We admit to a poor knowledge of Canadian geography: For a long time, Alie thought Labrador was an island, and Ray was unaware Newfoundland and Labrador were part of the same province since 1927. We had a nice lunch at Cape Breton’s Glenora Distillery (and left quite sober) and continued up the foggy coast to catch the ferry in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
The 6-hour ferry was quite large. It carries truckloads of supplies across the approximately 100 mile strait to Channel Port aux Basques, Newfoundland. Another ferry to St. John’s takes 14 hours but had not started for the season yet.
We thought we could scoot around Newfoundland like we did Prince Edward Island. And Alie still harbored thoughts of catching a ferry to Labrador and driving to Quebec. Looking at the map we got at the ferry terminal,
however, we discovered Newfoundland is huge! Labrador is even bigger.
We immediately dropped Labrador to Quebec, a thousand-mile drive over empty road much of which is unpaved. St. John’s was 564 miles to the east [top speed limit about 62 mph] and L’Anse aux Meadows 435 miles to the north. We couldn’t do it all in the time we allotted, so we decided to head north. A little is better than none.
Glaciers carved potholes in Newfoundland, made lakes and turned river valleys into fjords. There are flat areas bordered by high ridges. There are hilly areas. There are mountains (not real high, but very steep). And everything is bounded by a rugged coast where fisherman harvest over 40 types of commercial seafood.
We started north to Deer Lake. Along the way, we noted folks here are moving to vinyl siding in a big way making most houses look new – and it surely saves on paint weathering. Another adaptation is the use of rock filled cribs at the base of power poles where the ground is either too hard or too soft.
This church in West Port au Port is Newfoundland’s highest wood structure – it could use some of that vinyl siding however. Corner Brook, with a population of a little over 20,000, is Newfoundland’s second largest city. It boasts a ten story building (really, it is in their literature.) and the largest integrated paper mill. But once again, the clouds began to close in over the beautiful Humber Arm.