Source: Skerwink Trail
On March 18, 1953, a gigantic B36 aircraft on a secret reconnaissance mission crashed on a hillside near Burgoyne’s Cove, Newfoundland. All 23 crew members were killed. The plane left the Azores headed for Maine, but was forced off course by weather conditions and hit the hillside just north of Burgoyne’s Cove. An excellent source of information is http://www.hiddennewfoundland.ca , under the Vehicles and Vessels tab click Burgoynes Cove B36 crash.
My sister put this trail on my radar about two years ago, and finally, with my husband joining us, we did the trek. Because route 320A, off the Bonavista Highway to George’s Brook, was under construction, we took Marine Drive in Clarenville, through Shoal Harbour and continued on this route until we eventually arrived at George’s Brook and then turned down to Burgoyne’s Cove. There we found the sign which indicated the Slate Quarry and took this dirt road for approximately 4.5 km until we reached the trail head. Because we were in our camper van, we actually drove 2.5 km and walked the remaining 2 km. This was a good decision and we enjoyed the morning walk.
The sign for the actual trail could very easily be missed.
The sign says 1/2 hour, most posts on the trail say 40 minutes and I would agree. The trail is not long (1 km) or overly arduous, but it is a steady climb uphill and the path is covered with intertwining tree roots. I would rate it moderate but it may be difficult for the inexperienced hiker.
Along the trail.
Continuing uphill, we pause and explore. We hiked the trail in the morning and there was a slight breeze…..perfect hiking conditions.
Moments of beauty.
Ferns are always a welcoming sight for me.
…….and then we see the first piece, not so bad.
We continue to walk and there is debris everywhere, far flung and in the oddest places….and the sadness comes. How horrific. How sad. We are all subdued and can not stop looking and searching and learning.
Sixty-four years later and their story is told by the aircraft pieces scattered all over the hillside.
Hiking further up the hill to view the memorial.
Views from the top are spectacular…..Smith Sound……
One blade of one of the airplane’s propellers is used for their monument… how fitting. We read the names of the 23 people aboard and pause to reflect.
We can only hope.
We can walk between two places and in so doing establish a link between them into a warmth of contact, like introducing two friends. Thomas A. Clark
Maybe by hiking here, we connect the past with the present.
This plane was enormous and in reading the information it says the men would ride on a trolley to get from the tail to the front. It had ten engines and now, for sixty-four years, it all lies scattered on the hillside near Burgoyne’s Cove. The bodies were eventually air lifted out to the naval base and then flown back to the US.
We return to Quarry Road subdued, but thankful too that we had completed the hike and learned more about the Burgoyne’s Cove crash of 1953.
An experience is an arch to build upon. Henry Burton
Photos L & C Fudge
To reach St. Brendan’s you must drive to Burnside ( approximately 8 km. north of Eastport) and take a ferry. The trip takes 1 hour and is quite scenic as the bay is dotted with islands, shoals and, at this time of the year, fishing boats.
…….but don’t pay any attention to this official schedule…oh no, no, no
This is the ‘real’ schedule, which was hidden behind a parked truck when we first arrived!
The ferry dock was quite busy with boats unloading caplin. I assume they were being taken to the plant in Happy Adventure.
Thankfully, with help from someone on the wharf, we were shown the right schedule:) and we were off on another adventure.
Where exactly are we going? Checking the map.
Never give up listening to the sounds of birds. John James Audobon
We have arrived. The population of St. Brendan’s is 140 with 9 being school students. I had assumed that St. Brendan’s was just one community, but was surprised to find that it is comprised of several little coves. Some have four or five houses.
A beautiful day in St. Brendan’s
Let us resist the tendency to take the shallow route, and instead pursue depth in our lives. From the book entitled Gratitude
Oh to know its history.
There is something to be said for walking: it is the mode of human locomotion by which man proceeds on his own two feet, upright, erect, as man should be, not squatting on his rear haunches like a frog. Edward Abbey
The Three R’s…..ruins, rope & raspberries
I love the scent of blackberry bushes…..
An easy, scenic hike.
The Beacon. We were told that a lighthouse used to be on this spot years ago.
In the distance, across from the lighthouse, is Braggs Island. Greenspond is out there somewhere:)
….and back we go.
Looking, singing, resting, breathing, are all complementary to walking. Thomas A. Clark
Photos L & C Fudge
We went in search of Lomond Campground because we had camped there many years ago when our girls were younger. We were mistakenly directed to Lomond River Lodge and, while I am sure this is a nice camping spot, I knew this wasn’t what I was looking for.
We decided to take Route 431 from Wiltondale and head down towards Woody Point. About 18 km down we saw the sign Lomond Campground and the next two days were idyllic. Lomond Campground 1 877 737 3783.
This campground has 29 unserviced sites, but there is water, showers, washrooms and kitchens that are all lovely. It is suitable for smaller campers, Camper Vans, tents, truck campers but not the larger monster (sorry, didn’t mean to write monster:) ) rigs that I see people driving/towing.
We met many people from outside of Newfoundland who were staying here in tents, or in CVs similar to ours.
One family was here from Quebec with four little boys, ‘like steps of the stairs’ and were staying in two tents. The father said, “we try for girl” “now no more, we have enough!” :):)
Golden hours of vision come to us in this present life when we are at our best. Dole
Lomond was actually a community back in the mid 1900s, and today, not only do we see glorious wildflowers, but many of the cultivated flowers from the old gardens…….a feast of colour.
All of this and a fellow camper playing his harmonica! Heaven was definitely brought down to earth here in Lomond.
We usually eat inside our CV, but on such a gorgeous evening that was unthinkable.
Bog Candle/Scent Bottle Orchid
Up from the beach, and just behind the change station area, you will find a trail that leads to Paynes Cove and the abandoned settlement of Stanleyville.
……………….off we went.
This is an easy trail, although there are some steps, and is only 4 km return.
Self Heal Plant
Along the trail we saw many interesting plants, ferns and birds. The Wildflower Society of Newfoundland and Labrador is a great resource for me and the members are so willing to help.
Stanleyville Trail, Gros Morne
Smurf houses and ferns
From gardens of long ago…Stanleyville was once a logging community.
After taking a very slow pace to absorb and see, we arrive in Stanleyville…….people must have found it very difficult to leave this lovely place.
A rock outcrop, a hedge, a fallen tree, anything that turns us out of our way, is an excellent thing on a walk. Thomas A. Clark
My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-three today and we don’t know where the hell she is. Ellen DeGeneres
Photos by L & C Fudge