River Goes to Newfoundland

July 23, 2017 in Uncategorized by Drea

This year, for my 36th birthday, I decided I wanted us to go to Newfoundland.  I wanted to see my brother in Halifax, who I haven’t seen in 14 years, and I wanted River to meet my Dad, who is living outside of Corner Brook, where I was born.  I wanted to feel that outdoor birthday adventure I have grown to love so much, by Touring Newfoundland in a Motorhome. 🙂

The red eye flights were strait from hell.  It took us a few days at my brother Tanners to rest up.  His family is so beautiful!  Him and his wife Sarah, have 7 sons; TJ, Hunter (Hunty), Declan, Oscar, Oliver (Bear), Shamus (Shimmy), and Silas (Sily).  We had a blast with Riv and them.  One day we went adventuring in the motorhome to the boardwalk for fish and chips, then to the giant Moose for pictures.  8 boys and 4 adults in the camper, Ha!  It was awesome. The next day was Declan’s pre-birthday pizza party and the next; we drove off down the east coast towards Cape Bretton and the ferry.  We stopped at Rainbow Beach along the way and I ran down the beach in the fog and howled into the wind.  We crossed the ferry that night and had to sleep on a closed deck because we weren’t allowed to sleep in our camper!  They did, however, provide us with a playpen and a couple of duvets.  In the morning we napped in Port Aux Basque because the winds were 110 km through the wreck house!  I couldn’t find or recognize Gramma and Grampa Pike’s house in McKays so we camped in the woods by a lake near the turnoff for Stephenville.  The next day we went to our old house in Port Au Port and drove out as far as Piccadilly Beach where we used to swim when I was a kid.  Then we headed up to Gros Morne.

We first drove out to Trout River and saw the tablelands, as well as hiked to Southeast Brook Falls and then made our way to the Lighthouse at Lobster Cove.

We camped that night at Berry Hill. The next morning was beautiful and sunny. River napped in our motor home while Luke and I took turns hiking up to the lookout. The hike reminded me of Towe Hill in the Haida Gwaii, where I was also accompanied by a little brown squirrel.   We went and got fresh lobster from the wharf in Rocky Harbour and a bottle of Moose Juice blueberry partridgeberry wine. That night we went to Green Point and camped on a beautiful sunny beach, and had a fire with some pine we picked up along the side of the highway the day before.  We also stopped at a mountain spring and filled up our drinking water!

The next day we went to see my dad and Maryln and stayed the night close by.  He seemed to be getting older fast, and he’s gentler and softer now.  Grampa time.  I was sad to leave, wondering if I will see him again.  And I was sorting out some old memories.  Both beautiful and scarring.  He gave me back a river rock I gave to him 25 yrs. ago that he’s been keeping in his shaving kit.

On the way back towards the ferry in Port aux Basque, I called my godparents and they were at the cabin, not far from McKays.  We drove back in looking for Gramma and Grampa Pike’s again and eventually I pulled over and asked Gramma where it was.  Then I found it.  And it was for sale and the back door was open! (I asked Gramma for that too.)  I even asked for their buried treasure and we found an old bag of collectable spoons, a spoon rack in the shape of Newfinland that I can remember from 30 yrs. ago, a gun rack my grampa made and other antique furniture.  IT WAS A TRIP!  Being in their home again, such special times, really sweet memories.  I took pictures of Riv running around the yard with a daffodil in his hand.  We stopped by the corner store (called Da Corner Store) on the way out for beer and found a beautifully wrapped sea glass necklace that was locally made.  Joe and Bernice’s cabin wasn’t far so we went in for the night and had great chats about Joe’s years guiding fishing and Bear and Moose hunts.  A few beers, a few fishcakes and I noticed some of my old favourite songs played on the radio (Blind Melon-Mouthful of Cavities, Pearl Jam-Elderly Woman behind the counter in a small town, Bruce Springsteen-I’m on fire).  In the morning we had breakfast and VERY RELUCTANTLY left as trout fishing opened in two days!  They told us to come back anytime and stay in the cabin, whether they were there or not.  And they’d loan us a vehicle.  And if they were there, they would take us fishing and hunting. Bernice kept saying she could have planned this or that if she knew we were coming, but our stop was just the perfect ending of our trip in every way.

Ah Newfinland, so harsh and so beautiful.