Lord Stanley's Cup

Bonavista, Newfoundland (Map)

Summer 2011.


Whenever a team wins the Stanley Cup, each member of the team gets 1 personal day with the trophy. As part of this tradition, the cup has been to Stockholm with Forsberg, to Kiev with Fedotenko & to Helsinki with Teemu.

Since the Bruins had a Newfie on the team, this meant that the cup would come to Newfoundland for the 2nd time ever.0 The problem for me was that Michael Ryder was from Bonavista, a place which is 5.5 hours away from me (at least he wasn't from St. John's I suppose).

I kept my eye on the local Bonavista newspaper & learned that Ryder would have his day with the cup on a Wednesday. This was somewhat inconvenient for me, but I left after work on Tuesday, taking the Wednesday off. I planned on camping at an old mill I knew about to save money, reaching the old mill just as the sun was setting.

I had a few beers as the stars came out, only to be interrupted by 5 stereotypically teenage cars going to the back of the mill (Neons & Cavaliers). I thought they would fuck with my tent, so I decided to be proactive & go reason with them. They didn't care about me at all & told me that they'd leave shortly. I told them they could stay as long as they wanted since it wasn't my mill, but the leader kid was insistent that they'd be on their way soon enough.

About an hour later, the youths drove by & didn't even apply their brakes near my tent.

0 - It might have come to Newfoundland by other means, but as part of this tradition it had only came with Stanley Cup-winning Dan Cleary before.

I never sleep well in a tent unless I work myself tired during the day.

Therefore, with little work the night before, I was up with the sun & afforded with a fantastic, early morning mill illumination.

Since I was up so early this morning, I had a few extra hours to get to Bonavista.

I stopped at that amusement park in Trinity and a few nearby communities which I hadn't been to previously. Especially down on this coast of the Bonavista Peninsula, there is history to these towns & they typically have more than a handful of attractive buildings.

The above town is Trinity East.

I also drove the local tertiary highway to Champney's Arm & Champney's West. The above picture is from Champney's Arm & Champney's West was neat in that the road flattens into their town, but there is a grassy peak at the end of town sticking out & far above the rest of Champney's West. I didn't get a good picture of the peak this day, but I will be back to climb it.1

Enough of this exploration though, it was time to get to Bonavista!

1 - You can see the peak looming in this fantastic night picture of Champney's West. Ooh baby I want to be there!

Bonavista is a town of only 3600 people, so it was a shock to my system to come here & suddenly have trouble finding a parking spot.

I went into an Ultramar gas station for supplies & to use the washroom, only to find a lengthy line of women waiting to use the facilities. I tried the Mary Brown's instead and still waited a while to have my turn. The washroom was filthy, but the workers can't be faulted as I'm sure the employees had certainly never seen a number of people like this before. I then waited for some fried chicken, which took about 25 minutes, since I was in a line of 20-30 people in a place with every seat taken.

I went outside & the parade started not 10 minutes after I finished my greasy meal.

After the parade, I hurried to the line behind the Bonavista Stadium, knowing that was where you had to line up to get your picture with the cup.

There was a considerable amount of people already in line, but nothing ridiculous. The line was growing rapidly behind me & I was happy that I got over there so quickly.

What I wasn't so happy with, was that there were 30-minute private sessions for corporate sponsors for the next 2 hours. So as we all stood out in the midday sun, with our skin roasting like chicken layers on a BBQ, they needed to have private parties for the 4 corporate sponsors?!? Why couldn't Eastlink Telephone have their meeting at 4pm instead of making 1000 people wait to have the 4-7pm slot? (the cup had to leave at 7 no matter how many people saw it)

Eastlink Telephone & Molson Canadian having their private parties while I was roasting out the sun sure chapped my ass. Hopefully some of the other people in line felt the same way & let them know with their future purchases.

Eventually the line started moving after we heard every local politician talk about how great Newfoundland & Newfoundland's people were, as we continued to bake in the afternoon sun.

After about 3 hours, I was rushed beside the cup, got my 1 picture & was ushered away. My goal was to read a name on the Stanley Cup, but during the herding, the only engraving I could read was "1922-23 Montreal Canadians" - a club which I surely wouldn't know any players. They were doing their best to allow everyone to see the cup, but the line was still 3 or 4 hundred people deep & I always wonder if the end people were simply turned back.

In the end, it was worth it to see hockey's holy grail. I just needed to vent about the corporate sponsors lack of consideration.


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