Joined: Jul 2007
Day 14: Continued
In for fuel and a sandwich across from a small lake that is also being used as a float plane base, hunters queuing up on the small pier as the Beaver comes and goes. The remote camp can’t be far as the plane is only gone for twenty minutes. I love float planes, been on a bunch across the north. When I ask my faded glory waitress about the moose hunters she says “Yeah, they got a camp back in there, I hope they shoot ‘em all”. Whoa, and I when I ask if she’s been involved in some recent moose carnage she said “Don’t get me started on that one”. Can’t blame her, a moose is about the worst animal to hit on the road, they tend to come right through the windshield. Ok, where’s my double cheeseburger? Pass me the ketchup.
Continuing south, this coastline is so rocky you wouldn’t want to be caught in the wrong place in rough weather.
Gros Morne has postcard views that I can’t get situated enough to photograph…and a golf course on 430 as you enter the park, damn, forgot my clubs. Traffic is solid and running 80mph, must be a long weekend, cars and trucks humming the Newfy version of that road rage song. On the gas so I don’t get run over, and I’m down to Deer Lake in no time, ready to take care of some business, I hope.
That spare tire had been nagging me since this morning and I still wanted to get it changed, but where? I get fuel at the place right below Highway 1, and they have a shop so I ask the service manager. No they won’t change a tire, but he directs me to a guy on the other side of DeerLake who changes tires. I wind my way through town, get lost, and then get a guide who leads me to the tire guy’s shop which happens to be his house. He says “I don’t work on bikes, never have, why’d anyone send ya here”? He’s right, all I see laying around are a bunch of dead weedeaters, WTF, that guy back at the fuel stop must have a sack of rocks between his ears. “So where can I get a tire changed”?, and I get directions to Simmons Tire, five doors down from where I started, hmmm, those people must not like each other.
There’s a cute young lady at the Simmons service counter when I come through the door, and I put the motorcycle tire question to her. “Let me ask the guys in back”, and she darts out into the shop area. This is a truck tire shop, I wasn’t hopeful, but she came back up front and said “No problem, take the bike around back, they’re waiting”. Those were the words I was hoping for, the magic ones. Three young guys were in the shop and were grinning when I rode up to the door, this must be an unusual assignment for them, hope they know bikes. The lead man was named Shawn Lavers, a rider himself, and they had the bike on jack stands and wheel off in no time.
There was a lot of hustling around, and the elapsed time from when I rolled in there to when I rolled out was 15 minutes, kinda like a timed pit stop. New valve stem too. The counter girl came by with my invoice, “Sorry, had to charge you the shop rate”, and when I look at the total, it’s $20.92. My my, that’s just plain outrageous, haaa! Extraordinarily nice people, and I told Shawn I’d make him famous. Need bike tire work at that intersection, go see Shawn.
When I call home to check in, I find that we have a brand new washing machine. Nothing in the way of appliances ever breaks down or gets hit by lighting when I’m at home, mysteriously the events all occur when I’m adventuring across the north. The house has all new appliances now, so the next time I leave I’m going to give my wife’s car a checkup…might still be the last time I ever see that car.
I wanted to go east, but not too far, since I was going to come back west to Port aux Basques for the ferry to Nova Scotia. I decided to ride the Baie Verte peninsula and take a look at some of those coastal villages towards the end. East on 1, traffic flying, then north on 410 out of the rat race. About half way up I find the commercial campground that was marked on the map, a young guy in charge. He was one of the few people I’ve met who had been to Alberta and didn’t like it, big money or not. I told him I wanted a nice quiet spot for the tent and he sets me up with a location that wasn’t even a regular camping area, thanks my friend. Six pack strapped on the bike and away I went, let’s find my spot and get set up. Twenty feet from the lake and nice thick grass, can’t complain, there’s no one else within 300 yards. Cold beer on a beauty of an evening, livin’ the life out on the road.
I’ve been in Newfoundland for only a day, but I remember what one of those old guys asked this morning when I stopped for fuel “Ya already seen enough to come back”? Yes, as a matter of fact, I have.
(To be continued…)