Camping by an Abandoned House
ECT Day 231&232
IAT Day 62&63
Day 231: 24 miles
This morning we slept in a bit at the cabin. It was so toasty inside and had rained most of the night. I was feeling so grateful to be waking up in a bed so unexpectedly! We wound up leaving the cabin around 7:30am and got walking again.
Our route took us along dirt ATV roads for most of the morning once again. The road tended to be pretty flooded and rocky, so it was slow going. And not long into the morning it began to rain lightly. Not heavy enough to soak you through but enough that we really didn’t want to stop off to break. I had hoped that we’d pass by some place half decent to rest. But it just never seemed to happen.
We wound up walking for about 5-6 hours before we finally decided to just stop off somewhere. Even if it was raining lightly, it was still worth stopped to rest our bodies. When we passed by a driveway along the side of the ATV road we decided to stop. And for some reason I decided to walk a short way down the road just to look.
And I shit you not, there was an abandoned house with a covered porch just down the street. The porch was just big enough for all of us to fit and was fully protected from the rain. It was really worn down and clearly no one had been around in years. But it made for a perfect place to take a break.
From there we only had about 7-8 miles to go to get to a road where we were going to hitch a ride into a town. That way we could spend the night there to avoid more rain and get a bit of rest. Those next couple of hours went by fairly quickly and before I knew it, we were at the Stephenville Crossroads. There was a gas station there, so we went inside quickly. I got a sweet hot coffee and sat outside. Then we wound up getting a ride into the neighboring town.
There was a motel, Walmart, and a pub all connected. A hikers dream! So we checked in at the motel and dropped our things. Then went down to the pub for an early dinner. The wings were .50cents so I got 12 and a soda. Then we retreated back to the room to relax.
My body was so tired it was hard to motivate myself to shower and get situated. I wound up talking on the phone with my mom for a long time which was really great. Lately my phone calls have been few and far between. I’ve been really busy and exhausted by the journey.
After I talked to my mom on the phone it was somehow already 9pm. The day had passed us by and we hadn’t even gone to the store yet. I went back to the room and all of us headed over to Walmart. Sadly, it was one of the worst Walmart selections that I’d ever seen. It was genuinely tough to pick out items to resupply on. I wound up buying a loaf of bread, peanut butter, jelly, and ziplocks. I’ll make myself about 7-8 sandwiches and eat those over the next couple of days.
Once I got what I needed I headed back to the room to lounge. I made my sandwiches for tomorrow and got my bag situated. Then just laid in bed and watched TV. I wound up staying up pretty late on my phone. That seems to be the trend for me in Canada.
Day 232: 24 miles
This morning we woke up around 6am and it was raining out. Sparkle declared that we were going to sleep in late and wait out the rain! That was music to my ears. With no protest we rolled back over and went to bed once again. I was so happy to be able to rest a bit longer and sleep in late. We wound up getting up around 9:30am which felt fantastic. Then we all got our bags packed up and were ready to go.
Once everyone was packed, we got a ride back over to the Stephenville Crossroads where we got picked up yesterday. The trail brought us along old railway tracks for most of the morning. Then back onto dirt roads like ATV roads. I ate a sandwich while we walked and chatted with Sparkle. It wasn’t raining anymore and had turned into a pretty decent day which was lovely.
About 4 hours into our afternoon, we stopped off to grab some water by a bridge. It can definitely be hard to get water sometimes while road walking. It may be nearby but isn’t always easily accessible. After getting water we decided to just sit there on the bridge and take a break. It would be the perfect spot so long as no ATVs drove by while we were there. And just our luck none did.
While we sat, we all played a game of who could throw a rock into a pocket on Truckers pack. It was sitting across from us so while we sat on the bridge, we took turns throwing small rocks at the pocket. Whatever we can do to entertain ourselves these days I suppose. Then after a short break we got moving once again. It wasn’t going to be a particularly long day today, so we had to make the most of it.
After another couple of hours of walking we went past Calm Waters Park. It was a ridiculously nice park by a lake with benches, bathrooms, and some kind of building. The bathrooms and main building were closed but we were able to snag some Wi-Fi. It made for a great place to take a break. And it was tempting to call it a day there and tent nearby. But it was still so early, and we hadn’t made it particularly far. I love a short day, but I know that any miles we don’t do today are just more miles we have to do tomorrow.
So we decided to keep it moving and continue on until dark. After another hour or so we came to a literal crossroads and stopped. The ATV route that we had been on had zero places to stop off and camp. But at this crossroads we could see a bit of open land along with some houses. It’s just always a tough call when deciding where is safe to camp.
While we were stopped off there, we saw some ATV-ers in the distance and decided to wait. Lately the ATV guys have been our saviors so we figured they would help. When they went by, they asked us what we were doing. We mentioned that we were trying to find a place to camp nearby. They told us that we were pretty far from anything up ahead. But that a property to our left was actually abandoned for a long time. The people who owned it moved to Halifax so we would be ok to go and camp anywhere on the property. By god, do I love Newfoundland.
After talking to those guys for a bit we headed up to the old, abandoned house. The grass out back was pretty perfect it set up tent, so we made ourselves comfortable. The house itself was basically falling down and dilapidated. Once I got set up, I retreated to my tent. It began to rain just as I did! What perfectly timing.
Within minutes of sitting down I heard a bunch of loud popping sounds! The baffles on my thermarest sleeping pad had blown out. The bottom 1/3 of my sleep pad was now a giant over inflated banana. It was almost impossible to get comfortable on it.
Over the course of the night even more baffles blew out. What a nightmare! We have a few hundred miles left of the IAT in Canada and my sleep pad is busted. I tried to make the best of it overnight, but it was so uncomfortable. Hopefully I’ll be able to find a new pad at a gear shop soon or get in contact with thermarest.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.