I’ve been spending the last few days driving one of the most remote roads left in North America—a lonely, 1000 mile trek from Blanc-Sablon, Quebec (on the border, right near the Labrador ferry terminal) to Baie-Comeau. About 800 miles of this drive are on a rough and rocky road, which greatly diminishes my appreciation for the wild. There’s no route along the coast, so it’s the only way to drive from Labrador to the States without taking a ferry back through Newfoundland. There’s not much out here except for some bear, moose, caribou, and a few small, industrial towns several hundred miles apart. Goose Bay used to be an US Air Force base, Churchill Falls is an underground power plant, and Labrador City (where I am tonight), is a huge mine. I feel very out of place here as I’m not a worker or part of a worker’s family. Everyone drives the same kind of truck with orange flags on them, and all the pre-fab houses are pretty much the same. There’s a dirt brown sheen to everything.
Got a flat tire this afternoon, in the middle of nowhere, and was dealt a special kind of surprise when discovering my truck’s OEM tire wrench didn’t fit the bolts of those fancy custom wheels of mine. So, with no other option available… I waited. And waited. And waited. I think Wes was a little confused. A couple hours later, a truck came by that had the tool I needed. Seems like people around here are prepared for this kind of thing. I was almost prepared. So, I bought the wrench from the guy for $5 bucks and spent the next hour swapping out the flat for the matching spare. I was happy to beat the rains that came, and by the time I finished up, I had a dirt brown sheen to me. Suddenly, I felt like I belonged.