On July 10 we got an early start hooked up and
drove to Arches Provincial Park. Glad we drove up on our way to
Port Au Choix instead of up and back from Gros Morne as we
didn't spend a lot of time. Actually except for viewing
the Arches and maybe picnicing there isn't a lot to do
there. I was also glad we got there early before the cars
blocked the parking lot. For non RV'ers when there are no RV
spots in a parking lot RV'ers park length wise across parking
spots and it's real easy for non thinking automobile drivers to
block them in even in a relatively empty parking lot.
From Arches we drove another 30 miles to River
of Ponds Park our campground for the night. It was pouring when
we got there and Debby got soaked helping me park. By the the
time I was ready to unhook and set up the rain had stopped lucky
me. Debby changed her clothes and we continued north to the
Torrent River interpretive Salmon Center. There a local guide
actually a young college student explained the history of
logging and the efforts to save the
salmon in the Torrent river. We went into the salmon ladder and
he explained the purpose and counting process. Each salmon going
up/ and down the ladder is counted as it passes the window where
it is also recorded. Unfortunately none of the Salmon were going
past the window while we were there.
We then continued up the road to Port A Choix a
historical Parks Canada Heritage Site. In the visitors center we
saw a movie describing the different indigenous people who had
lived on the peninsular. The Ranger at the desk told us about a
museum called the French Rooms where they honored the French
settlers. The museum featured a stone oven where they baked buns
and served them along with margarine and a variety of local jams
and jelly’s. Since we couldn’t pass it up we went and enjoyed
ourselves despite the fact that the buns didn’t use a
traditional French bread recipe. We also had an opportunity to
talk to the locals along with some visitors from Virginia. The
lady in charge a long time resident of Newfoundland spends her
winters much like we do in Quartzite Arizona.
We then returned to the visitors center to
finish our tour of the exhibits. Followed by a walk to an area
where the Devon people had lived for about 900 years. We again
went to the grocery for more produce before returning to our
campground for the night.
On July 11 we continued up The Viking Trail to
Quirpon for a three night stay at the Viking RV Park.
Unfortunately this is one of the worst roads we have ever driven
on. Bad roads showed up shortly after we drove through Port A
Choix. Whether that contributed to the demise of our
refrigerator I don’t know but it certainly made a mess in the
trailer. We along with others had electrical problems in the
campground. In fact we spent one night with our power shut down
until the next day when a neighbor re wired my plug and I
changed a dog bone. (dog bone is small power cord about a foot
in length that allows a fifty amp cord to plug into a 30 Amp
line) . Whether that led to the refrigerator failure or if it
was was just a 10 year old refrigerator reaching it’s life
expectancy I don't know. In hindsight maybe I should have
replaced both the refrigerator and air conditioner in June ‘16
when we refurbished and painted the trailer.
After setting up we went to the
visitor center at L'Anse aux Meadows the site of
the first European visit to the North American Continent.
Columbus was not the first European to come to North
America. The Vikings came in the late 980’s AD. We saw a
short film describing the history of L'Anse Aux Meadows which
the Vikings called Vineland. We were also told and the film
reenacts what scientists call closing the circle where the two
paths of human migration out of Africa meet. The North American
Indians who are believed to have migrated from Asia and the
Vikings from Europe. Because of this L'Anse aux Meadows has been
designated a World Heritage Site. While waiting for the Ranger
tour we spotted this mother and her calf. I think I saw a total
of four moose including this mother and calf and Debby 3
obviously we didn't see many moose on this trip.
Shortly after the movie we joined an
interpretive ranger for a tour of the archeolical site and a
recreated village a short distance from it.
The following picture is from the actual Viking Village site and in all the years since the 11 Century the buildings are gone but the evidence of thier prior existance is still there
The tour was informative and the people at the
village dressed in period costume were intresting and
entertaining despite his faining sleep.
By the way all of Newfoundland is covered
with that thin layer of soil, very spongy and terrible for
agriculture but as you can see dried out its great for sod huts
The next day we went to a commercial supposedly reanactment village called Norsland. Kind of pathetic reminded me of the Eire Canal Village we had visited a few years ago. Sort of a half-hearted attempt at a Williamsburg type venue. None the less the costumed reinterpreters were interesting even if their information didn’t seem as reliable as Parks Canada and I did get a piece of fried dough with butter and jam. I also roasted salted Caitlin over the fire it tasted just like sardines which I eat regularly. You can hardly see the Caitlin on your right it's bigger then a sardine and a local staple, head and all not that I ate the head but not comercially viable.
At the time of our arrival at the campground I
asked about the ice berg tour boats. The owner gave me a
brochure from a Saint Anthony boat co but she also mentioned a
man in the campground who would take us out in a 23’foot boat.
Turned out the man was her brother and we along with another
couple went to see whales and an ice berg. We were so close to
the Ice Berg I could almost have reached out and touched it.