Airstream Time

Exploring North America in an Airstream

Posts from the ‘Burin Peninsula’ category

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