ANOTHER ADVENTURE IN MY OWN BACKYARD
23.08.2015 26 °C
I am, once again, compelled to write about the beauty just around the corner from my home town. I have to admit that Newfoundland is an entirely different creature under the sun when she allows you get out and enjoy her beauty. Yesterday was one of those days when the temperature hit 26 degrees and the sun was high in the sky, at least for most of the day.
With no real agenda, I set off with two of my bookclub pals to explore the Twillingate area with plans to hike some of nearby trails. Given that it took us three full days to pull together a plan to even meet up, it is no surprise that our little adventure was at times more of a misadventure.
Susan and I drove about 45 minutes to meet our tour guide and Campbellton native, Pat who was anxiously waiting our arrival. We loaded our gear (just like pros with hikers and walking sticks) into Pat’s car so she could lead the way.
Our first stop was in the community of Boyd’s Cove. The Beothuk Interpretation Center was a complete unknown to me but a place everyone should take the time to visit. The Beothuk, a now-extinct people, lived in Newfoundland more than 300 years ago before being killed off by the “white man”. We didn’t take in the museum which is filled with artifacts from the site, (wanting to maximize our outdoors time in the great weather) but instead took the 1.5 km groomed trail to the village site. It was a beautiful trail. Along the way, I was delighted to find this spectacular sculpture designed by renowned Newfoundland artist, Gerald Squires.
Since the sun was at its peak we decided to stop for lunch before getting on our sweat. Where else would you eat on such a great day but Samsone’s Lobster Pool in Hillgrade? This simple, cash only seafood restaurant never disappoints. Sitting right on the wharf, we enjoyed fresh snow crab. Yum.
Then it was onward to Twillingate. Although I have been there a million times, I really enjoyed visiting the craft shops, the museum, and the church, which incidentally, was built and completed by local fishermen in 1842 and has a ceiling that resembles an upside down boat. We went on to explore the cemetery where the local, and once world famous opera singer, Georgina Stirling rests. What better place to stop for a wee refreshment than a cemetery overlooking the ocean. Pat’s homemade ice tea and watermelon.
From there it was off to the lighthouse to pick up one of the shoreline trails. Our 4 mile trail turned out to be more like 500 meters ending at a spectacular dead end. Confused and disoriented we decide to head back to the parking lot to try again.
Hard to believe we took a wrong turn and had to use this bus to guide our way through the woods.
After getting some directions, we drove to a different parking lot, to catch the trail from the lower end. This was somewhat more successful although we did not end up where we intended. Apparently we should have done a little more research and I should have carried the map that was back in the trunk of the car with our walking sticks. What rookies!! As we are slipping and sliding down we began to realize that the sticks might be more than a decoration and would have come in handy. In any case, the views were spectacular and we enjoyed every minute.
As we were making our way back, the rumbles started and the un-forecasted thunderstorms started to roll in creating some even more spectacular skies.
Back in the car, we explored the communities of Crow Head, Back Harbour and Durrell while the rain poured down around us.
Our route towards home took us to Moreton’s Harbour just because I have never been there and it is part of that famous Newfoundland Song “I’se da B’y”.
In keeping with Pat’s unwritten rule that you always have to go to the end of the road, this side trip took us onward to Tizzard’s Harbour. Absolutely gorgeous. It is amazing how much reconstruction is taking place in this region. We commented often how hard it much be to keep all these little roads clear in the winter months.
This brought us to the end of a very fun fill and full day with a realization that although it is often easier to just stay home, it really is worth the effort to get up and get out.