Airstream Time

Exploring North America in an Airstream

Posts from the ‘Hiking’ category

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.

DSC_3544DSC_3545IMG_5314IMG_5312

 

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. 

_1GW3387_1GW3398_1GW3388

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. 

_1GW3389_1GW3391_1GW3392_1GW3395_1GW3396

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.

IMG_5207

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!”

IMG_5149IMG_5131

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”. 

IMG_5132_1GW3252_1GW3251

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. 

IMG_5138

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. 

_1GW3258_1GW3261IMG_5145

_1GW3266_01

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

_1GW3204

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.

LewinÕs CoveIMG_5102IMG_5098IMG_5097

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.

_1GW3230_1GW3227

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.

IMG_5096

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.

_1GW3175_1GW3177IMG_5084

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.

_1GW3189

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.

_1GW3197

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. 

IMG_5088

IMG_5082

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. 

IMG_5024

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.

_1GW3082

 

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. 

IMG_5032img_5034.jpgimg_5035.jpgIMG_5036

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.

IMG_5037IMG_5038

IMG_5039

Sweet Rock ice cream sits atop a hill with a wonderful view, and it is great ice cream!

IMG_5040

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.

_1GW2852_1GW2856

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.

IMG_4977IMG_4973IMG_4972

Exploring the Irish Loop, Newfoundland

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

IMG_4957

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. 

_1GW2822

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.

IMG_4964

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. 

IMG_4962

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. 

IMG_4961

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. 

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.

_1GW2511

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.

_1GW2520

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. 

IMG_4807

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.

_1GW2557

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.

IMG_4810

IMG_4811

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

IMG_4812

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.

IMG_4814

Brigus Lighthouse Trail

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Driving 35 minutes west from Butter Pot Provincial Park along the coast, we arrived in Brigus, which we heard was very pretty. We pulled into a parking area by a pretty cove. A man and his family drove in behind us. The big man said they had never been there and just followed us. I told him we knew nothing. They were from Corner Brook on the west side of Newfoundland, and he was taking his teenage kids on a trip before they started school again. We chatted for a while, and he told us about a pretty drive when we go back through Codroy Valley. “Just turn at the convenience store with a gas pump and follow the road.” 

There was a tour van with a guide and 6 people. We followed them through a cave leading to the bay. The group was so excited and having such a great time, telling about all the whales they had seen on their boat tour. Meanwhile, the tour guide was telling Martha where to go and what to do. I was trying to listen to everyone, but that was not possible. 

For those who don’t know Diego, he is from Mexico City, and we were classmates in graduate prosthodontics residency at Ohio State University in 1984-86. Diego was 25 when he came from a GPR in Louisiana. I was 40, having sold my share of a general dentistry practice. We have been like brothers ever since. We asked him to come up and join us for any part of our 2-month trip, and he has come for a week, flying into St. John’s.

We drove around the beautiful, upscale village, then stopped at North Street Cafe for tea, a scone and rutabaga cake. Then we drove up to The Lighthouse Trailhead. The little parking lot was filled, so I parked right next to a cliff, which made me very nervous. I walked up the gravel road, which led to the trail, while Diego and Martha went up the trail at the parking lot. 

The lighthouse Trail

IMG_4749IMG_4750IMG_4751IMG_4752IMG_4753

The lighthouse Trail

It is a beautiful hike, well-maintained and pretty all along. there were a couple of unusual things. One was a greatly oversized Adirondack chair where the best pictures can be taken of the cove and town. The other was a big field where cows were grazing. There is more up and down than I expected, but otherwise an easy trail to walk on. There were many walking the trail on this pretty day. We had a late start, so we had it all to ourselves coming back. Diego and Martha had a running conversation all the way, and Martha liked the way Diego helped her at difficult spots.

IMG_4754

Back at the parking lot, I was nervous getting out of my spot on the edge of the cliff, but Diego and Martha were guiding me. First I pulled forward and then backed slowly over a little, wooden bridge with wooden supports for the tires. I was glad to get over it and turn around.

In the evening, we went back to St. John’s Fish Exchange. We have found making reservations is very important in Newfoundland. Again, we had an excellent dinner and service. I missed our previous waitress with the great smile, but Martha sure liked Chad, our waiter. A tall and handsome young man who was born and raised here. He said this is summer and lasts about a month. Then the winds, cold and snows come. I don’t know how they navigate these big, steep hills in snow. We shared a bowl of mussels, which would have been enough with a salad, but Martha and I ordered Cod, while Diego had Arctic Char. All were excellent, but the real treat was the mussels. The restaurant was packed.

IMG_4791IMG_4793IMG_4794IMG_4795