St. John's to Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Sep 5, 2007
|Today marks a small milestone of sorts for me. I started my trip May 21 with the intent of riding to the farthest points north, west and east that can be reached by road in North America. The first point was Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. The second point was technically Manley, Alaska although I also road out to Telegraph Creek, the farthest point west by road in Canada, as well as Long Beach at Tofino on Vancouver Island. The third point is Cape Spear, Newfoundland, which Janine and I reached this morning. The total milage since May 21 is just over 25,000 km and other than a few cold, wet days I have loved every moment of it.
The morning was warm and there was hardly a cloud in the sky. When we reached Cape Spear the sun was shining and the wind was bearable but gusting. From this point the next piece of land to the east is Ireland. Nothing but blue sea from here to europe. The shore along Cape Spear is spectacular with waves crashing in amoungst the rocky cliffs. There is and old gun battery structure from WWII where large guns were mounted to protect St. John's Harbour. There are also two lighthouses, one historic and one more recent and operating.
From Cape Spear we headed back to St. John's and up to the top of Signal Hill, which overlooks the Harbour. The most prominent structure on signal hill is a castle like tower that was erected in 1897 to commemorate the 400th anniverary of the discovery of Newfoundland by John Cabot. To put this into perspective, this 400th anniversary commemorative tower was built over 100 years ago, before Alberta became a province.
While on Signal Hill we met three guys from Montreal who had ridden to Newfoundland on BMW 1200GS's. They were Air Canada pilots and knew Dave Anderson, of Anderwerks in Calgary, who helped me put the bike together. We had quite a good chat about the bikes and ended up running into them again later at the northern tip of the Penisula. Really nice guys.
From Signal Hill we headed north along the east shore to Cape St. Francis, the northern tip of the Avalon Peninsula. Along the way we explored all of the coves and bays, which are truly beautiful.
The last section of road to Cape St. Francis was shown on my map as gravel but in fact it was quite primative and a lot of fun to ride. At the end of the road, around a tight curve the road drops steeply and the surface is loose. squareish rock on loose sand. I knew it would be a little tricky climbing back out so Janine walked to the top of the hill to make sure I wouldn't meet someone comming the other way.
I made it about 3/4 of the way up and hit a square rock that just sort of plowed through the sand and sent me into the bushes. The bike ended on it's side, facing up the hill and wrapped up in the brambles. It was a tough spot to pick it up so I was glad Janine was along to give me a hand. We got it upright and I walked it up the hill (under power). No damage except for my ego. I hate it when an obsticle beats me. Lets just call gaining experience.
We followed the west coast back down the penisula then crossed back over to St. John's. It was a great day with lovely weather and plenty of sights (and some exercise picking up the bike).
After cleaning up we ended the day with nice meal downtown. We really enjoyed St. John's which is unusual for us. Normally cities don't do much for us but St. John's is a very special place.