So I woke up early on Wed after getting to bed late from the ferry. I looked out the window and saw… Well, very little :). FOG with a capital F! I quickly made the right decision to head back to bed for a couple more hours and after a leisurely breakfast with another fun Harley couple, Cal and Sid, I sped off in 60 degree fog/rain. I was feeling very proud of myself now that I was using the cold weather gear I lugged with me… Until 20 mins outside Port aux Basques when the temperature went to 80 and the sunshine blazed away. What the heck? Anyway, the ride up to Gros Morne National Park in western Newfoundland was quite nice. Right outside Port aux Basques the land featured huge tabletop mountains caused by the massive power of the earth’s plates colliding many moons ago and at lunch I met a nice BMW couple who used to own a 1200 GS and regretted selling it. They cautioned me about the moose (this being at least the tenth time I had been told to watch out for the moose and never ride at night) and rode off into the distance.
When I rode into the park several hours later, my brilliant plans all came crashing down. The rain and cold was back and this was to be my first night camping! Undeterred, I pulled into the camp ground and tried to check in… However, I had made my reservation for the wrong night… A side effect of not really knowing or caring what day it is. They had plenty if space anyway and I rode into my L shaped lot to find a picnic table, fire pit and fairly level ground.
BY now the rain was coming down hard and I was not looking forward to setting up my tent in the rain as I had only set it up once in the living room before I left 🙂 Out came the tarp to go on the ground, then the tent was laid out and 5 mins later it was up!!! I was actually shocked because I expected another fiasco. The rain cover went over the tent and within the space of 15 mins I had all my gear and myself inside the tent and out of the rain. I was feeling a bit tired and so I rolled out the sleeping bag and had an hour nap… and I slept well indeed. Afterward, I got up and took my iPad to the office to surf the net, check mail and write some of my blog.
I saw the lady who checked me in and she again mentioned that a local band was playing at the Ocean View Motel in Rocky Harbour and that I should go see them. She also suggested getting there an hour early since they were popular. Cover was $20 and as I hopped out of the cab, I thought what the heck am I doing paying $20 bucks to see some backwater Newfie band play God knows what… I should be back in my tent.
BOY WAS I WRONG!!! The band is known as Anchors Away and they ROCKED! I was shocked that this wonderful talent was in such a small place. The 3 hour singing / comedy show they put on was one of the best I’ve seen in quite some time. The show had a deep emotional effect on me for two reasons… one, I had a few beers in me and two, it reminded me of my honeymoon in Vancouver. Laurie would have loved the show and we would have dazzled the crowd dancing to the many waltz’s they played. The dance floor was empty… it never was if Laurie was around… she was fun like that… now she’s just candy-coated misery 🙂 I’m joking… sort of 🙂 The good thing was I realized halfway through the show (as I wiped away the tears from laughing and singing so hard) that I was right where I was supposed to be. The minute sense of doubt that had been with me since I started this journey just melted away and I knew that I was supposed to be in that room, at that time, enjoying my life and living it for the first time in many years.
I shared a cab back to the campground and crawled into my tent after midnight. Now… good thing I was a little buzzed because otherwise I would have packed my bloody tent up right then and there and gone and found a motel. OMG… at first I sweltered to death, then I froze, then I kept getting woken up by other people, vehicles, etc., then the ground was so hard my back/neck/hip/knee (take your pick) started to feel like it went twelve rounds with Rocky Balboa!!! Then to top it all off I had to pee… and there was no way I was getting dressed, unzipping my tent and walking 200 yards in the rain to pee. So… I held it and of course try sleeping with a full bladder. BY the time 7am rolled around I was NOT going to be camping again until I had time to rethink my strategy 🙂