Watching the sun sink and the KM tick away, I edged south down the picturesque Codroy Valley toward the ferry. To my left, the southern extent of the Long Range Mountains stood in striking relief, barren lands and stout scrubby black sprice clung to the tops of the hills where many hiking trails and extensive ATV hunting trails criss cross the ridges. A sign warns of 200kph winds in this region and I take notice of the constant breeze blowing off the water to my right. The area toward the southeast corner of the province known as "The Wreckhouse" is a perfect storm for high winds with the mass of the island's peaks jutting out into the menacing waters of the North Atlantic. These winds presented a dangerous dilemma during the days of the Newfoundland Railway when the narrow gauge train carried travelers from Port Aux Basques to St. John's, Local farmer and trapper Lockie MacDougall would telegraph the train in PAB alerting them to whether it was safe to pass or if the engine should hold off until weather improved. Today it is nothing more than a parking lot on the roadside but like anything, if you learn the history, it means more.
I headed directly for the ferry with knowledge that most of the cars and trucks passing me through the afternoon were also intending to take the 12AM crossing. I paid the $98 to the attendant and received a card putting me into the "late arrivals" line with no guarantee that I'd make it aboard the night crossing. My boarding pass read TUESDAY but if I had to kill a couple days here I could. After the rows of vehicles loaded on the full ship, the ferry terminal crew waved for all the bikers in line 18 to come forward and proceed onto the ship. There was just barely enough room in the stern to accommodate the bikes but I had made it! WIth the scooter strapped down,
I grabbed my air pad and started up for the upper decks to watch the island of Newfoundland slip away in the yellow harbour illumination lights. Saddened to see the magnificent island slip away behind me, I rejoiced at the opportunity to ride in Nova Scotia and the myriad of adventures which lay ahead. Eventually I made my way to the bar where I found Milt, the Santa Claus reinactor and Justin, a sailor and wrestler, sharing a table and sipping back some brews. I grabbed a round and joined them for a number of Milt's fabulous one-liners and to hear Justin's story of growing up in Corner Brook, getting into motorcycling on his Vulcan and seeing the world differently on two wheels. By 2AM, the bar maid was well ready for us to leave the area so I retired to the only place on board fit for a cheapskate like me, the kid's room! Muting the annoying TV show, I prepared my air mattress, tossed the Aerostich jacket over me and prepared for a few hours of rest before the boat docked at 7AM. Nova Scotia...here I come :)
In May 2014 I quit my job to ride a Honda Ruckus over 59'000 mi and counting. Wild camping most nights and cooking most of my own meals, I keep the costs low and the landscape changing.