Tag archives for Newfoundland

Day 4: Corner Brook to North Sydney

This morning we met the Stephanie and Kevin Boland at the Corner Brook A&W for breakfast, and we were also interviewed by local radio about the ride. Hopefully the story gets syndicated across the rock! Regardless, the exposure that we received while in Newfoundland was great! As we were getting ready to leave A&W, one of the patrons asked where I was heading. I told him across Canada, and he responded with, “I know that, I read it in the paper!” Then as we drove down the streets of Corner Brook, a guy in a work truck pulled up to us at a red light and said, “You the buy’s that are riding for MS?”

AWESOME

Stopped for a super windy photo at Table Mountain

Of course it was raining this morning, so we geared up and made our way from Corner Brook down to Channel-Port aux Basques. We must have had a tail wind with us as we rode because I didn’t notice the wind until we stopped to take a picture in front of Table Mountain. Wow was it ever windy!

We also passed the 1000km point of our journey today!

We got to Port aux Basques pretty early, so we stopped off at Tim’s for a quick lunch before boarding the ferry. We ended up having to strap the bikes down on the ferry, which we couldn’t really figure out, but the couple from Halifax and Moncton behind us showed us what we needed to do. Thanks!

Leaving Newfoundland from Port aux Basques for North Sydney

We said goodbye to Newfoundland, and this is possibly the last picture I took with my current camera setup. I dropped the camera on the concrete this morning at the hotel, and now the focus is pretty much shot. The only way I can focus on something is at the minimum focal length, so tomorrow morning I’m going to have to replace the lens. This is an unexpected cost, but thankfully it’s not the camera body itself that is broken.

The ferry was pretty long and tiring, but I managed to catch a few zzz’s. Didn’t see anything interesting out on the water, which wasn’t a bad thing because had we seen some whales or icebergs I would have been chapped that I couldn’t take any pictures of them.

We’re now in North Sydney, having an early night so that tomorrow we can:

  1. Wash the bikes. Dad has been losing it over how dirty they are.
  2. Get a new lens for my camera.
  3. Get a replacement gas cap for dad’s bike as he lost it on day 1.
  4. Ride the snot out of the Cabot Trail!

Here are the points of interest from Today’s ride:

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Day 3: Gander to Corner Brook

We finally saw some sunshine today! We woke up pretty early since the weather forecast for Gander looked like garbage, windy and rainy, so we took off after a quick stop at Tim Hortons for some breakfast sandwiches. The forecast said that we might see some rain, but I’m happy to report that today was our first rain free day of the ride!

Wolf Cove

My Dyna at Wolf Cove

After posting this picture of my bike at Wolf Cove, I had a facebook comment asking if I’d lost my dad already. The answer is no, not yet haha. Anyway, Wolf Cove was a good find as the scenery was beautiful, and we lucked out finding it as we caught a few guys on an Ultra and Night Train ride off the highway down the gravel road into the cove. We followed, and found this cool little place. Too bad we didn’t have any supplies…

Wolf Cove

Dad enjoying the scenery at Wolf Cove

After leaving Wolf Cove, we found the most expensive gas we’ve seen so far on the trip, a shocking 144.1 per liter… sheesh!

Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in Corner Brook

Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in Corner Brook

Upon landing in Corner Brook, we found that today was the start of the East Meets West Summer Expo! We enjoyed ribs, beans, and buns for $6, as well as some delicious Black Horse and Blue Star’s. We also saw the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary trotting by.

Screeching In

Got “Screeched In”! We’re Honorary Newfoundlanders now!

And what trip to Newfoundland would be complete without being “screeched in” and made an Honorary Newfoundlander? Huge thanks to the Boland family for taking us out to their neck of the woods for a traditional swearing screeching in! And thanks for the help reciting “‘deed I is me ol’ cock, and long may your big jib draw!” I’m sure we would have had to finish that bottle without your help!

Monst & Screech

Monst also got screeched in!

And in case you were wondering when Monst was going to make his next appearance… Yeah, he also got screeched in! Poor little fella passed out immediately after that shot though!

Coast near Corner Brook

Coast near Corner Brook

Thank’s so much to the Boland family for taking us for the screeching and for a little tour of your town. See you tomorrow at breakfast!

Boland Family

With the Bolands in front of some Dorys

And here are the points of interest from today’s ride:

Any spelling errors? That’s just too bad… this is post screeching in… ;)

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Day 2: St. Mary’s to Gander

Dad giving the thumbs up as we left St. Mary’s

Breakfast at The Claddagh Inn was dynamite, and they sent us on our way with plenty of Energy to attack the highway back toward the Trans Canada Highway, or the T.C.H. as it’s written on signs here.

As we left St. Mary’s, it was overcast for the most part, and we again went into a little bit of fog… luckily this time it was only for a few minutes, unlike the long stretch we had yesterday.

We caught a little rain!

Unfortunately the decent weather didn’t last long as we had rain on and off along the T.C.H. on the way up to Gander, NL. My rain suit kept me dry, but still it’s not the ideal riding conditions.

While in the Hotel Gander, I was a little surprised to have someone ask, “Are you Chris?” Their daughter in Winnipeg had been following along the ride, and mentioned that we were going to be in Gander tonight. As chance would have it, they were having dinner at the same hotel, and recognized our shirts! Thanks for the cash donation that will be added to the total soon!

We also tried to find a place to get us “screeched in,” but unfortunately we weren’t able to find anything… tomorrow night in Corner Brook is going to be our last chance… hopefully we can get it done before we leave the rock!

Unfortunately the weather limited my photo taking to ZERO today. Hopefully tomorrow is nicer and we can get some decent shots to show you! The video is still rolling though (the above stills are pulled from the video), but I’m having a hard time getting them edited here on the road. I think I’ll have to tweak a few things in iMovie as importing one single file to edit shouldn’t take 45 minutes.

Here are the points of interest from today’s ride:

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Day 1: St. John’s to St. Mary’s

After 10 hours of airport and flight time, we made it to St. John’s, NL at midnight last night… very bagged, but we had a few good experiences along the way that didn’t make the flying portion of the trip that bad.

First, we were lucky enough to meet Ron MacLean of Hockey Night in Canada in Calgary. He took my card with the ride details, and was very sincere when he wished us good luck on the ride.

Second, we were served by Julie (from Montreal) on AC118 from Calgary to St. John’s, and she was a gem! Thanks for the free beers, food, and ear buds!

Picking up the motorcycles at Mile 1 HD in Mt. Pearl, NL

We picked up the motorcycles at Mile 1 Harley Davidson in Mt. Pearl this morning at about 10am, and we were treated like gold. I’d like to thank the service department at Mile 1 for setting up the bikes, and getting them ready to go for the trip. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to clean the bikes before the trip, but whatever I know what it looks like clean, and we’ll eventually hit a car wash.

Terry Fox and Monst at his and our starting point

At Noon we met with Zita of the St. John’s chapter of the MS Society of Canada, and also with media from the St. John’s Telegram. There were quite a few people there to take pictures and see the new Terry Fox monument, and I was able to spread the word about my ride to quite a few people. Thanks for the great send off!

What’s that in Terry Fox’s hand you ask? That little fella is named “MONST”, and he means a lot to my sister. When she was in the hospital for over a month last year, her good friend “Dweeb” gave her this little guy and she named him Monst. Unfortunately my sister couldn’t join us for this ride, so in her place she sent Monst… stay tuned for pictures of Monst as he makes his way across Canada!

Cape Spear – The easternmost point in North America

Upon leaving St. John’s we headed straight for Cape Spear, the easternmost point in North America. There was lots to see, but the sky was ready to open up so we just threw our rain gear on and continued on our way.

The ride south on the Irish Loop was dynamite, and the scenery was something that I’ve never seen before! One of the small towns that we went through almost saw the end of this ride though, as some guy obviously didn’t see me and nearly smoked me as he veered onto our side of the road… stand by for the video of that.

As we traversed along the south side of the Irish Loop we drove into the clouds, at least that’s what we called them, and we were pretty much blinded for 45km… luckily there was a car traveling in front of us so I had some taillights to follow. That was the worst visibility that I’ve ever riden or driven in, and I’m glad it’s over. My GPS was indicating that we were riding right along the side of the ocean, but with visibility of approximately 20ft, we had no idea what the scenery around us was like. Hopefully I never have to experience that again!

Right now we’re sitting in the Claddagh Inn in St. Mary’s, enjoying a delicious pint of Fighting Irish Red Ale after a delicious dinner of crab legs. This B&B is fantastic, and I recommend it to anyone that is visiting Newfoundland. PS, Pat recommends that you don’t get a beer tap in your own house. I don’t see the problem, but apparently it is haha

Here are the points of interest from Today’s ride:

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Route Planning: Not-So-Rough Draft #2

Ok I’ve tweaked the route quite a bit from what I had last time, and I think that this will work out better. Going to be in the bigger cities on nights when hopefully we can get together with the local MS Society chapters. The distance is about 500km shorter on this plan, but it still covers off everything nicely. The links below will bring up google maps with the route. Google broke it into 3 parts…

Total Distance: 11,940km

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Route Planning: Rough Draft #1

I’ve thrown together the first rough draft of the route, which will likely be modified as I look at it more. Right now I’ve just picked a basic route, and I’ll tweak it after discussing with dad and a few others who’s input I value. As the route stands, its 12136km give or take a bit. Anyway, have a look if you have some time, and let me know if you have any suggestions! Continue reading »

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Shipping Has Been Finalized

I’ve sorted out shipping for the bikes, and they’ll be on a truck in early July so that they’re ready to go for us out in St. John’s, NL on July 16th. It’s definitely not cheap, but regardless it’s for a good cause so I’m ok with the cost.

Now, it’s time to sort out flights. Searching right now, it looks like there are two options. Leave Edmonton early in the morning on the 16th, and arrive in Newfoundland late at night, or take the red eye and get there in the morning of the 17th. Both have benefits… I’ll keep checking to see if new flights are added or if the prices change.

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Planning to Start in St. John’s Newfoundland

I’ve looked at several routes and directions, and I’ve made the decision to start the ride at mile one in St. John’s Newfoundland, then ride west to Vancouver Island, before the final stretch back to Edmonton. I’m currently in contact with Harley-Davidson of Edmonton who are looking into the costs to ship the bike to Mile 1 Harley-Davidson in St. John’s. I expect to hear back from them tomorrow.

Flights also seem reasonable, but I won’t book the flight until I get the bike shipment secured and confirm that the cost is not going to break the bank.

Currently it looks like I can fly out of Edmonton on the evening of July 16th, 2012, and arrive in St. John’s in the morning of the 17th to pick up the bike and start the ride.

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Terry Fox Monument

As I’ve been planning the route, I’ve come across a few interesting places that I’d like to stop off at along the way. I’ll be making additions to this list slowly, and will be filing them under the places to see category.

Anyway, the first place that I’m going to mention, not necessarily the first place that I’m going to stop off at will be the Terry Fox Monument in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The monument isn’t far from where Terry Fox ended his 5,373 km run on August 31, 1980. I’m sure every Canadian is familiar with who Terry Fox is, but if you’re not, here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

Terrance Stanley “Terry” Fox (July 28, 1958 – June 28, 1981) was a Canadian humanitarian, athlete, and cancer research activist. In 1980, with one leg having been amputated, he embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Although the spread of his cancer eventually forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi), and ultimately cost him his life, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy. The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research; over C$500 million has been raised in his name.

The monument is located on the Trans Canada Highway, just east of Thunder Bay, ON. I will definitely be stopping at the Terry Fox Monument.

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