Newfoundland 2016 - Just the tip...of the iceberg

Mass_Mopar

Keep it simple stupid
Thanks guys. The only issue we had with the T'Railway was a bridge that was blocked to full-size vehicles that required some backtracking to get out, but we didn't spend too much time on it in general.
 

Mass_Mopar

Keep it simple stupid
Nick, You were at the top of the wreckhouse by the looks of the pictures. The winds get so high coming off those mountians that it blows 18 wheelers off the highway you see at the bottom...Glad you are liking it here!
Btw, You on the island now, whats your travel plans here?
Thanks kojack, yes, the winds we encountered all over the island were pretty strong, it had the hood of the jeep fluttering up against its bump stops and the fairing thumping the roof. We aren't up there anymore, got home a couple weeks back now.
 

Mass_Mopar

Keep it simple stupid


Continuing our rainy day exploring, our next goal was to see if we could catch a glimpse of Point Rosie / Rosee, the site of the latest suspected Norse settlement in North America.

In the documentary, it looked like there was a two-track to follow, but there was also a bit of hiking involved. Given the downpour we figured we'd see how far we could get while staying dry. The answer was: pretty far! But not quite close enough...





The trail started out very promising, but quickly narrowed into an ATV track. We gingerly pushed on but visibility was poor.



Finally, at this point, we decided we had enough. The bog up ahead was of questionable depth and without a backup plan I wasn't going to take any unnecessary risks. It also looked like we missed a turn, and should've gone left across the pasture rather than continue to follow the quad trail. Plus, it was POURING.



This was our view through the downpour of the point, off in the distance jutting out into the ocean. Another day...



Back on the road, we headed north towards Gros Morne National Park, with a general idea of where we wanted to end up for the day.



Gas was $0.97 per litre on the mainland, but $1.25 per litre on the island. At least each station had reasonable coffee, unlike Tim's.



We made it to Green Point and grabbed a spot near the stairs to the beach. The weather still wasn't cooperating but we went exploring anyways.

 
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Mass_Mopar

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Since the theme of the day was rain, after exploring the beach and filling our bellies we turned in and prayed for sunshine.



The next day we worked our way around to the tiny fishing village. There was nobody there except for a nice couple from the states driving a Chevy pickup with a slide-in. The village had a slightly eerie feeling to it, like it wasn't abandoned, just waiting. The slices of rock peeling off into the sea were incredible.









We spotted a break in the clouds and decided to head for Western Brook Pond and hopefully catch one of their boat tours. To reach the dock you have to park in a lot just off the highway and hike a few kilometers inland. We ended up making the last tour before the rain set in by a scant 5 minutes.



Western Brook Pond has got to be the worst name in marketing history. It should be called The Great Giant Huge Amazing Wonder Awesome Fjord.



The cliffs rise 600m from the water, all scarred from the dozens of glaciers that have passed through. Some sections look like they're ready to come down with the slightest push. They've recorded a few landslides and resulting tsunamis here.




This rock slide happened only a few years ago, during a tour!










Pack accordingly!

After Western Brook Pond we continued our seat-of-the-pants trip North to see what else Newfoundland had in store for us... we wouldn't be disappointed!

To be continued...

 
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molanginaeda

Observer
Very luck out. I spend 9+ days in Newfoundland with 5 days in Gros Morne area. I never seen a single moose.

Even if the weather is rainy, try venture north. I drove up L'anse aux meadows and it was rewarding.

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Mass_Mopar

Keep it simple stupid
Very luck out. I spend 9+ days in Newfoundland with 5 days in Gros Morne area. I never seen a single moose.

Even if the weather is rainy, try venture north. I drove up L'anse aux meadows and it was rewarding.

Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk
Thanks for the comments everyone! We were told the Gros Morne area has the highest Moose density in Newfoundland, like 5 per sq KM, but we didn't see any there! We kept our eyes open for Moose the entire drive, and we finally saw some when we least expected it!
 

Mass_Mopar

Keep it simple stupid
After our fantastic adventure in Gros Morne, we continued in a northerly direction, following the coast. We saw a sign for Arches Provincial Park, and pulled a U-turn to go check it out. What a beautiful natural formation.







We camped that night alongside a pair of Safari pop-top GMC vans that just happened upon the same place by chance in Port au Choix. Both couples were from Quebec and were very friendly. It was lovely prepping and cooking dinner on the coast with some french chatter in the background. I tipped my umbrella into the wind to keep my stove burners lit, and after a good helping of beef stew we set about exploring our home for the night. The rocks along the shore were teeming with fossils.









The next morning, we packed up early and drove out to the point. The windswept earth was barren except for a lighthouse and some old foundations of a keeper's house. It seemed like a good place for breakfast!













On our plate for today was L'Anse aux Meadows, the historic site built around the Viking settlement discovered in the 60's. Neither of us particularly like tourist traps, so we had our doubts. As it turns out, we had nothing to worry about. The site was very well designed. The visitor center was large and welcoming, with a museum feel to it, and was very informative. The historic site was a 10 minute walk towards the shore, and was completely open to exploring. With the small guide pamphlet, we had a great time wandering around at our own pace. There was also a hiking trail that we skipped but it looked fantastic.


These buildings were all authentic recreations and were incredibly cozy on the inside





You can see the visitor center in the background of this shot - one of the original building's footprints


Spending the day here was well worth it - afterwards we headed towards Pistolet Bay Provincial park for the night, but we were a little early so we sailed right past it up to Onion Cove to do some iceberg hunting! We were told we wouldn't see any this time of year, but it turns out, that wasn't exactly the case...
 

Mass_Mopar

Keep it simple stupid
Exploring the sleepy coves of Newfoundland made me seriously consider my life choices... and wonder if I could eek out a living in such a beautiful, remote place.

For now, visiting will have to suffice.










We could've spent all day taking in the sights here - Cemetery Hill, Cape Onion


L'Anse aux Meadows as seen from Cape Onion

Experiencing the Viking settlement and seeing a pair of icebergs capped off a spectacular day of exploring. We headed for the provincial park tired and happy, looking forward to settling in for the night. We were greeted by this pair of moose so close to the road (and our campsite) that we thought they were cheeky statues until they both turned to see what the big green jeep driving past was up to.








We capitalized on the brief window of direct sunshine and dried everything out.


This was one of the most difficult fires to get going, the logs were incredibly green. A bit of grilling sorted that out.

 

Mass_Mopar

Keep it simple stupid
The facilities at Pistolet Bay Provincial Park were excellent. The entire park had quite an alpine feel to it, I wouldn't mind spending a few days up there in the future, and using it as a home base to explore the northern end of the island. It's set a bit inland, and as such without the ocean or seemingly any insect noise, the night we spent there was absolutely dead silent. When the first camper heading for the washroom walked by just before sunrise, their footsteps on the gravel sounded like a brass band.




We spotted quite a few moto-adventeurers. They must all be Superman to be able to stay upright in the wind and rain we encountered.




We made a point of noting interesting pull-offs that we saw while heading North, so that we could explore them on our way back South. Happily the weather cooperated!


Lunch and leg stretching.




We explored Cow Head on the way to the night's stop, and got some provisions from the well-stocked grocer in town.


The local steak was delicious! Pan frying a couple of tenderloins with some couscous.


One of the more wooded and less inspiring places we camped, Berry Hill. The facilities were very good, but it was quite crowded in comparison to our other stops.

The next day we backtracked a bit to the wreck of the SS Ethie, a 155' long steamship that sank in a storm in 1919. All 92 aboard were rescued. There are still bits of the original wood floors bolted to the machinery. The surf has beaten the rusty debris smooth, it was an odd sensation touching rusty parts with no jagged edges. We were completely lost in thought wandering the beach, looking at all the detail in the debris.











We continued our day heading south, stopping at any turn-off that looked promising. It was a great time exploring with no real schedule.





After driving through Corner Brook, we turned west towards Port au Port & Cape Saint George. After an hour on Rt 460 I realized I completely misjudged the scale of this peninsula! I had originally planned to drive the entire perimeter but with the somewhat limited time left in the afternoon, we turned north towards our overnight in Piccadilly Park, a private campground we picked around lunchtime. The whole area was beautiful and it's another place I have on my list to explore at length.




The shack looked promising but Mike was no where to be found! After a few minutes he popped out of the maintenance shed and we said hello. Fifteen bucks a night for the tent sites, and off we went to pick one


Think this will do?


After getting creative trying to avoid the wind and level the Jeep, we settled in for some dinner and drooling over our private beach




We pitched the tent but by the time we turned in, the wind had picked up too much for our liking. I tore it down and we slept comfortably inside on the platform for the night.





To be continued!
 
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