Corner Brook: Johno finalized

That was the middle of NL. Deer lake was next. A few memories here. Natty and I slept in the truckers lounge at the Irving when we waited for the DRL. Deer Lake is where the highway splits. Go right and your path branches off through Gros Morne and sacrifices itself to the northern peninsula. In Cow’s Head you’ll find dinner theatre [all of NL is obsessed with dinner theatre] , thrombolites in Flowers Cove, iceberg alley and the tiny town of st. Anthony about 60 K from L’anse aux Meadows where the vikings landed. Go at the right time of year and you’ll stop your car for the long herds of moose. Beneath their hoofs the concrete suffocates.

But I kept up the bee-line. The north had been seen but the West was yet untouched.

Deer Lake [ the lake itself] is very nice by the way, but I didn’t stop. The knee was distracting me.

Late in the day i rolled into Corner Brook, a nice little mill town. Imagine a pleasant, down-scaled version of Prince George by the water [pipe dream, I know].

The geography here differs from the east. Gone are the endless evergreens rolls and I’m almost reminded of BC. Low mountains rise sharply, good enough for the ski resort called Marble Mountain, and through them runs the Humber river.

The funny thing about towns like this is that if you were flying above them in a plane you might look down and think ‘man, that looks like an active little town down there.’

You might even think this if you were entering the city on a bike. You might even think, ‘this could be a good place to live’.

But you have to watch yourself. Bike up and down the main street for two laps and you almost want to get going again.

I think this is a travellers-itch thing. You really have to focus to stay in the moment. How easy it is to get somewhere, look for a second and say, ‘okay, next thing’.

And that’s probably what i would’ve have done.

Except for the little thing with my knee.

How every time I raised my leg to swoop down on the pedal, the kneecap felt like it was exploding up and out.

Every colour played beautiful on Corner Brook in the glowing dying light. Every brick building was red and the river gleamed and the thick stinking smoke billowed from the mill by the water. But through the pain it was all black and white.

I ate Timmy’s again [I could work at Timmy’s, I’d be so good. ]

It doesn’t matter who you walk up to and say ‘I’d like soup and sandwich combo to go, ham and swiss, medium black coffee with potato bacon soup, not toasted on brown.”

Like automatons these people still say, “for here or to go? What kind of sandwich? Soup? Medium coffee? Black? Toasted? On Brown?

They should just make a little check list that people fill out while standing in line.

At the south end of town by a leaning, paint-peeling strip bar I found internet in a place called The Lair. Doesn’t matter where you go, you’ll always find these D&D types lurking somewhere.

A fat guy with purple hair told me his story about living in Toronto and working for a software company for five year,s then moving back here and opening his own business. Its been going really good. Build it and they will come. I dug out every quarter and penny, then I changed out of spandex in the washroom and on the wall were posters for Gears of War, Halo and Zelda.

Johno wrote me on Facebook:
…I write this with a heavy heart, but I’m going to have to call it here, there’s no way I can keep biking with my knee feeling like it does. I went on a little excursion to Sobey’s this morning and after resting and pill popping like crazy the last few days (watched a lot of daytime TV) the knee has not improved at all.
I’ve taken the bike to the store to get boxed and I’ll figure out how to get it home soon…
Hope the riding’s going well and the Newfie weather is being kinder.

When it got dark I went up the hill where the high-school was and behind it there was a bluff of birches separating a playing field. The grass was thick and the bike well-wrapped in blackness between thin trunks. Most of my stuff was fairly dry now. I’d hung it up in the motels. The night sky was clear.

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