The Captain's boardwalk 7-21-10 (Conche)

This hike was one of the most delightful we've been on -- scenic and colorful, with just enough up/down activity to make it - huff, puff - interesting.   

Looking across Crouse Harbor and ringed by cow parsley and bright buttercups.

Captain's Boardwalk.

Pretty pine grosbeak eating seeds - one of several we spied.

So many steps on the boardwalk! 

Such a beautiful hike!

 A bright yellow warbler stopped flying long enough for its picture to be taken.

Cool Conche NFL 07/20-21/10

Imagine us meeting a lady working in Ipswich, Massachusetts who has a house in the small fishing village of Conche, Newfoundland … and she says, “If you guys get to Conche, give me a call.”  Imagine us taking her up on it a few weeks later!  Crazy!

Located way out in Newfoundland's remote Northerneastern Peninsula, Jimmy and I found Candace easily in the tiny town.  We spent a pleasant afternoon with her and her doggie, Sweet Pea, at her home near the harbor. Because the town is so dinky and has no campground (nor one anywhere nearby), we weren't sure where we could park Tergel.  But we didn't fret.  Candace introduced us to the French Shore Interpretation Centre and its fine staff.  They invited to set up camp behind the Centre, even providing a long extension cord so we could hook-up -- what wonderful hosts.  We had to hand-fill our water tank from the town's (icy!!) water well.

The next day we hiked and climbed – many, many stairs – to the top of the lookout behind the Centre and up to the lookout at Sailor Jack’s Hill, and along the Captain’s boardwalk, for some of the best and most picturesque views we’ve seen in Newfoundland (and that’s saying a bunch). By the time we left Conche two days later, welcomed by all we met, we truly felt like family. Thanks so much, Candace! Check out the Interpretation Centre @ http://www.frenchshore.com/


Tergel and Smartie camped behind the Interpretation Centre.


Lookout view from the road into Conche.

Oven behind the centre that Anne uses to bake loaves of French bread (delicious – thanx, Anne!) 

We were privileged to have the Centre's director, Joan, show us the magnificent 230-ft French Shore Tapestry, an embroidered tour de force of storytelling inspired by the famous 11th century Bayeux Tapestry. "Created in France and northern Newfoundland, the memorable linen and wool mural tells the history of that region’s French Shore, from the pre-historic animals that roamed the forests and shoreline to the moment in 2006 when a few talented women in the tiny outport of Conche began their embroidering odyssey. As the viewer moves along the tapestry, a parade of historic and colourful characters bring alive the events and legends that make French Shore history unique." 

I don't have photos, as no pictures were allowed, but look at http://www.frenchshoretapestry.com/. The photos don't begin to do it justice - it is indescribable!

St Anthony NFL 7/19/10

After leaving L’Anse aux Meadows, we drove south to the town of St Anthony to hit up the grocery store, bank, library, and, of course, Canada's favorite:  Tim Horton’s, for a cuppa coffee. We found an agreeable community bathed in delicious sunshine (nice!), with a fine park at Fisherman’s Point. We took advantage of the hiking paths (more stairs!) near the lighthouse overlooking the ocean. We didn’t see any whales or bergs, but the views were spectacular.


In 1984 this bear was wandering around St Anthony backyards (that’d make you choke on your morning coffee when you saw it from your window!). Imagine! It collapsed and died from natural causes, and was airlifted to a local taxidermist for mounting. We spied the behemoth in the library.


Fisherman's Point Park, with it's multitude of stairs.  Picturesque!

Watching a fishing boat head out to sea from Fisherman's Point Park.


L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland 7-19-10

We spent a foggy, misty morning touring L'Anse aux Meadows, at the tip-top of Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula ... where the Vikings walked before us, around a thousand years ago. We camped the night before not far from the Meadows and were entertained at bedtime by an unusual and LOUD thunderstorm: Vikings, indeed - Thor, the Norse God of Thunder come alive! 

L’Anse aux Meadows is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Nat’l Historic site of Canada. It's quite an amazing place to visit.  Google L'Anse aux Meadows for lots more historical information. 



L'Anse aux Meadows archaeological site contains the excavated remains of an 11th-century Viking settlement.  The excavated remains of timber-framed peat-turf buildings are identical to those found in Norse Greenland and Iceland at the same period, thus providing unique evidence of the earliest known European presence in North America.

After touring the site, we followed the 2.4 km soggy hiking path that took us along the coast and around peat bogs and thoroughly chilled us.  If you go, try to pick a clear day to visit!


uh oh

Smartie got a boo-boo in her tire! Took 'er to the Esso station in St. Lunaire, where the fellas plugged her wound and put 'er back together. BTW, the 1.12 is the price of gas per LITER! Figure out the per gallon price yourself!


Bye-bye Labrador 7-18-10

1. Tumultuous Bradore Falls on the Quebec side. Even "saw" thousands of puffins @ the bird sanctuary island off the Blanc-Sablon coast... but they were too far away to "see!" 2. Catching up on reading while waiting for the ferry. 3. Ferry coming in (note iceberg).

Our week in Labrador is finished - time to return to Newfoundland. We've enjoyed our stay here (despite gray weather and black flies!) amid some of the most friendly and hospitable people on the planet. Labrador makes Montana's Big Sky Country motto look puny. It is a vast and beautiful land.


7/16/10 leaving Battle Harbour, Labrador

The Captain took us for an upclose encounter with this iceberg, including this 180 degree photo montage. Believe it or not, a seal was lying on the low "shelf," but slid into the sea before we could snap its picture. Icebergs are cool...!


Battle Harbour 7/15-16

Mary's Harbour before ferry left. Jimmy, enroute to Battle Harbor. Chilly waters!
Coming in to Battle Harbour. Jimmy walking up to our quarters at the RCMP. Sunset....

Hearty breakfast at the dining hall above general store. Craggy cliffs and deep blue ocean.

Jimmy and an old boat! Me with "friends!" Sorry to say goodbye to the island!

We packed a bag each, parked Tergel in Red Bay and drove Smartie to Mary’s Harbour, for the 6pm passenger ferry ride to Battle Harbour. This is a quaint, restored cod-fishing village on a tiny island in the icy-cold Labrador Sea, nine miles off shore, and one of the last unspoiled corners on earth! No one lives here permanently anymore, but summer is lively with locals and tourists. Overnight accommodations are available for up to 37 guests in six of the restored buildings. Our room was downstairs in the renovated Royal Canadian Mounted Police Detachment (the only building with a furnace, which was ON). The small room next to us (vacant) was originally used as a jail cell and still has bars on the window.

The wharf and its rustic, wooden, and shingle-clad buildings are the hub of Battle Harbour. Guided tours are given by folks who grew up on the island and are very proud of their heritage.

The next day dawned clear and beautiful (tho chilly) and we roamed all over the one-kilometer-long island. The ocean vistas and craggy rock outcrops took our breath away. Hated to walk on the wet-sponge tundra, tho; didn't like leaving footprints. We left on the afternoon ferry, with smiles on our faces, completely charmed by our short island adventure!

Go to: www.battleharbour.com

St Lewis, Labrador 7/15/10

St Lewis from the road. The little guys with their dog, Fluffy! One of a billion lakes, ponds or puddles in Labrador.

We had time to drive further north on the gravel road before our ferry left for Battle Harbour, and elected to drive up – with Spot – to St Lewis (pop. 312), the easternmost point on continental North America. We were intrigued to see the Iceberg Alley sign on the road to St Lewis! The rest of the photos are pretty self-explanatory, except there’s no picture of our jaws dropping when we nearly stepped on the iceberg parked just off Fisherman’s Point.

Red Bay, Labrador 7/14-17

(1) Red Bay in the fog, sheltered from the ocean by (2) Saddle Island. (3) Here's the little guys again!

Red Bay, population 211, is an ideal natural harbor, and goes way back, inc by the Basques whalers during the 16th Century. We, however, only stayed here three nights (one hooked-up, two parked [free] near an historic building), all very quiet and comfortable. Weather was foggy and cool, not conducive to hiking. One of our days was a business day: laundry and grocery shopping, etc. - no photos of that! We visited the Visitor Center & Museum, with its fine Basques shipwreck display - archeologist's believe the San Juan (Basque whaler) went down in a fall gale just inside Saddle Island. Have to confess: We even ate a caribou burger for lunch at the Whaler's Restaurant! Enjoyed our stay here.