In July 1993, my husband Ray and I toured Newfoundland for the first time. (We were lured by the name of a particular B&B "Tickle Inn at Cape Onion") We spent two weeks traveling from St. John's to L'Anse aux Meadows. I was reminded of that journey about a year ago when flying from Edmonton to Toronto I found a copy of Downhome in the seat pocket of the airplane. What a pleasure to read this lovely magazine.
Following that 1993 Newfoundland trip I wrote in my journal my deeply felt memories of your beautiful province. I enclosed them with this note.
I loved Newfoundland.
It was a spiritual experience... the rugged beauty and unspoiled landscape... the simple fishing villages at the base of high cliffs... the road along the northern peninsula with only an occasional car... the ocean on one side and the tuckamore on the other. Tuckamore-the stunted tangled evergreens, determined to survive as they grow low and slanted from the wind.
The icebergs... colossal white carved sculptures with clean cobalt seams running through them.
The ecological reserves-islands on the coast preserved for the gulls and puffins. The screaming of the thousands of gulls and the frantic diving of the puffins into the ocean depths as they sought escape from our little ship. The whales that leapt around our boat as though they were laughing at us as we tried to follow them... I wished we wouldn't, much better to leave them in peace.
The northern most tip of the north peninsula where the Vikings landed... open to the sea... where the wind and rain soaked us as it blew sideways against our light clothing. The windswept primordial hills with tiny flowering lichens growing on them. The lichens crunched under our boots and filled us with guilt because they were so fragile... but we had nowhere else to step.
The boardwalks across the marshes that allowed up to walk into moss covered forests, besides moose tracks to a pristine waterfall. The boat ride on the fjord besides 800 meter cliffs.
The fog from the restless ocean... hiding all but a red dory deserted on the beach.
The hike in the tablelands, where the ocean's floor is pushed up into yellow hills of sandy rocks on which plants do not choose to grow... and again the fog swirling around us, threatening to conceal the path we had taken.
The fisherman's pride in his capelin catch and the haggling amongst those competing to buy it.
The bed and breakfast at the most northerly tip... whales moaning in the little cove outside and ancient air sizzling and crackling as it escapes from our "iceberged" refreshments. Our host playing Newfoundland music and telling us about their lives in such a desolate and beautiful cove.