Sunday August 26th
What a coincidence that I rode 185 kilometers today and Ironman Canada is also today. It is no coincidence that Derek Leung is riding his heart out in his first Ironman which took months and months of training and discipline: I should know I finish 2 of them and failed to finish my first . This is not the case for Derek though, he finished his first Ironman today, way to go!!!!
Last night I ate peanut butter and bread for dinner but I had pigged out most of the day so I wasn’t hungry. I am going very lean here for the last few days which has some risk but at least I am not sitting under a tarp in a tent city while hurricane Issac thrashes Haiti. People are staying with their tents because it is literally their only possession on this earth. It really puts things in perspective when I think I had a bad day or it was a little windy. We have raised almost $11,000 dollars so far and when I make it to St John’s my company Travel Underwriters will be donating $1,500! What does this mean? Basically 500 people in Haiti will not only have access to clean water but will take ownership of the water supply so they can ensure they have clean water for life. In addition local people will build the well which will help generate some spending in the local economy. I will have a final post at a later date with more on this but I thought it was important to note what we have accomplished so far.
Back to the ride. The tent was full of condensation this morning and my bag was a little wet but I was warm since I slept in my Stormtech Fleece. I don’t know if this is normal temperatures for August but the it is a lot cooler which is great for riding but not so great when trying to get some sleep but as I mentioned previously I am hardly suffering in the big picture. Plus as I mentioned it makes for an easier riding day and less perspiration during the ride. I got a kilometer up the road and had breakfast at the gas station restaurant, this is the only restaurant in 20 kilometers and it was a good breakfast. A couple of motorcyclists were in having breakfast on their way up to Gros Morne Provincial Park which is near Deer Lake and according to a lot of people is very beautiful. They had come out from Alberta and had lots of questions about the ride. They had decided they had to see Newfoundland and I couldn’t agree more. Back out on the road they caught up to me after about 20 kilometers. They wanted to know how many kilometers I had ridden but I mention this because we were all stopped on the highway in the middle of nowhere with no traffic. I don’t know if they felt the same way but it was kind of surreal.
A little further along the tree’s kind of turned a little Northern Ontario Black Spruce like but before I could recall the scars I saw ocean off in the distance. It was hilly but there are rally no steep grades and the wind was behind me today. Since food is scare when I stopped at the net restaurant on the highway and ordered take out for lunch. I eventually stopped at the Barachois Pond Provincial Park for lunch. The guy working the gate was super friendly and charged my phone while I went down to the lake to eat my lunch. When I was leaving I went to get some water and noticed another Park employee working in the building that looked like a mini learning center. Her name was Amy and she was very friendly and we chatted about the trip so far. She was from Ontario and had brought her dog out which happened to be a rescue dog so I told her about Marley and how I read Cesar Milan which gave her a good laugh. It was strange to meet someone from Ontario out here but it was a good random conversation in the middle of the woods no less.
The next part of the journey had an interesting incident. I felt something in my armpit moving around then felt like something was pinching my arm. It was starting to rain so I pulled over to put on a jacket but then the pain got a little more intense and I knew something was in my shirt so I smacked my arm but to no avail. I stripped of the shirt and wasp had gotten into my shirt somehow! Totally strange since I haven’t seen any insects and I had a long sleeve on. I guess he must have bit me a few times but no sting. Further up the it felt like another one was in there so I stopped but it was just residual irritation from the bite.
There is one big town out here and it is Cornerbrook but I didn’t stop other than to take a few pictures. Even though it was overcast this area is beautiful and is surrounded by mountains but is literally right on the ocean. Around the bend the mountains get a little bigger and it feels like the mini Rockies. Up river you reach the pretty large Deer Lake and as mentioned even with overcast was impressive to look at. I ended up staying at the new Airport Hotel since the other main hotel was booked solid. Debra at the front desk was very nice and gave me a substantial discount. I went for dinner at Pizza Delight and got donations from Rose , Maize and a few of the waitresses. Big ride day but tomorrow looks bigger so I need to get some rest. I could be in St. John’s in as little as 4 days if everything goes well.