Sunday, August 16, 2015


Hey! We are in Newfoundland now. I guess we were on Prince Edwards Island since our last post, so we have seen a lot since then.
We forgot to say that we saw two bear cubs crossing the road when we were leaving the National Park in New Brunswick. I saw one of them loping across the road, and asked Kris if she saw it. She hadn't but looked up and there came another one! No time for pictures, though.
The ferry ride across to Nova Scotia was OK, It didn't take long, so no excitement. Nova Scotia is a lot different than PEI. Once we got there, we said “This is more like it!” The Cape Breton Highlands were amazing, to say the least. It is a National Park, with scenery that can't adequately be described. Since our reservations for the ferry to Newfoundland was already made, we couldn't spend much time, but I'm pretty sure we will stop by on the way back. Alexander Graham Bell lived in Baddeck, Nova Scotia for a while, and did a lot of work on aviation here. There is a very interesting National Historic Site that we visited. Again, we may go back to spend some more time. Luckily we bought the Canadian National Park Pass, and don't have to pay for daily use fees. It has already paid for itself!
      On a drizzly day, we camped near the ferry landing for the NL ferry, and did some laundry and were able to cook a meal before the real rain started. We got an early start to catch the ferry, but were able to stop to see the giant fiddle in Sydney (and use their wi-fi).

The Big Fiddle in Sydney, Nova Scotia

The ferry ride to Newfoundland was about six hours long, and the air conditioning wasn't working most of the time, so it was not comfortable at all. I managed to catch some ZZZs, but the foghorns woke me up when we hit a cloud bank. It was a good thing that unloading didn't take as long as loading the boat.

Picture taken through the windshield as we were driving onto the ferry to Newfoundland (Kris's travel journal on the dash)

I sure didn't know what to expect on Newfoundland, but I am impressed. Gros Morne NP is beautiful. We stopped there for a night, and would have spent more time, but we wanted to get to a Geocaching Event a few hundred kilometres away, so we decided to spend more time on the way back to the ferry in a week or two. It is on the way to the north side of the island where circa 1000 AD Viking village was discovered.
There is an area called Tablelands in the park where the Earth's mantle is exposed. The hike to a viewpoint was spectacular, but windy! The American and Canadian space agencies consider it a Mars analog for the type of rocks exposed there.

                Tablelands trail in Gros Morne National Park

              Cool clouds over the mountain

You can see Bonne Bay (part of Gulf of St. Lawrence) from our campsite.

Yesterday, we almost missed the geocaching event we were going to. Our clock said it was 11:15, but my phone said it was 11:45. We asked someone, and they said that Newfoundland is ½ hour ahead of the rest of Atlantic time. No reason was given, but I'm glad we noticed it.
Right now we are at Terra Nova National park. We spent an hour on a hike around a small lake, and will be camping tonight (3 ½ weeks in the truck now) before heading out to Bonavista and St. John's to see what those areas are like.

Kris here:
Brian has covered most of it, but I have a few words to add.
Cape Breton Island is fabulous. We really need to spend more time there when we return to Nova Scotia. The Mackenzie Mountain Highway and the western side of the island are rugged and scenic.
Prince Edward Island was nice, but more pastoral than we like...gentler landscape, too.
I didn't know what to expect in Newfoundland. Gros Morne National Park certainly deserves more of our time and we plan on visiting again before we drive up to the end of the Northern Peninsula to visit L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site. We woke up at 5:00 one morning and watched the sunrise over the mountains from our campsite.

      Sunrise from our campsite in Gros Morne National Park

We have crossed the province from west to east on the Trans Canada Highway. The road is good and the towns are few and far between. Sparkling lakes and forested hillsides for the most part. I saw a sign along the highway today that said “15 moose accidents in 2014; 2 in 2015.” We have seen numerous “Be Moose Aware” signs, but no actual moose yet. I suppose it's a good thing we haven't seen any along the highway. We originally planned to spend a week in Newfoundland, but have extended our plan to stay almost two weeks. We haven't made a reservation for the return ferry yet, but need to set a date soon.

Gros Morne National Park

                                                  Cape Breton Highlands, Nova Scotia

                                             Cheticamp Island, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

                                                   Cape Breton Highlands, Nova Scotia

       On a different note, I have found myself thinking about the start of school back home. To Kim and all of my CCISD teaching friends, I wish you a productive week ahead and a smooth start to the school year. I will be thinking of you, but not missing the stress and work of it all.

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