Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Mtl_Biker, Aug 26, 2014.
Yes, we certainly do have our own special challenges, don't we?
Hey Darren and Jett!!!!
Great to see you! How was the rest of your trip?
There will be some photos of you in the next installment of my trip, hopefully later today (but work is getting in the way).
Day 7, Thursday.
What a wonderful night it had been! A strong wind gently shook the tent (I had it well staked down and guyd out) and that was almost like a lullaby, and best of all there was no rain overnight. In the morning there was a wet mist in the air and a bit of a fog as I packed up my gear.
I was still searching for my missing iPhone and I emptied my left pannier (the one in which I keep bike stuff and my tripod - not more personal stuff like an iPhone - and couldnt find it. I tried playing music again through my Sena headset and it didnt work this time. That meant one of two things: Either the iPhone was not in range, or it was, and the battery was dead. As I packed up my right pannier, I dont know what caused me to do it, but I put my hand into one of the running shoes I kept at the top of everything. The phone was there! How it had gotten into the shoe will remain a mystery, but it had gotten wedged into the toe area of the shoe and and wasnt at all visible when looking at the shoe. And Id moved those running shoes aside several times already in my search for the phone and I didnt detect the extra weight or see the phone. But Im lucky I found it.
I rode down that hiking trail and in the light of day I was again surprised that Id had the courage to ride up in the first place. In the small town of Twillingate I took a couple of photos and then had breakfast at the R & J Family Restaurant. Nothing special.
The sky looked dark and threatening (what else is new?) so after breakfast I put on my rain gear just in case. It was also fairly cool, so if there wasnt any rain, the gear would help to keep me warm.
Sure enough, as I neared the Trans Canada Highway, the rain started up again. Sometimes light, sometimes heavy. Not quite as much fun as a barrel of monkeys.
Without incident, I made it back to Corner Brook and a Tim Hortons, both to warm up with a hot coffee and to use their WiFi. My iPhone had been charging while I was riding, so it was ready for use. I texted a friend of mine back in Montreal who I thought had stayed in Corner Brook before and liked it, to see what recommendations he might have for a place to stay. I wasnt going to be camping again that night. All my gear was wet including what was in (cloth) bags inside my panniers. My boots and helmet are starting to smell (bad). I really needed a solid roof over my head and the chance to dry things out.
It turned out that my friend hadnt actually stayed in Corner Brook at all, but since I had no cell service and the WiFi was poor, he was trying to make a reservation on my behalf. (Terrific friend!) The first choice - I think it was a Comfort Inn - was totally booked (probably due to the bad weather) and they suggested another place not too far away. As my friend was trying to book a room, I was able to Google the hotel and found it had really awful reviews. No way I wanted to stay there! I quickly texted my friend back and he said hed just discovered the same thing. I finally decided just to wing it
I had the name and address of a B&B in Corner Brook, but no phone number. It had gotten really good reviews and with nothing to loose, I decided to plot a course there. If they were full up, well, Id find something, somewhere, and as a last resort Id camp again although I really didnt want to.
On the Trans-Canada Highway, nearing Corner Brook
As luck would have it, the B&B turned out to be spectacular and they had one remaining room left. It was the Garden Hill Inn, at 2 Ford's Road in Corner Brook (709-634-1150). The place was immaculate, and modern. Each room had its own private bathroom and the floors were so shiny that they were almost mirrors. I think they had 9 rooms, which really classifies the place as more of an Inn than a B&B. The owners had just bought the place the previous year and spent months gutting the place and renovating. It was absolutely spectacular! From what I saw and heard from others, this is THE place to stay in Corner Brook. Carrie and Bill Dennis were outstanding hosts. I could not have wished for anything better in any regard. My room was terrific and the private bathroom was great.
Here's the upstairs hallway, with "library" on the left:
I unloaded my gear, and settled in. The rain had stopped but it still looked like there would be more rain. I wanted a really good meal (preferably seafood) and good local beer. Bill suggested I have dinner in Gitanos, which was about 3km away. I was certainly going to do a little drinking (maybe more than a little) and I really didn't want to be riding the bike. Besides, I needed to wear something more comfortable than my protective riding gear. Bill said I couldn't walk there because there was a limited access road in the way and it would be difficult to cross on foot. He suggested a taxi, which would cost a maximum of $5. So he called a taxi for me when I was ready to leave for dinner.
One of the first things the taxi driver asked me was if I was familiar with the city. Like a dummy I replied that it was my first visit and I didn't know the city. That gave the jerk a green light to make a long detour in the wrong direction, I'm convinced to build up the fare. The cost was $12.75... $15 with the tip. Bill says I was really taken advantage of. I got to Gitanos, which was totally empty of clients and there was one waitress there. I asked if they had any local beers on tap and the answer was no they didn't. (First strike!) I told her I'd been riding a motorcycle all day in the rain and that I desperately needed my reward of a good cold local beer (even if in a bottle). It took her almost 15 minutes to bring me that first beer, and I actually had to get up two times and walk over to her and say that I really REALLY wanted that beer NOW. I also ordered an appetizer (some kind of tapas dish, not seafood - this was also more of a steak place it seemed). As I waited for my appetizer, two other couples entered and were shown to tables. So now the waitress had three tables to look after (still less than a quarter full).
Here I am with that first beer, that FINALLY was served:
Anyway, the bottom line is that the service was absolutely the worst I have ever experienced and I left before I'd even ordered a main course. The waitress finally said to me that she was having a really bad day and that's why the service was bad. Geez, if her day was so bad, she shouldn't have come to work!! I don't remember that I have EVER left a restaurant without leaving a tip, but that's what I did this time. I absolutely do NOT recommend you go to Gitanos.
I didn't see any taxis outside and also didn't have any cell service so I started walking. My phone is on Rogers/Fido and they have almost non-existent phone service there. My iPad is on Bell, and there is service, but of course that's not a phone. I used Google Maps, in walking mode, to direct me back to the B&B and it really wasn't a bad walk at all. Luckily it wasn't raining.
I was still hungry though. Close to the B&B was a small strip mall with a Tim Horton's and some kind of local chain of fried chicken restaurants. No beer. Where can I get a beer? The gas station convenience store across the street. I walked over and found they absolutely positively would not sell me anything less than a 6-pack of beer, and all I really wanted was a bottle or two of something local to try. So without beer, I went back and ordered a chicken dinner that I took back to my room and ate. Not at all the kind of reward dinner and drinks I'd been looking forward to all day.
I went to sleep and had a great sleep in that clean and airy room and comfortable bed.
Great RR, I look forward to it each day.
This looks like it could be a great ride report! The pictures are great... But I can't read it! The dark background with light font gives me a headache if I read it too long, so I switched skins to the more standard forum colors of a light background with dark letters. If you don't change the font color, the forum software will change the font accordingly for those of us who have different skins. If you specify a font color, than it shows up like this to me:
I'm not sure if you were aware of this. Usually I just pass by ride reports in font colors I can't read. However, this one looks like a great one, so I figured I'd mention this to you.
I have experienced the same issue from the different side when trying to paste my blog entries to ADVrider. I have to set the text color manually, which would in turn create the problems you are experiencing. White on black is non-standard and creates a lot of headaches, both virtual and physical ones. I wish ADVrider would abandon that default scheme.
That's pretty cool! Thanks for letting me know. I'm glad you're enjoying it.
No, I wasn't aware of it. Thank you for letting me know, but I'm not sure I'll be able to do anything about it. (I'd appreciate suggestions.) To me the report looks like all other reports, other than those very few where someone has used a weird font color.
Are you saying that you are using something OTHER than the default colors here? Is that why my messages look different than others to you?
I'd never done this before, but for this trip I was using Evernote on my iPad to record daily notes about the trip. Then back home I continued to use Evernote to finalize each day's report. In Evernote the text was black and the background white (default settings).
When I selected and copied my text to the clipboard and then pasted it into a message post here, I was very surprised to see the text was black on a very dark gray background, making it almost impossible to read. So I selected all the text in the message editor here, and changed the text color to white. That made my posts appear exactly like all others here.
If you or someone else could suggest what I should have done instead, I'm all ears. Of course I want my posts easily readable by everyone!
That's exactly the problem I've been having!
Okay, I've just tested and found how to solve the problem. (Thanks guys for pointing the issue out to me!)
INSTEAD of using the "A" text tool to change the text color, what I should have done was to select the text and then click on the crossed-out AA that's the first icon at the top left of the edit box... that's "Remove Text Formatting". And that changes the text back to completely normal so it SHOULD work correctly even if someone is using a non-default skin.
I'm going back to my previous posts (those I can still edit) and change that.
I never realized that you could copy and paste text formatted text to this forum. I always thought that everyone with light font like this actually took the time to change the color. I guess that makes sense why so many people have their font colors changed.
You should be able to edit any and all of your posts. I can still edit my posts from years ago.
Thanks for taking the time to edit your posts for our enjoyment!
Awesome Eldor, thanks for figuring that out. Knowing I can do that with the addition to being able to edit my posts indefinitely I can now copy everything from my blog here.
BTW, I got the "I survived the Trans Labrador Highway" stickers in the mail last night - thank you very much indeed!
I'm having trouble editing my posts... where should I go for help?
I edited all UP TO my Day 5 Page 3 post, and when I click the edit button on that post, I end up with a totally blanks edit box. No text at all. Even when I click on "Go Advanced" the edit box is empty.
I had no problem doing this with posts up to that point.
I logged off, shut down and restarted, just in case that would help. Same problem.
I tried the Day 6 post, and again could not see any text at all. And it's not that it's in a different color (I tried selecting all)... it's just not there.
Anyone have any ideas?
Hmmmmm, I'm not sure.
One way to do it would be to copy and paste the text from your unedited post. That should be pasted unformatted. However, if you did it that way, you'd have to copy and paste each individual photo, which would be a pain in the ass...
I'm unable to edit my Day 5, 6 or 7 posts. When I select Edit on the message, I get a totally blank text editing box. Earlier posts in this same thread I was able to edit just fine to remove the text formatting.
It was pouring rain in the morning so I just lazed around most of the morning, glad I didn't have to ride in this weather. I also made the decision to spend a second night here.
At noon the rain had stopped and the sun even came out briefly. I went out to check the bike and found my tires both low. I took out my pump and when I turned the ignition key to the on position, I was surprised that the bike started immediately without my having pressed the start button. Strange. I filled up the front tire and then switched the pump to the rear (which seemed to be loosing about 4 lbs per day). Nothing happened. I wiggled the connections and still nothing. I'd have to check this out a little later to see if it was the pump, the cigarette plug adapter or the accessory outlet itself. Bill, the owner of the B&B and an avid bicyclist and tri-athlete came by with a large bicycle tire pump and I pumped up the rear tire.
I checked the weather forecast and to my dismay they were still calling for about 50mm of rain!!!!!!!!!
But for now the rain had stopped, and wanting to take advantage I suited up and headed out for a short ride to Lark Harbour on the Bay of Islands west of Corner Brook. I'd heard there was a good restaurant there right on the harbour. When I turned the key the bike started again so I shut it down and flicked the starter switch a few times from stop to start. Then when I turned the key all was normal again.
I stopped to gas up just about 5 km into my ride and again that switch was acting up. I decided that my chain really needed a lube job badly because of the abuse of the TLH and riding in heavy rain. I'd been trying to do that every 500 km or so. I tried to get the bike onto the center stand and with the luggage and a full tank if gas, I just couldn't manage. (At the B&B, I'd left my camping stuff loaded on the bike and only removed the personal stuff I'd need in my room, so the bike was still pretty heavily loaded.) A young man was coming out of the convience store and I asked him for a hand and he was kind enough to do so. He waited while I lubed the chain and then just in case stood by as I lowered the bike from the center stand. The chain was in bad shape though and will have to be replaced by the time I get home (I hope not earlier).
The road to Lark Harbour was nice to ride and luckily I didn't see any police. There were a few slow cars but I was able to pass them quickly and safely in short stretches where cars just wouldn't have been fast enough to pass safely.
Marlene' Tidewatchers Cafe was just as described to me. Quaint, picturesque, good food, friendly service. I ordered a "Salomon Gundy", something I'd never heard of before and a crab sandwich and Newfoundland beer. The Salomon Gundy turned out to be just marinated herring, and it was overly salty and I didn't enjoy it. But the beer was great! And the atmosphere made up for the Salomon Gundy.
As I was finishing lunch we started hearing claps of thunder which were pretty strong. Better skip dessert (sigh) and head back. Just in case, I suited up with my rain gear minus the over-gloves. I still hoped to take some photos while riding and with the bulky 3-finger over-gloves I can't operate the camera.
I made it back to Corner Brook and in spite of the sky looking very threatening, the rain had held off. Now I wanted to find a liquor store (had to buy some gift bottles of Screech) and as luck would have it, just as I pulled off the road into a mall another rider was about to leave. I waved at him asking to hold on a minute. We met up and he was riding a BMW what looked like an F650GS.
We chatted for a little bit (he was pressed for time) and he gave me directions to a liquor store. Thanks! (Sorry that I didn't write down his name.)
I got my Screech and as I was leaving the store the sky was black and there was loud thunder and lightning close by. Still no rain but people were standing under the roof overhang looking up at the sky. I got on my bike and the moment I started to roll the sky opened up and I was drenched as if by a fire hydrant! And I was only about 3 km from the B&B!
The rain was really heavy, but not any worse than I'd been having every day. From the shelter of the veranda of the B&B:
So after getting my clothes and bike washed, thanks to the rain, I settled in my room at the B&B for a couple of hours and caught up with things thanks to the free WiFi. Then, because dinner was a disaster the night before, I decided that I wouldn't take any chances... I'd go with what I knew to be good. I'd had two good meals (and great beer) at an east coast sports bar chain called Jungle Jim's. First in Labrador City, and then in Happy Valley Goose Bay with Vlad. There was a Jungle Jim's in Corner Brook. I asked Bill about it, and even though the distance was only about 4km, he said I couldn't walk there because it was on the "old" Trans Canada Highway and it still was a road without sidewalks and pretty fast moving traffic. He kinda felt bad for my being taken advantage of the night before by that taxi driver, and he insisted on driving me to Jungle Jim's. I could call him when I was finished, or take a taxi back. Real nice guy! He let me off at the door and there was a small lineup of people waiting for tables.
The waitress looked at me and asked, "How many?". I said just me, and she kinda rolled her eyes and said that a table for one would be AT LEAST a 30 minute wait, and PROBABLY even longer. She made it very clear that they didn't want to "waste" (my words) a table on just one person when they could fill it with two to four and get more return. She asked if I would like to sit at the bar. No problem I replied, and she led me to the bar and gave me a menu.
I don't know about the rest of you, but for me one of the pleasures I look forward to when touring, especially long distances and especially when going through bad weather, is a really tasty meal, good beer (sometimes wine) and good service. I was hoping for all of that here. But alas, by my watch I was there for 14 minutes, desperate for a good cold beer, and NOT ONE of the THREE bar staff even acknowledged my presence. Not a nod, not a wave, not a hello, not a word that they'd be right with me. Nothing. Nada. I felt like the invisible man. Not good. I own a retail business and often our staff are busy helping other clients and cannot immediately help someone else, but I make sure that they acknowledge every client who comes in the door, and let them know they've been seen, welcomed, and that someone will be with them as soon as possible. That's what I expected at Jungle Jim's. And didn't get. So after that 14 minutes, I simply got up and left.
Middle of nowhere, along a pretty busy road, and I started walking along the shoulder, moving further away from the road as cars approached. I walked and walked (actually only about 4km, no big deal) and it helped me de-stress. I got back to the mall close to the B&B and saw a Canadian Tire store. I went in and bought their least expensive air compressor to replace the one I'd been carrying that wasn't working. I also saw a pizza place called Pizza Delight:
I went in, was seated promptly and enjoyed very good service, local beer (in a bottle) and a great appetizer followed by a "Donair" burger (which nobody was able to tell me what it was). The burger wasn't great, but all in all, I enjoyed my meal and beer there.
When I got back to the B&B, comfortably fed and watered, I took a good look at the new air compressor. The plastic housing was huge, probably to make you think you were getting something more special than it really was. I didn't have enough room left in my panniers for it, especially since I had my old non-functioning one as well. So I removed the outer housing and was left with the guts of the compressor, at maybe one quarter of the size. But oh no, one of the solder connections was poorly done, holding on by just one strand of the stranded wire and as I touched it to see how solid it was, it came off in my hand. Now I had TWO compressors that didn't work! And a leaking rear tire. SIGH
And with all those good thoughts, I went to sleep.
I'm having the same issue. No idea what's causing it, but I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to behave like that
Once again, a great RR, I'm really enjoying the read.
I find it distressing though to hear of your poor / rude service in Newfoundland. I always tell riders considering a visit that they are the friendliest people I have ever come across. I've been the there twice and experienced incredible hospitality both times. Hopefully a couple bad experiences didn't jade your opinion of the Rock.
Keep those reports coming
Reading your report with great interest. Always love to hear what people think of this place :)
IMO Jungle Jims in Corner Brook is an anomaly. I have TRIED to eat there 3 times in 3 years while visiting Corner Brook and have given up. 3 strikes you're out! Each time the service was terrible....food was meh. Dont know how they keep the place open.
But back to your report...looking forward to the rest of your journey and hopefully some better experiences!
Absolutely wonderful report and great pictures.....from another old guy who likes beer.