Sunday, October 1 – Day 34
Since leaving our home in British Columbia, Canada we have traveled over 10,000 kilometers, in 5 weeks, we’ve traversed Canada from coast to coast, quite an accomplishment.
We spent the night in Terra Nova Provincial Park, Newfoundland, Canada. Frosty this morning with a cool -2 Celsius under clear skies.
Our trailer black and grey holding tanks need dumping so Lynda and I pulled out of our camp spot first. I couldn’t dump at Pippy Park Campground in St. John’s.
I parked facing the opposite direction of normal so I could level our trailer and avoid the small lake on the other side of the trailer.
Unfortunately, this orientation prevented my dump hose from reaching the sewer connection, besides the morning we left things were a little foggy from the fun time the night before.
We pulled onto the highway by 9 am, with the rest of the group. Our destination today is Gros Morn National Park on the north-west coast of Newfoundland, on the way to the northern Viking Village of L’Anse aux Meadows. click this link to check it out
A stop for fuel, the most expensive so far on the trip $1.26 per liter, almost $5 per gallon. $135.00 to fill my thirsty truck………. ‘ouch’.
Our three trucks are running about the same fuel economy, guzzling about 20 liters per 100 kilometers or 11 mpg. So far, diesel fuel has cost about $2000.
The good part, we have spent minimal on camping, staying at ‘Boondockers Welcome’ hosts. Free camping on other RVers property.
Shortly after we left Terra Nova the winds increased causing our fuel economy to get worse,………. I didn’t think that was possible.
At times the wind blew across the highway causing our rigs to sway, my dually was equal to the task stabilizing our rig. Despite the wind, another sunny day and a scenic drive.
We turned north off the Trans-Canada Highway at Deer Lake toward Gros Morn National Park. The narrow road immediately deteriorated to potholes and broken pavement slowing our progress.
Once we passed through the National Park’s gates, the road improved substantially, obviously federal dollars at work.
The drive to Gros Morn was beautiful, we followed a long narrow fjord on our left and high round glacial formed mountains on our right. The wind had increased to gale force causing us to slow our speed even more.
Our destination, Green Point Campground, on the ocean. I was concerned the high winds would raise havoc causing our rigs to rock during the night disturbing our sleep.
Clouds moved overhead as we arrived at the windswept west coast of Newfoundland. We pulled into the campground and fortunately found enough vacant spots. The small campground had only a few spots long enough for our rigs.
So far we’ve been lucky finding an overnight spot without reservations, probably because we are traveling during the fall season.
The campground is in a dense forest of short twenty-foot-high evergreens called ‘Tuckamores’. The trees protected most of the campground from the fierce Atlantic winds. Lucky for us.
Once camp was set I took a walk to the beach moving out of the forest. The wind was so intense it was difficult to stand. The ocean was a sea of foam, the waves pounding the rocky beach. The sight was breathtaking, no wonder people chase storms.
We spent the evening around the propane fire enjoying hot chocolate and Baileys, an early dinner and off to bed. It seems after a stressful driving day, early to bed has become the norm.
Tomorrow is a free day, no driving, except maybe a local tour.
Monday, October 2 – Day 35
The wind subsided through the night, the morning greeted us with partly cloudy skies and light frost.
I took advantage of the non-travel day to check the wiring on my trailer. My truck computer has been alerting me the last couple of days with a delightful ding ding ‘check trailer wiring’ and immediately another ding ding ‘trailer connected’.
Possibly the rough road has loosened a connection. I checked the wiring while Lynda made a rare big breakfast. A downside of traveling almost every day, breakfast and lunch are usually quick, toast or cereal for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch.
Lynda and I enjoyed a big breakfast, bacon, eggs, hash browns and toast, YUM.
No luck with the trailer wiring?
My truck was due for an oil change, so considering our next travel day should be short, my plan was to make an appointment at the Chevy dealer in Corner Brook on the way to the Nova Scotia ferry.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t handle my dually, so I checked with the dealer in Stevensville and made an appointment. Ralph decided to have his truck serviced as well.
My truck’s service was overdue and began announcing frequently with another ding ding, ‘change oil soon’, this combined with the ‘check trailer wiring’ ding ding was becoming irritating.
After breakfast, we took a drive to Westbrook Pond, the largest freshwater fjord lake in the world, a 3 kilometer hike from the parking lot. Our original plan was to take the lake cruise and check out this geographic marvel but the $67. per person was too rich for us.
We decided instead to take the 3k walk to the lake. A leisurely walk through low brush, muskeg, boardwalks, and tundra with plaques explaining the history and landscape of the area.
The fjord was formed by over 2000 ice ages by glaciers flowing and receding cutting deep into the rock.
We walked through intermittent sun, clouds, and showers to the fjord and the spectacular 2000 foot high cliffs piercing the mist above the lake resembling an eerie scene from the movie King Kong.
On the way back to camp we experienced a sight none of us had seen before, a flying moose,………….. a helicopter dangling a hunter’s catch, the strangest sight.
The afternoon was cool and occasional showers. Once back at camp the group enjoyed a restful afternoon and another evening around the propane fire.
The next day, the drive to Stephenville for truck servicing and our last night on the island of Newfoundland.
Tuesday, October 3 – Day 36
The next morning sunshine and -4 with heavy frost. The air warmed quickly under the morning sunshine as we made our way out of the campground. The storm of the past two days was gone, the wind subsided and the sunny morning made for a pleasant drive.
We arrived early afternoon at Stephenville, Ralph and I got our trucks serviced, and tires rotated. Our appointments were for 12:30 and 1:30 surprisingly enough the dealership was on time.
While our trucks were in the shop the group enjoyed lunch at a Newfoundland icon, Mary Brown’s Chicken, probably the best fried chicken in Canada. Thanks to Gerard, our friend back home for recommending Mary Brown’s,……….. now available in BC…… sounds like a Commercial!!
After lunch, Ralph, Lois, Lynda and I returned to the dealership to check on our vehicles while Henry and Allyson headed to our overnight destination, Grande Codroy RV Park about half an hour from Port aux Basque and the ferry to North Sydney.
Grande Condroy RV Park was closing for the winter, but Allyson managed to persuade them to let us stay for the night for $20.
Grande Codroy RV Park, offered free firewood and power but no water, already shut off for the winter.
Once back on the road after truck servicing and tire rotation, I notice a definite shimmy from the front end, apparently, I learned later, rear dually tires are not often balanced. I will need to get this looked after as soon as we have a down day.
There is still the issue with the trailer wiring, there wasn’t time to deal with it at Stephenville, NL. Besides, who knows what issues they may come up with, I can hear it all now, ‘We need a part that will take a week to get here’.
My concern is the trailer brakes may quit working, but so far they are working. I don’t want to cause a delay so I will wait until time permits or the brakes quit.
Ralph, Lois, Lynda and I arrived at the RV park to a welcome roaring WOOD campfire. The first wood fire since New Brunswick and only the second of the trip. Allyson and Henry did the honors, there is nothing like a campfire to warm the cockles. |Not sure what cockles are?
The evening fall air cooled quickly under clear skies and a full moon. We enjoyed a pleasant evening around the campfire reliving our Newfoundland experience.
An odd note, ……every Atlantic province we’ve visited claims to be the birthplace of Canada and the initial landing place of the Europeans, although Newfoundland has proof, the Vikings landed here 1000 years before anyone else.
The strangest is Quebec City, considering this city is located over 1000 kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean,………hum food for thought.
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My next article south to the United States, the second leg of our adventure.
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