Friday, August 29, 2008

Day 66 and 67, across Canada in 57 hours.

We were all eager to get back to Lethbridge, so we agreed to not stop anywhere except to get gas on the ride back. We all took turns, and drove for over two days straight. 57 hours to be exact. We only stopped once for food, and that was in Regina. We all grabbed a bunch of food in Antigonish NS before we left to tie us over until we reached Lethbridge.

Day 65, St. John’s NFLD to Cape Spear

We only had to ride 15k today, but it felt like more. The grade of the hills to reach the cape was almost the same as BC. However 15k of hills is hard to complain about this stage of the trip. I felt the trip had finally been accomplished as we arrived at Cape Spear. I grabbed my rock from the Pacific Ocean, and through it into the Atlantic. Great feeling. You weren’t allowed to go down to the water, so we couldn’t dip our bikes, However, we did get down there to dip our feet and take photos. We didn’t spend too much time by the water as there was a memorial not too far away with the names of people who had drown at the Cape.

We started to drive to Argentia around 1:00pm, and arrived around 2. The ferry was going to be 17 hours to Nova Scotia. We didn’t have to wait long before boarding the ferry. There weren’t a lot of vehicles boarding the ferry, as it was moving past the tourist season. The ferry had pretty much everything you needed for an enjoyable trip: movie theatre, showers, restaurant, and wifi. Around 11:00pm I started to get a bit sea sick, so I went to the Chief Steward’s office, which gave me some graval. Allan had to grab some as well.

Day 64, somewhere NFLD to St. John’s NFLD!!!

We decided to drive and grab a quick breakfast before the final leg of the journey. We didn’t begin to ride until noon, as we only had 40k to ride. We had plenty of positive honks to motivate us during the ride today. As we rode into the city, it finally hit me we’re going to be done riding today, and that we’ll be back in Lethbridge in 4 days.

Again, I can’t do it justice how it felt to ride to the 0 Mile marker in St. John’s. After almost 7000km and 9 weeks, we were finally there. Maybe I should have been an English major instead of Management. Would have served me well writing these blog posts throughout the trip. We all took a bunch of pictures for about a half hour, before heading for celebratory food and drink.

We stopped at a seafood restaurant on George Street. The food was fantastic. After dinner, we grabbed a coffee and went touring a bit. As we were walking, we all decided to ride to Cape Spear, which is technically the most easterly point in Canada, the next morning.

We found a campsite by Memorial University to stay at for the night. The tent area was a free-for-all with no designated sites. After we set up camp, we went to the theatre to watch a movie.

Day 63, Gander NFLD to Argentia NFLD to right outside St. John’s

We woke up fairly early today and had breakfast with Janelle and her adorable 16-month-old daughter, Georgia. As we were leaving, the neighbor gave us some small fish he and a friend were drying in the back yard. They were incredibly nice people. However, their accent was strong to the point that Janelle had to interpret a couple times.

It took us 4 hours to reach the port of Argentia. We began our ride at the ferry terminal. We decided to take 2 days to ride the 130k. We wanted to be able savor the moment of arriving at the 0 mile marker. We didn’t start riding until late, so we would have had to ride in the dark for a couple hours if we hadn’t split the ride up in two.

We rode for 90k to a campsite 40k outside the city. The ride was pretty uneventful except for a moose we saw on the side of the road. We all ran to get our cameras, but it ran away. We had a tailwind for most of the ride. The wind as strong as it is in Lethbridge on a windy day. It took me over an hour to put up my tent. As soon as we set up camp, I felt compelled to cook the fish that Janelle’s neighbor had given us. They weren’t too bad, but very salty. They reminded us of sardines. Tomorrow is the big day, as we’ll finally, after almost 7000km, reach the Mile 0 marker.

Day 62, North Sydney NS to Gander NFLD

The Ferry took 6 hours to reach Newfoundland. We arrived at around 5:30am. We began to drive to Gander, where we were going to staying with Brett’s cousin’s house for the night. I can’t describe how it felt to be in the van when it began to rain. It’s funny what you learn to do to take your mind of things. One way I use to use to get my mind of the bugs, rain, hills/mountains, logging trucks, and images of Allan’s gnome, was to sing random songs. Bohemian Rap City would definitely be the Kelly’s top ten sung on the trip.

We arrived at Brett’s cousin Janelle’s place in Gander by noon. She made us a fantastic dinner, that included many “Newfoundlander” foods. We all just hung out for the night and watched a movie. It was a very relaxing night.

Day 61, August 19, Whycocmagh NS to North Sydney NS

I woke up early this morning to catch up on my blog. It was a short ride today, so we didn’t leave the campsite until 10:00am or so. We stopped at a restaurant by the campsite to eat breakfast. All our meals were under 6 dollars, which was fantastic this far into the trip.

The sun was hot for most of the ride, and we had the ocean to our right. It was a great day to ride. We stopped at the Alexander Graham Bell Museum in Baddeck for a couple hours in the middle of the ride. It was quite a large museum considering the size of the town.
We arrived in North Sydney around 7 and had a 4-hour wait until the ferry arrived. The ferry terminal had a tone of services, including a shower. Allan and I watched movies in the terminal until we boarded the ferry.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Day 60, August 18, New Glasgow NS to Whycocomagh NS

We left the campsite at around 10:30am and went back to the highway outside of New Glasgow. The sun was hot today, with no cloud in the sky for the first few hours. The shoulders were a little rough today.

We stopped every hour and a half or so to fill up our water bottles. We haven’t had to do that in awhile. We stopped for food at an Atlantic Superstore. We stayed there for about a half hour and then began to ride again.

Nothing too exciting happened today. The weather was hot and perfect. The traffic did pick up until we crossed onto another highway to head to Cape Breton. A great deal of positive honks and waves today.

I just wanted to thank the President’s Office again for chipping-in and sending us money for a couple meals each. Real food will be nice. Gloria: we’ll send pictures of the wild dinner stories!