Newfoundland – Gros Morne National Park

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Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. All national parks and national historic sites are free to enter. We think this is part of the reason we had a hard time getting campsites. A few times when we got to the campground they were either full or had one or two sites left. After that, we had to plan a little more as to where we were going and make reservations ahead of time. A lot of time was spent just making these plans which was a little disappointing. But it all worked out.

We spent a few days at Green Point campground in Gros Morne National Park. This campground is a first come first serve so we got there and started pulling into one site when a woman came running up to us with her chair staking claim to the site. She had already registered and was trying to get to the site when we pulled in. We moved on and found one last site to take. There were some beautiful sunsets while we camped there. My pictures don’t do it justice but it was nice to see.

Sunset #1 – Almost missed this one. It was setting when we arrived.

 

Sunset night #2

 

Sunset #3

 

 

 

When I think of Newfoundland, I think of the small colorful houses near the water along with the rocky beach.

 

The rocks in Gros Morne NP intrigued us. Lots of different colors, shapes and sizes. Some of the bigger ones we thoughts would be easier to take a picture of rather than try to carry them home. We did bring a few home. It reminded me of the time we took our nephew, Edward, hiking in Maine. He kept picking up rocks he liked and by the time we reached the top, his pockets were bursting with rocks. He was a little weighted down and had to drop a few rocks before heading back down. We decided not to go that route after learning from him.

These rocks are actually underwater

 

Big rocks and little rocks.

 

The metal pieces here are from the SS Ethie. This was a shipwreck off the Martin’s Point in December, 1919. A storm blew up and the captain had to try and beach the ship. Miraculously, all 92 passengers and crew were saved. Here is also another example of the rocks.

Remains of the SS Ethie.

 

John enjoying the view

 

As we traveled around, we found many red chairs placed strategically in different areas. Other areas in Canada also have adopted this program. Eighteen pairs were added in 2014. We didn’t find all of them but did see a few. Some are at the end of a long hike, while others are not far from the road.

Red Chairs at Green Point

 

This was the extent of our fishing.

Came across this fish although not sure what it is.

 

We took a 2-hour Western Brook Pond Boat Tour. This is a landlocked fjord and is quite a sight. We originally wanted to take the boat to a hike which overlooks the rim of Western Brook Pond. They recommend a guide to take you as there is no real defined route and it takes up to 8 hours. So needless to say our aging bodies weren’t up for that so we settled for the boat tour.

The walk into the boat took about 45 minutes. A scenic view held out interest throughout.

 

Faces in the rocks were fun to spot.

 

Waterfall along the tour.

 

The final view of the tour was spectacular.

 

As always, I was able to find lighthouses in our travels. The first one was Lobster Cove Head. There were a few trails to walk around and enjoy the view.

Lobster Cove Head

 

Just so you don’t think there is no wildlife in Newfoundland, here is a snowshoe hare. He visited us a few times during happy hour while we sat at our campsite. And no, we didn’t share any drinks with him.

The snowshoe hare turns white in winter and dark brown in summer.

 

The Tablelands was an interesting place. One side of the road was like a barren desert while the other side was green trees. This area reminded me of traveling through Utah. We came to this area twice as the first time it was so crowded we didn’t stop. The second time we did get to hike the 4 km trail. roundtrip.

Another set of red chairs from the Tablelands.

 

View of Tablelands

 

Long walkway on Tablelands hike.

 

 

Another interesting rock formation at the Tablelands.

 

Down from the Tablelands was a hike called Green Gardens. This was a beautiful hike (9 km, about 4 hours) Totally different landscape from the Tablelands but also a great site to see.

View at Green Gardens hike.

 

Red chair view at the end of Green Gardens hike.

 

John snapped this picture of me at Green Gardens. I have a picture taken years ago of my mother in the exact same pose. Every time I see this picture, I think of her.

 

On to Grand-Falls Windsor and Twillingate….

 

Newfoundland – Port aux Basques

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The ferry arrived at Port aux Basques about 7 am on Wednesday, the 9th. Our first view of the area was to say the least extraordinary.

First view of Port aux Basques.

 

View in other direction at Port aux Basques

 

We traveled about 2 hours to Barachois Provincial Park from the ferry. Our original destination was Gros Morne National Park (4 hours) but after no sleep the night before 2 hours was plenty of time to travel. Anyone that has camped in Canada’s provincial parks knows how nice they are. There is almost always hiking you can do from the campground. They are very clean and the sites are wooded and spread out so you are not on top of one another.

We stayed at Barachois on our first night in Newfoundland and our last night. Our site was in the day use area right near the water. We were very secluded and after our first few nights in Nova Scotia this was a welcome site.

Truck camper with the driver (John) getting some much needed rest and enjoying the view.

 

Beach area at Barachois PP by our campsite.

 

An early morning view of the reflective pond at Barachois Provincial Park.

 

Traveling throughout Newfoundland we kept seeing the word “Barachois.” I finally had to google it to find the definition: A barachois is a term used in Atlantic Canada and Saint Pierre and Miquelon to describe a coastal lagoon separated from the ocean by a sand or shingle bar. Salt water may enter the barachois during high tide.

 

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Nova Scotia and Newfoundland 2017

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John and I had another successful trip in the truck camper. Our trip from August 6 to September 3, 2017  took us to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Normally I try to blog while on the road, however, this trip there were very few times we had internet and/or electric. So for those of you who have asked, here is a recap of our trip complete with pictures. I took over 480 pictures so I will post the best and try not to bore you too much.

During our camping trips, we very rarely make campsite reservations ahead of time. We like to decide on the road where we want to go next. As we soon found out, this trip made it a little difficult to do that.  Our first night we planned on stopping in  New Brunswick at New River Provincial Park. This night, however, when we stopped we found they were all booked up. So after looking at the map we decided to stop at Harding’s Point Campground in St. John. Upon arriving, we soon found out there is a ferry to the CG. The ferry was free and was fun to take. Unfortunately, that was the best part of the CG. We felt like we were in a sardine can and sitting on someone else’s site while trying to enjoy the nice weather.  The beach (which was not near our site) was nice to look at. We survived the night and the next morning instead of taking the ferry back, we decided to take another route. Since my map reading skills aren’t the best, I directed John to take a turn which to me looked good on the map. An hour and a half later, we arrived at our original starting point  (campground) and took the ferry back over. So much for the map…

The boats were fastened with cables to go back and forth to the other side.

 

Harding Point Beach by campground.

 

We worked our way across Nova Scotia to catch the midnight ferry from North Sydney to Newfoundland. We toured Sydney before the boat ride and came across a beach with some unusual features. Not really sure what they were but we’re guessing it was some sort of barrier to protect the beach.

Beach in Sydney with unidentified objects.

 

Watching the ferry being loaded was interesting. We lost count of the number of tractor trailers, cars, motorcycles and, of course, the most important vehicle–our camper. We were wondering how the ferry didn’t sink with all that weight. The ferry ride was surprisingly smooth especially to someone who gets seasick. We paid extra to get a recliner seat so we could sleep. Sleep pretty much evaded us as we got to listen to 60+ people snoring in unison throughout the night. We had opted not to get a berth for the 7 hour trip thinking it would be very uncomfortable. We talked to other people that did get a berth and they had a comfortable bed, TV and shower. Next time we get the berth.

On to Newfoundland click here to next page