Newfoundland 2016 - Just the tip...of the iceberg


Keep it simple stupid
The plan:
Take 2 weeks off in August, make a beeline for Canada and go exploring.

The people:
My 7-month pregnant wife Meg and myself

The truck:
A mechanically stock 4 door Jeep Rubicon with my DIY overland setup.

The story:

The decision to go North was easy: neither my wife or I had ever been to Canada, the exchange rate was good, gas was cheap, and the presidential election was so depressing we figured we might as well look for real estate too.

The good folks over in the North America trip planning forum guided our planning process, so thanks everyone! Shout-out to rocrunr, bad dog, kojackJKU, Rovertrader, Wolftaco, & Colin Hughes for the help.

The only 2 points on our trip that were set in stone were the pre-booked ferry tickets, and we ended up paying the fee and changing one of them anyway. North Sydney, NS to Port aux Basques at 11AM on the 15th, and the reverse on the 24th. In-between: who knows!

We had no real idea how far we would make it each day, so we purposely avoided making any camping reservations. I was a bit worried about this approach while planning, but it worked quite well. Given Meg's pregnant-ness, campgrounds with flush toilets were the requirement for this trip.

We had 2 days to get to the Marine Atlantic ferry terminal in North Sydney, a distance of 870 miles including the border crossing at Calais. Prepped and packed up Saturday morning, we hit the road.

Welcome to Maine!

We made good time as we put civilization and texting-and-driving MA-holes in our mirror and pulled into our first overnight in Lubec, ME at dinner time. We lucked out. The campground had a group cancel that night and we got a primo waterfront spot with no reservation. Before setting up shop we made the quick trip down to Quoddy Head State Park, the easternmost point in the US, and Lubec Brewing Company for some provisions!

Packed up at the crack of fog, we had a long day ahead of us. 499 miles of mostly rain-soaked roads, my first land border crossing, and hopefully pitching camp in Bras d'Or, Cape Breton, NS.

To be continued
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New member
Nice that area. Hey, the picture I have of my girlfriend seems eerily similar. If I could just put my finger on what it is....



Aventurero de la Selva
What a fun trip, thanks for sharing. We'll be heading no'th to the maritimes next year for a couple weeks. Route TBD. But gotta swing thru Cape Breton, where my people are from.


Autism Family Travellers!
If you are going to Cape Breton, might as well jump the boat, and visit the big island. If you have the time.


Keep it simple stupid
Thanks guys! The border crossing at Calais was uneventful as the Canadian customs guy didn't even bother stamping our passports. A quick stop at an ATM and we had some awesome Canadian funny money, and it was off to the races towards Cape Breton.

After a long day in the Jeep and a rainy stopover at the campground near the ferry, it was time to board. We love ferries and picked the daytime one so we could do a bit of sightseeing.

Loading was painless but we got stuck on the lowest deck which also meant the longest unloading time once we arrived.

I may have made some inappropriate jokes about this beer being "right ahead!!"

Our first glimpse of Newfoundland!

We headed up the highway a few kilometers to JT Cheeseman provincial park after hearing good things about it, and found a very nice, well maintained campground with a gorgeous hidden beach.


Keep it simple stupid
Welcome to Newfoundland!

Meg: Ooh pretty shells! Me: We should drive up those mountains!

Airing down

We made it! After a bit of a hairy ride up a telcom access road made purely of loose football-sized rocks, we made it to the top of Table Mountain. We met a pair of game wardens who were patrolling the T'Railway and decided to take a detour up the mountain since the weather was nice, unfortunately one had punctured a tire on the climb. I think a couple tourists from Massachusetts were the last thing they expected to pull up and offer an air compressor! They had a small one in their kit and had the tire patched and holding air well enough to get back down, and headed out. We stretched our legs over the deceptively uneven soil and took in the incredible view.

The wardens heading back down with 7 good tires and 1 leaky one

Some of the antennas on the tower were in real bad shape



Keep it simple stupid
There was something magical about being up there. We spent close to an hour just watching the clouds come in over the ocean, hit the slopes and go sailing over our heads.

Where's waldo? There was a tiny hunting cabin up on the ridge, with a nearly invisible quad trail to get there through the valley

These guys were hiking up the road as we came down!

Next up was exploring some of the T'Railway, the decommissioned railway-turned-provincial-park that runs the island. Compared to the mountain it was quite tame but the coastal views that came with it were well worth the price of admission

It rained the entire time which muted the view a bit but it did mean we had the place to ourselves!



Autism Family Travellers!
Nick, You were at the top of the wreckhouse by the looks of the pictures. The winds get so high coming off those mountians that it blows 18 wheelers off the highway you see at the bottom...Glad you are liking it here!


Supporting Sponsor
Awesome trip/write up- we are headed back up north next year!
And Meg gets trooper of the year- way to go!!
Enjoy, and safe travels!


Autism Family Travellers!
Is the T'Railway open to 4WD vehicles? Or just hike/bike/ATV?

Great looking trip!
There is no law stating you cannot use any vehicle on the trailway. Just be very careful in more populated areas young'ns use it as a racetrack for their dirt bikes and atvs.

The Raven

Wow, lucky. I hit the entire province except Avalon. Looks nice. On the Tway, I must have hit a real ********** in Bottle cove. Went down an ATV trail and had a guy come flying up on my butt in a side by side and start yelling at me and how its an ATV trail.

Chris Boyd

Nice report Nick! Can't wait for the rest!

As for the The Raven's ATV experience, I would have simply rolled down the window and said, "this vehicle can do All Terrain" and grinned. LoL.


Nice. I make the track to Newfoundland over July. Enjoyed the trip. Make sure you screech in.

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