Newfie Dictionary

This is Buddy Wasisname and The Other Fellas, music and humor from Newfoundland.

This dictionary would have come in handy while we were on the island. The accent was so thick in some spots we really had trouble following along.

Funny thing was that most folks ‘dumbed down’ their accent when they talked to us, sort of like we were idiot children they had to be kind to. They’d say a sentence to me and I’d understand, then turn to their friend and speil off a set of words that were beyond my comprehension!

The sweetest was Jeff’s daughter asking us “Where ya bean ta?”. I asked her what she said and she got all shy. Jeff had to translate, “where did you go?”.

Shortest conversation in Newfoundland? Two fishermen, one says to the other “Yarn?”, the other answers “Narn.”  The first guy is asking if the fishing is good and if he’s caught anything, the other answers, nope, nothing today.

We’re baaaaack…

Made it home yesterday around 5pm, after waking up early in Deer Lodge Montana to 36-degree temperatures, we bundled into all our warm clothes and were on the road by 6:45am.  By 11am we’d dropped elevation and gained lots of heat, so we shucked all the heated and fuzzy stuff and switched to mesh gear and lightweight clothes underneath. By the time we hit Hwy 97, it was nearing 90 degrees, the wind machines stood silently and unmoving at the top of the gorge, not a breath of breeze anywhere.  Darned hot welcome back, for sure!

Happy to be back in the desert!

Happy to be back in the desert!

Welcome it was though, the cats were very happy to see us (food sources are always welcome), and sleeping in our own bed was heaven! Now to laundry, and Mike has to clean the bikes and assess the damage.  I’ll still need a chain guard and probably a few other bits from my chain throwing experience, while Mike’s bike was fixed properly with a new guard and everything by the guys at Fun  n’ Fast.

I’ll be doing a wrap-up, with photos and links to everything here on the blog. Lots of details and fun stuff I was too tired to write about in the dailies.

Even though we had troubles, so many strangers came in and helped out that these troubles never turned into real problems. We didn’t make it to Labrador, but we did make it to our main goal of the most eastern point on the continent. Overall, an excellent journey!

777 miles – I think we’re ready for our own bed!

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more about "jamestown", posted with vodpod

Jamestown North Dakota to Deer Lodge Montana, all freeway miles, so it went fast.

Durned tired, ready for bed, for sure!

We rode through some pretty places, many that interested us the first time through, and wish we had time to stop and explore.

From the monolithic Smelter stack at Anaconda to the beautiful Lady of the Rockies overlooking Butte Montana, this area has some fascinating history.

Deer Lodge, the town we’re spending the night has enough museums and antique stores to keep us busy for a weekend, making it especially tough to get up and leave tomorrow before anything opens!

Our hotel is older, but the owners have really made it warm and inviting. If you’re in the area, check out Western Big Sky Inn, it’s a great value for your money, even if you don’t count the free homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast!

Tomorrow? Home? Hope so!

Home of the Worlds Largest Buffalo!

At least it didn't rain ALL day :)

At least it didn't rain ALL day :)

It was a dark and stormy morning...

It was a dark and stormy morning…

We rode through rain all day just to get to Jamestown North Dakota, home of the Worlds Largest Buffalo. Yes,yes, too thrilling, I know, but wait until we visit the Worlds Largest Holstein – I think that’ll be tomorrow. I can’t remember where exactly, one of the plains states.

We really made some good time today, and now we’re off the minor freeways and onto highway. There’s good and bad about highway miles, the good thing is they go by quick, the bad thing is you don’t see much. But now we’re old horses sniffing the barn and making a final sprint for home.

We started the day in rain, but then broke free in time to enjoy some beautiful blue sky and the first of the fall colors as the trees are just starting to turn here. It was so pretty, and I can only imagine what it’s going to look like in a few more days.

We’re in a cheap hotel, warm and dry, and I’m ready to eat some Chinese food that we had delivered, smells delicious!

Back in the U.S.A. !!!

Flying below the radar we made it all the way from Arnprior Ontario to Marquette Michigan today (over 600 miles), looks like we’ll be re-tracing our route on the way home. We looked at other options last night, but nothing could get us home within our time frame without taking some serious chances.

I love Canada, I really do, but there’s something very comforting about speed signs in miles instead of kilometers, and gas at under $3 a gallon.

Today’s ride was uneventful (thank gawd!), cool morning warming to bright, sunny and warm by noon. Riding into the setting sun for the last hour of the day wasn’t fun, but the road is good.

Oh, and there was that little cliffhanger yesterday…

….so when we left our story we were happily riding away from St. John’s headed towards Port au Basques and the ferry to the mainland. Everything was going great, the bikes were running smooth, no leaks from the fix on the Kawie, all was well with the world. Unfortunately, we must not have shaken all the bike gremlins yet, because when we stopped for gas in Corner Brook (about two-thirds of the way across the island), Mike looked at his tire and said, “I think we have a problem”. I looked at the tire and there was a big staple sticking out. It had punctured the tire in two spots, and both pieces were still in the tire. Mike pulled out one, and of course air started whistling out. That was quite the sinking feeling!  Mike went into the store and started checking the phone book, he found two shops nearby, called the Kawie shop, but they didn’t have a wheel balancer. Next he called Scott’s Motorsport and begged them to wait a few minutes after close for us to get there. He aired up the tire and we took off. I nervously followed him the 20 minutes and the tire held enough air to get us there. The guys were waiting, even though the shop was already closed.  First they tried to patch the mess, but it wouldn’t hold air. They did have a tire that fit, but the price was way out of our range. The owner was able to discount it a huge amount (probably near cost), the guys worked major overtime to get us back on the road fast enough to make the ferry. Thanks again to Wallace and the rest of the gang at Scott’s Motorsport in Corner Brook, those guys went absolutely above and beyond the call of duty to make stuff happen for a couple of strangers in a strange land.

We raced out of Corner Brook and headed through “moose-thirty” and into dark. The road was nearly deserted, which made it even worse. We didn’t see any animals, but I don’t know if it was because they weren’t there, or we just were too dumb to look in the right spots.

Lucky for us, the bike gremlins hate midnight rides, so we scared the last few off the back of the bikes, and got to the ferry about ½ hour before boarding.  Lucky, there was room for us. We loaded up and found a spot to try and sleep uncomfortably for 6 hours until we docked at Sydney.

Landing before daybreak, we rode out into the rain. I stayed awake until Frederickton, but couldn’t keep going any further. We found a nice room at the Red Robin Inn, a perfect spot with a superb free continental breakfast. After a nice long nights sleep, we power rode more than 600 miles and landed back in Arnprior Ontario.

Ready for more miles tomorrow, getting us closer to home and our lonely cats (actually, they probably don’t miss us at all, we just think they do!).

Weekend (and Week-long!) Update

Weekend Update – September 19

Now that we’re back on track and I have internet access, I’ll tell you what we’ve been up to the past week!

We thought we had everything dialed and that all our parts would be in by Monday or Tuesday to Fun n’ Fast in St. John’s. Unfortunately, two things let us down, first is Sprocket Specialists, who told me they’d be able to rush an order through in a day then ship the following day still hadn’t even finished making the sprocket for my bike, second, the external oil pipe needed for Mike’s bike had been shipped like promised from Komo’s in Maine was in Postal Service limbo. We traced it to Canadian customs, then nothing. We canceled the Sprocket Specialists order and got a stock sprocket from Atlantic Motor Supply, a BMW dealer in Halifax.

Our other problem was we were out of time at our Extended Stay Hotel, and they were booked solid for the next 5 days. We searched and found only one hotel in the area with a room, a place in Mt. Pearl called the Greenwood Manor. They came and picked us up, which was nice. Unfortunately, that was the nicest thing about the place. It was a smoky dive of a place, and get this, the room had a bathtub but NO SHOWER! Really! Can you believe it? We couldn’t either, but beggars can’t be choosers, so we were stuck. One night and we requested a different room for the second night, fortunately they did have a little cabin available, which lacked smoke smell and included a shower. Perfect! Only one night available here, then we’d have to find something else for Monday night if the parts didn’t show up.

My sprocket showed up on Monday, but still no Kawie parts. No change in the tracking info with Canada Post either. Now we were without parts, and without a place to stay. Mike found out about a B&B down the street from our ugly motel, he walked down to the Tree House Suites and talked to Ralph, the owner. Unfortunately they didn’t have a room for us, but Ralph drove Mike all over Mt. Pearl to the Post Office and the Customs department to try and find the package. During this time, I was on the computer and phone and found one single B&B with one single room in St. John’s, I’m pretty sure it was the last room in town!

Ralph returned with Mike, and insisted on taking us to our B&B downtown. I couldn’t believe the kindness! He wouldn’t take any money for his time and trouble. Amazing!

The Narrows B&B was fine, a room with its own bath and a comfortable bed. Breakfast was good, but at $125 a night, we’d break the bank if we stayed more than one night.

The next morning we called Jeff at Fun n’ Fast, and still no Kawie part. After checking the tracking number (no updates), Jeff insisted we spend the night at his house instead of spending more money elsewhere. He’d been asking all week, and although we hated to impose, we took him up on the offer. He came and got us during his lunch hour and gave us his car to use until the shop closed at 5:30.

After work, he drove us to his place near Witless Bay on the other side of the harbor. His home sits at the top of the hill looking down on the bay. An amazing view! His wife treated us like family, and we were instantly comfortable.

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We ended up spending the night again the following night. By this time, we found out the Kawie part had probably gotten stuck on a boat instead of on the plane after customs, so wouldn’t arrive for at least a week! The owner of Fun n’ Fast took a new Versys off the floor and robbed the part from it. Jeff and the gang worked like fiends and finished the work, getting us on on the road by 10am.

Next problem, the ferry from Port au Basques (500 miles away) was full that night. I made reservations for the following 11am trip, still hoping that we could show up for will call and get on the 11pm boat.

We waved goodbye to the awesome team at Fun n’ Fast, and thought we’d be waving goodbye to our problems too…

So, what else happened?

I’ll finished the story tomorrow, it’s too late tonight and we’ve got to get to bed!

Surprise journey

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We left the hotel this morning planning to visit local churches and then Quidi Vidi. On our way to exploring an old house we’d glanced at yesterday, we stopped a lady getting into a car to ask about the place up the road. She was so sweet, and gave us all the information she knew about it, then asked what we were doing in the area. We told her who we were and how we’d gotten here, and then turned to go on our way.  A few steps down the road, she called us back.The two older couples in the car asked if we’d like to go on a boat trip. At first we declined, but they were so gracious and insistent, we went against form and said yes.  So, we ended up taking an amazing trip around Conception Bay with our Captain Norville, his wonderful lady Andrea , his sister Peg, her husband Jim and Norville’s son Fred.

Norville took us through Clarke’s beach to see the big fishing boats, then we stopped at Brigus beach for a treat of wild blueberry ice cream at the little cafe in town. Back to their private harbour at Seal Cove before they drove us back, even dropping us right at the front door of our hotel.

I spent the entire day in bemused awe at these great people who comfortably took us in and treated us as family. Just an amazing and unreal experience.

Walking around world’s end

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We hiked to the top of Signal Hill today to check out Cabot Tower. This is where Marconi flew an antenna from a kite and received signals from England back in 1901. Great history, some medieval architecture and simply awesome views. The wind was brisk, giving us just a taste of what this place could throw at you on a bad day.

Our hike back took us on a cliff edge with views of the harbor, and a really neat progression of buildings from early 1900’s fishing shanties in the foreground to modern skyscrapers at the top of the St. John’s business district. Walking these tiny twisted streets, a pickup truck came down a hill towards us and we had to tuck in tightly to the rock wall, the driver went by slowly, calling out, “that’s mistletoe tree you’re under!”, so we did the right thing and smooched.

Back in the real world, we’d hoped bike parts would be in today, and everything would be ready by tomorrow, but my BMW sprocket and one part for Mike’s bike won’t be here until Monday morning, so we’ll be treating you all to a VERY thorough tour of St. John’s by the time we leave.

At least we’re stuck in a great location, and it’s not snowing (yet!).

Downtown St. John’s Museums

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We had a fun day exploring St. John’s. It’s a really cool city, but a little crazy. Old crooked 1800’s houses next to modern skyscrapers. An old fishing harbor next to massive cranes loading containers onto ships.

Our hotel is near the “top” of the town, with the harbor and old town at the “bottom” about 5 blocks away. It’s a nice steep hike (think San Francisco or Seattle) for us, but exercise  is a good thing!

Architecture is wildly varying here, from stucco Italian-design churches to tiny row houses with lots of gingerbread, to monolithic castle-like structures of the Catholic diocese.

United Church

United Church

Supreme Court Building

Supreme Court Building

Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Although it was closed to the public, another small group was touring the Pharmacy museum and we were able to join them. This old pharmacy still held many of its original furnishings and woodwork. The light blonde wood still glows, and the white painted tin-stamp ceiling is very pretty. Jars are carefully laid out in rows on the shelves, with everything from cannibis oil to aspirin powder.

Next we crossed the street and entered the beautiful old train station, which is now a museum

Railway Coastal Museum

Railway Coastal Museum

They’ve done a great job of telling the story of settling Newfoundland, from the first sailing ships to the last train rolling down the tracks in the 1970’s.

After that, we dropped into Auntie Crae’s, a grocery store that specializes in local foods, baked goods and cheeses. The gals were happy to let you taste any cheese in the store, and I asked what was their best-seller. Beer cheese! Hmm, okay, I’ll try anything (well, except head cheese, that just sounds gross). This is the most flavorful cheese I think I’ve ever tasted, Mike loves it too. It has a yeasty bite then drops into a very complex flavor package of lots of different things I can’t identify, only to say it’s delicious!

The best thing about travel is finding new foods you like, the worst thing about travel is finding new foods you love and can’t take home with you!

Tomorrow is Cabot Tower.