#26: Cape St. Francis

March 2010.

In the capital city for work, I was hoping I could get away early so I could skip over to Cape St. Francis.

Torbay Road (NL Highway 20) stretches 25km(15mi) before ending in Pouch Cove. Past there, you will find a gravel road leading further north to this small peninsula's top point - Cape St. Francis.

The gravel road is 4.5km long, which would normally be very arduous in winter. Thankfully, a portion of this road is drivable and we could get ourselves closer.

Unfortunately, it wasn't a matter of driving right up to the lighthouse. I had read warnings recommending a 4WD car, or one with high clearance, and this proved true after about 2 kilometers...as we came to a modest hill which was heavily rutted with large rocks abound.

Pulling the car far to the side so others could get past, we took to the above scene - walking our snowy road next to the Atlantic.

It was mild outside - especially for Newfoundland in March - and the road wasn't all that hilly. It was still 2km (1.2mi)'s of walking, but it wasn't atrocious by any means.

The last portion of the walk rounds the side of a small peak, via a gravel road juxtaposed upon the side of a cliff. Once the guard barrier protecting us from the ocean ended, we could see our target 100 feet ahead, complete with open gate invitation!

You're confused right? You say that's not a lighthouse! Right?

...but friend, you're simply confused by that helipad atop!

...because if you walk the awesome staircase between the building and the treacherous cliffs...

...you come down to the light!

She's majestic, awe-inspiring and breathtaking, aint she?

People from all over the world actually come to Cape St. Francis to see her. Just like Cape Hatteras or Bar Harbor Light...

I actually feel flawed for making fun of Cape St. Francis, since I actually really enjoyed it.

Sure, it isn't going to win any lighthouse beauty awards, but it's better than my umpteenth skeletal tower or yet another short wood cookie cutter - at least Cape St. Francis is exceptionally unique and probably different than any other lighthouse in Canada...

...in addition, my friend & I sat atop the helipad and took it all in. The winding road which leads to Cape St. Francis, meant that not a house was visible and all it was, was immense cliffs and this helipad/light/fog building.

I'm sure the weather here gets nasty, but if there was a clear forecast, I'd love to camp out here - something with which my friend completely agreed.

Anyway, for all of the flak I'm giving it, I'd probably rate Cape St. Francis in my top 5 for Newfoundland - uniqueness, desolation and interesting design all combine to catapult it into my heart.

Lastly, I have to be thankful for Cape St. Francis's proximity to large communities. Just look at those rocks & cliffs! Could you imagine trying to hike out this place if there wasn't a road past Pouch Cove?

I was thankful for the road, thankful for getting out of work early and thankful I found time to get to Cape St. Francis on this given day.

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