My first time to Newfoundland

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by theshnizzle, Sep 28, 2021.

  1. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    One of the roads I took was a deadend...of course. I passed a guy standing in front of a house talking to another guy on my way in,who looked at me when I went by probably thiking to himself.." do she know the road ends up ahead'?...and I stopped for a chat on my return.

    Remember I said I had a struggle about which route to take up to Twillingate? Well, I had decided that I was going to ride down to Clarke's Head and over to New Wes-Valley and back.

    The rider, Vic, was quite eager to ride with me after our half hour chat at the side of the road and was lamenting that we hadn't met earlier, he said several times he would have loved showing me around. I would have loved that too!

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    As I headed towards my destination, the sky got darker and darker and I decided to head back to camp. I got there just as the sky opened up. There was enough daylight left to mostly dry everythig out and I settled in for the rest of the time with a crackling fire,and my book.

    I decided the next day would be a rest day. I hung around the campground, went for a hike or two, a long shower, lesurely cuppa tea, read my book,had a nap, not to much of anything.

    There was another brief but heavy rain later in the afternoon. One of my walks to the bathroom, a couple was sitting outside thier camper and I said hello and stopped for a brief chat.

    They, being Newfoundlanders, invited me for dinner, having some steak,potato salad, lasagna, rolls and various tasty items,would I like to stay?

    Why yes i would!!

    We have a lovely time chatting and I enjoyed thier hospitality. There is a saying they repeated to me..." Theres always room for one more at the table".

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    Tony and.....grrrr....I have forgotton her name which is terrible. I actually have it written down somewhere. Before I left, she presented me with a handknit beanie..taking me completley by suprise, I was so grateful for their generosity and unexpected gift. Thank you so much!

    The weather report was calling for rain later in the evening and overnight. The wind was picking up and it was time to re-hink my campsite. BTY, I forgot to mention the tent pegs were a bitch to secure, they were pratically horizontal in the ground and I still had to put rocks over top of my tarp pegs.

    The wind was coming straight off the water and I decided to move my tent and tarp as the tarp was really moving around and it was difficult to keep it tight.

    I needed to get the whole setup out of the wind and lower the tarp down and tie it off to at least a couple of trees. The ground behind the firepit was softer and easier to peg in.

    Everything was soaked in the am. Takes sooooo much longer to pack up. I kept wipeing and wringing out, wipeing and wringing. I HATE camping in the rain.

    I got a early start bidding a sad farewell to my campsite. Today was gong to be one ride to Port-Aux-Basque. Slowly the sun started to come out and the mist started to lift.

    At a Robins, I contacted my good friend Omar,who as some of you know, had a terrible collusion in NFLD that took the life of his wife and left him with permanent injuries, they had a friend with them who also was involved.

    I thought I might stop and pay my respects at the crash site. I left and heading out onto the t-can. I approched a intersection with turning traffic with a stop sign. I was going a indicated 120k. I see a car stop,then make the left, the car behind him, briefly stops, then goes...did he not see me,underestimate my speed, didn't care?.....I realize with shock that I am about to have a extremely serious incident at a pretty good speed.

    The best I can do is try to shed some speed,I go for the brakes, being mindful to not just wildly grab the levers but to try and control it. The tires were HOWLING, the bars shaking,the whole bike was protesting and squirming and we miraculously avoided each other. I have no idea how that happened. Inches. It was by inches.
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    I keep on going but quckly realized that I had to pull over and collect myself. Once I got off the bike, I burst into tears,as I bent over with my head in my hands. It was an emotinal release, my cry lasted about 10 seconds. I don't have close calls. I don't ride with every corner or intersection becoming a will I or won't I survive this. I am even more conservative while touring snce I am alone and would have to depend on strangers to help me if things went sideways.

    I stayed pulled over for about 10 minutes,then finall felt ok enough to ride. Shortly after I resumed my ride I had a overwh elming need to pull over and have a nap.

    For the remainder of the trip and even now, at home, I find myself approching busy intersections and I have a tightening in my lower belly, a trepadation I never had before. Not a bad thing, extra awareness at any intersection just makes sense.

    Frankly, I take responsibility for that whole thing, I had become complacent,the droning of the bike, the coffe and donut sitting heavy in my stomach, I should have been more alert.

    The driver was also complicit but I take full responsibility. It's our job to take care of ourselves on the bike, no one else's.

    After that event, I wasn't comfortable visiting the site of my friends crash and kept going. I just wanted to get to my destination now.

    I finally arrived at J.T Cheeseman provincial park. Another nice site and the staff there were fantastc, as usual. I got there later in the day and spent the rest of my time setting up.
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    #21
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  2. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    the family across from me had puled in set up and were now BBQing. Dear god....days of ham and cheese wraps were taking its toll....of course they invited me over for dinner! I find people are quite curious about riders at campgrounds and female solo riders are even more of an anomaly. I am happy to tell a few tales for a hot meal!

    The next day was spent exploring Port-aux-Basque, picking up some trinkets, going to the grocery store and riding out to Rose Blanche. I LOVED the ride out to RB. Thanks Sober Joe for insisting I do it. :nomystery

    The road was twisty,very scenic but parts very choppy. I pulled over to take some pics. A car pulled up, the window comes down and the driver leans out and says with a heavy accent..and fast!.."I saw ya there,me love, with ye boik and I turned around and came back to see if ye wanted a picture of you and yer boik,woulda ye like me to take a picture of ye,me love'?

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    THEN he goes on to say....fast!...."I lives in Rose Blanche but i'm head'n ita town fer some groceries,but lemme tell ye, my house is the third one down from the post office( or something) and ye can go up onta my deck and take all kinds a pictures,ya get a good view all around, just go on up there,takes all the times ya need,"
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    I never did get his name.

    Up the road to the RB lighthouse. I really enjoyed that. I even paid the six bucks for the lighthouse. The walk out to the lighthouse wasn't to long ,there were informative placards to read along the way, the lighthouse itself was very interesting,and the views spectacular.
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    Can you imagine what this must have been like those long cold months?
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    #22
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  3. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    Now some more pics of the ride in and out to RB. Oh...remmber the knit hat given to me by the lady at the Dildo Run campground? I forgot she had asked for a pic of me and the bike so I asked someone at the lighthouse to take a pic of me but instead of my helmet I wore the hat, I thought she would enjoy that.
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    some random pics now....
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    20210827_080016.jpg absolutley delightful.

    These were several painted rocks on the rod to RB.
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    #23
  4. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    In my opinion, a ride to Rose Blanche is a must do and I think it's a fantastic way to say Hello or Goodbye to your Newfoundland adventure.
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    I had been checking the weather and it was calling for heavy downpours overnight. Ughh....I was leaving for the boat the next morning. When I had arrived at the campground, my tarp was saturated from the rain at Dildo Run, I had neglected to at least put it into a plastic bag before I stored it into my panniers,and when I unloaded at the PP at PAB, there was a puddle in the bottom of my bag.

    My sleep bag was wet, the tarp, of course, my pillow,my sleep pad...I HATE camping in the rain! With the upcoming weather I walked the campground looking for somewhere,anywhere,where I could park myself underneath something for the night. A lean to? A picnic shelter? A wood shed? I'm not particular, I just really didn't want to pack everything up in the am soaking wet again.

    The park warden and I hatched a plan where I would just sleep under the overhang at the bathrooms.....until she said.." Why don't you sleep in the bathroom?". There was three bathrooms available, mens,ladies and wheelchair. so...I set up on the floor of the wheelchair bathroom.

    I packed up my camp, set up my chair, read my book and waited for the campground to go to sleep so I could slide into the bathroom unoticed. And be out again early before the camp awoke.

    it was kinda like being in a cell at work, the light never went off and the fan didn't either. but I was warm and dry...I DID say I wasn't particular.....
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    #24
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  5. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    It was drizzly and wet in the am and I was glad I had almost no packing up to do. The mosquitos were deadly! I had some time to kill before boarding so want to know what I did? I rode out to Rose Blanche again.! It's a Hello and a Goodbye...

    Visibilty was drastically reduced due to fog but it blanketed the landscape giving me a almost magical ride there and back.

    Time to ride to the ferry and get ready to board. Goodbye Newfoundland! You were not what I expected and much,much more than I had hoped.

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    I was much better prepared this time for boarding and I chatted with another rider for quite a while...another biker gang guy, let's just say the club name starts with a B and ends with a US. I have a pic that I am not posting. LoL. He helped me strap and unstrap the bike alhough I didn't really NEED help, I was a pro already!
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    I found the trip back long,longer than going there but the end of my adventure was very near so it's all perspective. I had only one movie left to watch, I had downloaded a bunch but they didn't transfer....I sure hoped everyone who walked past me on the way to the bathroom enjoyed the dialogue from Wolf of Wall Street. The yacht scene is always entertaining. Apologies to all those who were offended. LoL.

    Since the boat arrived at 18.00 hours, I got a motel room in North Sydney. I waffled on that, but I didn't want to start my ride down and have it get dark and not be able to find a room somewhere and I wasnt interested in setting up camp so late.

    I do not recommend The Highland Motel in North Sydney....unless there are no there options. The room was musty, and there were iles of soiled towels on every chair in front of the rooms. And bags of garbage. 20210828_063516.jpg
    In the am I seemed to have not been paying attention on how to get onto the main road south. I think I took 223 down. It was terrific, no one on the road,it hugged the water and there was a bonus ferry ride at the end.
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    I arrived in Perth-Andover and decided to call it a day. I had ridden from North Sydney and I was feeling pretty good, I was sure I could have made Edmunston but decided not to take the chance in case I couldn't find a camping spot at Republique PP or a cheap motel room. I stayed at the 2 star Fort road motel. I recommend and I will tell you why.

    When I rode up and went into the office, without me asking, she started a verbal dialogue with herself." she is on a bike so she will want a ground floor room, then she can park the bike right outside the door,so I will move this reservation upstairs', looked up at me and said, 'you will probably want a good sized room to spread all your gear out"....it may have been rated as a two star motel but I got 5 star service. It was $70.00, seniors discount. LoL.

    Bonus for having a grocery store across the street. The room was huge and clean.
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    #25
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  6. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    here are my pics of my map,folded,and unfolded and folded again, some notes,ect. Not everything is on there, but hopefully you can read something from it.
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    This is the first time I wrote on a map, I felt like I was doing something bad, I hold paper maps in high esteem. The map issued by the Gov't of NFLD is very good, as is the travel book, albeit somewhat thick and heavy to drag around on a motorcycle. And the map is huge, pick up several since they will have to be folded into tiny little tankbag squares. I mean, if you still do that kind of thing....

    Some things I learned, some which I already covered but let's do a review and a sum up....
    #26
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  7. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    Make a list of what you will take from your bike on the ferry before you leave home. Organize it while you are in line waiting to board. If you can, take a small mat to sleep on if you are on the long boat. Again, I was very suprised to see I appeared to be the only one using a mat on the floor.

    take a small cooler on board,you can re-supply in NS, then you have food for the ride over. No lines for you to wait in and you are eating and drinking more healthfully....and much cheaper!

    I left all my gear, suit,helmet,boots just slung over my bike on the ferry. I wasn't worried about security. They have cameras but that's not helpful if someone is long gone with your gear. Not that I think nyone is going to take it anyway. I would rather have faith in people.

    I took a little bit to many clothes. Just a bit. One to many pairs of pants. A couple of days I wore everything I brought. I got the most use out of my lightweight zip up rainjacket and a thin thermal layer. Next time I will bring a extra thin thermal layer and one less pant. I also could have done with one less pair of socks and one less underwear. hey! It all adds up!

    I brought my Keen sandals, that I wore once ,they got wet and took forever to dry. They will stay home next time. For shoes, I brought a lightweight pair of Addidas knit shoes. Lightweight, squishable and comfortable.

    I brought a Airhawk seat pad and my sheepie seat pad. Pick one only next time. If I have to change from stock seat, to sheepie seat to airhawk seat, my riding day is way to long. Time to get off the bike.

    I didn't bring my shortie hammer for tent pegs. I needed it. I was glad for the disposible gloves I always pack for taking down camp, keeps my hands dry and clean instead of wet/sandy/sticky/pine needly/cold and now good for strapping down the bike.

    I brought way to many maps and then picked up more enroute. I can't help it though, I'm a map fanatic. I must practice better map self control.

    I'm sure there are more than a few things I am missing.

    Highlights for my trip were....St.Mary's Ecological bird preserve. Tickle Cove. Rose Blanche. I'm sure there were more, of course there was, it's Newfoundland, EVERYTHING is a highlight, and others will have different things that appealed to them and i'm sure a few will chime in to say that I missed this or that and my trip wasn't " complete" because of missing this or that, I was very satisfied with my trip.

    There were a few things I wish I had done, but nothing I am staying awake at night about. I covered pretty much everything I wanted and my next trip I will be exploring the west side and the Baie Verte pennisula.

    Well, thats about it. I don't have a catchy title name to draw interest to my ride report, it's not sexy or breathlessly exciting. it was just....My first time to Newfoundland....thanks for coming along with me!!
    #27
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  8. mark2wheeler

    mark2wheeler Adventurer

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    I enjoyed reading this and like a lot of folks I'll say...maybe I can go someday.Thanks for your effort
    #28
  9. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

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    thx for posting!
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  10. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

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    Thank you very much! Interesting and entertaining!!
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  11. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Thanks for posting and taking us along. Great report and pics.
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  12. River Rat

    River Rat Greybeard Supporter

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    Yet more beautiful country, great rr, thanks for sharing
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  13. BigMule

    BigMule Adventurer Supporter

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    Here is my question…..what month or when did you do this trip. Great report…..thank you for all of the pictures and great detail!!
    #33
  14. dmcharley

    dmcharley Adventurer

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    Great RR, Thanks for sharing
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  15. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    ,,I went mid to late August. My boat back was the 29th I think or around there.
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  16. yankeeone

    yankeeone Been here awhile

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    Nice writeup !
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  17. Fortech

    Fortech Been here awhile

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    Thanks for sharing. I was born and raised in NL but have been spending most of the last 3.5 years in British Columbia. I enjoy reading the RR’s, viewing the photo’s, and hearing about the most memorable parts of the trip from the authors point of view.

    I am surprised that the rooster adjacent to Dildo Run PP didn’t get an honourable mention in your RR. He has been mentioned by many but maybe 2021 isn’t his year.
    #37
  18. soberjoe

    soberjoe Been here awhile

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    I’m so happy that you got to experience Rose Blanche - it is an ethereal part of this little blue marble that we all call home.
    #38
  19. soberjoe

    soberjoe Been here awhile

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    Oh, and by the way - I call ‘shotgun’ on the return to the Rock
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  20. Bobbrecken

    Bobbrecken Been here awhile

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    We spent a week in St. Johns on a maritime tour and it was the highlight of the tour with the greatest people you could ever meet.
    #40