Thursday, September 16, 2010

On The Eighth Day

Day 8 Tuesday September 14, 2010
Gander, NL to St. John's NL

Total Km – 330km (4309km)
Litres of Gas – 20L (247L)
Cost of Gas - $23.25 ($284.25)
Hotel - $0 ($411, 4 nights)
Camping - $0 ($15, 3 nights)
Ferry - $0 ($11.50 1 crossing)
Running – 6km (38km – 7 runs)

Names. Funny names.

I have driven past thousands and thousands of signs on the side of the road. I was really noticing how many of them reminded me of things back home or the people reading this blog.

KFC has an interesting advertisement out here. The slogan is, “Don't You Wish Your Cup Holders Were Bigger!” Then there is a picture of their 20 piece bucket of chicken. I know a lot of my friends love KFC.

Then there are hundreds of names of places and businesses of people I know.... Duck Cove, Sheila's Kitchen, Holyrood, Gould Lake, John's Repair, Diane's Bakery, Duckworth Street, Brooklyn, Norman's Cove, George Harbour, etcetera.

The most unique though is a string of 10 - 15 signs before you reach Dildo, NL. It starts simple enough like Dildo Harbour, Dildo Restaurant, and Dildo Hotel. By the time you pass a few more of these signs the thoughts are just running through your mind because, well, you have nothing else to think about. The last sign is for the Dildo Bank and Exchange. (Pretty immature of me, I know.)

I got going great in the morning. It was like 10 degrees centigrade and no wind at all. It was easy riding. I just got my momentum going, and then stopped at Joey Smallwood Lookout. (I know a John Smallwood very well – names.) I took a few pictures and walked around, then saddled up.

Halfway to St. John's I stopped in a community called Clarenville and hit up the Tim Horton's to critique its half coffee half hot chocolate. It was good. I chatted with a few locals. I told them about the journey and of my lovely Shelly. I got some gas and rode off.

The landscape had an interesting roll about it around this area. It was still hilly and full of coniferous trees, but all of a sudden the north side of the road lost its trees, and big rolly rocky terrain was evident. It was pretty nice.

It is no surprise, obviously, but it is really weird to go 100s of kms and not see any bit of agriculture at all.

Pictures = A second day of a weak effort, but I can explain it. Primarily it is because you are ripping on the Trans Canada Highway with faster speeds, more vehicles, and bigger trucks. It really isn't that safe to pull over and get on and off your bike on the side of the road to take photos.

In St. John's I got over to Marion MacLeod's apartment where I am staying until Thursday morning. Fantastic! She has been keeping tabs on the trip and reading the emails, so it wasn't like I had to bore her with 7 previous days worth of stories. We had a awesome bowl of soup and walked downtown to get a feel for the city. We poked our heads into a few different shops and had a great pint of beer at Yellowbelly. By 5 o'clock I went for my longest run since June; 28 feel good minutes along this stone path only 300m from Marion's. I'll call it 6km for sure.

For dinner we went down to a pizza place called “Pi”. There were 5 of us; 4 from Ontario and 1 local. They are friends of Marion's..... The food and company was awesome! One of the girls is a music student from London – I dropped Seth's name and sure enough Rebecca new him and his wife Amy well.

After dinner one of the girls went home because she is a teacher and had to work the next day, Marion went to a rehearsal, and Mark, Rebecca (from London), and I went to a bar for trivia night. Marion met up with us after 10 o'clock...... Some of the questions I remember:

  1. Name the Swiss hotelier who's name is a synonym for glamour, extravagance, luxury....
  2. What did Old King Coal call for?
  3. What classic rockers have a nickname the Glimmer Twins?
  4. What year did Elvis die?
  5. Who, when came to the U.S., told customs officials, “All I have to declare is my genius.”
  6. What planet has the hottest surface temperature?

There were 30 questions, we got 17 correct, and the winning team got 22 correct I think. It was fun. Beer was only $2.75 a bottle. Our team could have used Mick Cowden!

So ya – That was Day 8 basically. Safe, sound, dry, and warm in St. John's. Wednesday will be a day of touring around, resupplying, booking the ferry, doing laundry properly, (not in a hotel sink) and going to hear some live Blue Grass music at a bar. I will have to run too.

As always, my thoughts take me to Shelly.... I just called and it was 7:30 in the morning (Wednesday). I miss her a great deal. I think she is at band practice with the students. You'd love it out here Shelly, we'll come out sometime and check out Dildo, and hopefully Come By Chance too.

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