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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I woke up at around 8:30am to the smell of coffee. Nothing has smelt as good. I checked the weather report on the Internet before heading down stairs. Neil and Khym were busy making breakfast and watching the Olympics.
As we finished breakfast, we headed down to the beach by the house to take a couple photos. After, we said our goodbyes and drove to where we left off two days ago. Thanks again to Neil and Khym for putting up with us for the night. It was greatly appreciated!
It took us awhile to get out of the city. The hills definitely intensified as we made it to the ferry. The sky was almost clear blue during the ride. It was the first time I’ve had to put sunscreen on in some time. The ferry we wanted to catch was at 2:45pm, but we didn’t end up making it, and had to take the 4:30pm ferry. The scenery on the ferry ride was very enjoyable, and a nice break in the middle of the ride. It took about an hour and half to get to Nova Scotia.
We only rode another 40k into Nova Scotia before we decided to stop outside of New Glasgow. We found a campsite just outside the city. Tomorrow is a good ride at 155k
We woke up fairly early. The kids in the campsite next to us were up at 7:00am. We planned on riding to the ferry today, but decided to have a full rest day once we got into Charlottetown. It was probably a good choice because it started to rain an hour after we stopped.
We went to a coffee shop for a break and to decide what to do for the remainder of the day. The rest of the team went back to the van before I had. As I was walking back to the van, which was in front of the PEI legislature, I saw Neil Boyden standing on the side of the road. Neil was a Director on the U of L Alumni Association. I knew he had moved to PEI, but we hadn’t made contact. He told us he saw our van on the side of the road as he driving by. Fate? I think so. Neil and Khym Goslin, a former U of L Students’ Union President, offered to have us stay at their place for the night. We gratefully accepted. By
They have a beautiful house in a town just outside of Charlottetown. Khym and Neil made us a fantastic meal: pork tenderloin, rice, bread and vegetables. By this point, it had been raining steadily for a few hours. After chatting about the trip and their move PEI, we went to the watch a movie in Charlottetown. The GPS sent us to this small theatre first, but we eventually found the correct one.
Allan and I have our own beds to sleep on, which is quite the treat to enjoy. Tomorrow we will ride to the ferry and cross over to Nova Scotia. We want to get a fare distance in tomorrow to lighten the long ride the day after.
Our right back tire was low again this morning, so we headed into Moncton to find a tire shop to look at it. We found one pretty quick, thanks to GPS. We went to a little restaurant down the road while they looked at the wheel. The place was great. It must be quit the popular place to eat, as it was almost completely packed. I was able to get my usual, with a warning from the waitress about cholesterol.
We had a decent ride ahead of us today at 165k. Considering Confederation Bridget, we only had to ride about 150k. The weather was sunny most of the day. It seems our bad luck with weather is over. We haven’t had rain since Quebec City.
The highways were fairly busy today. You definitely know it’s the beginning of the weekend when you’re riding your bicycle on a highway. It was about 100k until we made it to Confederation Bridge. I’ve been looking forward to PEI for the entire trip, so the 100k went by reasonably fast. Vanessa and I stopped at the bridge to rack the bikes. You can't ride or walk across the bridge. However, the shoulders on the bridge were wider and in better condition than most roads we’ve cycled on so far.
We stopped at a tourist trap a kilometer off the bridge. We toured the shops for a while and grabbed something to eat. I was instantly reminded of who/what Anne of Green Gabels was. I vagly remember my sister having a number of the books, and watching the TV show at my Grandma’s when I was young. They probably would have gone nuts in these stores. I on the other hand, may have nightmares. Too much Anne for me.
We continued riding for around 50k into PEI. I’m still in awe of how truly beautiful this province is. I’m a management student, so my descriptions wont do what I saw justice. The rolling hills, thick green grass everywhere, and the red soil made the ride truly enjoyable.
We found a campsite off the beaten trail just outside of Charlottown. Our neighbors were from St. John’s NFLD, and were incredibly nice. They lent us there lantern for the most of the evening, and it just so happened one of them was into road biking. We left them a couple U of L pins before we left.
Tomorrow we plan on riding to the ferry, and then drive back to Charlottetown to spend the night. It will only be 60k or so. A very light day.
We woke up at the average time and headed to gas station that we left off from the day before. I was finally able to do my laundry at the campsite last night. Having clean clothes again definitely puts you in a good mood. Today was going to be an average ride in terms of distance of 140k.
Nothing really exciting happened during the ride. My tires have been good since I found the staples in the one. It would be great if I didn’t have another flat for the remainder of the trip. There are tones of hills in New Brunswick. We haven’t seen as many hills since Northern Ontario. However, there not near as steep, just long. The weather was overcast for most of the day. Other than the rain on the trip, we’ve had great riding weather. Not too hot or cold for the majority of the days.
We have plenty of time to think during the ride, and the idea of finishing the Social Responsibility Minor at the U of L has kept my mind busy. We’ll see what happens.
We had the van packed by 10:00am, and sat around talking about a solution to our ferry problem. The campsite owner seemed to be having a bad day, and wanted us to be aware of the fact. We subsequently drove off.
We rode for the first 50k, and then racked the bikes to head into Fredericton. It was off the main highway. We all had lunch at a Smitty’s and did some banking. A nice gentleman rolled down his window as we were driving to tell us our tire was flat. We pulled over at the nearest gas station, were we saw how substantially low it was. We filled it with air, and hope it lasts until Moncton. With 4 flat tires the other day (I later found a tiny staple embedded in my tire), I need to buy more tubes. We stopped a Sport Check and bike store for more tubes. I should have enough now for the remainder f the trip.
As we finished with what we had to do in the city, we drove back to where we racked the bikes. We only had 50k left, which went by really fast. We had a tailwind today. We were hoping to have Internet at the campsite, but we didn’t. We all haven’t updated our blogs in awhile.
We woke up early today for some reason. Another camper told me that we had 4 skunks around our tents last night. I guess Vanessa thought one was a cat, and was going to pet it. Good thing she found out it wasn’t in time. They must be attracted to Allan.
We spent some time at the falls in Grand Falls. They were going to charge us to park, so we parked a block away and walked. They were pretty cool site to see, but it wasn’t worth the price to park- three dollars.
We decided to ride a 160k today to save a day in our schedule. It was the longest ride we’ve had in awhile. The shoulders and the weather were in our favor, so it wasn’t too bad. We had a good size break in the middle of the ride. I was able to recharge on a ridiculous amount of Reese Chocolate Bars.
We eventually found a campsite a short jaunt off the highway.
We haven’t had Internet in awhile. I checked my e-mail today with Allan’s phone. Gloria Roth, who works in the President’s Office at the University, wanted our banking information so she could put a little money in for a meal. This was great motivation for the remainder of the trip, and we’re incredibly grateful.
We woke up early this morning. We didn’t need an alarm clock with noisy neighbors. Brett and Vanessa met a couple from Nova Scotia at the campsite last night. They offered to buy us breakfast at the campsite restaurant. Incredibly nice people.
Brett phoned the Ferry to Newfoundland today, with some interesting news. I’ll let you read his blog post for the details. At this point, we’re not sure what we’re going to do. I would swim with my bike on my back than quite in Nova Scotia (completely unreasonable, I know).
We rode 120k today, with great weather. It was cool and didn’t rain the entire day. We’ve been lucky the last couple rides, or we were just really unlucky earlier. I don’t know. The ride was pretty uneventful. We rode into Grand Falls with some light left, and stopped at a McDonald’s and a Superstore. I needed to by some eye drops. My eyes seem to be getting infected again.
We eventually found a campsite outside of the city. It looked as if a good storm was coming in, so we all put tarps on our tents. Allan was able to put his tent under a picnic table enclosure.
We decided to take some time in the morning to update our blogs. We didn’t get out on the road until around 12:30pm. We were going to eat at the campsite, but they didn’t take interact. We decided to ride for a while until we found a place to eat.
About 10k into the ride we found a beautiful restaurant in an old house that overlooked the St. Lawrence River. I ordered the usual, but with some difficulty. The server didn’t speak much English, so we had a table next to us translate. Although, it still took awhile for the server to understand what I wanted. She probably thought what I wanted to order was being lost in translation. I guess ordering 7 eggs and nothings else isn’t as common as you’d think.
It’s always a good day to ride when you’re going cross into another province. It’s motivating to know you’re actually making progress. There were times I didn’t think we’d make it out of Northern Ontario.
Today was another good day to ride in terms of weather. We ended up finding a campsite just on the outskirts of Cabano. We’ve become quite proficient at putting our tents up in the dark.
I wasn’t looking forward to getting up this morning with the prospect of putting the tents away in the rain. However, when we did get up, the sky was clearing. We all ate the campsite, and were on our way by 12:00pm.
It took us an hour to get out of the city with all the traffic lights. We hit 5 reds in a row at one point. As we made it out of Quebec, the scenery was once again remarkable. The St. Lawrence to the left, old farm houses to the right. With the sun and great bike paths again, the ride was amazing.
Our schedule today was only 90k, but we decided to go further with the weather being so favorable. The scenery started to change with fields now filled with grain and not just corn. We were somewhat elevated on the road, so we could see the fields for some distance.
We rode 151k today to a town called St. Denise. There wasn’t a campsite, so we drove 10k back to the previous town. It was 10:00pm by the time we made camp, so we all made dinner quickly (I made rice in the laundry room) and went to bed.
We woke up early this morning, and headed to the restaurant at the truck stop. I had my usual, 7 eggs (increased by 1 egg) and a coffee. We decided to drive across the river to the old part of the city to tour around.
Our first stop was Chateau Frontenac. It was an amazing building, not unlike the other Chateau’s across the country. At this point in the day, it was rainy steady. I bought an umbrella at a souvenir store, which served me well all day. We went to the National Assembly building of Quebec, Plains of Abraham, and other magnificent buildings and landmarks within walking distance.
We found a KOA to stay at across the river by the truck stop we stayed at the night before. It was a nice place to stay, although expensive for a campsite. I bought some bacon, and ate the entire package. I know I shouldn’t have, but it was wonderful. The weather report for tomorrow is 100% chance of rain-great.
We were on the road by 10:30am to Quebec City. We were all excited to visit the historic city, and for the rest-day that followed. It was “misting” for the first couple hours of the trip, and didn’t really let up until we were almost into the city.
Aside from being wet, the ride was fantastic. It was one small town after another, with farms in-between. We had bike paths again, and gas stations every 20k for the needed chocolate bar.
As we made it into Quebec, the traffic began to pick up. It was also getting late, and the sun was going down. We decided to rack the bikes at a Tim Horton’s just south of the city in Levi. Being that it was late, we couldn’t find a campground to stay at. We decided to find a truck stop and sleep in the van.
As we made it to the truck stop, it began to pour. I never thought I would happy to spend the night in the van at a truck stop. The truck stop had showers and a large common room to enjoy.
We intended to get up early so we would have plenty of time to drive to Joliette, which is about three hours (with traffic) north east of Montreal. In the end, we didn’t leave Joanne’s apartment until 9:00am, and didn’t arrive in Joliette until around 12:00.
It was raining for the majority of the ride, which seems to the norm the last few weeks of the trip. However, the bike paths in Quebec have more than made up for the weather and the mildew pillows and tents. Allan’s opinion may differ. Somehow his gear takes the worst of it.
As we made it into Trois Rivieres, we needed to cross the St. Lawrence River. We couldn’t ride our bikes across the river, so we racked them and drove across. The bridge and view were amazing. We ended up finding a decent campsite by the bridge to stay at. You can tell they’ve had a lot of rain here. The campsite looked like a swamp. We did find a relatively dry site to pitch our tents.
Vanessa and Brett woke up early to grab a tour of Ottawa. Allan and I slept-in until around 10:00am, and then walked to Parliament to tour around. It was only a 10-minute walk from Joanne and Brittany’s apartment.
Allan and I toured for a couple hours, and then headed to Rideau Centre. We needed to buy Joanne a new cell phone charger so she could call a couple Alumni. We then walked to DFAT, where she is doing her internship.
We all headed to the restaurant were the Alumni reception was going to be held at around 5:00pm. Joanne was concerned very few Alumni were going to show up. At one point, she told me only 12 people were going to attend, and that included the four of us. As the time went on, more and more Alumni began to show up. I later found out she was trying to make me nervous. In the end, about 13 Alumni and 3 current students on Coop, attended the event. I really enjoyed talking to everyone, and hearing their U of L stories. They were all very interested in our travels, which we enjoyed talking about. We didn’t get out of the restaurant until 9:00pm. No one made an early exit. The event was incredibly motivating for the rest of the trip.
Special thanks to Joanne Luu for making the Alumni event happen. She sent 130 personal e-mails with follow-up phone calls to Alumni in the Ottawa region. I don’t know how she does it, but she does, so thanks again Jo! An interesting note: other than our trip, the formation of an Ottawa chapter was topic most Alumni were talking about.
We took the metro to downtown in the morning. It was the easiest way to get to Old Montreal. We stayed there for most of the day. It didn’t rain for the entire day, which seems unusual these days.
We met up with Jamie Huckabay, who was recently awarded the U of L gold medal for Arts and Science, and headed to St. Catherine’s street. It was a pretty cool place to hang out at. Vanessa was able to shop for a while, albeit difficult with 4 males as shopping mates.
We went back to Jamie’s apartment to cook chili for dinner. A much more economical way to eat than a restaurant. The food and the company was fantastic. We were on our way again around 9:00pm for Ottawa.
We didn’t get into Ottawa until 1:30pm after having some difficulty finding at parking space at the University of Ottawa. Joanne, being Joanne, was awake and waiting for us. She also had a pan of gluten free cookies waiting!
I had a great sleep last night in the motel. We’re all going to enjoy sleeping in beds again. At one point last night my back tire just popped. Allan and I had no idea what the pop was until I felt my back tire. It was my second flat of the day.
We began our ride at the Tim Horton’s that we stopped at the day before. I decided to change my tire there. 15 minutes into the ride, my tire popped again. My back tire had a couple gashes in it, so I decided to change the tire. It started to pour a minute after my tire popped.
It stopped raining as we headed into a town that had a house of the former PM, Wifred Laurier’s. Turned out it cost money to go in, and it actually wasn’t his house. We decided not to stay. It only lightly rained for the rest of the day. We packed the bikes in Joliette, at 95k, and headed in Montreal.
We ended up staying in a motel in the outskirts of Montreal after searching for reasonably priced accommodations for sometime. It wasn’t too bad of a place to stay. Our plan tomorrow is to sight see in Old Montreal, and to meet up with Jamie Huckabay.
We didn’t leave Ottawa until 10:00am, and began our ride out of Gatineau around 11:30am. After we left the city, we were on the same highway all day. There was a bike trail for the entire ride, which was incredible. We haven’t had shoulders like this since Alberta.
It looked like it was going to be the first hot day in about 2 weeks. It ended up raining about an hour into the ride, and didn’t quit for the next 4. The shoulders made it easy to ride in. However, it’s difficult to spot the odd pothole when they’re filled with water. Vanessa and I both had a close call with one in particular. Vanessa had two flats today, and I had my first one in over 2000k. It was warm out, so it wasn’t too uncomfortable changing the tires in the rain.
As we made it into Lachute, the rain was subsiding. We all had a coffee at a Tim Horton’s to decide what the plan was going to be. Vanessa and I were completely drenched. We decided to stay in a hotel for the first time since Surrey. There weren’t any campsites for 40k, and most of our stuff was wet and needed to be aired out. Having a nice bed to sleep on, and the thought of a light day tomorrow at 90k, makes for an enjoyable night.
It was easy to get up this morning. I had a great sleep, except for my eyes being worse this morning. They both seem to be infected. . I couldn’t put my contacts in this morning, and had to wear my glasses. The $5.00 investment in a new Wal-mart pillow was worth it.
We all went to the campsite’s/ amusement’s restaurant for breakfast. Allan learned the difference between regular and farm-fresh eggs. It was a serious question, but the waitress still called him a smart-ass. Small talk was around the horrific Greyhound killing.
We took a lesser-traveled road into Quebec, so there wasn’t much for traffic. It was a nice change from the past few days. The sides of the roads were filled with old farmhouses that were full of character. I really enjoyed riding passes these houses and other outbuildings.
The roads riding into Gatineau were challenging. I’m surprised Vanessa or I didn’t get a flat. By chance, barely into the city, we stumbled across a bike path that went through the city. Vanessa and I road this until we somewhat got lost. Allan and Brett were driving in the Van, and had made it to the eastern edge of the city. They met us at a gas station, where we racked the bikes to head into Ottawa. We rode 130k today.
We made it to Joanne Luu and Brittany Earl’s apartment, where we would be spending the night. Jamie Huckabay, another U of L graduate, was also there. It was great to see these fine folks again. Vanessa and I showered quickly, and we were off to a restaurant in the market. It was a great evening.
Thanks again for putting up with us Joanne and Brittany!
We were up early today. Young kids always seem to get up early, and like to let everyone else know. Our tents were fairly dry, which was nice. Even Allan’s for a change. Our goal today was 120k. It’s motivating to know Ottawa is only 100k away.
There were few hills today during the ride. We had a tailwind for most of the ride, and we averaged 26km/h. Traffic picked up again today, and most-likely wont lighten until we pass Quebec City. It rained slightly during the ride, which passing semi-trailers would throw your way, with a little sand for good measure. Although, the rain was refreshing during the ride.
We stopped 80k into the ride and drove to Pembrook for lunch at Tim Horton’s. I had a delicious bag of Doritos for lunch-Cool Ranch. We drove back to where we left off on the highway, and rode the last 50k to Stonecliffe.
We ended up at a campsite with an outdoor water park, mini-golf, petting zoo, etc. It pretty much has everything. We didn’t get a chance to try the slides, but we did get to eat in a “Noah’s Ark,” complete with paper animals. I’m surprised the paper bear didn’t spontaneously combust when Allan saw it.
Tomorrow we’ll deviate from our original plan and ride into Quebec early. We’re going to bypass the traffic in Ottawa and ride to Hull, which is on the other side of the Ottawa River.
It was pouring when I first heard Allan’s wake-up call this morning at 7:00am. We all decided to wait and see if the rain would subside before we had to pack our tents. Packing a tent when it’s raining isn’t too much fun. To our luck, it stopped raining around 9:00am.
We drove to the Ottawa turnoff and began to bike. We’ve been biking longer than our scheduled distances to make up for the lost 60k in Sault Ste. Marie. I had to laugh at myself during the beginning of the ride because of what I wrote in a recent blog post regarding the flat terrain. We were greeted today with non-stop hills for the entire ride. I also ate a ridiculous amount of Reese Chocolate Bars during the day. I may have a problem.
We found a nice campsite in a small village after 130k. The Ottawa River was 100 meters away. It rained for a while, but quit for just enough time to put our tents up.
I recently graduated from the Univeristy of Lethbridge with a Bachelor of Management. I was the Students' Union President for my last year at the U of L, and decided that I needed one more thing to do before I went on my way.
We'll finish the bike trip across Canada late August, and then I will begin to job hunt.