Edit Blog Post
Published: August 30th 2013
I am in Gros Morne.....part of me felt that I was going to get to my limit of seeing rocks and trees and water, too much of the same thing. I'm wrong. Everything is different. I arrive later than I'd hoped and drove up to Green Point campground. You drive through the whole length of the park to the far north end to reach a shallow cove that has campsites on the beach facing the open ocean, the trees are tiny twisted ever greens that battle the wind and the sea to grow. En route, I passed small towns on the edge of arms of the sea protected by the mountains rising either straight up and foreboding or soft rounded heads called Mornes in French (Acadians here). And I got one glimpse of a strange rise, mountain, that went on forever, perfectly flat on top. One ray of sun had caught its table land and turned the whole range to gold. So the drive was spectacular, even in the mist then increasing heavy rain, I was driving in. Once at Green Point in the pouring rain, I had my first moment of 'this is not right'
of the entire trek so far. I didn't get out of the car and turned around and drove to the absolute other end of the park, Trout River Pond. This took an hour and the rain didn't stop, but surrounded by the table lands I felt much better.
Wednesday, it was grey, but not raining. I decided to paddle. Trout River Pond is about 9 miles long, a narrow lake in the bottom of a canyon, or where two types of land meet. On one side of the lake there are high rising cliffs dropping to the water all in dark grey rock. On the other side of the lake are the table lands. They have a softer edge to them and slowly rise to the same heights all in sandy orange rock that glows even on grey days. I paddled 3/4 of the pond with clouds scraping over the edges of both ranges, generally making the tone mystical and somewhat unnerving. The wind came up a bit so I decided to stop at a beach and then return rather than going to the end of the pond as I had wished. On my return, I stopped to chat
with a couple of local men (born and raised in Trout River township) their warmth and curiosity reduced the eeriness that had begun to invade me. I got a good tip to go to the Red Shoe in Madoo Cape Breton, they wanted me to enjoy the culture.
After a good sleep, I wanted to explore the tablelands. The day was clear with high winds and the temp had dropped at least 10 degrees if not more. There was a guided hike offered, but I was much luckier than that. A couple I had chatted with while cleaning dishes in the communal camp kitchen shelter, Audrey and Lu from Vermont, came by my camp in the morning and invited me to join them on a hike. Lu had been here two weeks already and had hiked two and three day trips in the area already; they both have been coming here each summer for years. I was being offered an of trail hike by experts. We took off on the regular trail, then quickly left the well trodden path to climb up the edges of the canyon to the top of the tablelands. This meant stepping from boulder to
boulder all the way up the side of the canyon, hard work. We stopped and looked back at times and each time the view got more stunning. The canyon framed Gros Morne the highest mountain in the park and the two arms of the ocean that come into the park with their nestled villages shone in the light below us. I believed that when we reached the top we would find a flat land of unearthly rock glowing gold in the sun with more scrambling to come. I was surprised. Once at the top, the tablelands spread out before you cover in grasses and moss and tiny ponds like large personal tubs winding everywhere. It was a verdant bog land with outcropping of this crazy orange rock for as far as you could see. We took a looping walk through the bog, that led us to another face of the canyon, where we could descend. Scrambling down boulders on a very steep slope after hiking for 5 hours was not the easy part of the trip for me, particularly since I have a fairly high fear of falling. It was worth very moment. I was exhilarated by the challenge. I
got to test the limits of my leg strength and I had seen this incredible land that was not going to be part of the one hour guided walk. I'm grateful to Audrey and Lu for a phenomenal day. They have asked me to join them again, I only stipulated that it couldn't be tomorrow, I would need to recover. Good night and sweet dreams.
Tot: 0.37s; Tpl: 0.031s; cc: 8; qc: 33; dbt: 0.0097s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb