May 15

May 16th, 2007

We woke up with an uneasy feeling in our stomaches today. We sat around the table and had a seance and prayed to the Auto Gods that our new master cylinder would arrive with no problem. It was almost 10 am when the guys at Thruway Auto told us the part had arrived in the city and would be here soon. When it finally arrived, they told us it would only take a few minutes to change it. Sure enough, when they removed the old cylinder, the new one refused to fit. The Auto Gods were toying with us again. Thankfully, a minor adjustment needed to be made and the new cylinder slid right on. With the brakes back in working condition, I was ready to hit the street.


It was almost noon when I started skating. I had checked the weather report and knew that the conditions were not going to be as nice as the previous day. The winds had shifted and were now (once again) directly in my face. As frustrating as the wind was, I was prepared for it. But what i wasn’t prepared for was the road conditions between Corner Brook and Stephenville. Almost the second I began skating, the road was treacherous. There was gravel, sand, cracks, no shoulder and finally, construction. The wind alone had knocked my speed down to only 10 km/hr, but with the added road conditions, I was now lucky to be doing 7 km/hr. Not exactly the speed I was hoping for considering I was behind schedule again.


In between my rants and tantrums due to the wind and road, people continued to pass by and honk with encouragement. One man pulled over in front of me to make a donation. As we chatted for a few minutes, I told him how our RV had broke down in Corner Brook. His response shocked me a bit. “Again?!” he said to me. He had heard about our RV troubles back in St. John’s. He had been tracking our progress across the entire province.


As the day went on, I finally reached the end of the horrible roads. And in fact, the wind was starting to let up. At its peak, I was facing gusts of wind up to 45 km/hr! I was glad to see some smooth pavement in front of me now. If you’ve been reading my journal from the start, you should know what’s coming next.


Just as the conditions start to look good for me, the rain started up. I couldn’t help but laugh. I’ve never failed a test in my life (except for University Calculus and Chemistry, but that’s another story), and I would be damned if I’d fail this test. That is exactly how I felt… like I was being tested. It’s a long journey across Canada, and I think if I can make it through Newfoundland, I can make it through anything!


Now with the rain drizzling down on me, I almost began enjoying the day. Skating in the rain is great because it tends to draw more attention. Almost right away, a car pulled over to donate. The woman who was driving told me she had actually stopped a couple hours earlier and given my parents a previous donation, but she wanted to give me more. What an unbelievable woman. Rose Howse. The next thing I knew, she had invited us to stay at her place that evening if I was able to make it to Stephenville. The thought of a hot shower was motivation enough. I was determined to get there!


So I trekked along more optimistic than I’d been all day. Even with the rain falling on me, things just started looking brighter. And then another glimmer of enjoyment… Another moose! This time the moose was only 25 feet off the highway. She didn’t seem to care about passing vehicles, but as soon as she saw me in my bright orange vest, she headed for the trees. I was able to snap one great picture, though. It will be posted soon.


My legs were getting heavy as the day was coming to an end. But I had enough left in me for one more big hill. I’d faced some big inclines, but this one was really long. I was hoping to continue on for a few more kilometers after I reached the peak, but I decided I’d had enough for one day. I came to rest at the entrance to Barachois Pond Provincial Park roughly 65 km from where I had begun in Corner Brook. Not a bad haul considering the obstacles I had faced today.


So I hopped in the RV and we headed for Stephenville for the night. We arrived at the home of Rose and Calvin Howse where they welcomed us in with open arms. Amazingly generous people. I was able to shower and get some much-needed laundry done. Before I knew it, my eyes were starting to close. It was a long, hard day and I badly needed to recover with a good nights sleep.

Posted in Daily Journal | 1 Comment »


One Response to “May 15”

  1. Debbie Read Says:

    Hi Rich….I’ve been watching your website regularly…really enjoying your daily journals. What an adventure you must be having. Had a few emails from mom and dad as well. Hang in there! I’m really cheering for you. Oh yeah, and by the way….GO SENS GO!!! Our hockey team is doing amazing!! Stay safe.
    Debbie & Peter

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