Monday, August 15, 2011
2011/08/06: In Deer Lake
We spent a slow day in Deer Lake. Daniel assembled his bike while we dutifully cleaned our drive trains, and then we test rode to town to mail Daniel’s duffel bag forward to St. John’s, and had naps to make up for Daniel’s post-midnight arrival. Lindsay had given us a lesson in the addition and subtraction of h in Newfie dialect: Heavenly Hash Ice Cream becomes ‘eavenly ‘ash hoyscream. This primer served us well; when Chris was offered happle poy we knew exactly what was meant.
2011/08/07: 102km to Powerline Camp near 410 Junction
Chris and I had upgraded to a so-called three man tent before this trip, and Daniel, who is not especially fond of camping, arrived equipped with a sleeping bag, thermarest, and an emergency bivouac sack. Chris and I were to initiate him into the freedom and spontaneity of travelling with camping gear, so as evening came, we pushed our bikes up a track to the powerline, noting that no vehicles had been by recently but that quite a few moose had.
After an excellent shrimp stir fry, we slotted our three selves carefully into the tent. Chris and I had been using it as a relatively luxurious two-man tent since Moncton, and although the diagram showed the middle person with head placed the opposite way round to the outer people, the reality was that this arrangement would have placed the middle person’s head lower than his feet, so we vetoed that and placed all heads near the tent door. The middle person was Daniel, because he’s quite a bit longer than either me or Chris. We swatted insects, the swarms having thinned a little since Port aux Basques, and tried to go to sleep.
2011/08/08: 88km to Triton
There aren’t many route options for cycling across Newfoundland. Basically, nearly anywhere you try to deviate from the Trans-Canada end up reaching a small outport at a deadend. However, the map showed two coastal deadends that weren’t very far apart, and Daniel had set to the task of finding out whether we could connect by boat from Triton to Leading Tickles. He’d written to the town of Triton and been put in touch with a fisherman who was prepared to transport us the eleven kilometres by water, so we turned off the Trans-Canada and headed to Triton.
We arrived early enough to spend time at the new sperm whale exhibit, where the enthusiastic guide talked our ears off and barely gave us time to look at the displays. The main feature is a sperm whale skeleton, which hangs in a bright new building. The whale carcass had washed up on the Codroy Peninsula near Port aux Basques, and once most of the meat and blubber was removed, the bones were sunk in crates in local waters to let marine creatures pick them fairly clean. Then everything was shipped to Drumheller, Alberta, where experts at the Royal Tyrrell Museum used their dinosaur expertise to conserve and reconstruct the skeleton.
Our fisherman would do the crossing in the morning, so we parked ourselves at Fudge’s Motel. Daniel had slept very badly in the tent and Chris and I had certainly not slept well either. It seems we all snore.