|Sat July 21
|Again, the surreality of the
whole situation was not lost on us this morning as Taylor loaded us
up into the car and we headed off for the airport. Since we
had been working for so long to make this trip happen, and then
actually do it, the idea of going home is quite anticlimactic.
I think that feeling carried over to the party that Nadia's parents
through for us when we landed in Toronto. Add on top of that
the fact that the three of us are definitely ready for a break from each other
and our homecoming was pretty subdued. That's OK though, I
think that we all preferred the way the trip ended, with the
thoughts, "Cool, we did it. What next?" AB
|Fri July 20
||St. John's, NF
|This was going to be tattoo
day for Nadia and I, but the Adams' surprised us with a Whale watching
trip instead, which was really cool. I was relieved too.
The nice tattoo place in town was booked up for the next month or
so, and the other place that we saw wasn't nearly as nice.
Yes, I've always said that an Auto-clave is an Auto-clave is an
Auto-clave (after all I did get my piercing at Demographics by Paul
... you Guelphies know what I mean), but something seemed different
about this. The trip to see the whales was awesome, and after
the Adams' took us quickly to Cape Spear (Easternmost point of N.
America) for a picnic lunch. Back at their place it was time
to start packing up for the flight home, a process that went well
into the night. Scott and I realized that we had to do
something about the camp fuel for the stove, since we couldn't take
it on the flight. Taylor and her family had no use for it, let
alone something to put it into, so the two of us fired up the stove
to burn it all off. All I can say is that MSR makes DAMN
efficient stoves, and that it was taking forever to burn off the
fuel. That's when we resorted to pouring little bits of it at
a time on the road and letting it evaporate off. Did you know
that Naphtha can meant asphalt? Neither did we! AB
Addendum: When we got back to Ontario I was having dinner
at my Mom's place and she was talking about how she had really
enjoyed St. John's when she was there for a conference the year
before. Since she is completing her PhD in arts education, I
put two and two together and asked if she knew Ki Adams.
"Ki Adams? It was his conference that I gave my paper
at! How do you know him?" Small world.
|Thurs July 19
||St. John's, NF
|Today was pretty chill.
The three of us hung around St. John's and took care of some details
before we get ready to head home. We got our three boxes, and
Nadia went off and bought some new clothes after having lived in two
changes for the past two-and-a-half months. I was planning on
doing the same, but didn't get around to it (surprise
surprise). Scott went up to Memorial briefly with Taylor's
dad, Ki, who is a music Prof. there, to check out their Med School
and campus in general. I would have gone too, but they don't
seem to offer anything in the way of a GIS program.
|Wed July 18
||St. John's, NF
|Today we went with Taylor and
waled up Signal Hill, which had some awesome views of St.
John's. Before we arrived I thought that St. John's would be
this depressed city because of the collapse of the fishery, but was
I ever wrong. It is definitely one of the coolest cities in
Canada, with a fun down-town core (including the famous George
Street). But, if you walk twenty minutes from the centre of
downtown you're half-way up Signal Hill and looking over the whole
city. If you drive twenty minutes in the other direction you
are completely out of the city and in one of the many out-ports that
line the coast of Newfoundland. We headed back into the city
to check out bike box availability and to grab some lunch, when I
realized that my wallet was still at the Signal Hill gift
shop. Doh! Taylor was nice enough to drive me back up to
get it. This evening Bob and Danielle took us out for dinner,
which was really cool of them. We went for drinks at a local
pub first, which was fun as Valerie got to meet a nice Bull Mastiff
whose shoulders alone were taller then she was, let alone where her
head came up to. This dog was massive. All in all a very
cool first of three days in St. John's. AB
|Tues July 17
||St. John's, NF
|The alarm rang as usual at 6
a.m. and Nadia was up in a flash.
Adam and I managed to either not hear the alarm, or to ignore
it, but we were up shortly after Nadia finished with the bathroom.
We were feeling slow, but we also had that Christmas morning
feeling with the excitement and anticipation.
Geraldine, the very generous host of the Trudon Hospitality
House in Freshwater, served us a wonderful breakfast.
We had a great talk with Bob and Danielle. It was cute
watching Bobís daughter Valerie eat the hash-browns off his plate
rather than her own eggs. We
got rolling in a heavy misty fog which made wearing glasses rather
impractical, but was pleasant to ride in.
We were flying. The
combination of having another rider, great roads and being our last
day gave us a huge extra kick.
The 40 km from the Hospitality House to the Trans Canada took
no time at all. We
stopped for a break at the Irving station at the junction and were
joined by Danielle and Valerie (they were driving). We agreed to meet further down the road for lunch, and
Danielle said she would go out and get groceries for us (yaaa!).
We kept moving at a good pace, with Nadia and Bob ahead, and
Adam and I a bit further back. We met Danielle in Butterpot Provincial Park and she had a
nice lunch buffet laid out in the back of the van.
We added our peanut-butter and GORP, but it certainly
wasnít needed. With
one last push we were going to make it!
We hit the city limits and could feel the excitement.
And then it happened. I
got a flat with only 7 km to go.
This was a very impressive one to, I hit something very
sharp, and could both hear and feel the air on my legs.
Somehow I was partially expecting it, this trip couldnít
finish without one last flat. After
a quick change we were off to find an ocean.
And then, with 3.25 km to go, yet another flat!
This time I found the rather nasty slice in my tire which
must have been there earlier. We
didnít have any tire patches left, but we did have my old tire as
a spare Ė looks like I get to start and finish this trip on the
same tires. We followed
the directions we had been given into St. Johnís, and took
Memorial Drive, route 2. This
was fine, until we passed the sign that said no cyclists.
We wanted to respect the sign, however, there were no exits
after the sign. We
continued on the road until Adam saw the exit for Harbour St. and
Cove Rd. and figured that would be our exit.
We found our way down to the harbour and met Danielle and Valerie. We decided on
a spot on the wharf and called it the end.
WE MADE IT!! Danielle had found a bottle of champagne
which we were all drinking from camping mugs (fancy eh?). We took lots of pictures, phoned home to say we had done it,
and climbed down the little ladder to touch the water. I filled my little Nalgene with water and now have the
matching set (Pacific and Atlantic).
It was a little windy and Adam made an offering to the
harbour as his Canadian Flag bandana accidentally blew into the water.
We couldnít reach it even with our extended tent poles, but
werenít too worried about it.
It was great, all day people had been honking and waving, and
while they likely didnít know how far we had come, we felt like
they knew. We met a
couple of locals on bikes at the wharf, and fixed a flat tire for
them. Then Bob and
Danielle were going to head off to their hotel and we were going to
find some food when we saw that Adam had a flat tire.
It must have been a slow leak late in the ride, but it was
quite funny. Having
fixed that last flat, we went and found a little pub/restaurant and
got dinner. We played
some cards and Adam, in spite of being dehydrated and therefore hit
quickly by all the champagne and his first beer, managed to beat Nadia and I even after we
started cheating together. I
guess he is just a master of crazy 8ís.
It turns out that Danielle insisted on making sure that all the
champagne got finished, and since Nadia and I were passing, it must
have gone somewhere! At this point Adam was kind of drunk and
under strict instructions from Nadia not to open his mouth once
Taylor arrived, whom Nadia knew from her scholarship and we were
staying with while in St John's. After she came down to meet
us at the pub we walked
back to her place, along the very hilly streets of St. Johnís, met
her parents, talked for a little while, then went to bed feeling
quite accomplished. ĖSK
It was a very surreal experience when we finished at the St.
John's Harbour. To a certain extent, I think Bob and Danielle
were surprised we weren't jumping around celebrating more.
Instead, it was very anticlimactic, but in a good way. There
certainly was a sense of us feeling kind of stunned, looking around,
and thinking, "OK were here, ahhh what next?" AB
|Mon July 16
||Argentia, NF (Ferry)
|I woke up early this morning,
after being driven to sleep on the deck of the ferry terminal by
somebody who snored even worse than Scott! On the deck there
was a set of benches that formed a square, with a raised wooden
floor in the centre, which is where I set myself up for the
night. Unfortunately I was partially hidden from people
walking by, and accidentally scared a few people over the course of
the night. We were told to be at the front of the line of cars
by 5:30, and at 5:25 Nadia came rushing up to us frantic because she
had lost her sunglasses. She had left them behind where she
had been sleeping for the night and Scott had stumbled across them
just sitting out. He gave them to me and I was wearing them on
my head. When Nadia finally realized, she was less then
impressed with both of us, heh heh. Because bikes (peddle
power and gas powered) got to get on the ferry first, we were lucky
enough to be able to get the best seats for the long ferry
ride. This was actually the first time ever that I've gotten
seasick, and I think for most of the trip my face was a pleasant
shade of green. In my defense it was a pretty rough crossing,
and we had managed to pick a lounge that was on the top level of the
ship - therefore swaying the most. Because the crossing to
longer than expected, and because we were the last to get off the
ferry, it was almost 10:00 at night when we finally started to
ride. Dressed in our reflective gear, we set out for the 5 km
ride to the nearest motel. Some nice locals stopped to make
sure that we weren't' riding too far in the dark, since they were
worried that we were heading to the campground 30 km away.
That was our original goal, but back when we thought we would be
riding into dusk, not complete darkness! Waiting to exit the
ferry we met Bob and Danielle, and their daughter Valerie. Bob
is section-riding across Canada, while Danielle and Valerie drive
the van. He did Ottawa to New Brunswick last year, and is just
finishing up New Brunswick to St. John's this year. As luck
would have it we ran into them at the Motel later in the night, and
decided to ride with Bob the next morning. Should be lots of