That first night at DaMurph’s was phenomenal. First bed in three days with a hot shower and a full belly. I was the lucky one, and scored the spare bed. I felt like the king. though Jeff and Joe probably thought I was closer to a ” princess”.
Of course at DaMurph’s we woke up to a great breakfast and a few hours of chatting and cleaning up then off we went for
for an exception back road tour of St John’s and surrounding areas led by Dave. One bonus staying with a local is you see and hear stories that you will not find in any tourist map of info guide.
One highlight was spotting my first iceberg. It was truly impressive to say the least. Over the course of the next week Icebergs became a common site and never once did the ” awe” affect dissipate.
We spent three days with DaMuprh in St John’s. Dining at some great little fish places along the sea shore. Hearing story after story about Newfoundland and it’s rich history Also, while in NFL I had to partake in some delicacies such as cod tongue, and seal meat which was everywhere. Seemed to be a staple of the diet.
We were planning on heading out nice and early on the third day but as anything on any trip weather can often dictate what you do. That morning we were faced with torrential downpours and temps that were about 5 degrees. We decided it was the perfect time for some maintenance and oil changes on our bikes while we had a shed to work in.
By noon the weather had let up some what. We said our goodbyes and headed out. Only for the skies to open up again. We drove for several hours in this heavy rain, when it did let up we found ourselves in thick soupy fog. So thick we could barely see two- three car lengths ahead. We slowed down a bit but kept on moving. Pulling off to the side of the road would probably have been even more dangerous since no car would be able to see us.
As was common in NFL the weather could change on a dime. It literally went from 9 degrees, foggy and heavy rain to 30 and sunny in less that 20 minutes. This was a very welcomed turn in the weather. Gave us enough time to dry out quickly while riding.
That evening we found ourselves a beautiful campground along the oceans shore. The next morning I volunteered to cook breakfast for the guys. It was a total disaster. Porridge turned in a brick as I was still getting used to my new cooking gear. The coffee was OK.
That day I decided I wanted a little more of me time so I split with the guys and headed to Cornerbrook. I found a great hotel for the evening and then went out and discovered a pub/restaurant and met up with a couple of other riders who were doing a road trip from Nova Scotia. They were both road riders so were very interested in the stories of the off road adventures Spent a delightful evening with them.
After waking, I found out where the guys were at Grosse Mourne National Park( thank goodness for text messaging). So made my way that way. They had found the most beautiful camp spot. By the time I had arrive they had gone there own ways for the day so I pitched my tent and then headed off myself.
I wanted to visit the Table Lands, so pointed my front tire in that direction and headed out. On the way I saw Joe driving towards me. So we stopped for a bit chatted. I had seen a very promising looking trail just a few miles back so we decided to see where it headed. Steep hills, and baseball size rocks made for a very nice accent and decent, however when we reached the top there was only a small shed and logging shop and no more trail so we headed back down.
It was truly an amazing area. It was nothing short of looking like I had landed on Mars. The mountains where made of a reddish covered rock in contrast to the grey granite almost every where else. The tops of the mountains where still covered in snow, giving some perspective as to how high they really are.
I spent rest of the day finding trails that I could ride my bike on around that area. Also, checking out a few fishing villages
We all met back at camp that evening and made plans to start heading to the northern tip of the island. The next morning offered us clear sunny skies with intermittent showers and ominous clouds, Made for packing up a dash between the mix of rain and sun.
Shortly after hitting the road for St Barbe the weather decided to get nasty on us with torrential rain and cold. St. Barbe had little to offer other than a ferry that would bring us over to Labrador but would be a good staging point for the next two days. Our hopes were to camp but again having arrived cold and wet we opted for a warm, dry motel room.
The next morning we headed off towards the northern most tip of the Island to go see L’anse Aux Meadows. This is the only known area in North America where the vikings landed around 1000 AD, far before any other ” claimed discoveries” of North America. Even Leif Ericson was thought to have been here. I can confirm this as I was able to give him a high five. Though he was a little shorter that I thought he would be.
By the time we arrived at L’anse Aux Meadows the morning rain had stopped but it remained cold. Thank goodness for warm riding gear. The walk out to the archaeological dig site offered some tremendous views. There were many large wind blown rocks, but the ground was plush with lichens, moss, and some sort of very aromatic sweet smelling pine. It was about two inches deep and in the right time and place this would have been the most comfortable place for a nap or to set camp.
There was also a large monument on the way out that we had to go under. It caught our attention and was a interpretive piece which we tried to interpret ourselves. We did pretty good. It is called the ” Meeting of Two Worlds “.
The actual dig site has long since grown over with grass but it is fairly evident that structures had once stood there. However, a few hundred meters away they had re created what the village would have looked like a 1000 years ago. The village was made of some wood and rocks but primarily sod cut up in pieces then stacked. Quit a site. I just wondered who had to mow it.
On the way back to St Barbe the guys wanted to take a new route while I decided I wanted to check out some gorgeous areas I had seen on the rainy ride up. Not to mention I had noticed a lot of trails and I was REALLY on the hunt for some Caribou and Moose and I figured the best areas to find them would be in the bush.
I spent the next 5 hours zig zagging around Northern Newfoundland on mainly dirt roads and trails. I discovered some amazing areas. I never did find my moose or my live Caribou, However I did come across three Caribou carcasses far removed from the road, Which sort of made me think ” how did they get this way”. Makes you mind play all sorts of trick on you when you are in the middle of nowhere without and cell reception. Though I still continued on though perhaps some what more cautiously.
That was to be our last day on The Rock. The next mourning the main event was to begin. The Trans Labrador Highway was just a 90 minute ferry ride away.
Coming up next. Labrador, The Trans Labrador Highway, Cartright, a 250 km detour into the middle of no where, and hitting B-Grade loose gravel at 120 kmph.