Airstream Time

Exploring North America in an Airstream

Posts from the ‘Hiking’ category

Walking Pleasant Creek Road in Capital Reef National Park

Saturday, July11, 2020

There is only one rational time to hike in Utah in July, and that is early. I slept in this morning until 6:30, made coffee, grabbed two Cliff bars and the cameras and took off. It’s an hour drive to the end of The Scenic Drive, where I had decided to walk the Pleasant Creek Road. Looking at all the other hikes in the park, I thought they might be crowded, but this one would probably be quiet. 

You can’t drive The Scenic Drive without taking pictures. You see something different, or the light looks different. It is always pretty and amazing to think that millions of years ago, this just pushed out of the Earth, folding over the fault that created it. Imagine driving through here and these plates decide to slide again. Even a little rumble would send a lot of rocks rolling. “Civilization exists by geological consent,” wrote the American historian Will Durant, “subject to change without notice.” 

By the time I got to Pleasant Creek and collected my stuff, it was 8:15. I figured I’d walk an hour out and an hour back on this dirt road perfectly suited for a Jeep Wrangler. A sign said no ATV’s allowed. I thought the road would follow Pleasant Creek, but it did not. I think there is a trail that follows the creek in both directions. I saw it going downstream, but I didn’t want to go that way. Besides, I was only going for an hour out and an hour back, and it looked pretty easy. 

Pleasant Creek Road after crossing the creek.

As I began to leave, I grabbed my big knife and put it on my belt. After all I was going by myself and there are cougars in the park. If I had had a backward-facing mask, I would have put it on. Cougars always attack from behind. As I crossed the creek and walked up the dusty road, the sun was on my left and the moon on my right. 

There were bluffs close to the road, a perfect place for a cougar to wait. This place has tons of rabbits, so they could surely live off those, as well as the many deer, bighorn sheep, and occasional elk. Why eat a tough, old human? Nevertheless, I kept looking behind, scanning the bluffs and looking for tracks, but I never saw any. I planned my strategy though. If I had time, I would use my backpack as a shield, then pull the knife and get him while he was in the air. 

It was a nice hike with pretty views and an interesting landscape. I walked a bit further than I anticipated – about an hour and half out before turning around. I thought there was a campground up here, but maybe I just didn’t get that far. When I turned around at 9:45, it was starting to get hot. 

I thought I heard something behind me and stopped to listen. After a few minutes three ATV’s came down the road, waving as they passed. I was surprised how quiet they were. Most of the ones I’ve seen are terribly noisy. These made this road look easy. 

About 20 minutes later I caught up with them resting in the shade. They hadn’t seen a campground and had come from the other side of the mountain, in Boulder, Utah. It was three couples, who were very nice. They talked about the places they had ridden in the last few days. Utah is a great place for this, and I could see how this would be a great way to explore a lot of tough roads.

As I walked back down the road, I was getting hot and tired, and I became lax about watching my back. I was easy pickings now. I was getting pretty tired when I finally came to Pleasant Creek. It is a perfect name in this hostile environment. I soaked my sweat towel in the cold water and wrapped it around my head. I’m pretty sure that water would be fine to drink, but I had plenty in the truck. 

A car was parked on the other side of the lot. Now I could see there was a trail going up the creek, but not really marked or very definitive. Next time I will go that way.

Tomorrow I will leave, driving north to Twin Falls, Idaho. I wanted to go to Great Basin National Park on Rt. 50, but I enjoyed myself here too long. I really like this park. I like Sandcreek RV Park, where I can watch Grit TV at night. I love those old westerns, back when there were arguments about television being a bad influence. All of these westerns had a moral. I like Harry, who owns Sandcreek RV. The WIFI is as good as home. It’s nice to have the cute, little town of Torrey a few blocks down the street with everything I needed and more. There are a number of restaurants, motels and more. Capital Reef is a very cool park. I only saw parts of it, each day discovering something more. I could easily come back for another week.

I also enjoyed The Loneliest Road. It took me to some wonderful places, cute towns, beautiful countryside and a road to drive and relax, like days of the past. I will drive it again. But today will be more harried, driving north through Salt Lake City. I did not want to do that, but it would be 10 hours to go around, but 7 going through. One harried day, then on to Stanley where things are slower and absolutely gorgeous.

The Loneliest Road, Capital Reef National Park: The Fremont River Trail and Capital Gorge Trail.

Exploring “The Scenic Drive”, I walked through Fruita where Mormons settled and farmed. Of course Native Americans had been coming here for thousands of years. The Fremont River gives it wonderful, cold, clear water. Bighorn sheep have thrived here, and deer just walk around the park. I wandered through the orchard next to the campground, but found nothing on the trees.

I found a trail that follows the river and decided to follow it. It soon begins climbing the cliff, lending some beautiful views. Hearing some footsteps, I turned around to see a lady running up the trail. I moved over and said “Good morning”. She replied and continued running, bouncing off her toes. Soon I heard more steps, and another lady followed. I thought they were friends, but when the first lady passed me running back down, she said it was her daughter.

I finally reached the top finding a great view. It’s a nice trail, and I was proud to have completed my first hike since January when I got plantar fasciitis. Very content with myself walking back down, I saw the first lady running back up! She said, “What the heck? It’s been a tough year and running helps me release the stress.” Her daughter was coming slowly behind. I wanted to ask if the problems were personal or national, or both.

Back down, I continued on The Scenic Drive to the end. There was a parking lot that was pretty full. The sign said there was a one-mile, one way hike, called The Capital Gorge. Well, what the heck, anyone can walk 2 miles! There was lots of writing on the walls by the ancient ones and travelers ever since, although it is forbidden now.

I would have been OK had I not decided to climb up the “Water Tanks” trail. It doesn’t go far, but I am out of shape and it was VERY hot. I’m sure I had long-since wiped off all the suntan lotion. By the time I got back to the car, I was spent and grabbed some water from the big cooler in the back of the truck. A man and his daughter were reading the sign. I commented that it is the heat of the day, and did they need water? He replied they weren’t going to do it, and that they had water. I opened the back of the truck, pulled the slide out and got water out of the big cooler. He said he really liked the box. I looked at his very nice Silverado behind me, and told him what a nice truck it was. As they headed to his truck, his pretty daughter held him by the arm. He could barely walk. Maybe MS? Suddenly, I felt pitiful for complaining about a little plantar fasciitis.

Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Just across the border from Canada is the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. I love these places and had passed it on the way up to Nova Scotia, so we stopped in to see what it is all about. Volunteer, Michael Close, explained the refuge with suggestions of what to do.  We only had about two hours for a visit, so we walked the Headquarters Trail, about four miles. It was the middle of the day, but we saw two ducks, a garter snake and some turtles. On our way out, we drove a four-mile gravel road, a narrow, one-way gravel road. We pulled the Airstream, passing two other cars. We stopped by a lake and ate lunch, Martha’s homemade lobster rolls. Next time I plan to hike the wilderness trails.

“The refuge consists of two divisions. The Baring Division covers 20,016 acres (81.00 km2) and is located off Rt. 1, southwest of Calais, Maine. The 8,735-acre (35.35 km2) Edmunds Division is between Dennysville and Whiting, on U.S. Route 1 and borders the tidal waters of Cobscook Bay. Each division contains a National Wilderness Area, thousands of acres managed to preserve their wild character for future generation.” from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moosehorn_National_Wildlife_Refuge.

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Argentia Ferry to North Sydney, Nova Scotia

Thursday, September 5, 2019

We were taking a 16-hour ferry ride over to Nova Scotia. The winds were blowing about 20 mph, and we were both a bit nervous about getting sick. It leaves at 5:00 pm and arrives at 9:00 am, so we bought a 2-bunk berth, but since there weren’t any, they gave us a 4-berth. The idea was to get some dinner and sleep through most of the trip.

We wanted to get out and do something, so Martha found a hike nearby. Argentia is a WWII US Navy base that was turned back over to Newfoundland, so there are gravel roads going everywhere. A sign pointing to a trail head took us up a narrow gravel road. One point made me grip the steering wheel and hold my breath. It was very narrow with a dropoff on the left where a creek ran under the road. I was just looking down at the creek when the right wheel went into a deep pothole. I about had a heart attack, thinking we were going over. 

We parked and walked up to find a big pond, probably used for fresh water for the base. There were several nice campsites and fire rings where people probably came to fish. A boardwalk led up the small mountain, so we followed it to a smaller gravel road winding through the woods. Blueberries lined the road, so we stopped to pick some, using my hat for a bucket. 

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Further up the road, a mountain biker passed us, saying there were lots of blueberries at the top. There were two forks in the gravel road, so we made mental notes of where to turn. After more blueberry picking, we saw a tall lookout spot at the top of the hill. 

Climbing up, we were rewarded with a wonderful view of the east side of the Burin Peninsula. Mountain islands emerged from the huge Placentia Bay in beautiful blue green waters. The sun peeked through the fog to show all the colors. 

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In the other direction we saw our huge ferry getting ready for the trip. Straight across was a huge oil project being built with hundreds of cars parked in a big lot. Obviously, our campground was busy because of these workers. I would discover this is the West White Rose project, a well head platform and piping infrastructure for offshore oil and gas industry. It is being built by Husky Energy and employs 700-800 workers.

Back at camp, we got cleaned up, hooked up and went down the hill to get in line for the ferry. They asked us if we had fruits and vegetables, which surprised us. We sat in our lane and waited for an hour before loading started. I’m always a bit nervous loading, even though I have done it many times. Keep your eye on the loader in front of you, get in your lane and never take your eyes off the loader until he tells you to stop. Then try and remember where you are. It will all look different when you come back down the stairs. What deck are you on? We were on G3. Which side, front or back?. Then you can’t see around huge tractor-trailers and campers. It would be nice if they had numbers up high from front to back, but this one didn’t. When all else fails, push the door lock on your key fob and see if you can recognize your car horn.

The strategy others followed going upstairs was to first find a prime seat in the lounge. Of course it helps if you have been on the boat before. We went to our cabin on the 8th floor first. We were surprised at how nice it was, with nice bunk beds, bathroom and shower. 

There were plenty of seats in a circular lounge with a bar, a game room and a small setup for a two-person music performance, which was quite entertaining. There were three options for dining, making it feel like a cruise ship. There was a little rocking as the ship got going, but not bad. People hit the bar pretty hard with beer the primary drink. We had dinner at the buffet, which was good, except I always eat too much at a buffet.

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We went up to the room and read books before falling asleep. In the middle of the night the waters got rough. I could hear and feel the  ship rising and crashing over big waves. We were probably in the main channel of the St. Lawrence. I dared not move, lying on my back, listening to Martha snore. By 6:00 am it became pretty calm again, so we got up, showered and went down for coffee and a muffin. We could see Nova Scotia in the distance. People-watching was entertaining. The Newfies were the ones in shorts and t-shirts.

Chance Cove’s Coastal Trail

Monday, September 2, 2019

On Madeline’s recommendation, as well as All Trails’ 5 star rating, we took a short drive to Chance Cove to hike the Coastal Trail. It seems like every cove we visit is beautiful. There are similarities, yet differences. We watched as fishermen cleaned their catch on the docks. On a holiday weekend, lots of trucks were parked at the dock. They had their own barachois (lagoon), bordered by a rocky or sand barrier to the sea.

It’s a big parking lot at the trailhead, but there was not the usual sign. Later we would find it at the driveway entrance. We asked three ladies where it goes and how long it is. They had shirts for Iceberg Beer and Dildo beer, so Martha was interested. She had just bought Iceberg Beer and liked it. The ladies said, “You MUST go to Dildo!”

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The trail winds through the woods for 20 minutes. It is well-maintained with walkways and signs. I tried to imagine who would do all this work. As we came out into the open where a pretty peninsula stretched out into the bay, we stopped to talk to a man, a woman and two teenage girls. While Martha talked to the woman, I talked to the man. One of the advertisements for Newfoundland said to stop and listen to the stories Newfoundlanders tell, and we have learned to do that. They were from town. “Chance Cove?” I asked. “No, St. John’s”, he said. Commenting that it was a lovely day, he said, “Every day’s a lovely day, if you put your feet on the ground”. 

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I guessed his age to be 59 or 60. He was a postal worker, but recently began forgetting his regular boxes. Since his mother and two brothers suffer from dementia, he went to get checked, and sure enough, he has it. A handsome, healthy man, it is sad. But they were enjoying a nice hike on a beautiful day. 

They went on, and we walked out the little peninsula and met another couple. The man asked if we would like our picture taken, so we did. Then we began talking. Quite a character, he asked where we had been, suggesting all kinds of things we had missed. He suggested taking the ferry over to PEI, then drive the length and drive off when we were done. 

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Funny how these things go. We kept bumping into these two couples along the trail, and would see the first couple again in Dildo. Winding up and around the cliff, signs pointed to several gorgeous beaches with crystal clear water. Several small islands lent character to the beaches, one having caves running through them. It was a bright, sunny, warm day. Several people went into the water for a swim. I mean it looks like a South Pacific beach, but I’m quite sure the water is cold. The second couple we talked to climbed down the rope to the beach. He was a scuba diver and wasted no time shedding clothes and going for a swim. I was surprised his pretty Newfoundland/Labrador retriever didn’t go in with him. He had told us he does the Polar Bear Plunge in St. John’s when it was -12C, so this is nothing. 

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I think there were three of these gorgeous beaches before looping around for the return. We have hiked some spectacular hikes, and I would add this one to the favorites list. 

Burin, NL and Long Range Trail

Saturday, August 31, 2019

FrenchmanÕs Cove barachois

Frenchman’s Cove Barechois

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Garnish harbor

Our plan was to visit the museum in Burin, go to Marysville to grocery shop, come home for lunch, then hike Long Ridge Trail. The glitch was that Burin and the surrounding bays were so spectacular, we might have explored it all day.

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After some searching, we found the Burin Museum housed in an old bank. Our tour guide, Jean, did a great job of showing us the history of Burin. There have been some tragedies, one being a very unusual Tsunami in 1929 that did tremendous damage. It was a bustling village in its heyday, with shops and shipping all over the world. Times changed, and it is a quiet, relatively undiscovered area. 

We went to an overlook of the bay and town for a great view. We looked for Cook’s Lookout trail, but never could find it. It was past lunchtime and we were a bit grumpy. We stopped at Extreme Pita for a nice lunch. Two young ladies were working hard in a labor-intensive restaurant, cooking, taking orders and payments and working the drive-through. I gave the truck a quick wash after lunch and filled with gas for tomorrows move.

After grocery shopping at Sobey’s in Marysville, we went into the liquor store next door. Trudy Humphries asked us if we needed help. In Newfoundland, the liquor stores are very nice, and they have a rover to help people make decisions. Trudy was very cool and knowledgeable. Martha asked about beers, so Trudy told her about Iceberg beer, made with water harvest from icebergs. Well, we had to try that. Then Martha asked about Seaweed Gin she liked at a restaurant in Trinity. That led to the iconic square bottle they use and all the quite different flavors, like rhubarb vodka, which I tried, and a mushroom rum. Then Trudy said “Don’t get me started on wine. That’s my specialty.” I was so tempted, but we had already bought more than we came for.

We returned to Frenchman’s Cove, put everything away and drove to nearby Garnish to hike their Long Ridge Trail. There was little information about it and nothing on the sign about how far it was. It starts by a cemetery and runs along a ridge above the town. The first part was a bit unkept, but got better as we went along. there are steps and boardwalks in muddy areas. Blueberries are in full form now, so we picked a half sandwich bag full. There were plenty to pick all along the trail. 

There are great views at the tops of several hills. On one side is Garnish, with its Garnish River running through it. On the other is Frenchman’s Cove with its beautiful barachois, or a coastal lagoon separated from the sea by a sandbar. To the north is a lush, green valley. Four days is just enough time to learn something about a place, but there are always things left unexplored.

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Back at camp we cooked Salmon on the fire and beets. 

The guys working this provincial park have been so nice. I have been paying an entry fee every day for every park we have been in. The guys here called their headquarters, got me a refund for this park’s entry fee and got me a seasonal pass. You might say this is what they should do, but I would argue it is exceptional. Anyone else along the way could have done the same, but they didn’t. I am taking the boys a bottle of wine on my way out.

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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.

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

Avalon Wilderness Reserve & East Coast Trail

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.

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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.

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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.