404s and 405s: Down by Robinsons & Heatherton & Maidstone

Southwest Newfoundland (Robinsons, Heatherton, St. David's), Newfoundland (Map)

Spring 2012.


It was getting close to that time in Corner Brook, where we are freed from the shackles of winter; although we weren't there quite just yet.

As I have in previous Decembers & Aprils, I drove the 2 hours down to Port-Aux-Basques, as they have a shorter winter than us - they remain snow-free later into December & become snow-free earlier in April.

Unfortunately, their mediocre skatepark lost yet another ramp, it was damp outside & only 35 or 36 degrees Fahrenheit. I rode for a short period of time, but eventually grew tired at working so hard for so little.

I drove around town for a bit, finding a new overlook I hadn't seen before.

After driving 2 hours to get there, it seemed funny to leave Port-Aux-Basques so quickly. Regardless, the next stop on the trip was back towards Corner Brook, off of the NL-405 towards the hamlet of Highlands.

The 2nd order of business: Sea Stacks Past Highlands.

I knew of sea stacks along the shore here. Coming to the end of the road, I set off on foot along what would be a dirt road in the summer. It wasn't uncomfortably cold & thankfully the snow had melted to a depth where it wasn't above the top of my shoes.

Unfortunately I forgot my coordinates at home & had to guess as to where the sea stacks were. Once I had enough of walking, I went over to the shore & still couldn't see the sea stacks.

They must have been another kilometer from here.

I did find an abandoned culvert though! I even went inside!

Back on the road, I went right by this house the first time, and it was only upon leaving Highlands that I noticed the meter was gone.

I was amazed at the interior decay.

Certainly one of those times where you wonder about the interior of all these houses you pass in struggling areas.

The 3rd order of business: Abandoned Houses In Maidstone.

On my last trip down to this area, I noticed an abandoned house right beside the road, but thought better of it. Today I parked the car and wandered further into the field, as I noticed a second abandoned house at the back of the property.

I know this isn't a typical saltbox home because it doesn't have a flat front. I also can't figure out what that front addition thing is called.

I found an open door, but soon realized that there wasn't much left to the interior that you couldn't see from various open windows.

The second abandoned house on the property was in much better shape.

Even through the spraypaint, sagging floors & destruction; you could still bear witness to the craftsmanship with which the house was built.

The 4th order of the day: to climb a small hill near St. David's.

I found this hill named on topographic maps, so I decided to scurry up the gentle incline & claim Crabbes Hill as summited.

It was a worthwhile venture as it gave me enough elevation to take a satisfactory picture of St. David's. On my last trip through here, I thought the church and the topography of the land was picture-worthy, but I couldn't manage to make anything work.

Lastly, I wanted to wander in the rolling farmland near Robinsons Head (in Robinsons).

Having come here in the summertime previously, I remembered these warm rolling hills of yellow grasses and sparse trees. It looked a lot more inviting than the bogs and stunted trees which generally line the roads of Newfoundland.

I'm not sure why there was so much appeal & desire to go back to Robinsons just to stroll along here. Maybe because I've never been to Oregon & this is what I picture Eastern Oregon to be like?

It's certainly not a childhood memory thing - we never had hills even close to these minor mounds! :D

Wandering across a field and up a hill, I was stunned as I reached the ocean and peered down...a seal!

In all of my travels around this province, I had only seen one seal before (the one which popped its head out of the water as I rounded Quirpon Island near the northern tip of the Island).

Even though I had to be 70 feet above the seal, and not to mention a steep cliff away from him, he didn't take very long to sidle back into the water & go away from the apparently threatening human. There was a steep slope down to the ocean which I was considering sliding down for a better picture, so I was happy that he went away so quickly & I didn't put in pointless work.

I sat down in the long grass since I didn't have anywhere else to be. There aren't many places that look like this in Newfoundland and I haven't been to many places like it otherwise. Resting parallel to the shoreline, it was a mix of half farmland & half oceanside cliffs - I was happy enough with the rolling farmland.

I was happy with where I found myself. It was peaceful, it was different. Even though my feet were wet, I was warm enough to still enjoy the moment.

The funny thing was that I checked my phone sometime during my sit down & found pictures of a collection of my Ontario friends having an Easter bbq with shorts, friendship & laughs.

I had to laugh a little at where I found myself in comparison to them.


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