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Newfoundland

August 2002

We drove from the Hershey Family Reunion in Earl Park, Indiana, to North Sydney, NS, and caught the August 11, 9:00 AM ferry to Port aux Basques, NF, arriving about 3 PM Newfoundland time. Newfoundland time is one-half hour ahead of Atlantic time as used in the other Canadian Maritime Provinces.


The ferry is large compared to others I have been on. Vehicles are carried on two decks. We were on the upper deck. The lower deck was largely trucks and busses. Entrance to the lower deck was to the right and below the ramp to the upper deck. That is our van with the open door.  There was room for more vehicles on the upper deck, so I assume that all stand-bys got on. We had to be in line an hour before the scheduled departure to guarantee our reservation. This led me to think that reservations were not really needed, but when we returned three weeks later, we had to wait a day since the early ferry on my first choice day was full. 

My plan was to drive to St. Anthony in the far Northwestern Newfoundland first, and then sight-see on the return trip. There is only one road for most of the way when you leave the Trans-Canada highway at Deer Lake.

Several curious things were seen along the highway. First, there were many large stacks of firewood just off the road. Second, there were several large stacks of lobster traps, some alongside the firewood. Third, there were a large number of small vegetable gardens close beside the highway. Later, we learned that residents can, for a small fee, cut up to 8 chords of wood for personal use on "Crown" land. They cut it in the winter, and carry it by sled to a convenient place beside the road. After drying for a year, it is cut to length and split as needed for size in the summer. When we were there, most was ready for transport to their dwellings, and some was being carried by pickup and ATV. Eight chords is a lot of wood, but that is about the amount needed to heat a small house with the long, cold winter.

The lobster traps were there as a place of storage. There are severe restrictions on trapping now compared to few years ago. Now, one fisherman can use a maximum of 300 traps, compared to 1000 allowed previously. The open season is also very short. With the rocky coasts, there is just not enough room to store the excess traps near the boat landings.


The gardens are beside the road because that is the only place where the dirt is deep enough over the rock for a garden. Most of western Newfoundland is solid rock, with a thin layer of dirt wherever it does not wash away. The road is built up above the level of the land, and has deep ditches along most of its length. The ditches fill-in with dirt, giving the needed depth for a garden. Almost all the land outside the towns is Crown land, and no buildings are allowed, but the gardens are allowed. The gardens, woodpiles, and lobster traps belong to the people in the small towns, and everyone knows who owns what. There is no problem of theft or vandalism.  

There is a problem that causes most gardeners to fence in their garden. Newfoundland has lots of moose and caribou.

Moose are a significant problem when driving at night. During the day most avoid the roads, but many are on the roads at night. The best dirt is beside the roads, so that is where the best plants grow that the moose prefer to eat.


Snowshoe hares, here in summer colors, can also be found in western Newfoundland
We saw many cars parked beside the road on the drive to St. Anthony. We stopped and asked one man what they were doing. He said "picking Bakeapple." That made no sense to us then, but we later found out there is a berry that grows only in Newfoundland and Labrador bogs called Bakeapple. 
The yellow Bakeapple makes delicious jams and syrups.


The Arches is a must see rock formation on the coast on the way to St. Anthony. This is a low tide picture. The rocky beach where the people are standing will be covered at high tide. There are two parking areas for the Arches. The upper area has toilets.

Sand beaches are rare along the Newfoundland coast.  The rocky coast is both common and beautiful. There are many long fingers of water, fjords, that intrude many miles inland in several coastal areas. Most of these will have one or more fishing villages along the rocky shores near the back end. Very few towns of any size do not have coastal access.

Go to Visiting Newfoundland page.

Go to Viking page.           Go to Sea and Land Animals.

Go to Birds of Newfoundland.   Go to Sights of Newfoundland.

Back to the 2002 vacation page.

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