Some Nova Scotia Sites

Even though this is not the end of July this will be my last post for July, the month that DD has proclaimed to be the “all about me month”. And as much as this will be a considerable relief to those of us who have had to listen to this repetitious narcissistic nagging for the past 29 days it seems like the agony is not over as the torch has apparently been passed to BBB’s hands as she has put us on notice that August is the “all about her month” in celebration of her August 21st birthday.  Seems like delusions of grandeur are contagious and can be transmitted by word of mouth.

Regardless the 2 Captains have remained calm while sailing through these troubled waters and the MMM goes on and on and on. Now back to business!

We returned to the Arm of Gold RV Park in Sydney on July 21, 2016 to collect the Phantom Phaeton and catch up on the laundry and other domestic chores.

Before continuing on I should point out that if you are hoping to find pictures or musings of such notable Nova Scotia tourist attraction as the Bluenose 11 or Peggy’s Cove you’ll have to click on the links as we just didn’t get to them. Sorry folks.

The Cabot Trail

We spent a full day on July 22, 2016 driving the famous Cabot Trail which was a 350 km plus drive from our location in North Sydney.  The circle route drive we took while being quite spectacular in some places was more benign than expected for the most part. A 15 km stretch just north of Margaree Harbour to Cheticamp was the most impressive section while on the remainder the views were unceremoniously screened by a plethora of assorted fauna.  Despite several stops at overlooks to watch for whales we were once again thwarted in this regard.

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not far off the road for church

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starting to climb

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lunch at an indoor picnic area

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waterfall at the end of a short trail

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the stream below the falls

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view from an overlook

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the winding row

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Please Answer the Phone Mr. Bell

On our way to Antigonish on July 23, 2016 we made a pit stop at the Alexander Graham Bell Historic Site in Baddeck.  As some of those folks who had only heard about Mr. Bell in connection with the telephone, we were all in for a pleasant surprise to learn of his inventions and involvement in flight (powered and unpowered) and hydrofoils. This was a really interesting place to spend a couple of hours visiting.

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model of the HD-4

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original hull of the HD-4

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inside the hull

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way ahead of his time

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AGB was into kites as well

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the Silver Dart

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DDs Art Deco of the week

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once again the Captain looks confused by DD

Halifax Waterfront

We spent 3 days in the Halifax/Dartmouth area arriving on July 24, 2016. On July 25, 2016 (gee I wonder whose BIG DAY this was??) we took the ferry to Halifax from Dartmouth and wandered along the boardwalk enjoying the “buskers”, ships, museums and historic sites.  We toured Pier 21 and the Canadian Immigration Museum, which had the Empress of Ireland Exhibit and despite the oppressive heat and humidity we climbed the hill to the Citadel.  Kudos to the city and people of Halifax for the wonderful job of restoring the waterfront and making it a place well worth visiting.

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nuf said

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Georges Island

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outside of Pier 21

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actual artifacts of the Empress of Ireland

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replica of a stateroom

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Lonesome Larry begs CC to allow him entry

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actual poster from a CP Immigrant Train

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CC is on board

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original dress from the 1950s – Swan Lake

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Halifax Library

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LL stands guard

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down to the trenches

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replicas of WW1 trenches

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views from the Citadel

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CCs Art Deco photo of the week

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downtown buidings

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from the ferry on the way back to Dartmouth

As previously noted and how could one forget and not hear about it, today was DDs 64th Birthday.  LL and BBB hung up the Balloons for her and as birthday gift she received from the Captain a brand spanking new Samsung Tablet to replace the antiquated one she has been complaining about for the past 2 years. DD also managed to score $35.00 at the Casino without spending a penny as she received this as a birthday gift from the casino for just showing up.

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inflation at its worst

Tuesday July 26, 2016 was an off day because of the rain (very heavy at times) so we managed to get the old truck serviced and fix one of the trailer blinds that decided to fall apart. Going out for morning runs has been quite a mental challenge as donning a t-shirt already laden with moisture for a run in the fog isn’t the most appealing way to start a day, but at least it isn’t crowded out there.

Broad Cove and Beyond

Other than Walmart, free camping sites in Canada are few and far between but we were really fortunate to find a great spot between Halifax and Yarmouth thanks to Freecamping.net.  On July 27, 2016 we followed the directions to a great little beach area in Broad Cove and enjoyed the peace and quiet of our ocean front sites. The several folks who stopped by to check on the outsiders were all very friendly. In particular we had a visit from 2 sisters (Mary and Elizabeth) and Elizabeth’s husband Clarke who hailed from nearby Shelburne. They went to great lengths to extol the virtues of their hometown as a must see on our way to Yarmouth and we decided we would.

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views of Broad Cove from our campsite

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strange things grow in the trees here

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the original waterfront horse and buggy highway

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the fog coming in

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strange blobs of jelly on the beach

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sunsets

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We were also told by some of the locals that we might see some seals on the harbour rocks but in keeping with our luck in observing wildlife, any seals who may have been in the vicinity kept well out of our line of sight. Yes we are getting a complex.

Well we did make it to Shelburne on July 28, 2016 and as promised it was a historic old village with numerous old buildings circa 1870 to 1890 still standing and being used.  The real surprise of the visit however was running into Mary (from the night before at Broad Cove) as we wandered through town.  She was quite pleased that we had taken up their suggestion to visit.

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Shelburne buildings from the 1870s

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LL takes a break

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old buildings continued

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new buds BBB, Mary and DD

We spent one night, July 28, 2016 in Yarmouth where we had a short visit with DD’s niece Stephanie and her husband Jeremy. We had hoped to stay another day to visit however they were heading out the next morning for the long weekend.

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CC, DD and Jeremy

As this is a long weekend (Canada) July 29th 30th, 31st, and August 1st we intend to lie low for a few days and catch up on domestic chores and head back out on the road on the 2nd. LL and BBB will likely need the rest after celebrating their 43rd Anniversary on the 29th. Congratulations to the kids.

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the Anniversary kids

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By stubbs99

A Bit of Dis and Dat and a Couple of Other Tings

Before getting to the final really big ticket item (Gros Morne) on our Newfie Nightmare a few tidbits to tidy things up as we leave the Rock. As I write this piece we are travelling on the Blue Puttees out of Port aux Basques, NL on our way back to North Sydney, NS. The seas look reasonably calm for our expected 6 hour crossing and expected dinnertime arrival so the sea sick baggies may have been a worthless investment.

As my faithful readers already know, for this portion of the MMM the Phantom Phaeton was left in dry dock in Sydney and LL and BBB bunked in with the Captain and Debbie Dewdrops in the cosy confines of the HMCS Eagle. This type of experiment is the kind that has the potential to turn out badly but with a hearty crew comprised of the Amiable American duo of LL and BBB with DD representing the Canadian side, even in her diminished state (a cold and other issues), no serious harm occurred. Only the staccato snoring of one of the crew distributed what can only be described as successful adventure.  Of course the steady hand of the Captain at the helm just might have been the tipping point for success?? However a vote on this question has been postponed indefinitely.

One of our delightful finds (small things amuse small minds) on the trip was when we stopped in at Captain Dave’s on the way back from Twillingate. CD brought to our attention a definitely classical Newfie home grown musical in the form of the Ugly Stick, Any attempt to define this fine piece of musical craftsmanship would fall flat (pun intended) but can be seen in the following photograph.  Once we became acquainted with the Ugly Stick we took notice that they were widely available in most souvenir shops in seemingly unlimited forms from the cute to grotesque.

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Captain Dave and the Ugly Stick

Early on in our travels around the rock we observed a variety of blankets and nets casually adorning the curbs in front of a lot of people’s houses. All it took to determine the purpose of these coverings was to observe the workings of the crows and seagulls as they made short work of distributing the contents of unprotected garbage bags across the highways and byways.

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or maybe it’s camping out newfie style

According to official sources there are over 125,000 moose on the Island.  Just about everyone we met, locals and visitors alike, regaled us with stories of moose sightings.  Some folks went so far as to “guarantee” moose sightings.  How you can guarantee such is beyond me, but being agreeable folks we took them at their word and BBB so wanted to believe them.  So we drove over 1400 kilometers around the Island and guess what?  Up to our last day we had seen only one moose however, this moose was seen galloping across the tundra at a distance where it could have been as easily a large caribou or some other antlered animal??  So there we were on our final day of travel being hyper vigilant for moose when the ecstatic cry of moose, moose, moose disturbed the otherwise calm in the truck. And yes there in a far away meadow stood a single cow moose posing for pictures. Although not a Bullwinkle BBB could claim a moose sighting, no bull.

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yes there is a moose out there

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BBB finally gets up close and personal with a moose

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one of the “mummer makers”

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The Great Gros Morne – June 16th to June 18th   

Gros Morne really is a wondrous place that to give it its due credit should be explored leisurely over a few weeks.  This UNESCO World heritage Site sight offers incredible opportunity to see some very unique geographical formations. We arrived at the KOA in Norris Point on July 16, 2016 where we set up camp for our 3 days here. The KOA was nicely situated but suffered from very tight spacing of RVs and when a neighbour had a campfire, well so did you, but you got just the smoke without the fire. Regardless we did have full hookups which were fortuitous as sunlight was at a premium for our stay.

On our first night here a short drive brought us to the small fishing village of Norris Point which is the home base for several water taxis for trips to Woody Point and other tourist destinations more easily accessed by boat than road. The big highlight of Norris Point visit for DD and the Captain was listening to a live version of that Newfoundland classic Aunt Martha’s Sheep (see video below). This classic was played seemingly continuously back in 1972 when DD and the Captain resided in New Brunswick.  As we only had radio for entertainment in those “poor us” days, this song was indelibly ingrained in our minds.

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near Norris Point

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the docks at Norris Point

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Aunt Martha’s Sheep at Norris Point

On July 17, 2016 we spent a full day driving up to Cows Head and back. Along the way we stopped at several interesting sights including the wreck of the SS Ethie, Cows Head Lighthouse and along several walking trails. At Cows Head Lighthouse the Captain took a sketchy back road to the parking lot and of course DD erupted into maniacal screeching and at one point vacated the vehicle. One can imagine the need for a lighthouse would have been negated had the oggorfian screeching been available as surely it could have been heard several leagues away by passing ships. HaHa!!

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near the SS Ethie

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the remains of the Ethie

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LL looking for lost treasures

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a fish dam near Sally’s Cove

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beach just north of sally’s Cove

 

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return of the Piping Plover

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beach near Shallow Cove

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on the sketchy road to the Lighthouse

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on the “beach” below the lighthouse

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the Western Brook Pond Trail

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strange creatures along the trail

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tour boat at Western Brook Pond

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Clover Point Lighthouse

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Our last full day here on July 18, 2016 and we drove to and hiked up the Tablelands. This barren landscape derives from the earth’s mantle and because of its lack of nutrients and minerals doesn’t support plant or other forms of life.

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the road to the Tablelands

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yes that is snow up there in them hills

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at the edge of the Tablelands

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very unusual markings in some of the rocks

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DDs Art Deco photos

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waterfall from the snow pack

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DD ponders taking a shower

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The Last 350 KM

July 19, 2016 we drove to Stephenville and an overnight at noisy Walmart. Stephenville once the home of a US Air Force Base was getting set to host a 75 year reunion for base personnel.  The base operated for 25 years from 1941 to 1966 when it was decommissioned and the land returned to Canada and Newfoundland.

Our final night on the Rock July 20, 2016 we camped at the JT Cheeseman Provincial Park located about 12 km north of the Ferry Terminal.  A short 2 km walk to a beautiful sandy ocean beach seemed like a fitting farewell as we took a last futile look on the ocean for any sign of whales. Regardless, we did have a whale of a time on the rock. Lard tunderin I spect we’ll be back again me son!

By stubbs99

Takin a Gander Around Gander Me Son

Gander may be famous for its airport and hospitality however it could become infamous for its pot holed roads. Arriving in the rain on the afternoon of July 11th our trip navigator (Nellie the GPS) took us down some side roads in getting to the RV Park that were under construction and were marred by literal ditches running across them. Needless to say DD, even though safely ensconced in the back seat, voiced a number of screech like and incomprehensible mutterings. The entrance to the RV Park didn’t offer much better in the way of transgress but we managed to sort it out without any major mishap.

Other than the need for road work, the RV Park turned out to be a pleasant little spot with very clean washrooms (a must for DD and BBB). Plugging in turned out to be an essential for our 4 nights here as there was little evidence of the big round yellow object in the sky needed to recharge our batteries.

Tuesday July 12th was spent huddled in the 5th wheel (with the odd foray to Timmies) avoiding the tumultuous rains of the day. And here is a good place to provide an update on the Boys v the Girls ongoing Domino tournament. A report on this challenging event has been requested by none other than that other alliterative RV traveller HHH (Harley Hawk Hickman). The Boys had built up what had appeared to be an insurmountable lead of 20 – 9 but the Girls have somehow pulled themselves up off the carpet and have narrowed the gap to a slimmer but still sizable advantage for the boys at 21 – 14. It seems improbable that despite a huge spate of recent luck that this trend can continue and the Boys will continue to dominate.

Twillingate

Wednesday July 13th we set out early for a day trip north to the little burg of Twillingate. Great expectations were held for this trip as Twillingate is considered to be the iceberg and whale watching capital of the world. I do wonder who makes these “world capital” designations. Is it some little known body of the UN or more likely it’s a not so subtle self appointed crown used to lure the unwary traveller?? Regardless,  off we went as additionally LL had also been told that there would be Puffins there and as he seems to have a bit of a Puffin fetish so much the better. Sad to say however,  that the Puffin story was blown away in puffin of smoke and LL was heartbroken as we were on the completely wrong peninsula.

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yes we did

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okay what is DD doing here??

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Twillingate Harbour

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strange exhibits at the local museum

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Despite this setback we drove out to the Long Point Lighthouse north of Twillingate to seek out  icebergs and/or whales.  From the lighthouse we did spy an iceberg that was just visible way out on the horizon, so there just wasn’t quite the thrill we were expecting and with no whales swimming by it appeared all was lost. Zero for three!!!!

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Long Point Lighthouse

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views from the lighthouse

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a great choice of hikes??

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On the way out of town CC inexplicably veered off the main road and down a dirt road emblazoned with large signs advising that the DUMP was closed. DD immediately demanded that CC turn around and go back. Undaunted CC continued on and as if a miracle within 2 minutes a beautiful iceberg came into view.  In a rare admission of being wrong DD was quick to apologize to the Captain and pledged to never again question his leadership. This pledge however heartfelt when given, will fade away quickly I would suggest. The iceberg while not the behemoth seen through the binoculars at Long Point, very much satisfied part of our quest this day.

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the Iceberg

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leaving Twillingate

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Captain Dave’s store wall mural

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and a whale of a tale

Dover and Pools Island

Thursday June 14th and another day trip. This time we would travel a circle route of over 300 km that would take us through such renowned spots as Gambo, Cape Freels, Deadmans Bay and Musgrave Harbour and so on. Our first side trip took us to the little village of Dover which was the site of an earthquake (7.2) and tsunami in 1929 that caused extensive damage. Dover is also the site of a plane crash in 1942 that had the villages perform a heroic rescue of the downed aircrew.

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on the road to Dover

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some of the relics of the crash

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BBB on the prow

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view of the actual fault

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LL and BBB heading down the trail

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the Captain leaves in peace

We next made a side trip to the really, really small village of Pools Island. DD had remembered that a couple we had net while hiking at Imperial Dam a few years earlier in Yuma purchased a home on Pools Island and spent their summers there.  A bit unusual in that Lee and Jan hail from New York State but had visited here 17 years ago and fell in love with the place and the people and ended up buying a fixer upper with an ocean view. We had no idea where their house was but figured anyone there would be able to direct us to them. Our first try comically was made to someone from “away” who had no idea. Better luck came on our 2nd attempt and we were directed to a general area with a “house up that way”. Up “that way” we found a truck with New York plates and the house of our hiking friends Jan and Lee. An incredibly beautiful spot on the ocean that would have been spectacular,  if not for the drizzle and wind. In true Newfoundland style everyone we met there apologized for the poor weather.

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somewhere in Pools Island

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views from Lee and Jan’s house

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strange creatures found on the rocks and i don’t mean BBB

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CC, DD with Jan and Lee

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DD managed a picture of a neighbours house but not Jan and Lee’s

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leaving Pools Island

We spent a couple of hours having tea and we were delighted by the love Jan and Lee have for the Island and its people. Lee told us the story of how things work on the Island. He was advised by an Islander that some of the b’ys had just done a neighbours roof and it looked like Lee’s was due to be done. He was told to pile the shingles by the house and let it be known when the roof was ready  to be done. All that was required was a few cases of beer and a pot of moose stew. On the appointed day a few of the b’ys showed up early and the roof was done “newfie” style by shortly after lunch. During the work it was apparent that each of the b’ys had a certain role and Lee was bit in the way so he was directed to “get his arse off the roof” which he did and apparently contributed by doing so.

After the roof was done Lee chatted with one of the b’ys about repairs if needed when they were south in the winter. Lee suggested that he be called and would send money for the supplies and labour etc. He was firmly told that it wouldn’t happen that way. If there was a problem with the roof the b’ys would see to it and then phone him and tell him what they did period. And another aside:  No locked doors here and when you get home you might find some food or flowers left in your home but nothing will ever be missing except of course if something needed fixing. If not for the weather this might be the best place in the world to live and even with, it still might be.

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A short drive on July 15th to Grand Falls – Windsor starts us on our way to arrive at Gros Morne on Saturday the 16th. Expect Gros Morne will be a real highlight of the trip and even the weather seems to be looking up. All of us have our fingers crossed.

 

 

 

By stubbs99