Day Six – Port Aux Basques NF to St. Anthony NF (457 miles)

After a good night's sleep we were ready to go and hit the Viking Trail.  The morning started in a cold, intermittent  mist with brief bouts of light rain; not the way to start the day.  We suited up and rode as fast as we could in the poor weather trying to get ahead of the rain.  We stopped at Corner Brook to fill up and continued north on the Trans-Canada Highway.  It's the world's longest national highway. At 4,860 miles, it stretches from Victoria, BC, to St. John's, NF, and through every province in between. Constructed over some of the world's most treacherous terrain, it took 20 years and $1 billion to complete.  Just north of Deer Lake we turned northwest and got on the Viking Trail.  The road hugged the western shore of Newfoundland and we quickly found ourselves in thick forested terrain on the east and a view of the Gulf of St. Lawrence on the west.  The rain had cleared, and it was bright and sunny.  The temperature was still far below normal (I think) but it was comfortable for riding; probably in the high 60ºs.  After passing through the town of Rocky Harbour we began the ascent up to Gros Morne National Park.  The rocks of Gros Morne and the adjacent parts of western Newfoundland are world-renowned.  This park is ground zero for the geological studies, and is known as the "Galapagos of Geology".  The park is a rare example of the process of continental drift, where deep ocean crust and the rocks of the earth's mantle lie exposed. More recent glacial action has resulted in some spectacular scenery, with coastal lowland, alpine plateau, fjords, glacial valleys, sheer cliffs, waterfalls and many pristine lakes.  We stopped along the road to view the nearby fjord and continued on.  Further up the coast we came upon Arches Provincial Park, a site that features a natural rock archway created by tidal action.  We didn't do much more than take a few pictures before heading on.  The road was now right on the water as we traveled mile after mile with the Gulf on our left and a jagged rock terrain on our right.  We were still technically in Gros Morne Park when we stopped near the Western Brook Pond in the park.  We did not have much chance to go view the fjord but the surrounding scenery was great.  We spotted a little path going down to the Gulf so we stopped and headed over the rather steep cliff down to the water's edge.  Back on our bikes we stopped on the Castor River to stretch our legs.  The river had a strange orange cast that probably had some ecological significance but we did not contemplate it too long.  The mosquitoes here were out in force so we headed on.  We stopped at River of Ponds to gas up and continued on.  Our final stop before our destination was just a wide spot in the road just north of Hilltop.  We cruised into St. Anthony just before eight o'clock.  We ate at the motel restaurant and decided to ride up to Fisherman's Point just at dusk which was probably close to ten o'clock.  It's wonderful riding in the northern portions as it stays light so long.  We wondered around the park and headed back to the motel in full darkness.