Adventure, from my point of view and experience, has been a driving force for men of all ages. We dream of discovery, challenges, adventure, going places we’ve never been, a hint of danger, and the more unsavoury version…conquest. It’s the reason, even at very young ages, we employ very questionable engineering designs to build ramps for our pedal bikes and tree forts as hide-outs. On a personal level, I’ve done some of it. I’ve torn apart bicycles to build chain driven go-karts and ramps for my roller blade exhibitions (don’t judge). As an adult, I’ve enjoyed the great wilderness areas that my home island of Newfoundland has to offer, and my professional career has taken me to Southeast Asia, Australia, and Russia. I can’t compare my adventures to other people’s level of adventure. For example, I’ve not climbed Mount Everest, nor have I been to the depths of any ocean, but I’ve experienced my heart racing at the onset of going somewhere I’ve never been and seeing vast wilderness landscapes. However, there is one trip, that I’ve dreamed of doing for 10 years, and this was the year.
The island of Newfoundland is just over 108,000 km2 of land mass with a population of approximately 450,000. The population lives, by its majority, along the coastline of the island, leaving the centre landmass virtually uninhabited except for small rural communities and cabin country. The island has some of the most amazing wilderness and geographical sites in Canada. The natural resources contained within the island have led to countless explorations and corporate conquests. The search for new resources has resulted in numerous gravel resource roads criss-crossing the island. Logging and lumber companies of the mid-1900s, harvesting newsprint-grade pulpwood, were the largest contributors to this labyrinth. What we’ve been left with is an unrestricted access to the back-country portions of the island’s wilderness, with most roads relatively passable by your modern SUV.
Couple my love of the outdoors with my enthusiasm for Jeep Wranglers and this is where the dream began. I don’t use that word loosely. It has been just over 10 years of wistfully envisioning what it would be like to complete a very specific route across the centre portion of the island—my Road to Burgeo.
What’s held me back for ten years? You might say it’s procrastination, but sometimes it’s more dangerous than that. It’s a belief that tomorrow always comes or that there is always a “next time” waiting for you. Unfortunately, events of the past year have put into stark reality, how little time we may have and that none of it is guaranteed. In March 2022, with that urgency in the forefront of my mind, I took stock of my big-boy toys: a hot tub (barely used), a flashy ATV not getting the attention it deserved, numerous other trinkets, and yes…maybe some watches. All went up for sale with the proceeds being earmarked for the purchase of a used, but reliable, Jeep Wrangler—a vehicle I’ve owned on three previous occasions. The toys sold relatively quick, my search for a Jeep was full speed ahead, and a dream was about to come true.
To be continued…
About the author
Jamie Andrews is a watch enthusiast on a budget. He doesn’t own a safety deposit box and he’s slightly cynical about investment pieces. In his own words, “I think best when I’m in the shed.” You can check out his YouTube channel, Madrock Watches & Adventure, or follow him on Instagram.
Notes from the Watch Shed: rants, reflections, and ruminations on watches and life, by Jamie Andrews.
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