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Sunday, July 28, 2019
Looking for an easier hike, we went to the Lomond River Hike. It started through a forest with orchids everywhere.
We went into Woody Point for our Anniversary lunch at the Old Loft, which was OK.
Saturday, July 27, 2019
There is a great overlook of Bonne Bay, where we sat in Adirondack chairs in the morning, watching for whales. There is a beach next to the dock, where people go for a swim.
We went up to the beautiful, modern visitor’s center for some WIFI, but the speeds were very slow. I could upload a picture every 3 minutes. We had taken the tour of the center yesterday, and it explains the area quite well, but to learn more, we went up to the Tablelands for a geology lecture at 10:00.
We were thrilled to see our guide from a previous lecture at Green Point, Chris Rohrback. She is a geologist, who has a great way of simplifying complex things. Gros Morne was made a national park in 1970’s to protect it’s beauty. Later a geologist, whose name escapes me, studied the area finding it so unique that he developed plate tectonics theory.
At the Green Point site there is a walled cliff of rock that is turned up on end when two plates pushed up. Usually these are horizontal, but the verticality of this spot makes it so different. First the point is covered with big, round boulders, plowed here by glaciers. All the different layers of shale (mud), limestone, sandstone and a conglomerate, like aggregate. Because of these studies, Gros Morne was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
At Tablelands, this desert-like area was the Earth’s Mantle pushed up. It is composed of cadmium, cobalt, chromium and other toxic metals, so no vegetation grows here. Well, some does, but very little. Across the U-shaped valley is another mountain composed of sediment, so there is plenty of growth, and a beautiful trout stream runs through it. The U-shaped valley was caused by glaciers, one 500,000 years ago and one 10,000 years ago. Each left a line of boulders like bathtub rings along the sides.
After an hour and a half talk, we had a 30-minute walk back to the car. We drove to Trout River, having heard of a good restaurant there. first we drove through Trout River Campground to check it out. There was a great view of Little Trout River Pond.
We found Seaside Restaurant and enjoyed a good meal of Scallops, salad, seafood chowder, fish sandwich and Partridge berry pie.
We were tired, but wanted to do at least part of the Green Garden Hike, which can be 9km or all day, and is rated moderate. You have to earn your keep in Gros Morne. It is a long, rather boring hike across a small mountain and down the other side down to the ocean. There are rocks and many stairs along the way. It took us an hour and a half to get there.
Finally breaking out to a cliff overlooking the ocean and beach, the views were spectacular. Martha sat on a picnic table while I explored for a short time. We knew we had a 2-hour hike, mostly uphill, to get out, so we didn’t want to stay long.
There are natural meadows along the cliff. I was surprised to see lots of poop. This grassy area must attract lots of moose in the evening and maybe caribou. There are campsites along the coast, and I can see why you would like to stay here a while, hiking the beautiful coast. I would have to be younger to carry a 35-pound pack down here, but it would sure be fun.
On the way back up, we passed a young couple with three small kids. How they were going to manage getting them back up that mountain concerned us. We were exhausted by the time we got back to the top, and rested at a platform with bench seats. We talked with a family who had just done the same hike. They were from Corner Brook and had a cabin near here, where they would stay two weeks.
After a quick dinner and an episode of a cooking show, we were soon asleep. Of course our neighbors had a Saturday night party that went on until 12:00. I closed the window and stuffed my ears with tissue.
Friday, July 26, 2019
We loaded the washing machines at Granite Coffee and Laundry, and went next door for breakfast. I had the works, eggs, sausage and pancakes, while Martha had eggs, bacon and toast and a pancake. They also had WIFI, slow, but it was WIFI. In fact it would be the last WIFI I would see for a while.
Granite Coffee is my favorite place in Woody Point, for the laundry, for the people, the WIFI and the food. There is a liquor store that also has food and a variety of other things, and a nice young lady running it. There is an ice cream shop with a craft store and nice restaurant upstairs. This is regatta weekend with all kinds of events going on, and it was getting busy.
We went to the lovely Visitor’s Center, where I tried to learn more geology. Behind the Visitor’s Center, there is an Lookout Hills Trail, which translated, means climb up this bigass mountain for a pretty view, and a pretty view it was! Bonne Bay, no matter where you view it form, is a spectacular piece of water.
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At 10:00 we went to Green Point to hear a geology lecture. Chris Rohrback gave the talk, and she was great. She has a way of making a difficult subject simpler and fun. It is the eroded remnants of a mountain range formed 1.2 billion years ago. “The park provides a rare example of the process of continental drift, where deep ocean crust and the rocks of the earth’s mantle lie exposed.” (Centre, UNESCO World Heritage).
Gros Morne became a national park 1973, but it was for the geological studies that it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The complex nature of a tremendous upheaval a billion years ago made for a lifetime study by Robert Stevens and Harold Williams, who established the concept of tectonic plate movement.
This site offers a unique, exposed view of the plates turned vertical so you can readily see all the layers. Chris explained how the world was one supercontinent, before Africa and Europe pulled away, drifting to the east, leaving parts of Africa and Spain along the east coast of Newfoundland. Parts of these Appalachian Mountains went with Europe and can still be seen today.
These mountains were the size of the Himalayas. Thousands of years of erosion have reduced their size, and glaciers gouged out U-shaped valleys, pushing boulders all the way to the ocean and this beach. There are layers of sediment, shale (compacted mud), limestone, soapstone and whatever the other one was. “Here geologists discovered fossils that define the boundary between the Cambrian and Ordovician periods and makes Green Point a world geological benchmark.” (https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/nl/grosmorne/activ/decouverte-tours/gp)
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Monday July 22, 2019
It was about a two-hour drive to Gros Morne National Park, the jewel of Newfoundland. We made our way to Green Point Campground and checked in. While Martha checked in, I talked to two ladies riding their bikes with all the camping gear on board. They started at the Ferry and were on a three-week trip. They don’t carry food, so they eat all their meals out, which requires a lot of planning. They were staying in the campground and would take the cruise tomorrow.
Our site was lovely, in a grassy area with woods behind. At the edge of the woods were two Adirondack chairs and a table looking out on the Bay of St. Lawrence and a tiny fishing village with its man-made harbor. There was a very modern, beautiful shower house that made Martha very happy. There was even a WIFI tower, unheard of for a national park. Perfect!!
The Coastal Trail starts in the campground, so after riding in the truck all morning, we were ready to stretch our legs. It’s a 6k return walk out and back, following an old mail route taken with sled dogs. Bushes are swept back by obviously powerful winds. Underneath was very cool and offered some protection from winds and rain. A few geese rested in the grass.
We started a fire, fixed a drink and enjoyed a beautiful, cool evening.