Saturday, August 15, 2015

Winterland, Around the Historic Loop and into St. John's...

Today was a huge loop followed by a fast and direct drive into St. John's and as I rode I found myself
thinking about another individual who has come full circle and the pain and trauma that has resulted...

I was up at 6AM or so and shortly thereafter Leo arrived back from Marystown with Tim Horton's coffee.  Its a morning ritual of his... to drive the 15 minutes or so into Marystown, get coffee and sit with a few of his friends and catch up before the day begins... he'd said last night, with a sly grin, that he was taking the day off... Shirley rolled her eyes and smiled... he is retired and has been for a while!

Leo and I enjoyed our coffee and we swapped a few hunting stories.  We have this in common: the game need not fear us as we are both poor shots!  Leo then got on to telling stories of moose collisions in the area... and these stories were fresh in my mind when I hit the road that morning.

As he told stories Leo made me breakfast: toast and eggs.  Boy was it good - and I didn't have to burn a tank of gas first either!  With breakfast tucked away and the bike loaded I was off - and I wasn't 10 minutes from Winterland when I saw a car pulled over... I had to turn around and have a look... it would appear that someone didn't have a good night.  Poor moose...  I am sure the car is fine... hope the occupants are too!

I was heading for Grand Bank.  Not sure what I expected to find there - but the name is synonymous with Newfoundland and the cod fishery... and I did expect to see some beautiful scenery!

But... before you get to Grand Bank you need to pass by

Grand Beach.  I could not pass by without going in to have a look see!  And there I sat for a good 20 minutes enjoying the sounds of the morning as the ducks fed in the bay.

Gand Bank was clearly once a hub of activity and a very prosperous town.  Look at the size of the town hall - and the old home had such character.  It is however clear that times have changed...

The big boats have taken over.  No longer is there the small inshore fishery... and the processing plant appears idle...  As Leo said last night, "The inshore fishery was never a threat to the cod stocks... its the factory freezer ships that fish off the 200 mile limit."

The next community on Hwy 210 is Fortune.  Shirley had suggested that I might see the ferry from Saint Pierre and Miquelon arrive if I timed it right.  Well, I missed the arrival but I did get to see it depart.

I found my way down to the wharf and made my way out onto one of the jetty's and there I enjoyed the view and the sound of the gulls as I connected with loved ones back home...

I am so blessed... so fortunate!  To have this opportunity for travel.  To be loved and supported.  To see the sights I have seen and to meet the people I have met... it is never lost on me what a privilege this is... and so I don't take one moment for granted - seeking to enjoy every turn of the wheel and click of the shutter.

From Fortune the road swings south and the next community is Point May...  but not before miles and miles of barren scrub land and the smell of surf pounding on the shore.

I turned off at Point May and took a little gravel road right alongside the shore... until the water from the springs made the rocks I was driving over too slippery for safety...  It was worth the journey though!  The sound, the smell and sense of vastness was all encompassing... and I could see Saint Pierre and Miquelon in the distance.

I got to thinking what it might have been like to be arrive on these barren shores as a settler or as a result of a ship wreck...  and then my thoughts turned to another wrecking of lives...

Saint Pierre and Miquelon
in the distance
Last night I learned that one inmate I'd known at Springhill was dead and another was charged with his murder.  So tragic.  I don't know the circumstances... and I don't need to... I'm just so sad that one person's life has been taken from them and another life is wrecked... It is my hope that those who grieve may be surrounded by love and care and are able to cherish those memories that bring forth life and hope!

From Point May the road turns east with the next stop along the way being Lord's Cove... as I approached I was drawn to a spit of land that jutted out behind the local Catholic Church... and yes, it was a graveyard - a fitting place for those who go down to the sea to have as a final resting place.

Looking back toward
Point May
I stopped for a few minutes and enjoyed the view - understanding why someone might want to be buried in this place: a horizon that has no end... and the feeling that somehow you could reach out and touch it.

I also had to take a few moments and fiddle with the GPS as it is being a bit of a pain.  I really think that the miles and miles of being shaken within an inch of its electronic life is starting to take its toll on the components within... alas... I was able secure the battery door a bit tighter and I was good to go!

The island in the distance is not named - as far as I can find.  The cemetery is to the right on the highest rise in the photo below.  I can almost imagine the funeral procession making its way from the church carrying the casket up the hill with the horizon extending its welcoming embrace... earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust and life goes on...

 Life goes on....

The last time I was on the "Rock" the trip was cut short by the death of Randy Czapalay - Anna's cousin.  Joan, Randy's mother had asked me to officiated at his funeral service and so, when he died and Al and I were at Walter's we headed to Port aux Basque and did not get to ride this part of the Island...  

He and Deanna have I think since been over this way... but its not the same Al!  The smell of the sea, the scent of the scrub spruce and the wind - the ever present wind that wants to push you back, put you in your place and keep you from getting ahead...  you were with me in spirit today Al... and tomorrow I hope to get to Cape St. Mary and I'll take you along on that run too!



 I stopped quickly in St. Lawrence and took the picture above of of the bay, and made the decision that I needed to make some some time... and so I did!

With the camera safely stowed and Carrie Newcomer singing reminders of the holy moments of life and love I made tracks...


Salmonier, Lewins Cove, Burin, Marystown... and back out the way I came in - riding the same road twice... breaking my cardinal rule of not riding the same road twice - but there was no other way back to the TCH!

By 2PM I made it to Goobies... yes, that is a real place!  And from Goobies I put myself into the traffic heading toward St. John's... by 3PM I was checking into the Delta... so ready for a butt break!

With the bike unloaded and safely parked within view of the front desk (their idea not mine) I shaved and headed downtown to see what I could see!  Popped into a few stores and then found myself at the Yellowbelly Pub where I enjoyed their sampler tray and an order of onion rings.  Yum!


While chugging back the third big glass (a mouthful and a half) I just about choked when I saw this lady coming toward me carrying a male blow up doll... by the time I figured out it was for real I missed the opportunity to snap a picture!  She had a veil on and there was a crowd of women around her... I added these up to equal stagette party... on George Street... wonder if they'll have to pay the cover charge for the guy she is lugging around with her?!?!

On my way back to the motel I saw a poster that may interest Dad...  and if he buys the beer I just might tag along!!  Hank Williams!!  Should be fun!  I may have to have a nap that day!  It doesn't start til 10PM!!  See you on Wednesday Dad!! Looking forward to it!!


Well, I just got back from the Signature Club lounge where I snacked on meatballs, nachos a chicken skewers and a potato skin... I'm thinking that supper is complete and i'm gonna wait for a while then go out for a walk and enjoy the warm evening air... and see what I can see...

Its been a fine day... a day of deep privilege...  a day remember the gift of deep friendship and sadly, also pondering how quickly lives can be wrecked by one choice that leads to another that leads to another...

And so, as I end this entry I am thankful... thankful for all the good choices I have made that led me to this (yes privileged) moment in time... on the Sabbath Road...







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