Getting to My Final Province Along the IAT
ECT Day 235&236
IAT Day 66&67
Day 235: 22 miles
This morning we all slept in a little bit. It wasn’t as cold as I had expected over night which was great. And we weren’t in any particular rush for the day. We only had to go about 22 miles to get to Port aux Basques where we would take the ferry off of Newfoundland.
All of us started walking around 8am and it was a pretty nice day. I had to have most of my layers on but the wind wasn’t too bad. Sparkles and I would hang out and wind up talking and getting distracted. Then we would fall way behind Trucker and have to catch back up. That was basically the way it went for most of the morning.
Around 1pm we stopped off for the first time all day to take a break. We had gone about 12-13 miles at this point so we had about 10 to go. There was a field full of sheep alongside the road so we stopped me sat nearby. That way we got to watch them while we sat and ate something. I was feeling pretty good and was incentivized by town and the idea of completing yet another province. We are about 1200 miles into the IAT so far with about 300 miles to go.
After our break we continued along and my stomach really started bothering me. Over the last couple of months I’ve had some food sensitivity to particular things. But I really haven’t been able to hammer down what those things are exactly. Apparently today it was Tostitos cheese dip. Those next few hours of hiking were a bit miserable. The first hour my stomach was killing me and I felt super nauseas. Then I got some really rough abdominal cramping. Eventually it all went away and I was feeling much better by the time we were approaching Port aux Basques.
Our first stop in the outskirts of town was at a Mary Browns. And if only we had known how great it was earlier! We’ve seen a few of them but didn’t take full advantage. The food is fantastic. I got a sandwich and some poutine. We all sat and enjoyed our late lunch. It was fairly early and we didn’t have much further to go today.
Around 5pm we finally left Mary Browns and headed a couple miles down the road to a Tim Hortons. That Tim’s was right down the street from the ferry building. So we planned to hang out at the coffee shop for more of the evening. Then once it got closer to our boarding time we would walk over to the ferry.
Once we finally did walk over to Tim Hortons we got some final beautiful Newfoundland views. Our route brought us right past the ocean and by an old train station. We took some final photos and celebrated a bit. We have all come such a long ways in general, but also in Canada.
I got a coffee and sat around Tim Hortons on my phone for a long while. I did a bit of writing and then wound up talking to my dad on the phone for a while. Before heading over to the ferry I grabbed a few items from the gas station next door. Then all of us walked down the road to the ferry building around 9pm. The boat doesn’t leave until 11pm bu it boards much earlier than that.
When we got to the ferry building one of the guys working chatted us up. He had a lot of questions about where we were going and where we were coming from. He apparently has always wanted to do the Appalachian trail so it was great to be able to talk to him. Once we got checked we sat around the station for an hour or so. Sparkle and I each used .25 cents to get little gold rings from a kids machine. They only fit on our wedding fingers because they were so small. So we started calling them our “sister wife rings”.
Some time after 10pm we boarded the ferry. And once we got to our seats all of us got comfortable. I whipped out my sleeping bag and Sparkle and I each used one headphone and watched Netflix together. After a while we decided to call it a night. My body has been so sore from my broken sleeping pad. So I’m hoping that I’m able to get a pretty decent and restful nights sleep tonight.
Day 236: zero day
This morning I woke up around 7am on the ferry. The seats we had allow you to kind of lay fully down and relax but not entirely. So I was quite stiff and didn’t sleep great. But we were arriving in Nova Scotia! Our last province to hike along the International Appalachian trail.
When we pulled into the port we had to wait a while to de-board. Foot traffic is the first to get on the ship but the last to get off. Right off the bat we headed over to a Tim Hortons. We’re planning on staying overnight in town but it’s way too early to check in anywhere. Tim’s seemed like the perfect place to kill some time.
Originally we had planned to hike today. But my body is so exhausted. The last few nights I’ve gotten the worst sleep of the entire trail. My hips have been so insanely sore and so have many other places because of that. And to top it off we hardly slept last night. Taking the day off today is gonna be great. But the bummer is we won’t actually get to rest very much if we can’t check in until 3pm.
We stayed at the Tim Hortons for a long while. Then eventually went down the road to a couple thrift stores. Sparkle is getting so close to being done with the trail so she’s enjoying shopping around. Personally I know I have a long time left and don’t need any more stuff.
I did however want to go to the gear shop in town. It didn’t open up until 11am so I had to wait a while. I was able to get into contact with thermarest and they are going to send me a replacement pad. But they are sending it to an address in the USA. So I need to get something in the meantime. There are hundreds of miles left in Canada and I won’t survive much longer on the cold, hard, ground.
Once the shop opened I was able to find a pad. It was thermarest brand but was a torso length 1inch foam pad. Even though it was smaller than my current pad it was much cheaper and therefore heavier. It’s gonna be heavier and worse than my old one. But better than nothing!
After we left the gear store we walked over to our motel which was called the Clansman Motel. It was around 1pm at this point so they let us check in a little early. I took a shower which felt fantastic. Then we all headed across the street to a grocery store. We’re gonna spend the rest of the day lounging at the room. So I got a bunch of things to eat and microwave there.
Once we got back I laid down and ate some tortellini. I got a ton of different fun beverages to drink like a Japanese soda and a canned milk tea. While I laid in bed and watched TV I got some writing done. Then we eventually started a load of laundry. The laundry room was ridiculously far away so we all took turns going. My turn was last so I headed to grab everything from the dryer. But sadly the dryer clearly wasn’t working. I put more money in and sat there for 20 minutes but nothing got any drier. We’ll just have to hang it all up in the room and hope it dries overnight. What a bummer.
Back at the room it was super late but I could finally fully relax. Even though today was a zero day it was a complete waste. We hardly got to rest at all and wound up running around all day. My body needs real rest. But I know that Sparkle and Trucker have no intention of resting much more. They are so close to the finish line and just want to be done. Which I completely understand. But since we won’t be resting until the end of the IAT I want to finish as quickly as possible. Then I can take a couple days off before I flip back down to Alabama to continue walking.
Looking on our maps we figured that we could either road walk a much more roundabout way through Nova Scotia. Or we can road walk a more direct path which will allow us to finish nearby 4 days earlier. I know I can push out another week of big mile days before getting rest. But I don’t want to push out 10+ days before getting any more rest.
It was pretty unanimous that we’d go the quicker route. It would allow us to maintain the footpath but be done sooner. Which is especially great because it’s getting cold here in Canada! It’s the end of October and time to be done up here. Tomorrow we will decide upon everything for sure once we hike out.
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.