Airstream Time

Exploring North America in an Airstream

Posts from the ‘St. John’s, Newfoundland’ category

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.


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. 



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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.