Story by Quint Marcaletti
Editor’s Note: This story was originally published the Dec. 2014 edition of the MSTA Ohio Chapter newsletter. The story has been edited to match the MSTA website’s style.
Wednesday, July 9
We packed up and went to see an old shipwreck — or what was left of it. The Ethie went down in 1919. Then it was on to another spectacular must see if you come this way — the boat ride on Westbrook Pond. Sheer walls rise on both sides nearly 3,000 feet above a mirror-flat body of water. For $65 CDN, you will get you up close and personal with this natural wonder. It’s simply incredible, and not one of our pictures began to capture the scope of these views. In fact, it’s really hard to grasp the immense size even when you are there. We also saw a couple of moose on the shore.
The weather was really nice as we rolled out of Gros Morne and found some better views with less cloud cover. It was bout 100 miles to Stephenville, and we got a motel for the night. We were in serious need of a shower by this point — it had been three days since our last one! It was pretty hot and the room didn’t have A/C, but we grabbed another six Alexander Keith’s and some grub at the restaurant in the hotel.
Thursday, July 10
Since they had no room for our bikes on the day ferry back to Nova Scotia, we took the midnight ferry — which we booked nearly a week before. So we had some time to kill as it was only about 100 miles to the ferry. We had heard that the Port au Port peninsula was worth checking out, so we made a loop. The coastline at Cape St. George was incredible. The views were fantastic on that warm sunny day. This spot is known as part of the “Breadcrumb Trail,” and they were baking bread in an outdoor wood-fired oven. We had to try some with butter, and it was delicious.
We later found a nice spot for dinner then continued south to Port aux Basques. Conditions were quite foggy there and much cooler. We grabbed some refreshments before boarding.
We did not get a cabin, but fortunately this ride was ‘only’ about seven hours. Seas were extremely flat and quiet, and I thought about the fate of the Titanic when it did not spot the iceberg due to unusually calm seas! I got maybe four hours of sleep in my sleeping bag with my jacket as a pillow (It had been my pillow every night in my tent). Mark was out in a hurry. I couldn’t get to sleep that easy.
Friday, July 11
Off the boat we changed into our gear and immediately sped our way across Nova Scotia. We were tired and homesick, and 450 miles later we arrived at the USA border. I was exhausted. I even accused the border agent of not returning my passport. Ten minutes later I found it in my jacket pocket! DUH! It was rather barren around that area of Maine, so we continued on looking for lodging. We later found some good halibut dinner along the way, but it was another 100+ miles to Bangor and a motel. I slept HARD!
Saturday, July 12
I’d hoped to see Mt Washington this time on our return trip. How disappointing was it that there was a bicycle race going on and the road was closed. Had we known this, we would have taken a more high speed route toward home. We ended up slogging through miles of tourist traffic, which made for a very long and frustrating day. We were getting on each other’s nerves by this time, and then had some real trouble finding a place to stay for the night somewhere near Cobleskill, N.Y. We had to pay more than we wanted, but we did meet Henry from Montreal, a young novice biker touring on a new Honda CB500X who was really keen on hearing more about our adventure and checking out our bikes the next morning.
Sunday, July 13
We were finally homeward bound. Mark and I split up somewhere near Binghamton, N.Y. I made it home late in the day with some heavy but brief rain showers along the way. I noted coming into Ohio, that these were generally the worst road surface conditions I experienced the entire trip! Awesome trip with great weather and incredible views. I wish there was more time to experience it all. It was so good to see my wife and dog after 2+ weeks. I logged 4,854 GPS miles logged. Unbelievably, the rear Metzeler Tourance still has some life left to it!