Joined: Jul 2007
ate year="2010" day="3" month="9">Friday 9/3/10
ate>-Burnt Cape, NL to Baie Verte, NL, 382 miles
I got up at 5 eastern time, but it already local, I still don’t know about that extra 30 minute deal. The only comment I’ve heard about it so far was “Those bastards over in St. John’s did it”, but that wasn’t an explanation of why. The day is clear this morning, the sky as blue as it gets, and will make a great start. When I strap the spare TKC on the back, I realize that I’m sick of this stupid tire. One way or another I’m getting’ rid of this thing today, I ain’t carrying it around no mo even though the mounted rear has some miles left on it.
I backtrack down 430 and find time to stop to look at some things I couldn’t when I was northbound in the rain. The 430 points to at least two activities peculiar to this road. One is the unbelievable quantity of firewood that is cut and stacked along the road. It’s all spruce and cut free on Crown land, an economical way to heat if you don’t count your time.
The second is the highway garden, small plots along the road, usually fenced, and sometimes a good long ways from the nearest house. I’m not sure why these small gardens are out there rather than next to the house, but they’re plentiful.
Traffic has started very light on this sunny day, but builds gradually as the morning progresses. The road passes through a series of small towns dotting the coast, the towns all having a connection to the water. Conspicuous in all of these towns are the new homes, some with designs straight from the pages of Stateside magazines, indicating money coming home from the Alberta oil and gas operations. I was never able to get a handle on how many Newfys moved west permanently, or are working out there and flying back and forth, but it must be a significant number.
There are lobster pots stacked along the road, some guys are still around working the water. The land between the road and the water seems to be used as a general storage area for pots, firewood, and equipment.
Some old wooden skiffs have survived the transition to aluminum and fiberglass, but most were probably burned when they got in the way. You rarely find the graceful lines of these old boats in anything new. Back in the day, no waterman wanted to work out of an ugly boat, but now most are utilitarian designs so that issue is not as important.
Not all the small towns have fuel, so when I find an open station, it’s time to stop. Three ADV bikes go by in a blur northbound and I don’t get a good look at them, could be the Vermont boys, but missing one of the crew. Two older fellas are running the store, and we get a good run of stories going out at the pumps. One of the guys asks “Do ya have another pair of boots on under those or are those your feet”? Now hold on a minute here, what are these guys trying to tell me? “No boots, just feet and socks”, and they both start laughing, I guess they haven’t seen size 14s lately. We move story hour into the store, drink a bunch of their coffee, and try to outdo each other in the lies department. It was two agin’ one, but I was holdin’ my own. One of the old guys was a rider and complained that all the Harley riders around there would only give the low peace to other Harleys, except that some of those bikes were Jap look-alikes. Couldn’t say, most everyone waves to me. Gotta go my friends, and I’m southbound.
This is a scenic bike road and follows the coast closely enough to see the water most of the time.
Some small lakes are east of the road if you get tired of looking at the ocean.
The ocean to the west is spectacular on this sunny day.
The topography becomes more rugged again the farther south I get and closer to GrosMorneNational Park.
Fishing shacks are clustered on level ground with access, but some don’t look like they’re used much or at all anymore, too many men gone.
In the distance are huge headlands that must be landmarks for those at sea, but impressive by land also.
More fishing shacks and lobster pots as I move south…along with more traffic, and it’s getting less convenient to stop.
(To be continued…)