Headed back to Port aux Basques with the hope of seeing a few things I missed coming east and just parked my ass in an overpriced hotel in Deer Lake. I’d been up and driving since 5:30 and it is 4:30 now. I was tired. It was also a very hot day with temps approaching 90 degrees.
First things first: headed out of St John’s found me this. I have nothing to add. Maybe you do.
Before I forget, after I posted the entry for Part 6 I headed out to town again as the sun promised to peek out of some clouds. I am glad I went. Got quite a few pictures of the “jelly bean” houses and cooled off by getting a double ice cream cone at a place called “Moo-Moo’s Dairy Bar.” Of course, the sun decided to get very brilliant just then so here I am juggling a double cone that wants to melt quickly, scenes whose colors won’t last and I stumbled across a wedding photographer shooting some scenes in front of some of the houses. Somehow managed to get my shots and also took pics of him at work and sent him the pictures. He might be able to use them for his advertising. All without dribbling one bit of the ice cream on the camera.
But probably the best? I found HITLER CAT!!!!!
Having seen this little critter earlier this morning I remembered he fled under a fence…..which was quite close and he was navigating towards, all the while trying to look nonchalant about it. He wasn’t feral or very scared but preferred not to be touched. I cut him off and he stopped dead in his tracks.
Here’s the result:
Also saw posters on light poles asking people to boycott Labatt beer (there’s a brewery or large distributor in town) because the union thinks Labatt is making too much money when it takes in $8 billion dollars in profits. Problem is, Labatt is not a solely owned company. They are part of Anheuser-Busch Inbev, a HUGE conglomerate of which Labatt’s profit is a small part. And these union goons don’t want anyone to know that Inbev has millions of investors who put money in the company expecting a profit. You’d think these people, instead of striking and whining, would tell their union pals that if they INVESTED in the company they worked for they’d make even more money than carping about it.
You gotta love socialism!
Back to today: one of the places I wanted to see before leaving was Harbour Grace as it used to be the HQ for an infamous pirate, Peter Easton back in the early 1600s and in 1610 John Guy sailed into the harbor in order to establish relations with the Beothuk Indians. They spent a few days dismantling Easton’s fort and taking provisions from one of Easton’s ships to include 10 tons of salt. By 1618 the town was permanently inhabited.
Beginning in 1919, Harbour Grace was used as the departure point for many early attempts to fly the Atlantic. The first successful flight from the community was piloted by William Brock and Edward Schlee of Croyden, England, in August, 1927, the same year the first civilian airport in North America was opened here. In 1932, Amelia Earhart left Harbour Grace to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. The airfield from which she flew still has an old-fashioned windsock. It’s now a grassy meadow and remains a popular attraction. There’s a statue of her at the town’s information centre.
Also in the bay is the SS Kyle which was built in 1913 and was part of the Alphabet Fleet. It had a strengthened hull for dealing with ice and was used as an icebreaker and a ferry. It stayed in various services until 1967 when a storm broke its moorings. Rather than sink in the harbor it floated upriver, guided by, as legends have it, friendly ghosts where its hull was flooded to keep it in place.
It’s greatest claim to fame was its role in the search for the “Old Glory” an American monoplane attempting to cross the Atlantic. After everyone gave up the SS Kyle kept looking and, finding an oily patch, located ruins of the plane and an American flag. It retrieved what it could but the crew was never found.
In town you can also see St Joseph’s Church which was built in the late 1800s with a very high roof standing on wood columns. It has what’s called a “diaper pattern” ceiling. In addition there is St Paul’s, the oldest stone church in Newfoundland
The sun being out I headed back to the 3 Hearts area and took pictures.
As I was motoring I realized how few deciduous trees there are on the east coast. St Johns has a few here and there but the undeveloped areas are almost exclusively coniferous. Then you hit the center of the province and all sorts of deciduous trees rear their heads. Obviously has something to do with the cold Atlantic breezes.
Two other things I noticed: speed limits are notoriously slow, even on the TCH. Sure there are zones where you can do 100 KPH but get anywhere near where more than 2 houses are built and it drops to 50 KPH about 2 K before and 2 K after. Hardly anyone pays it any mind.
And traffic lights in the cities? They are not controlled by magnetic sensors in the pavement. Everything is on a clock no matter what time of day. If you are on a main thoroughfare in the middle of the night and catch a red light you will need to wait the clock runs out on the cross street. And heaven help you if there are left turn lanes, etc. I suspect it’s a way, through low speeds and high wait periods, that the province makes money via gas taxes. Your run runs most efficiently and is in its highest gear at about 70 KPH. At 50 you may only be in third. That equates to a 30% difference.
One last observation: no 2 car garages on almost all the homes. Hell, they are lucky to have carports much less a 1 car garage.
Then it was a long slog back to Deer Lake.
Went through Gander but refused to stop at the Gander Memorial to the 259 US soldiers from the 101st Airborne who died in an airplane crash in the 80s.
Why? I read in a book that the monument was supposed to honor the 101st and featured an UNARMED soldier.
HONOR? The 101st? You honor them by showing them unarmed? The 101st Airborne?!?!?!!? That’s the sort of PC shiite that makes my blood boil.
I was hoping to make it to Corner Brook but saw the Deer Lake Motel and said, “screw it! I am done for today.”
I will say this about the hotel: it’s recently been re-fitted and the carpets are brand new, as are the beds, flat screen TV, fridge, etc. So maybe it is not so overpriced. And it has a restaurant, too.
The lady at the desk was very nice and when I balked at the original price ($149) she said she could give me the names of three others around here. That sold me. I told her I appreciated that she did that and I ended up getting the room for $129.
Didn’t sleep for crap and had very bizarre dreams. When will I learn not to have even wine in the evening?
It was sunny in Deer Lake but the further south one went the cloudier it got so rather than turn off for Irish Town I pressed on past Corner Brook and headed for Cape St George. It took me past Port au Port which I’d already seen but the first time I headed for Fox Cove, instead.
Anyway, the author of the scenic drives description made it seem a lot more picturesque than it really was. Maybe I am too jaded by now?
Cape St George was OK and Boutte de Cap was pretty. It had a community brick bread oven on site. It advertises itself as a great place to see whale and birds. Not today.
It was here that I saw plaque that ID’d one of the whales I saw at Cape Spear as a fin whale. The others at Witless Bay were sperm whales.
Got to drive through Stephenville again but this time it was sunny and the USAF jet I saw the first time in fog was now a totally different image. It was weird to drive through what was once an AFB and its flightline to see old hangars now used in an industrial zone setting. Much more eerie and mysterious when seen through fog, though.
While in Stephenville I finally found a self-serve car wash and hosed down the van. It was filthy and the car wash sucked as it had no brushes so when I was done it still looked like shiite, except the shiite was a bit thinner on the surface. Gassing up made me take a look at my car’s log book and I noticed that while in Newfoundland somehow 3000 miles were put on!! Holy crap!!! I figured that with 1200 from west to east and back again, I’d probably put another 800 on for a total of 2000. Those side trips sure added up!!
Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if Canada should just be chalked up as another exercise in socialistic patheticness. The big news today? Police have their panties in a wad because a cop lost, not his gun, but a clip of ammo. Top of the hour, “oh my God, this is awful, what are we ever going to do if it’s not found” nonsense. I swear. They are literally pissing their pants in fear that those 8 or 9 bullets might fall into the wrong hands. REALLY?!?!?!?!?! 8 or 9 bullets? When criminals routinely already have hundreds, if not thousands? I could understand being a little concerned if the GUN was lost. But one clip?
Meanwhile, in other news, a guy found in possession of a sawed-off shotgun (no mention if it was still of legal length or not) is being held in jail (no bond, no bail) until he sees a judge. For a shotgun. Maybe they do the same in the states but I’ve not heard it so for a shotgun, sawed off or not.
I think Canada is doing all it can to emasculate its population.
I decided I’d had enough of Newfoundland and made a beeline for PAB where I wanted to do some last minute souvenir shopping and get me a bottle of screech. Then, WHAM! Out of nowhere a moose lurches onto the road in front of me, slams on it’s brakes, it’s hooves clattering for grip and it does a u-turn and heads into the woods. I could swear it was at about the same place as I saw one when I arrived. Could it have been the same one? It WAS a female moose, like the other. Who knows?
Then it was off to the campground to re-arrange stuff and do general clean-up inside the van.