12/10/2014 It’s my last day in Newfoundland and I just missed the ferry over to Nova Scotia due to a failed atempt of hitch hiking at 7am in the middle of a bank holiday weekend. Now I’m back in the Brewed Cafe in Corners Brook to summarize the last days here and in the Gros Morne National Park. You will see that coming in the autumn is really a good choice thanks to all the leaves changing their colours!
Gros Morne National Park
After staying in Pasadena for a night and finally being able to play some guitar again, I hitchhiked to Deer Lake and then onward to the north into Gros Morne National Park. A trucker picked me up (again) after half an hour of waiting and I helped him deliver medical supplies in the Woody Point area first, he was so nice to use his lunch break to drive me to the nearby Discovery center! The next stop was Gros Morne Mountain where he dropped me off and I started the hike. The sun was partly out and a few hikers came walking back, some of them actually saw a black bear with her two cups, which I unfortunately did not see though… The mountain was a bit of a disapointment, a pretty boring walk followed by a steep climb up the scree before you arrive at the very flat summit. The views on the other side were nice though and I set up Wade’s tent at the camp site on the other side of the river. While I was setting it up, I had a Goose standing 10 meters away from me!! He stared a while and wandered off to the nearby lake, my first close encounter with a moose! After hiding my food away from the tent to protect it from bears, I crawled inside the 1,85m tent, which – as you can guess for a 1,88m tall person – was not that easy to do! I somehow managed to get a comfy position before it started to rain at 2:30 AM. It was pretty clear that the tent is not waterproof for a long time and soon after I found myself lying next to a flume of water. Just before I was ready to leave an hour later, it stopped again and I could get some more hours of sleep before starting the hike back towards the Western Brook Pond, walking in the rain for next three hours before somebody finally gave me a ride.
It was still raining when I arrived at the Pond and I was hoping that it would clear up by the time I actually get to see the famous cliff formations. Luckily, it actually did (a bit at least) and I could peak a look inside the valley, a pretty impressive sight! Usually people would do a boat tour inside the pond now, however me coming out of season, no boat was operating and the whole site was empty except for some park rangers working there. I decided to do the extra hike towards Snug harbour, which turned out to be a mud fest thanks to the recent rain. I also had to wade through a waste deep river first to get to the start of the hike. Everything was covered with Moose tracks, but I could not see any. After some passages along the beach and some excursions off the beaten path, I finally arrived at the beach which offered a nice angle to look at the fjords. The sun came out on the way back and I could re-shoot all the dull looking pictures from earlier that day 🙂
My next stop was, and currently still is as I am writing this post, Corner Brook. I did not do any research about this place before and just wanted to pass through actually, but now I have been here for three days and I have to say I really like it! Not just is the town itself very nice and feels more like a forest with all these trees (and their nice golden leaves!) but also was I fortunate to meet some really awesome people, especially Sarah who works in a local coffee shop. She helped me out by providing me with a roof over my head and is just a great person in general. I have also done some (more) hiking, even though my feet really wanted a break from all the other hikes. On my first day, I was walking around the parks within the city and a trail system leads to the major spots, I especially liked the walk along the pond. Afterwards, I hiked the Pipeline Track which ends on a view point looking down at a huge gorge. Pretty nice sight and worth the longer hike.
Just yesterday I climbed up the “Old man in the mountain” Path. It’s short but steep and you can easily get lost, especially in the last lake close to the end of the trail. I did not see the correct path first and started to wander off the woods following Moos tracks! After I could not find the correct path, I went back a bit and tried to fight my way through super thick forest, actually getting to the very top of the ridge but just on the wrong side of it! All of it was so thick that fighting through it would take ages, so I went back along an alternative route through Moose Territories until I finally made it back to the lake and this time I could find the correct path! I reached the top, enjoyed the great view (I like the fact that you are looking down on the street, gives it a nice perspective) and then hiked back, reaching the road just before it got totally dark. The darkness was a problem for hitch hiking though and I ended up walking another 8-9 km along the roads in the dark before arriving back at Sarah’s place, totally exhausted from a long 8 hour walking day! Just this morning I tired to hitch a hike at the Highway leading to Portes aux basques to catch the 11:45 ferry to Sydney in Nova Scotia. However, low traffic due to the long Thanksgiving weekend and the early hour got me stranded there and at 8:30AM, I decided to text Sarah which picked me up on her way to work. Now I spent the extra time in the cafe writing this entry and will soon walk back to the Gas station in order to catch a bus that will get me to the ferry just in time for the 23:45 night ferry, hopefully getting me over to Sydney by 7AM tomorrow morning! Next stop: Cape Breton National Park!