Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Deer Lake, Newfoundland

Note – this is the second posting of the day!

I ended up leaving St. Anthony a day early because the day I was supposed to leave it was supposed to be extremely windy and it is not fun driving an RV in those conditions.  So I ended up in Deer Lake, NL for 2 nights rather than the one night I had thought I would be there.

Since I had some extra time after doing laundry and grocery shopping, I decided to check out the Newfoundland Insectarium and Butterfly Garden which was just across the street from the RV park that I stayed at.   I wasn’t sure what to expect because the outside was in the shape of a barn.    But I really enjoyed it and was much more than what I expected.

While most of my photos are of the butterflies I spent more time looking at the insects from all over the world.  The different sizes shapes and colors were amazing. Below is from the upper level looking down at the main insect level.  Lots of things to look at!



When I got to the level with the insects an employee was showing an insect to a young couple.   The employee looked at me and said “You don’t want to hold him do you”?  I laughed to myself thinking he thought that some old lady would not want to hold it.  But I did.  It was the Thorny Devil Stick insect above which  is a juvenile about 3 – 4 inches long.   This was a great way to spend a couple of hours!



I saw a couple of these at the campground in St. Anthony and to be honest I didn’t know what they were.  This one is on the side of the bathrooms at the RV park in Deer Lake and says Fire Extinguisher, I have never seen one like this.  On the other side of the building they did have a more updated version like we are used to in the states. 

I had told myself that I would stay up to date and I have not.  I need to post my La Scie and Twillingate blogs.  I hope to get to the La Scie blog (more icebergs!) in the next couple of days.  I just got to Bauline South (about 30 miles south of St. Johns, Newfoundland) today (June 30).  I have already seen puffins from my RV Site, but not close enough for pictures.  More on this when I write the blog!

St. Anthony, Newfoundland–part 3

Most of my walking in the St. Anthony area was on short trails to overlooks.  In Great Brehat, NL there was an overlook that I enjoyed and visited several times.  Below are pictures from those visits, the first was taken on the drive there. 

nl_sa_great_brehat_drivenl_sa_great_brehat_nl_sa_great_brehat_iceberg5The picture below was taken just 15 minutes or so after the picture above.  The fog moved in very fast.  nl_sa_great_brehat_iceberg3nl_sa_great_brehat_view2I found the iceberg below on my first visit to Great Brehat, it was huge.  I went back the next day and it had floated on down the coast.  I later learned it broke in half in Goose Cove in view of those walking along Pumley Trail.  nl_sa_great_brehat_view

I have mentioned that I went to St. Anthony Bight park several times.  Below are a few pictures from that area -- 


The last picture is the same iceberg as in the first in this group, but taken days later (from a different angle) and has melted quite a bit.

I like looking at the fishing villages, particularly the old fishing shacks -


One day I visited L’Anse aux Meadows, which is the first authenticated Norse (Viking) site in North America.  I am not into history, but how they lived at that time appeals to me.  nl_sa_lanse_aux_meadows1


While the actual sites were reburied after studying them, they reproduced several of the buildings to show what they looked like. 

Scenes from Pumley Trail in Goose Cove, NL -


Newfoundland definitely has a different way of life.  Two things that I thought were quite different are below.  Since most people live at the coast where they have very bad soil and live very close to each other, they can not garden at home.  So they are allowed to have roadside gardens, which are just gardens along the roads.  They were just starting to work the soil when I was there.  The fences are to keep out the caribou. nl_sa_roadside_garden2

Also, beside the roads I saw stacks of wood.  Some stacked nicely like the one below, while others were just thrown into piles.  I learned that they can file for a permit and then cut wood from certain areas.  Because where they cut it may be away from any roads, they typically move the wood in the winter in sleds like the one pictured below pulled behind snow mobiles. nl_sa_roadside-woodnl_sa_same_plant_as part1

In part 2 of my St. Anthony blogs, I posted several pictures of small plants  One of them was a very small version of the plant above.  This one was probably 6 – 8 inches high and very bunchy.  An interesting plant!

I have many more picture that I planned to share, but I think I have covered most of St. Anthony in these 4 blogs.  From St. Anthony, I was planning to go to La Scie, NL with an overnight stay somewhere in between.  Because of very windy conditions in St. Anthony forecast for the day I planned to leave, I left a day early and spent 2 days in Deer Lake, NL.  So my next blog will be about that quick stop.

Note – this blog was written several days ago, but I was having problems getting connected to the internet on my PC. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Saint Anthony, Newfoundland–Part2

I have got to post more often as I am already forgetting where some of the pictures where taken.  Some of the coves and fishing villages look so similar.  Sorry, I will try to do a better job.

On my third day in St. Anthony, I went to Wild Bight, Newfoundland and visited the  Cape Norman Lighthouse area. I liked it so much, I ended up going back a couple of times.  There were a few icebergs off in a distance, but the scenery was great.  My first trip I saw a strange looking animal there. 


I thought it looked like a fox, but I wasn’t sure.  I later found out that it is an Artic Fox who is molting.  I had read that there were several similarities between the artic and here, but I thought it was mainly plants!  I was excited to see him and actually ended up seeing 3 (on 2 different days).  They like the limestone barren rocks.  Below is the same fox.nl_sa_cape_norman_artic_fox2

A young Bald Eagle, probably about 2  years old based on it’s eyestripe and white mottling nl_sa_cape_norman_bald_eagle

The Barren Willow only grows in the Wild Bight area in the limestone barrens, nowhere else in the world!  I think I found some.  Below are a couple of shots of this interesting plant.



The mountains in the background are actually in the province of Labrador.  nl_sa_cape_norman_labrador



More Interesting Plants - nl_sa_cape_norman_plant1



I had a great time examining all the small and different plants that grow in the limestone. 

The picture below was taken in Wild Bight, I liked how it looked like the boat hit the houses.  The boat is actually a good 10 – 15 feet away from them!nl_sa_wild_bight

In my travels in Newfoundland, I have noticed a sign a few times I wanted a picture of.


I had heard the roads were rough, but in some places they are terrible.  My poor RV and Car are taking a beating!

I have seen many moose and caribou.  Below is a caribou feeding beside the road.


My Cheat Sheet --


Thrombolites – some of our most primitive life forms.  Read the information sign if interested in it’s geology.  They actually looked like they were made of concrete.  These are in Flower Cove, NL.  The only other place in the world where they are found is in Australia.  nl_sa_flowers_cove



An iceberg picture to hold you over until I post Saint Anthony, part 3.nl_sa_iceberg3

Some interesting fishing shacks, coves and scenery -- nl_sa_fishing_shack




Before I finish this post up, I wanted to answer some questions that Sherry asked.  So far I have stayed at private  parks while in Newfoundland and I do have reservations at most places.  I originally intended on staying at provincial and national parks, but changed my mind after doing some research.  Mainly because I like my amenities!!  A lot of people travel here without reservations, and during June I don’t think it would be a problem.  In July and August, I think you might need reservations at least in the popular places.  I like the freedom of not having reservations, but quite often I just like knowing where I will be and not having to worry if a campground is full.  I do have a few days (such as today) where I don’t have reservations, but have an idea where I will stay and those places are more of stop overs and not really destinations. 

So far the weather has been cold.  I have worn more long pants this year than I think the entire time I have been full-timing!  But I knew this and came prepared!. 

Speaking of the time I have been full-timing, I just passed my 6 year anniversary of living in my RV.  Time flies when you are having fun!!!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

St. Anthony, Newfoundland–Part 1

I arrived in St. Anthony, NL on Jun 4 on a rainy, grey day.  As I was about 30 Km out of St. Anthony I saw my first icebergs, I was so excited!!

I set out as soon as I was settled at Triplenl_ls_d1_goose_cove_pumley_trail Falls RV Park.  I ended up going to Goose Cove and walking part of the Pumley Trail, but it was so foggy I could not see much --

While driving around, I found the St. Anthony Bight park.  It was an extremely rough dirt road, but worth it!  In the cove were a couple of icebergs and I decided to follow the “journey” of one of these icebergs over the next couple of days.  It’s not going anywhere because it is grounded, but I want to see how much it melts over the next several days.


The cove itself is interesting and I have enjoyed just sitting on the rocks a couple of days.  Twice I have heard a loud thunder like noise and then a big splash as large pieces of the iceberg break off.


About 95% of the icebergs in this area (known as iceberg alley) are from Greenland.  They have traveled quite a distance!

On my second day, I took a tour with Northland Discovery Boat Tours.   In the last 15 years or so I have started getting sea sick, so I was concerned.  I took some medicine to keep from getting sick. I felt a bit queasy, but did not get sick like several other people on the boat.

Anyway, the glaciers were awesome.  I have had a hard time narrowing down which pictures to post.  The next 9 pictures are all from the first iceberg that we went to.  This iceberg is about 120 feet tall at the tallest point (from the water and up).  It is currently grounded in water that is approximately 180 feet deep, so part of it is 180 feet below the surface of the water.  It was huge.

We went around it, so below are many pictures of the same huge iceberg from different angles.  It kind of looks like 2 icebergs, but it is all connected.


If that was all we saw the trip would have been worth it, but there was more to see!!!  It is hard to tell the size of these, but all are huge.  Not as large as the first one but the one below is about 70 feet high. 


Some houses on a hill overlooking the water for a brief non-iceberg moment!

nl_ls_d2_tour91The next several pictures are all of the same iceberg from different angles.  The size, shape and textures of these make it so interesting.  As the boat made its way around we found that this iceberg has a channel through it.nl_ls_d2_tour92nl_ls_d2_tour92anl_ls_d2_tour93nl_ls_d2_tour94nl_ls_d2_tour95nl_ls_d2_tour97nl_ls_d2_tour98More houses on the hill as we head back to the dock.nl_ls_d2_tour99

It was a great trip and I have several more days here!

After the boat trip, I went back to St. Anthony Bight park and relaxed a while.