Newfoundland — The Great Northern Peninsula

Newfoundland’s Northern Peninsula extends some 200 miles beyond Gros Morne National Park. The sole highway, Route 430, hugs the western coast for most of that distance. It’s a gorgeous drive on two-lane blacktop. At Eddies Cove the road takes a right curve and crosses the land until it reaches the Pistolet Bay Area where it splits, one road turning south to Saint Anthony while the other heads north toward L’Anse aux Meadows. I continued north.

A short while later I checked into Viking RV with my choice of sites, as the summer season was essentially over. By evening maybe ten percent of the sites were occupied. I uncoupled the trailer and headed to the National Parks historic site at the meadows. Very cool learning about the first Viking settlement in North America. Another really pretty site, too. Mom would’ve loved the setting and learning about the Norwegian culture 1000 years ago.

After checking the area and nearby St Anthony out, I headed back to camp and found Clode and his family, other travelers I’d met the first night back in Grand Codroy. We are on similar itineraries and will both be in St. John’s at the same time and on the September 17 ferry back to North Sydney.

Dinner was at a local pub, chatting with the bartender about moose hunting, fuel prices, and upcoming winter. Such friendly people up here. In the morning I’m headed back down-peninsula and will probably shoot for Bishop’s Falls which is about mid-point on the island. That’ll set me up for a good amount of time in Terra Nova National Park, on the Bonavista Peninsula and in Saint John’s. Despite the surprising lack of craft breweries on the island, there are a couple out east that I want to visit. And Saint John’s just looks like a fun place. I’ve got nine days left here (unless I change that!).

On August 1st I had gone as far west as I’d go when I was in Duluth, Minnesota. Today I’ve been as far north as I can go and in a few days I’ll be in St. John’s, as far east as this trip allows. I’ll have hit the furthest west, north, east and south points of Newfoundland. I’ve decided not to visit the mainland of Labrador because the ferry schedule just doesn’t fit and locals have said the terrain is much like this side of the Strait of Belle Isle. Plus, since Labrador was once known as Markland, I’m afraid I’d really love that place and never be able to leave! But I added touching the waters of the Labrador Sea to my touch-points of the Pacific, Atlantic, Mediterranean, the Panama Canal, and all five Great Lakes. Might be weird; it’s just a thing I do, lol.

The next day  I retraced my route down the penisula’s only north/south road on a rainy, windy morning. But about an hour into the drive the clouds cleared to put the blue sea, white waves, green meadows and red-brick, yellow, white and purple colors on vivid display. I especially liked the areas where the road crosses high bluffs overlooking the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The drive was phenomenal, despite the stiff onshore winds constantly trying to push me into the oncoming lane and the pervasive potholes that required lots of weaving & dodging. Needed amped up diligence and a bit more fuel to manage the windy drive but I arrived safely at my camp for the next two days in Lewisporte in central Newfoundland.

Check the pictures of the Northern Peninsula. Everywhere I go captures my heart. There is something about this land.