Thursday, August 8, 2013

CCCT Part II - Whitbourne to St. John's, NL

Sunday, July 28, 2013 - Day 45
We both slept poorly due to room being to hot and humid and lots of trucks coming and going. We were up at 6:45 AM and after a quick breakfast in our room we packed up our bags and loaded them on our bikes in the room and wheeled them out to the parking lot. We set off for St. John's at 7:45 AM. Again it was overcast and a bit cool so we put on our sleeves and vests. It was a miserable rainy, misty, foggy, windy, hilly day. We had to make frequent stops to wipe our glasses off, to rest our butts, etc. There were no convenience stores or service stations between Whitbourne and St. John's. The only thing that kept us going was the fact that it was our last day of cycling. We arrived on the outskirts of St. John's at 12:30 in cold, rainy and windy weather. We passed several exits and I thought "Great, the next one is where we want to get off." Only it turned out to be another 10 kms down the highway and with several more hills!!! Finally we arrived at 14 Ledum, chez Krista and Mike's, at 1:30 PM. We were thoroughly soaked and chilled it was that windy and cold. I had wanted to go on to Mile 0 for the photo op but because of the lousy weather I changed my mind. It was great to see Krista and Mike who were home to welcome us. We quickly unloaded our essential clothing bags and put the rest of our gear and bikes away in the back shed. Krista showed us our room upstairs and we quickly had showers to warm up and changed into dry clothing. after a short nap, Mike drove us to a nearby Sobey's where we got some groceries and beer and champagne at the liquor store next door. It was still quite windy and bitterly cold. I was glad I had brought my jacket. We returned home and had a beer while Krista prepared fish cakes. I also checked out the Wi-Fi and Bev posted a message on FB re our arrival in St. John's and the completion of our Cross Canada Cycling Tour. Besides delicious fish cakes we had coleslaw, macaroni salad and roasted tomato and red pepper salad for dinner with sticky cinnamon buns for dessert. It was good to be in a warm, dry house and not have to worry about getting on our bikes again tomorrow. What a sense of relief knowing that we had cycled from Trois Rivieres, QC to St. John's, NL, another 2,514 kms to complete our CCCT for a total of 7,994 kms.
At home, Ottawa, ON - Thursday, August 8, 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

CCCT Part II - Clarenville to Whitbourne, NL

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - Day 44
Had a pretty good night's sleep. We were up at 6:00 in anticipation of another hot and muggy day's ride which we calculated would be around 100 kms to our next destination i.e. Whitbourne. After loading our bags on our bikes we were ready to set off at 7:10 AM. It was overcast, quite windy (mostly a crosswind). The paved shoulder along the highway was god, bad and sometimes terrible. Lots of rumble strip. We had to stop many times mostly because of the number of hills and the headwind/crosswind. We stopped at Megan's at Southern Harbour for lunch. I had bacon and eggs, toasts and fries (chopped up because they had run out of home fries). I drank 2 glasses of ice water to help cope with the heat and to hopefully prevent any cramps like I had yesterday. We also stopped at Goobie's and Come By Chance for snacks. we passed the turnoff for Dildo and soon arrived in Whitbourne at 3:30 PM. Bev went in the Ultramar and got 2 cold drinks and next door to the Robin's for donuts. we checked into the Moorland Motel at 4:10 PM. We paid $75 plus taxes for a room with a mini fridge and a microwave, Wi-Fi, etc.  I checked the Wi-Fi after we brought our bikes into our room through the side entrance. There was no Wi-Fi. At least none that I could find on my Notebook. I went to the store where we checked-in to complain. The assistant manager went off to reboot the router. Still no Wi-Fi. Watched PGA on TV. Later we had dinner at Mary Brown's. It was very hot and humid. We went over to the Ultramar for Gatorade, etc. Had ice cream for dessert. Bought 2 cold drinks before going back to our room. Bev was very tired and was off to bed at 8:30 PM. I watched TV for a while before putting the lights out at 9:00 PM.
Home (Ottawa, ON) - Wednesday, August 7, 2013

CCCT Part II - Splash 'n Putt, Glovertown to Clarenville, NL

Friday, July 26, 2013 - Day 43
It was a terrible night considering how much we were paying for a good night's rest. The noisy trucks, night time creatures, etc all combined to make it difficult for me to sleep. We were up at 7:00 AM and while I packed Bev prepared some oatmeal to go with muffins, 1/2 a banana and chocolate milk for breakfast. After getting rid of our garbage and dropping off the key we were ready to leave for Clarenville at 8:20 AM. Again it was an overcast day and very humid. We had to stop several times, especially after cycling up the many hills. We stopped at a service station for lunch. Bev went in a got cold drinks (7up Lime) and we sat outside on the curb and ate our snack packs. After lunch we still had 38 kms to go before reaching Clarenville which was our destination for the day. We didn't get very far (10 kms) before having to stop again at a convenience store for cold water. There was a very large floor fan outside which was supposed to blow a mist of water to help people cool off. Because it wasn't working properly the manager used a spray bottle to squirt water on the fan. We both stood in front of the fan and for a minute or two were able to cool off. After several more stops including one at the VIC we arrived at the Clarenville  Inn which was on top of one more hill. We had stopped at St. Jude motel at the bottom of the hill to ask how much a room for the night would cost. It was $121 plus taxes. We decided to go on to the Clarenville Inn at the top of the hill which turned out to be more expensive at $134 plus taxes but at least we wouldn't have a hill to face first thing in the AM. We put our gear and bikes in our room and after a shower Bev went over to the nearby service station for food for our breakfast and lunch. She also returned with an ice cream cone which I gladly accepted. NL was going through a bit of a heat wave and the humidity was quite unbearable. I checked the hotel Wi-Fi which was so-so. We both rinsed out an outfit and put them outside on the patio furniture to dry in the sun. I started having problems with cramps in my legs. We watched PGA golfing on TV before going over to the hotel restaurant for dinner. I had a beer and hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes for dinner. More cramps. Went for a walk after dinner to help get rid of the cramps. We went over to the gas station convenience store and got some date squares, chips and tea for Bev. I did some stretching in the hopes that it would help get rid of the cramps. I posted our location/destination on FB before going off to bed at 10:00.
Home (Ottawa, ON) - Wednesday, August 7, 2013

CCCT Part II - Gander to Glovertown, NL - Day 42

Thursday, July 25, 2013 - Day 42
We were up bright and early for an early morning departure. After getting our bikes out of the shed and loading on bags on them we said our goodbyes and thankyous and set off for Glovertown at 8:10 AM. It was a very overcast day and after only 10 kms we stopped to change our lenses from dark to clear. It started raining so we had to stop again so I could put my rain covers on my handlebar bag, etc. Thankfully it was only a shower and by 11:00 AM it had cleared up. We stopped at Gambo, home of Joey R. Smallwood, where there was a roadside rest stop with a nice view of the town below. We were able to get a sausage and a cold drink from a fellow who had a BBQ setup there. While we were having lunch a guy from Toronto who was touring with his two children came over and asked if he could take our picture with his two children. He was so impressed with our bikes loaded down with all our panniers and the fact that we were cycling across Canada. We got caught in the rain again before arriving at our destination which was the Splash 'N Putt in Glovertown. It was right on the TCH. We arrived at 1:30 PM very tired, sweaty and dehydrated. The sun had come out again and the water slide was doing a great business. Bev went into the convenience store and got a couple of cold drinks for us. We had originally planned to spend the night camping but my shoulder was to sore to go on. Instead we decided to rent a cabin for the night at $159 plus taxes. We unloaded our bikes and put them on the porch. Bev hit her lip on her T-bar when moving her bike. I showered and lay down for a nap before walking back to the Mary Brown's fast food restaurant for dinner. I had pulled chicken on a bun, wedge fries, coleslaw and a diet Pepsi. Bev had chicken strips, etc. We watched the kids sliding on the water slide and playing mini putt. For dessert I had ice cream, Bev was to full and abstained. we returned to our cabin in the woods and watched TV. There was no Wi-Fi and only 3 channels to choose from on TV. We were off to bed at 10:00 PM. A truck went by at 10:30 and deliberately leaned on his air horn just to remind me that we still had a few more days to go before getting to St. John's.
Home (Ottawa, ON) - Wednesday, August 7. 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

CCCT Part II - Gander, NL

Monday, July 22 to Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - Rest Days 1-3
Or visiting days as Bev preferred to call them. Her main concern was to visit all her friends and former colleagues that she worked with at WalMart. Also, she needed to see a manicurist to have a pedicure as the ingrown nail on her big toe was causing her a lot of discomfort. Bev went off to a nearby Nail Salon after breakfast so I went out to the shed and after doing a bit of cleaning up I started changing Bev's rear tire. Her front tire was showing signs of wear and tear so my plan was to put her new spare tire on her rear wheel and to put her slightly used rear tire on her front wheel and keep the old front tire as a spare. I was able to remove the rear tire and put the new tire on without any trouble but when it came to removing the front tire it turned out to be rather difficult to remove. I managed to break the tip off of one of my plastic tire levers so I had to go to plan B and use a screwdriver. Marilyn was able to locate a flat bladed one but that wasn't enough to get this stubborn beast of a tire off. I had to go to the next door neighbours and borrow a second flat blade screwdriver. Finally I was able to get the tire off. That has got to be the most difficult bicycle tire I've ever had to deal with. The old rear tire went on the front wheel without any problems. After getting both tires pumped up to the proper psi I wiped down and oiled the chains.
While I was working on the bikes in the shed, Lawrence who cuts the grass for Marilyn, came by. He was quite surprised to see me beavering away in Marilyn's shed. I explained that Bev and I were visiting and would be going on to St John's in a few days to complete our Cross Canada Cycling Tour. He was quite impressed but still a bit dubious about my being in the shed. He went over to the house to check with Marilyn if all was OK. He came back a few minutes later and got the lawnmower out to went about the business of cutting the lawn.
Bev wasn't able to get her ingrown toe nail dealt with so went on to WalMart to say hello to all her former colleagues. She returned in time for lunch. In the meantime one of the Nail Salons had called and had a spot for Bev at 1:30 due to a cancellation. After lunch she left again to get her big toe taken care of. She was only able to get her big toe seen to and was soon back home.
While in Gander Bev also wanted to sort through all the stuff she had left in storage with Marilyn. She brought up on storage box from the basement filled with old photos, etc. She soon decided that it would be far to expensive to send everything she wanted to keep back home to Ottawa by Canada Post.
Tuesday we went for a ride on our bikes to visit more of Bev's friends. Edith wasn't home so we went by Guy's place and stopped in for a chat. Next we cycled over to Walt and Ginny's. When I mentioned that I worked for Foreign Affairs before retiring in 2001 they said they knew a Pam Saunders from Gander who worked for Foreign Affairs. What a coincidence!!! I worked with Pam and her husband Colin Suter in Bonn, Germany between 1994-97. Walt, who is heavily into photography, showed me his picture framing/photo editing studio. Wow, it was very impressive and to die for. He took several photos of Bev and I and our bikes.
On Wednesday I went on-line and booked our return home flights from St John's to Ottawa with WestJet. We are scheduled to leave on Wednesday, July 31st, at 12:35 PM and arrive in Ottawa same day at 5:00 PM. Bev also called a bike shop in St John's to inquire about bike boxes that we would need for packing our bikes in for shipping back to Ottawa. She had dealt with Earl's Bike Shop in the past and the owner assured us he would keep a couple of extra large bike boxes aside for us.
Did some packing in preparation for an early morning departure.
Chez Mike and Krista's, St. John's, NL

Monday, July 22, 2013

CCCT Part II - Appleton to Gander, NL

Sunday, July 21, 2013 - Day 38
I got up at 1:30 AM and put ear plugs in but still couldn't get to sleep because of the noisy celebration going on across the river. Something to do with Salmon Fest. Dan was up at 7:30 AM and gave us a shout that coffee was ready. We got up at 8:00 AM. I had a decaf coffee that Millie prepared for me besides blueberry pancakes for breakfast. Derek and Dan were still telling stories out on the deck. Eventually Dan and Donnie left to go fly fishing. This time they were going to use the boat to go to a more sheltered spot and hopefully have better luck. We packed up our gear, loaded up our bikes, said our goodbyes, thanked Millie for her hospitality and left for Gander at 10:00 AM. Derek, who was also all packed up and ready to leave, joined us. He needed to stop in Gander to get a broken spoke replaced in his rear wheel. We cycled to Marilyn's place and Derek went on to Sport Check where he hoped to get his bike repairs done. There was no one home but Bev had a key so we were able to let ourselves in. She got the key for the shed and we put our bikes inside after removing our bags which had our clothing in them. We had some fig bars and "one bite" Brownies while waiting for Marilyn and her daughter, Karla, to return from shopping. They were not surprised to see us when they returned at 1:30 PM. We chatted for awhile then I went up and had a nap at 3:30 PM. When I got up at 5:00 PM Bev and I walked to the nearby WalMart and got a clothesline clamp, etc. When we got back Bev noticed there was a hole in the bottom of the plastic bag and that the clamp was missing. After calling WalMart and confirming that the clamp was still on the check out counter she returned to pick it up. In the meantime Karla had prepared rice and green pepper, onion, and mushroom steak for dinner. We had carrot cream cheese muffins and tea afterwards. Bev went over to the neighbours across the street to borrow a ladder so we could put up a new clothes line to replace the old one that had snapped. Two fellas came over with a ladder and fixed the line. It only took them about 15 minutes. I cleaned up the old line. They asked me if  I knew anything about fixing motorcycles as they were having problems with theirs. I suggested they check the carburetor, the gas line, the electrical ground, etc since I had had similar problems with my 1965 Triumph Spitfire. We watched TV news and I updated my journal. Setup the Notebook and connected to Wi-Fi once I got the Network Key from Karla. Checked e-mail/FB and soon it was time to go off to bed at 10:00 PM.
Chez Marilyn and Karla Turner, Gander, NL

CCCT Part II - Bishop's Falls to Appleton, NL

Saturday, July 20, 2013 - Day 37
We both had a good night's rest and were up at 7:00 AM. I got up during the night to close the window and check on our bikes which we left locked up outside our room. It was raining but the bikes were OK. We had buns with peanut butter and banana and juice for breakfast which Bev prepared while I did some packing. We set off for Appleton at 8:20 AM. It was overcast, cool and windy. I counted 10 hills on the way so we managed to work up a good sweat going up the hills then we would freeze coming down the hills! We only stopped twice! Once for Bev who needed to use the great outdoors and once for a snack. We arrived in Appleton at Millie and Dan's place at 11:30 thanks to a nice tailwind. Millie was busy cleaning 5th wheel where we would be "camping" for the night. After putting our bikes in the rather large garage we went in the house for tea and a sandwich. Millie's daughter, husband and 2 children were also visiting. We put our bags in the trailer and went for a walk down to the Gander River which flowed past the back yard. We saw several fly fishermen trying to catch salmon. I took some photos. Millie and grand daughter went for a walk to the beach. I was able to get the Network Key from daughter and set up Notebook on Wi-Fi in trailer. We checked our e-mail, Gmail and FB. Bev went for a walk with the girls while I lay down for a nap at 3:40. I got up at 5:00 just as Bev and the girls returned from their walk. Bev went in the house for a shower. Dan and Donnie (son-in-law) returned from fly fishing. According to Dan it was to windy and when they started hooking each other they figured it was time to give up since they weren't having any luck catching any fish. We drove to OKs Cafe for dinner where we met Derek from Peterborough. He was also cycling to St Johns having started from Yukon last year. We had a chat with him before going in for dinner. Mom and Dad had to take Victoria back home as she was not feeling well. She was having a nasty reaction to a bite on her arm which was quite swollen. I had fish 'n chips and coleslaw and diet coke and ice cream afterwards. Dan treated us. He invited Derek back home to camp in his back yard. We drove around Appleton and returned home and sat out on the deck and swapped stories. Bev and I slept in the 5th wheel. It was very noisy due to celebration across the river which went on until 3:00 AM. I was not amused!!!
Marilyn and Karla Tucker's, Gander, NL