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Northern Epic: Newfoundland and Labrador            photo album
"Now when I say that I am in the habit of going to sea whenever I begin to grow hazy about the eyes,… I do, not mean to have inferred that I ever go to sea as a passenger. For to go as a passenger you must needs have a purse, and a purse is but a rag unless you have something in it. Besides, passengers get sea-sick—grow quarrelsome—don't sleep of nights—do not enjoy themselves much, as a general thing; --no, I never go as a passenger; nor, though I am something of a salt, do I ever go to sea as a Commodore, or a Captain, or a Cook. … It is quite as much as I can do to take care of myself, without having taking care of ships, barques, brigs, schooners, and what not….And as for going as cook,…somehow, I never fancied broiling fowls… No when I go to sea, I go as a simple sailor,… True, they rather order me about some, and make me jump from spar to spar, like a grasshopper in a May meadow. … What does that indignity amount to, weighed, I mean, in the scales of the New Testament? … Who ain't a slave? Tell me that. ….Again, I always go to sea as a sailor, because they make a point of paying me for my trouble, whereas they never pay passengers a single penny that I ever heard of. On the contrary, passengers themselves must pay. And there is all the difference in the world in the world between paying and being paid. … Finally, I always go to sea as a sailor, because of the wholesome exercise and pure air of the forecastle deck."

from Moby Dick; or, the Whale. Herman Melville. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851     read entire monologue of Ishmael

sort of near the beginning...

Jackson's Arm

Perry keeps applying the emergency brake while driving down the several hills of the very spread-out village(kinda like far apart beads on a rosary) because apparently (it dawns on me) there are no brakes on the mini-van. He grabs the beer caps and tosses them out the window and shortly follows with the bottles themselves. Yes, he agrees, we have a drinking and driving law, too, but the RCMP hardly come over and I just toss 'em quick anyways so it's ok. He gives us a tour to the 2 or 3 dead ends of the village. (Jackson's Arm is itself the End of The Road). It's amazing to someone like me from the tightly clustered towns of eastern US, how amazingly spreadout this village is--lots of isolated houses over several miles. Perry sez that everyone in town is related by either blood or marriage. The mayor is a buddy(or cousin, I forget which) of his and he really can't understand why he didn't answer my letter. And when I did return to Ohio, sure enough, there was Terry's response. There always seems to be one small boat or another moving about the harbour. We go to a local club--their word for bar--where several former residents and locals have gathered. We meet some older fisherman and talk a little about the weather. Doug has 2 or 3 beers and buys a round, and a bag of chips which we make last 2 days I think. Then Perry takes us on a tour of the crab and shrimp processing plants--at least the parts without any open processed product.

Great Harbour Deep

They are great fans of Be a Millionaire tv show

MV Lady Rosella Regina B
The crew let everyone into the wheelhouse that wanted to. Then they let the baby of a big reunion group have its picture taken as if steering the wheel
A traveler merely glancing at a map of the province of NF knows instantly this is no ordinary land they are heading into. First of all half of NF is a 0000 square mile island at the edge of the North Atlantic. All settlements are on the highly & raggedly indented coasts of both the island and its mainland territory called Labrador. And a closer inspection reveals the puzzling absence of roads leading to many of these settlements... Thus it was that my friend and I were riding a watery route between these villages--for freighters, ferries and fishing boats are their main connection to the rest of the world. (Plane, float plane, helicopter and snowmobile are used to compliment their supply and travel needs.) Our budget "held us back" to the slow scenic route (to our delight actually!) and we found ourselves riding ocean swells northward on the well worn, even slightly greasy, deck of the MV Lady Rosella Regina B, a refitted RCMP boat ?that once used to sweep for mines? As the scattered houses around Jackson's Arm harbour faded out of sight dark rocky cliffs rose on our left and on our right--well, nothing separated us from England and Ireland, the homelands of the ancestors of those living along these rocky shores today. Nothing except whales which the other passengers--all returning to visit relatives --helped train our eyes to pick out by the unfamiliar sprays and churnings of water that betrayed the tons of whale body swimming below the surface. Our destination was the village of Great Harbour Deep where we would stay at the Danny Corcoran Lodge.
The next morning we hired the owner to sail us further north on his fishing boat longliner to Englee xxxx miles up the coast with a stop at the abandoned whaling station, Williamsport. The station is an incredible rusted seabound ghost town. Captain Pittman imparted a wealth of a history lessons about it and gave us close-up views of bald eagle, iceberg, a surfacing humpback whale, and the wild rocky headlands which I never tired of. When the Captain went below he handed the wheel to Doug--to his utter delight he got to steer a real longliner in the North Atlantic, slowly spinning the large wooden wheel back and forth until lunch was ready. We never touched land in Englee, merely tossed our baggage over into the next longliner that we'd hired, jumped on board and began steaming eastward to the Grey Islands lying 00 miles out. It was a rougher sea and we occupied ourselves playing "Find the Loons When They Pop Back Up" and alternating between the snug warmth of the wheelhouse and the refreshing salt breeze out on the prow clutching to coils of line for balance. This trip (which had actually begun five vessels earlier-but we could only cover one section in this article) being our first encounter with the sea we were almost religious about fending off any possible reintroduction to our lunch by staying in the front of all boats, out in the fresh, cold air.
We spent 3 magical days exploring the uninhabited island never getting very far from the tiny cabin because there was so much geology, so many flowers and birds, seals, even old marble headstones and building ruins to enjoy. Delayed by a running of the capelin the skipper returned a day late and carried us through very rough seas past a puffin island and wondrous wave-carved sea stacks to his village of Conche. A wish came true for me: the famous knarr, the Snorri, was docked as part of the Viking 2000 Celebration taking place all over the Great Northern Peninsula area of NF. (The Snorri had sailed from Greenland to Newfoundland). The next morning we continued our big adventure by meeting a bus to St. Anthony, a community further north, where we would catch a freighter to travel up the Labrador coast to the Inuit community of Hopedale, something which would take two weeks. Upon returning to the Island we reluctantly turned south and homeward, stopping to examine geology and arctic plants in the Burnt Cape Reserve in xxxxx and Xxxxxx Reserve in Bellburns, and in Gros Morne National Park. Three hikes through awesome landscape including two fiords and exposed mantle rock were the second to the last things we did. The last thing we did was enjoy rich moose stew at the Xxxxxx in Wiltondale and meet more persons that we could add to the endless stream of friendly Newfoundlanders who were so warm and kind to us.

Grey Islands

Note: Paul sez there are no moose on the island so what I saw was a caribou.

July 20, 2000
The same seal came back last night or this morning. I was watching this light gray rounded rock since daybreak which looked like a caribou lying on its side in front of the cabin. Then about 7:30 when Doug went out to crush our “tin” cans he startled it. It is light gray area underneath, with dark grey spots, darker grey head and upper side. It swam all around cove whining and barking at times. This must be his or her cove. It crawled up on the rock again, and slept under our slanted lines of drying clothes. The little duck came back. Beautiful clear morning. [boat came about 1:30-2:30]
I was sketching the elusive fireweed, green orchid and the bakeapple and pitcher plants (see previous pages sketches) near the old recovered cemetery when I heard and saw a speck like the Bromley boat far in the distance. Ran back most of the way down the old grassy road to tell Doug. We had just got back from hiking the hill behind the cabin where views from the top were wonderful (see sketch on earlier page). Looks like Disneyland—like a Magic Kingdom, all the ponds and islands. Found a caribou antler and a fox jawbone up there. Found more berry plants of unknown type this time way up on a peak (i.e. just a hill) that had a cairn. Doug heard a chickadee there.
Notes: Butterfield Group Tours—Paul brought them over but they had their own guide
Sea stacks, steep waves, whales, bird isles, iceberg, crabmeat, cabin

When Paul finally came to fetch us we saw why he was so late as there were a great many people on his boat. All except a honeymooning couple, Jackie and Brett, were with a high class tour company called Butterfield Tours. From talking to most of them they seemed well-to-do and were spending over $4,000 each for the tour of Newfoundland. They were using the Tuckamore Lodge for a while and Barb Genge had even made the honeymooning couple move to a different room to accommodate the big group somehow, and they were feeling neglected by Barb. They had gotten to go out in Hare Bay in kayaks

July 24
# Go back down to the wharf and get our tickets from a stodgy elderly purser. We buy a leg of the journey at a time. Doug roams the ship checking everything out. It’s really cold in the shadows around the wharf. We’re very tired, thirsty and weary. A slew of Operation Sail sailboats are here and one more comes in. Their masts are so tall. Doug gets a good shot of a group of seasoned fishermen with their working boat against the contrasting cruisers. Northern Ranger is a working freighter. Saw my first jellyfish (ever) swimming (see sketches) beside the Northern Ranger at the St. Anthony dock. Two got their tentacles attached and had quite a struggle to separate themselves. They’re reddish, burnt sienna colour. They do a constantly pulsating up and down swim, coming up to the surface every so often. The more we look the more jellyfish we see in the water all along the pier.
A couple and their child drive up and with the wife busy lettering more notices on her lap, the husband tapes up the notebook sheets that read in red marker:” Fisherman, Needs Work, call…..” I call Trudy as promised and she sez her boyfriend, Pascoe (named after Grenfell’s son) will show us around about 8:30…
Skipped Library description
We sit watching dozens of cars drive aimlessly around the wharf. Trudy, Pascoe, and her brother Tyson come to drive us on a quick tour of the countryside. We go through Great and Little Brehat, Goose Cove, St. Anthony Bight and Carol’s Cove (check). These villages are very tiny. We see 2 moose. Tyson points out all the good trouting ponds. Goose Cove was a little livelier and looked the most interesting. There were very steep hills that Pascoe’s little overloaded car could barely make up. We were warm and sleepy. He seemed to enjoy showing us around. Tyson had had no luck salmon fishing. They dropped us back off at the Ranger with the insistence that we stop again on our way back.

Moved our bags upstairs. The crew is friendly. Followed the suit of other people setting up camp in the 2 lounges. We’re very tired. The Ranger is supposed to leave at 3 am. There were no kitchen hours all day and night, and no hot drink machines. There are 3 decks and an area out on the bow. There are families, a bunch of children and one scruffy game little dog named Nickie who has to stay in one of the pet containers on the stern. (see sketch) We can smell bread baking and a grey-haired man who looks like a First Nations remarks about it. We notice he’s got outdoorsy gear, a nice red soft pack and I point out an axe handle sticking out the top. We suppose he going bush camping in Labrador. He wanders outside to smoke in his stocking feet and seems to make odd remarks. We stuff our 2 travel saks behind his area of the lounge and lie down in the other lounge, half under some of the attached chairs and tables to keep out of the way of being stumbled over. Loud voices start to wake me up with some fellows who sound slurred cursing and arguing about bears, telling bear stories, “you gotta look at a bear like you’re gonna have him for breakfast” and “look, now you’ve woke him up!”, “That’s cuz he’s one who wants to hear the truth.” This last was directed at Doug who had realized these guys were in our lounge and got up. Earlier I’d seen 2 ominous rough-looking fellows sprawled over several chairs, looking belligerent with dark beards and t-shirts and baseball caps. Later I heard them going to buy tickets. I never opened my eyes until the shouting and yelling woke me up a little while later, someone shouting, “Don’t you ever try to f--- with nobody from Labrador,” over and over again and I saw one of the rough-looking guys on top of the grey-haired odd fellow, smacking his arms up and down and jumping on him shouting with each smack. A couple people yelled to get the steward and the purser, and a lady said, “Okay everybody calm down, now”. The dark-haired guy got up, the crew came, a crowd gathered, muttering and staring. Apparently the dark-haired guy, also drunk from drinking whiskey in the “no alcohol allowed” lounge had come over to bother or challenge the grey-haired guy and/or fell asleep nearby and claimed that grey-haired had come after him with his axe. Coincidentally he’d made sure this all happened before the ship left port. Grey-haired just lay there till finally they had him bag up all his scattered belongings. Some short little young man came over smoking and volunteered that we shouldn’t worry, this bad fellow was leaving. It was a pretty frightening scene to wake up to and see but still was puzzling as to who actually did what. After an hour or so the RCMP came and took him away. Then they could start the engines and the Ranger got underway as it was getting light. The 2 lounges being in the stern over the motor rattle and shake tremendously, all the aluminum trim rattles. It’s easy enough to sleep though. Many people set up camp taking 2 rows of facing seats. A few nights later we actually sack out where that incident took place. It haunts my ears for a couple days. The ship rocks all the time with the swells and the steering actions.
The cafeteria is open only 4 hours a day and the food is a little weird. Toast and coffee are the best. And the little tubs of Cheez Whiz, peanut butter, marmalade, raspberry and blueberry jams, mayo and barbeque sauce. Bottles of Tabasco sauce. All the tables have a raised ridge on the edges to try to keep everything from weather.

Labrador Coast

First day, Tuesday (July 25, 2000)
we round the tip of the Northern Peninsula and cross Belle Strait and get to Red Bay. There are about 5 small Viking boats here, crewed by Swedes and Norwegians or ? and one big motorized Viking boat. They are all in authentic gear. Some have wooden shields and plastic caps for fun. One boat’s dragon head prow has red reflector eyes which may even light up (?). More than one boat has a dragon head. I take photos of a Labrador retriever dog repeatedly retrieving what looks like a beer bottle his owner keeps throwing from the shore. I check out the Basque boat they found recently and the big paintings of whaling in the 2 museums. I check out a tiny wooden craft shop with a wood heater and a bigger shop with an eatery. Doug crawls around on rocks examining their composition. I cross the marsh to the Red Bay Airport. It’s bare and open and desolate and there are no trees. This is the end of the road. There is a lot of cotton grass. It’s sunny mostly but then a fog rolls in. There are lush gardens behind wooden white fences. When we take off the ship has to use its fog horn and it’s foggier out to sea.
Mary’s Harbour, Port Hope Simpson –we anchor here overnight, mosquitoes infest the ship, we watch Smilia’s Sense of Snow—I less than Doug, trying to sleep but mosquitoes keep me up,[Pinset’s Arm, Charlottetown]
July 26
Next morning at breakfast there is a huge iceberg right next to the ship—several stories high—and probably equal or more below the surface. I was able to watch it for a long time. We were eating breakfast with Betty the biologist and by the time I get up on deck I do not get many photos of it. Doug and Betty see it go by in the portholes by their table. Betty handed me a slip of paper with the entire common names and Latin names for a flower we’d discussed earlier.
At Pinset’s Arm it is not deep enough for the Ranger to get to a dock so all skids of groceries and supplies are taken ashore in a bout 5 trips with a dory (motorboat) with 2 fellows. A crane lowers the skids. The Ranger takes on skids of fish products of different kinds and we find out little the tour guide knows – disheartening, but we didn’t pay for her services anyway. One of the crew pulls out a conche/whelk? out of the cases being sent out to be processed to show the tourists what it looks like. Most villages have some type of “fish” plant-can be crab, shrimp, fish, fish eggs or other. The plants have huge tanks of fuel. The skids of supplies for Norman Bay also have to be unloaded this way to a few boats. One is a skid of crab pots. We see lots more Innu and/or Innuit and/or Metis people. A lot of them are weathered older men. At one point a snowmobile is hoisted to the wharf. There are skids of Frito Lay products for every village. Often things appear precarious but they know just what they can get away with. At Norman Bay a larger family, a little worn at the edges and with their curly black happy dog and many taped boxes in tow, go ashore by boat. At one point a box gets dropped by a young boy and there is the sound of shattering glass. The variety of and handling of the freight is so real and fascinating. The Northern Ranger draws a crowd of scrambling pick-up trucks, ATV’s, people on foot and bicycle, kids, old folks, relatives. Once some youths set up a table of pottery for sale. It is a tiny carnival every 12 days. Another time there is a real hot dog stand of some sort. Fishing boats of different sizes going in and out.
The 2 dark-haired fellows from earlier turn out to be off-shore fishermen who work on a boat which returns to St. Anthony where they take the Ranger to their home in Black Tickle, where on of them will take a smaller boat to Goose Bay to get his wife at her job. The other lives with an aunt and he talks to Doug a while about 30 foot waves and rough seas preventing them from even drinking a cup of coffee.
At Indian Tickle we finally say goodbye to Nickie, the scruffy white dog and his big family who get off into small bobbing boats. It’s very dark and foreboding, thw water quite choppy and there is no village to be seen.
At Black Tickle I see a new pink flower—see sketch of 7/16. There are huge flat rounded boulders and no trees. They are working on adding to the fishplant.
We dock at Cartwright, but before we do we see a huge wonderful display of Northern lights—they even pulse and the curtain dances after a while. (see sketch)
There are tons of icebergs, most a distance away, but sometimes you can see 15 at a time. We sight several whales – their spouts—and once one is flipping and smacking its tail. Someone sights puffins.
Someone explains Canadian civics to us in the cafeteria but it is so baffling and complex we almost immediately forget. Another mid-older couple, tall, fit and greying, have a cool aeronautical map and tell me all their Labrador adventures and an ocean-going canoe. Later I notice (they’re active readers) they have dropped 2 bookmarks on the seats and in handing them to them I see the name Northern Books, George Luste—someone I was thinking of contacting for NF and LAB books since he was recommended by Gary Conover. I say this to this couple and he says, “I am George.”
July 27 Rigolet

August 4, Red Bay return,
Hard time writing all the way to Red Bay, sea choppy. In Red Bay we pick up souvenirs, write postcartes and send postcard painting to Garrett Conover (NorthWoods Ways in Maine) while being eaten alive by blackflies. We notice a huge rusted hulk of some ship out in the bay. The craftstore owner used to run a movie theatre in st. Johns and having picked Labardor to retire in, is glad to have established his shop before the Park Service buys the area. Can’t eat lunch we buy, upset stomach. Everybody busy exchanging addresses.
Finally figure out the words to the song that the First Officer, George, sings when he dresses up in his costume and plays his crazy stick and dances the jig for: “I’se da B’y” (I’m the One[the boy])
The tour group gets private concerts that don’t look that fun, or different from what George and Derek (& woman?) do in public.
Betty sights a water pipit in Red Bay.

August 5, Burnt Cape Reserve

Walked to Violet Major’s Hospitality Home and made arrangements to stay a couple nights. She immediately told us to not mind the old geezer(what term did she use??)—her apparently lazy husband(or boyfriend) in a steady state of inebriation. He was thin & grey-haired and we had a hard time understanding things he mumbled in our direction. We heard Violet complaining to him about not doing any work. We settled in the damp basement room and realized we couldn’t use the kitchen down the hall—at least not willingly as it was caked in mold & other life forms. Our room also was alive after dark with crawling beetle things & other critters. But we were welcome to use the upstairs kitchen & living room and Violet was all in a uproar of cleaning a few rooms for the semi-surprise visit of some tourist ratings board members arriving any day now. She immediately had us attempting the impossible repair job of a broken curtain rod in another room & making that bed. Went to store, made lunch, and started hiking to the park office and got picked up a few yards up the road by Scott McAlpine, the nice photographer/reporter from The World & I that had rode the Northern Ranger with us.
On the lift to the office we happened to mention Doug’s forgetting our nice compass in the Imagliat Inn in Hopedale and Scott insisted we borrow his! Got in line for our pre-trip “speaking with the ranger” pre-requisite for our backpack trip on the North Rim of the Western Brook Pond. Watched some precautionary videos about the hazards of coastal mountain hiking with cliffs and impenetrateable vegetation and unmarked trails.
They seemed to be starring Sue and Bob xxx/Rendell of Gross Morne Adventure Guides service who in fact had been quite kind in answering my e-mailed questions about the trails and shuttles. The video player baffled our group but finally got through the required footage and moved up to the ranger debriefing pedestal where he had us-or rather, Doug, demonstrate hypothetical route-finding abilities with our newly acquired compass on the topo maps of the Long Range Mountains. There were some embarrassing moments with getting used to the new compass but Doug eventually passed this test for the both of us. I’m always grateful one of can do the plotting so automatically. The ranger explained about the absence of a trail, how long we were supposed to arrive at certain campsites at certain times and mentioned bad weather days being taken into account before the rescue would begin. We watched and sat with the other larger groups and observed a variety of route finding skills, and that this was a lot more popular than we thought. The ranger mentioned a new park management plan being in the works out of fear of overuse. The park is fairly new and wants to cut off problems in the bud. He seemed oddly caught between a rock and a hard place when we tried getting more information from him—and in the perfect clarity of hindsight I wished we had asked at least a million more questions and got him talking more. Proceeded to the permit desk where the 2 young

Gros Morne Park
Long Range Mountains, Western Brook Pond

There’s a pre-quel though: in Hopedale we were worried about missing the boat which was due early in the morning so packed up camp & got a room at the only motel in town--it’s existence due to mining & gov’t employees. We went out at dawn for photos but let the front door shut behind us without checking it and so were back a half hour later throwing small stones at windows to get some guest up to let us back in after first trying for a while to jimmy the door (we’d never make good burglars!) Doug was swearing loud enough to wake the entire village whose population was probably pasted to all the windows getting a good dose of entertainment from the antics of the silly “rich”white folk from the states...but no-one stirred. In the ensuing turmoil of scramming to the docks left quietly lying on the bureau in our room we think was the wonderful compass doug bought especially for this trip for the backpacking parts...fortunately (for us) this nice travel photo-journalist came along at just the right moment and grandly lent us his compass...

And then we watched the required video.

Basically we should’ve been Rude People from the States and badgered the nice park rangers into telling us the truth of their infamous Long Range Traverse Trails. When we went through the fabled Test Of Navigation Skills the ranger said pretty quietly there’s no trail there, that some of them had been up there at some vague time in the past—but if you know your compass skills it will still be hard but you should be okay. That they hadn’t exactly heard of anybody taking this route lately or going in and back out like we wanted to. (Most folks take the boat in, climb the trail up out of the pond then hike south to Gros Morne and out, one way.) The junior rangers at the second desk they send you to spent a lot of time trying to figure out what code to assign our route. No one had apparently messed with the North Rim in ages or something, either going in or out. But after all this, did any warning bells go off in our heads—nah!
Probably our biggest flaw was that we never did grasp the formula of bad weather versus schedule until many days later when trading war stories with a Quebecois who wouldn’t shut up at the hostel in Woody Point. This skinny bony Frenchman (who was in the middle of bike-packing the length of Newfoundland!) gave us priceless re-enactments of his thrashings to complete the trail (he was alone!) including falling face first in the mud pits, with map, and climbing tuckamore (we did those). He explained the Weather Delay applied not only to rescue but to our travel days. So when we got socked in, in the tent for 36 straight hours we thought we were behind when actually the park didn’t expect us to hike in the rain & fog—quite a foreign concept to anyone from the States (Pennsylvania in particular where it rains in the mountains where the best trails are all the time). But we don’t have the cliff/ fog combination, of course, so we keep hiking. The tour boat didn’t even leave that day we found out later.
Started around 1 that day. We plunged in optimistically enough after having casually consulted a couple Germans at the camping area on the pond shore. He said he’d been up “it”, waving vaguely at the wall of brush & trees. Unable to find any sign of travel at all we followed some moose prints up some swamps and mud holes but they just wandered around so we took bearings and headed up the slope. We climbed a steep streambed for a while. We kept finding what we thought just might have been a trial a long--long--time ago—or at least that a human had been this way a long—maybe a real long---time ago…later we found out how wrong we were. We kept thinking it’d get better—just a littler higher & the trees will get wind-pruned & be real short—tuckamore-- then we’ll be able to see. Or the legendary moose/caribou trails would appear going in the right direction any moment now. Instead all the moose decide to avoid the ridge we were using & walk in dips on either side. So we were faced with walls of dried stabbing impenetrable spruce branches. No choice but to claw our way into them getting scratched to pieces, packs hanging up on everything. Not a square foot of open ground to even sit, let alone stop and set up camp. Got darker. Turning back not really an option. This was all by pure compass readings—the McAlpine compass to be sure-- since we couldn’t see anything but trees about 8 feet tall the whole way. We were literally squirming and crawling our way through, under and over the stuff. We both decided this was the most difficult hiking or backpacking we’d ever done—the heaviness of the packs, trail conditions, the brush type, the mud, lateness of the day, no trail description or guide. And no water. After about 3 hours of this inching through the spruce I angled down off the ridge toward a lightness and discovered the gully mentioned in one of our ancient guide books. Steep and one had to zig-zag back and forth long ways across the slope but No More Spruce!—fairly open and we could see more than 2 feet in front of us! Even up the mountain! We even managed to see the twin waterfalls in the distance that the guide book mentioned—a second surprise—something else that matched reality! Clambered up the open slopes following meandering ungulate trails for a while until darkness began to fall in earnest, fog began rolling in, and wind picked up something fierce. One of those deals where someone has to always lie on tent till it gets tied down to rocks—and still have to keep weight inside at all times. No water until the next day when we began collecting pots of rainwater—had plenty then but it never stopped raining much either! And the wind never stopped—the nylon walls of the tent beat a steady rattle and flap for about 36 hours and actually wore holes in a couple of the corners from the rubbing motion—and this my brand new tent! We’d just never been pinned down by storm before or we would’ve thought to watch for this! The climb the night before and this continual wind & rain just about wiped me out so that I barely moved form the tent/sleeping bags that day. A first in my hiking experience.
Well, we never got any higher than that—maybe a half mile from the height of the rim at the edge of Western Brook Pond. So much for that magic view on all the tourist brochures. I was real disappointed but guess good weather is all a matter of luck.
When we retreated and hiked back out 2 mornings later we stumbled over a broad well-beaten trail about half way down, complete with man-made steps, waterbars, etc. We can’t figure out why this section of wonderfully maintained trail was seemingly in the middle of nowhere—and a secret! We lost it in a swampy stream bed after a mile and thrashed our way out through mud, brush and briars, skirting little cliffs to come out unexpectedly on the main Pond Trail. We are haunted by the possibility that there was a good entrance somewhere that we missed—but why wouldn’t the rangers tell us? Do they want to have to rescue us?
Then there’s the second theory: There is this Long Range Guide service run by a couple (Sue Rendell & Rick ?) who were actually quite nice to me for all the queries I made of them without hiring them. They lead lots of groups over this trail which they have memorized. The Park will not blaze or sign it—which Doug attributes to a conspiracy with the Guide service so that they stay in business. The reports from the French guy also backed this up as he ran into them here and there & they seemed to possess classified info or something. They also star in the video the Park “makes” you watch (which talks about all the dangers of the trip but not a bit about how the trail is marked, laid out, signed or anything…) The ranger and some students doing a use survey that gave us a ride also mentioned that the park is in a big planning phase intended to prevent over-use/abuse of any parts of the park. The park is relatively new compared with most other parks on Canada & US and he mentioned wanting to prevent the misuse that has happened in other parks, learn from their mistakes---but, Hey, we’re talking a bureau of the gov’t here: good luck!
Doug also talked to John Butt who owned the campground we stayed at who showed him photos of snowmobilers perched near the top of Western Brook. Easy to travel in the winter, as all of the province is.
That’s pretty much the tale. Our horror of spuce afterwards was pretty funny—walks near spuce, the scent or even pictures gave us feelings of nastiness and general willies. When we visited Betty we also sampled the White Mountains of New Hampshire for the first time. On the higher slopes of Mt. Washington our biologist friend had us take some pictures of lichens in the tuckamore. and I actually had flashback-anxiety in that dense stuff mere feet from the road—pretty funny. Heck, whatever doesn’t kill ya, makes ya stronger is the morale of our Long Range ordeal!

21 rolls of slides from Newfoundland (Maine & Nova Scotia) trip:

# 1---July 12 Scotia Prince

#2---July 13 morn on Scotia Prince, Nova Scotia, July 15, morn in
Port aux Basques

#3 ---July 16 Jackson's Arm, Lady Rosella... Great Harbour Deep motorboat ride eve to Little Harbour Deep

#4 ---July 16 motorboat tour...July 17 Wmsport whaling station

#5----July 17 leave Wmsport, Doug steering, iceberg, Grey Islands

#6----July 18 Grey Islands

#7---July 19 Grey Islands.......July 20 sea stacks at Conche....

#8---July 20 eve. in conche July 21 morn in Conche, Snorri...

#9----July 21 morne in Conche, Plum Point, July 23 hike w/ Trudy Simms

#10---July 23 Trudy Simms neighborhood "balls + dihedrals", July 24 same

#11----July 24 Teahouse Hills, plaque, ........?Port Hope Simpson

#12---July 26 after Port Hope Simpson ....July 27 Rigolet....

#13---July 27 Rigolet, July 28 Rigolet, July 29 Makkovik, Postville,

#14----July 29 Hopedale to Makkovik, forest fires to July 31

#15----July 31 Postville, the ship's bridge, narwhale tusk, forest fires to August 2 Domino or Indian Tickle

#16----August 2 Domino or Indian Tickle, iceberg, Aug 3 Port Hope Simpson

#17---August 3 Port Hope Simpson green shrimp nets, boy in truck through eve August 6 next morning on Burnt Cape Reserve

#18----August 5 Burnt Cape, August 6 Table Point Reserve, August 9 begin of Western Brook Pond

#19---August 13 North Rim, Trout River Pond, hike behind hostel + up creek August 14 Tablelands

#20---August 14 Tablelands, snowbank, August 15 + 18.....blah

Diana Ludwig 2411 Belltown Road Clarington, PA 15828   330-530-2659