2008 Keys 2 Canada travel blog

a rainy drive into Clarenville

Trans Canadian Highway south from Clarenville

we're starting to see power transmission lines going into St. Johns

the fog hung in until late morning and never did burn off...

by early afternoon it was raining again

but what's a little rain to a people who live on the...

it always clears up sooner or later

today it's just a little later

must be a retirement community for old politicians

We ‘test’ the tire shop in Clarenville - Tuesday, September 2

We got up early and headed for Clarenville’s Canadian Tire shop, getting there just as they opened at 8:00 AM. Our tire had lost about 7 pounds on our two day trip to Trinity and Bonavista, and was lower than normal, but still within the safe range. Inside I immediately found out why Canadian Tire is getting a reputation for not knowing what they are doing.

While the man at the counter on Sunday had assured me that they could handle a rig our size, the man at the counter on Tuesday told me that there was no way they could change a tire on a motorhome. Looking at the tires on display that are obviously truck tires our size, I couldn’t help wondering how they sell them if they can’t service them, but I was too frustrated to bother asking.

He directed me to the Goodyear dealer across the street, where a nice man told me it would be no problem. He soon had cause to regret his words. Not only is a motorhome heavy but with it’s back overhang it is hard to jack up. Half an hour later they had solved that problem, but now they had to run over to NAPA Auto Parts to get an impact socket that could handle the lug nuts. They finally got the wheels off, and another half hour later they found the leak and fixed it. We had picked up a nail somewhere, and I can now add it to our growing collection of road hazard hardware.

We got new wiper blades while we were there, and after working on our vehicle for over three hours, the bill was only $62.64. The manager not only didn’t charge us for their problems, he apologized to us that it took so long. He is an RV’er too, and he says they are much harder to work on than even an eighteen wheeler.

We thanked them and headed down the road to Rod’s Restaurant for lunch. We ate there on Sunday and liked it, and it is right on the main drag. As we were parking a red van pulled in beside us, and it turned out to be Harry, the brother of our friend Randy from the Lewisporte campground. They both live in Clarenville, and he spotted us and stopped to say ‘hello’. We invited him to join us inside and he came in and had coffee so we could visit while we ate. Another example of how nice Newfoundlanders are.

We said, ‘goodbye’ to Harry and headed out to Highway 1. On the way out of town we stopped to get propane and top off our gas. It is nearly two months since we last got propane in Maine, and we took less than 13 gallons. An amazing fuel when you think that it cooks our food, heats our water and runs our refrigerator whenever we are not plugged in or using the generator. Even at today’s prices that is all for about a dollar a day.

We turned south on the Trans Canadian Highway, headed for the narrow isthmus that takes you onto the famous Avalon Peninsula (give the sea a few more centuries and Newfoundland may become two islands instead of one). The Avalon Peninsula is where the city of Saint Johns is located, and it is also where we will catch the ferry at Argentia on the 15th. Until then we have 12 days to see Newfoundland’s biggest and oldest city, and to explore this richly varied piece of ‘the rock’.

A drive of some 80 miles brought us to the town of Green Harbour on Trinity Bay. Green Harbour is on a nameless peninsula that juts out between Trinity Bay and Conception Bay. It is a day’s drive around it so we decided to stop for the night and do it tomorrow. We found a campground with hookups but no WiFi, so we contented ourselves with watching the one channel (CBC) that comes in everywhere. It is home to several comedy shows that are hilarious. Canadian comics are merciless at making fun of everything Canadian - from their politicians to the attitude of Albertans regarding the large influx of Newfoundlanders migrating there for work. They also take some good shots at their southern neighbor, a traditional friend they have started to lose respect for. That is something Americans don’t want to hear or believe, but it’s real and it is profoundly disturbing.

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