Canada 2018

Day 10

July 30

  We decide to meet Jim over at a local Timmy's instead of eating breakfast at the inn. So we are out and about to our destination.  
  What is so funny is that you can see Timmy's from the inn and it looks walkable but there sure ain't a direct route to get there.  
  I decide I'll be adventurous and go for one of their apple fritters to go with my pork products instead of my usual Boston Creme. After a few bites, I make a mental note to stick with the Boston Cremes in the future. It ain't bad, but it ain't chocolate for sure.  
  But in keeping true to my raising, I manage to suffer through what is before me and clean up my plate. Jim appears to be running a little late, so Alain texts him to see what's up.  
  He's had one of those mornings that we all have from time to time where fifteen minute tasks turn into sixty minute ordeals. When he arrives, we're good to go and we let him lead out since he is familiar with the area.  
  We're back out on TC1 or TCW - which ever you prefer - headed for the ferry at Port Aux Basques.  
  It's just another day of lovely views and peaceful riding - a tough job but we are the crew for handling such difficult situations.  
  Jim has suggested we make a run out to the Port Au Port Peninsula and Highway 460 through Stephenville is the ticket.  
  But soon that nasty rascal Mr. Fog has located and descended up on us.  
  From what I can see through the pea soup, this is a very pretty but rugged area.  
  Fortunately Mr. Fog gets tired of us and leaves so we can actually see what we are looking at.  
  Near the small village of Lourdes is a lovely backwater creek that runs to the coast.  
  Near Three Rock Cove the land rises up to meet the ocean with a ragged bluff.  
  But I speak too soon as Mr. Fog is just laying low before he pesters us again.  
  There is a small park that Jim knows about. Here there is a traditional bread oven available for public use and the location of the only Acadian Monument in Newfoundland.  
  We find a good level place to park and break out our cameras.  
  The monument is quite interesting and has the sad story of what happened to the Acadians in French and in English.  
  First is a little bit of their history on the island.  
  Then there is the sad story of 'The Grand Derangement' - the forced removal by the British of the Acadian people from what is known now as the maritime provinces. Many were forcefully removed and others killed as they resisted being taken from their homes. Many of the ones that escaped migrated to what is now the State of Louisiana and are now called 'Cajuns' - a corruption of Acadians.  

Jim explains to us the significance of the bread oven -

"It was the custom for several families to get together and build a community bread oven that they could all use. They would be scattered about the area so the people had a means to bake their bread."

  These three young folks are manning the oven today and have baked up some samples. And they have also provided some mighty fine fixin's like jams, jellies, and peanut butter to go along with it.  
  I notice these two shady looking miscreants have already snatched up some bread but I try to keep my distance from them. If they'll take bread, who knows what else they may be up to.  
  But the ferry and other interesting sights are calling so we get back on the road and run into Mr. Fog again. I have to say he is a bit like Mr. Arthritis - a constant companion though not a pleasant one.  
  Jim guides us into the Killick Cafe in Stephenville for a bite of lunch.  
  We all decide to go for their Killick Club and it is pretty tasty.  

Sitting around in various spots are these interesting rock and wood combinations. These are called killicks, models of a type of ship anchor. If iron was not available, tree branches or wood were wrapped around a stone and used as a small anchor. Pretty sharp idea if you need an anchor and you have plenty of wood and rocks handy.

  Stephenville is also the location of the former US Ernest Harmon Air Force Base, closed in 1966.  
  Part of it is now used as an airport for the area and part has been absorbed by the town itself.  
  But there are plenty of buildings like this one sitting around empty and slowly decaying away.  
  And the roads ain't in too good a shape either!  
  Soon we are back out to the TC1 and headed south again in the direction of the ferry.  
  We are less than a hundred miles from the ferry and closing fast with plenty of time to spare.  
  Jim has suggested that we bypass the ferry since we have the time and take a run out to Rose Blanche, so we just follow his taillights.  
  It's a little run of about 25 miles or so plumb out to the end of the road and it proves to be a very scenic ride ...  
  from old abandoned ships in quiet coves ...  
  to lovely bays with waterfalls.  
  I see in the distance a lone sailboat enjoying what they are doing just as we are enjoying what we are doing. At the end of the day, we are all travelers passing through this world on the different conveyances of our choosing.  
  Off to our left I spot a lovely waterfall that makes me want to stop and go enjoy the refreshing spray coming from it as it makes its way down the hillside.  
  Rose Blanche, Harbour Le Cou and Diamond Cove are all located on the same little spit of land that thrusts out into the Cabot Strait.  
  There's a lighthouse out here that is end of the point of our journey so we pull into the lot and pay a small fee to go see it.  
  As the sign says, Rose Blanche is a corruption of French 'Roche Blanche' or 'white rock'. It gets its name from the many white rocks visible in Diamond Cove.  
  On the walk up to the lighthouse proper, someone has made a sign to point out how these rocks resemble a pair of praying hands.  
  The lighthouse, built in 1871, ceased operation in the 1940s and soon fell into disrepair. All that remained was the tower itself and a few fragments of the outer walls.  
  Fortunately, efforts were started in 1988 to get it reconstructed. The efforts finally proved fruitful as the project was started in 1996 and finished in 1999. It was rebuilt using as much of the stone that was still there and quarrying the rest from the original sites. It is possibly the only restored granite lighthouse in all of Atlantic Canada. They have dedicated it to 'all those mariners who sail our shores and to the lights and their keepers that bring them home.'  
  Inside has been furnished with 19th century reproduced furniture and local antiques  
  When I spy this, I know exactly what it is (we had them and called them 'slopjars') and when I look out the window ...  
  I can bet it got lots of use - especially when the cold winter winds were howling and the snow was blowing. It would have been quite a trip to the house out back under those conditions.  
  These steps were the only reason the tower remained intact since they provided a form of bracing for the structure as well as access to the light.  
  The light on display now, a gift from the Canadian Coast Guard, is a 6th order Fresnel lens and is believed to be one of only 27 in existence.  
It's a lovely view from this remote outpost that was once a beacon to all that passed this way.
  But the ferry will wait for no one, so we point our steeds back to it and enjoy the views as we go. Once again I have benefited greatly from the local knowledge of Jim and see things I would have otherwise missed.  
  We arrive in plenty of time and I see our next 'conveyance' anchored in the harbor.  
   I've actually memorized my booking number so all I have to do is produce a photo id and I'm good to enter in.  
   Since we have plenty of time before we board, we figure we'll mosey on over to the harbor cafe rather than fight the crowds in the ferry cafe after we board. I order up some fish sticks and fries and they ain't half bad.  
  Departure time is almost midnight, so we are past ready when they finally let us board. I get Frost all strapped down for the journey and gather up the few things that I will need.  
  We make our way up to the general lounge area where I pick the spot I will be habitating for the next seven to eight hours.  
  At least there is a little more room than an airline seat, but not by much. With small kids fussing in the background, I stretch out and try to find the land of Slumber but with not much success.