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Leg 1 [Halifax to St. John's via North Sydney, Corner Brook, Terra Nova]

Written on: Friday June 1st, 2007

A journal entry from: Newfoundland 2007

Hey kids! Well I?m in Newfieland and it?s a whole ?nother world! We left on Wednesday at 14:00 and drove to Cape Breton. The ferry leaves from North Sydney but we had 3 hours to kill so we drove on to Sydney and had a great meal at the Moose and Crown. And of course we had to get a picture of the Lick-a-chick restaurant. Great chicken, apparently. The ferry left at 23:30 and we watched the hockey game and slept in our little bunks. I set my alarm for 6 as we were to arrive in Port-au-Basques at 6:30. Approaching Port-au-Basques the sun was peeping through a characteristic grey day. The whole area looked barren and there were still snow caps on the mountains. And yes, I wouldn?t hesitate to call them mountains here. It?s mountainous. The settlement is small and built on top of the rocks. But O? Canada there was the Tim Horton?s! We grabbed some coffees and breakfast sandwiches and began the road trip. We drove two hours up to Corner Brook and went into the Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) campus there. We delivered our report (64 pages on mink shit). We had a productive meeting with the VP of research who may try and get us some research assistants for our field work (like our job isn?t easy enough). Corner Brook seems cool, very hilly, and very rugged. Onwards we drove to Grand Falls/Windsor and checked out the downtown. It?s a hole so we headed to Gander to grab some groceries before entering Terra Nova National Park. And there we camped on Thursday night. It is a beauty area. I went for a run along the coastal trail, lots of signs of moose and bear. Keith is a scamper camper so I made him a campfire and showed him how to open a can of beans with a Swiss army knife. He made a luxury kabob and grilled it over the fire. The picture of the truck is in the campground the next morning. We packed up and did a hike around Sandy Pond. Note: in Newfoundland, lakes are called ponds. I?m not really sure what they call ponds; maybe puddles. It was a beauty hike and made me feel like I was actually guiding out west again. We also started down a mountain bike trail to Duphny?s Pond but the trail hadn?t been maintained yet. So finally we started towards St. John?s. We got there and tried to find the campus. Everyone was overly helpful and always asking us ?where y? to?? which means ?where are you going?? They also asked us, ?Where y? here to?? which means ?where did you come from?? CRAZY! So we finally found our residence and convinced the communications guys to give us wireless internet. And we found that the only answer to the question ?what is there to do around here?? is GEORGE STREET. George Street: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Street,_St._John's So we bought some rye and cooked a fine meal and did as the locals do: headed to George St. at midnight. And when you first get to Newfoundland (after surviving a crazy cab ride) you have to get ?screeched in? which is like a rite of passage. In fact I have the certificate from Trapper John?s pub. You have to shoot a shot of Newfoundland Screech, their finest rum and the recite a saying (which I can?t for the life of me remember except that it ends in ?yes by?). And then you kiss the puffin?s arse which is the ass of a wooden puffin that gets handed down the bar. And then you become ?n onirary member of Newfoundland and Labrador.? And so our night began. I?ll spare the details but it was a great time, and we met the locals. George St is insane. I woke up this morning and got ambitious so I went for a mountain bike. The wind was so strong that I was getting buffeted up to a foot sideways at times. But there?s a sweet park right behind campus with a couple of ?ponds? and some trails. I?m still waiting for Keith to get up as I write this email. We were going to take a little trip to Signal Hill which is a national historic site. Might as well. I?ll be in touch,From the far eastern reaches of Canada,Ryan


From Adam Douglas on Jun 4th, 2007

Atta boy Balls! Rock Newfie-land hard...Put the Duke stamp on the East Coast.