Eastern Newfoundland, 2012

Argentia, Bay De Verde, Brigus, Trinity & Catalina, Newfoundland (Map)

Summer 2012.


Nothing like waking up in an American-built bunker on Canada Day.

Although I had left the country for 2 of the last 3 Canada Days, this was about as American as I was getting this particular Canada Day.

The weather from yesterday was still kicking around. A team of surveyors could be heard outside the bunker earlier in the morning, but now the wind & the fog had become more apparent.

I'm sure they probably wondered about the car, but they didn't inspect any further. We passed them by as we cruised around the former American naval base here at Argentia, checking out some of the buildings I've never made time for in the past.

Inside the biggest building, the only thing I found interesting was the oldfangled wooden roof.

(I clearly didn't break out the tripod.)

This former naval base is confusing enough on a sunny, normal day - so on a morning where I'm hungry, groggy & it's foggy, I don't make much of an attempt at making sense of the road layout.

Stumbling onto the above mystery, it was enough to make us get out of the car.

Preparing for much more with the tripod & flashlight, it was then humourous as I walked through the door to find a 12' x 8' room with scrapped machinery.

That was enough of this. I was hungry & therefore it was time to go.

After breakfast at the Harold Hotel, we were driving along the 91 until I suddenly braked.

Noticing the above sign, I couldn't help but stop to check out a free house!

I was envisioning a more interesting and larger house, all things considered.

We continued on our way, hanging a left & heading north towards the Bay De Verde peninsula...where I finally...

...yes I finally went there Steve.

After 4 years of living here, I finally went to Dildo.

By my count there's 796 villages on this island and somehow Dildo was the 680th or 690th one I visited.

I even went to nearby Spread Eagle as well! What a momentous day!

Back towards more serious business, we headed over to Brigus in order to finally hike to their lighthouse. I had tried this one before, but turned back after the fog grew too thick halfway through.

Today I would not be denied though. Fog didn't stand a chance of existing under these sunny skies.

The lighthouse here is accessible via a poorly marked 6km (3.75mi) trail - a distance which is easily covered, but also a bit longer than you envision, and which will wear you out a little.

Thankfully it wasn't too hot this day & we were overly prepared.

Along the way, a whale breached at the North Head cape which this lighthouse marks. The scenery, the spectacularity of whales breaching & the easy trail hiking instead of bushwhacking; all made for the 6km passing before I even realized.

And there I had it. The only new Newfoundland lighthouse I got in 2012 - mostly because this is the last Newfoundland lighthouse which I could hike to, since the remaining 22 require asking fishermen for assistance.

Therefore I had obviously thought of Brigus a lot over the last year, as it stood as the only lighthouse which I could still get on my own. I enjoy doing things on my own & I'm a bit of a hermit, so this was a conflicting day in reaching the last one of these on my own.

The Brigus (North Head) Lighthouse was built in 1885 and originally had an additional keeper's house. The keeper's house was destroyed in the 1930s when the lighthouse was electrified. As for the future, I'd imagine the outlook is good for this lighthouse as it is visible from the historic town & they've been making improvements to the hiking trail.

Ninety minutes from Brigus, I finally stopped at the Shoal Harbour Skatepark, which I've wanted to ride for a while.

I guess when you wake up in a bunker at 7am, you get a lot of stuff done in one day...

Another hour of driving over to Trinity & another visit to the Trinity Loop was made.

I've already covered that here before though.

The lighthouse in Trinity.

The whole point of going out on the Bonavista Peninsula was that I was actually trying to get another lighthouse in Catalina this day.

Unfortunately the wind was really picking up as we moved up the coast. In all honesty, I couldn't believe the weather difference in the course of driving 30 minutes from Trinity to Catalina. Add in the fact that it was getting later in the day and therefore I didn't think I stood much of a chance of convincing any fisherman that it was a good idea to go out in a boat.

In fact it was so windy that I even had to cancel the consolation plans: there are tall grass meadows behind Catalina in view of the Green Point Lighthouse & I wanted to stealth camp where I could see the beacon throughout the night. This is obviously right along the coast though; i.e. not the best place to set up a tent in high winds & attempt to rest for the night.

So onward it was to consolation plan B.

Recently I realized that I'm somewhat close to driving on every highway in Newfoundland and I knew I had the NL-237 still to go. Since this highway is simply an inland connector between Catalina & Upper Amherst Cove, I never had much reason to travel it before.

So I drove all of my 93rd highway out of the 124 Newfoundland highways; camping in some random guy's woodlot along the way.

Continue to Part 3...


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