It was another wonderful day, one that started with a good B&B breakfast and conversation.
A boat ride to view the small (and soon to disappear) icebergs close to the island filled the rest of the morning. I chose to go with Cecil of Iceberg Man Tours. We could sit or stand anywhere on the boat. I started in the stern then climbed the ladder to the bridge to join Cecil and two of my fellow iceberg viewers. Cecil has been running iceberg tours for 30 years. It was fascinating to chat with him as he took us to see the remaining close-in icebergs. Most of the icebergs that make their way to Newfoundland are born from the glaciers of Greenland. We circled two close-in icebergs. When I asked about what I thought were icebergs on the horizon Cecil confirmed that the 3 far away white spots were icebergs but that they were probably about 20 miles out. I'm glad I took the time to take the boat ride and I'm also glad that the sea was relatively calm.
Back on land I headed for the trail leading to French Head on Twillingate South Island. It's possible to walk a full loop on that trail but I chose to do it as an out-and-back walk. That allowed me to stay high above the coast, walking where the trail provided good views.
I wandered and wandered, finally grabbing some food and heading back to my B&B late in the afternoon for a bit of a break. I headed out again to find blue skies and towering white clouds. A few photos later, gray replaced the blue and heavy rain started to fall. Time to head in again...
It rained for a while, eventually clearing by about 7:30. Hmm... I headed out again, this time driving to Long Point (where the top of the cliffs is 300 feet higher than the ocean's surface). I ventured out on a short trail, then returned to the viewpoint to watch the sky change as the sun dropped closer to the horizon. I watched until I felt rain start falling again. I'm so glad I ventured out after the first rainfall - the late day light was pure magic.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
It was another wonderful day, one that started with a good B&B breakfast and conversation.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
It was a day to drive and a day to walk.
I drove from Eastport to Twillingate, about an hour on the TransCanada Highway and 2 hours on smaller (and slower) roads. It was a reasonable drive, leaving me with plenty of time to start exploring this magical island.
The area is referred to as Twillingate. I'm looking at a map titled "Hiking Trails of Twillingate" that shows there are actually two islands and several towns - including one named Twillingate.
I started by driving to Long Point Lighthouse on the tip of the north island in the town of Crow Head. A lighthouse sits at the end of the road, signaling the end of the land and the start of a hiking trail. The terrain is a combination of rocks, bright green groundcover, and cliffs high above the ocean. The trail luckily included several sets of wooden steps providing a reasonable passage from the high point of the lighthouse down to a lower (but still high) level wearing paths that moved close to the edge. I happily wandered for a couple of hours, usually walking but sometimes sitting on a rock watching the water and soaking in the beauty.
I headed back to the center of Twillingate where I pulled over to look at the map. I looked up to see a small iceberg in the harbor. Oh, awesome! I thought a boat ride was needed to actually see one so I was delighted to see even a small iceberg pop in front of my eyes.
Next stop, Sleepy Noggin B&B, my home for the next two nights. I chatted with my hosts and with the other guests staying here, then headed out for food and another walk. My after dinner walk took me to the end of the road heading to the east on the southern piece of Twillingate Island. That's one of the spots I plan to walk tomorrow. Today it was a wonderful place to soak in the late day light.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
What a fabulous day! Graham (my B&B host) and Buddy (his Siberian Husky) offered to show me the trails in Salvage this morning. Graham showed me the entry point to the trails at the tip of the peninsula; we walked together for about an hour.
The trails are signed but first you need to know the trails exist. To find the entry point, drive to and through Salvage to the end of the road. There was room for a handful of cars, two houses, and a narrow trail between the two houses. The sign was labeled "Net Point". That really didn't mean anything to me so it was good that I had a guide!
After we finished the loop Graham and Buddy headed back to Eastport and I walked around again, stopping as the spirit moved me, taking photos, absorbing the beauty. I loved the landscape today. It was rocky, decorated with bright green, water views everywhere.
Oh! I thought we were in the perfect spot for Denise to take a photo of me and Blue. We decided we wanted two photos today (even though Denise took one of us together as well).
We posed for these on the boardwalk near the start of a trail leading from Salvage to the tip of the Eastport Peninsula.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Denise was going to write today but she's a little tired from driving so I grabbed the computer. See - it's helpful to have a little red dog as a travel companion!
Today was both a driving day and a walking day. We headed out at what I thought was a reasonable time for a vacation travel day, at about 8 AM. Denise made a quick Starbucks stop to pick up some coffee and then we jumped on the Trans-Canada Highway heading north. I think the highway officially runs east to west in Newfoundland so I think the highway signs said that we were traveling west. I think that's a bit odd but Denise tells me that's how highway signs work.
We drove and drove, finally stopping when we reached Terra Nova National Park. We spent a couple of hours there hiking. The trails we were on were mainly in the woods with a bit of a water view on one of them. The trails were a combination of boardwalks and very narrow paths. We only did a part of the first trail; when the trail got so overgrown that I was having problems bouncing I grabbed a ride, hopping into Denise's camera bag. She kept walking for a bit, stopping when I told her I thought it was a good idea to turn around. The second trail was much nicer. There were longer boardwalks and the trail sections stayed a reasonable width until we reached the pond at the turnaround point. I think we were supposed to walk around the pond but I couldn't find any trace of the trail! I decided we should call that the end! It was a pretty walk but I know Denise is happier when she has a view to make her camera happy.
Denise thought about starting another hike at mid-afternoon. I convinced her to head to our home for the next two nights at that point - we will walk some more tomorrow! We're staying with Marilyn and Graham at Inn by the Sea in Eastport. (We stayed here the last time we were in Newfoundland too!) After we arrived we spent some time chatting with our hosts and with two other guests who arrived just after we did. It's always interesting to meet the other folks in a B&B!
A walk by the water completed another good day in Newfoundland.
a sea of blue, as viewed from the beach in Eastport
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Wow! Sunset here is a half hour later than it is at home right now, at 8:41 PM.
Denise decided we should head back to Signal Hill to see if there was any interesting light. Oh, we drove up the hill this time - that was better for a late day visit after wandering for much of the day.
It's funny though - the sun sets in the west and she was mostly looking toward the east. I think she just likes looking at the water. The light was interesting, even looking away from the sunset.
Today was a repeat of the places I visited yesterday with a fresh start on the weather. I much prefer the sky on stormy days but today's subtle blue with wisps of clouds was definitely an improvement on yesterday's wet.
I started early with a loop on Signal Hill using the road (sidewalk) as the up path and trails (and many stairs) as the down path. Before reaching the top I spotted some stairs climbing a high spot that I hadn't previously visited. That was a good off-route wander. After that short "stop" I continued to the top of Signal Hill, then started down the other side. The trail is well maintained, including many wooden stairs that traverse the steep back side of the hill.
I stopped to chat with some folks walking in the opposite direction (than the direction I chose today). If I lived here I believe Signal Hill would be a regular part of my exercise routine - although I'd imagine there are weather conditions that wouldn't be conducive to the steeper trail section of the loop. The views are beautiful; I'd love to see Signal Hill in different seasons.
Next on today's wanders was a second visit to Cape Spear. This time I could see the sea, no fog!
Instead of returning on the same roads I made a side trip to Maddox Cove and Pretty Harbour where there were boats sitting in the calm waters of the harbor, light generating reflections of the brightly colored boats.
I headed back to St. John's with the thought of finding the road that runs on the south side of St. John's Harbour. I knew the name of the road and I thought that the road I was on would spill right into Southside Road. It did! I was able to walk to the end of the road, to look back across the harbor to Signal Hill.
Funny, I don't feel like I did that much today but I was out wandering for a solid 8 hours. It was a good day.
looking to the north (and east), from Cape Spear
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Oh wow! I think it's a good thing we have a second day in St. John's because Denise said that we need to go back to two of today's wandering spots.
It was still raining when we woke up this morning but it stopped before we headed out for the day. We started by heading to Signal Hill. Denise left the car on Battery Road at the bottom of the hill. She said we would walk up next to the road then take a trail back down again. We walked up, stopping at a few spots that looked interesting. When we reached the top from a road standpoint we could see that there was still a small hill to climb. So... we climbed it!
The view was pure magic; there were wisps of what looked like fog hovering over the water in some spots. We walked around a bit, then headed to Cabot Tower to check out the view from the top of the monument.
As soon as we tromped down the first set of stairs on the trail down it started raining. Blue and I jumped into the camera bag and Denise covered it with the rain cover that she always carries. She was very happy that I reminded her to grab her rain jacket this morning; she really needed it today. The rain was light and steady initially. Unfortunately it quickly turned into a downpour. We headed back to Cabot Tower with oodles of other people to try to wait out the wet. When it didn't stop in what Denise thought was a reasonable period of time she decided to head down again. We didn't take the trail because walking a sometimes narrow (and maybe slippery) trail in the rain didn't sound like fun. Instead we returned the same way we climbed up - on the sidewalk.
By the time we reached the bottom it wasn't raining any more but it was still really gray. We walked a bit on the streets of St. John's before heading to just a bit south and to the east to visit the Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site.
As we got closer to Cape Spear it got foggier and foggier. I thought maybe we would just turn around but Denise thought it would be fun to see it in the fog. I'm not sure why she thought that because there were moments when we really could only see a wall of white. At one point I could hear the fog horn but I couldn't see the lighthouse except when the rotating light flashed green in our direction. Denise was right though - walking in that thick fog was pretty cool. I thought it was interesting that there were times when the wind blew the fog away a little bit.
Before deciding to end our wanders for the day we went to the MUN Botanical Garden to give our eyes a treat - colors other than white and gray. While we were there the sun reappeared, blue started showing in the sky, and the temperature jumped up a bit. That was a nice way to end the day.
Tomorrow? The forecast calls for sunshine and a temperature of 26 (C). We might add something different too but I'm sure we're going to walk both Signal Hill and Cape Spear.
on Cape Spear, in the fog
I didn't pick up a rental car until this morning and as it turned out I think that was a good move. Luckily, there were no other customers in sight at the rental car counters...
Summer is a busy time for visitors here; all of the rental car companies are sold out. My reservation was with Enterprise. When I showed up at the counter at 7 AM there were only two clean cars available, both SUVs. Given that I didn't request the upgrade the car was going to be the same price as the smaller vehicle I had requested. But - I really prefer a smaller car. Josh - the Enterprise representative manning the desk - offered to go out to the lot with me to see if any of the smaller cars returned last night but not yet cleaned were in shape to be rented.
Yay! There were several smaller cars, all clean enough for me. I ended up with a Ford Focus with a push-button ignition. That means that unlike my usual struggle the first day with a rental trying to figure out why the car doesn't start if I don't put the key in the ignition, this time the car feels normal to me.
I'm happy with my vehicle for the week. Now... I'm off to wander.
Friday, July 25, 2014
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Did you know that Newfoundland is in a half hour time zone?
Newfoundland is the only place in North America that wears a half hour difference from the next timezone. It's a half hour later than Atlantic time, an hour and a half later than my home Eastern time zone.
Really? Three and a half hours by sun dial?
from http://www.timeanddate.com/time/time-zones-interesting.html:Newfoundland does not follow the rest of Canada in keeping time because of two main reasons. First, while Newfoundland is located in the UTC-4 timezone, it is exactly three and a half hours from UTC as measured by a sun dial. Second, the legislation that decided the time offset for the province was passed in 1935, 14 years before Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
I think it's a good thing I'm helping Denise get ready to travel...
I found a stash of dollars from Canada that Denise was supposed to change back to US dollars when we returned from Alberta last summer. Somehow that didn't happen so we have some money to use as we start our travels. When I pulled the money out Denise took a look at it and for a minute she didn't believe it was real. Canada's newer money is made of polymer, and there are some sections that are transparent. They are very cool looking. If you're curious about the money you can read about it on this page of the Bank of Canada web site.
It's not too much longer before we jump onto a plane for our trip. I'm excited, and Blue is too!
Rover & Blue on the Schoodic Peninsula
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Monday, July 21, 2014
Sunday, July 20, 2014
I was delighted to see this whimsical sculpture on the grounds of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:43 AM
Friday, July 18, 2014
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
As I looked out my back window I saw a little rabbit sitting on the edge of the grass. I ran to grab a camera, thinking that he would be gone before I returned. He continued to sit calmly, ignoring the sliding sound as I opened the door.
Thanks for posing for me little rabbit!
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 6:57 PM
Sunday, July 13, 2014
I felt the need for a bit of color today. Hmm... it's time for a visit to Fuller Gardens where I knew I would find roses in many colors and other summer flowers too.
My late morning wander in the garden satisfied my color need.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:44 PM
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Friday, July 11, 2014
Thursday, July 10, 2014
We're almost to the point where I can count the days before we head out on our next adventure! Denise finally settled on a destination in early June. I think she closed her eyes and pointed at a map; I guess we're lucky she didn't land on a spot in the middle of the ocean!
Where? We're going to wander in eastern Newfoundland again. We're starting with two days in St. John's and the area around there. Next is Terra Nova National Park and the Eastport Peninsula, followed by Twillingate. Oh! I like that name!
We have B&Bs for half of the time - including a repeat visit to Inn by the Sea in Eastport. When Denise called for a reservation the innkeeper remembered her from our visit back in 2011. I think that's pretty cool, don't you? The B&Bs that looked interesting in St. John's were booked so we're staying at the Hampton Inn near the airport. That's pretty close to town, and I think it will be a good jumping off point for wandering on the Avalon Peninsula.
Since we're staying near the airport the first night and the last night of the trip we were able to get a better deal on a rental car too. We fly in at night and out in the morning. Denise discovered that if she picks the car up the morning after we arrive and returns it the night before we fly home that the cost of the car dropped by a lot of money. I think the difference in price is crazy, but hey - why not rent the car for 12 fewer hours and a lot fewer dollars?
I'm looking forward to wandering in Newfoundland again; I think Denise is too.
looking inland from the Eastport Peninsula, eastern Newfoundland
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Sunday, July 06, 2014
Saturday, July 05, 2014
Yesterday Arthur (in hurricane or tropical storm form) brought us gray skies and lots of rain. When I woke up this morning with plans to head to the coast I could still hear the rain falling. I quickly checked the forecast to find that clearing was predicted between 8 and 9 AM. Phew!
Today's coastal wander was at the Wells Reserve, a perfect spot to enjoy the change in weather. The wind howled, nicely keeping the bugs far away. The sky wore blue with interesting cloud patterns. The ocean was active, waves crashing. It was a good day for a walk by the sea.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:23 PM
Thursday, July 03, 2014
When I arrived home late this afternoon the sky was blue and filled with billowing white clouds. By the time I was ready to walk a short 15 minutes later dark clouds obscured the blue. I could hear the rumble of thunder and see flashes of lightning. Hmm...
I decided to head out anyway, dressed for summer warmth. I briefly considered grabbing an umbrella or a rain jacket, deciding against both since the temperature was in the low 90s.
I walked, watching bolts of lightning, listening to loud claps of thunder.
Rain started falling. I kept walking, continuing to watch the lightning and listen to the thunder.
The rain got heavier. A stranger in a car stopped and asked if I'd like a ride. I thanked her for her kindness; I kept walking.
The intensity of the rain increased. I walked, and I laughed. I was totally soaked.
The rain lightened. The sun started to break through the clouds. I saw my first rainbow, almost hiding under a tree. I saw a second rainbow, a shallow curve across the sky. Just before I finished my (wet) loop I saw a third rainbow.
The thunderstorm very nicely dropped the temperature into the mid-70s, comfortable.
What a wonderful walk!
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 8:23 PM
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
This brightly colored flower pulled my eyes toward it as I drove home one day last week. I didn't stop the car since the only camera with me was the one in my phone; instead I headed back out on foot (with camera) as soon as I reached home. Luckily I remembered the general area where this beautiful color jumped out at me.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 6:42 AM