Battle Harbour, Once the Unofficial Capital of Labrador

I am not sure what first drew me to Battle Harbour.   I think it may have been the advertisement in Newfoundland’s “Lost and Found” travel brochure.  Maybe it was the article with the word “Escape” in the title.  Or maybe it was the promise of a place where “the distance is as much metaphorical as it is physical.”

I’ve always gravitated to historic places with a feel for authenticity….that promise realism of what life was like so long ago, yet also understate the conveniences and comforts of present day. I don’t really care for places like Williamsburg with its spiffy Continue reading

Red Bay, White Dust, and Black Flies

Red Bay, up the rugged coast of Labrador, is one of Canada’s newer UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  Awarded the UNESCO status in 2013, this sheltered bay was once a thriving whale fishery, driven by the demand for whale oil used for lighting and manufacturing in Europe.

Between 1530 and the early part of the 16th century, Basque people from Spain and southern France would travel over in the spring, setting up what was the world’s first industrial scale fishing industry, Continue reading

Amour in Labrador!

Have you ever had one of those times when things just seem surreal? When you ask yourself “Is this reality, or maybe I have died, and this heaven?” Like a series of things that “never happen,” happen all at once?

I’ve had an ongoing love affair with lighthouses since I was a small child, allowed to climb the tower of the Port Isabel lighthouse on our family vacations to South Padre Island. So consider the irony that I end up spending the night with a lighthouse called “Amour,” defined as “a secret or illicit love affair or lover.” Continue reading

The Viking Trail to the Big Land of Labrador

My northernmost point on the island of Newfoundland is L’Anse aux Meadows, UNESCO World Heritage site at the end of The Viking Trail.

If one is to write an honest blog, it sometimes means confessing to one’s ignorance.  Prior to my visit to L’Anse aux Meadows, my knowledge of Leif Erikson was relegated to high school history class when Leif was used as an example of a “patronym,” the naming convention of a person’s surname being based on the given name of one’s father.  Leif Erikson was “Erik’s son,” son of “Eric the Red,” who was credited with discovering Greenland. Continue reading

St. Anthony, Patron Saint of Icebergs

It’s 220 miles from Gros Morne to the end of the Northern Peninsula.  That’s a typical driving day for me.  I try not to go much more than 200 miles in stretch, but since I’m not towing, that should be a breeze.  Except for the breeze.  I don’t account for the strong, gusting crosswinds that blow in from the ocean at gale force, nor do I account for the road surface that looks like swiss cheese.  By the time I reach St. Anthony, the northernmost town on the peninsula, I feel like I have wrestled an angry elephant. Continue reading

Good Morn in Gros Morne

Continuing with my loose strategy to get north as quickly as possible before the icebergs melt, I am headed straight up the Northern Peninsula with as few stops as possible…with one exception.   The Trans-Canada Highway passes right through the heart of Gros Morne National Park.   The most notable highlight of this national park is the Western Pond Brook Tour.  This two-hour boat ride across a glacially carved, fresh water lake can only be reached by a “two-ish” mile hike to the boat dock at the edge of the pond. Continue reading

New Found Land!

There’s really nothing that thrills me more than exploring “new found land.”  I got that wanderlust gene from my Mom and especially my (late) Dad, both who enjoyed exploratory travel as much as I do.  We were never “sit and stay” vacationers, but rather constantly on the move, always eager to explore new territory.  So to have a ferry crossing to an island of  42,000 square miles to explore is a thrill beyond compare. Continue reading

The Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia

The Cabot Trail, a 185 mile loop road, traces the outline of the upper end of Cape Breton Island.  The cape looks like a giant thumb, and the Cape Breton Highlands National Park is a band running right across the middle of it.   So as one travels up the western side, they enter the national park about half way up, then exit the park as the trail rounds the top of the cape.  One enters the park again traveling down the eastern side.

The road is a bit of a roller coaster, as grades are steep…even a few at 13%.  Thankfully, there’s not far to drop with the highest elevation being only 1,750 ft.  Still, the Continue reading

Nova Scotia, New Scotland, New Strategy

I’m not sure why I had so much anxiety about driving solo across the border in the Winnie.   I told myself I could turn around and come back at any time I felt too far outside my comfort zone, but so far, all my fears have been unfounded.  I don’t really miss the Tracker all that much thus far, given that I am doing more touring than parking.  I’ve been able to navigate with ease, and so far, internet access has been above expectations. Continue reading

Fun Day on the Bay of Fundy

New Brunswick is beautiful with rolling green hills covered in evergreens. The highways are lined with tall stalks of purple and pink lupine, the largest I’ve ever seen. I make the New Brunswick Visitors Center my first stop after crossing the border, followed by the ATM at the gas station next door. The very helpful woman greets me at the door and loads me up with maps and brochures for all the Maritime Provinces. I tell her I’d like to make Fundy National Park my intended destination for the night, to which she replies, Continue reading