The Loop:May 1, 2016 Natterings

There is, as they say in Newfoundland, no sense in the amount of time and energy I’ll put in to see an iceberg.

In some cases, it takes days of preparation as I whine to Leo or excitedly tell him when the latest bergs have been reported from. Lucky for me, he loves these adventures as much as I do and even when he grumbles he’s still checking to see if we need gas and whether I have remembered my camera, tablet and cell phone. Our planned drive for the afternoon turned into a morning departure when we saw a forecast of showers, which could easily turn to sideways snow like we had on our last Loop drive.

We travelled from Gander in the Carmanville direction looking for icebergs. I knew from my Newfoundland Iceberg Reports facebook page that there were a few bergs around this week.

When folks are using trip calculators and maps or GPS to plan driving times in Newfoundland I really think you need to over estimate time needed. In some cases, the road are very rough and the bouncing didn’t even allow me to get a decent picture to prove it.

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But take my word for it. that is not an iceberg in the fog, it’s a pothole in the road between Gander Bay and Carmenville.

We did eventually hit some good stretches of pavement but even there, there are hazards to be aware of. The b’ys for instance, getting their boats ready in Musgrave Harbour.

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We ventured through all of these hazards and finally made it to the Straight Shore the runs from Musgrave Harbour area to Deadman’s Bay. We weren’t long before we were counting icebergs. Three first and we settled on four as the total counting one that was very far out of camera range but huge. Maybe even bigger than the ones we could see. You can click in the pictures to see larger versions. We have a number of usual spots to pull off and take pictures and this location is where the trailers are parked in the summer. What a view!

A couple of years ago we were looking for a way to get closer and discovered a very rough road that runs much closer to the shoreline. We’re used to this kind of driving and ease our way through as their are pots holes, mud holes and washouts depending on when you go through. If anyone goes here, proceed with caution and I’m not responsible for you finding out the turn off is .5 km from the Anchor Brook Bridge, on the left, going east. Just sayin’. At your own risk.

The road had been recently graded so this is not it at it’s worst but it’s hard watching for potholes and broken culverts when you are also watching for this.

This road narrows and then brings us out in Deadman’s Bay. In small Newfoundland towns the young boys walking with slingshots wave as you go by. Other places, they’d be taking aim, I suspect.

Right in the bay were the remains of a berg that was posted on my Facebook page last week. Now broken into 4 bergy bits there was even bits of ice washed up on the sandy beach. If we’d had our cooler, we could have stalked up.

Atlantic Drive is the road we take in Lumsden to go out on the point between Lumsden North and Lumsden South beaches. No shortage of scenery here today too.

The two of the bergs here were ones we saw from the Straight Shore and there were three more towards Cape Freels. From the wharf we could see them again with a slightly different angle.

 

We FINALLY made it to Rich’s! In the off season, there are very few places open to stop for a bite to eat or a pee. Rich’s is one of our usual places and we also make a point of leaving home if we have enough gas to get there and spending a bit of money around the Loop as we travel. One tank topped up and two emptied, we headed out to the car.

Even framed in the Ultramar gas pump you can see an iceberg! There was a second one visible too but I don’t want to brag.

This is a convenience store and Newfoundland Liquor Corporation outlet and I’ve come in some days when folks are ordering fishing gear for crab boats. Like most small enterprises, I suspect Rich is diverse in his inventory to meet the needs for the area.

Our next stop was Cape Freels. Each of these communities is a short or long drive off the main road. Each is well worth the time and we had to skip places today because we already knew where some of the bergs were and I needed way more time to try to get pictures until I figure out my new camera. On the Cape Freels road we could see five of the icebergs we’d been seeing all afternoon.

 

Suddenly is was 2:00 and we realized we were starving. We’d never eaten at Carters but had often been in and seen how busy it was with take out orders. When all the locals are lining up, that’s a good sign.

The two of the ladies were on their dinner  break and jumped up when we arrived. We encouraged them to finish while we decided what we wanted. With their recommendation we settled on splitting a 3 piece fish and chips. Local fish was certainly the appeal.

Again, a very busy small enterprise in New-Wes-Valley. This store has a great bakery and has a baker working on Sundays as well as a cook and cashier. We commented as we were driving later about what friendly service we’d had in both places. They like asking where we were from and what we were up to for the day and all three ladies checked in to ask how the fish was. Delicious! That’s one order split over two plates!!!

Greenspond is next on the route. I’d heard there were a ‘couple of nice ones’ here this week and sure enough, we were not disappointed. Smaller than the huge tabular bergs we’d seen all day, these were shapely and caught light from many sides. I just wished I was sleeping in the Old Salt Box house that is there.

We alternate driving east or west when we do this drive so heading east we know Greenspond is probably our last chance to see icebergs before we drive home. I didn’t check the odometer but we drove  between 250 and 300 km and it only took me a bit over 7 hours. Not like the three day road trip we made of it last July but still a pretty great day.

I dated this post in the title because there’ll be lots of loop posts and the visuals will go on NewfoundlandIcebergReports.com. That’s where I share some of the posts from the Newfoundland Iceberg Reports facebook page, the best place to check for current iceberg information all around Newfoundland.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “The Loop:May 1, 2016 Natterings

  1. Looks like you had a great excursion around the loop and thanks for the great shout out about Rich’s. This is our favourite time of year because we get to meet and have a chat with a lot of wonderful people.

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  2. You’re so lucky to live somewhere with such beautiful and changing scenery! I’m traveling to Newfoundland in end of July and can’t wait to experience some of what it has to offer! To follow my travels to Newfoundland and other places follow me here at lovewhatswild.wordpress.com. I look forward to reading more from you also!

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