Friday, September 17, 2010

More Rain, More Great People

Day 10 and 11 Thursday September 16th and Friday September 17th, 2010
St. John's, NL – Dartmouth, NS

Total Km –570 km (4879km)
Litres of Gas – 36L (283L)
Cost of Gas - $39 ($323.25)
Hotel - $0 ($411, 4 nights)
Camping - $0 ($15, 3 nights)
Ferry - $230 ($244.50, 2 crossings)
Running – 6.5km + 6.5km (57km – 10 runs)

All previous updates @

Thunder and lightning woke me up from a comfortable sleep by 6:00 on Thursday morning. I rolled my eyes in my head and my body back under the security of the blankets on the bed. Not again! But I woke back up by 8:00 and quickly phoned my sweet, sweet baby Shelly. These early morning rings mean snow days for a select few of us – Today though it was my voice telling Shelly how much she is missed and how much she would have enjoyed St. John's. (I never told her the running story though! It's another nice immature moment from this trip. No regrets.) Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

It took about one hour to repack and organize my crap on the bike. I had a very filling breakfast of Two Eyed Egyptians, bacon and coffee. The first thing I did, actually, was go for a run. I went back to the scene of yesterdays foolishness.... Hey, it is a flat, easy loop that takes about 30 minutes..... give a guy a break. Not much to describe except I saw a lot of ducks. They were swimming and eating grass.

With temperatures easily at 17 degrees centigrade, my brand new heated vest would not be worn. No matter. I bid Marion another thank you, then a goodbye. I was on the road travelling west for the first time. Back to Holyrood!

That is right. I drove into Holyrood, NL. Unsurprisingly it is bigger then Holyrood, ON. I filled up with gas and I thought maybe, just maybe there would be a Miller Mall for confectioneries. There wasn't. In fact, there isn't any propriety in the world that is like the Miller Mall. I should have known better. No big deal. Push for the Nova Scotia Ferry.

I arrived at 1:30 with a reservation to set sail at 3:30. The scow is called Joseph and Clara Smallwood. I thought it was unlucky to have a dudes name on a boat. No matter. I parked with about 12 other motorbikes. I told a few of them my tales, but they didn't seem interested at all! I found that a bit odd with all the good times and stories I have..... Whatever.

“Would the owner of a motocycle, Ontario plates 107B3, please report to the Chief Stewards office on Deck 5.” They found my weed!

It wasn't a matter of if, but when. The bike was on its side. It fell over. I didn't get a picture. Another seamen and I picked it up, and strapped it down again. This time I am using the suggested 4 tie downs instead of 2. Perhaps that will keep it upright for the next 14 hours.

I snacked away on some chips and other generally unhealthful foods while watching Avatar on the vessel. I went to suss out the sleeping arrangements shortly after 9:00. It was suitable for a weary traveller such as myself, but not for royalty. I snuggled in to the rhythmic hum of the engines and the rocking motion of the ship. I picked away at sleep for a few hours. I got up at around 3:00 and went for a bit of a walk and brushed my teeth. I settled back down, and finally awoke for good by 5:30. These sea legs of mine would be on shore in only one hours time. I had a restful night and would easily be ready for my day ahead on the Cabot Trail.

Although all did not go according to plan. The weather thwarted my sense of adventure again.

Within 15 minutes after arriving on the mainland shores of Canada, the rain gear was regrettably on. As I ascended up Kelly's Pass, I knew there would be no way I was going to make the right hand turn at St. Anne's to enter the Cabot Trail. It was raining hard. There was no way I was going to enjoy or see anything of what there is to see in this fantastic area. I drove on past Baddeck, over the causeway, then stopped in Antigonish. More setback.

I wheeled into the McDonald's to enjoy a hot coffee and egg McMuffin breakfast. I mentioned it was raining, so this was going to taste good. In the McDonald's parking lot there wasn't one, but 2 coach buses ferrying around a senior's tour of the area. The line up for food was 60 deep – and I am not talking age.... The age was like 75 years old per person here. I went to the can, another line up. Blasted! Back on the bike. Back in the rain. Back.

I drove the extra 45 minutes to New Glasford, NS. First I got petrol. Then I swung 'round back to the Wendy's/Tim Horton's. There was a Comfort Inn at this intersection in which I could use a telephone. In the back of my mind I had been thinking about stopping in Dartmouth for a lay over since I wasn't traversing the Cabot Trail. My good friend Alex MacLeod, Marion's brother, lives there. Surely there would be a dusty old bed, or a corner area for a wet man such as myself. Yes!

And here I am, with no Alex or Crystal in site. I let my self in. A sign on the door indicated I should, “Get comfy.” So I am airing out my wet stuff and enjoying a beer – A Schooner. The “Schooner” the better, as I always say.

I will sign off, even though I know there will be some pretty fun stuff that will happen in the next 12 hours I am here – I will write about them tomorrow. Besides, I have just had one beer and now I am going for a run! Lookout ladies of Dartmouth!

In closing my heated vest was fantastic today. Shelly, it made me think of you and the warmth you bring to me. It felt like a constant heated hug of your arms around my torso. I love you Shelly xoxox.

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