This is it, the end of the road. Literally. After 4801kms of travel from Toronto, the Multistrada is the eastmost motorcycle in North America. Cape Spear is (arguably) the most easterly point on the continent. In the mute of the overcast it is also barren, peaceful and contemplative.
I walk around shooting the mandatory video, full of light, fun and fluff, but I’m feeling more staid than that. I take some time and walk out past the tourist signs and guard fences, and just sit taking it all in.
The slate gray-blue Atlantic crashes against the red rock coast below the most easterly man in North America. There is a feeling of accomplishment for me here, but also trepidation – it’s all west from here kid. Another 9000 kms, give or take, west. That’s a whole country of west. Factor in water and I’ve the second largest country in the world to cross, counted by landmass it’s merely the fourth.
Sometimes it’s important to just sit and let it all wash over you. Breathe it in, not rush mad and reactionary from destination to destination and crisis to crisis.
Reaching Cape Spear brings a realization with it; you can’t define an adventure by what you’ve failed to do. The enormity of Canada before me, I can’t fill my notebook with missed sights. Friends and readers have been passing on suggestions, they are appreciated, but I know I can’t do them all. Worse is the stab of every “you should have done…” or “you should have seen…”
I’ve reached the most easterly point in Canada. Today, I am a man on the tip of a continent. For me it is worth a thousand “should have dones”.
After about an hour of contemplation, I work my way back to the attractions.
There is the lighthouse, which has been in operation since 1836, and the Second World War gun battery. Two massive 10-foot guns aimed to protect St. John’s harbour, North American end of the convoy route to Europe, from German submarines. The guns had a range of 10 miles, but with questionable accuracy.
I resist the urge to set up the video camera and ride a canon a la Major “King” Kong of Dr. Strangelove. How I learned to stop worrying and love the gun barrel… It doesn’t quite ring true.
I continue to filter through Cape Spear, following whimsical interest. Eventually returning to the Multistrada.
In the parking lot another tourist jokes, “Next stop, Ireland” Now, there’s a thought.
I wonder how that conversation would go, “Hey, Ducati, I might be a bit late. The Multistrada and I are on a freighter. Now, before I’m out of cell range…”
The Multistrada clatters to life, mechanically articulated valves, loping idle, and Termignoni grumble waiting for my next move. I idle around the parking lot in gentle loops watching the GPS till I find due west. Then back to due east. The GPS suggests I, “U-Turn When Possible”.
I take the suggestion, and run a couple video passes on the road to Cape Spear. It’s a damn fine driveway of loose curves and easily startled drivers.
Business attended to, I point the bike back towards St. John’s. In my helmet I can’t help but smile. I love this bit; a bike pointed across an entire country, a challenge ahead, new people to meet, sights to see, and places to go.
I laugh through a couple twists, and then start to sing (well, ok, drone)…
Go west, sun in wintertime
Go west, we will do just fine
Go west, where the skies are blue
Go west, this is what we’re gonna do
Come on, come on, come on
Ah, the Pet Shop Boys, able to steal the profundity from any moment.