Day 42-43 Rocky Harbor, Newfoundland   Leave a comment

This was the best stop ever BECAUSE


In fact, we saw 4 moose, but I didn’t get the mama moose.

Gros Morne National Park is a world heritage site. The landscape tells the story of the earth’s transformation. It provides some of the world’s best illustrations of plate tectonics. Geologists are able to show that 420 to 570 million years ago, the rocks in Gros Morne were part of an ancient ocean. Later these were thrust up to become part of the Appalachian Mountains as two continents collided. Glaciers have carved this area into the spectacular landscape we see today.

We stopped by the visitor’s center and watched a short film and then played around.

The ultraoligotrophic Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park is a fjord lake which, after the retreat of the ice and the rebound of the land, became separated from the sea. The only way to get there is to walk to trail, about 2 1/2 miles each way. We walked over bogs and marsh.

Once we reached the lake, we saw the boat that we understand was brought in by helicopter. The scenic grandeur of Western Brook Pond is overwhelming. It is certainly among the most grandiose lakes in Canada’s National Parks.

Below left shows Western Brook Pond area at the height of the last glaciations (15,000 years ago). Glaciers streamed through the park from two ice caps: one on the Long Range plateau, the other in the interior of Newfoundland. Peaks split the Long Range Ice Cap into several glaciers. Once filled this valley.

Above right shows Western Brook Pond area with forest and bog stripped away to reveal major glacial features (today).

Newfoundland was glacier-free by about 9,000 years ago. Moving ice created much of the scenery of Gros Morne, and left traces scattered across the countryside.

We visited the Rocky Harbor Lighthouse.

We were just in time for a talk by James Cantwell, who grew up in the Cape Spear Lighthouse, the lighthouse we toured while in St. John’s. When Cape Spear’s first lighthouse keeper died in 1835, James Cantwell, was named the new keeper and members of the Cantwell family have looked after the light ever since. The new, modern automated lighthouse is still tended to by a descendent of the first Cantwell at Cape Spear.

The James Cantwell that we met was raised in the old lighthouse, homeschooled by his mother. He did not attend a regular school until high school. CAN YOU IMAGINE? He took over for his father as keeper of the lighthouse and did that job for 40 some years. His family, however, did not live in the lighthouse as the job eventually became an 8 hour a day job and the keepers now have a home away from the lighthouse.

Ending a day with a hamburger feast with special guests of honor. Our special guests are 2 Newfies who were so kind to help one of our guests with their broken down car. When I say helped, I mean they went way above and beyond.

We were so happy they accepted our invitation to join us for dinner.


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