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Cold and overcast again. This is getting to be the standard in Pennsylvania. Moving by 7:00. Drab but at least there’s no traffic.

The rain starts in Virginia about halfway down I-81. The Saturday traffic just makes a miserable day worse. The drive is boring and there are the usual weekend drivers parked in the left lane. (What is the hold up with “Drive Right” traffic laws, anyway?)

I’m ready for this adventure to be over. I generally hate the drive home from these drives. There’s some point where my mind clicks and I go from “driving the adventure” to “driving the trek home.” The switch is probably caused by just being tired. But when it happens, I can’t get home soon enough. The sooner this ends, the better.

Down through Virginia. Then down I-77 through North Carolina. Across the border into South Carolina. Off the Interstate. Up the driveway. Shutdown the truck. Turn off the radios.

It’s been a long, fast trip. A total of 5,993 miles in 15 days. Of those 15 days, 3 of them were non-driving days waiting for the truck to be repaired in Happy Valley/Goose Bay. Doinfg the math, that works out to 500 miles per day, +/-, in 12 days. Not bad but not terribly fast. Probably just right.

Obi-wan

We’re up and gone by 7:30. Stop for fuel and then stop at a Timmy’s for breakfast. We’re on the way home. The adventure is over. (We hope.)

The Rabbit 2.0 crew are headed for the airport in Quebec City so than Mark F can fly home to Toronto. Marc G is headed back to Sherbrooke and then down into the States via I-91 in Vermont. I’m headed onto Montreal to enter the States and head south via Canada 15 and I-87, the Northway. Time for goodbyes.

It’s been great traveling with M,M, Jeremiah and Rabbit 2.0. Rabbit 2.0 broke through the ice on Happy Valley/Goose Bay’s only ice road. Big Red Truck took a three day break in Happy Valley/Goose Bay. But, all in all, a pretty good adventure. The winter trek across the Trans Labrador Highway has been a success. Continue Reading »

Last night, it was clear, cold and windy. Pretty good (but pricey) dinner at the Two Seasons Inn where we are staying. An early night.

I was up at 4 AM and checked the weather which was forecasted to be snowy, cold and windy, the remnants of the storm that has pounded Ontario and Quebec. No snow yet.

Up at six and the snow has finally arrived. We’re planning to do the last 350 miles of the Trans Labrador Highway today and we’ll be driving north of the low that is bringing the snow and conditions should improve as we head west and then south. Continue Reading »

Another day. And hopefully the truck is fixed and we can get going again. But this extended stay is starting have a distinct Groundhog Day feel to it. Get up. Look out the window. Blue, cloudless sky. Did I mention cold. Probably.

No calls from the shop. I call about 10 and Scott says that the parts have come in and the truck is on the rack. “it should be ready in about 30 minutes. I’ll call you.” (Stop saying that. It never happens.)

Check out is 11 AM and the hotel desk is already pestering me about checkout. I can keep the room if I need it but I have to let them know by noon. They’re being good about it but they have a high school hockey team that’s wants any room they can get. (Did I mention the hockey tournament that’s in town this week?)

Back to the room and wait for the call. The checkout time of 11 comes and goes with no phone call. I wait until nearly 11:30 slowly convincing myself that the delayed call doesn’t mean something else is wrong with the car. Continue Reading »

I wait until about 10 to walk over to the shop. Getty joins me. He’s getting cabin fever, too. Yesterday they found the only ice-road in the area and Rabbit 2.0 got stuck on it. They managed to extract themselves with a little help from a passerby. But without a snow machine there’s not much to do here in the dead of winter.

Scott and Dennis, the tow truck driver, are both behind the counter. Good news. We found the problem. The pressure sensor on the first fuel filter is completely gone. “Never seen or even heard of that before. We ordered a new sensor and a new fuel filter yesterday and it’ll should be here sometime today by air freight. As soon as it gets here we’ll put it in and with some luck you’ll be good to go.” That’s great news. And then the dreaded “We’ll call you later.” Continue Reading »

It’s another beautiful day in Paradise, Arctic version. Blue, cloudless sky. But cold and windy.

I haven’t heard anything yet about the truck from the shop so at about 11 I walk over to enquire. It’s a “brisk” walk but I need a walk after sitting for the last 10 days. But the walk ends in disappointment. The truck is still where it was left Saturday night. Continue Reading »

Happy Easter. Which is the only thing to be happy about. The truck is at Performance Automotive in Goose Bay. We’re in the Royal Inn down the block and around the corner. We’re inside and warm so I guess there’s that to be happy about.

Jeremiah has decided to fly out tonight. I certainly don’t blame him or have a problem with that. We’re going to be stranded here for at least until Tuesday unless a real miracle happens tomorrow morning. He has things that he can’t put off next week and he had already thought about flying home from Quebec City and that was before we got stranded. It’s been great having him along this far.

Around 10:30 I get a call from Justin the owner of Performance. He’s looked at the truck but can only agree that the MIL code says “Low Pressure on Fuel Rail.” We already knew that. Then the warning that it could be something as simple as a loose connector or as serious as a bad fuel pump. He left out the part where it might be cheaper to buy a new truck. (He didn’t really say that.)

He does say, thjough, that he can’t get anyone to work on the truck today. He’ll get it into the shop tomorrow some time to diagnose the problem and they’ll call with news sometime tomorrow.

I might as well get comfy. We’re going to be here for a while.

Obi-wan

We’re finally on the Trans Labrador. Just up the hill from the ferry landing there’s a “Welcome to Quebec” monument. We stop for the obligatory photo of Getty standing on the roof of Rabbit 2.0 parked in front of the monument. On the road again.

In just a few kilometers we enter into Labrador again. We have just traveled in 3 time zones in lest than 4 hours. Blanc Sablon is on the Eastern Daylight time, 4 hours from Universal Time. (UTC used to be known as Greenwich Mean Time.) Labrador is on Atlantic Daylight time, 3 hours from Universal Time. The island of Newfoundland is on Weird Daylight time, 3½ hours from Universal Time. I don’t know why either. Continue Reading »

We don’t have reservations for the ferry crossing to Blanc Sablon so the drill is to show up at the ticket office early, get in line and wait for the office to open. When the office does open, usually at 8 AM, you get a ticket for the position in line to actually buy the ticket. Then you comeback at some time later to get the ferry ticket. But because the ferry is scheduled to depart at 8 AM, we have to be at the office at 6 AM to get the line ticket and then return at 7 AM to get the ticket.

I set an alarm for 5:30 and when the alarm does go off I start punching the snooze button. Finally, out of bed at 5:45. Over to the office at 5:55. Ticket woman arrives promptly at 6 and we get the line tickets for J and I and for M/M. “Come back at 7.” “The ferry IS going today?” “The captain will decide by 7 and then we’ll know.” Continue Reading »

The weather has cleared overnight and MG wants to go out to Cape Fear to watch the sunrise. MF and Jeremiah aren’t interested and sleep in. Good choice.

Cape Fear is literally land’s end in Newfoundland. There’s a lighthouse there and the remains of a huge gun emplacement that protected St Johns harbor from U-boats during WWII. The guns are long gone but the concrete emplacement is still there.

And the wind is there. An icy, strong wind that has frozen the sea mist to everything out there. MG and I start up a wooden stairway to the lighthouse but the ice and wind make disaster a certainty. Back on to the sedge along the walkway to the top. Where the wind is howling. Continue Reading »

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