BC: This book is dedicated with much love to Connor - You are a trooper and an adventurer and we love you, Love Mama and Dada
FC: Our Travels Though Newfoundland 2010
1: For our first summer family vacation we decided to head to "The Rock". Since Connor loves the outdoors, hiking was a big part of our itinerary. Where better to start than Gros Morne National Park, a World UNESCO Heritage Site.
2: First stop - The Ocean View Hotel. Right in the 'heart' of Rocky Harbour, we had a great view of the sun setting each night from our balcony.
3: First Hike - Western Brook Pond On our first full day in Gros Morne, August 20th, we decided to take the boat tour of Western Brook Pond. You have to hike into the pond to board the boat. The weather was beautiful, not typical Newfoundland weather, so we were thrilled.
4: Nestled in the backpack, Connor settled in for the 5.4 km hike.
5: The beautiful cliffs of Western Brook Pond | And we made it to the boat launch!
6: Connor's first boat ride!
7: The cliffs of Western Brook Pond are 2000 ft high and the pond is 575 ft deep. The water is so cold and so pure that there is very little animal life in the pond.
8: On Day 2 we headed to the northern part of Gros Morne to a place called Shallow Bay. This was a recommendation from Poppy and it didn't disappoint! What a great spot! We hiked the trail from the parking lot through the wooded area to the boardwalk to return along the beach. This is a great spot for swimming, calm shallow waters, nice sand dunes and very few people.
9: The trail started out along an old mail road through the woods.
10: Old Mail Road Trail
11: The boardwalk to the beach | Shallow Bay
12: Snack time!
13: Connor's first 'trip' to the beach!
14: After Shallow Bay we began to head back south, stopping at Broom Point along the way.
16: Next stop - Steve's Trail This was a short but beautiful trail near Broom Point. A short walk through the woods lead us to a picturesque point looking out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
17: We were grateful to have our walking stick /monopod with us to take pictures, as we very rarely saw any other hikers on most of the trails. At the end of Steve's trail we had a | great view of the cliffs of Western Brook Pond.
18: The Gulf of St. Lawrence
19: The Lookout Trail 5 km return | The south side of Gros Morne
20: The Lookout Trail is marked as a strenuous trail. On our last day in Gros Morne, we decided we'd give it a try. Of course we did our research and from the photos on the internet, there was a beautiful boardwalk with a mountain in the background. We thought we'd walk to the mountain and if we couldn't go further we'd turn around. Well, the nice flat boardwalk was at the top! Right from the outset, we were on a steady incline into the woods!
21: The hike was steep and hard but the view was worth it! We had a fantastic panoramic view of the Tablelands - and we weren't even at the top yet!
22: About half way up, with The Tablelands in the background
23: The boardwalk was a perfect spot for a diaper change! And of course, a rest for Mama whose face got increasingly red as we approached the top!
25: Getting closer to the top!
26: We made it to the top! Kudos to Daddy for carrying Connor the whole way on such a hard hike. | Connor loved every minute of the hike.
27: Gros Morne Mountain from the top of The Lookout Trail
28: A look back at the road we drove in on and the top portion of the trail
29: We met these two young boys at the top and Connor loved them. They had hiked to the top with their Dad who told them stories the whole way. What a great way to spend a Saturday!
31: The hike down was a lot easier than the hike up! Even so, we were still pooped when we got to the bottom. And hungry!
32: After hiking the Lookout Trail we headed over to The Tablelands for an up-close view.
33: Trout River | As we made our way back to Rocky Harbour, we stopped in Trout River and had lunch at the Seaside Restaurant with a great view of the water.
34: On Monday, we said goodbye to Rocky Harbour and began our journey east. We decided to stop at one last trail in Gros Morne called Southeast Brook Falls, a short trail with a nice waterfall at the end. | We spotted this bald eagle from the highway!
35: Southeast Brook Falls
36: After hiking to Southeast Brook Falls we headed east. We planned to stay in Gander but decided to keep going since Connor was doing well and it was an easy drive. Daddy was thrilled to have his first Tim's in three days as soon as we got out of Gros Morne!
37: Terra Nova National Park
38: After a long day on the road, we made it to Port Rexton. We were able to get a room at this great Inn called Fisher's Loft Inn, a series of quaint houses with great views.
39: We stayed in the green cottage. The room was perfect, and had a great view of Trinity Bay.
40: Before settling in for the night, we took an evening stroll to admire the view and the village.
41: Our desire to see Moose got us up and out very early the next morning!
42: And we weren't disappointed!
43: The main reason we stopped in the Trinity / Port Rexton area on our way to St. John's was to hike the Skerwink Trail. | We had read about the trail before our trip and learned that it was rated the 3rd best hiking trail in Canada!
44: We got to the trail early and there was no one else around. The trail started out as an easy walk through a field and then we got to the coastal part of the trail where we began to see some great scenery.
45: We knew of the steep cliffs near the trail beforehand, but did not want to miss seeing the water.
46: There were many sea stacks along the way.
47: We were very impressed with how well marked and maintained all of the trails we hiked were, but particularly the Skerwink Trail which we learned is a very popular hiking trail.
48: Spectacular scenery!
49: The Atlantic at our backs!
50: While beautiful, the trail proved to be fairly steep in parts.
53: This much hiking can be exhausting!
56: Connor managed to sleep for a couple of kilometres. As we neared the end of the trail, we had a great view of the pretty town of Trinity.
57: After leaving the Trinity area, we continued our journey to St. John's, stopping briefly, in Avondale along the way. This is where Connor's Great Nanny Bennett was born in 1914.
58: Well, we finally made it to St. John's. First stop, Cape Spear.
59: Cape Spear - the most easterly point in North America
60: Cape Spear
61: So many great backdrops for family photos!
62: The lighthouses at Cape Spear
64: Although not originally planned, we decided to do a whale watching tour after hearing about the many whales near the harbour.
65: Connor's second boat ride!
66: Where are all the whales? | Sadly, we didn't see a single whale! Connor still enjoyed the boat ride though.
67: Houses in St. John's Harbour
68: We were anxious to hike the North Head Trail around Signal Hill. | Next stop - Signal Hill
69: We started the trail at the Visitor's Centre and walked up the hill to the Queen's Battery where we had a great view of the mouth of St. John's Harbour and the trail.
70: North Head Trail at Signal Hill
71: The Tower at Signal Hill
72: On our way down with a great view of the trail in the background
74: We spent a morning walking around downtown St. John's admiring the colourful row houses. Connor got his first taste of George Street with Uncle Mike!
75: We took the ferry over to Bell Island. First Stop - The Lighthouse
76: The Lighthouse on Bell Island
77: We spent a good part of the day touring around Bell Island, where Connor's Poppy and Great Poppy (and others) were born.
80: The next day, Saturday the 28th, we headed home. We all had a great time, I don't think Connor wanted to leave! Don't worry, we'll be back!
81: Bell Island from the air