Life is changing in the outports

21 Jul

Some of the small fishing communities, once isolated with only boat access, were eventually connected with roads and electrical services. Some of those same communities are now struggling with the lack of employment in the industry and deteriorating roads. Throughout the province I’ve ridden on some terrible old pavement that has been neglected by hard use and minimal upkeep. Bumps and potholes can be found someplace on all highways.

of the roads offer great riding for motocyclists, providing their suspension is suitable.

I’ve enjoyed all the roads on my Suzuki Vstrom, which is an adventure touring bike. All drivers have to keep and eye out for erosion along the edge of the pavement as it’s not always two cars wide. In some places the narrow shoulders are dangerously soft and eroded.

Riding these roads in restricted visability and watching for moose is a challenge. In many area no brush cutting has taken place for a few years along the roadsides that would INMHO eliminate some of the moose related accidents. Clearing brush from the sight lines in corners and out of the ditches would prevent the moose from stepping out of the bush righ onto the travelled portion of the pavement. Most road surfaces in the Baie Verte Penninsula are worn out and because of the long distances to places like La Scie and Fleu de Lys be prepared for some long bumpy hauls through the forest with free vistas to break the monoteny.

Road maintenace and brush clearing of course will cost the governmnet lots of money. So why not re-settle people from these remote communities? It might seem like a good option. It’s most unfortunate for some who may have been around for generations and now wish to sell privately and move away but can’t get the price for their home that they would need to relocate, and so the governement offers probably do look attractive. For some others, let’s call them imports, they have recently moved into a life style that down call heaven. These places are beautiful and offer a unique lifestyle, with no property taxes, and of course they want to stay. Hence the voting process in these communities, in which a concensess of 90/10 is needed for governemnt relocation money, may cause some neighbourly disaggreement. Only permanent residents, six months of the year, can vote. Wouldn’t it makes sense to have a reasonable one time land transfer tax imposed upon the sale of an original outport property when it is first sold off to any buyer from out of province. Collecting a15% tax for example would help to keep sevices affordable. Buyers moving in can’t expect free lunches and it’s sinfull that such beautiful places will become lost both to tourists and Newfoundlanders.

If you are planning to travel here, be prepared for what’s at the end of every dead end road in Newfoundland. All are worth the ride and each dead end road goes someplace for a very good reason and I’ve been made to feel most welcome in every community that I’ve stopped. Riding to the dead ends, taking so many pictures and stopping to chat with people might explain why I’m still here attempting to ride around most of this island’s beautiful coastline.    


Of course the TCH seems to be problem free and well maintained, complete with electrnic moose warning lights and fencing; what an expensive joke. It’s condition suits the posted speed limit, although most drive faster. 


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