Posts Tagged ‘Scenery’

After heading out early and determining that icebergs were not to be seen this day, we sighed, we sagged, and we soldiered on.  Thankfully, the bergs are not the only thing worth seeing in the Twillingate area.

There are innumerable tiny coves and fishing villages just waiting to be discovered.

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Something we found really interesting were these Newfie-style root cellars.  Some of them are still in use to store taters and whatnot through the winter.  Because of the giant rock aspect of this entire island, there are no basements, so you can’t just chuck your turnips downstairs for storage.  Not that I’d ever do that.  Turnips are disgusting.  Just sayin’.

 

Mother Nature let us down with the icebergs, but it was a wonderful day all the same.

 

 

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:

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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.

Map

 

We arose bright and early and began our trek up the coast to Point C on our astonishingly brilliant map that we’re not too proud to reuse, possibly several times: Gros Morne National Park.

DSC_0254R(Don’t say I didn’t warn ya about the signs!)

If you’re curious, as I am, and you’re not fluent in French, you may find yourself wondering what Gros Morne means.  Permit me to elucidate:  Don’t bother with Wikipedia because they’ll define it as something flowery like (cue music) “Great mountain that stands alone.”  However, if you’re crafty like me, you’ll go straight to the Google translator thing and find that Gros Morne actually means “large dull.”  Yeah, I can see why Wikipedia would wanna tweak that…

We arrived at the Gros Morne KOA around mid-afternoon, chucked the trailer, and set out to explore.  Our Trip Research Technician (Bob) had determined that Gros Morne was a lovely area with lots to see and do.  As is sometimes the case, he was right.  Our first stop, which you’ve already seen but pretend you haven’t, was the Lobster Head Cove Lighthouse (Oh lord…not another lighthouse! Shush!). Happily, there were no lobster heads lying around and the scenery was spectacular:

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(That’s Bob’s other wife in that one shot.  The one sitting on the rocks, not the one with the wings.)  (The shot with the obscenely blue sky was just me playing with my new polarizer.  🙂 )

We were pretty beat after a long driving day so we headed back for an early dinner and a rest-up for the next day’s adventuring.

 

 

If you can’t handle being out of touch with the world for a while, don’t put Newfoundland on your list of places to visit.  Cell service is sporadic at best.  WiFi?  Fuggedaboudit!  Is there a trade-off, though?  Oh, you bet your bippy there is!

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Arches Provincial Park

When you pull your head up from you stone-dead cellphone, you are afforded a rare opportunity to step back into a time when life was simpler, work was harder, and people were as good as their world.  You also get to spend unhurried hours travelling through a harsh and spectacular landscape that is unmangled by the machinations of man.  You bask in the warmth of a people who are not only not mistrustful of strangers but who welcome them like long lost friends.

Heading to Work

The minute we drove off of the ferry and onto The Rock (there never was an apter nickname), our connection with the outside world died, but y’know, we didn’t miss it at all.  Newfoundland is a beam-me-up-Scotty experience.

Being the observant souls that we are, we began to accumulate assorted interesting observilizations (it’s a word if I say it is, okay?) about Newfoundland and Newfies:

1.  There’s something really weird going on with the trees in Newfoundland.  For some reason they seem prone to falling over.  I’m not sure if this is because of laziness or what but it’s damned odd if you ask me.  (I was sure I had a couple of pictures of this phenomenon but I’ve been looking for an hour now and I can’t find them.  Just pretend I showed you, k?)

2.  There are no raccoons, skunks, or snakes in Newfoundland.  Because of this, there are no formerly-furry-critter road pizzas here.  Because of this, there are no vultures either.

3.  One may become an Honorary Newfie upon completion of The Screeching In Ceremony.  During the said ceremony, the prospective Newfie must imbibe a substance which has been aptly named Screech (it tastes like a cross between kerosene and yak pee…don’t ask how I know this…), and then kiss a cod fish.  I imagine that Newfies secretly find it hilarious that tourists fall for this.

4.  All non-oceanic bodies of water, regardless of size, are called “ponds.”

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5.  Water in motion, again, regardless of size or ferocity, is called a “brook.”

6.  There are actual places in Newfoundland called Come By Chance, Dildo, Halfway Point, and Nicky’s Nose.

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7.  Non-Newfies are called Mainlanders no matter where they are from.

Now that we’re back in Internetland, I’ll make up for lost time (hopefully) and show you all the things we did.  In the meantime, here is a small sampling of the zillions of photogs we took:

Bob’s other wife, Shari, has flown in from Vancouver to come along on the rest of our adventure (she keeps us from killing each other – ha ha!).  This morning, we’ll take the ferry over to Newfoundland.  It’s a six-hour ride so it should be either deadly dull or interesting, depending on the scenery or lack thereof.

I’m going to attempt a gallery of bits and pieces of things we’ve seen so far (including the world’s biggest and dorkiest blue berry).  Wish me luck!  Here goes….

It’s kinda hard to see here, but on that big curvy bridge shot, they had to stop the traffic both ways to move that house across.  Yep, it’s a house!   We must be getting close to Newfieland…

Oh, and that fluffy blue guy is a cupcake we saw in the grocery store.  This cupcake business is getting out of hand, don’tcha think?

 

I have a personal goal that I shoot for all the time:  Be amazed by something every day. 

Some days it’s a swing and a miss, but when we’re on the road, it’s a no-brainer – there are amazing things around almost every corner.

Here are a few of the things that amazed me yesterday:

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What amazes me today is that I figured out how to make a slide show!!!  🙂

Just a quickie update and a few photogs (to keep Shari happy):

We’re holed up in New Brunswick visiting family for a few days.  The trip here was mostly yawnular – driving along the TransCanada Highway is not what you’d call particularly scenic.  I got a lot of reading and napping done.

We did, however, have a chance to see (you’re gonna be soooo jealous)….the World’s Largest Axe.  I schitt you not!  Here, check it out:

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How exciting is that?

And, speaking of exciting, I’ll just let this photog do the talking because I have no explanation for it:

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Here’s something different – I’ve never seen a windchime quite like this one:

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Okay, okay, you’re right – I’m grasping at straws here.  Let me just finish up for today with the reason for the title of this post:

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I don’t know who’s in charge of naming things around here, but I like!  🙂

 

When we arrived in Verona, Virginia, first stop on our way back home, we were completely charmed by the Shenandoah Valley Campground.  What’s not to love about this:

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And these:

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Some of these:

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And a bunch of these:

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Temperatures in Virginia topped out at 89 F so when we set up, we had every vent and window wide open.

As soon as the sun went down, our nightmare began.

Noseeums (nasty little biting bugs) by the score began pouring in through our screens.  There were thousands of them – they couldn’t resist our lights.  We didn’t wanna start blasting bug spray around so we figured we’d just shut off the lights and go to bed early.  We wanted an early start in the morning anyway.

As it was still pretty early and our neighbours were having a fire and being rambunctious, we shoved earplugs in and went to sleep.  Because we both had our ears plugged, neither of us heard it start to rain.

It was, in fact, a downpour of biblical proportions.  We slept on.  It wasn’t until I rolled over into a big squishy patch of bed that I discovered that water was pouring in through the vent in the ceiling over my side of the bed.  It was all being merrily absorbed by the sheets, blankets, mattress – all things just made for sucking up water.

Cripes!” said I, or words to that effect.  I bounded out of bed, darting madly to and fro, closing open things and feeling about for wet bits.  Because I am so unusually alert when I first awaken (I wish I could have said that with a straight face), I reported back to Bob that all was well – no water had gotten in.  At least none that wasn’t currently occupying my side of the bed.  I got back in the sack, gave Bob a wee shove, curled awkwardly around the soggy zone, and went back to sleep.

A while later, I awoke, as I often do, wondering why the hell Bob has to be so flaming noisy in the morning.  This seemed worse than usual, so instead of just pulling a pillow over my head as is my custom, I got up to see what was happening.

Remember when I said that no water had gotten in?  I was wrong.  To my credit, the one spot I really did check while I was (ahem) sleep-walking and closing things was dry.  The rest of the trailer, however, not so much.  Suffice it to say my deluge detection skills are not quite up to snuff.

As I shuffled out of the bedroom, there was ole Bob on his hands and knees under the table.  He was attempting to sop up a lake with a bath towel.  He was already on his third towel and he really didn’t seem his usual cheery morning self.  He had upended most of the upholstered cushions and when I grabbed one to move it out of the way, it seemed a lot heavier than I remembered it being.  It also peed on my foot which I thought was a bit rude.

We had to eat standing up the rest of the way home.

Sigh.

 

If you’re a person who loves gorgeous sandy beaches as far as the eye can see, you need to add “Outer Banks of North Carolina” to your Bucket List.

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We are here in the off season (April is “off”; May is “on”) which means that we virtually have the place to ourselves. Yep, 80 degrees and a zillion miles of glorious unspoiled beach. Life sometimes sucks, but now isn’t one of those times.

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After a few days of poking around, we began to notice little signs posted in certain areas saying things like “This area of the beach is closed!” Beneath this was a stick drawing of a bird sporting what appeared to be a silly hat, together with an explanation (paraphrased by yours truly): “The Fluffy-Headed Shrimp-Suckers are currently nesting in this area.” Then, in smaller print, a few words describing why this should concern us, followed by (something like) “Love and Kisses, The Audubon Society.

Being the fledgling birders we are, we thought it was darned swell of those Audubon folks to do such a thing. There are those, however, who would disagree.

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In any given situation, there will always be an arsehole or two who can’t just live ‘n’ let live. They probably don’t bother to vote but they’ll be first in line braying like a bunch of jackasses the second they imagine that their rights have been violated.

Let’s just back up here for a second. Back to the part where I mentioned “a zillion miles of glorious unspoiled beach.” Back, too, to the “off season” bit. Okay, so we have oodles of beach with nobody on it, and we have a comparatively miniscule portion of said beach cordoned off for a few weeks so that love might flourish for the Fluffy-headed Shrimp-suckers (or whatever they actually are).

Yep, I can certainly see cause for alarm there.

Imagine having to exist in a world where some stupid bird can just up and hog the beach! Gawd’s teeth!!  Especially when it’s just a few acres of beach that nobody’s using anyway. That’s certainly worth going to the expense of having a special protest sign printed up and nailing it to your hand stenciled board (pardon me while I wipe away a wee tear). That’ll show ’em, boy!

The thing is that unless this is really just a clever ploy by the government to ferret out the local morons, the Audubon Society could probably have saved themselves some sign money and aggravation by just keeping mum and letting those Shrimp-suckers do their thing on that empty beach. Nobody’d be any the wiser. Least of all the local moron bird-flippers who’ve lost their precious freedom (insert melodramatic eye roll here).

We haven’t died.  Nothing quite so melodramatic.  In truth, we’ve been visiting with dear, dear friends and having WAY too much fun to think about blogging.  A thousand appropriate apologies, yadda yadda.  The other reason I haven’t been blogging is because my (STUPID!!) computer is malfunctioning badly.  Long story short, it crashes and burns without so much as a “by your leave,” and it doesn’t have enough RAM (Rumply Angstful Misgivings) to open my bigass 32 ziggaquad camera card.  (My computer-speak is impressive, no?)  It simply refuses to do it.  So, not only can I not sort out my photogs and choose ones that I think you might like, I can’t even look at any of them without my computer having a contusion…or a conniption, or whatever you call it.

In happy news, though, I think I’ve managed to outsmart it.  I won’t say how because if I type it out, my computer will read it and know what’s going on.  We can’t have that.  So shush, okay?

By way of an update, we’ve now left Florida behind and are holed up on the beach in North Carolina (Yeah, life sucks).  I’ll fill in the details shortly.  In the meantime, here’s a fluffy bird in case you were in need of one:

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