Chambers + Chambers Full Speed Ahead Crankin’ ‘Cross Canada

2014-04-07-17-28-222.jpgI was thinking about what to call our blog and thought about two of my favourite blogs that I read about people crossing Canada, the routes they took, their adventures and the people they met along the way. The Wanderers and Dino Rock ~ I found these blogs, with several others on the Bike Ride Across Canada web site. These sites were extremely informative and entertaining. Several blogs were listed there ~ all special to their riders. I wanted ours to have a meaningful title to us. I mulled it over for days about what our blog could be called.

I thought it would be neat to have a picture of  a “part” of our bikes that were taking us across Canada. The background picture on our blog is the crank on my new Devinci Cross bike. When I took the picture I started to look at it blown up and noticed it had the letters FSA stamped on it. FSA ~ full speed ahead. Then it came to me, Chambers ÷ Chambers Full Speed Ahead Crankin’ ‘Cross Canada, I loved it!

Why include our “Vancouver to Calgary 1200 km in 10 days” bike ride from 2011 with our son, Ryan? It was an incredible trip the first time and we decided not to re-do this distance. We are continuing from Calgary, leaving from Ryan and Marie’s house and adding those 10 days on to the eastern provinces.

We are looking forward to sharing our adventure with our family and friends, and maybe even someone else who is planning this “big ride.” Please, be sure to drop us a note . . . . we’ll look forward to hearing from you!

Advertisements
Image

‘Crankin ‘Cross Canada ~ It All Seemed So Surreal . . . . . . Today We’re Heading Home

It’s hard to believe a whole year has passed by. In a few weeks our bike ride across Canada May 2014 will have begun . . . . last mid-May. I think it is time to finish up my last entry in my blog.

We started the day up early as usual only savouring every moment, knowing at the end of the day we would be home. Coffee was brewing on the cook-stove, we were rolling our ensolite pads, stuffing our sleeping bags in their stuff sacks, Doug disassembled the wheels off of the trailers to prepare them for the airport as luggage and I ran extra food down the hill to the young cyclists who were still on a mission. As we packed our gear and clothing in the trailers, Caroline and Michel wandered over to bid us farewell, have a lesson in tarp hanging and share some morning java. They were preparing to continue their journey as well.

It had been misty fog and raining last night and we wanted to be sure the boxes would remain dry. We arranged to have the park staff meet us this morning, at the shed where we had stored our boxed up bikes for the night.The taxi van picked us up shortly after that, we filled the van with our gear and off we went to the airport in St. John’s. It all seemed so surreal ~ we were going home, our trip was over. We had been gone for three and a half months. Two weeks visiting family in Calgary and three months crossing over 6,000 km to Newfoundland.

It was decided days ago. We had been debating for a week how we would get home from the airport, ride home with trailers in tow to finish our travels or having someone pick us up. On the flights home, Doug started. “Do you have the route home yet from the airport? It won’t take me long to take the bikes out of the boxes in Hamilton, reassemble them, reassemble the trailers and get us on the road to ride home. We should be arriving home just before dark. It’s only 50 km or so from the airport to home, that’s nothing! We’ll have that done in no time. We’ll be home in close to 3 hours.” I tried to ignore him, all along I wasn’t too keen on this plan. Being so close to home once we finally landed, I just wanted to get home, not unpack, reassemble, and repack . . . . then bike home. It was all I could do to hold back the tears, I could hardly look at him when he mentioned it. He blurted little quips about this plan all the way flying home. I was still not convinced it was the best idea. I just wanted to get home.

Suppertime we landed. It was such a great feeling to know we were so close to home, I was smiling ear to ear. But there was still much to be done, before I’d arrive home. As we waited for our packages and bike boxes, Doug reassured me he would take no time at all and we would be on the road. He told me, just watch for the trailers as he ran to the washroom. Within minutes they appeared. As I was taking them off the turnabout, I heard from behind me, “Patti-jo, do you need a ride home?” I turned around and . . . . . Roberto was standing there, with his dark sunglasses on. I couldn’t believe it! I was so happy to be rescued from having to ride home. I hugged him and began to cry! We all laughed about Doug teasing me all day and for the last few days.

As we were walking out to Roberto’s car, Doug told us that he had emailed everyone (he thought I would ask) to let them know if I had reached out and asked them to come pick us up . . . . . that they were to let me know it was impossible due to other commitments they had. He told them he had arranged a ride for us, so not to worry or feel bad about me begging for a pick up. We all laughed when Roberto said he felt a little tear in his eye build up behind his sunglasses, seeing how happy I was.

It was so great to be close to home! The drive was perfect ~ the sun was shining, it was warm, and the garden and grass colours in the evening sun were stunning. As we drove down our road, I was anticipating seeing our house. There it was, waiting for us to return! I looked to the right side of the car, tacked to the wood pile was a 10 – 12′ long Welcome Home sign on our wood pile . . . . . I began to cry, again. Bernadette made this sign for us. It was so great to be home!! I hugged the house, the bushes in my garden, the trees on the lawn, and ran around to the back yard. It all looked so good to me. I cried again.

What a great surprise, Roberto’s Lu Lu had made us some dinner for the evening knowing we had travelled all day. As we said our goodbyes to Roberto and went into the house, there was another enormous Welcome Home sign awaiting, it filled the entire living room wall. This one was my Dad’s handiwork. On the kitchen counter awaiting was a note from Mom, “Pasta-fazool was in the fridge.” Noodles were on the counter along with a bottle of Dad’s wine and fresh Italian bread. Mmmmm!

What a great home-coming this had been!

Last Two Days In St. JOHN’S Before Starting The Journey Home

image

Canary Cycle ~ the place to get our bike boxes.

image

Dismantling day - such a tough day, before the rainy days arrive that the weather is calling for.

image

St. JOHN'S 185th Annual Regatta Day, 1st Wednesday in August. Longest running sport event in North America.

image

This is a holiday day in Newfoundland. The racers rowed the length of the course, turned around a bouy, then raced back to the start. Crazy!

image

Last full day here, we hiked Signal Hill with Michele + Caroline. Then out for supper at the Yellow Belly for 3 beers and a pop!

image

Terry Fox monument - where he started his run from in St. JOHN'S Harbour.

Ghosts of Signal Hill, George St. And Fort Amherst

image

The high road or the high trail - decisions, decisions!

image

In the battery for the stories.

image

Looking at the harbour in the early evening.

image

Big music fest here with popular bands each evening on George Street.

image

Restocking the pubs on George Street.

image

Serena Ryder warming up her band.

image

Houses are so colourful and on many steep hills here.

image

Riding up to Fort Amherst on the south east shore of the Narrows, with the harbour in the background. The first lighthouse in Newfoundland.

image

Fort Amherst.

image

The southeast coastline.

Day 78 ~ A Day in Quidi Vidi + St. John’s and an Evening Hiking Signal Hill With Darryl, Cheryl + Ben

Thursday, July 31, 2014.

We spent the afternoon biking and wandering through Quidi Vidi, an old fishing village that is located next to St. John’s in a tiny harbour. There is also a little brewery there that makes Iceberg beer. Part of the wandering lead us to the waterfront of the downtown harbour in St. John’s. The George Street Music Festival starts this week, there are different musicians playing every night and George Street is blocked off. It is a street full of bars and restaraunts.

We met up with Darryl, Cheryl and Ben for supper at Classic Cafe then began our hike up the road through the old Battery, over the front deck of a homeowner to begin our way up the beaten pathway to Signal Hill. What a scenic hike! The trail is right on the edge of the cliff. When we wanted to look at the amazing view, we had to stop so we wouldn’t loose our footing.

It was breathtaking in any direction from we looked. At the coastline, back to the harbour, out to the ocean, back to the trail we just climbed, ahead to the Tower. So beautiful! To top it off, there was a perfect sunset to lead us down the trail. Thank you Darryl, Cheryl and Ben . . . it was a spectacular evening!

image

Historic fishing village of Quidi Vidi next to St. John's

image

Looking over to Fort Amherst on the south side of the Narrows.

image

Fort Amherst

image

So many stairs to get to the top. Cabot Tower up ahead.

image

image

Great pose, Ben! You are so lucky to live in such an amazing place!

image

What a phenomenal hike! Thanks for inviting us!

image

Beautiful sunset from Signal Hill.

6

Day 77 ~ Bell Island Mine + Pippy Park, St. John’s

Distance ~  24 km.    Winds ~ 5 km/h
Temperature ~ 22 – 30c       sunny, hot, humid
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

From 1895 to 1966, 78 million tons of ore was shipped from Bell Island, the world’s largest Submarine Iron Ore Mine. Only 10 square miles was mined of the 70 that is here. The model of themine showed the underground layout of the mine. It was interesting to see how riddled with tunnels it is under this island. The mine was deep and went 2 -3 miles at a 10 degree angle right under Conception Bay. Shovelers had to load a minimum of 1.8 tons each 10 hour shift for only 12.5 cents an hour. During early operations horses were used to pull the ore cars up to the surface. The lived underground for periods of time in stables, some worked for 16 years.

After the tour we checked out the island, held on our brakes down the steep incline back to the ferry, rode into St. John’s and set up base camp at Pippy Park campground.

image

image

image

image

image