Here it is, my last post about my trip. We landed in amazing Newfoundland, spent far too little time there. Met some amazing people, some more amazing scenery and hit some end of the ride milestones.
Aug 29: 74km to Middle Gulf Pond. The ferry got into port around 9AM and as we were on bikes, we got to leave way at the beginning of the crowd! Finally, our tires were on Newfoundland pavement! Within half an hour, we saw a couple of cars pulled over on the road and saw our second moose! It was much further away than the first one we saw, but we did get some pictures and this mooose hung around in a meadow for much longer. We made it to Whitebourne, NL and stopped at a Timmy’s to get some lunch. Turned out to be a popular stop for cyclists as we met 3 others during our meal! Justine and Tommy had done the west coast from BC to San Diego, then flew to St John’s and were on their way to Montreal. Jeanette had left Montreal, took the north shore of the St Lawrence up to Labrador, then the west tip of Newfoundland and was also making her way to St John’s.
After lunch, we decided to go as far east as we could that day to minimize the ride to St John’s the next day. As the day turned into evening, we began our search for a campsite or a place to stay. It started to get rainy and windy too! I found a house by this lake and knocked on the door. It was a big family dinner going on! Turned out to be the house of Bill and Doreen Moore. They gave us permission to use their lawn for a tent but their daughter Sherry said no way! There was rain in the forecast and said we could sleep in her RV! What luxury! We went inside the house for some dessert and stayed up far too late chatting with the Moore family and their friends who were visiting for the summer.
Aug 30: 45km to St John’s NL. We had an awesome breakfast with Bill and Doreen and took our time getting ready for the last real touring cycling day. Wow, were we in for a surprise! There were gusts of wind (we would find out later it was up to 80kmh) making the day really really hard! Thankfully, it was blowing us off the road and away from traffic. There were scattered showers too so we started getting the chills from the wet and the wind. About 20km outside of St John’s we saw a truck and a trailer pulled over on the side of the road. A man named Ian was standing next to the trailer and asked if we would like a ride into town. It turns out during our ride, the poor weather was prompting an actual wind warning and even motorists were told to be careful! Ian saw us on the road and decided that we must not have been up to date on the warning. We did a quick pow wow and decided…YES. We would make up for it with our later days of cycling around St John’s. Thanks Ian!
We got into town, and checked into our accommodations. We had some famous Ches’ Fish and Chips for dinner and cleaned up and SLEPT as despite the short distance, the day’s ride took a lot out of us.
Aug 31: 33km. We had a great (mostly unloaded) ride to Cape Spear, the furthest of the landmarks we wanted to visit. Cape Spear is the most easterly point in North America, second lighthouse built in NL and oldest one surviving to this day! The winds never really went away but somehow ended up in our favor as we were able to get back into town quicker than we had left despite the elevation gain! Martin, who we had met in Antigonish was also in town and invited us out for a beer in downtown St John’s. It was great to see him again and share the different experiences we had going across the country.
Sept 1: 21km. We started the morning by heading to Qidi Vidi, a harbour just north of downtown so I could dip my front wheel into the Atlantic! There wasn’t actually an easy or safe way to do it in St John’s harbour so this was the closest! What a way to finish the ride!! Next was the rest of downtown that we hadn’t been to yet to see the Terry Fox Memorial (where he began his Marathon of Hope) and the pretty Jellybean Row houses that are all around the downtown core. At 2pm, I was scheduled for my last TV interview at NTV. It went really well and actually the first one I did having actually FINISHED!
Our last big bike ride of the day was to Signal Hill, the site of the first Trans-Atlantic wireless signal. It was a 2km climb from downtown but wow, were the views worth it. We could see Cape Spear, all St John’s, Qidi Vidi and of course, way out into the Atlantic Ocean. We went back to our place to drop off our bikes and walked into downtown so we could do our last tourist thing: getting screeched-in. Getting screeched in involves kissing a cod fish, drinking the local rum (screech) and learning a lot about Newfoundland. We went to Christian’s Bar and it was so much fun! We ended up with our honorary Newfoundlander certificates and some new friends who were participating along with us. We also all watched the news together as my NTV interview aired!
Sept 2: 0km. Our last day in St John’s. We packed up all our gear and bikes for the last time and wheeled them down to the nearby bike shop Cychotic Bikes. We had been in contact with them to make sure they had a couple of boxes and packing material for us to use. It was a really fun afternoon hanging out with Mike and Jamie while putting our bikes in boxes! One last meal of fish and chips from Ches’s and we were off to the airport and home!
Week Total: 173km
Grand Total: 7618km