Biking Across Canada Day 62 — Port Aux Basques to Stephenville Crossing, NL: The Final Frontier

Newfoundland: The final frontier
These are the voyages of the bikeship Red Rocket
Its ten-week mission: to explore strange new provinces
to seek out new beer and new pelotons
to boldly go where many cyclists have gone before.

I finally made it to Newfoundland, the last province of the trip. I’ll be here for a week, which makes the two days I spent in PEI and Nova Scotia seem extra short (not to mention the three weeks I spent in Ontario).

The ferry arrived around 6:30 am, but took a while to actually dock. I slept okay considering I was in a chair on a ferry, but not enough to recover from yesterday’s riding. I’m planning a shorter day that ends in a bed tonight instead of camping.

Bleary-eyed and sweat-stained ferry selfie
Pulling into the Rock

After riding off the ferry with the motorcycles I headed for Alma’s Family Restaurant for breakfast while I waited for the grocery store next door to open. I passed by a Tim Hortons on the way that was lined up onto the road with people from the ferry looking for coffee. By contrast, I was the only person in the restaurant for quite some time until a few other ferry travellers showed up.

I stopped at the tourist information centre to see if they had any material for cyclists, not really expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised to be given a double-sided piece of paper listing every place to stop on the Trans Canada between here and St. John’s. Perfect!

Living up to its stereotype, Newfoundland was foggy and rainy today. It made the scenery seem even more rugged, desolate, and majestic. I didn’t mind at all. Plus the rain rinsed out the sweat stains in my shirt that had accumulated since leaving the Wedges. (I also learned today that I left my razor behind there, so I’ll be a bit shaggy until I find a drugstore to buy some disposables. Fortunately a friend of the Wedges can bring my regular one back to Halifax for me.)

There are very few places to stop in this part of the province (okay, the whole province). I hoped to ride about 120 km, then treat myself to a B&B with the money my mom sent me to celebrate making it to the Rock, but they were all booked up. The closest I could find was an AirBNB rental in Stephensville Crossing, which was farther than I wanted to travel, but choosy beggers, etc. The hills and winds really picked up in the afternoon, so I was struggling at this point and had to take frequent breaks so I didn’t keel over. I was relieved when I finally made it, collapsing onto the bed until I had the energy to walk the three minutes to the nearby grocery store for supplies. (I exaggerate slightly, but I was wiped.)

Fortunately tomorrow will be a short day, only going 80 kilometres or so to Corner Brook, where I’ll be staying with the parents of my friend Jessie from Halifax. I can sleep in and take my time.

My scenic rest stop when I started to feel dizzy.
Crossing into Stephensville Crossing

Today’s Distance: 154 km

Cumulative Distance: 7708 km

John Kyle @JohnKyle