Posts tagged ‘canada’
Everyone knows I like to drive—the freedom of the road and all that. But having finally finished that long road through Labrador, I am of the informed and objective opinion that it totally sucked. The three towns were interesting, in an X-Files sorta way, and the monotone wilderness was lovely for the first few miles. Beyond that, the only redeeming value of this experience is being able to say I’ve done it, and now knowing better what’s not there. I reached the Quebec coast last night and I’m now in Montreal seeking a suitable elixir. All that being said, can I once again say what an awesome dog Wesley is. The king of all road dogs was so patient these past few days. He doesn’t know it yet, but after some time here and camping in Vermont, his reward will be another week hanging out in Honeoye Falls, taking a few country walks with Sue.
I’ve been spending the last few days driving one of the most remote roads left in North America—a lonely, 1000 mile trek from Blanc-Sablon, Quebec (on the border, right near the Labrador ferry terminal) to Baie-Comeau. About 800 miles of this drive are on a rough and rocky road, which greatly diminishes my appreciation for the wild. There’s no route along the coast, so it’s the only way to drive from Labrador to the States without taking a ferry back through Newfoundland. There’s not much out here except for some bear, moose, caribou, and a few small, industrial towns several hundred miles apart. Goose Bay used to be an US Air Force base, Churchill Falls is an underground power plant, and Labrador City (where I am tonight), is a huge mine. I feel very out of place here as I’m not a worker or part of a worker’s family. Everyone drives the same kind of truck with orange flags on them, and all the pre-fab houses are pretty much the same. There’s a dirt brown sheen to everything.
Got a flat tire this afternoon, in the middle of nowhere, and was dealt a special kind of surprise when discovering my truck’s OEM tire wrench didn’t fit the bolts of those fancy custom wheels of mine. So, with no other option available… I waited. And waited. And waited. I think Wes was a little confused. A couple hours later, a truck came by that had the tool I needed. Seems like people around here are prepared for this kind of thing. I was almost prepared. So, I bought the wrench from the guy for $5 bucks and spent the next hour swapping out the flat for the matching spare. I was happy to beat the rains that came, and by the time I finished up, I had a dirt brown sheen to me. Suddenly, I felt like I belonged.
Camping in Gros Morne National Park. The first Viking settlement near St. Anthony from about 1000AD, where Leif Ericsson was. There’s an iceberg in the distance. And a picture of one of many moose.
What a pleasant day today—the kind that sneaks up and gives you an affectionate kiss on the cheek. The rain stopped somewhere in the night and woke to sun and a thick blanket of dew on the windows. Wes and I took a long walk through the town early this morning, before letting him swim and fetch sticks in the cold water until he was a shivering mess. So, we warmed up with a long hike along the rugged coast and did our best not to fall in. Some small icebergs were a mere hint of the possibilities that may float by in the days and weeks to come. Beyond that, I met a few nice people in town that were helpful in my continuing search for a house in which to live.
Arrived Newfoundland yesterday after a seven hour ferry ride. Making the long drive to St. John’s, the furthest point east, before meandering my way back along the coast from there. Made it through Wreckhouse, the fitting name of a section of highway that posts the highest winds of anywhere in North America. With the winds behind me, now I gotta look out for moose.
15,000 miles and 4 1/2 months later, I have finally arrived Sydney, Nova Scotia and the long boat to Newfoundland. Departing in the morning. Pictures are from camping near Inverness beach, square dancing at West Mabou Hall, and the Cape Breton Highlands.
Listen to this! I recorded some of the great fiddle playing during the dance.