Terra Nova National Park

Terra Nova National Park
Salvage Newfoundland, Canada

Salvage Newfoundland, Canada

September 17, 2009.

Another very cold but incredibly clear night with a mass of stars so dense it was almost solid. We begin to feel it may be time to leave Newfoundland and let the winter settle in behind us. We are beginning to see the colors of fall and suspect the icy mornings are not far behind.

Having said that we awake to another intense blue sky and decide one more night in the park.

A woman we spoke with yesterday had said we really must see Salvage at the end of the Eastport Peninsula so that is where we head today. The terrain is very much like home with fir forests. Just outside Salvage we saw a pull out next to a rocky beach and stopped for a look. A sign says it is Wild Cove and a lovely little beach with what looks like a trail along the bluff. The beach is covered with black rock and exposed tide pools, not much in the way of sea life other than yellow kelp dramatic against the blackness of the rock and a few red jellyfish. We stroll along the trail to a little gazebo at the top overlooking Wild Cove. The trail forks and we choose to follow the forest path back to the car. The forest floor is covered with a rich carpet of moss in shades of gray and green and an array of mushrooms, more varieties than we have seen in one place before. We were snap happy trying to capture images of these unfamiliar fungi in hopes someone can help us identify them.

The village of Salvage is just down the road from Wild Cove and claims to be the oldest continuously inhabited village in North America. It has been a fishing community since the 1660’s and after strolling through the village we believe it to be the real Heart’s Content. The village sits at the end of a beautiful cove in Bonavista Bay; it is difficult to imagine one more lovely. A rocky shore leads around the cove with wildflower-lined trails along the rocky projections and views across the intense blue water to homes on the other shore. The site is one of tranquil beauty with incredibly clear water, rocky prominences and islands just beyond where the cove opens to the sea. Crab pots and lobster traps sit on the docks waiting their season while the small boats continue bring in cod. Old trails lead all through the area and cross the headland to the nearby village of Sandy Cove and perhaps beyond. In addition to the East Coast Trail some of these small communities have developed their own trail systems based on routes used by the early settlers. Near the end of the road George found one of the old trails that led him to a rocky hilltop picnic area with a commanding view of the entire cove and islands.

Despite the unremarkable name this village has won our hearts. Once again exploration reveals incomparable scenery that overwhelms the senses. Asking locals their favorite spots has brought us to these remarkable places, not always in the tourist books.

The only other two communities nearby are Sandy Cove and Happy Adventure, who selects these names? Sandy Cove proves to be just that, a small community with a lovely stretch of white sand beach and sand dunes. Happy Adventure, well, I don’t know why that name was chosen but it is another delightful little fishing community. Maybe we are jaded after Salvage but you never know what’s around that next corner.

September 18, 2009

An unremarkable day, rain, rain, rain, drive, drive, drive. We have arrived at the doorstep of Gros Morne National Park on the west coast of Newfoundland; tomorrow we enter the park for a few days, or longer, stay tuned.


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