The Dragon Wagon

The Dragon Wagon
The landscaping changes often.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Newfoundland - Part 11

To finish out our 2017 Newfoundland visit, this post is mostly a random collection of memories of the island.

A popular drink for tourists is Quidi Vidi Brewing's Iceberg beer, made with water from icebergs from Greenland that have drifted to Newfoundland.

Newfoundland lobster research being conducted

The locals call the island "The Rock" for good reason.  There is very little topsoil and very few sandy (or even gravel) beaches.

The residents were pretty creative in dealing with the rocky shoreline.

One of the few sandy beach areas we saw

We found some light four-wheeling on Burnt Cape.

A view of the fishing village of Raleigh from the top of Burnt Cape.

There isn't normally much usable topsoil, but past road construction often left deeper piles of rich soil right next to the roadside.  These areas are used by local folks who plant gardens there during the summer months.

The island's early history included French fishermen.  They often built outdoor bread ovens along the shore.  This is a reproduction of a traditional bread oven from which we sampled fresh baked French bread rolls.

A reproduction of a Chalupa fishing boat used by the French

Moose are not indigenous to Newfoundland, but have prospered since being introduced in 1904.  There are many moose hazard warning signs.

While there is now a huge population, we only spotted about four moose.

A very frequent sight near the coast were piles of lobster and crab traps stacked near the roadways.

We were intrigued by these doorways which have a nickname of "mother-in-law doors".
As part of Newfoundland joining the Confederation, building codes required front and back doors for fire safety, but did not specify that steps were required.  Since the traditional entrance is via a mud-room next to the kitchen, the mandated doors are often left as pictured.

Newfoundland has a huge number of both salt and fresh water bodies of all sizes.  This makes for many picturesque islands.

During our visit we saw lots of different wildflowers, including Fireweed.

Aboard the ferry for our return trip to Nova Scotia
We are amazed at the number of vehicles that these ferries can accommodate!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Newfoundland - Part 10

Particularly in northern Newfoundland, there are lots of woodpiles found along the sides of the roads.  With a permit, people are allowed to cut trees on Crown Lands for firewood.  This is traditionally done in winter and the logs are hauled by snowmobile and sled back to the roadside where they are cut and stacked during the summer.

We saw lots of these warning signs to watch for snowmobiles near the woodpiles.

Collected logs were traditionally stacked in a teepee-shaped pile to dry out.

We saw many trucks carrying sections of trees and think that people are starting to have commercial harvesters deliver logs to their woodpile sites.

Many of the woodpiles were very neatly stacked.

Newfoundland - Part 9

We spent several days in northeastern Newfoundland.  One of the reasons was to revisit the only documented Norse settlement in North America, discovered at L'Anse aux Meadows.  Following clues in the Vinland Sagas, Norwegian explorer Helge Ingstad began searching along the coast of North America for evidence of a Viking settlement.  In 1960, he discovered the site at L'Anse aux Meadows which was then excavated by his archeologist wife Anne Stine Ingstad.  The settlement was estimated to date to about 1000 AD.

Overlooking the L'Anse aux Meadows site

Current view of one of the settlement houses as it would have appeared when found by Helge Ingstad (covered after excavations)

A Parks Canada reconstruction of one of the sod houses

The original "pegboard"?

The finding of this bronze cloak pin was the definitive proof that it was a Norse site.

This stone spindle whorl and bone needle were strong evidence that women were also present.

A living history re-enactor hand spinning wool using a stone spindle whorl

A special demonstration of the smelting of bog iron ore by living history artisans

Sculpture above visitor's center

Detail from a large bronze sculpture named Meeting of Two Worlds

Friday, July 7, 2017

Newfoundland - Part 8

One of our favorite Newfoundland experiences during our 2008 visit was the boat tour on Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park, so we visited it again this trip.  Western Brook Pond is a lake that fills a glacier carved valley.  After the last ice age, Western Brook Pond was a fjord connected to the ocean, but rising of the land eventually cut it off from the sea.  Getting to the tour boat at the lake requires a hike along a 3 kilometer (nearly 2 mile) trail.  This is a fairly easy trail of mostly packed gravel and sections of boardwalk.

Looking toward the valley from the start of the trail

A portion of the trail bordered by buttercup wildflowers

Sections of boardwalk cross wet areas

Looking across a large pond midway along the trail

There were lots of wild irises in bloom

Dwarf Dogwood

Dragon's Mouth (a member of the orchid family)

A pitcher plant with a blossom

The fresh evergreen growth was very noticeable.

Finally near the lake end of the trail

Our tour boat at the boat dock

Starting into the valley

The upper end of the lake and our turn around point