Newfoundland

I am going to wrap up our remaining stops in Newfoundland with one big post since I'm so far behind!
Terra Nova was all about the rain and the blueberries. We hiked a very wet trail but were rewarded with a big blueberry patch – there were a lot of baked goods to come.
Next stop was Gander. I really liked this little town. It had a nice quilt shop but that wasn't the only reason.

Gander took in thousands of air travelers stranded on 9/11 and made them as comfortable as they could – opened their homes, made meals – all on a moments notice. They gave from their hearts without expecting or wanting anything in return. This felt like a town of nice people!

 

We stopped at a very interesting aeronautical museum and learned about the role Gander played in the development of transatlantic air travel.

Dinner at the Bistro on Roe was terrific and we loved having Brian and Will with us to celebrate (although I had actually forgotten to invite them to come along.)

Next stop was Blow Me Down Provincial Park. The name comes from the Blomidon Mountains. (You can get a little sense of Newfoundland speak from this “translation.”) It was a beautiful area with only small coastal villages and a cove with a fabulous sunset.

 

I took so many photos, I finally had to make Alan choose his favorites.

 

 

 

 

Tucker even anjoyed a romp on the beach in the setting sun.

Our last stop in Newfoundland was Cheeseman Provincial Park, near Port aux Basque where we would get the ferry for our return to Nova Scotia. I may post a picture or two from here later … this post is already too big!

As I write this, we are in Nova Scotia at Caribou-Pictou Provincial Park. We will be heading across the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island today. It looks like we will make it home to Texas by the end of September or very early in October. I'm looking forward to seeing all my friends again! Miss you all!

 

St. John’s

View at Signal Hill

We spent a couple of days in the very interesting city of St. John's. As I write this, we are in Terra Nova National Park. Here are a few pictures from St. John's but it mostly rained while we were there. It was nice to have “unlimited” electricity and water in the trailer. We've been without hookups a lot of this trip and many campgrounds only have pond water with limited treatment so they tell you to boil it (although all the locals drink it without issue.)

I left off a couple of pictures from Labrador that I took at Point Amour. The Lighthouse was closed already when we got there but that was okay – we've seen a lot of lighthouses and they are best viewed from the outside. The clouds were rolling in but that didn't stop us from exploring the coastline. They had several shipwrecks in the area and there is still a lot of debris (aka rusty, old metal) around.

 

 

 

On our way to St. John's, we made a layover near Twillingate. It was a quaint town but a little touristy, compared to the rest of Newfoundland. It had it's own Polar Bear and there were still icebergs floating off the Coast.

 

Iceberg (just a tiny spec to the left of the island.)

We are booked on the Ferry back to Nova Scotia a week from today (Tuesday.) It looks like we will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary in Gander or Grand Falls-Windsor.

 

Red Bay

After touring the L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site and learning about the vikings and their adventures in “Vinland” and exploring the Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve, I talked the guys into going across the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Labrador. We turned around in Quirpon and spent the night near the ferry terminal in St. Barbe. (It wasn't nearly as dramatic to drive onto the ferry without the trailers.)

Red Bay and the Red Bay National Historic Site were definitely the highlights of Labrador. They found the remains of a 1565 whaling vessel in the water right behind a ship that had wrecked in 1965. After a long archeological investigation, they put what was left of the ship back in the Bay.

There are berries ripening all over the Province right now. I've become a big fan of the Cloudberry. The Cloudberry (or Bakeapple) Jam I bought in Quirpon is gone already.

We did a little hike after touring the Historic Site. They had a really lovely boardwalk to the highest point in town.

It was a long day. We went back to Newfoundland on the 8:00 PM ferry with a lot of locals and spent most of the trip tryng to understand the lilting dialect of English spoken in this area.

 

I'm posting these from Dildo Run Provincial Park nearTwillingate. We stopped here for a few nights thinking we might go to Fogo and Barr'd Island but they don't take reservations on the Ferry and we don't want to risk not getting back! This area has been kind of crowded anyway, compared to the rest of Newfoundland and Labrador.

We are off to St. John to wait out another hurricane. Then, we will start the drive back around this Island. There are a few things we planned to see on the way back, so it is likely to be two more weeks or so before we get the return Ferry to Nova Scotia.

 

Great Northern Peninsula

We have been enjoying terrific weather on the Northern Peninsula in Newfoundland. After Gros Morne National Park, we stopped in Port au Choix and Quirpon (near St. Anthony) then took the ferry to Labrador for the day.

Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from Port au Choix.

Arches Provincial Park
Port au Choix

 

Point Riche Lighthouse at Port au Choix Historic Site

Finally, the bread going into the French bread oven! Fishermen from the Normandy area came to this area and fished the Gulf of St. Lawrence but were prohibited from building permanent structures. There solution was to build these outdoor, communal bread ovens for cooking.

There are many communities that have rebuilt them and fire them up on a regular schedule. This day was a small celebration of the Limestone Barrens where several endangered and threatened flowers grow. We got to hang out with tourists and some locals while enjoying the bread and local jams. I am a big fan of the Cloudberry/Bakeapple!

 

Gros Morne, the Mountain

We did the Gros Morne signature hike – the mountain on our last day in the Park. I will just say the hike was hard but the view was magnificent.

This is the view looking up the first part of the trail – a scree field.

 

This was the view looking down that same part of the trail:

 

The top is all frost-fractured rock:

The views were still terrific coming down the back side of the mountain.

 

 

The trail was well maintained and even included some stairs to make the route down very manageable.

 

We haven't seen that much wildlife on this trip. We did finally get to see a moose – along the road on our way back from a swim and hot tub soak. Unfortunately, I didn't get a great picture before a motorcycle spooked him back into the woods.