Summer in the Province - Weekend Adventures into Central NL & the Road to the Shore: Day 1.
During the first few Newfoundland months, I would eventually find enough items of interest in Central Newfoundland to warrant a visit.
The problem with exploring Central is that it's a 3 hour drive just to get there; then after all that driving, it's hard to become motivated to drive for several more hours on winding coastal roads.
Nevertheless, and because I want to see everything on this Earth, I left work at lunch one random Friday to get over to Central at a decent time. The plan was to camp for the night, thus acquiring plenty of exploring time on Saturday & Sunday.
About 3 hours from my house lies the town of Bishop's Falls(pop:3400) and a Mexican restaurant I've always wanted to try.
Pulling off the highway at exit 21, the Mexican restaurant ended up being in what looked like a person's house - quickly, my hermit tendencies led to the decision against stopping there. Seeing as I was already off the highway, I took the opportunity to drive through Bishop's Falls and see what was there.
I really liked Bishop's Falls and even though their church was modern, I still found it attractive enough to stop and take pictures.
I also stopped to take a picture of an overpass, and yes, NL is that desolate that I'm now taking pictures of overpasses.
(I don't want to sell Bishop's Falls short here. I really did enjoy the town, but there were a lot of people around and therefore I couldn't take pictures. Also, I've since read about something that I really want to see in Bishop's Falls; so there is definitely good stuff there.)
Knowing that there is a collection of restaurants along the main stretch in Gander, I merged back on the highway and ate there.
About an hour an a half past Bishop's Falls, I reached my eastern Trans-Canada highway extreme for the weekend. I came to the Gambo exit and the start of the Road to the Shore.
Stretching 215 kilometres (134mi), the Road to the Shore is two of the 10 main provincial highways (It's an amalgamation of hwy 320 & 330). It is also one of the approximately 10 named scenic highways around the province.
The fact that I want to see everything & also the fact that Newfoundland is so unsettled that it seems like you could drive every highway in the province, were the two main reasons I was excited to enjoy this little Windsor to London (Ontario comparison) length stretch.
Maybe 5 minutes into the drive, I already had the car pulled over and I was outside snapping pictures.
This is Hare Bay. After Gambo, this is the second town you come to.
Continuing along, I read a billboard for a short trail to a lookout over the town of Dover - the town with a fault.
When I actually drove the road to Dover and parked my car, I grew even more excited by the sign telling me 'WWII B-18 Bomber'!
The 'WWII B-18 Bomber' ended up being a piece of the tail from a plane crash in 1942. This piece broke free and the rest of the plane crashed and burned.
The crew ended up surviving and they were provided hot tea, dry clothes and moose soup by a local woman by the name of Ms. Parsons.
At the top of the trail is a lookout in the shape of a boat. Along with the informative displays, it also provides a great view of the surroundings, and more specifically, Dover.
Now I know I skipped over it earlier, but there's a reason Dover is called 'the town with a fault'. Dover is actually situated right on the edge of the tectonic plate boundary which used to separate Gondwanaland and Laurentia (the two major plates that made up Pangaea).
Another 18km from Dover, continuing along the Road to the Shore, lies the town of Trinity.
I had previously read about a local attraction in Trinity and therefore took to driving the streets around town in search of it. Trinity is a medium size town by Newfoundland standards, with about 10 or 12 neighbourhood streets along with the main road. I drove every road in Trinity about 3 or 4 times, unable to find what I was looking for.
Begrudgingly, I sidled into a store and asked about what I came to see. The lady at the counter looked at me like I was 5 cards short of a full deck, then confirmed with her husband that I was, indeed, in the wrong place.
She asked, "are you sure you don't want the other Trinity?"
"The other Trinity?" I replied.
"Yessssss b'y! Down in Bonavista...the other Trinity!"
I thanked the couple for their help and ground my teeth all the way back to my car; cursing the lack of organization in this province.
(Yes I understand that they named these places long ago, long before naming associations, when there was only fishing villages here...I'm just saying it was still frustrating.)
36km (23mi) up the road is a cluster of communities consisting of Valleyfield, Badger's Quay, Brookfield & Wesleyville. It was only 5 o'clock and I was already very close to this night's campground, so I decided to get off the highway and drive through the villages.
There were quite a collection of attractive churches here (~5) and the town of Badger's Quay was really neat in how it was composed of a couple islands connected by causeways. The islands and the causeways were difficult to convey in pictures, so I ended up just taking pictures of the attractive churches.
Nosing around town, I found a shipyard absent of people.
It wasn't the most exciting place by any stretch of the imagination, but I've never seen a derelict tug boat before...
Just 11 kilometres (~7mi) more and I was already at the campground. I had overestimated the time required for the Road to the Shore - but that was okay since I could set up my tent in the actual daylight as opposed to the car headlights.
It also allowed me to walk around Windmill Bight Provincial Park (the campground) and see some of its beauty by sunset.
Back at the campsite, I cracked one of the Faxes I grabbed from a nearby gas station. It was getting dark and the mosquitoes were commencing their ambush - so it was definitely time to retreat into the tent and watch some of The Deer Hunter on the laptop.
Getting to bed early was advantageous as I would be up early the next day.
1 - Town with a Fault - Aug 27, 2008 - Newtown, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada