The next morn was more of the same greyness that I had come to accept as the norm. So I packed up my gear and headed out the door. Not ten minutes down the track and it started to pour the hardest it has yet. The rain didn't let up for the entire 15 km walk to Gambo. The whole way I could feel my spirits draining out my boots. I was down, real depressed. Didn't want to walk another metre. When your in the middle of nowhere its hard just to sit down and walllow in your self-pity, especially when your one big soaker. I hobbled on to gambo thinking of excuses to tell the people whom I had been sharing this story with. I couldn't think of one. All i could think about was getting to this J.R. Smallwood Interprative Centre. The centre was advertised on signage every km or so all the way to Gambo. They must've had some advertising budget. but they forgot to shell out for proper hangers. Several of the 10 signs had blown off their posts. I am a former signsmith, I could see the err. whoever it was forgot to put large washers on the screws. The coroplast had ripped away from the small screwhead. shoty signmanship if ever I've seen it. The most alluring feature of the sign was the Free Coffee notice at the very bottom.
Upon arrival in Gambo i entred the Trailway lounge which happens to be the first public space along the route. I ran through the puddles to their door. I Asked for a coffee but all they serve is beer and liquor. Wanting to stay out of the rain i bought a beer. Which i didn't want. There were salad bowls lining the bar when i entered. 4 types, each one involving a some form of starch. I talked to the lady running the joint and she seemed all to easy to talk to, and giving of her salad. She had a party and it was leftover. Sweet score for a rainy afternoon at the bar. I told her about my walk, and that i was thinking about quitting, and she did what any good bartender does, she agreed with me. But i must say that when i resolve to do something i find it hard to just give up. no one likes a quitter. especially when you haven't even made it half way. I didn't like her advice so I left to go make a phone call.
I called my good friend Dave. He told me what I needed to hear, it really was nothing but a pat on the back.
It bolstered my ego enough for me to resolve to go on. I told him that I would go to a B+B and sleep on it.
I hung up and made for Bev's B+B. It was closed. I walked around some more discovered J.R. Smallwood's Interprative centre.
Free Coffee was on my mind. the High school girl who ran the cafe part of the interprative centre looked really bored.
I sat down ordered a bowl of soup and inquired about the coffee. Not free after all.
Thats it i'm Calling this Smallwood guy on false advertizing is what i thought.
So i asked the girl who this smallwood guy thinks he is... She said "he's Newfoundland First Premier, this is home town."
Then i looked around and saw the guys face staring at me from pictures all around the room.
"Sorry" i apologized. the girl looked at me kinda confused. and i said "Nevermind, i'll have a coffee."
I sat there for a good couple of hours. We watched Much Music together, and talked about music.
She had good taste for an 17 year-old girl. We made fun of the Olsen twins, and Avril Lavinge.
All in all the experience boosted my spirits back to their normal levels.
I was in such high spirits when i left i completely forgot to pay my bill. I just got up, said good-bye to Joanne and left.
Joanne if your reading this. I am totally sorry. I meant to pay. Really and truely.
I have never skimped out on a bill before. So i guess i got my free coffee after all.
But back to the story. My spirits were high. So much so, that i vowed to walk the rest of the 45 Kms to Gander that day.