Escaping From CB. A Day in Clarenville? Yes Please.

Arnold's Cove & Adeytown, NL (Map)

Spring 2014


One random weeknight in early spring, Christian, Steve & I were sitting around as Steve mentioned that he had to go to Clarenville for work the next day, with the plan being to come right back that night. Confirming that he was traveling alone, the wheels started to turn in my head & before I knew it, I was leaving the house at 6 in the morning.

Some people might consider it a bit silly to drive 10 hours in a day just to walk around meagre Clarenville, but it was that time of year where all of Corner Brook's old snow had hardened, grime was lingering everywhere, and I hadn't been outside of town in a few weeks (too long).

The decision to use a vacation day for this wasn't a very difficult decision to make.

I made this decision based on the thought of only being able to wander as far from the Clarenville Inn as my feet would take me; that is until those early morning hours where Steve said I could take his car! Suddenly a whole galaxy of possibilities opened before me.

I had initially set my sights on the Centre Hill Trail in Sunnyside, but a washed out bridge would leave that for another day. Suddenly needing to wrack my brain upon the isthmus of the island, I remembered the Bordeaux Trail in Arnold's Cove. A coastal path, the Bordeaux Trail hopefully wouldn't have any bridges out, but the flat land led to the thought that one could make due wherever one may be out anyhow.

Leading out to the tip of Adams Head where Bordeaux Gut separates the land from Bordeaux Island, there was only a French farm out here instead of a sizable village, a location where a few cellars and headstones remain today.

Unfortunately I only had so much time today, so with running into Sunnyside and the exciting new Quizno's in Clarenville, I was now tight for time. No matter how much I rushed to get to the end of this trail - my movement still slowed by taking pictures of the beautiful Placentia Bay scenery - I would check my phone to realize I was running out of time & had to return to Steve.

Ignoring whether it's of the utmost importance to make it to the end of a trail, I was still outside along beautiful coastline, taking pictures during my favourite time of year while most of the vegetation is still trying to come to life, my lungs breathing in fresh air and exploring new areas. This in comparison to getting lingering salt and dust on my khakis, was worth the price of a vacation day alone.

Casually strolling back through the land I had just seen, I was startled as I emerged from one of the small forests.

Not more than 20 feet ahead a bald eagle was perched on this seaside structure, its animatronic head spinning to allow its piercing eyes to peer into my soul.

I slowly crept backwards and fired off the quickest of pictures, fully expecting the imposing bird to fly away. I'm not sure if I could have explained this to my Ontario self seven years ago, but there's something imposing about a raptor when gulls and crows are your common conception for a large bird. A bald eagle being big enough to incite that animal instinct where you weigh if something means you harm simply due to its size and presence, even if it doesn't mean to be threatening.

Gathering my composure and thoughts, much to my surprise he/she stayed perched on his woodpile structure and only kept a keen eye on me, but didn't make any advancements towards flying.

I must've snapped about 45 pictures between standing there dumbfounded and observant. In other instances of running into Bald Eagles on this island, they've flown away at much further distances. Another hiker on the trail said something might be wrong with the bird, so here's hoping it's something he/she overcame eventually.

I know he/she overcame ol' itchy ears. I know that.

I should have known that Steve wouldn't have cared all too much if I was a few minutes late, and sure enough, just as I reached the car there was a text message saying that he'd need much more time and that I was now free until 2pm. I didn't have enough time to go back out to Bordeaux, but I had to shake my head at how it worked out with making sure I was back since he was doing me such a solid.

Again running through my brain as to what I had on my to-do list between Arnold's Cove and Clarenville, I decided to turn off into Adeytown to finally see an abandoned house there.

The above picturesque barn and an actual old sawmill on the provincially ubiquitous Mill Rd was an additional Adeytown discovery. As barns remind me of home (Southern Ontario) and are quite rare here in Newfoundland, this was a more pleasant discovery than you may imagine. It was like that little bit of farmland out by Musgravetown that always warms my heart.

At the end of the Adeytown loop road, I finally reached the abandoned house that sits next to the Trans-Canada Highway here, a house which I've now gawked at for over 5 years. In fact, I can remember seeing said house while driving with my then boss, making a mental note to check it out sometime.

I will go in some awfully rundown structures, but I think I might have just missed the window on Adeytown.

I stood wondering if it would have been in good enough shape to explore - or at least stand inside - back in 2008.

Speeding back to Clarenville in need of food and a washroom, I then hiked their Bare Mountain Trail until Steve was ready to go.

I'd attend a small party a couple of days after going on this drive with Steve, where someone was flabbergasted that I'd take a vacation day to drive 5 hours each way to Clarenville just to escape Corner Brook. The difference in opinions and how people actually enjoy and like my newfound 'home' always intrigues me, a place where I didn't think twice about an escape from those lingering winter weeks.

"Is Corner Brook really that bad" this person asked. I suppose not, but then again, I savour this day to the extent that I made an update for 9 pictures where I failed to get to the end of an 8km hike. I also might suffer slightly from wanderlust, where names on a map are always invigorating versus the day-to-day places of everyday life.


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