Airstream Time

Exploring North America in an Airstream

Archive for ‘August, 2019’

Chamber Cove Trail

Friday, August 30, 2019

It was a blustery, cloudy day when we set out. Driving to the south end of the Burin Peninsula, we hiked to Chamber Cove Trail. It starts out crossing a pretty stream, then up a gravel road. Raspberries grew all along the road. We paused several times to pick and eat some. There were some blueberries also, but not a lot. Up, over and down the hill to the coast we walked to the first of a number of signs.

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This is the site of a February, 1942 wreck of the USS Truxton and Polux warships during a terrible winter storm. As we walked along the cliffs, we learned about the tragedy along with the heroes of the days. 18 year-old Ed Bergeron made it to shore with two others in a boat. They found a fisherman’s shack, a good sign there may be help nearby. Bergeron was the only one capable of traveling in the snow, but he trudged along the cliff to a lead mine, where people were working. He got there just as they were changing shifts, so people were above ground. They immediately went to help.

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The ships were breaking up against the rocks. The miners lowered themselves down the cliff with ropes to rescue those they could. In time, word got to the nearby towns of Lawn and St. Lawrence came to help. Women came out to help wash survivors covered in oil that spilled into the cove. they built fires to keep them warm and brought clothes. Many were carried to a make-shift hospital in St. Lawrence. The Iron Springs Mine Dry House served as a temporary first aid station. 203 sailors perished, but 183 were saved. In 1954 the US Navy build a hospital in St. Lawrence in gratitude for their work. Years later Newfoundlanders would come to the rescue of others in Gander.

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On this day, the winds blew 20 mph and it was cool, about 60 degrees, and the seas were rough. I wouldn’t go in that water today. I can’t even imagine in February, 1942! But if you wanted to live on that day, you had to dive into the frigid water with fierce waves crashing against the rocks. Then it started to rain pretty hard, so we made our way back to the car, the way Ed Bergeron walked.

We had a nice lunch, inside the truck, at a nearby beach, watching gannets dive like rockets for fish. Driving back out, we noticed a bunch of raspberries, so we stopped to pick a half bottleful. 

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Now with a pouring-down rain, we headed back to camp. We had left windows open, and we have been dealing with a leak in our wounded roof. A little water had come in a couple of windows, but not bad, and the roof had not leaked:} Luckily, it cleared up long enough to cook dinner on the Cobb Grill.

The Boot Loop

Thursday, August 29, 2019

I was nervous about rescheduling the Ferry back to Nova Scotia. Would we be able to change leaving from Port aux Basque to Argentia? It’s a big drive from where we are back to Port Aux Basque, but it’s a 16-hour, more expensive ferry ride from Argentia, and it could be a long trip if it’s rough. Would there be a 2-berth cabin available so we could sleep?

All lines were busy. We were booking for the 5th of September, after Labour Day, so I suppose lots of people have to get back by then. Finally my call went through and Stella answered. Within three minutes, we were done. They didn’t have a 2-berth, but could give me a 4-berth for the same price and wait list us for a 2-berth. Done! Wonderful!

Then I called to book two nights at Bellevue Campground. William asked for my information, and I could understand everything he said. However, when he heard I was from Virginia, he went into a heavy brogue, none of which I could understand. After three tries he said, “The Waltons!” He loves to watch the TV show, and watched an episode last night. “Can’t wait to meetcha Mr. Wall”, he said as we finished the booking. 

We set out for a drive around “The Boot”, a loop around the end of the Burin Peninsula. This peninsula is similar to the others, yet very different. It still has the beautiful ponds, but with a prairie-like look, with more mountains and hills to give it character. It looks like a place you could ride a horse forever. You expect to see a herd of buffalo, but there is nothing. People pick a spot and plant a vegetable garden, out in the open. In Virginia, the deer would pick it clean, but there are no deer, and I guess Moose don’t care about it. Although rabbits are here, we haven’t seen any.

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Driftwood artwork

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Good resting place in Lord’s Cove

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Our plan was to drive to Nan and Pop’s Shop in Lord’s Cove for lunch and then work our back. We should have called, as it is only open certain days and times, which is the way to survive in sparsely populated areas. Driving back to Fortune, we had a nice lunch at Doc’s.  Cecilie was our waitress. I ordered cod, vegetables and mashed potatoes. Martha asked if he chili was good. Cecilie said, “I think it’s good, but then I am prejudiced. I make it.” They had a discussion on how she makes it. You have to be versatile here. She is owner, cook, waitress and cashier, all with a beautiful smile on her face.

We drove out to Fortune Head Ecological Reserve where more fossils are found in the rocks. Headed back to camp, we drove to Grand Beach, and it was a big one. The more we explore, the more we appreciate Fisherman’s Cove and Garnish.

Grand Beach

Grand Beach

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Fortune Head Lighthouse

Saint Pierre

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

We arrived in Fortune at 8:00 for a 9:00 ferry to the island of Saint Pierre. Windy and misting rain, people were standing in line out the door. We were crossing the border, going to another country, France, so there was security and a passport check. An official watched outside the door as a car drove up. He recognized the woman getting out. After a few steps, her husband called her back for a kiss goodbye, then she walked toward the line. The official yelled to his friend in a heavy Irish brogue, “Don’tsha worry. She won’t be missing ya long.”

Once inside, there was standing room only. I was concerned I hadn’t locked the truck toolboxes, so I asked the lady if I could go back and check it. She asked where I parked, and I pointed to the spot. That was the fish-packing plant, and I couldn’t park there. 

She motioned to a man outside, who told me to follow him. Concerned I wouldn’t make it back on time, he hailed another official in a van, and she drove me to the truck, then waited so I could follow her to the right parking lot. Geez! I went inside to pay $11.50 to park and gave the ticket to an attendant, who showed me where to park.

Jogging downhill to the terminal, I got in back of the line again. Soon the man who had helped me out before said, “The man in the hat can come ahead.” As I walked ahead of the others, he said “If you wear this kind of hat, you can travel for free today.”

Martha was waiting in a now-empty room. We hurried onto the boat and looked for two seats. A man in front of us asked if we used an asthma inhalant, Albuterol. He said his wife was highly allergic and could go into anaphylactic shock. Two women sat down in front of us, so he asked them. Sure enough, one of them did, but said she wouldn’t use it. 

I was sleepy and settled in for a nap. Enjoying coasting between sleep and waking, I could feel the waves getting bigger. It felt like we were heading into the waves, so there wasn’t much rolling. I was surprised the big ferry was feeling it so much, but this is a people ferry. The ones we have taken before are bigger and heavier with cars, campers and tractor trailers loaded. It takes a lot to move those. 

At first there was some joking and laughter, but then people began getting sick. I didn’t move, or open my eyes. There was a big wave, and I could feel the ship crest it and then crash back down. How big were these waves? Then Martha started getting sick. I peeked over to see her drenched in sweat with her face hanging over a bag. I put my hand on her leg and closed my eyes. I am usually the one to get sick, and I knew the feeling. I could hear lots of people getting sick. Crew members came around, handing out towels and new bags.

It’s an hour and a half ferry ride, but only an hour at sea. Soon things calmed down. It was stuffy in the room, but I dared not move. Happily, we soon docked and went through customs, getting our passports stamped for France.

It was good to get outside and breathe some fresh air. Recommendations were to walk all the streets, so we began walking up and down colorful streets. People drive fast here, zooming up and down narrow streets. There is no particular shopping area, so shops and restaurants were mixed into housing. Some of the streets didn’t have signs, so it was hard to follow our map.

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Martha was quite pale and moving slowly. everything closes between 12:00 and 2:00. At 11:30 we sat in a little square dedicated to fishermen lost at sea. Martha suggested I go look for a take-out place for lunch while she sat and rested. The town is on a hill, so I tried to follow the map to a take-out place, but never found it. Wandering around, I finally found a convenience store. The only things I could find were yogurt, goat cheese and potato chips. Checking out, I said Bonjour to the young teenaged girl in braces. “Avez vous un spoon?” I asked. She pointed as she checked someone else out. Looking all around, I couldn’t find anything and went back to the register. She went to the other register and rooted around underneath for a few minutes, coming up with one teeny spoon. “Tres bien” I said, having used most of my French vocabulary.

Heading back down the hill, I went in the wrong direction, but finally found my way back to Martha, still bundled up and chilly. I was sweating in shirtsleeves from my hike. She seemed slightly better and ate some yogurt and chips. For me, the town felt somewhere between Havana and Mackinaw Island.

I didn’t want to wander the streets anymore, so we looked for a car rental place. Walking up to it a half mile away, no one was there. It was only 1:30, which is a half hour later than in Newfoundland. Later we would learn the odd time difference was set for fishermen who had to get up early.

We wandered around more, finally sitting on a bench by the harbor. The visitor’s center was a block behind us, so we went there to see about a tour of some type. A handsome young man, who spoke English, told us we could take a one-hour tour with a company or we could take a tour in a van with a man who loves this island. OK, that’s a nice pitch. He had another couple at 2:00, and could share for a reduced fare. Yes, that would be great.

Promptly at 2:00 Bertrand Laroque introduced himself. I missed the other couple’s names, but later would find he was a retired hematologist in St. John’s. The two of them added a lot to the tour, adding that Bertrand had a 5 star rating on Trip Advisor. 

Bertrand, speaking English with a heavy French accent, first took us to a string of huts lining the harbor. Dories were pulled up on the shore in front. The first, beautiful boat was built by his grandfather, and was recently restored. It was the first of its kind to have a removable rudder, acting like a removable centerboard. He was quite proud and spoke highly of his grandfather. They were Basque fishermen, who first came over to settle here. “Would you like a picture in front of the boat?” Bertrand asked. 

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The first little building was like a mini-museum with motors, pictures and relics of the old days of fishing. One picture showed the harbor filled with fishing boats in the prime of the fishing years. We would never have found this spot by wandering around.

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Wonderful painting done with colored sands.

In the next building with the front doors open, sat two men Bertrand seemed to know well. They spoke and laughed, but I couldn’t catch a word. A young lady came up to talk. Apparently, she was the drummer in a band, and the younger man inside was also with the band. As we left, they said “À plus”. Asking Bernard, he said it meant See you later, a shortened version of À plus tard. 

Next we drove behind the old fish plant to the top of the hill/mountain for a great view or the city and two little islands across the harbor. He said that used to be the main fishing place, but now only has a few houses on it. 

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We crossed over the small mountain to the other side that looked totally different. It didn’t hurt that the sun came out. A large lake with a swimming beach bordered the ocean. Bertrand told the story of taking scuba diving lessons. On the last trip they swam with a group of humpback whales. One with a baby swam right up to him. He feels like they like humans and are quite intelligent. 

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With more stops along the tour, we were grateful we had taken this tour. Had we not, I would have had a totally different opinion of Saint Pierre. He was talking of selling his little company and doing something else. He only has three months of the year for this business, and in the winter everyone leaves. There is only one bar open in winter, and the same people are there all the time.

He took us to the graveyard and to his grandfather’s tomb, telling us about the man who broke rocks with his hands, and built boats. He talked of his boxing abilities, where he would challenge people to try to hit him. With his hands behind his back, he would dodge the attempts. He used to play the game with his grandchildren, but they never were able.

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I was surprised to hear that most people fly in from St. John’s, Toronto or Montreal. His uncle is building a hotel next to his favorite bakery and near the airport. We went into the bakery where Martha bought two pieces of quiche for dinner, two croissants and a nice, crusty bread. As Bertrand dropped us off, we all thanked him sincerely. If he is still doing this, and you are there, contact Taxi Saint-Pierre at (0508) 55 54 47.

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Drive to Frenchman’s Cove Provincial Park

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

We decided to leave a day early in order to catch the once a week ferry to St. Pierre, one of three French islands on the south of Newfoundland. It only runs on Wednesdays. I was unable to book Frenchman’s Cove Provincial Park until we cancelled our last night at Lockston Path, but I couldn’t do that online. Martha went down to the office to cancel. The office people are very nice, as we have found pretty much everywhere. Martha did a couple of loads of laundry while I loaded up and hooked up.

On our way we stopped  at Canadian Tire in Clarenville to pick up our repaired trailer tire and refill a propane tank. It was pouring rain. The nice man at the desk gave me the nail that was in the tire, a 4” pallet nail. He said it had been in there a while because the end of the nail was shiny from wobbling around inside the tire, and the head was worn. Asking what the prognosis was he said, “Well, it’s better than it was.” I think we need a new tire. As I walked out he said, “Stay between the raindrops.” 

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I met a young man at the propane refill station, where he filled it up. Then I put it back on the trailer and went inside to pay for it. There’s a lot of trust here – trusting me to come in to pay. Also, when you fill up with gas, you just pump, then go inside to pay. 

Putting the spare tire back in its rack on the front of the trailer requires sitting on the ground and pushing it with your feet, from both sides. By now, my pants were soaking wet, so I went inside and changed.

We had another 3 hours to drive down the Burin Peninsula. It was beautiful, even in the fog, clouds and rain. It is similar to other areas, but more open grasslands, with shorter trees and hills and mountains to give it character. Of course there are always the beautiful ponds.

Checking in at Frenchman’s Cove Provincial Park at the end of a long day, Jim and Clay hesitated, looked at the computer, discussed and studied. There was a concern of whether we owed a daily park entry fee. I have always added that to my reservation, so I was pretty sure I had paid it. Looking at all the parks we had stayed in, they said we should have gotten a seasonal pass. I thought that was for each park, not all of them. They said they would check if we could get a refund and let us know tomorrow. How nice! Then Clay showed us to our campsite.

To catch a 9:00 ferry tomorrow, we wanted to get on the road at 7:30

Hike The Skerwink Trail

Tuesday, August 26, 2019

The Skerwink Trail was rated in the top 35 trails in North America and Europe by Travel and Leisure Magazine in 2003. From where we parked on the edge of Port Rexton, it is an 8k hike. Somehow, we seem to be able to turn an 8k hike into 4 hours and 8 miles. 

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Well, one reason was the first side trail to Gun Hill overlooking beautiful Port Rexton on a sunny, 70 degree day. Ripe blueberries covered the hill, so we stopped to pick a half sandwich bag full. Then I took some pictures from a platform before deciding I might need a second lens, so I walked back to the truck to get it. Of course I never used it.

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From this parking lot, the trail follows a railroad bed, now covered in gravel, and winding through houses and fields. It was 2.7 km before meeting the trail loop…..with a parking lot. Oh well, we needed the exercise. Then the trail winds along the edge of Skerwink Head. “Formed mainly of sedimentary rock (much of it sandstone) shaped by the pounding it takes from the Atlantic, especially during strong northeasterlies, as well as by Newfoundland’s perennial freeze/thaw cycles.” http://www.theskerwinktrail.com/about/index.html. This makes for sea stacks, caves, holes and undercut cliffs.

Looks like a whale wave

Looks like a whale wave

We stopped at the top of a cliff to eat lunch and enjoy the spectacular views. Two weeks before, a group reported watching Humpback whales and Minkes not far off the coast. These beaches are favorite breeding grounds for capelin, a favorite food for whales and sea birds. 

Climbing more steps on this well-maintained trail, we came to the top of the mountain and along the edge of the peninsula for a great view of Trinity Harbor. What a cute, little town it is with its well-protected harbor. Then down along a rocky beach. Two small boats were anchored in the middle of the bay fishing. Then back along the rail bed to the truck. 70 degrees here on a sunny day like this is plenty hot. Perhaps the air is so clear and clean, the sun is able to penetrate easier. One girl on the hike said, “It’s a perfect breeze for a day like this.” Usually there is a strong, cold breeze on the coast, but today it was perfect – just enough to keep you cool.

Back at camp I took a nap. It was Martha’s birthday, so we called The Twine Loft” for a dinner reservation. It is a prix fixe with two sittings, 5:30 and 7:45. We opted for 5:30 and arrived at 5:00 for drinks on their back deck overlooking the bay. With two choices of pork chops or cod, we both opted for cod. The starter was apple and turnip soup or a salad. Since we had never had this soup, we both ordered it, and it was good. It’s a small restaurant with a small, hard-working staff. It certainly is a leisurely dinner, but we entertained ourselves discussing where we were going next, as we are nearing the end of this wonderful trip. 

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The main course came – cod cooked in parchment paper, asparagus and roasted, new potatoes. An interesting way to cook fish, it was good and a welcome change from fish and chips. Desert was a decadent chocolate torte with a partridgeberry coulis, oh yes and a flower on top. Martha had a decaf coffee that was wonderful. I asked what it was, and the waitress said it was Kirkland from Costco.

With the streets now quiet, we drove slowly through town, taking all the little side streets. With narrow streets and beautifully colored houses on a beautiful bay, it is little wonder that tourists flock here. There is evidence of the old days and fishing ways, but Trinity has evolved into a more modern little village with craft shops and restaurants.

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Sweet Rock ice cream sits atop a hill with a wonderful view, and it is great ice cream!

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Lockston Path Provincial Park

Sunset over the lake at Lockston Path Provisional Park

Bonavista and Puffins

Sunday, August 25, 2019

We drove the coast road north along Bonavista Bay. The coastline here is beautiful with crashing, blue-green waves. It was about an hour to Bonavista. 

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We walked along the Bonavista harbor on a beautiful day, and went into The Mathew Legacy, a building housing a reproduction ship, The Mathew, that John Cabot landed at Bonavista in 1497. He intended to sail to Cathay, but instead discovered New Found Land. It was the only place he landed his small ship (75’x20’) with a crew of 19. 

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He was Italian, raised in Genoa, moved to Venice, and his real name was Giovanni Caboto. He was commissioned by Henry VII to make an expedition across the Atlantic. He returned to England, reporting his discovery. He is thought to have perished on a return trip in 1498. https://www.history.com/topics/exploration/john-cabot

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The reproduction is very cool, and you can walk on and around the ship, which has actually made the voyage across the Atlantic. It is not a big boat, but then Diego’s father made a historic trip across the Atlantic on a raft. It would have been more fun to have seen the ship out of the building, but it had been so windy, they probably wanted to protect it inside, and it is a very cool building.

We walked around town, then drove to the lighthouse for lunch with a spectacular view.

Got the chips?

Don’t forget the chips!

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Driving east along the coast to find a puffin viewing area outside the cute village of Elliston. You can walk out a peninsula and view across 100 yards of sea to an island, or more likely a stack where puffins have a breeding ground. Little burrows dot the top of the stack where heavy grass grows. They stand guard over their burrow for a while, then jump up and glide down the side to get a fast start. They must be outstanding fishermen, because in short order they return with a small fish to feed the young. They land and are down the hold in a flash. Then they pop back up and stand around a while before they are off again. They fly with great speed. I tried tracking with the camera, but it was tough to follow. But then, it was great sport.

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On a beautiful Sunday, lots of people made their way out to watch. It was fun to listen to the comments and screams as these little birds put on quite a show. 

Driving out, we stopped at a beautiful, sandy beach, where people were swimming, and two guys were surfing with wetsuits on. As I walked up a rock hill, like a sand dune, I asked a man ahead of me if he was going for a swim. “Not me”, he said. He was from Come By Chance at the neck crossing over to the Avalon Peninsula. You have to love these names. He said, “How about Dildo? Didja go there?” Laughing, he said Jimmy Kimmel made it famous on Saturday Night Live. “There’s nothing there, but everyone goes for a visit because of it.” The town has made Kimmel honorary mayor. The man was with another couple, and their wives were collecting these smooth, oval rocks to paint. It’s a popular thing in gift shops, and they are cool.

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He asked where we had been, impressed that we had been here so long. He said it is getting more popular for travel now. I suggested they not advertise it. It might ruin it. He said, “It isn’t  always this pretty. This is a beautiful day.” I told him how much we loved it, but maybe we should stay to see what winter is like. He said, “Well, you might not want to do that”. 

We drove back down the coast toward camp, noting places to explore tomorrow. 

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Clarenville and Trinity

Saturday, August 24, 2019

We took our flat tire to Clarenville, about an hour from our camp at Lockston Path Provincial Park. There was a Goodyear place, but it was closed on this Saturday, so we went across the street to Canadian Tire. Their tire service was closed too, but the rest of the store was open. A nice lady took my information, and I left the tire for repair next week. We would pick it up on Wednesday on our way out. 

We went to Co-op Grocery to get a few things. On the way out I noticed a barber shop. I was looking pretty ratty, so I went in. Unlike any barber shop I have ever been in, I was gawking around when a big lady in her 30’s with bright crimson hair said, “Have a seat over there Love. I’ll be there in a minute”. I took a seat in the barber chair. A girl was under a dryer behind me, and a young man was probably waiting for here. I didn’t want to turn around and look around, but I did my best looking in the mirror. It looked like they sold an interesting variety of things as well as cutting hair. 

A wonderful, large picture hung on the wall to my right. It was a bar with James Dean behind the bar. Elvis sat at the bar, drinking a Coke, looking at Marilyn Monroe talking on the phone. Humphrey Bogart is reading the New York Times, but I couldn’t read the headline as my barber came over, apologizing for keeping me waiting.

Bar with Elvis Marilyn

We had an interesting conversation about living and working in Clarenville, Newfoundland. She had married and moved to Alberta for a while, but got divorced and returned with her son, who is now 12 and still gives her hugs. I was also trying to decipher her tattoos, but didn’t want to be too obvious, and the conversation never stopped. Her personality was somewhere between a veteran waitress and a pirate, not hesitant to tell it like it is. Before I knew it, she was done, but I kind of hated to leave. I went to the register to pay another big lady with darker hair and also tattoos. She said with a smile, “What did you do? She usually isn’t that nice.” I paid and left a nice tip, then talked to her for while. She had traveled around Canada before returning to Clarenville. She had a dentist friend who works in Virginia, but couldn’t come up with her name, searching contacts on her phone. She also had married and had a son, but had died at 15. She showed me a picture in front of her barber chair. He was a handsome kid, hugging his then attractive mom. So sad, I wanted to give her a hug, but patted her on the shoulder and told her how sorry I was. What a terrible thing to lose a child, especially an only child. We said our goodbyes, but I wanted to somehow come back for another haircut in a few weeks. Like any good barbershop this is a place you could just drop in to talk and hear the local news with these cool ladies. 

There was a farmer’s market today, and Martha loves a farmer’s market. It was a little place, but the people were pouring in. Right on the TCH, it has a great location. Like most, there was jewelry, handmade products, jams, cakes, pies, paintings and vegetables. Homemade ice cream was my first stop. Then I talked to a lady whose paintings of Newfoundland I liked. Meanwhile, Martha collected some things.

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It was a cool, blustery day that kept changing all day. It got cloudy and rained a bit. Then it looked like it would clear up, but 5 minutes later it would rain again. At 61 degrees with a 15-20 mph wind, Newfies were wearing shorts and T-shirts, but then people were wearing all kinds of things up to big jackets and hats.

We went to Trinity, a pretty, little town on Trinity Bay. We started to walk the cute streets when the rains started again, so we went to Dock Marina Restaurant and Gallery for lunch. It was busy with locals and tourists. Martha had a seafood chowder and I had cod fish and a salad instead of the usual chips. 

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Root cellar

Mussel farm

Mussel farm

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We thought about going for a hike, but the weather was too unpredictable, so we went home for a hot shower and a fire. We cooked hamburgers, corn and beet leaves over the fire. 

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Coals are just right

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Move to Lockston Path Provincial Park

 

Friday, August 23, 2019

We drove 4 hours to the middle of the Bonavista Peninsula. It is a 3-4 km drive on a gravel road to get to the park. We were a bit early, so Martha chatted with the people moving out of the campsite.

Just as we were getting settled, we noticed a flat tire on the trailer. Changing the tire and found a screw stuck in it, probably picking it up on that gravel road, or maybe even in the campsite. I was surprised my tire monitor hadn’t warned me. 

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Everywhere we go lately, there is a boil water warning for fresh water hookups. We are carrying plenty of drinking water, but it is surprising in a land with so much water to see a boil warning. I think they are being over-cautious, but I boil it before making coffee, and we are drinking bottled water. Water – maybe the biggest problem for the next generation. I think of Diego and his family in Mexico City, where their huge water supply is being rapidly depleted.

I had a couple of other projects I wanted to get done, but after changing the tire and unloading bikes so I could get the tire in the back, I was done. My solar charger keeps reading battery voltage too high, thus cutting off before it should. I have to keep cutting it off and back on to reset the voltage. Yesterday I read an article suggesting it may be a loose connection, so I checked those and found nothing. I will check it in the middle of the day and see if there is a hot wire anywhere. They also said to measure resistance. I have never done that, but might have to learn to do it. 

I read a bit more of Patton in bed. What a luxury it is, and such a cozy spot. The war is ending now. It is all a political battle now, as Roosevelt has played up to Russia for control of Europe. Truman tries to gain leverage by telling Stalin the US has developed a powerful bomb, but Stalin has been playing Roosevelt and Churchill for a while now. He has spies in very important places. Wild Bill Donovan is also struggling to keep his power of spy network in what will become the CIA, but Stalin has a double agent, Duncan Lee, who is Donovan’s executive secretary. They have known about the atom bomb for years.

Truman hates Patton, as he is the polar opposite of Truman. He is flamboyant, outspoken, pompous and dresses with a flair. Eisenhower wants Patton out of the way. The Russians want him dead, as he has their number and knows the US is being played. A Ukranian general warns that Patton is at the top of NKVD (Stalin’s secret police) kill list. The warning is ignored by Donovan.

Patton is depressed as he will never fight another battle. He has asked to be transferred to the Pacific, but McArthur denies him. Patton is upset that Truman has allowed 20,000 American POW’s to remain in Russian hands, a political play for the future United Nations. 

Patton knows the only he can speak freely is to leave the military, but with top secret knowledge and a defiant attitude, “George Patton has made himself a target – and he knows it.” He visits his daughters in Washington and tells them, “Well, I guess this is goodbye. I won’t be seeing you again.”

Avalon Wilderness Reserve & East Coast Trail

Thursday, August 22, 2019

There is a huge wilderness area in the south central part of the Avalon Peninsula, and I wanted to drive through it. I knew it would be a gravel road and a bit rough, but Martha was game. 

Well, it is a very rough road, first with houses all along a big lake before entering the reserve. One had a nice helicopter sitting outside. The further we went, the houses had no power. One had solar, others generators and some had satellite dishes. We figured we were in the reserve when there were no more houses. Only able to go 10-15 miles an hour, bouncing all the way, I thought about getting a flat tire in here. You would need some big, knobby tires for this road or an ATV, but it would be fun to explore as it is quite pretty. It would be a good place to ride a horse, but it would be a rough job driving a horse trailer in here.

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We stopped at a campsite by a lake and I fished a bit, catching one brown trout before Martha was ready to go. We saw one fat partridge, or ptarmigan, standing in the middle of the road. Hunting these wouldn’t be much sport as they just freeze when confronted, hoping you won’t see them. 

It was an hour getting back out. This is as rough a road as I have driven, as bad or worse than the road into the St. Mary’s River in BC. A few days of fishing and camping in here would be fun. There are thousands of lakes where Brook Trout supposedly abound. There are also a few rivers, and streams connect ponds. Best bring a good GPS and some maps, food, water and spare tires! I thought it was like the south end of the peninsula with its flat, open “Barrens”, but there are big hills or little mountains, some trees, lots of blueberry bushes and plenty of lakes – very pretty indeed.

Driving back up what we used to think was a rough paved road, we wanted to get out and walk a bit, so we went back to La Manche Trail from the highway, ate some lunch and went for a hike. It’s about 35 minutes to the suspension bridge. Crossing the bridge, we walked up a steep stairway to the East Coast Trail going north. I don’t know how much of this trail we have walked now, maybe 30% and all of it is pretty. We were surprised to see a number of people on the trail on a weekday. We walked an hour one way, then turned around and walked back, then another 35 minutes up to the parking lot. This part of the trail is mostly in the woods, and a lot of it is actually on a gravel road. In the old days, this trail was used to connect communities before roads were built.

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Exploring the Irish Loop, Newfoundland

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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Sunrise this morning

We have driven half of the east side of the Irish Loop on the Avalon Peninsula, but wanted to see more. We drove south to Ferryland and walked to the lighthouse from the visitor’s center. The harbor is so pretty with islands in the middle and rock cliffs on the north side. Seagulls and other birds are everywhere, and it didn’t hurt that it was a beautiful day. It took us an hour to get out there and walk around the point, where a family was sitting on the rocks watching seals play. 

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We found a field of blueberry bushes, but they weren’t ready yet. I guess in another couple of weeks or so. I figured out a way to make a blueberry pie that Diego wanted so badly, but now he is back in Mexico City.

Ferryland was settled about 1610. I can’t imagine living here then, but unlike so many other colonies in America, the resources they had were plentiful. Trees, lobster, cod, crabs, mussels, oysters, ducks, geese and fresh water made it easier than many locations.

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Then we drove to the southern tip of the peninsula, Mistaken Point, where there is a UNESCO ecological reserve. All the tours were full, but we went in the visitor’s center and watched a video. On rock ledges by the sea, there are thousands of ancient life forms fossilized in the rocks that are 500 million years old. They are the oldest Ediacaran period fossils known in the world. Interestingly, they were discovered by a geology graduate student, Shiva Misra. The wreck of the Titanic was found 600 km from Mistaken Point. 

This area is so different from everything else we have seen in Newfoundland. It is called “The Barrens”. There are no trees, but wide-open grasslands, bogs and ponds as far as the eye can see. Partridge hunting is supposed to be good here, and brook trout plentiful. Little huts are seen next to ponds, perhaps a place where people come to fish and hunt. 

Heading back toward La Manche Provisional Park, we stopped at Bernard Kavanagh’s restaurant with the million dollar view overlooking Ferryland Harbor. We were early, the only ones in the restaurant. A lady sweeping the floor gave us menus and told us to sit where we want. “Number 5 and 7 are good”, so we sat at table #7. What a view! We were embarrassed to just order a tea, so we ordered cod bites, tea and a mixed berry crumble. The waitress said they were frozen cod, and we would be better to order one piece cod, so we did. Another lady brought the cod a short while later. She said they just made two smaller pieces so we could split it, and it was excellent, some of the best we have had. 

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A man came over to talk, but I couldn’t understand a word he said. He didn’t have his hearing aid in, so he couldn’t hear a word I said. However, his hat said “Boss”, and he was the owner. He said it was for sale, saying things were just getting too expensive. He asked where we were from, but wasn’t quite sure where Virginia was. Pointing to a pretty house on a bluff, he said a man from Boston lives there, but he has gone back now. 

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I think we met the whole staff, all coming to say hello. I asked one about driving here in the snow and ice. She said it was difficult, and they get plenty of it. She said it was so hot today, and she couldn’t stand the weather Virginia has had this summer. It was 26 deg C, which is 79 F, but that is hot here. We had worked up quite a sweat walking to the lighthouse earlier. All of these people were so nice! I told this lady we have really enjoyed our visit to Newfoundland, and that people have been so nice. She smiled and said, “Sometimes we are”. 

Back at camp, we didn’t need much for dinner, so we grilled a small piece of salmon and corn over the fire.