AmeriCanada 2015

NOTE:  When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}. 

Day 30. Sunday, August 23, 2015. On to Gros Morne National Park.

Our path today is shown below, in the area of southwest Newfoundland. It's about 180 miles to our RV park in Rocky Harbor, which is in Gros Morne National Park. Gros Morne itself is a huge bit of rock, reminding me of Moro Rock in the Sequoia National Park area.

Time is very interesting here. The audio recorder (must adjust manually) says 4:46am, my watch (also must be manually adjusted) says 5:49. The actual time is 6:19 - one and a half hours earlier than New York. We are in a halfway time zone, known as the Newfoundland Time Zone.

It pretty much rained all night, off and on. Great sleeping weather, as Uncle Peter used to say. We turned over 31,000 on the odometer, plus 7, as we arrived here.

We got a brochure/newspaper at the visitor center yesterday, detailing all the things to do around here, and when we checked in to this RV park, we learned that the editor is none other than the check-in lady. Who is also the owner of this RV park.

Out for some exercise, and to check out the river, yesterday's day-long rain is evident from the pools of water everywhere, including right next to our trailer. Irving seems to be the big petroleum company here.

We have been looking for moose since we got here. We mention that and a lady said 'bugs' had chased all the moose out of the woods closer to the roads. I thought, "Do you promise?" I said, "You know those moose. Afraid of the tiniest things." We flutter right by this inviting butterfly house.

We're on the road about 15 seconds, and a single car comes around the corner ahead of us, headlights on. He passes and then it's quiet. Sharon says, "Well that was the early morning commute." She's on fire.

At 7 am, we see more brooks. John's Brook, etc. I say if I had a brook, I'd call it Book Brook. Sharon says if a bird was in it, it'd be a Book Brook Rook. I say and if we had the bird for dinner, it'd be a Book Brook Rook Cook.. Nancy says, "Look! A... (you know).

There are ravens all over. We see ravens lift to fly across road,A dark bird crosses overhead. Sharon gets an eye on it, and reports the beginning of a white tail, so it's an immature Bald Eagle.

Soon we get another eagle, landing in top of a tree.

About 8:30 we change drivers. The trip odometer is 111.1. Who knows what went on with those front seat people while I slept.

At Deer Lake, I refill even with the tank only half empty. I don't want to take a chance on running out of gas later. We're at 31150 miles on the Chevy.

About 10:30, we get messages that something's wrong with the hitch connector, Actually, there is a message on the Chevy screen that says we have no trailer brakes. Yikes! But Bob takes care of it.}so I spray the contacts again, and that fixes the problem. Again. Nice. We change drivers again. Now going into the last leg.

We get a good look at Gros Morne itself, the big rock you see below, which the area is named for.

Locating our RV park, we set up in the parking lot, or 'pull-through area', as our check-in hostess calls it. {We are in an area filled with large bus motor homes. They all have numbers in their windows and we learn that they are all part of a group travelling together and try to park together as they are here so they can visit in the evenings. Nice. WE are the odd man out and tiny next to these big rigs, but we like our size. No trees here so can you see in the second picture where I have hung my bird feeder? I try to put it out whereever we stop to see what birds we might attract. Sometimes we don't get any but other times we get fun birds of the area}

It's time to put up some stickers we've earned.

At the Gros Morne visitor center, we buy our park passes, and inquire about the intensity of the 45 minute walk to get to the lake for the boat tour. {We have heard that it's rugged and not "handicapped accessible". I doubt I can make the 45 minute trip in time for us to catch the boat}. When we ask, they say, "Oh, it's boardwalk for most of the way. We have a wheel chair you can use for free." Hmmm. New information, and welcome. We check it out and it's designed for action. {Bob and Nancy say "We'll push you, don't worry". I had offered to let them go on the fiord boat ride without me but they're having none of that. Great friends}

It is clear that we have enough time to make the drive, then do the walk. Hot dang. We're gonna make it.

A nice grassy lawn appears on our right, and I say that it's a nice property. But as we move a little further, it's clear that it's a well-kept cemetery, and I poo-poo it a little. Sharon says, "Mmm, you are going straight to h-e-double-l-hockey sticks." We crack up.

We continue on up to the lake parking area, and set off.

Sharon took the shots below

The couple below right, we learn later, are on their honeymoon and are from Scotland. The guy, dressed in kilts, is pushing their son in the stroller.

The photo below left is our view, walking towards the lake on the boardwalk. The boat photo at right was actually taken at the end of the trip. That's why it appears to be a little darker.

We three are the last three on the boat, and I am a little unhappy that being the last three, we will have bad seats. But we are seated on the steps we walk down, and they may be the best on the boat.

Below left pretty much depicts how we're feeling right at the time. {What he doesn't say is that they are really tired from pushing me. There were some big hills, (I got out to walk a couple of times.) and it was gravel at times so it was no easy task to push the wheelchair.} Below right are the couple who were pushing the baby stroller. His kilts may be cool, but he's sweatin' through his shirt pretty good. And she's in for a burn.

The next two photos are of the same waterfall from different angles and zooms.

Here is a nice panomara using my iPhone. I thought this would turn out terrible because it is taken from a moving object, but it turns out that the lens open time is so short that it's ok if its moving. So that's the boat, both at far left and at far right - due to the characteristics of a panorama shot.

Magnificent rock formations are all around us, on our left as we travel. Sharon's binocs are all over them.

Can you see the face in the center of the rock wall photo at right. His right eye, nose and mouth are clear. He appears to have a small beard, and the upper right (from our perspective) chunk of his head seems to have been chopped off in a diagonal cut. A little spooky. I mean how can he walk around like that? I mean, other than the fact that he's a rock?

The sun really lights up this waterfall. At right the sun strikes the evenly spaced ripples in a passing boat's wake, as they reach the far side of the lake.

Below left all the life jackets are stored against the ceiling of the downstairs cabin. At right, do you see the reclining silhouette lady in the middle of the photo. I can see the chin, lip, nose, eyelash and forehead.

We pass two gorgeous waerfalls. The first one descends to a cutting diagonal change of direction. The second one is long and the wind catches the top part, blowing it away a little before it resumes its downward flight.

This is another shot of the second falls. At right is a man who talked Sharon's ear off. I liked his beard and asked if I could take a picture, and he started talking about his hair being messy. I said he is fine, and I'll take it with the hat on. He is a little self-conscious but I don't take the photo right away. I wait for a more normal situation.

After snapping this happy little kid, we all exit the boat. Nancy has unwound some rope that allows a puller in the front of Sharon's wheel chair, as well as the pusher in the back. We use teamwork to get Sharon back. Actually Sharon gets up and walks at the really steep parts.

The Scottish fellow sees us struggling to get Sharon up one medium-sized hill, and just takes over, zipping Sharon right up there. I ask to see his tattoo, the lower part being visible below the arm line of his tee shit, and he flashes it here. I ask what is it, and he says "Thistle." {The emblem of Scotland}He helps us up one more hill, then they left us. Below right is a Newfie poem you can read. Key phrases are 'blackflies' and 'bakeapple'. Hopefully Sharon will tell stories about them. {Blackflies, Ugh! Nancy and I both discover bites on the backs of our necks that are actually bleeding. She finds out from a local that they are from the blackflies that love to get up under your hairline and bite you to drink your blood. Vampires! And the bakeapple is a type of berry here that they make jelly from. Wait! How is it that I know these things? Thanks to Google, I'm alaways looking things up.}

Sharon asked me to get a photo of the plant below, at left. {It's a pitcher plant, one of those types that trap and "eat" bugs to suppliment the poor soil they grow in. Like the Venus Fly Trap. This one is growing in the peat bog that we walked through (OK, I rode through) on the way to the boat landing.} I got a barely-acceptable blurry photo of a flying Gray Jay, a very nicely marked bird.

The purple colors just exploded in the sun.

We go back home, then into town for a restaurant on the water. A tiny, pretty local student is our waitress, and we put in our orders. I get the sense that a good sunset is happening, and it's so good, I run back in to get my camera. I take a dozen of the most moving sunsets I can remember. Here is one of the last ones.That's the sun setting over the water, and a dock that sticks into the water. One of several people down there watching the sunset is himself caught standing in the light in my photo. {Our waitress, Jessica, also runs out to take pictures. We ask "Is this an unusual sunset?" Beause it is so beautiful. But she says "No,it happens most nights, but I always run out to take pictures".}

We again meet the honeymooning couple with the small son, eating an ice cream and visiting with other people around them. They are also watching the sunset. We swap what's going on right now with both of us, and they are a very interesting couple, very envious of our two-month vacation.

That's it for another day. See you tomorrow.

PS This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I'd never met herbivore.

Began: Grand Codroy RV Park, Doyles, Newfoundland
Pass Through: Corner Brook, Deer Lake
End: Gros Morne RV Park, Rocky Harbor, Newfoundland
Miles Today: 200
Miles for Trip: 5884 (doesn't count ferry rides)

Previous Report 29
Next Report (AND next STAR Report) 31

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