Newfoundland has always been a mysterious place to me. Where exactly is it? What’s there? Is it in any way related to Finland? After spending a short while on this mysterious island, I was only able to answer a few of these questions and came back with many more.
We embarked for Newfoundland after a series of unfortunate mis-schedules by the wonderful airlines that rule the skies, cause series anxiety, apologize for nothing, yet take your money and offer nothing more than a small seat in the sky and stress that shortens ones life. My brother, Walker, had planned to fly into Halifax, Nova Scotia, a day before we were to take a ferry from North Sydney, Nova Scotia to Channel-Port aux Basques, NL. After several delays it first looked as though he’d make it in late, the night before, still allowing us time to drive across Nova Scotia. After a series of more delays the airline planned on getting him in the morning we needed to start our trek across Nova Scotia, no problem. And yet after more confusion and misstatements, Walker was set to arrive at the very last possible minute that would allow us to drive to the ferry, with a window that might not work. Luckily, Walker dished out his hard earned money in order to fly directly to Newfoundland so that we wouldn’t miss our float to the Rock.
Crystal and I then packed up camp in Halifax and drove across Canada’s Ocean Playground, Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia is a series of long shoreline and lakes (I’ll have more about that in a future post). We hit rain midway through our drive and couldn’t see much of the countryside due to the fog that was blocking the views. We arrived in North Sydney in time to grab a bite to eat before hopping on the overnight ferry. We chose the overnight ferry due to their dog policy, which required our "celebrity" (Hudson) to stay in the car for the entire eight-hour ferry ride. Once loaded amongst the trucks, motorcycles, campers and RV’s we tucked the husky in for the evening and made our way up to the “recliners” we’d reserved. We crashed quickly in a theater like setting and got some restless sleep.
We woke in time to grab a snack and coffee, scrambled down to check on Hudson and pull off the ferry into the dreary fog covering Channel-Port aux Basques, NL. Our drive to Deer Lake and Walker’s overnight B&B was filled with wet roads, rain and fog blocking any views of the mountains covering the west side of this mystery land. We were also on the lookout for the rumored monstrous four legged beasts that were over taking the island, moose. Without a sighting of mountains or moose we were united with Walker for our official launch into Newfoundland. Destination, Gros Morne National Park.
After a three-hour drive involving up’s, downs and a fair amount of twists we arrived at our campsite in Berry Hill Campground, about 3km from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean. The mountain’s tops weren’t visible, but the rain had let up. We quickly set up camp and set our sights on hiking a small lake within walking distance of camp.
Expecting nothing more than possibly a small shower or two we set out for the short 3km/45-minute hike to return completely drenched, head to toe, and feeling the cold chill of the Atlantic water in our boots. After taking some warm showers, thawing to livable temperatures and with rain still falling we decided on eating dinner in the small fishing town and hub for Gros Morne, Rocky Harbor. Later that evening, Walker, eager to warm up and dry out, started an unlikely fire in such conditions. Thereafter, in an attempt to dry wet boots, I melted Crystal's hiking boots…
I could ramble on about the specifics of hikes, mountains, the Western Brook Pond (a fjord), the earths’ mantle, beach caves, moose sightings, whale sightings, Norris Point, newfie sweaters, 90’s hip-hop poses and how we merely skimmed the surface of this mysterious place, but as I said before, Newfoundland is mysterious and you’ll have to formulate your own interpretation of the Rock from the few photos I captured. Enjoy!