A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota Idaho, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

National Parks and Cool Stuff in Newfoundland, Canada

If you missed the first installment of pictures and stories from St. John's, Newfoundland, you can find part one here.  Alycia and I arrived in Newfoundland and had a few days before her conference started, so we ventured out to see as much of the island as we could. 
We took a day trip to see the next peninsula to the West over from St. John's, which included the town of Elliston, the self-proclaimed "Root Cellar Capital of the World".  Here John poses with one of the root cellars, many of which looked to have been used for many years.  To their credit, yes there were a lot of root cellars, but I'm not sure that slogan is going to attract hordes of tourists. 
This is a fish flake, a traditional wooden stand used for drying and preserving fish.  They aren't used much anymore in modern times, but some some fish flakes in the small towns and hamlets were left intact to demonstrate how fishing was conducted for generations in Newfoundland
Alycia is posing here on the road to Bonavista, where John Cabot is supposed to have first landed in North America.  If you look closely on the horizon you can see white specks floating on the water.  These are icebergs!  They calve off glaciers in Greenland and can take years to work their way down the Eastern Coast of Newfoundland into Iceberg Alley (along the Eastern Coast of Canada and the US) before eventually melting. 

Once Alycia's conference started, she was scheduled to be busy for three solid days, so I planned to drive to the other side of the island to see Gros Morne National Park.  I stayed in the town of Rocky Harbor, which is technically not part of the park, even though it's enclosed by park land on three sides.  This is the Lobster Cove lighthouse/light station which overlooks the town of Rocky Harbor to the south. 
There were a good number of historic lighthouses throughout the island as well as the modern equivalents that still provided guidance to ships at sea. 
Gros Morne was a gorgeous place; craggy coastline, lush forests, fascinating bogs, and sharp cliffs rising out of bodies of water.  This is a hike to Western Brook Pond, it was along and through a bog (and I learned the difference between a bog and a marsh to boot) and then ended up at the Pond below.
This is Western Brook Pond.  It goes back through the hills several miles.  There were more than a few gigantic lakes that were called "ponds".  I'd hate to see what they considered a full sized lake if this was only a pond.  This was the jumping off point for a boat tour of the lake and surrounding area, and I wished I'd had some more time and taken the boat tour, but I was trying to see too much in too short of a time.
There were signs of moose along the trail, actual moose tracks.  Up until this point my only exposure to moose tracks was the ice cream.  Moose are actually not native to Newfoundland, but were introduced in the 1800's, proliferated wildly and have since become something of a nuisance.  In Gros Morne National park they are culled regularly to help control the damage they do to the deciduous trees and saplings.  Moose were also prevalent on the roads and on my drive across Newfoundland I saw two of them by the roadways. 
I wanted to do an another hike that noted "About halfway you will have to ford Western Brook".  Being a rugged outdoorsman who has forded more than his share of creeks/streams/rivulets/one crick, I figured this would be no big deal.  I had yet to realize that Newfoundlanders are good at understatement (see Western Brook "Pond" above).  This was the small "brook" that needed to be crossed, and I had a pretty hearty chuckle at the thought of doing so on a solo hike before turning back and picking a less aquatic-intensive hike for the afternoon. 

We'll conclude our tour of Newfoundland in the next post and (finally!!) see some pictures of puffins, along with some of the other cool birds that we spotted on the trip. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The icebergs are amazing to travel and still be seen like that. What a great place to see, the culture still intact.