26.05 Saint Johns – Avondale
I use the morning to update my blog. It is quite complex to create a new blog entry and then translate everything into English. For the translation I use Google translator that works but unfortunately quite often nonsense translated. There is no way around editing, however, this is very elaborate, so I only correct the necessary mistakes to convey the content. Sorry for the bad translation, I try my best to keep it as clear as possible.
At 1 pm I meet Michael, who has bought a new sleeping bag. Afterwards we go to the Signal Hill to make some memorable photos.
Then it’s finally time. We head for the Trans Canada Adventure Trail. 15,000km from St. John’s to Vancouver. The Highway 60 takes us out of the city past some icebergs in the sea. Back on the T’Railway, a converted railway line, we ride only for few kilometers and look for a place to sleep.
I discover a small house right next to the river and spontaneously ask the owner if we can stay at his garden. No problem he answered and we put up our tents. After we finished we are ainvited by him and his wife into their weekend house (Canadian: Cabin) and get a cup of tea and dinner. After the meal, we walked to the Avondale railway station, 3km away, and are delighted by the well-maintained locomotives and the giant snow plow that precedes the locomotive.
27.05 Avondale – Clarenville
I’m awakened at 6am by heavy rainfall. At 9am we were asked by Chris and his wife to join them. Inside the cabin was already a breakfast waiting for us. After we packed everything we continued our journey.. With drizzle, strong wind and 2 degrees it is not exactly pleasant to ride. The further we get to the west, the more the fog lightens and reveals a landscape that reminds me of the Scottish highlands.
As it starts to rain again, I stop to wear my rain gear. Michael is riding ahead. I followed him shortly afterwards. After about 3km I discover his bike on the ground, pointing in the wrong direction. I suspect the worst, but luckily Michael is standing next to his bike. We set up the machine, examine any damage and then sitting on our bikes again.
The track continues through high snow drifts. There is a reason why the island called the rock. Our search for a sleeping place is more difficult than expected. On the outskirts of Clarenville I knock on a door and ask if we could camp in the garden. For the owner no problem and so we build our camp right in the middle of the garden. After our dinner we went to the Irish Pub.
Woke up with a strong hangover, I really do not want to continue riding today. At 10 am we make breakfast and ask Belinda if we can stay for another night. It does not mind and so we get up, go shopping and use the internet of the local coffee shop. Back at Rick and Belinda’s hosue we get a couple of beers served.
The hangover of the morning is forgotten. I spend the afternoon watching the last two motocross races in the USA. It’s a pity that Ken Roczen is still hurt, without him it’s just not the same. I hope he will be back soon. We are invited for dinner, chicken roasts with potatoes and vegetables and can then sleep in their converted stem.
29.05 Clarenville – Gander Lake
We say goodbye to Rick and be back on the track by 11am. Following the T’Railway Line at frosty temperatures, drizzle and deep clouds. Deep puddles ensure that our motocross boots are completely soaked. Luckily, we put garbage bags over our feet so that we can continue with cold but dry feet. Shortly before Gambo, Michael discovers a loose screw on his side stand, which now adorns the railroad line.
We replace them in a car garage and be back to the railway line. I feel like a steam-locomotive driver who is making his way through the unspoiled Canada. Suddenly I discover animals on the track and stop abruptly my bike. In fact, my first bears. Mamabar and her two little ones.
The camp site search is still very difficult, because we simply can not find a flat grassy area. In the end, we camp next to a holiday house, make a beautiful camp fire and tell us our story of the boys from earlier days.
30.05 Gander Lake – Millertown Junction
The day awaits us with the first rays of sunlight, which leach between the treetops. With some porridge and a large cup of coffee, we enjoy the warming power of the sun in our camping chairs. At 10.30am we are on the road again and soon cross the bridge of Genwood. Enjoing the scenery, I have realised too late that Michael has stopped, I push the front brake, but the front tire does not hold on the wet edge and so I slide along the bridge.
As some passages of the old railroad line have swept away, we are interrupting our trip on the T’Railway and doing some kilometers on the highway. In Norris Arms we discover for our pleasure that our journey through the garden, has left traces. Apparently, the owner was not very pleased with our unannounced visit a few days ago, so he blocked the entrance.
After a short lunch break at the lake, we continue towards Badger. On the track to Millertown Junction we met an ATV. In the car is the engineer who is responsible for the repair of the track. He tells us that the journey is not possible because the route is still covered with snowmasses from the winter.
After a short chat, he advises us to continue our journey to Millertown Junction and to stay in Blair’s garden. Once there, his brother Brad receives us, invites us to spend the night in the house and squeeze us a beer in our hands. A short time later Blair joins us and we enjoy ice cold beer in a blue sky and bright sunshine at the lake.
Blairs and Brad’s Dad, Mont 86 years old, tells us about his life with the Newfoundland Railroad. In his early years he worked as a heater on the steam locomotive and wrote 5 books on the history of the railway line in Newfoundland.
After a couple of beers we go fishing. It is really difficult to get the trout hooked, because they are really clever and usually steal the worm from the hook without letting it over. After several tried and tested attempts I use all my angling experience from past days and finally get the first to the hook. At the end of our company there are 4 trout on my list, which makes me the most successful angler of the evening.
31.05 Millertown Junction
Wake up with a hangover there is already breakfast waiting for us. Beans with bacon, toast, eggs and the freshly caught trout from yesterday evening. In the morning, we help Nelson, the neighbor, transport his freshly sawed wood from the forest edge to his house.
After a strenuous lunch, we’ll start exploring the track. Even the first snow-blownness is supposed to have it in itself and demands everything from us. We push and pull on the bikes and finally manage the first passage to overcome. Others will follow. Shortly before the Quarry, massive deep snow awaits us. We trample a track with our boots and work with it to maneuver my bike through the snowmass.
The heart beat is on the limit and we are at the end of our forces. Fortunately, we had filled our water bottles at a spring so that we can now let the ice cold water run down to our dried out throats. I leave Michael behind and explore the further course of the route on my own. However, I do not get far and soon discover a massive snow drift, about 300 meters long and one meter high. I try to walk through the snowmasses, but sink completely, and only with difficulty I reach the other side.
Back in Millertown junction, Brad and Blair are impressed with how far we’ve come, and we’re very proud to be the first to push it this far this year. We will end the evening with a few beers and the second game of the Stanley Cup Finales.
01.06 Millertown Junction – Howley
After the exertions of yesterday, Michael and I are completely exhausted. We agree that we will not try it again today through the snow. At 12.30 we leave Millertown Junction and take the highway towards Howley.
On the way, we stop at a Tim Horton Café, check our emails and get a hot coffee. In Howley arrived, we found out that the dam is blocked and we can not follow the railway line to Deer Lake. As it is already late, we still take the railway line and find a place to camp right on the dam.
After supper I’m so exhausted that I’m going to sleep directly.
02.06 Howley – Big Pond Lake
I am awakened by heavy rainfall, which last all morning. After the rain subsides, we begin to dismantle our camp and ride back to Howley. We take the highway to Deer Lake. I go to the cafe, Michael carry on to Corner Brook, 50km away, to visit a railway museum.
I spend the afternoon at the PC. At 5 o’clock, we are back again on the road. We ride only a few kilometers and find a sleeping place in Roger and Gertrude’s garden at Big Pond Lake. After the meal, fried potatoes with tuna of fresh garlic fried in olive oil, the two joined us and we spend the evening with a camp fire on the lake with talks.
03.06 Big Pond Lake – St. Pauls
Awakened by heavy rainfall, a decent breakfast is already waiting for us. Roger and Hildegard prepared bacon with eggs and beans for us. After everything is packed we follow the highway 430 towards Gros Morne National Park. Once there, the road leads through a spectacular mountain landscape and lets us glide through the landscape with astonishing glances.
The sun finally decides to emerge behind the clouds and lets the now blue sky shine. We use the day to explore the park. In the afternoon we took a hike to the Western Brook Pond, which has a unique canyon.
We pitch our camp right by the sea next to a fish museum. The evening light is fantastic and so I use the remaining time to capture a few pictures of the coastal landscape.
04.06 St. Pauls – St. Barbe
We are again awakened by heavy rainfall. No a nice start to the day after the great yesterday evening. I gather all my belongings together in the tent, strip my raincoats, and finally put down the tent in rain. Everything is stowed away, heading north.
The rain does not give us a breather and so we stop a short time later completely soaked to warm ourselves in a cafe. Continuing towards Saint Barbe, the ferry port which takes us to Labrador, the rain stops and a cool breeze blows around our nose. In Saint Barbe we found out that we missed today’s ferry and possibly got a place on the ferry next morning, but we must be at the terminal latest by 8 o’clock.
We find a good place to camp outside Saint Barbe’s where we dry our wet things in the strong coastal wind and spend the evening at the local motel with dinner and a few beers.