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Sunday, July 13, 2014

North Western Side of Newfoundland…Still Plenty to Visit!

Sunday, July 13, 2014
Water Taxi to Woody Point, NL
"The Arches Provincial Park"

This was another sunny morning and perfect to head on our northerly trek for more places to explore. Helen read, in a tourist brochure, that Humber Village had several tree carvings and Totem Poles. It was the first exit off the TCH-1. Not all of our side trips are successful. We found Humber Village OK, but the tree carvings must have gone away on holiday as we didn’t find a single one! Not to be discouraged, I soon was back on the TCH-1. The terrain in this part of Newfoundland is heavily forested with plenty of mountains and ocean to look at.

The next major town is Deer Lake. Here the
Multi-colored Stones at "The Arches"
road splits to the right and your headed Twillingate and  St John, the biggest city in Newfoundland. We would be taking a left fork here for our journey towards St Anthony’s way up North. The road traffic would decrease by 75 percent. In Deer Lake, we stopped to fill-up with gas and one last stop for groceries at a reasonable price. 


The road here really starts to be hilly with miles of climb up hill and down hill. Soon, Bonne Bay was visible and we could see Woody Point in a distance across the bay. We had fond memories from our stay in Woody Point last year. It was time to slow down and
Port aux Choix ~ Lighthouse
we did just that and took a side trip to Norris Point. This a very small village, but the craft shop and it's owner made up for small size with quality. I couldn't believe how many clever items were displayed. We talked to the lady proprietor for a considerable ~time about the novelty crafts. She told us how many other craft people have come to her shop to pirate ideas for crafts.

Endangered Flora
The restaurant next door, with its bay facing windows, was just what we needed to sip our morning coffee. The local water taxi was just about to leave for Woody Point. The operator hollowed last call for Woody Point. He then began to sing as happy as a lark. He pushed away from the dock and headed across the bay. We also pushed away from the restaurant and headed back to Route 430.

We were now in Gros Morne National Park. No stop at Western Brook Pond this year,as we had explored this hiking area last year. Back home, I had contemplated the idea of hiking deep into the back country for a spectacular photo opportunity of the Fiords. I was told that this was an overnight-er and we weren't really equipped for this type of hike. A short distance
Natural Driftwood Art
up the road and we were out of the National Park and in Arches Provincial Park, a day use area. Here, we made a stop as this is such a beautiful place. The Arches, the multi-colored well rounded, weathered rocks are just irresistible to photograph as well as good ballast. Last year, we had stayed overnight without any problems. This was also the farthest point north traveled last year. Everything from here north was a new experience. Generally, I hate to repeat travel experiences, but I strongly felt that northwestern Newfoundland and certainly Labrador  was worth a repeat route experience.


Our first new adventure experience was Port aux Choix National Historic Site. This site has so much history, Natural and Cultural, that one has to study the web site to capture a glimpse of this gem. After visiting the Park Visitor Center, I decided to take the gravel road to the lighthouse, a couple of miles to the point of land. What a photogenic place from the “Barren Limestone” to the endangered, greenish-blue flowers (Fernald’s Braya), to the lighthouse itself, to even the drift wood on the limestone (Calcareous) barrens.We spent
Norris Point, NL
time walking and exploring this historic place. Except for one other couple,we were alone and enjoyed the lighthouse experience. I did think of staying here overnight, but being a National Park, we might be asked to leave and I didn't want to look for an alternative late in the day or night. It wasn't that far to St Barbe, the ferry crossing point to Labrador and for sure a private campground available, if we  struck out for a boon-docking site.

From Port aux Choix, the road stayed fairly close to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. We side- stepped into the many coastal communities to see what they were like. With names like Bird Cove, Plum Point, Black Duck Cove and Currant Island, they were beckoning for a truck camper visit. The one thing that we started to notice was the ever increasing amount of firewood that is used for heating in the winter time.

St Barbe, a busy place with a community owned campground, had many tractor trailers lined up to get road salt from a freighter at the dock and a busy restaurant across from the campground. This was to be our sleeping port for the night. Now, the campground was full of motor-homes, the same bunch that we encountered way back in the Codroy Valley. All 24 of the big rigs were deserted. They all left their RV’s and took a bus tour over to Labrador. That meant that we had the whole
Truck Camping at its Best!
campground to ourselves. The facilities were brand new with outstanding washrooms, WiFi, cable TV, activity rooms. The only other camper present was Theresa who was traveling alone in her “A” frame tag along trailer. She also was a military retiree or at least her Quadriplegic husband was a disabled military retiree. He was not with her on this trip, but another friend had been traveling with her, but she had to return back to the west coast for a family emergency. It was a long story, but an interesting conversation.



That is what we did and saw! 

Note: Click on the upper right hand corner to enlarge the map and zoom in to see our detail adventure locations!

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