This past weekend, Gregor decided that we should pretend to be fugitives running from the law – you know, to keep things interesting. He is clearly having another “van fever” attack – a mere two weeks away from completing our epic summer journey (we return to Calgary on Sept 1!). Given our fugitive status, Gregor insisted that we pay for everything in cash, wear sunglasses as much as possible, and take on fake identities. My alias is Sandy Beech. Gregor’s is Justin Thyme (I managed to talk him out of using “Saddam Gudlukin” to avoid attention from the US authorities).
Gregor and I did a great hike in Gros Morne National Park called Green Gardens. It’s a 15.5 km loop that starts in barren alpine terrain and descends through swamp and forest, dropping 250 m to a rocky beach lined with volcanic sea stacks. It then takes you back up to lovely meadows with views of coastline cliffs along the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The loop is surprisingly strenuous. You gain and lose elevation several times on paths lined with steep stairs, wet roots, and slippery mud. You also have to ford a river twice. This hike is more challenging than the steep climb up to Gros Morne Mountain, but it’s much more scenic. I don’t think we’ve ever been on a hike with such a diverse range of natural features. Highly recommended!
…about an hour east of Toronto. This evening we’re sleeping in a campground called Cedar Valley Resort, near the town of Orono. I didn’t know there were cedars in Ontario. The ones in this campground are pretty huge. I’d load some pictures but our Internet connection here really stinks. Anyway, we’re quite pleased to be here.
Last night, we stayed at a neglected campground near Gananoque, ON, which shall remain un-named. Although the place provided access to hiking trails and a colourful flower garden, the facilities (in our opinion) were filthy and in an awful state of disrepair – overflowing garbage bins, unkept sites, and decrepit buildings. When we pulled in, we didn’t notice these things at first – we were so tired and cranky from the drive that day that we were just focused on food and sleep.
The bathrooms at this place were exceptionally gross. In addition to unclean toilets, washbasins, and mirrors, the building had crumbling concrete, peeling paint, rusting fixtures, broken locks, and creepy cobwebs. Half of the ladies’ washroom was in the dark because so many light bulbs were burnt out (I can’t stand being in a dark bathroom, even at home). And the men’s showers were lined with sopping wet carpet (Gregor figures it was there to prevent slippage). To top it all off, Gregor heard a guy masturbating in a toilet stall! Not fun.
Today is our 13th wedding anniversary. We spent most of the weekend in a town called Levis, just across the St. Lawrence seaway from Quebec City. Thirteen years ago, we passed through Quebec City on our honeymoon (on our way to Gros Morne, NL). On Saturday, we decided to re-trace our steps through the streets we visited in Vieux Ville de Quebec. (more…)
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, we split the 10-hour drive over 2 days with an overnight stop in Grand Falls. (more…)