Thursday, May 19, 2016

Newfoundland... We're Trying To See YA!

We thought that taking Annie on a trip to Canada (the country of her birth) would make her happy.  We're not so sure.  Our friend, Craig, said that maybe she is upset that we took her north as she may have had her sights on a warmer summer.  Either way, it has been an event; to say the least.

Annie has, thus far, racked up more souvenirs in this one trip than we have from our whole four and a half years on the road.

Let's see... In Delaware she got a new wheel bearing (not a major surprise because it was 28 years old).  In southern Maine she got two new U-joints (not expected as they were only a year old so obviously poorly manufactured parts and a real bummer).  Also, in Maine, a little bit further north, the gift of a new Fuel Pump (again, original so somewhat expected but really... after 164,000 it could have waited just another 5000 or so until we were home). 

In Nova Scotia, we stopped at the visitor center and noticed that Annie had 'marked her territory' with some coolant.  Leaning more toward the positive point of view we decided that she was claiming Canada as her own and enjoyed a good laugh.  Needless to say, no matter how positive you are, it is always wise to keep a close eye on things and we did. 

Eventually, a day after our arrival in Newfoundland, that close eye revealed that things had gone awry and we may just want to have her looked at. 

And that is where we are... One new thermostat and thermostat housing later, we are now awaiting the arrival of the only water pump to be found on the whole island.  Hey, at least it was actually on 'the Rock'.  The thermostat housing had to be flown in from New Brunswick at a cost of $30 additional.

All that said... we've actually loved Newfoundland so far and given that we are no more than 200km in that's saying a lot! 

We'll shut up now and take you through some of what we've seen but just want to say that in our experience thus far we can attest that everything we've heard about the people in Newfoundland is true.  They are good stock for sure.

O.K.  Now that the words are out of the way...

Our first morning wake-up provided some pretty decent incentive to start exploring.

     In between the two mountain ranges there is the ferry landing we arrived at.

        The weather was turning questionable but the views were still quite magnificent.

                                 Off we went to explore the Codroy Valley area.

We've seen a lot of cute paintings on rocks, buildings and pretty much anything you can paint.  Hope to get more shots but it isn't always easy to stop when you are focused on dodging a continuous presentation of potholes.

The weather turned quite nasty (freezing rain and strong winds) as we approached the Codroy Valley Provincial Park.  It is a wonderful little section of sand-dunes between the Grand Codroy River and the Gulf of St Lawrence.

If the weather had been better we would have definitely enjoyed spending more time here.

  Despite the limited views (there are larger mountains behind that fog) we found it pretty.

We did brave the elements for a quick walk down to the beach to look for Piping Plovers.
They were no where to be seen and we didn't blame them.  It was COLD!

                                                                So cute!

       At a conservation area we saw some Great Blue Herons and a Wood Duck.

              Also caught sight of some Horsetail

            and Marsh Marigolds.  Perhaps a temperature change is on its way.

Given the weather and an ever growing leak from our water pump we decided to make tracks for the big city of Corner Brook instead of taking our time tooling around any more.  There was a LOT of beautiful nothingness and many ups and downs the mountains between the small area we were at and the city we were headed toward and it seemed wise to get there sooner than later.


The last few days have been spent in the parking lot of the auto shop that is working on Annie.  They have been very gracious, offering us a water hook up and the password to their secured internet and such.  Since Nicole prefers to stick around and learn as much as she can from the mechanics, our days have been spent observing and asking questions.  But when they all go home for dinner we do our best to take a walkabout or two.  Here are some of the things we've seen.

                Sunset scene our first night at the auto shop.  Not too shabby!

                                                The colors were fantastic.

We've had a pretty constant string of serenades.  This Slate-colored Junco was appreciating the sunset too.

Normally we post the common names of plants and such (this is Coltsfoot, for example).
But in this case the more scientific name of Tussilago farfara is just so cool we'll post it too.

Yet another view of our view.  This one from the post office up the hill from the auto shop.

We're still getting accustomed to realizing that 18 with a C is not the same as 18 with an F!

We'd been seeing these signs all over and wanted to take a shot of one.  Finally we were on foot and could do so.  As Nicole is shooting it, a guy walks by and says, "Now isn't that ironic, I work in the oil industry!"  We laughed and told him that we agreed with the sign.  He said, "Oh, I do too.  I don't care where they frack just so long as they don't frack here on my home."

When Annie is ready and we finally take to the TCH (Trans Canadian Highway) again we'll have some more views like this for a while.

                                                Taking it all in....

Days 2 and 3 may not have gone as we had thought they would but we're not complaining.  Things are as they should be and the views aren't so bad anyway.

Well, yet another thing we haven't quite adjusted to is the hour and a half time change plus some really long lasting and early rising daylight.  So, nine or ten o'clock rolls around and we realize we haven't eaten dinner.  Going to do that now!  Signing off until next time...