom. Fortunately, so does yours truly. Mountains on ME16 and ME 27 were pretty spectacular. Last 20 miles to border were beautifully twisting and snowpacked. Next 30 miles in Quebec were snowpacked and ramrod straight. Uneventful from start of freeway in Sherbrooke until Ottawa. It's nice to be greeted at home with 12 miles of congestion. Sigh.
Reached Carp at 4:26pm to the great happiness of a super-charged, rambunctious Quinn and the relief of his mother.
Loved the trip. Glad to home.
Feb 20th, 2008, 11:37 PM
Did you remember to stop at customs?
Feb 21st, 2008, 12:11 AM
After leaving Bob at the border, I continued on I95. When I finally had cell service, I managed to retrieve my messages but was unable to raise Bob on the walkie-talkie (sorry). I started playing bobble head doll and pulled into a rest stop some where in Maine about 10PM. After waking with several kinks in my neck, back and about every where else, I hit the road again a little after 1 AM. It's great driving at night, no traffic. I stopped for gas somewhere in Mass. Station was closed but the pumps were operational with a credit card (hmm-m-m). I got a once over from the local gendarme. I managed to make Hartford about 6:30 AM and Magellan was taking me down toward NYC so I had to double back to I84. I gassed up a little west of Newburg, NY and then stopped for breakfast at a Perkins in Matamoras (ice cream shop in Port Jervis was not open yet). After an easy drive through the Delaware Water Gap, I finally rolled in about noon. After unpacking, went to the local car wash and then stopped at a glass repair shop (3 star bursts need repairing). Finally crashed about 3 PM. I haven't attempted to upload any pictures yet. They might show up next month or so. It'll take everyone that long to get through Uptick and Sarah's photos anyways. OK, I'm ready. When are we leaving on the next one?:aargh:
Feb 21st, 2008, 02:48 AM
Did you remember to stop at customs?
Stop? Yes. But I nonetheless screwed up by driving on the wrong side of the single customs vestibule, thus neatly avoiding going on the under-car sensor pad.
At least this time there were no sirens, only finger pointing.
It's a good thing I only seem to find trouble going through Canada Customs, since the folks of US Customs carry sidearms.