• Day16

    "Bon Vista", said John Cabot

    June 20, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 46 °F

    I understand that not everyone would enjoy traveling this way. Long days of driving. The wandering around at dusk trying to figure out where to sleep. But for me, right now, it's working. I am starting to wonder if there will be a time here where I feel like staying someplace for awhile. It happened on my last big trip when I got to Jasper, Alberta. So far, it hasn't happened here. We'll see.
    The landscape here is best described as a mix of boreal forest and arctic tundra. And though I have continued to get to experience late spring over and over again, it is finally summer here. At least according to the locals. Summer means 18 or 19C...mid 60's. People are literally in tank tops and shorts. There are still frost warnings for some areas overnight. And speaking of frost...the big news is that yesterday I saw my first iceberg! AND my first puffins!
    After a foggy morning spent writing(lots of posts yesterday!) I drove to Bonavista. I had heard that this was a possible whale viewing spot. I was not prepared for the sight I saw as I drove around a corner in Bonavista. The day had cleared to puffy blue clouds. The ground was all tundra-like with grey rocks, and orange and green lichen, and small flowers I associate with things I've seen above treeline. The water was green-blue and then, as if under a huge Broadway spotlight, was an iceberg. The contrast of the blue-white iceberg against all the other colors was stunning. I felt a lump jump into my throat. And I felt a wave of emotions that ranged from, "aren't I SO lucky" to "oh my god, my grandbabies may not have a chance to experience this". I took a bunch of pictures and then just sat and soaked it all in. After awhile I moved on. I walked around the town which was a classic Newfoundland fishing port. Kids were getting out of school. I got tourist-heckled by three bored fourteen year olds who needed something to do. And then I stopped at a little outdoor patio that someone had opened near their house. I sat and sipped some ginger tea and thought about what I had just seen.
    The day wasn't over, yet! I drove back down the road to a small town I had passed on the way in. This was Elliston. Root cellar capital of Newfoundland. And puffin viewing site!
    I've attached two links for fun!…

    I left Elliston with the idea of finding a place to sleep. Ideally with a shower. I pulled into two little RV parks, but no showers. I kept driving. And then I saw a sign for free overnight camping in a municipal park near a lake. Bingo. I could shower in the lake if I had to. I got down to this site and found about fifteen big rv's all set up. But, strangely, there were no signs of humans anywhere. It seemed like a weekend spot that was abandoned from Monday-Friday. I parked near the lake and started to gather my gear for a bath but my radar was up. It just felt sketchy. I followed my instincts and knowing that I wouldn't be able to relax into sleep here, put the soap and towel away and started to drive away. Just then, one person came out of an RV a few yards away. So glad I have good instincts and so glad I listened to them. I pushed on, knowing that the sun was lowering, but was able to get all the way to Terra Nova National Park. Long story shorter, I drove down a lane toward the campground. I saw two cars. And one bear. A black bear who didn't seemed too fazed by the rumble of my truck. I think I could have gotten some photos but decided not to let him associate a calm experience with humans. I will say that it is weird to see black bear with their tan faces who in real life look just like the stuffed versions we've all held. Important to remember that they are wild and strong and unpredictable. I didn't pitch a tent and I was careful to lock food up in the car, not in the bed of the truck where I sleep. I found a good campsite but it was so early in the season that there were no fire rings and, aargh, no showers. Finding a hot shower will be the goal today. Headed to Fogo Island.
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