Saturday, July 1, 2017

Day 42 - Sheppardville to South Brook (via Springdale)

64.0 km - Total so far 2,743.80 km


The plan for today was to pedal about 30 kilometers to a campground the other side of Sheppardville. This short distance gave us the opportunity to leave the Trans Canada Highway and spend some time in Springdale. From the town's website, we knew that Canada Day celebrations were scheduled for the afternoon.

On the outskirts of Springdale, we ran into Golda Axworth. She laid out for us the town's plan for Canada Day celebrations and gave us directions to the Springdale Pentocostal Church where activities where scheduled to begin at about 11:00 a.m.  

Hélène and Golda

Here is advice for cyclists on how to be noticed at a large event in a new town. Make sure that you pass the first entrance to the site and enter by the second entrance. Show up early (at least 30 minutes) when everything is still being set up. Lastly, as you come to a stop, do not unclip and fall over with your bicycle. Wait a few seconds, while people rush over to help you and assist in lifting your fully loaded bicycle off the ground. It worked for me.

One of the congregation members, Gilbert L Penney quickly took us under his wing and showed us the available facilities. Outside, tables were set up with different types of foods and desserts, anxiously awaiting the crowds. As we did a quick tour, we were immediately drawn to the list of unfamiliar desserts.  

At the same time, the senior pastor Lindsay Foster introduced himself to us and for some reason the conversation quickly moved to desserts. Pastor Foster was kind enough to offer us our first square of bakeapple berries. From desserts, we progressed to hot foods, namely "Fisherman Brewis". If you visit Newfoundland, you must have bakeapple berries and Fisherman Brewis. We were told that Fisherman Brewis is not very good for you but at the rate it was disappearing we find that hard to believe.

Helene enjoying our first bowl of "Fisherman Brewis". Minutes later,
Golda showed up to see how we were getting on

The crowd is growing very quickly at the Canada Day celebrations
As I sat by myself, Gilbert came over and sat down and we started talking about camping equipment. He spoke of his equipment and how it changed as he gained experience trekking across Newfoundland, a number of times. As I intently listened to him, I exclaimed: "You should write a book! He responded that he had written books, three in fact. He mentioned that if we swing by his place after 4 pm, he would give us one.  

Yours truly with Gilbert Penney

A lot of town folks showed up for this celebration.
We were well looked after by the good people of Springdale, They made sure we had our Canada Flag stickers and when those failed to stick on any of our clothing, they got us pins. They offered us their vehicles so that we could see more of Springdale and its wharf. Although tempting, we declined the offer, as we were there to see Newfoundland on our bicycles.

Gilbert disappeared only to return later with a copy of his book " Out For A Walk" which he signed and dedicated to us. We were deeply touched.

The author with two thrilled recipients of a dedicated  book
As all good things come to and end, we thanked our hosts and headed out to explore Springdale. We made it to the wharf and read just about every sign and placard that were put up. We learned quite a bit about the history such as: how the town rallied to help save six humpback whales and one narwhal trapped in the ice in Halls Bay. One humpback died, but the others swam free when a channel was cut by an icebreaker. We also learned that Springdale lies under the flight path of the route between Europe and North America. So the next time we fly back from Europe and the pilot announces "Look below, you can see Springdale, Newfoundland", we will smile.

The wharf in Springdale

Post with signs showing the as the crow flies distances to various
destinations. Ottawa is shown as being 1,545 kilometres.
We pedaled a bit more than that to get to Springdale

Another view of the wharf and of Halls Bay
Before leaving Springdale, we stopped at Tim Horton's at around 2:30 pm. We had been in Springdale about fours hours by then and as we walked in, we recognised 3/4 of the people in the Tim Horton's, having had met them earlier in the day.
It had been overcast for most of the day but as we left Springdale at 4pm
the sun came out

We set up camp on the waterfront on Halls Bay. We had our supper
looking back at Springdale (you can see across the bay on the right)
We did not know what to expect when we headed to Springdale, but we are certainly glad we did. We were met by warm and engaging people who made us feel right at home from the get go. People often comment that we must see some very beautiful parts of Canada in our travels and as expected, we always respond "Yes" and we have the pictures. 

What really propels us to continue travelling by bicycle is the people we meet along the way. We will never forget the day we celebrated Canada Day in the small Newfoundland town of Springdale. We plan on returning to Newfoundland and staying longer next time and are looking forward to being in Springdale for another Canada Day. 

We promise to keep our arrival very low key next time!

We have now completed week 6 of our 8 week trip.

39.77 miles - Total so far 1,704.92 miles


  1. Dan - you advice for "cyclists on how to be noticed at a large event in a new town" is quite the pick-up line ...........

  2. Hélène and Daniel – Reading your blog has become a multiple-step process for me. First there’s the quick read-through to find out where you are and what you two are up to. Then one goes back to peruse the photos and savour the pictures painted by the words. I was going to write a question about bakeapple berries and Fisherman Brewis when I noticed the links you so thoughtfully provided. After reading about Brewis and the side dish of scruncheons, it became clear how the heroine of the children’s story, “Peg and the Yeti”, made a friend of said Yeti. Now I’m wondering what other links I overlooked…..