As well as losing my hat, I've lost my beard. I said to Ginny last night that I need to grow it again for Newfoundland.
I've read a lot of Farley Mowat and do enjoy his books.
Another one of Canada's top restuarants is located in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland, though we like to hunt out unique places, we are equally thrilled to eat seafood all through Newfoundland.
At the end south end of the shore road in Gros Morne's Rocky Harbor is a seafood market. You can order excellent cooked Newfoundland lobster to go there.
Newfoundland has wonderful Geology. Newfoundland was once physically attached to Europe near the beginning of the Avalon Penisula (St Johns). The connection point is a valley that crosses the beginning of the penisula and clearly shows where European portion connected to the North American portion.
Sandy Christe mentioned the road side (literally roadside, you see them along all the highways). gardens. We stopped to speak with two gardeners. to understand the process and yields. The following is from our trips.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Today we moved 24 miles up the road to Red Bay, population 211, the last town on the paved portion of the road.
First Picture. Pinware River Gorge on the way to Red Bay.
There are many things to like about Newfoundland and Labrador. It is beautiful, quiet and relaxing but very interesting to me is the apparent self sufficiency of the locals. This time of the year you see them planting their root crops in their roadside gardens; cutting their firewood on what appears to be common or provincial property.
The little roadside gardens typically no more than 60 by 30 feet in size seem to be well tended, the soil hauled in, built up with seaweed and sawdust.
We stopped at a garden near Red Bay and talked to the owner; it was formerly her uncle’s who still plants a row or two. This small plot produces twenty 50 pound bags of potatoes a year. She planted the potato mounds this week and will be eating potatoes by early August. In addition she plants the remaining root crops of Labrador plus cabbage.
The only problem they seem to have is with mice that will eat the seed potatoes. Their home grown solution is to implant little pails between the rows and half fill them with water, by the way no hose here, they walk down to the stream and bring it back by the bucket. The mice fall
in and drown. No complex solutions here, simply a couple of 12 hour days to prepare and plant the garden and again twenty 50 pound bags. There’s no starving here, plant your potatoes, shot a moose or catch a cod.
Picture 3. Mouse trap.
You also see the self sufficiency in other ways, people fixing their cars in their front yards, the huge piles of firewood cut and stacked for the coming year, in yards and like the roadside plots along all the roads. You see it in the foods, home baked breads, pies and biscuits, and I’m particularly addicted to their tea biscuits, and their collecting of local berries, partridge berries, a sweet cranberry looking berry, my favorite, and bakeapple berries, almost citrus tart.
Overlooking famous Red Bay; they get 9,000 tourists a year, mostly during the summer.
A researcher, reading wills in the Basque region of Spain discovered that Basque whalers hunted whales here beginning in 1515 or so and that a 1000 or so Basque whalers came here every year, 5 times the present population. Further research showed that one of their ships had sunk in Red Bay.
Red Bay was conveniently located for whaling and offered a well protected harbor, Saddle Back island protects most of the harbor except in a sever storm.
It turns out that a vessel and crew could be out fitted for 5000 ducats and after a year of whaling return 100,000 ducats, an amazing gain. Apparently whale oil was the petroleum of the period, particularly for lighting
but also with other industrial uses.
Picture 4. Our site overlooking the bay. Labrador entrepreneurial-ism at work, 4 RV spots next to a one pump gas station/convenience store overlooking the harbor at Red Bay
It’s so beautiful here that we decided to spend a couple of days here before we begin the first portion of towing on gravel. We drove a couple miles down the gravel portion as a test and it seemed fine though I expect a slow pace is in order for us, though the one other car we saw blasted by us at least twice our rate of speed. I must say that we have already driven the Honda on numerous dirt roads. Actually the only error I seemed to make in our budgeting for the trip was to not include mileage driven while not towing. So far it’s been almost equal to the towing mileage.
Picture 5. The road before us, the next 1000 miles
Love to all,
Norm and Ginny