Our trip Saturday from Port aux Basques took us 333 miles to Gander, NL. When we got to Deer Lake, our original destination, we decided to go on to the second destination, Grand Falls-Windsor, since we still felt good and the road was much better than we had feared. When we got to Grand Falls-Windsor, we stopped at our intended campground, Sanger Memorial RV Park, and found a NO VACANCY sign up. We were startled to say the least, not expecting the need to make reservations this late in the season with the caravans already West of this point. We decided to go to Gander, about another hour, and when we got to the campground there, it was also full. I asked what was going on, besides it being a Saturday, and was told there was some kind of athletic event in the area and everyone was full up. She was real nice though and said she had an overflow area next to a utility shed and the playground where I could plug into 15 amps. She said a normal, full hookup sight would be available for Sunday and Monday, so we took it. Turns out the playground isn't used much and the view through our windshield is great. Doris keeps expecting a moose to saunter down to the lake! We have good cell service and the best WiFi we have had to date. We decided to spend Sunday and Monday night in the same spot, we have plenty of water, empty tanks, and the price is half of the full hookup. I love it when a plan comes together!!
We had planned to only spend one night at each stop on this quick trip to Eastern Newfoundland but had planned to spend three nights in Gander on the way back so we decided to go ahead and do what we had planned to do on those three days on the way back across. Between driving that far the first day and doing this in Gander now, that will give us three extra days to play with when we visit other areas and find we need more time.
Sunday we went on the 175 mile Road to the Shore
loop around the peninsula directly North of Gander. It is a coastal drive about half of the way and turned out to be a beautiful, leisurely way to spend a Sunday. There were two specific places we wanted to stop during the drive: the Dover Fault Interpretive Center in Dover and the Banting Memorial Interpretive Center in Musgrave Harbour.
Our first stop in Dover found the Interpretive Center closed. We had heard this was a frequent occurrence so we weren't surprised. The trail up to the fault lookout is well marked and we went on to the lookout. This is the highest point in the area and afforded us some tremendous views of the area for 360 degrees. The fault that runs through Dover is the result of two earth masses (what is now Eastern and Western Newfoundland was once (490 million years ago) separated by an ocean that gradually came together. You can't actually see the fault line as we expected but a diagram show you where it is and how it runs through the small town - not very significant, but Dover's claim to fame none the less. Best of all there were wild blueberry bushes on the trail and we picked a couple of handfuls -Doris said they were great!
We then went on up the peninsula and enjoyed the coastal scenery. We got to the Banting Memorial Municipal Park
about noon and believe or not, the Interpretive Center
was closed! Sir Frederick Banting, co-discover of insulin, died in a plane crash just outside Musgrave Harbour, over 60 years ago. For some reason the town has erected this memorial to him even though he had no association with the town other than crashing there? There is a short boardwalk around back that took us to a replica of the plane he was flying in when it crashed, a granite Memorial to him and also the remains of the actual plane he was in. We thought perhaps they had closed for lunch so we went back to Libby and had our own picnic. They never did open up so we continued on our journey ..
Monday we continued our tour of the Kittiwake Coast
by driving the Road to the Isles
around another peninsula. This loop wound up taking us 204 miles by the time we added a couple of side trips to Toogood Arm and Port Albert. The highlight was Twillingate which is popular for seeing icebergs and whales off the coast. It is not only far north it is also a climb to the top of a small mountain where you finally reach the cliffs and can see forever. Luckily today had good weather and it was really enjoyable even if a little hazy on the horizon. But, alas, we saw no whales or icebergs. It is the time for whales but late in the year for icebergs though they have been seen in late August before.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, we head for a campground located just outside Terra Nova National Park. The forecast calls for rain the next two days so we don't know how much hiking we will be able to get in.