Exploring Canadian Backroads Coast to Coast 2007 travel blog

The Inn at Cape St. George

Cape St. George

Cape St. George

Lourdes on the west coast of the Port Au Port Pennisula

The port at the end of the spit - Port Au Port...

The end of the spit - Port Au Port Pennisula

The rail bed trail

We ran across this on the trail - looks like a mink...

Another sunny day in a beautiful place. What more could you ask for. We left the Inn At The Cape and headed to a small park at the tip of the cape that was recommended to us, hoping to do some whale watching.

As we pulled in we immediately saw a whale rising not too far off shore. It was quite a sight and apparently lucky since we did not see another during the half hour or so we spent looking. This park is located on high cliffs overlooking the bay so the views were well worth the trip whales or no whales.

We proceeded north along the cape through some fairly steep roads through some hills and comming out overlooking a small village along the shore. The trees peter out well back from the shore and the area the village is in is windswept and barren. One thing that is evident so far is that the wind is a constant along the shore. You would really have to like the isolation of this place to put up with the constant wind because there seems to be very little else except isolation.

At the northern tip of the peninsula there is a narrow sand spit that stretches out 28 km. We followed a little dirt road to the end and found a very small harbour and a few fishing shacks and a couple of houses. One of the little houses looked fairly new and had a crew of 4 guys building an addition on it. I have to scratch my head here. The village we just left is in the middle of nowhere with nothing but open ocean and windswept grass. This is 28 km from the village on a little dirt road at the end of sand spit so narrow you can see the water on both sides from the road. What draws people to live in places like this?

We left the peninsula and returned to Stephensonville then headed to a spot called Black Duck Siding to get onto the rialbed trail. This is a trail that runs from Port aux Basque all the way to St. John's on the old railway bed from the Newfoundland Railway which is no more. It is a snowmobile trail in winter and used as a hicking/ATV trail in the summer.

We had been warned about a lot of loose gravel but thought we would give it a go anyway. Often reports of how tough a road or trail is are exagerated and the only other choice is the TransCanada highway

The trail did have quite a few sections with deep loose gravel but they were not too tough. However, the trail did have a continuous series of deep rolling potholes that made the going very slow. Riding two up and fully loaded made it difficult to gain much speed as we would bottom out the suspension going through theese holes. Later on we happened to mention the trail and the holes to a fellow in a parking lot at Deer Lake. He said they were called "yes Ma'ms" (because every time you hit one you nods your head).

We stayed on the trail till we reached a place called Gallants then headed out to the TransCanada to Corner Brook.

The impression we had is that Corner Brook is an industrial town centred around a pulp mill located smack in the centre of downtown on the waterfront. We stopped for a bite to eat, found a local motorcycle shop which I needed to do, then headed back out on the TransCanada to Deer Lake where we will leave the main highway and head north towards Gros Morne National Park and Labrador.

We stayed in Deer Lake and plan on heading to Gros Morn tomorrow. Another interesting day in Newfoundland.

(The reason I needed to find a motorcycle shop is that I will need a set of sprockets before leaving Newfoundland and needed an address to have them shipped to. I will plan on picking them up and having them installed on the way back from Labrador. In hind sight I should have brought them with me from home. I planned to pick them up at the BMW shop in Moncton. Unfortunately they did not stock sprockets and it would take then 3 or 4 days to get them. I figured I could have them sent from Quebec or Ontario to Newfoundland just as fast.)

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