Part 4: Gagnon to Fermont

Intro Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9
About Baie Comeau
Manic- 5
Gagnon Gagnon
Churchill Falls
Churchill Falls
Goose Bay
Goose Bay
Red Bay
Red Bay

Northward on a paved road

When you leave Gagnon heading North, the road doesn't change back to gravel. Instead, you can enjoy almost 100km of paved road. The road connects Gagnon and Fire Lake and was constructed before the link down to Manic-5. Ironically, the residents of Gagnon were never linked by road to Southern Quebec - the road described in Part 2 was only build after the town was dismantled!

Fire Lake

Along the paved road, you'll see quite a number of government billboards indicating that you should respect the speed limits despite the fact that they will never, ever be enforced. Just remember that hitting a large mammal or an oncoming car at 200km/h is less desirable than a speeding ticket. In any case, after Fire Lake you're back on twisty gravel.

Hello again twisty gravel road

In an abrupt transition, the road changes from fast asphalt to extremely twisty and variable gravel. This is the kind of road rally drivers dream about. Just remember that it's difficult to see oncoming traffic, and if you put it in a ditch, well, let's just say that you'll have to wait a good while for a tow...

There be trains here

The twisty road will intertwine with the railroad, crossing it several times. While the mining sites along the way may have been abandoned, the railroad is certainly active and you can expect to see trains.

Iron ore train

This is what an iron ore train looks like.

Locomotive vs. F-150

This is what a Ford F-150 looks like after it gets hit by an iron ore train. And yes, that's how long it takes the train to stop. In the hour and a half it took to clear this mess, only two vehicles pulled up behind us. The truck and locomotive drivers basically filled out accident report forms - not sure how their insurance will handle that one. It still boggles me how incidents like this can happen, especially at crossings that see perhaps no more than 100 vehicles per day. The truck driver can consider himself lucky that he came away unscathed.

Another mine

Eventually the road becomes somewhat more predictable, and soon you find yourself at an active mine. The mountains of mine tailings are simply enormous. The road will tee left directing you to the city of Fermont.

Fermont's Famous Truck

In order to see Fermont, you'll have to leave the highway for a short drive into town. Greeting you is this giant truck which set a world record for carried tonnage and longevity. There aren't any other tourist sites in Fermont, but a quick drive around town is interesting. Keep in mind that this town exists solely for the purpose of housing miners and their families, so don't expect any architectural gems.

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