Day 18: Deer Lake, NL to Springdale, NL (The Wind Is A Lie)

Suggested Listening: Still Alive by Jonathan Colton ft. Sara Quin

Total Distance Cycled: 2626km

Deer Lake, NL to Springdale, NL: 123km

I woke up hungry to the sound of our alarm. The fight between wanting to sleep more and eat more was one ai knew hunger would eventually win, but with breakfast not until 7:00am we opted to snooze the alarm for a bit. Since we hadn’t really unpacked much the day before getting ready this morning was a pretty quick and easy process. We were all packed up by 7:00am and went to stuff ourselves at the free breakfast.Breakfast offered quite a large variety for omnivores, but substantially less choice for the two of us. Even still between fruit, cereal, and bagels we had enough to leave us feeling very satisfied. With the place we are staying tonight looking pretty mediocre we were in no rush to get started this morning. I opted to use my extra time to take advantage of the spa tub in our room this morning which was a nice treat. While we knew we “only” had about 130km to ride we knew we couldn’t blow things off completely since we warned about some hills. It was around 10:45am when we finally checked out of the hotel and got on the road.

Once we got things immediately felt different than any other day of riding this trip. We were experiencing something we had only heard about in legends and tales. It was hard to believe it, but it seemed like we actually had a bit of a tailwind! As a result of our minor tailwind and what felt like a general downward start to the ride we covered our first 45kms pretty quickly. Hunger was catching up with us though so when we saw a restaurant and gas station we opted to pop over and if there were any options. As expected there wasn’t a whole lot ot options for us so we just ended up using the washroom, getting a gingerale, and eating our peanut butter and banana wraps.

After our pit stop before getting back in the road (which had a pretty decent shoulder most of the day) we discussed what we thought the best plan would be for tonight. Shantel had noticed that the place she booked was actually about 8km off the Trans Canada highway which meant we’d be adding in extra kilometers today and more importantly on an already long day tomorrow. We knew that canceling now though we’d probably not get any of our money back which I found pretty frustrating, but figured it was worth trying. After speaking with the staff in the phone on hopes of getting a refund they finally agreed to give us half our money back. Before actually doing this though we made sure we had another option on route lined up – the place we ended up at tonight.

It was after our pit stop when things suddenly changed for the worse. Our minor tail wind slowly grew into a more and more aggressive head and cross wind. It was awful and really slowed us down. It felt so punishing at times. With a lot of clouds in the sky and the wind blowing right at us it also began to feel really cold. Not wanting to stop though we carried on rather than taking the minute to grab our jackets. This was almost certainly the wrong decision and if I had to do things again I would have definitely grabbed my jacket out it my bag. A couple of kilometers before the motel we stopped at the first has station we had seen in ages to get a couple of snacks.

We arrived at our motel/restaurant (Burnt Berry) just after 6:00pm. By this point I was freezing cold and eager to get inside. From the outside the place looks pretty simple and the inside matches it as well. We don’t need much besides a roof over head and comfortable place to rest our head – both of which this place more than provides. The young woman working was also extremely nice and friendly which made the experience that much more pleasant. Once we checked in Shantel took the first shower while I stretched and then we swapped.

Feeling better now it was time to put some food in our stomachs. With very little around here for choice we opted to have dinner in the attached restaurant/old fashioned diner. Itwas decorated with more Coca-Cola collectibles than we could count. For dinner we had a big plate of fries (making this the second day in a row Shantel ate fries after swearing them), onion rings and some fresh veggies wraps they cmsdr custom for us. We also indulged in some A&W root beer. After dinner we made our way back to our room and got ready for bed. I was hoping to have the energy to write a bit more but passed out quickly.

Tomorrow will either be our longest day or close to it as we ride to Gander. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of looking at the wind forecast and it looks like we can expect some headwinds pretty much the whole way.

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