Airstream Time

Exploring North America in an Airstream

Posts from the ‘Lockston Path Provincial P’ category

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

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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