Thursday, July 13, 2006

Newfoundland Trip Days 15-16

Another traveling day. And I seem to be burned out as far as taking pix is concerned. The Gaspe has some beautiful areas, but not after Newfoundland! All of the towns along the North shore (South shore of the St. Lawrence) look the same. I didn’t take a lot of shots.

Route 198 heads inland and passes through endless forest. I was tired and wanted to pull over for a break but was looking for something other than featureless trees. Didn’t find anything, so I pulled over anyway. I didn’t see a car for the whole 10 to 15 minutes I had stopped. The curves were quite interesting but the road surface really sucked. And there seemed to be a pothole or a bump right at the apex of most curves.

Murdochville seems to be a dead town. There are a bunch of houses close together, but nobody around. I read in the paper tonight that many houses are abandoned there. There’s a huge wind farm along the ridges above the town. I don’t understand why the wind generators are so far apart – different mountains! I imagine it would have been quite a task to install them. Most of them were not running and neither were the ones at Ste. Anne des Monts – either there was no wind or they were still being installed.

I intended to take the ferry across the St. Lawrence at Matane, to Baie Como. But the information booth told me it only ran once/day, at 5pm and took 2 hours to cross. That would have cost me way too much time, so I kept going on the South Shore. I made it to Riviere du Loup as planned, in the rain for the last 30-40 km. I’m staying at a motel attached to a St. Hubert BBQ where I had dinner. I am still a little under the weather, as I mentioned yesterday – I had chills again around 6-7 pm but a couple of Tylenol later and I feel OK. I’m about 450 km from my Montreal destination, very do-able tomorrow.

So I'm now home -- the total mileage was 7,833 km according to the odometer, a little less according to the GPS. It was a great trip. Today's ride was uneventful except for one incident: I was riding along the 401 and there was a slow driver in the left lane, doing about 110 or 115. I sat behind him for a while, waiting for him to move over so I could pass.

Finally my brights in hs mirror caught his attention and he moved over. I rolled on the throttle and accelerated to about 150, then I changed to the right lane, using my turn signals as I'm supposed to, and I rolled off, slowing to about 135.

An OPP cruiser went by me on the left. I figured I was toast: 150 in a 100... but he smiled at me and waved! Guess he was impressed that I slowed sown after the pass -- or he was a biker too!

I got home around 2:45, had a swim, bought some groceries, and started downloading the pictures. This is going to take a while...