Weather in Newfoundland can surely drive one mad! Here on the northeast coast, we have had a cold, dreary April and snow flurries in May. This is not unusual. However, the week to date has been exceptionally beautiful and today I donned my hiking boots and headed for Twillingate. I met Christina there and we set off on a to-die-for scenic hike.
Spiller’s Cove to Codjack’s Cove……..approximately 6.4 km…….is a part of the Rockcut Twillingate Trails system.
A walk in nature walks the soul back home.
The blues of the ocean and sky are intoxicating.
Walking and exploring are among my favourite things to do.
Fall is my absolute favourite season. I am rather new at this gathering and preserving and to my surprise, I like it. I love experimenting with herbs and trying many of Newfoundland’s vegetables and fruits in different ways. Black Currants in a green salad, partridgeberries in stuffing, apples in soup stock, pears in stir fries, turnip fries, zucchini fries, roasted beet, roasted carrot and apple soup, hot peppers in cabbage rolls, damson jam with very little sugar, etc.,etc.
Aunt Molly Ground Cherries
This plant was given to us by a friend. I had never heard of them.
I made the tray using a print by Jeannette Pope. Check out her Facebook page….Art by Jeannette
”Aunt Molly Ground Cherry is an outstanding variety that originated in Poland. Fruits are 1.3-1.8cm(1/2” to3/4”) in diameter. Fruits mature to a golden orange colour and drop to the ground in their husks when ripe.”
Driving along the Northern Peninsula highway (Viking Trail), we decided to turn off at Broom Point. Broom Point is a restored fishing premise in Gros Morne National Park. I wasn’t overly excited about doing this, thinking this would be more a thing for tourists. In the parking lot we found a lovely surprise, two signs, one showing Broom Point and the other Steve’s Trail.
A very short trail but so worth doing.
I love walking through gnarly, windswept trees.
………..and finding surprises along the way.
Like us, this grouse was just out for a walk on this wild, windy day.
And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.
We come to the end of the trail to a blustery, wind tossed ocean.
This is my happy.
We decided to explore further and increased the length of our walk.
Caves and rock formations to boggle the mind.
I’ve seen the devil’s footprints in Keels Newfoundland, dinosaur tracks in Chile and now (Identified by me:)), sea monster tracks on the Northern Peninsula.
You may find the book The SS Ethie and the Hero Dog by Bruce Ricketts interesting. A short book, only 68 pages.
Then on to St Mary’s Botanical Garden in Cow Head. Many of the flowers have lost their bloom and the photos were taken just before dark, but you can still feel the peace and care that went into creating this area.
What a lovely, tranquil place right in the centre of the community.
Walking around little communities is a thing I love to do. You miss so much by simply driving through.
Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.
I was one of many, many homes here in Tilt Cove. It was once a thriving town with all the amenities. Tilt Cove was first settled in 1813 and experienced two mining booms, from 1864 to 1917 and again in 1957 to 1967. At one time the population rose to approximately 2000. We even had a large facility that had two bowling lanes, two curling lanes and a separate area for a lounge and bar. We had work, music, laughter, parties, children, churches, great hunting, fishing, beautiful scenery, stunning ocean views and an overall prosperous community.
As with other early Newfoundland mines, the first Tilt Cove miners came from Cornwall, Wales and the mining techniques closely resembled those of the Cornish mines. Cable or ”Swansea” cars carried the ore down from the mine site along a tramway to a two storied pier where vessels waited to take the ore to the copper smelters in Swansea, Wales.
Community Stories. Baie Verte Peninsula Miners Museum VirtualMuseum.Ca
Now our claim to fame is this…………………..
The lady who lived in the house below died a couple of years ago at the age of 92. She was the only one living on this side of ‘town’.
” She was a tiny little woman who loved to play the accordion and lived alone in this house for a number of years. She came home one day and the road on this side of the town wasn’t plowed. She climbed over snowbanks, used the ladder on the back of her house to get in through an upstairs window and called the mayor the next morning to come and shovel her out!” said a summer resident who used to live here.
We came here to visit this tiny town on the Baie Verte Peninsula because I wanted to see the monument that had been erected to the passengers and crew of the Queen of Swansea. A shipwreck and incomprehensible horror story that played out on Gull Island, not too far from Tilt Cove on December 12,1867.
We arrived in La Scie on a wet and cold Canada Day and stayed at Island Cove RV Park. We soon met Doug, Park Manager, I believe, and doer of all things. He brought us several print outs of hiking trails in the park and further down in La Scie.
The weather cleared around 3:30 and although it was still chilly, it was perfect for hitting the trails.
The French influence from centuries ago is quite evident in the signage all around town.
None of the trails are long and except for Boone’s Hill are easy/moderate.
Still overcast and cold but walking and hiking is a great way to stay warm, get exercise and explore something new.
Boone’s Hill is not a difficult hike, but it does have approximately 200 steps to the top lookout.
La Scie, Newfoundland
The walk around La Scie Harbour is beautiful.
A beautiful display of Lupins at Island Cove Park
Roses in the Duggan Family Graveyard.
Daily walking, in all weathers, in every season, becomes a sort of ground or continuum upon which the least emphatic occurrences are registered clearly.
Just 25 kms from Twillingate is another little gem. Exit Route 346 onto Route 340, drive 12 kms down this road and you will find yourself in Too Good Arm. Another small Newfoundland outport with a unique name, but this one has a newly upgraded/built hiking trail.
According to MHA Derek Bennett, the trail was recently upgraded through a Community Employment Enhancement Program (CEEP). I believe this is a great use of government funds, providing work which in turn encourages people to explore, exercise, enjoy nature and overall maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The trail is not long, we clocked 3.33 kms return. It does seem longer because there are so many coves to walk to and if you explore further you will add to your hiking distance. Today was an absolutely gorgeous day in this almost snow-less January. The shrubs and lichen looked more like fall than mid winter.
Our way of walking on the Earth has a great influence on animals and plants. Yet we act as if our daily lives have nothing to do with the condition of the world. We are like sleepwalkers, not knowing what we are doing or where we are heading. The future of all life, including our own, depends on our mindful steps. We have to hear the bells of mindfulness that are sounding all across our planet. We have to start learning how to live in a way so that a future will be possible for our children and our grandchildren. Our own life has to be our message.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Walking in nature is a most awesome way to practice mindfulness……..hmm, perhaps we were talking too much today.:)
A rock outcrop, a hedge, a fallen tree, anything that turns us our of our way, is an excellent thing on a walk.