Hiking Through Gale Force Winds in Newfoundland
ECT Day 223&224
IAT Day 54&55
Day 223: 23 miles
This morning all of us slept in a bit at our camp site. When I first got up around 6am I was surprised that Trucker wasn’t moving around yet. But Sparkle wasn’t feeling good still so he was being patient and giving her all the time that she needed. We didn’t wind up packing and setting out until 8am. I really enjoyed the slower start to the morning though.
Once we got moving we backtracked to the main road and then got to walking. The road went past a bunch of lakes and ponds which were beautiful. We got to watch a sea plane landing on one of the lakes which was really cool. Then we got to watch it park in the hanger as we continued walking. I just kept thinking about how many things I’ve gotten to see this year. Seeing anything for the first time makes me so happy and excited. I’ve been loving experiencing so many things for the first time here in Canada. Canada is truly unlike any other place I have backpacked before.
The first few miles of the day my body was a bit sore. But I loosened up a lot as I continued along. We walked for about 6-7 miles off the bat to a gas station. However when we got to the location on the map where the gas station was supposed to be, it wasn’t there! Clearly it had been there at some point but the google page wasn’t updated. All of us had gotten so excited for the fun stop but it wasn’t even real.
Instead we wound up stopping off at a grassy trailhead with some picnic tables. The trail provides one way or another! I stretched and ate some food there. Then we checked and saw that there was indeed a different gas station about 5 miles away. We would just have to be patient and continue along to the next one.
Those next 5 miles actually flew by and we were entering Hawks Bay around noon. The road brought us right through town and we stopped off at an Irving gas station. I got some goodies to eat over the course of the day. We didn’t need much food because there was yet another gas station about 12 miles away. Right by where we planned to end our day today.
After we resupplied at the gas station we walked down the road to Robins, which is a drive through fast food joint. We got to walk through the drive through like cars which is always hilarious. I got a blended coffee even though it was about 50 degrees Fahrenheit out. We all got sandwiches and sat out at nearby picnic tables to eat and take a break.
From there we had about 11-12 miles to go for the day. That would take us around 4 hours most likely and we planned to just push all the miles out at once. While I walked I killed loads of time by blogging on my phone. It felt so satisfying to pass by hours of road walking while simultaneously getting “work” done. Now I won’t have to spend my free time in town blogging. We really spend all of our free time hiking.
We got into the next “town” around 5:40pm. There was a gas station and some little cabins there. We wound up booking one of the small cabins for the night which was so cool! When we dropped our packs off there we saw it had a full kitchenette. That was something that I have been hoping for for so long. This meant that we could get some ingredients from the gas station to cook on the stove top or in the oven.
All of us went over to the store to pick out food for dinner and breakfast. We wound up making Kraft Mac n cheese, pasta with Alfredo sauce, and garlic bread. There was even a propane grill outside so Trucker made himself a steak. What a perfect night. When we got back to the room Sparkle went fully into chef mode. She prepped breakfast and got things going for dinner. Then we all sat out and ate a family style meal at a kitchen table. It was such a perfect way to end the day.
After we ate everyone got to shower and relax. We watched TV and got all of our things situated. Then I laid in bed and did a bit more blogging and different things. It seems I always have something to accomplish when I re-enter wifi. Not having service 24/7 really limits what you can do. So every time I get back into wifi it feels I always have a lot of random things to get done.
I laid up in bed for a while on my phone. Then I did my stretching and exercise routine before heading off to bed. It was a pretty late night so I guess we’ll see what time we get moving tomorrow.
Day 224: 24 miles
This morning Sparkle and I slept in until sometime after 7am. When we got up Trucker was already up and hanging out. He just let the two of us sleep in which was super nice. Sparkle was still feeling really shitty and her body was really sore in general. So we had another slow start to the morning and just took our time.
For breakfast we reheated some of the food from last night and cooked up more garlic bread. Then we packed up and headed out to start the day. Everyone grabbed a few last minute items from the gas station and then we hit the road. Not only was it a super late start to the day, but it was also terrible out. It was raining and incredibly windy. We weren’t walking until almost 9am and at this point of time were hoping to get 30 miles in.
The first few hours of the day were absolutely brutal. We left a warm and comfortable cabin to hike in pure shit. It wasn’t technically raining but the marine layer rolled in off the ocean and was soaking us. It persisted for hours and was like walking through a soaking wet cloud. Truly it might as well have just been raining because the effect was the same. The wind was also incredibly fast and right in our faces. That was literally pushing us back and fighting our pace all morning long. It was quite the cold and uncomfortable way to start the day off. I couldn’t help but laugh at how crummy it was.
A few hours into the day we stopped off along a dirt road. As soon as we set foot onto that side road the wind stopped entirely. It was so much nicer and more comfortable. We were able to eat something and get some relief. I did my stretching and Sparkle did some as well. Her body has really been hurting the last couple of days.
Reluctantly we had to eventually get moving again. As soon as we set foot off of that side road and back onto the main road we re-entered hell. It was almost like the scene from a cartoon or a movie where a rain cloud just follows you. Somehow it was even worse that it had been previously. But we just had to grin and bare it. If you can’t laugh at the horrible shit that you suffer through while thru hiking then it’s going to be hard to persevere.
We walked for another couple of hours after that. At one point we even passed a sign on the road that indicated we were entering into a “high wind” area. As if the wind hadn’t been terrible the whole time regardless. The road for closer to the water and literally the wind got even worse. My face was soaked with mist from the marine layer and so was my buff and gloves. It was so cold out that I still wanted to have my face and hands covered if I could.
When we saw a bit of a ditch and a rock pile alongside the road we decided to stop off yet again. It was hard to say when a better opportunity would arise. We were able to use the rock pile to block the wind a bit. That way we could all sit and enjoy a brief comfortable break. I drank a sprite that I had packed out and ate a snack. Then I did my stretching. Sparkle and I laughed about how this ditch alongside the road was the highlight of our day. It’s so funny how progressively low the bar gets for what can make you happy out here.
After our lovely break in the ditch we got moving once more. We’ve gone about 14 miles so far today and our pace is definitely slower than usual. The wind blasting us in the face certainly isn’t helping with our speed. At this point we were still hoping to make it another 15 or so miles for the day. We didn’t see anything on google maps and were just planning to camp alongside the road something.
The marine layer moved out after a while which was great. At least the wind wasn’t whipping cold water into my face. I was able to dry off a bit at least. Those next couple of hours were a bit more enjoyable than the previous had been today. After going another 6 or so miles I walked past a sign for a lodge which was hand written. It stated that there was some type of motel and restaurant only 4 miles ahead. I stopped off to confirm with Sparkle and Trucker whether or not the motel really existed. It had been such a cold and miserable day, the idea of stopping off somewhere and getting warm sounded amazing.
It turns out the lodge up ahead was actually one that we had gotten dropped off in front of last week. When we were hitch hiking all the way from Rocky Harbour to the Viking Village in Northern Newfoundland one of our rides could only take us as far as the Bennet Lodge. Sparkle was pretty damn sore and had been limping for most of the day. So we decided that we would call it a day in 4 miles instead of pushing on for another 10 miles.
We wound up getting to the motel and restaurant in Daniels Harbour around 6pm. It was funny to be there for the second time. Hitching north and then walking south has been a unique experience. We’re seeing everything twice which is not a typical experience on a thru hike. But I’ve found it to be very fun.
When we got to the motel we checked in and then headed straight to the restaurant. It closed at 7pm and we walked in just after 6pm which was perfect. I wound up ordering a milkshake and a burger and fries. The fries were loaded with beef, cheese, gravy, and onions. They were ridiculously delicious. All of us stuffed our faces and then headed over to the room.
Back at the room I took a nice hot shower and was feeling good. My body was quite sore by the end of the day today. But I was already feeling better after we stopped moving. I wound up staying up pretty late again using my phone and watching TV. Then eventually some time after 11pm I finally fell asleep.
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.