Airstream Time

Exploring North America in an Airstream

Posts from the ‘Campgrounds’ category

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. 

Gatherall Puffin/Whale Tour

Monday, August 19, 2019

Many times we have heard people say they paid for a whale tour and never saw one, but we wanted to see the puffins at Witless Bay Ecological Reserve. Whales would be a bonus. The cost was $70 each for Gatherall’s, the one recommended at the visitor’s center. 

It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm with calm seas. The shoreline going out of the bay was beautiful, reminding me of the Pictured Rocks on Lake Michigan. As we made the turn out of the harbor, the captain advised us to hold onto a rail. The waves were bigger than I expected, hardly rough, but I get seasick. We came to the first island in the reserve, maybe Gull Island. An amazing amount of birds were nesting and breeding, gulls, murres by the thousands and puffins. Puffins only have their distinctive orange beaks during breeding season. They go out to sea for several years and return to the same island and the same burrow with the same mate.

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As we passed by the island, we could see a boat maybe a mile out, and the captain headed for it. Whales had been spotted. I had a good spot near the front of the boat, and it wasn’t long before we could see the splash of a big whale. It took 10-15 minutes to get out there. Several times we could see the whale breach, coming all the way out of the water. Then the captain said there were two, then three, then four, maybe five of them. I had two cameras, one with a 500mm zoom lens. As I put the 200mm down on the deck, I could feel the familiar dizzy feeling. Uh oh, I should stay up in the cool breeze and focus ahead. I checked the camera settings, shutter speed priority, sunlight, action mode, continuous focus and multiple shot fast. Then looking up again, we could see a lot of action from 4 or 5 Humpback whales. 

I was on the left side, behind a nice gentleman who moved aside as I stuck the big lens next to him. The big waves made the boat go up and down, so I leaned against the rail, spread my feet apart and tried to keep the lens on the action. When the whales went down, you didn’t know where they might come back up, so you can’t continue looking through the lens. I tried shooting without looking through the lens, but that didn’t work too well. But these whales just kept playing, jumping, splashing, blowing, waving and even growling. The captain said this was very unusual and we were very lucky. We were probably there 15-20 minutes before we had to head back. The other smaller boat stayed put. It was quite a show!

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As we got closer to the island, a couple of girls on the back of the boat released 22 baby puffins. We had seen several signs warning of baby puffins crossing the road. Apparently the young ones get confused by the lights at night and head for them. There is a baby puffin patrol that drives around and picks them up. These were the ones found just last night. They are so cute, you just want to take one home. On the way in one of the young Irish crew sang a song everyone must have known, as they all joined in.

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I was quite happy to put my feet on solid ground. We went up the road to hike the East Coast Trail from Bay Bulls to the Lighthouse going north. It was about an hour before I stopped feeling wobbly and nauseous. We have walked this trail a lot now, and it has been beautiful every time. We’ve been very lucky this week with perfect weather. It is so different when the sun is shining. The water is so blue, clear and then green when splashing against the rocks. The trees and grasses are so green. On a gray day, the water is gray and even the grass loses its color. This is why Newfies paint their houses bright colors, so they get color on gray days.

La Manche Suspension Bridge Trail

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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Diego went for a run for a little over an hour, while Martha and I rested on a warm, sunny morning. Then we hiked the Suspension Bridge Trail to La Manche, a tiny settlement that was destroyed by a terrible storm years ago. 

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La Manche is a beautiful spot sitting on a rock bluff above a river flowing into a beautiful bay. The East Coast Trail comes right through here. Diego has been wanting to hike the Appalachian Trail for a week with me. I told him I would much rather hike this trail. The scenery is spectacular and there are no rattlesnakes or bears. Every cove has a settlement where you might resupply and find something to eat. 

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Martha had enough, but Diego wanted more hiking, so he went ahead for another hour before turning back, while Martha and I headed back to camp.

We had a dinner reservation at “The Fork” in Mobile, so we got cleaned up and drove south for a couple of hours, exploring the villages along the way. We just got to Ferryland before we had to turn back, but we could see we needed to come back, as it is beautiful.

“The Fork” has only been open a couple of months, and is not exactly on the beaten path. Still in construction stage, the drive and parking lot are rough. Grass grew through the deck leading to the front door. Once inside, it was very nice with views of the harbor. The staff was very nice. It’s a small restaurant, but people kept driving in as we placed our order. Some walked up the drive. Did they come from a B&B or do they live here – maybe some of both, but the restaurant soon filled up.

We shared a starter salad and wonderful dish of brussle sprouts. Then we all ordered Tagliatelle with scallops, peas, mushrooms and parmesan. Bread rolls came with partridge berry and honey butter, which was quite different and good. Then we shared a desert of Pavlova, a dish with meringue and strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, sprinkled with oats and cream. Martha and I have been overeating, so we said we would just have a bite, but this was so good we couldn’t help ourselves. I asked if I could lick the bowl.

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I was happy to get into bed to read my book after a great day

Hike The East Coast Trail Tors Cove to Mobile

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Martha said we were getting an early start at 8:30. It was a bit chilly, about 59 degrees, or 14C, as we drove north a few km to Tors Cove to pick up the East Coast Trail. We had hiked it at Signal Hill in St. Johns, and wanted to hike it at Cape Spear where we had a good chance of seeing whales, but we didn’t make it. The trail runs along the coast for over 300km from Portugal Cove to Cape St. Francis to Cappahayden. Our plan today was to hike the section from Tors Cove to Mobile.

We were looking for water, as La Manche’s water had to be boiled before drinking. We stopped at a convenience store in Tors Cove where I asked if I could fill a water bottle. A nice lady said I could just outside at the spigot. Martha got to talking to her, asking where the trailhead was, and Diego asked where we could get some blueberry pie. Fortunately, they both bought some things, but I’m not sure that mattered. She was from this Tors Cove, and her brother owned the store. She lives in St. John’s and drives 35 minutes to work two days a week. He was sick today, so this was an extra day. Gladys was her name. She asked where we were from, and when Diego said Mexico City, she said she had been to Cancun and somewhere else she couldn’t remember. She said one of the best hikes is in La Manche Provincial Park. It is the one with a swinging bridge and goes to what was once a town called La Manche. Gladys told Diego he might try the bakery in Burnt Cove for a pie. Then she told us about a restaurant in Burnt Cove that might have blueberry pie. She also told us where to find “The Cribies”, and that they are restored, old saltbox houses, and she advised us to stop in at “Running the Goat” bookshop.

Driving through Tors Cove, we had a bit of a hard time finding the trailhead, and we found nothing called “The Cribies”, but finally parked in front of an old church at 10:00.  A sign at the trailhead said it was 5k to Mobile, so 10k out and back. Sounds reasonable right, or as Newfies say, Eh? It starts as a narrow path along steep hill overlooking the harbor. Some fishermen were unloading and cleaning fish below us, with seagulls waiting all along the rooftops for the scraps that would soon come. A beautiful island lay just offshore, and there was a picnic table on a rocky beach opposite it, maybe a good place for lunch in 2 hours.

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The path turns into a dirt road that runs beside two brightly painted old saltbox houses, “The Cribies”! OK, that’s two for Gladys. I don’t know what cribies means, but these are very cool houses in a beautiful setting in green fields along a pretty, dirt road. There were also very nice, modern homes along the road.

Then the trail goes through a forest before breaking out to the coast, running along the edge of a bluff above the sea. It was cloudy all day, but it was perfect for a hike. We came out to to a grassy point and spotted a seal swimming around it. I went ahead to get a better look and found three women taking pictures. I think we had seen the mother, but one lady said there were babies swimming in this little cove. Then we could see them again at the mouth of the cove. After some picture-taking, she asked where we were from. “Oh my”, she said when we told her Virginia and Mexico City. Turns out she grew up in Mathews, Virginia. My parents had a little vacation house there for some time. Crazy, isn’t it? She said she married a Newfie from here. They live in St. John’s, but come back here often. She was with her sister-in-law and a friend.

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They went on and we followed, stopping to take pictures along the way. Near Mobile we met again, and Diego asked if there was a restaurant in town where we could get some blueberry pie. They said there was a restaurant, “The Fork”, but they only served dinner or certain nights. They were staying at a B&B, and began describing their breakfast this morning of blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup over them. Diego was dyeing and asked for the name of the B&B, thinking we might go there for breakfast tomorrow.

We thanked them for all their help, took a picture and turned around for the hike back. We had taken 2 1/2 hours to get to Mobile, stopping to take pictures, enjoy the scenery and talk to these nice ladies. Martha and I were tired, and not mentally prepared for this long a hike. Not that it was particularly difficult, but longer than the 5.5k the trailhead said. 

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We figured two hours back as we sat and ate a granola bar and drank some water, and that’s about what it was. We passed several other couples. Diego has always been in great shape, playing several racket sports, soccer, and he has always enjoyed running marathons. He and his step-daughter, Luisa, just ran a marathon last week. This kind of hike is a walk in the park for him, but for Martha and I, it is like a half marathon for us. 

As we came out to the dirt road, a lady was trimming bushes along the fence in front of a beautiful, newer house. She asked how far we hiked and was surprised we had gone to Mobile and back. She wished us a good afternoon as we walked up the dirt road to the Cribies.

Diego had gone ahead to get the lunch, and met us at the picnic table for a pretty spot. Looking at my fitbitch, we had walked 9.5 miles and 20,600 steps and 4 hours. How did that work when the sign said 5.5k? As we were eating, a group of young ladies, all with the same hats on saying “SQUAD”. I had to ask if they were on a team, and they said they were the bride and bridesmaids out for a walk before the wedding. The bride, wearing a white cap, asked if I could take a picture, so I did. She said I could send her a bill, and I told her I would next week. Off they went climbing the steep hill through the pasture like it was nothing.

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We drove back through Tors Cove and wanted to find out about Puffin and whale tours. Whale season is about at the end, but we did want to see puffins. We drove through Mobile to find “The Fork” restaurant, but it was closed. It looked nice enough, and had a menu on a table. We read it through the window. but It didn’t list deserts. Then north to Witless Bay to a tiny visitor’s center. The young lady suggested Gatherall’s for the puffin/whale tour. On the way out of town, we stopped where we could get cell service to book a tour Monday, the warmer of the next two days. 

Now on to Burnt Cove to the bakery. It was 4:30 when we got there. Sadly, Carmel, the owner, didn’t make pies, but we did buy some rhubarb squares and blueberry cake. When Martha asked if she had ice cream, she said she didn’t, but we could get some at the store in Tors Cove. Martha said, “At Gladys’ place?” “Yes, that’s right. We all know each other”, she said with a smile.

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Picture in bakery. I have been wondering if a moose could be domesticated. I guess this answers that question.

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Another picture in the bakery

By the end of the day we had walked 11 miles and 24,000 steps. Fare of the evening was lobster tails and vegetables after horsedouvres of carrots, celery and roasted red pepper dip. I read two pages of Patton before falling asleep. It talked about how Hitler was coming apart at the end of the war, still thinking they could win. They had lived in the bunker for a long time now, and it was getting to all of them.

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Moose inThe Campsite

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Martha and Diego were sitting by the fire chatting and heard something in the bushes, then saw something move. Hearing that, I joined them. Sure enough, there was a moose in the woods. It turned out to be a mother and a calf, and they seemed to be foraging the campsites for the purple flowers. First they went into the vacant campsite beside us. I went around to get some pictures in almost dark conditions. That seemed to scare them into the brush between the sites. It’s amazing how they an go through the thickest brush. They emerged right behind the trailer and worked around the edge of our campsite for their favorite flower. Totally unconcerned by us, I took about 45 pictures, backing up as they came around. It finally got so dark, I had to use the flash. After a few of those, Momma decided it was time to go, and they ambled down the hill. What a day we have had, and what an ending1 They put on a show for about 15 minutes.

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North Head Trail/The Rooms

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2014

We hiked North Head Trail in St. John’s, which works its way around Signal Hill, out to the point and back around the edge of St. John’s Harbor, through a pretty, little neighborhood. this is a gorgeous hike, one many residents hike every day. What a beautiful place to get your exercise. Diego is a marathon runner, so this was little strain for him, but Martha and I were tired, but happily tired. 

Then we drove over to the pretty, little lighthouse guarding the entrance to the harbor on the other side. Parking at the bottom, we walked through maybe 10 homes in a beautiful spot, one with a porch looking back at St. Johns and another looking out toward the sea. A young couple walked by, saying “Good morning”. The girl was wearing a backpack, so they were off to hike the East Coast Trail that follows the coast south for 300 km along the coast. It is rated one of the best hikes in the world.

 

They hadn’t gone 20 yards past when she screamed, “Whale!” At the mouth of the harbor was a whale blowing steam straight up. We watched for about 5 minutes as it worked its way north around the corner. We had been watching all morning, and it was great to finally see one. The young lady was so excited and smiling broadly. She said they had taken a whale tour for $70 each and seen nothing.

We followed them up to the lighthouse for another great view of the harbor and the hike we had just taken on the other side. A little house sits at the top with two chairs on a porch looking out at this incredible view.

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Hungry now, we went back downtown and parked in the same parking garage beside the wharf. In a busy downtown, it was the only way to park a big truck. Martha had decided on a Chinese vegan restaurant, wanting a lighter lunch than yesterday. St. John’s is a bit like San Francisco was 50 years ago. From Water Street it was a steep climb uphill for several blocks before we found The Peaceful Loft, a tiny place run by a husband and wife. The husband did everything downstairs, while his wife did the cooking upstairs. He was quite a character, very nice and very informative about their foods and where they get them. 

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After lunch we climbed the big, steep streets to “The Rooms”, a great museum. Like San Francisco, it is a city of steep hills. We enjoyed the brightly colored houses. A Newfie told us there is so much fog, cloudy weather and snow, they need the color.

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Following Google maps, we climbed up the streets, but stopped to try to determine where we were going. A couple passing us, overheard our conversation and said to follow them. They were going somewhere else, but it was close. Several times the lady looked back to see if we were following. At the top, they stopped to show us where to go. The husband said to be sure to go in the cafe because it is the best view of the city.

“The Rooms” is a beautiful museum with great views of the city, just as our guides had told us. The art of one sculptor was particularly interesting, Billy Gauthier, but it is always the wildlife displays I enjoy most. Gauthier is from Labrador and uses all natural products, whalebone, Labrodite, baleen and others.

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Diego Arrives in St. John’s

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

We did laundry in the morning, then went to Bed Bath and Beyond to get a new sheet, bag clips, new drying towel. Then to airport to pick up Diego, who was coming from Mexico City to join us for a week. He had a long night and morning of travel to Toronto, then on to St. John’s. We drove into town looking for a place to eat. It was busy, and parking the big truck was a problem. Then it was hard to tell where we could and could not park. We found a good spot along the docks. It’s the first time I have seen where you pay with an app. Of course we didn’t have the app, so Martha called the listed number where you could pay. After pushing a list of buttons on the automated call, she was unable to list my license tag. I think it didn’t fit the Canadian profile. After several tries, we gave up and went to a parking garage with a 7’2 clearance. It was a little hard making the turns in the garage, but we made it.

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As it started raining, we opted for The Fish Exchange in the garage, and it was excellent. It was a good place to spend time catching up with Diego. Our waitress has the greatest smile that just makes you happy. It was a great meal of mussels, salads and Turkey sandwich on pretzel roll and bread pudding with raspberry sauce. We didn’t need dinner. 

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We walked around downtown a while, but couldn’t keep up with where the downtown tour went. A nice lady came up to help us, but she didn’t know where the tour went either. She was great at telling us about Signal Hill, which she walks “all the time”. She loves her city, and she was so nice, talking to us for about 10 minutes. Newfies are just plain nice and courteous. Step one foot onto the street and traffic stops so you can cross. I waved them past several times, but they won’t go, waiting for you instead. 

Back at camp we sat around the campfire and listened to more of Diego’s stories before sorting out his unpacking and going to bed. The couch was quite comfortable, although without a reading light. I figured out a way to put a paper cup over my little flashlight to dim it a bit. Then I could read just fine. Patton was being handcuffed by Eisenhower so Montgomery could lead the final charge into Germany.

Lunch at Chucky’s Seafood and Wildgame Restaurant

 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

My leg being sore, I opted out of hiking for a few days. I offered to take Martha anywhere she wanted to hike, but instead we decided to go to the Burnside Archeological Society. I love driving around all the little coves and harbors. We drove all around cute, little Burnside before finally finding the building that was now defunct and withering away. These little outports (small harbors, not the main harbor) need things to keep them going, but this one didn’t work out.

I like to research places on Google maps, then press the ˆNearby” button for restaurants, campgrounds or other points of interest. In searching restaurants nearby Terra Nova National Park, I marked Chucky’s Seafood & Wildgame Restaurant. I’m not big on eating out, but I love wild game and seafood, and it is rated 4.8/5 by 91 people. We went looking for it in Happy Harbor, but couldn’t find it. We had to Google it and get directions. You know you’re good when there is no sign on the street, and it’s not easy to find even when you know where it is.

Driving into a small parking lot at The Inn at Happy Adventure, we headed for the door. A lovely young lady with a gorgeous smile stuck her head out the door to tell us they don’t open until 12:00. Martha said, “OK, can you save us a spot?” With that great smile, she said the classic Newfoundland response, “No problem.” 

We drove to nearby Sandy Cove to check it out. Traffic was crazy, with frantic drivers desperate to get to the beach at Sandy Cove. The parking lot was filled with more cars coming. It was Sunday, after church, and a warm, sunny day – perfect for the beach. We wanted to see, but it was 12:00 and there was too much commotion. Later I took this picture from the internet.

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Back at the Inn at Happy Adventure, we went in. A nice lady asked if we had a reservation. Then the pretty, young lady came up, smiling, and said she had promised us a place. At 12:15 there were 5 couples already ordering. I guess they don’t have wild game at lunch, and they are famous for their fish and chips, so we both ordered that. 

Clay was our waiter. He is from a town near Happy Adventure and is studying literature and writing at Memorial University in St.John’s. They work 72 hours a week at the inn from June-August. Then they close. I learned later that the owners, Chuck and Brenda Matchim. Chuck grew up here, then went to St. John’s where he had a restaurant by the same name for years before moving back. He also ran Smokey Hole Boat Tours, and the inn still offers tours. Brenda has a diploma in Food Technology, and has been a valuable contributor. She is also an excellent artist, and her paintings decorate the inn. I found a painting of Clay right beside one of Anthony Bordain, my favorite travel guy. I am so sorry we have lost him. I loved his shows, and I’m sure he would have loved a place like this.

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The fish and chips were great, maybe the best ever. Clay talked me into trying bread and gravy topping. It tasted great, but is just too heavy for my taste. Martha ordered plain fries and saved a fish and half the fries for tomorrow night. $14 Canadian for fish and chips. I gave it 5 stars on Google.

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On the way back we drove up to Blue Hill for an incredible view of the whole park with TCH 1 going right through the middle. A young couple sat in two Adirondack chairs having their lunch. As she moved over to sit on his lap, I said, “OK, we’re leaving.” She smiled.

View from Blue Hill

View from Blue Hill

We had a relaxing afternoon planning where to go after St. John’s, and just had soup for dinner.

Hike Ochre Hill Trail and Sandy Pond

Saturday, August 10, 2019

In the morning we hiked the Ochre Trail, a 4 km easy to moderate trail. It first went beside a pretty pond (natural, as opposed to a lake, which is man-made). I always wonder if there are fish in these pretty ponds that are everywhere. 

The hike was a bit boring at first, especially after reading a sign telling us the pretty Kalmia, which is like a rhododendron, is poisonous, killing livestock. It also poisons the soil so other plants can’t grow. Fires used to destroy the plant, but fires have been controlled in recent years, but they are now doing controlled burns.

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Once we climbed to the top of a big hill, everything changed. The views were impressive in every direction. A young German couple was just leaving the peak. With their binoculars, they were able to see their first moose. 

We went on to a second overlook with even more impressive views. Looking at a lake below, with a stream leading to Clode Sound, I thought how cool it would be to camp and fish that area. There is so much land that is not easily accessible. Hiking down there without a trail would be tough.

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Turning back, the trail joins a loop along another pretty pond, then back out to the parking area. A young man and his son were studying the map. He had on a trout fishing vest, the first I’ve seen. He said the Information Center told him there are salmon in these lakes, along with Brown Trout. I wished him luck, and he said, “It will be great if we catch something, but at worst it will be a relaxing day in a peaceful place”. 

I wanted to go back to camp for lunch. The solar keeps cutting out on me. I keep fiddling with the settings, but really don’t know what I am doing. I took a little nap while Martha paid bills, then read several websites on recommended settings. You would think there would be a guideline from the manufacturer, but they are very vague. I guess there are many variables, depending on your system.  I have read many times, but haven’t grasped it yet, but this time it became more clear. I changed the settings again while Martha took a nap. I watched it for a while and it was bulk charging, and didn’t cut out.

We wanted to do one more hike, but an easy one, so we drove to Sandy Pond. The parking lot was full, and families in bathing suits were headed to the beach on a hot day – 28C (82F). That is very hot here, and the humidity was high. The hike, rated easy) went around the pond, which looked like a long way, but was only 3km. It was so shallow, I think you could probably walk across. At the top of the lake, it was quite pretty. Signs told us of the animals we might see, but we saw nothing. It was too hot. They were probably sleeping in some cool, shaded place. I was sweating like a dog when we got back, but it was a good walk. 

Sandy Pond

Sandy Pond

We went to the Visitor’s Center, which is going to be very nice when they finish a big upgrade. Kids and adults were gathered around a big, open fish tank with crabs, starfish, muscles and other creatures. You could touch or pick up these creatures. One little girl was timidly reaching for a starfish. I wanted desperately to scare her, but I resisted. 

Driving back to camp, we followed a road past the campground. It led to the docks where two young ladies and a man were fishing in Newman Sound. They said sea trout could be caught, but no one had a bite yet.

Back at camp, Martha fixed a delicious meal of pork chops, potatoes and onions and sugar snap beans. It was Saturday night and the campground got crazy. A big group was having a loud party at the shelter until 12:00. Many cars kept coming and going late into the night. Kids were still up until late. I stuffed my ears with tissue and tried to sleep.

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Southwest Brook Trail and Salvage Coast Trail

Friday, August 9, 2019

We said we would do a couple of easy hikes today and opted for Southwest Brook first. It’s an easy “Sauntier” along a perfect trout stream until it meets the Southwest Arm of the sea. It’s a nice, easy walk with boardwalks and bridges. Picnic tables and benches along the way to rest and have lunch. There are even a couple of covered ones. 

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We then drove to the little town of Salvage, stopping to fill up the gas tank. Salvage is outside Terra Nova National Park, but is gorgeous. Its name is derived from the French name, Salvaje, meaning savage. The Beothuk natives were not receptive to Europeans. 

As our friend, Jim Tulk on the ferry said, “Things are changing. We all used to be pretty much all the same, but now there are more rich people.” There is the still-alive fishing business, but it is highly regulated and a dying industry. The salmon don’t come the way they used to. Now there are newer houses with expensive boats. In 20 years, this will be a very different place. Who would come here, you might ask? It’s a 5-hour flight from London, 3.5 from Toronto or Montreal into Gander International Airport or St. John’s. Salvage is 200km from St. Johns. Richmond, VA to St. John’s in 9 hours for $475 on WestJet.

We hiked up to Net Point, about an hour out and back, easy to moderate. These trails are well-maintained with boardwalks and great signage. Stopping for pictures all along the way, Salvage photographs well from any angle. Newfoundland has the best cemeteries, and the Salvage cemetery is in such a pretty place. 

_1GW2244We went from Parking to Net Point

Arriving at a platform overlook of the entrance to Salvage Harbor, we ate lunch and enjoyed the view. Martha took her sandwich and walked down the rocks to the point to watch for whales, then waved me down. Three islands form their own interesting cove. No doubt a great place for whales, but not seeing any, we headed back up to the platform. Just then I saw a big whale right in the harbor, then another and maybe a third. We watched and listened to them blow and round their backs, happily feeding along the other side. A pair swam in perfect harmony, side by side. 

As they left the harbor, we hurried down the rocks to the point to watch them right out front. It was a great show for about 30 minutes or so. Twice they came all the way out of the water. Of course I had a 70mm lens for the scenery. Too late, Martha said shoot a video to capture the sounds of the spouts and splashes. It would have been great in the harbor, but they were too far away now, and the wind too strong, so we just watched. Then there were two more to the left of the islands, but we never saw them again. The original 3 worked their way around the point to our right and were gone, but what a show they gave us!

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It was just as pretty walking down, as you notice things from a different perspective. It is just a beautiful, unspoiled place.

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Back at camp, Martha made her own version of Seafood Chowder, and it was delicious. With a little lobster and some muscles in addition to the cod she put in, she might win a prize in a local contest!

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