Newfoundland: Corner Brook to Cow Head

Before typing anything else, I think the Newfoundland titles on this blog may be among the cutest.  Just saying.

So I’m not going to get too much into the wedding because, lacking context, a lot of the awesomeness wouldn’t make too much sense.  That said, a couple of neat, Newfoundland-centric notes.

  • The wedding was held outside at the Pasadena Ski Club, and there were people at the wedding who didn’t have to walk more than ten minutes to get there.  
  • Everybody got “Screeched In”, a Newfoundland custom which involves, in order, having a piece of “Newfoundland Steak” (a skewer of bologna, cheese and a cocktail onion), saying a mildly dirty rhyme, kissing a codfish on the lips, and then downing a shot of screech, which is kind of a rough rum.  Lots of fun.
  • Music just happens in Newfoundland.  We had one wedding guest break into a spontaneous song that everybody knew.   The bride’s Godfather brought a tin flute.  A few different songs just came out of the woodwork.  It was pretty sweet.
Everything else was wedding-standard, though I’d say the delivery was actually way above standard.  Considering I didn’t get back to Corner Brook on the shuttle until about 3 am,  I suppose you could say that good times were had by all.
View of Norris Point in Gros Morne.

Today was a SLOW start, with the 11 am check-out being used to maximum effect.  Another excellent breakfast at the Quality Inn and a chance to catch up with wedding friends the next day (including my friend Booth and his girlfriend, who were going to be hitchhiking to St. John’s, which is a more-common-than-you-think thing here in Newfoundland), and we were off.

We’re lucky enough to be adding a couple of travelers to this leg of the journey.  Jeff and Emilee, who helped set up the Man in the Mountain hike the day before, will be riding behind us for a couple of days as we make our way up to the north of the island.  We took them to the Deer Lake airport so they could pick up their car and, soon enough, we were off.
Coastal Trail.

Today was supposed to be a quiet, uneventful day, and we kind of met that criteria in that it wasn’t the biggest day of adventures we ever had.  That said, adventures were still had, starting with entry to Gros Morne National Park.  Gros Morne makes the UNESCO list for being a rare example of continental drift, with the ocean crust and rocks from the earth’s mantle actually being exposed, resulting in gigantic cliffs that can be streaming with waterfalls, beautiful fjords, and ponds and lakes at different elevations.  We weren’t going to do anything too strenuous today, so after we stopped at the Gros Morne Visitor’s Centre for some maps and advice, we did a quick stop to a viewpoint at Norris Point before heading to the Coastal Trail.  A nice, flat, seaside trail, it gave us some adorable views of little houses and shacks, views out to the sea over the rocks, and we managed to stumble upon a few thickets where the entrances had been cut out and you could actually walk around inside, like giant, hidden tree forts.  Easy walk that took less than two hours, and a great way to burn off the wedding.  

After, we made our way up to Cow Head, where we’d be staying the night, and upon checking in to the Shallow Bay Motel, we saw a sign saying “Dinner Theatre”.  Newfoundland is an arts-rich province that really values its history, and since we hadn’t had the chance to check that out yet, and since tonight’s play was actually part of the local theatre festival, and since dinner was something we were all desperately hungry for at this point, we decided to go for it.  
The play was S.S. Ethie, which was all about a shipwreck that took place at the dawn of the steam age, where all 90 people were able to survive.  The basic gist of the story is the boat probably shouldn’t have been sailing, but it did, and after pushing against a hard storm, had to run itself aground before running out of coal and being lost to the sea.  Definitely a cute experience, as neither Jeff, Emilee or I had ever done dinner theatre before, and Daina, who has no qualms about using the word “hate” to describe his feelings about dinner theatre, said it was the best dinner theatre show he had ever seen (but he still hates dinner theatre).  It was a mostly well acted play with some legit moments of comedy and tension throughout, maybe not a Come From Away, but a nice way to wind down in the evening.  
So, that was today in a nutshell.  Tomorrow, we venture deeper into Gros Morne before heading north on our way to see another Newfoundland UNESCO site.  

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