I've been pretty lucky with neighbours in the 18 years I've lived in my neighbourhood. The folks on one side have been tolerable enough and the guy has a cool muscle car ('74 Plymouth Duster) that we've spent many hours chatting about, working on and generally admiring. My new neighbour, the guy I was chatting with on Friday night, is much younger and moved in a little over a year ago. He is actually a former student of mine from about 15 years ago, he and his lovely wife. He currently teaches French at the same school where I work. So far we get along pretty well...it's hard not to like a guy who is kind enough to mow one's lawn just because I jokingly suggested he ought to. I felt kinda shitty 'bout that for a minute, but then I just put in down to his good nature and moved on.
I'm rambling aren't I. I think that may be a hallmark of this post. Anyway, young Caleb (neighbour's actual name) says "well, if you're going to Gander you should go to Lewisport". I'm not sure why he thought that was a good idea, and now having driven through Lewisport, I'm still not sure, but I know he had the best of intentions and indeed it worked out fortuitously. When I mentioned it as a possible destination to my frequent riding buddy Frank a.k.a. Furry G, he got excited and said well we have to go to Embree, but he would not tell me why. "OK" says I, because really I didn't care that much as long as we had a good long ride on a sunny summer day. So, off we headed,west, and at a good clip. It was indeed a great ride, therapeutic as they all usually are. It was warm, traffic wasn't to heavy the further west we went and police sighting were limited (and fortunately came when we were in traffic and at a more respectable pace). The bike ran well and with each joyful mile the stress of a long work week disappeared on the wind. We finally arrived in Embree and the big secret was revealed...it was the Newfoundland navy. Actually, it was a rusting hulk of metal and some rotting wood that once had been the HMS Calypso, the pride of the Newfoundland Navy in the early part of the 20th century, when Newfoundland was an independent nation and, as a coastal state, we had a navy. Sadly, this derelict hulk, such an important artifact of our proud ocean going history, has not been preserved. However, to an avid scholar of Newfoundland history,as Furry G is, it was a pretty big deal. I did appreciate, if not share, his enthusiasm. Here are a couple of then and now shots.
|HMS Calypso under full sail. She was a full sailing ship with an engine to boot|
|The hulk on the left in the background is the remnants of Calypso, which had been renamed Briton by the time she was decommissioned. The hulk in the foreground on the right..well, that's me.|
|Looks like a big plate of custard but there is a huge chunk of coconut cream pie under there...some good!|
Well, with the tidbit of Newfoundland history examined, the pie sampled and the day thus far enjoyed, we turned around and headed home. We initially had planned to do a loop heading back to along the coast before hitting Gander and the TCH again, but time prevented that on this trip. It was almost 4:00 and we wanted to make it home before dusk and the moose were hard to see. Also,by this time I was feeling kinda sore, still feeling the effects in my neck and shoulders of the fender bender in May, and the advil I was popping were not helping.
We made it back into St. John's just a bit before 8:00 PM. I was pretty tired having driven over 750 kms since 9:30 that morning, but I savoured every mile of it. I have had a head cold since last Friday, and I don't know if it was that, maybe combined with being tired from the ride but I could only mange one drink of Cap'N Morgan before it was lights out for the day as the VOCM cabin party lulled me to sleep.
Sunday arose as brilliantly sunny and warm as the previous day. It being father's day, I was looking forward to some family time. Other than having the good sense to hang on to their mom, my three kids are the best thing I have ever done, or will ever do. There were nice cards and presents, a great BBQ steak courtesy of my lovely wife and the day ended sitting around a fire, another of my stress reduction strategies. The best part of the day was sitting on the deck with Sherry & the kids, just talking and listening to music on my son's laptop. At one point America's "Ventura Highway" came on. I thanked God my kids don't totally hate me and they have decent taste in music.
|Cape Spear, eastern most tip of the North American continent|
|At Fort Amherst, St. John's Harbour Entrance|
|The light house grounds at Fort Amherst|
So, it's Monday as I write this record of the weekend that was. Today featured a return to the cool spring weather with rain and temps around eight degrees. But, if this weekend was indeed summer, it was a great one. Until the sun shines again, See ya Out There! Ride On....