Posts Tagged ‘History’

I hate to disappoint, but there’ll be no incredibly awesome map today.  Only because we were still in the same place: Gros Morne.

Our Trip Research Technician had sussed out a number of interesting spots for us to scope out.  Team Turnip seemed to be enjoying letting him do all of the work (travelling with a control freak does have its perks…sometimes).

We began our day by falling into the car clutching our coffee mugs and meandering up the coast to the site of a shipwreck.  The S. S. Ethie, a wooden steamship, ran aground in 1919 in a terrible storm.  (If you’re interested in the details, click HERE for an excerpt from the ship’s log.  It’s a short, interesting read.  Seriously, click it.  Would I steer ya wrong?  Geez…I hope the Captain of the S. S. Ethie didn’t say that…)  Nearly a hundred years later, all that’s left are a wood thing (technical term) and the metal bits of the ship, and they’ve just been left as they landed – rare for something of interest to tourists.  No gift shops, no ticket booth, no velvet rope – just the bits of the wreck lying in the surf.  Cool, eh?

Once we’d shot our photogs of the wreck, we piled back in the car and headed a little further up (or possibly down) the coast to a place called Arches Provincial Park.  Not quite as impressive as the Utah Arches we visited last year but still pretty cool.

Next, we had planned to go and see the Cow’s Head Lighthouse, but for reasons that are as odd as they are classified, we decided against it (Okay, okay, one of us had to pee rather urgently so we went in search of a potty instead. Happy now?).

On the way to find the potty, we saw stuff like this:

Once business was taken care of, we tossed around some ideas and came up with this:  “5km hike in through a bug-infested bog for no apparent reason.”  Hey, who wouldn’t vote for that one?!  There actually was a reason at the time, but it sorta fell apart in the execution.  We went out to a place called Western Brook Pond, which offered what sounded on paper like a really cool boat tour.  The downside was that you had to hike 2.5 kms through the swamp to get to the boat.  The downer-than-that-side was that when we got there, we were alone.  I mean alone alone.  There was a building and there were boats, but no people.  We stooged around for a while until a couple of worker bees showed up and informed us that we were about two hours early for the boat tour. What?! You mean the internet is WRONG?! Inconceivable! (Little Princess Bride reference there…heh heh….oh,never mind…)  So, once again, one (or more) of us had to pee desperately so we decided to hike back to the parking lot where the potty was.  It wasn’t a total write-off, though.  We did see some interesting things along the path. Well, okay, some of it looked like this:

Western Brook Pond SDSC_0421R

But some of the other parts were nice.

AND!! You’ll be excited to hear that I saw some birds I’ve never seen before!

By then it was just coming up on lunchtime and we were already exhausted. We went back to the trailer, ate lunch and declared it to be Nap Time.

I’ve never been a big fan of “tourist trap” places.  I prefer to see what’s on the street behind the one with all the souvenir shops on it, y’know?

When we first arrived in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, we were assailed by big flashy signs wanting us to come to Kitty Hawk (!!!) and see the Wright Brothers monument and museum (!!!).  Pfft!  Even I, the non-history buff slash museum hater in the bunch, know that this is the spot where Orville Redenbacher and that guy that Mr. Ed used to talk to invented the self-flushing toilet.

Speaking of which, have you ever noticed that those stupid toilets always either flush before you’re ready, hose down the whole bloody stall, or just simply refuse to flush at all even when you glower sternly and say, “Please.  Just flush, damn you!?”  And just what is it that lets the toilet know when it’s time to flush?  Ever wondered about that?  Hmmm?

Where was I?  Oh wright – Kitty Hawk.  It turns out you can see the whole shebang, dorky monument and all, just by driving by, pointing, and saying, “Yep, there it is.  That’s the spot.”

The other person is our gang (hint: the one who isn’t me) actually is a history buff slash museum lover, so we had to negotiate a few historically significant (apparently) stop-overs.  Roanoke Island was one of these.

What’s so fascinating about Roanoke Island?  Why, I thought you’d never ask!  It’s the scene of a great historical mystery!  (Yawn…oops!)

The story goes that some pompous English oaf, bent on pillaging and world-domination, pitched up on the beach with a bunch of his home-dawgs with the intent of opening a 7-11 and establishing a colony.  After a short while, the colonists discovered that they hadn’t brought quite enough clean underwear and food, so they took a vote and decided to send Pompous English Buddy back home to get more while the rest of them set about murdering the Natives to tide themselves over.

Okay, now here comes the (insert Phantom of The Opera theme here) mysterious part:  When Pompous English Buddy finally remembered to come back, three years had elapsed, and lo and behold the Native-murdering colonists had vanished into thin air.

Really?  This is your big mystery?  I guess it never dawned on these bozos that bumping off the indigenous folk might actually piss them off a bit.  No?  Sigh….