Terra Nova to Gander Nfld

There have been a few misty days on the Bonavista Peninsula when I have felt like a hobbit who packed too much stuff. I have no ring of power to throw in the fire but I have an ego that could listen more and talk less.

I was extended a warm welcome in Terra Nova. Deanne at the Dep, a great local general store, stored my bike as I went for a day trip to Kings Cove to see the village my Nanne was born in. It dawned on me sitting drinking coffee there and talking to locals how important it is to have a place to meet and share conversation. These places are the fire pits of yesterday our distant ancestors shared stories around.

Kings Cove was like digging beneath the big tree and finding a big root. The salt air, the hard rock,the soft fields of long grass and wild flowers. And the small church on the hill she talked about decades after she had left. She was 16 when she got on a boat for St. John’s to take a job as a nanny. But as I saw the land that shaped her I felt I suddenly knew her so much more. And in knowing her more, on an intuitive level, myself as well.

I slept on the beach by the lake in Terra Nova and did a radio interview with CBC. Then ventured back onto the trail and pushed for Gambo. Was sitting by the trail in Maccles Lake when I met Clayton and Mary. They pulled up next to me and said, “ you must be whelan. “ “Yes,” I replied a bit dumbfounded and then remembered the CBC interview. “ Listen,” he says, “my cabin is right here, you want to come for a cup of coffee and a cheese burgher?” Not feeling the love of my 7th granola bar in two days I said yes. Lovely couple, dated 50 years ago and started again a few years ago. While eating lunch together Clayton says, “ now why can’t everybody be like this, enjoy the land, be nice to each other. Why all the wars, and for God?  Ok, that’s all.”

I agreed.

After that pushed to Gambo, birth town of Joey Smallwood. This was a drawing made by an artist named Blackwood. Before becoming Premier and making Newfoundland a part of Canada Joey walked the railway.


Camped for the night a few kilometers out of town. Now in Gander awaiting a big rain storm. Day 22.

CBC radio interview from Terra Nova




  1. Annette Higdon July 22, 2015 at 9:28 am - Reply

    After meeting you at The Dep Sunday in Terra Nova I will be following you every day! May you meet all great people that extend nothing but great hospitality to you along the way. SAFE TRAVELS

  2. catherine Verrall July 22, 2015 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    dear Dee” I’ve been worried about you with all that gear loaded on your bicycle, and the dubious weather. But comforted by your mighty determination and vision. Cosmic blessings on your Journey. Catherine, Ann’s Mom..

    • Dianne Whelan July 23, 2015 at 1:18 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your kind concern and blessings. The people of Newfoundland have been offering me some shelter from the rain and warm kitchens for coffee. I look forward to reading your book, hoping to get a copy autographed when I get there. until then, blessed be. Dee

  3. Karen Trapp August 28, 2015 at 11:37 am - Reply


    Wow the tent lady… Don’t worry, there may be many tents on your “500” ride-about. i too will be reading with anticipation
    all the messages and exciting events. Be SAFE!!!


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