Gander

Sunday morning was an early start. Few good hills out of Cape Spear, a lot of great people there to see us off.

Tim came along for the ride, as you can see, he was quite excited. He even got me working the camera.

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At some point outside of St John’s, the weather took a turn for the worse, and we were biking in wind and rain. I suppose it was going to happen eventually!!

The weather started to clear up, and Tim left to go back to St John’s. We stopped to eat in Holyrood, where the local wildlife was quite spectacular, but not very active.

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Feeling pretty pumped after stuffing our faces, we headed to Blaketown, about 40km away. Here, we knocked on the door of every house until we got an answer (we were looking to pitch our tent for the night).

A really great family opened their doors to some hungry travellers – Wilf, Vicki, Nana, and their kids were amazingly welcoming to us, with coffee and food that night, and in the morning.

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They sent us on our way in style with some delicious, perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs to fuel us for the next day.

Next it was off to Goobies. It was like Rohan under clear blue skies, wide open vistas and some great outcrops for climbing and taking photos.

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Tented up in a moss-covered glen next to the truck stop that constitutes the town of Goobies. Ate supper like cowboys sitting on two overturned crates with the stove making its airplane noise like it was being paid to (that thing is loud!!).

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From Goobies it was off to Charlottetown (NL), just inside Terra Nova National Park. A gorgeous little village on the water.

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We pitched our tent in between two wharfs, and woke up briefly to a beautiful sunrise … and fell back asleep.

Just as we were getting ready to go, Lorraine stopped by in her pick-up truck and offered us a shower! Yes, please! She let us dry our clothes and gave us some more hard-boiled eggs, and sweets (she owned a bakery!). Wonderful.

Everyone has been so kind along the way.

Today was mostly overcast, and a fast ride through Terra Nova and beyond to Gander. The hills though, man, formidable!! Working those biking muscles. Fuel, we’ve discovered, can take many forms…

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Now in Gander, we are about half way in between St John’s and Deer Lake. It’s kind of surreal looking at a road sign facing east and seeing “St John’s 322km.” Have we really gone that far already? Wow.

I learned very quickly that having a constant data stream from the GPS was counterproductive, as I’ve learned that part of the joy of long distance biking is getting lost in one’s surroundings, not engrossed in one’s metrics. Day 1 was hard for this, but from the second day on, I felt a noticeable change in my attitude about things, and it just felt “right” to ignore the information for the most part (I am still collecting it, though).

Fitness is really starting to feel good. Today was much like day 1 in distance, though with more hills, and I felt better throughout. Legs start to go on autopilot after a while, and it’s nice to know that my legs adapt quickly. I was telling Sarah after Day 1 that 100km was the longest I had ever biked in one day — by double! After 3 more days of similar progress, I guess I can say I’m touring? Cool.

Tomorrow is supposed to be another long day to Grand Falls Windsor. The forecast is saying rain, so we’ll see how things go, but it should be ok. Optimistic, and incredibly happy to be going on this adventure.

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7 comments

  1. Hey Joe….great post or blog, whatever! Keep it coming, will be following you the entire way….you guys are awesome by the way!

  2. Man oh man Joe, so jealous that you’re on this journey. I can’t bike, but I’d love to be touring the province right now. Keep up the good work – we’re all cheering you on back home!

  3. Hey, well written post Joe! And I can see abit of ‘Joe’ humour too. I especially liked the comment about the wildlife not being too active. Thinking of you each day. glad we can be following your trip this way.

  4. one more thing . . . so cool about that family that took you in and fed you! I remember a number of years ago Dad ran into a couple on the Goose trail who were on the tail end of a 10,000 km bike trip from South America and he invited them in for dinner. Great experience to meet them and hear about their adventures!. I am sure they feel the same way meeting you two.

  5. Good progress Joe! You have such a positive attitude, and that’s exactly what’s going to get you through that tough NL wind and over those long climbs. Keep up the posting! Can we get a running total KM count in the next post???

  6. Hey Joe and Sarah,

    It was such a pleasure to meet you both on the cool evening of Sunday, April 21st. We were only too happy to invite you into our home to let you warm up and enjoy a cup of tea and a snack and then hear all about the BIG BIKING ADVENTURE you had planned across our province and Canada too….how amazing!

    And then to meet you again on the following Friday, April 26th in the area of Green Bay (central NL) on our trip across the province to Stephenville (for our kids to attend a TaeKwonDo Competition) was absolutely wonderful. Just to know you had traveled so far and that you were okay (biking in the rain)….GOD LOVE YAS!!!

    Look forward to seeing your updates.

    All the best!

    Vicki, Wilf, Pat, Brady & Lexi Thorne
    Blaketown, NL

    ‘Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference’. ~Winston Churchill

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