Monday, September 13, 2010

Officially on The Rock

Day 7 Monday September 13, 2010

Pinware Provincial Park, NL to Gander, NL

Total Km – 700km (3979km)
Litres of Gas – 26L (227L)
Cost of Gas - $30.50 ($251)
Hotel - $100 ($411, 4 nights)
Camping - $15 ($15, 3 nights)
Ferry - $11.50 (1 crossing)
Running – 5km (32km – 6 runs)

Yes, it was very cold this morning and last night. Frost canvassed my bike and tent. When I left the park supervisors house, the temperature was below freezing. My sleeping bag was dry! Thankfully. I slept rather well last night. It was cold, but I was decently comfortable. I slept with my warm running clothes on and a neck warmer and toque. So no big problems. I woke up at 5:30, packed my gear, and pushed on to the ferry at Blanc Sablon. I was way colder driving my motorbike then sleeping last night. I set off under the moon light and stars as the sun hadn't risen.

The ferry ride was 90 minutes. It isn't like the Norwegian Jade, but this scow will do just fine. It isn't that busy or full. I think the Chi-Chi Mon is a a bit bigger. But it has the arcades and cafeteria. It left at 8:00 am. I was there by 7:00. I made a tea before boarding.

It was great finally getting to this part of Newfoundland. It looked different. It smelled different. It even felt different too. The drive south on 430 was fantastic! Small communities dotted the west side of the road for the first 100km, and you could faintly still see the shores of Quebec for about an hour. There was a strong smell of the salty sea air. It is hard to describe, other then to say it hits your nose pretty hard.

The east side of 430 is very hilly. Coniferous trees were everywhere, but the boggy, marshy land is not as evident as it is north. I really rolled on this stretch of highway. The right hand was on the throttle hard and kilometrage was covered quickly. I regret not taking too many pictures. Both sides of the highway had two very different landscapes to look at. Fantastic. I quickly came up on Gros Morne National Park.

I stopped at the base of the hike to the top of Gros Morne..... Would have, could have, should have.... I was thinking about Shelly and thinking a great trip would be to fly out here, rent a car, and do these things together. One could easily spend 3 or 4 days in this area alone. Plus, I would really like to go to a place called St. Anthony where there is a big Viking archeological settlement/area. I was focused on burning rubber today.

Today felt like I drove so much more then the numbers indicate. But I guess that is because I woke up so early to get the ferry. I wasn't fading by mid afternoon, but my body was aching and tight. I have a measly 330km to St John's where I have a few days to relax and check out the city. Getting there tonight would have made tomorrow better, but getting there safely will make my life better. I would have finished the last 2 hours in the dark and cold. The lady at the hotel said it was wise to stop because moose hunting season is in full bore and the conservationists (hunters) are out pushing and dogging the game and they might be more likely to be on the road and such.

I half expected to see Drew Anderson today actually. The TARGA racers are staying at this hotel. The drivers and navigators are walking around in their racing togs looking NASCAR like. The cars are all in the parking lot. It was too dark to take a picture tonight. It would be cool to park at a point in the race and watch them wiz bye, but I don't know where they are going tomorrow.

Thanks again for the emails coming through. It is so great to get them. The underlying tone is usually about how the sender is at work, they are reading with excitement, keep enjoying the trip, and don't let the weather get you down.

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