BonTours, Gros Morne National Park, Lighthouses, Lobster Head Cove, Newfoundland, Rocky Harbour, Tablelands, Western Brook Pond
Saying goodbye to the tippy-top of the Northern Peninsula we headed out in light fog for the 432 inland loop back towards 430 South on our way down to Gros Morne National Park. Having just driven on past Gros Morne on the way up to L’Anse aux Meadows because the weather was so bad, we hoped things would be better now. Inland the sky was beautiful and sunny. Of course when we got back to the coast the fog was well on its way to being pea soup thick.
We settled into Gros Morne RV Campground in Rocky Harbour which while not a tourist town by US standards, it is more touristy then anyplace we’d been. The advantage with that is a wider selection of restaurants. We did Earl’s which was fine although they know fish better than fried chicken. The second night we went to Ocean View. I admit it, we can be a little snobby sometimes, but with real table linens, nothing served in plastic, complimentary dinner rolls, SEVERAL kinds of vegetables and good food….well it was a very nice 🙂
Note to RV’ers: we had low voltage issues at the campground. We like to be tucked away if possible and so were at the end of the line which the owner acknowledged as the problem. We just didn’t brew coffee AND run the electric water heater at the same time and it worked ok.
The next day we had a reservation for the 11 o’clock boat tour on Western Brook Pond. It is a lovely 3 kilometer walk from the parking lot to the boat launch & café at the mouth of this fjord. Naturally it was a foggy day as we headed out early with all fingers and toes crossed that the sun would do its thing and burn off at least most of it before our boat ride. We got in line, headed up to the open top deck when boarding and they set out.
About 10 minutes into the 2 hour tour, the boat slowed almost to a standstill and they announced that the earlier tour boat ahead of us had just radioed back to say the ceiling had dropped completely to water level so we would be turning around and given a refund. Back on shore I checked the weather forecast, whispered to the weather gods and booked the following day’s 12:30 trip. Not ready to call it a day, we decided to walk at least part of the Snug Harbour Trail that’s just up from the boat launch.
Heading back to Rocky Harbour and with the fog finally lifting we decided to drive out to the Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse. The good citizens had long worried about the dangers their husbands, sons and neighbors had endured with only an oil lamp in a fellow fisherman’s home window offering guidance to those at sea. Finally this lighthouse opened in 1898 with a kerosene vapor lamp and a fifth-order dioptric lens maintained by keeper Robert Lewis, was sending out its life-saving flash ever 2 ½ seconds.
We awoke to a beautiful sunny day and were so thankful our tour had been cancelled the day before!
Wanting to sort of put a finish on the entire Western Brook experience we did the short walk out to where it flows into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
With another sunny day (yippee) we headed for the most southwestern section of Gros Morne to walk on the Earth’s mantle. This part of the park known as the Tablelands reminded Ed of our desert southwest with its barren red rock.
Pushed up from deep inside the earth by tectonic plate collision several hundred million years ago these mountains are peridotite, and very low in nutrients and calcium while high in heavy metals, magnesium and iron, hence unable to support plant life.
Before signing off I need to make a correction to our last posting and then a confession 🙂
I’m happy to say thank you to reader Deborah Gordon (via FaceBook) who not only corrected my location of the mini village in the Newfoundland ~ Part One post but also identified the artist, ~ “That little mini village you photographed is directly across from my house and is actually in Ship Cove ( Cape Onion is on side of the point that runs parallel ). Built by Brian Decker as a community sponsored project, it’s meant to portray the old town, which still has some of those same buildings in it. Too bad you didn’t stop in for a cup of tea!”
Confession ~ I have taken things a bit out of order as far as our travels go. In between these two blog postings Ed & I took the ferry over to Labrador for a very short visit. We will share that adventure in our next installment, as well as lots more icebergs, beautiful hikes and wonderfully friendly folks. We sure hope you continue to ride along!!
On our first walk out to the boat dock we encountered this yearling calf who was soon disinterested in all the gawkers so he just walked off. There are over 120,000 moose on Newfoundland and all of them originate from four animals imported in 1904.