Iron Skull Mountain Trail, Belleoram

Iron Skull Mountain Trail, Belleoram

“I see a picture of Iron Skull, and it brings a tear to my eye,
For I know, she stands guard o’er the birthplace of this Newfie boy”.

Johnny Drake/The Dorymen

 

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Iron Skull Mountain is the highest mountain in Fortune Bay and is 1129 feet/344 meters high. I would rate this trail as difficult and recommend the use of a hiking stick.  Allow 4 to 5 hours (return) for the hike.

I also suggest that when you start the final rocky climb up,  you leave some sort of marker to the wooded trail area. When we started down, we had a little difficulty connecting with the trail again.  My husband climbed down through the trees walked across the mountain until he connected with the trail and then let us know his whereabouts. It was easy to see the marsh that we had walked over far below, but hard to distinguish the actual trail.

 

But before we begin…… a little tour of Belleoram which is on the south coast of Newfoundland in Fortune Bay.

 

While Belleoram is no longer the bustling center it once was, it is still a community with a million dollar view.  It has a population of approximately 400 and I saw four (there may be more), convenience stores!

The mountains and hills surrounding Belleoram, together with the vibrant blue of the ocean, provide a breathtaking scene that is spellbinding.

 

…….and away we go.

The trail into the actual beginning of the trek up takes approximately 40 mins. and is overgrown but not without interest.

 

Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.    Carol Welch

 

 

We begin the climb. My sister told me about this hike and we, along with my husband, left early in the morning.  There have been many bear sightings in this area recently. Fortunately we didn’t see one, but saw tracks and other signs.

 

 

 

Headin’ Home

John Drake….The Dorymen

Many years have gone by since I left my Fortune Bay home,
Full of dreams and ambitions, as a young man I wanted to roam;
But now things are different, I’m older and wiser, I guess,
And I’d love to return to that homeland that I love the best.

My friends and relations, I miss them more every day,
And in dreams I go back to my childhood down in old Fortune Bay;
I see a picture of Iron Skull, and it brings a tear to my eye,
For I know, she stands guard o’er the birthplace of this Newfie boy.

And I leave Bishops Falls, head down that Bay D’Espoir Road,
There’s a lump in my throat, son, ’cause I know that I’m headin’ home;
And when I reach St Jacques, I know everything is alright,
I got two miles to go and I’ll be in Belleoram tonight.

That old Fishermen’s Lodge is now a modern day home,
The roads, they are paved, and them old fishing schooners are gone;
That old church looks the same as it did when I sang in the choir,
The Orange Lodge gave its music to the lounge on the government wharf.

The dories made way for the faster and modern speed boat,
As you walk around town, you’ll not see a sheep, cow, or goat;
The steamers don’t call here, they are a thing of the past,
Now, it’s phoned-home visits, my, things are changing so fast.

My memories may fail me, but I feel like a king when I say,
I’m a proud Newfoundlander from Belleoram, down in old Fortune Bay.

And I leave Bishops Falls, head down that Bay D’Espoir Road,
There’s a lump in my throat, son, ’cause I know that I’m headin’ home;
And when I reach St Jacques, I know everything is alright,
I got two miles to go and I’ll be in Belleoram tonight.
Just two miles to go and I’ll be in Belleoram tonight.

####…. John Henry Drake [1936-2006] of Belleoram, NL (Headin’ Home, SWC Productions) ….####

Johnny Drake, along with Thomas G (Tom) Rose [1940-?] of Bay Du Nord, NL, co-founded The Dorymen in 1969.

 

 

He has reached home.

 

 

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“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.”    Edward Abbey

 

Another great adventure with my husband and sister!

 

Photos by L. Fudge

A Stroll Through Change Islands

A Stroll Through Change Islands

Change Islands is on the northeast coast of Newfoundland and Labrador and is comprised of three islands, two of which are occupied. For more information on Change Islands please visit this link.

 

This fence caught my eye, as did the street signs in the shape of a fish.

 

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Beautiful old United Church. The doors were unlocked so I actually got to see the interior.

 

 

Unique buildings which all have a curved roof.  This curved roof design  was common  on Change Islands but rarely found elsewhere in Newfoundland. The yellow house was a cottage built  in the early 1900’s by Walter and Raymond Torraville.

 

I feel we are all islands – in a common sea.  Anne Morrow Lindbergh

 

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A patchwork roof….thrifty and eye pleasing.

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Driving across the tickle (Newfoundland word for ‘narrow strait’) on the Spencer Bridge, this lovely pop of colour makes a welcoming statement.

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Salt in the air in the middle of nowhere.  (Pinterest)

 

This is not a walk where you would ever be bored.

 

While there I met some interesting people who have bought summer homes on Change Islands.  They love this place and enjoy the many opportunities for painting and photography. One of the people I met is a brilliant artist  Susan Abma    Susan graciously showed us some of her paintings. Please click the link to view some of her work.

 

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You can find me where the music meets the ocean.

 

Beautiful wildflowers along the way….Butter and Eggs.

Hooded ladies’-tresses……..a first time ID for me.

Musk mallow

 

For all your shopping needs……….

 

I live in a very small house, but my windows look out on a very large world.   Confucius

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For the right understanding of a landscape,  information must come to the intelligence from all the senses.   Thomas A. Clark   In Praise of Walking

 

I hope you have enjoyed your walk through Change Islands. For information on the  ferry schedule from Farewell to Change Islands and Fogo, please call 1 888 638 5454.

 

Photos L & C Fudge

 

 

Erin Mountain Trail

Erin Mountain Trail

Barachois Pond Provincial Park is one of the largest parks in Newfoundland and is located near Stephenville Crossing. Barachois Pond Provincial Park – The Canadian Encyclopedia

Erin Mountain Trail is located within the park and I was told, it was named after the grandson of an MHA who was  involved with the development of the park in the late 1950’s.

The park was opened in 1962 and has a large variety of trees. There are spruce, fir, larch, aspen,black ash and white pine.

 

360 meters

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The trail is rated moderate/difficult and, according to the park board, is 6 km return. A guide book lists it as being 8 km, a newspaper article as being 10 and still another source, says 12 km! I didn’t have my Garmin with me, so I can’t confirm. My estimate would be 8 km.

….and off we go.

Some of the boardwalk was quite slick and slippery. It was wet and  seemed as if it were covered with some kind of tree (?) residue.

Stairs and more stairs.

Beautiful wildflowers along the way.

 

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.  Edward Abbey

 

These little toads were everywhere along the trail and they are camouflaged so well, I almost stepped on them a couple of times. They are quite amazing. My husband tapped one gently  with his hiking stick and it tucked its head and played dead. Nature is wondrous.

The ferns were ginormous and sections of the trail were a little difficult.

No moose sightings, but they did leave a little gift.

After the hike, our feet were quite wet.

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.  John Muir

Hope you enjoyed the hike.

 

photos L & C Fudge

A short trek with a pictorial tale.

A short trek with a pictorial tale.

We last visited the Codroy Valley area 41 years ago when our first born was just a baby, so we decided to revisit it. I am so glad we did!

Cape Anguille is the most westerly point on the island of Newfoundland and is remote and beautiful. The Anguille mountains in the background and the roaring surf provided an ideal setting for a  short trek on a very humid day.

The inn had guests from Nova Scotia.

 

 

At first I thought it was an old abandoned well, but I believe my husband is correct in saying it was a wench for pulling up boats from the beach.

The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast and you`ll miss all you are travelling for.   Louie L`Amour

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Cape Anguille—another beautiful part of our province.

 

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She loves the serene brutality of the ocean, loves the electric power she felt with each breath of wet, briny air.    Holly Black, Tithe