from Stephenville…

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It’s been, what, five days since I last posted? I’m not sure. One thing I have realized about bike touring is that the days start to blend in to one another. That epic 7km straight stretch with 70km/hr headwind gusts? That frozen rain that sucked the life right out of me? Were those separate days? Man…I sure hope so!

Some of the past few days were incredibly mentally exhausting. When there isn’t a warm bed to look forward to, how does one handle the misery? Answer: don’t let it be misery. Embrace the wicked wind and the relentless rain. Being soaking wet isn’t so bad when it becomes normal, and the wind is only as strong an adversary as you allow it to be.

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I’ve found that my memories are quickly becoming mingled, and what remains at the end of every day is an overall sense of satisfaction. The exhaustion at the end of a long day of bike touring is incredibly rewarding: a deep sort of exhaustion, well earned.

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The final stretch of yesterday’s bike ride – from Pasadena to Corner Brook – will go down as one of the highlights of my trip. The winding descent into the Humber Valley was breathtaking. As the mountainous hills slowly emerged on both sides, the route took on epic proportions. I felt as if I was among ancient stone giants thrusting themselves out of the earth. Very cool. (apologies for no photos…too caught up in the epicness)

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After a much needed day off in Corner Brook, today was a breeze. 80km in two of the most pleasant stretches this side of Grand Falls-Windsor. After a gruelling climb out of CB, the entire route slowly descended (for the most part) on the way to Stephenville. The weather was warm and slightly overcast, giving my first stretch without a coat so far.

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Sitting here in Stephenville in an apartment building, I’m realizing I wish I had more time to reflect on the subtleties of each day, for in them often lie the most profound memories.

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Enjoy a sample of my fine dining. Sarah has a mind for these things.

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Many, many thanks goes out to the people who have helped us along the way:

– Betty and Bruce in Bishop Falls, who spoiled us with fish cakes and gave us more food for the trip than we could have asked for

– Scott and Rita in Pasadena who fed us well and dried our sopping wet clothes at a moment’s notice

– Edwin who generously lent us his apartment in Corner Brook for a much needed day of rest

– Carla who is sharing her apartment (and internet!) with us for this evening

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2 comments

  1. Love it Joe! Get a good sense for what you are experiencing. How about a photo of you sometime? Thinking of you every day.
    love Mom

  2. You make some really poignant insights Joe. I have a feeling as your trip progresses, you’ll take in more and more of the subtleties…I’m guessing it’ll be somewhere during the dull straight stretches of the prairies ;). Right now it’s just so overwhelming though! You’re making great distance though, you’ll be on that ferry in no time! Have a fun trip!

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