Traveling early in the season means I can write this in a ferry boat lounge shared with only one other couple. But it also means the weather is more uncertain and we are getting more rain than sun.
Leaving Deer Lake, we entered the spectacularly beautiful Gros Morne National Park. We drove along Bonne Bay to Woody Point where we stopped for coffee. As we sat by the window, we could watch the clouds move down the mountain.
We then drove into that fog in a vain attempt to see the Tablelands, an area of ancient peridotite rock thrust up from the earth’s mantle by squeezing tectonic plates. Curiously, very little grows on it. We felt we were on a plateau (more on that in a later post) and started up a trail always going to the next ridge until we realized exhaustion would set in before we saw down the other side.
Further up the coast, we stopped at a picnic site by the water and saw a mother moose and her young calf. Unfortunately, we were too taken by the sight to remember to take a picture.
Stopping at the Lobster Cove Lighthouse, we bundled ourselves in ponchos and braved the rain. It was worth it. There was a well organized museum tended by a lady who offered us hot tea. At age 16, she had married a lobsterman 14 years older than her. To do so, she needed a letter for the minister. After some hesitation, her father told her to write and sign it as he could neither read nor write. Although women were considered unlucky on boats, she felt it was better than giving a 30% share to a crewman and became the area’s first professional fisherwoman. She fished from 1970 to 1986 when her husband retired. In the winter, they cut wood and built traps. They raised three daughters. She then went back to school to finish her education and joined the park service.
We settled into Port au Choix as a base for the next two nights. We shall have to return to school to learn to pronounce French. “Choix” is “schwaw.” They have found the burial grounds of people they call the Archaic Indians who lived in the area for 700 years more than 2000 B.C.! They then disappeared. We figure they moved to Florida.