12.07.2011 - 12.07.2011 15 °C
I got on the road from St. Anthony at 7 a.m. hoping to beat the rain that was forecast. My plan didn't work because about 15 minutes out of town, the rain began. At first it was just a few drops but it became heavier as the morning wore on. I stopped for breakfast about 2 hours out at a local place (the cafe from yesterday wasn't open at 8 a.m. when I rode by). Back on the road and the rain really started. It was only 7 celcius at that time in the morning and I was glad that I had donned my heated jacket liner and that I had heated handlebar grips on the Wing.
It was as bad or worse than the rain that kept me in Corner Brook for an extra day last Sunday. The good news is that it wasn't that windy at first but just before Gros Morne National Park, the wind really whipped up. It was as bad as any wind on the prairies. My Aerostitch suit performed admirably. I rode over 500 kms in the rain and the only part of me that got wet was my butt because my sheepskin that I keep on my seat acted like a sponge.
There were a few things I would have liked to have seen today that I passed-on yesterday because I wanted to see the Viking Settlement. I had to let them go by today because of the weather. Many of the villages looked quite picturesque. As well, Gros Morne National Park has some spectacular scenery.
It was over 400 kilometers to Deer Lake where I picked-up the Trans Canada. After fueling-up I headed east towards Grand Falls-Windsor where I planned to overnight. Once again, the rain became torrential. Fortunately, there's not a lot of traffic so I just slowed-down a bit and rode it out. The rain finally stopped about 50 kms from Grand Falls.
I couldn't find a motel in Grand Falls. The only decent one wasn't near a restaurant. Once I'm off the road for the day, I don't like to get back on the bike to find a place to eat. So I rode on another hour to Gander where I found a place. Gander is a gritty place. Nothing looks new. Parking lots are full of cracks and potholes. At one time Gander was a going concern when most airlines used it as a fueling stop on their Trans Atlantic flights. With the advanced range of modern jets, the airport isn't used that much anymore. The hotel I'm staying at has sure seen better days.
Gander became famous after 9-11 when U.S. air space was closed. Dozens of airliners were re-routed here and not allowed to continue on to the U.S. for 2 or 3 days. The people of Gander opened their homes to thousands of passengers. Check out http://www.ganderairport.com/911.htm
No photos on this blog. It was raining too hard. Tomorrow I have about 320 kms to the end of my cross-country journey. The weather forecast for the next 3 days is much like today. I have to get an oil change for the Wing in St. John's. If I can get that done tomorrow (13th) I may take the ferry from Argentia back to North Sydney on the 14th.
Distance today - 753 kms
Distance todate - 9,097 kms.