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.
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.