Saturday, September 23, 2017

September 2, 2017 Our Day Driving North on the Viking Trail

After three great days at Gros Morne, we are heading north on Route 430...The Viking Trail. Since this is a traveling day, we have no definite plans. It also rained most of the day and it was very windy. So we stopped here and there whenever the rain let up. The first stop was this Anglican Cemetery in Cow Head.

I have a fascination with visiting cemeteries. This one has lots of colorful flowers at just about every grave.

Apparently I am also fascinated with fishing boats and docks. Maybe it has to do with all the colorful boats... 

...maybe I just love being near the ocean.

There is definitely a love for being out on the water in Newfoundland...

...almost every house has a boat in the yard...

...and lobster traps are stack up everywhere.

This was our next stop. It stopped raining a few minutes after we got out of the car. Lucky for us...

...because this was a nice walk on the beach.

This is two of the three arches under this shoreline rock...

...this is the third arch.

I was so happy it stopped raining that I just kept walking and taking pictures.

This was a very nice little provincial park. The bathrooms must have been locked because when we drove out there was a lady squatting and peeing outside the bathroom. Sorry no photos of that. But it did make us laugh.

I stopped to photograph the sky here. I also needed to stretch my legs.

This was just a roadside turnout to a fishing hut that looked interesting, so I drove down the gravel road to the shoreline. It seems like every Newfoundlander has a stack of wood drying out for the long winter. Most are along the roadside near forests. It was a bit strange to see one on a beach.

Once again the rain let up but the wind was relentless. It was tough to hold the camera steady. I spent about 20 minutes taking pictures anyway.

The ocean has been extremely calm so far on this trip. So I was excited to finally see some waves crashing on the rocky shoreline.

It was hard to tell if this hut was abandoned...

...because there was firewood and traps stacked on the beach near it.

It was definitely a dreary day so I had some post production fun with a few photos.

Back on the road known as the Viking Trail...We are heading as far north as possible on the Great Northern Peninsula of  Newfoundland.

After a long day of driving, we finally made it St. Lunaire-Griquet. We stopped for dinner at the fantastic Daily Catch restaurant. Chrissy had a bake apple berry martini with Iceberg vodka and iceberg cubes.

I love Canada for so many reasons. But drinking this beer and talking preseason hockey with our waiter are high on that list.

I remember the first time I got Chrissy to eat steamed mussels with me. It was a previous trip to Canada. We were on Prince Edward Island at a lobster bake. I order the mussels appetizer. I am not exaggerating when I say they brought out a bucket of delicious steamed mussels in a white wine broth. After eating about thirty of them I asked Chrissy to help me eat the other thirty or so that were left. She did and she loved them. Now on this trip, she is ordering them every night. I am so proud of her.

We have eaten seafood everyday since we got here. 

Our home for the night is the affordable but very high end rooms at the colorful St. Brendan's Motel just up the street from the Daily Catch.

September 1, 2017 Hiking in the Tablelands Area of Gros Morne National Park

The forecast is calling for rain all day long. Since this was the day we set aside to visit the Tablelands area of Gros Morne, we packed our rain gear and headed out into the fog.

It was about an hour drive from Rocky Harbour, so we stopped a couple of times along the way.

As the fog lifted, we had mostly gray skies and a misty rain.

Our first hike was the Green Gardens trail which takes you from the rocky Tablelands to the volcanic cliffs along the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. 

It was a cool morning but so far just a misty rain.

I thought we made good time climbing over the first ridge...well good time for us flatlanders.

The scenery along the way was incredible even with the gray sky and low clouds.

Uh-oh. Our descent through the forest into the first valley was along a wet, muddy and rocky trail. 

But the reward was these incredible views.

The trail had some ups and downs along the way, taking photos of things that I found interesting was a great way to catch my breath.

This is what happens when a fat guy leaves his camera around his neck while hiking...I actually like this sweat induced foggy lens shot.

Our first view of the cliffs along the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The trail follows along the cliffs out to Steve's Cove.

Chrissy and I love these chairs all over the island.

We found these locals grazing without a care in the world...right on the edge of 300 foot cliffs.

I just stood here for a few minutes...breathing in the salty sea air...looking across the green covered cliffs and the black volcanic rocky shoreline...I love places like this and I am always in awe when I get to them.

We haven't seen a lot of wildlife so far, I am sure we were way more excited to see the sheep than were to see us.

I guess the grass on the edge of the cliffs has more flavor than further inland.

I can't imagine trying to brush out all those burrs.

Little Bo-Peep enjoying the view from the Adirondack chairs.

We took the rickety stairs down to the beach...

...these were our views while we ate lunch on a rock.

I forgot what goofy shit I was saying during lunch but Chrissy couldn't stop laughing.

So I wandered down the beach taking pictures...

...and she hiked the other direction taking pictures.

Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me. The powerful survival skills are incredible. This plant is growing 10 feet up on a shear cliff.

Hiking back up the staircase and beginning our 5km hike back to the car.

But skies.

The hike back had a lot of climbing uphill...

...but this hike was definitely worth it.

We got lucky with beautiful weather as the day went along. We decided to drive out to Trout River for a tasty meal at the Seaside Restaurant...

...and this was the view from our table.

After lunch we walked along the beach.
Then drove back to the Tablelands Trail.

This trail gives you the rare opportunity to hike on the Earth's mantle. About 500 million years ago, the continents collided forcing what is usually far below the Earth's crust upward. 

As we began the hike, it started to rain.

So this is what the Earth's mantle looks like after being exposed for half a billion years. The hike got a bit repetitive and the rain was more that just misty...

... so I hiked up to this waterfall as Chrissy headed back to the car.

Hiking back to the car, the rain let up. This photo shows the stark difference between the Tablelands on the left and the mountains on the right. Even after millions of years, hardly anything can grow on the Earth's exposed mantle.

This picture plant is carnivorous.

There is some vegetation along the Tablelands trail. Mostly where water runs down the mountainside.

We ended our night in Woody Point on Bonne Bay.

We were going to walk around the quaint little town but the predicated rain was coming down hard. So we sat outside a little shop across from the ferry terminal and relaxed on the covered front porch...listening to the rain, watching the last ferry of the day disappear into the fog on it's way to Norris Point and not only enjoying the moment but enjoying a tasty ice cream cone too. A perfect ending to a wonderful day.