Oh Crap, then Oh WOW!

According to the weather report we read yesterday, today was supposed to be a very pleasant day. The forecast was for variable cloudiness, and temperatures in the low 20’s. It’s comforting to know that the Weather Network is no better at their prognostications here on the east coast than they are on the west coast. We were woken up early this morning by the rain pelting down so hard it sounded like we were in a kettle drum. And it didn’t let up either until after noon. We spent the morning getting our plans together for the next few days, and praying for better weather.

Once lunchtime rolled around, it was starting to look like we might have a chance at seeing something, so we took off for the south portion of Gros Morne. This route travels around Bonne Bay, a large body of water which has 2 arms separated by a small passage called The Tickle. The east portion of the bay does not have much ebb and flow due to the constriction of The Tickle, and year round it never gets above –1 C. This cold body of water affects much of the surrounding landscape, and the tree line in the area is only 50o meters above sea level, much lower than anything else in the same latitude.

This is looking back up the East Arm towards Norris Point near where we’re staying. You can see how low the clouds are in the early afternoon.

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And this is the West Arm looking towards Woody Point. There are a number of small communities along the Bay, just on the edge of the park. From the looks of the derelict cottage at the bottom of the picture, people have been living here for a long time.

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Once we rounded the corner from Woody Point, we entered the area called The Tablelands. This is a range of hills made up of a rock called Peridotite, and is very unusual. The rock is thought to originate in the Earth’s mantle, and lacks the usual nutrients required to sustain plant life. It also is full of toxic heavy metals. The effect of the Tablelands appearing right next to the lush greenery of the rest of this area of the park is quite startling.

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This stretch of Tablelands is only about 6 km long, and then you are back in the greenery we’ve seen most everywhere. The road soon ends in the town of Trout River, and you couldn’t ask for a nicer spot. The skies started to clear off as soon as we got close, and we stopped for quite a few pictures.

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Then it was time to turn around and head for the RV. The weather had improved dramatically, and the scenery was even more brilliant on the way back.

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Tomorrow we’re off to St Anthonys, and from what I’ve heard from Les, we’ve got iceberg overload coming our way. Should be fun.

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