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We've Found Newfoundland!

tbutler

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After our successful visit to the Harrisburg Cummins Coach Care Facilities, we traveled north into New York. We made a stop at Cooperstown to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. For two baseball fans, this was a fun stop. So many great stories. The memories come flooding back. From there we drove through southern Vermont and New Hampshire to the Atlantic Coast. The road was slow and we encountered some rain and low clouds but the scenery was still beautiful. There were numerous places where a spot to pull off the road would have been useful but the locals simply see the road as a way to get from one place to another.

The weekend of July 17-18-19 we were parked in Hampton, NH while attending the Blaisdell Family Association Reunion. Louise is a descendent of Ralph Blaisdell who immigrated in 1635. We visited the original landing site at Pemaquid Point in Maine one day and enjoyed several days of family history and stories. Following the reunion we drove north to Houlton, ME and spent Monday night at Wal-Mart in preparation for crossing the border the next day. The crossing into New Brunswick was easy, just a few questions and we were on our way.

Having been to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia several times we buzzed right through both provinces, arriving at North Sydney in the early afternoon on Wednesday, July 23. We had reservations on the ferry to Port aux Basques the next morning. I hooked up the utilities and we charged batteries overnight and emptied and filled the tanks so we were ready for travel the next morning. We arrived for the ferry and lined up. Unlike many travelers, we had all the comforts of home while waiting for the ferry to load. We were one of the last vehicles loaded but ended up third in line in front of the door to exit the ferry at our destination.

We had a very calm crossing, weather was clear until we reached Newfoundland. The crossing to Port aux Basques takes about 5 1/2 hours and we left and arrived right on time. Arriving at 6:00 p.m. and being first off the ferry meant that everyone wanted to pass us so we pulled off at the visitors center just outside town for a short stop and then resumed the trip. We found a large paved lot about 15 kilometers north of the ferry landing and spent the night. To our east were the Table Mountains, shrouded in clouds. Between the mountains and our spot was a beautiful lake. To our west across Trans-Canada Highway 1 we could see the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It was a beautiful spot to spend the night. There was a hiking trail and we explored the trail which led toward the coast.

The next morning we continued north to the town of Stephenville. We spent two nights there enjoying some hiking and learning some of the local history. There is a strong French presence in this area and a WWII US airbase. We enjoyed an evening hike along the bay looking at hoodoos, weathered rock that looks like snowmen, one round rock on top of another. The next day we drove around the Port au Port Peninsula that lies to the west of Stephenville. There was a bread baking demonstration in a community park near the point at the end of the peninsula. We spent a good part of the afternoon exploring that park, watching birds and discovering new flowers and plants. I added Gannets and White-winged Scoters to my bird list. After a dinner stop at the Sisters Dream School in Mainland (on the peninsula) we returned to the Zinzville RV Park.

Leaving there we continued north and east toward Corner Brook. This is a large town with few RV parks. The only one with facilities had none available so we continued on down the road hoping to find a place to boondock for the night. We had hoped to spend several days in that area and do some hiking. There were no good boondocking spots and not a single place to turn around. The road ended at Cox's Cove where we finally found a place to turn around. We decided to stop for lunch on the parking lot where we turned around. Louise wanted to walk around town and went to talk to a woman who was painting her fence next to the parking lot. We were parked in front of the community center and wanted to make sure we wouldn't be in the way for an afternoon event. The lady assured us it would be OK.

We walked from one end of town to the other in about ten minutes. I enjoyed taking pictures of the homes. Many were delightfully decorated and kept in top condition. We stopped to get ice cream in a convenience store and had a nice conversation with the owner. At the far end of town trucks were loading containers of fish. The trucks explained the horrible condition of the road on the way into town. Returning to the motor home we thanked the lady who was still painting her fence. We talked for while and in discussion, she asked if we liked haddock. With a yes, she was off to the freezer to get us a meal of frozen Haddock!

With no good pull outs for an overnight stay we returned to the highway and drove north to the town of Deer Lake. Here we found a spot to stop near the highway and spent the night. There was a grocery nearby and we stocked up on needed supplies before continuing on to the east toward St. John's.



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