The Gals

The Gals

Welcome to our blog!

We are three young women embarking on a cross Canada cycling trip! We will be starting May 5th from Victoria, B.C, making our way

East to St John’s, Newfoundland, spanning over >7000km. We are planning to stay mostly in campsites, but will indulge now and then in a roof over our heads (be it a hotel/motel/holiday inn, friends/family, or couchsurfing/warm showers). We will be carrying all our gear on our bikes, including tents and camping equipment.

This is by faaaar our biggest cycling adventure yet, and, after a LOT of planning and practice, we are so excited to get rolling!

Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments, and please check out our fundraising pages along the side bar!

Thank you!

Claire, Julie & Nina

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Day 118: (August 30) Gander required rest day

Having set our alarms for an early start to our big day ahead we packed away all our things and set out to eat our breakfast. As we were eating we took under consideration the weather forecast we had heard from the hotel clerk, the weather network and severe weather warning. In conclusion the remains of hurricane Gaston were making their way through Nfld. Gusts of wind to be from 80km to 120km/hr were expected. As such we decided to stay safe and warm inside and catch up on our blog! :)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Day 117: (August 29) Grand Falls-Windsor to Gander 102km

We hit the road and cycled up some hills. At one point as we were climbing we saw a car pull off to the side of the road as we cycled closer Helen (who we stayed with our first night in NFLD) came out to wish us all the best on the remainder of our trip! What a great little surprise and piece of encouragement. We continued until the visitors centre where we cooked up some mac and cheese as it was a chilly chilly day. The rain began shortly after and we really put in an effort to make it to Gander. As the rain continued we decided to take comfort at the Albatross Hotel.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Day 116: (August 28) Trail Head to Beothuck Campground (Grand Falls- Windsor) 118.2km

Knowing that we had some ground to cover today we got up early to ensure our cycling would be done before sunset. We need to wake up early these days as fall is upon us and the sun is setting early. We had planned to eat breakfast at a diner, but it was closed. We pulled out our stove and made some oatmeal. Halfway through the meal, the staff came to open up, thankfully they did not mind us too much! We cycled more before stopping at a chip truck for a quick lunch and a good break from the winds. With determination, we kept pedaling right past Beothuck Campground, our planned destination for the night. The entrance is not easily seen from the highway, as it is not the main entrance, so you must keep your eyes peeled. On this evening we met Markus and yet another solo woman cycling across the country named Leah. We were able to treat ourselves with a camp fire, warmed leftovers and hot chocolate- yum!!

Day 115: (August 27) Deer Lake to Trail Head (Sheppardville) 104.6km.

Waking up we were yet again reminded of how great our little two man tent is, it keeps us dry even in torrential downpours. What a great thing to call home for a trip like ours. A&W was our breakfast spot, it is always nice to stay out of the rain as long as possible. Our cycling began keeping to hwy 1. We cycled and found a place to set up camp right near a trail head behind a chip truck. We made a curry dinner in the light setting sun.
Just before stopping for the day, we spotted a dog crossing the highway! We were able to call him over and there was a phone number attached to his collar. He was reunited with his family shortly after and we felt lucky to have spotted him.


Friday, August 26, 2016

Day 114: (August 26) Cottage Community to Deer Lake 87km

Cycling eastward towards Corner Brook we faced some nice hills and wet weather. We stocked up on groceries, had lunch, made a stop at Bulk Barn (candy!!) and fixed a flat tire before continuing on our way. We cycled some more and yet again fixed another flat tire before making it to Deer Lake. We ended up camping at the municipal camp ground and were able to set up a tent before the pouring rain began. Given different weather conditions, this was a lovely campground along the water.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Day113: (August 25) Wishing Well Campground to Beaver Pond Cottage Community 106.2km

Waking up sheltered and dry was such a treat! We made our classic oatmeal peanut butter, Nutella, apple and trail mix breakfast à la camp-stove. Hopping back onto hwy 1 we cycled along, climbing hills and gliding down them. We stopped at an Ultramar restaurant gas station for lunch. We then pushed forward in the rain along the highway. As the sun was going down, there was really nothing around. We started  to scope out spots along the side of the highway for a place to set up camp. There were not even really any flat spots of land as trees were just emerging from the sides of the cliffs. Fortunately an oasis was found! A small gravel road with about 12 cottages, we were yet again welcomed into the home of Newfoundlanders! We were so thankful to be out of the rain. Barry and Irene warmly welcomed us, and encouraged us to do as we pleased. As such we cooked tacos for dinner, showered and slept in a beautiful comfy bed! Not to mention we shared some wine with our wonderful hosts.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Day 112: (August 24) Port aux Basques to Wishing Well Campground 88km

Well rested from our sleep inside, we woke up and shared a breakfast with Helen. We parted ways and rode towards the Wreckhouse which we had been warned can be an extremely windy stretch of Highway One. Fortunately, the weather was on our side and the wind was not bad. We took in the beautiful scenery of Western Newfoundland for the remainder of out cycling day. That evening we stayed at Wishing Well campground and shared the sheltered fire pit/ dance hall with two others individuals travelling across the country. One man by foot and one young woman by bike. That night we were happy to share stories and food while staying dry out of the rain.

The TCH in Newfoundland can be quite sparse, as there are very few communities right along the highway. Many are a ways off the highway along the coast. Therefore there are long stretches of cycling with very little around. At the visitors centre in Port Aux Basques they offer a list of distances between places (be it a town, campground, or restaurant) to help cyclists appropriately plan their days. This is especially important as many places do not appear on Google Maps, and some that appear have since closed. If you are doing this trip, ask for this sheet of paper!


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Day 111: (August 23) North Sydney to Port aux Basques 32.6km

We woke up early to pack up before a cycling towards our last and longest ferry ride yet. The ferry ride was not the smoothest. The winds and waves caused some seasickness among even the seasoned staff aboard. Barf bags were handed out. Once ashore in Newfoundland, we were so thankful to be back on land!!! We did some grocery shopping, and had a quick bite to eat. After asking to camp on Helen's lawn we were invited to stay in her home. It was a great way to spend our first evening in Newfoundland, with such a welcoming and kind woman.
We cycled along TCH Hwy 105 to get to the ferry. Once in Newfoundland, we started on Hwy 1, which would be our primary highway throughout the province.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Day 110: (August 22) Port Hastings to Cabot Trail/ North Sydney KOA 121km

Our six am wake up set us up for a very productive day. We were able to close camp and and get on the road before the rain began (and the visitor centre employees arrived at work). Severe thunderstorm risk was in the forecast, so we set off to get as far as we could before the thunder... which luckily never started. We were happy that we didn't stay put. We ate our lunch in the shelter of The Farmer's Daughter market and bakery along the way. Satisfied we cycled some more through some hills to Baddeck, where we had some snacks and dried off in a Tim Hortons. Baddeck was a beautiful town on the water which houses the Alexander Graham Bell historical site. We still had enough daylight and so continued over Kelly's Mountain to the KOA.