Like A Rock
Even though I spent nearly five years living in Canada, I never made it to Newfoundland until yesterday. Corner Brook was the first stop on the cruise, and we heard that Maasdam was the first ship of the season to come into port here. Although we’d only been at sea for a bit over two days, we were glad to see and smell land.
Fortunately, and surprisingly, we were not able to smell the paper plant that’s right in the harbor. Even more surprising than that was the fact that this ship was loaded with paper destined for the New York Times, for those of us who don’t often think about exactly where our morning paper comes from.
The dock was partially covered with matching bags of we don’t know what, but they were picturesque, and so click, they’re yours.
With our friends Kathy and John we rented a car and set off into the Gros Morne Park, a National Heritage Site because of its extreme beauty and pristine diversity. Since they’d been here before, they showed us this lovely spot, a traditional fishing site since long before there were roads to reach it,
as these traditional facilities attest. Vestiges of the fishing life are everywhere here,
although apparently even the most devoted fisherman got tired of eating fish on occasion. We ourselves were determined to eat moose for lunch, and so we dined on moose burger, moose stew, and a sort of minced moose sandwich. Perhaps that’s why we didn’t see a single moose all day long, although they’re reputed to be absolutely everywhere.
We did see a lovely black fox sitting by the side of the road, who declined to be photographed, but you can imagine him, sitting up straight and shiny, turning to watch us as we drove past, one of the most beautiful things we saw all day.
Around the Gros Morne visitor center there were gorgeous birch trees, although most of the forest we saw in the park was of the short and scrubby Arctic variety, lots of wind-swept and low-lying conifers, and deciduous trees gnawed clean by the omnipresent (except for our eyes) moose.
Newfoundland is often called The Rock, and we soon learned why. I could show you fantastic rocks for hours, but here are just a few, to entice you rockhounds to go and see them for yourselves.
Pretty cool, eh? Our brief seven hours ashore came to an end all too soon, and we returned to the ship for the evening,
where we learned, to our dismay, that heavy fog and the chance of small icebergs floating under the radar would prevent us from stopping today in Red Bay, Labrador. We’re all quite disappointed, of course, as Labrador sounds so interesting. But I have to say that sneaky icebergs and pea soup fog are immediately understandable out here at sea, so no one’s complaining. Next stop, weather permitting, so pray to the Norse gods, Nanortalik, Greenland.