LABRADOR VIII

12/3/2021  

At the starting gate, Tom drove north on 389 and passed the hydro plant that he had visited the last time he was there. Beyond that was virgin territory. Driving north, then east on an initially paved highway, the 984-kilometer road took 15 hours to complete. Stopping at every hydro plant for a short walkabout, reading historical plaques in French, and checking out the occasional pullout for a sandwich, short walk, and territory marking, Tom was determined to make Labrador City that night. In the middle of summer, daylight would exist right up to 11PM at that latitude. Driving amongst the stunted boreal forest interspersed with the Canadian Shield, the scenery was outstanding. Lakes occasionally lapped at the road’s edge and wildlife was sparse due to the vastness of the Province. Insects provided the main fauna as black, biting flies kept the walking jaunts to a quick circle back to the car. Halfway up was the Manic 5 dam that showcased civil engineering with its ¼-shell, concrete spheres that held back a massive reservoir. Farther upstream, the river split, creating a large eye of an island that is the rebound cone of an ancient meteorite hit. Without the water framing this structure, it would be invisible. With 8 discovered impact sites in Quebec, this 1 is easily picked out on a globe as this liquid eye stares back at you. After exiting Quebec and entering the dirt road of Labrador, another few hours would put Tom into Labrador City and a bed for the night. Dusk slowly arose, and luck was with Tom as the northern lights danced on the horizon. Driven by solar unrest, your life is not complete until you experience the turquoise, shimmering sunshine. With the lights maneuvering in the sky and Tom’s tape player blasting out SCOTLAND THE BRAVE repeatedly, today was a good day to be alive. As the day ended, Tom sought refuge in a motel at the edge of town. It was full. Damn! Those Canadians were making Tom’s trip difficult again. No Vacancy now ran rampant. 

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