Tagged C – is for…

Monday North Point 090

Canada, and here’s to friends to the north of the US. This week’s letter from Frizz is the letter C and here are a few photos from our trip to Canada last summer.

Hubby stayed in cabins when he traveled with his parents – and was delighted when we found a cabin to stay in on Newfoundland – for two nights no less.

C is for Cabin

C is for Cabin

We went around many curves – these being on the east side of the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia.

C is for curvy roads

C is for curvy roads

We went to see where the river reverses course because of the large tides at the Bay of Fundy. This next photo of a collapsing structure was taken in Saint John, New Brunswick.

C is for collapsing

C is for collapsing

We stayed at a wonderful Provincial Park in Quebec and these canoes were inviting on a warm summer day.

C is for Canoe

C is for Canoe

And of course what we saw the most of were coastlines in the Maritime Provinces.

Coastline on Cabot Trail

C is for Coastline on Cabot Trail

To see what Frizz is up to and to join in the fun or to see other interpretations of the letter C, click here.

Broom Point – Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland

I enjoy the scenery and grandeur of the physical world and Gros Morne National Park has so much of that to enjoy. According to geologists this is one amazing place to see evidence of 500 million years of our earth’s history (see http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/nl/grosmorne/natcul/doc/trans.aspx). But I am much more drawn to the human element – what would it be like to live here both now and in the past (there is evidence that people lived in this area for the past 4,500 years). Broom Point gave me a wonderful opportunity to see and imagine a life of fishing in this area. Of course we were here on a beautiful, sunny, pleasantly warm day.

Wind beaten trees


There is evidence that this can be a very blustery place, however. All along this cost we could see trees that were bent away from the shore from years of strong winds, winds so strong that vegetation didn’t grow on the ocean side.

Three Mudge brothers and their families lived and fished here from 1941 to 1975. The property is currently owned by the National Park and consists of a home and their fish store that serves as a place to store hand-made boats and fishing gear.

Fish Store

Lobster Traps

Tools of Their Trade

This is a three bedroom home, two bedrooms on the left side and one at the back on the right.

The kitchen contained a cook stove, a small table, and a daybed. That means that it was meant to sleep 7 people, minimum. I think things could get close and noisy on bad-weather days. I assume there were two other homes like this so each brother had a home. I wonder if the wives got along. I wonder if the brothers ever fought. Did they get together for Saturday night card games or did they just work and sleep? Did they get tired of eating fish?

There was a fire in the stove and the sweet smell of the burning wood drifted on the breeze outside. If you look closely you can faintly see the gas motor under the washing machine that provided the power to run it.

The fact that the outhouse had to be supported in this way told me that there could be some mighty strong winds and life could be harsh. I went to a one-room school without plumbing so I know what it is like to drop my pants and sit on a wood seat in freezing weather.

Braced Against a Topple

Click on Maritime Provinces – Canada to the right for more photography and stories of our trip.

Moose Stories from the Maritime Provinces

Watch out for Moose

We saw a moose – on date night on the east coast of Cape Breton Island. It was dusk and we were driving back to the campground and there she was. She lumbered down the left shoulder and across the road but my camera was behind the seat and she was in the woods before I could get it out. But we saw one – honest.

Newfoundland Moose Sign

Newfoundland Moose Sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Traveling up the west coast of Newfoundland and through Gros Morne National Park we saw these signs – but no moose. Funny sign.

When we reached Port au Chroix, the place where we had decided we would turn around and head back, we had hit the weary-of-riding-in-the-car-and-we’re-hungry point but it was only 3:00 in the afternoon.

Port au Chroix is a charming town, where fishing is the primary industry. And right there is this cute cafe all decorated in a nautical theme advertising good food using locally grown products and local information – just begging us to come in. No discussion needed; I was driving.

We had been told that there were restaurants on Newfoundland that served moose burgers and on a chalk board by the front door was a sign saying they were “out of moose burgers.” But it was only 3:00 and we weren’t ready for a moose burger anyway. I decided on a piece of partridge berry pie with ice cream and Jim ordered blueberry pie, both with ice cream and big cups of very good coffee (with 18% coffee cream). Here is what we learned from our waitress as we were oohing over our pie.

English: Lingonberry, cowberry, foxberry, moun...

English: Lingonberry, cowberry, foxberry, mountain cranberry, csejka berry, red whortleberry, lowbush cranberry, mountain bilberry, partridgeberry ‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Tyttebær – Vaccinium vitis-idaea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our first question was what is a partridge berry. She explained that in other parts of the world they are called lingenberry and they taste something like a cranberry. My pie had the tartness of cranberry and the jam we bought later at a market selling wild blueberries is really good on toast.

Our second question was about moose burgers. They weren’t gong to serve moose burgers during the 13 days left of their summer season because they were out of meat. The owner has a license to hunt moose and also a license to serve moose in his restaurant. He kills it, butchers it, grinds it and serves it as moose burgers. Now we normally eat beaf burgers, occasionally a turkey or chicken burger, or a vegi burger and sometimes we get a buffalo burger at a local restaurant. Some local people in Michigan are raising and selling buffalo meat. We would have liked to try a moose burger, but not to be in Port au Chroix.

We didn’t find anywhere that served them on Newfoundland (maybe because we didn’t search much) and when we were pumping gas (again) in Nova Scotia we asked someone if there was anywhere in town that served moose burgers.

She explained that it was against the law to serve it in restaurants in Nova Scotia but she grew up eating it; when food was low, her dad went out and shot a moose. It was the standard Sunday dinner. No moose burger on this trip.

There were a couple of places along the highway where we saw a sign saying that there was a moose in the road when the lights were flashing. Then there would be poles just off the shoulder every few feet with solar panels and little things on the top that were probably motion detectors. There were also places where they had very tall moose fencing running parallel to the road. We saw our second moose eating shrubs just the other side of one of these fences. We couldn’t stop for a picture because there wasn’t sufficient shoulder and besides taking a picture of a moose through a medal fence would make it look like an unimaginative picture from a zoo.

Maritime Province Moose

Fast forward a few days and we are leaving New Brunswick and entering Maine. The U.S. customs officer wants to look in our trailer. After checking the frig, he poked his head in our bath (all 4×5 feet of it) and asked if we had a moose hanging. Too bad I hadn’t hung my moose ornament I purchased in St. John New Brunswick. And this is my picture of a moose from the Maritime Provinces of Canada. He posed for the picture.

Tribute to “Life on the Rocks” – the Area of Gander

A couple of weeks ago I posted my reflections of “Life on the Rocks” and today I want to pay a personal tribute to the people of that area. This is the area around Gander, Newfoundland. This name may sound familiar to you – maybe because there is an airforce base there, maybe because it was mentioned in the news during the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center.

When the airspace in the U.S. was shut down the flights that had come out of Europe were diverted to Gander. I posted about how this isn’t a highly commercialized area – there aren’t many motels and hotels. We had heard that the people of Gander put people up in their own homes and the community fed these hundreds of people.

We were talking to a man who lives close to Twillingate which is on an island north of Gander. We expressed our appreciation that the people of Gander took in the stranded travelers and he stated that it wasn’t just Gander because there wasn’t enough resources there to meet the need. People from all over the area took people in. They opened their homes in a time of need.

When we are driving down the road past lots of houses, I often wonder what is happening in them. What kind of people live there and what their life is like? We had the opportunity to talk to some of the people who lived and worked in this area and they were genuine, warm, friendly, and helpful. If you ever get stranded or lost, be sure it is in Newfoundland.


Gros Morne National Park – Newfoundland

We had talked about visiting Newfoundland for oh so long – at first just as a fantasy, “Wouldn’t that be a fun place to visit someday, but it looks hard to get to?” And then we talked about it but the monetary exchange rate between US and Canada got really bad for us and the price of gas in Canada was worse. Jim didn’t want to go. This year I convinced him that now was the time.

We like wilderness and trees and lakes and vistas. We sent for materials and as we read about Newfoundland we knew that Gros Morne National Park was a must-do. The actual park doesn’t cover a really large area and the area around it has villages tucked along the water, nestled at the base of mountains. There are some unique features within the actual park that qualify it for a UNESCO World Heritage Site as described below:

Gros Morne National Park illustrates some of the world’s best examples of the process of plate tectonics. Within a relatively small area are classic, textbook examples of monumental earth-building and modifying forces that are unique in terms of their clarity, expression, and ease of access. The property presents the complete portrayal of the geological events that took place when the ancient continental margin of North America was modified by plate movement by emplacement of a large, relocated portion of oceanic crust and ocean floor sediments. The park also presents an outstanding demonstration of glaciation in an island setting. The fjords, waterfalls and geological structures of the park combine to produce a landscape of high scenic value. (Copied from link at end of post – see more complete information by clicking on that link.)

You are  probably different, but when I read the above paragraph I just can’t get my mind around what they are saying – that is why I copied it instead of paraphrasing. I just enjoy experiencing what nature has made and how the natural environment and people learn to exist together. This place touched both of us deeply. Every drive up a mountain, around a curve left us holding our breath and expressing explanations of wonder. We stopped frequently and listened to the silence as we observed the wonders. There weren’t many people and I appreciated the sense of solitude. I appreciated being able to share the grandeur and peace with the person I love so much – we both experienced an increased sense of shared intimacy.

We were driving up the Viking Trail and one of the first of my wow experiences was seeing this mountain lake off in a distance. From our perch upon a neighboring mountain we were able to look down on the lake in the early morning  light, perfectly still with reflections of trees from the far side. The lake all but disappears.

At one viewing site, we sat in Adirondack chairs, felt the warm sun, the cool breeze, and drank an almost hot cup of coffee as we thought about the wonder of glacial fingers reaching out to carve the fiords, leaving steep cliffs of stone. We read that the glaciers carved the valleys that the road followed around the mountains but I couldn’t imagine that because I felt too small within the vastness of the place.

We were intrigued by the different types of rock, the different formations of mountains, and the wide variety of trees and flowers.

I marveled at how life begins with such short growing seasons and so little soil. The strength of the tiny seed that finds space and the strength of the water that erodes holes in the rock.

We visited a lighthouse at Lobster Cove, if my memory is good.

We decided that we could only drive as far north as Port au Chroix before we had to turn around and head back to our camp. We followed the same highway back but were surprised to discover that it felt like a new drive because we were seeing everything from a different angle and there were new discoveries along the way.

I will be doing two more posts from this area, one from Port au Chroix that is titled Moose, and another on a fishing settlement inhabited by two brothers.