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Gros Morne National Park, NL


With Jan and Mel.

Note to all: We’re in Quebec now, where our cellular connectivity is better and Internet access is more reliable than in the Maritimes. Over the next few days, we’ll post blog entries about our travels from last week.

After our weekend in St. Pierre and Fortune, we drove across Newfoundland on Hwy 1 to Gros Morne National Park, located on the west coast of the island. Since we also had to work during the day, weย split the 10-hour drive over 2 days with an overnight stop in Grand Falls.

On Monday, (July 25) we met Jan and Mel in Rocky Harbour, where they had rented a little cabin for three nights so that we could hang out together in Gros Morne National Park. It was Mel’s birthday, so Gregor and I cooked up a dinner of BBQ’d President’s Choice sausages, salad, and quinoa. We also did the dishes. Can we throw a party or what?

That night, we drove into Rocky Harbour so that Jan and Mel could get some groceries for the next few days. Sadly, the little villages in this part of the island don’t have the kind of grocery selection we are used to. There were lots of processed goods but few options for fruits and vegetables (mostly turnips, cabbages, and potatoes). We were planning to do a big hike the next day, so Jan and Mel picked up lunch makings, snacks, and some frozen steaks for a BBQ dinner. Seeing their steak, we decided to pick some up, too. We were already looking forward to having a hearty meal after a long day of hiking.

We then drove just outside of Lobster Head Cove to watch our first Newfoundland sunset. We skipped rocks on the beach until the sun went down. The sky was clear, and the sea breeze and ocean waves made a perfect coastal experience. Except that something on the beach set off my allergies and put me into a half-hour sneezing fit, and also gave Jan a nasty case of the hivesโ€ฆbut other than that it was perfect.


Throwing rocks.


Romantic sunset.








The next day we hiked up Gros Morne Mountain (806 m elevation). Only two days earlier, Mel had completed the “Tely 10” (a 10-mi/16-km run through St. John’s). He was raring to do another 16-km day, with a steep climb up a rocky slope to boot. What a machine.


Gros Morne peak ahead.


The steep part of the hike.


We made it!








View from the top.


Still feeling fresh.


On the way down.








The hike was spectacular – and it was sunny and hot the whole day! We kept a steady pace and completed it in 7.5 hrs. Just like most other longer hikes, the last 2 km seem to be the most tiring. You think you’ll see civilization just around the corner, but nooooo – it’s just another damn uphill or another frickin’ babbling brook.ย Once we reached the parking lot, we were very happy to take our boots off. We started to romanticize about the steaks we were going to eat.

Unfortunately, the steaks were horribly freezer burnt. Jan and Mel weren’t really sure if their meat was beef or pork. The meat that Gregor and I bought looked like a T-bone, but it tasted likeโ€ฆwell, bone. But we were hungry, so we doused our mystery meats in BBQ sauce and hoped we didn’t get Salmonella poisoning.

The next day, we explored several coastal villages within the park limits, including Trout River, Norris Point, and Woody Point. It was at Woody Point where we saw a bunch of jellyfish swimming in the harbour. Such weird creatures!


Trout River


Norris Point


Woody Point








We also did a gentle 4-km hike in the Tablelands, which took us through an eerie landscape of orange-brown peridotite rocks (they happen to be remnants of the Earth’s mantle and show evidence of plate tectonics).


Boardwalk through the swamp, where we found lots of pitcher plants.


Snoozing at the Tablelands after the rough hike on the boardwalk.


Jan doing yoga (I believe the pose is called “showgirl-asana”).









We ended the day with a seafood dinner at Rocky Harbour. Although we didn’t end up with Salmonella, we thought it would be wise to avoid red meat for the evening. I had cod tongues for the first time – very fishy, but tasty!

Gregor and I had an awesome time with Jan and Mel, and we were really glad we shared our Gros Morne experience with them. We promised to come visit them again in St. John’s (they have better meat selection there ๐Ÿ™‚

One thought on “Gros Morne National Park, NL

  1. Janice S.

    Love the write up and the photos (esp. showgirl-asana)! We had such a great time with you guys. Sending you both big fat hugs!