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We are off to Newfoundland so tag-along with us.

Ode to Newfoundland

When the sun rays crown thy pine clad hills,
And summer spreads her hand,
When silvern voices tune thy rills,
We love thee smiling land,
We love thee, we love thee
We love thee smiling land.

When spreads thy cloak of shimm'ring white,
At winters stern command,
Thro' shortened day and starlit night,
We love thee frozen land,
We love thee, we love thee,
We love thee frozen land.

When blinding storm gusts fret thy shore,
And wild waves lash thy strand,
Thro' sprindrift swirl and tempest roar,
We love thee windsept land,
We love thee, we love thee,
We love thee windswept land.

As loved our fathers, so we love,
Where once they stood we stand,
Their prayer we raise to heav'n above,
God guards thee, Newfoundland,
God guard thee, God guard thee,
God guard thee Newfoundland.

The national anthem of Newfoundland, written by Sir Cavendish Boyle while he was Britain's Govenor of Newfoundland between 1901 and 1904.

Every Newfoundlander stands tall, and proudly sings this song about their Newfoundland.

Don't Be a Stranger!

On our way home

July 29, 2011

The view from our campsite
Last night after we dropped Amanda off at the airport and got back to camp we went over to see Gerard and Barb.  They are the couple that brought us all the fish when we were at the Blue Fin a week or so ago.  Arnold and Teresa were also there.  These 4 people have been great and treated us like one of the gang. We had ordered 20 lbs of codfish from Gerard at cost, so they made a special trip out to the trailer to deliver it to us.  What great people! We had another fun visit with these awesome Newfoundlanders, exchanged email addresses and promised to keep in touch. We hook Hemi and Elbroko up one more time, and left the Blue Fin around 11:30 and headed over to Argentia.  We have reservations for the 3:30 ferry to Nova Scotia on Saturday and just wanted to be in the area. We are really hoping for a smooth crossing.  We will be on the ferry for 14 hours arriving in North Sydney, Nova Scotia at 7:30 a.m.  We have had a fantastic vacation!  We feel so blessed to have been able to see so many things, and meet so many wonderful people during our 2 months on this wonderful Island of Newfoundland.  Someone asked me what my favourite part was, I honestly could not pick one thing, it has all been fabulous.  Although re-connecting with my relatives definitely has a special place in our backroad memories. We had a nice relaxing afternoon enjoying the view of the ocean from our campsite. It seems now that we are booked to go home all we want to do is get home. We do miss our family and friends at home and are looking forward to seeing them all.  We are also very excited about the new addition to our family that will be arriving in a month. I can hardly wait to have that little bundle of joy in my arms.  Our last night on the Island we were blessed with this lovely sunset, the grand finale of our time in Newfoundland.  What amazing Backroad Memories we have in our collection now!!!! 


Don't Be a Stranger!

Saying Goodbye to Amanda

Thursday, July 28, 2011
Amanda is sad her vacation has come to an end, but she is looking forward to seeing Mike.  She has had a great vacation and definitely intends to come back, and bring Mike with her.  Amanda's plane does not leave until 8:00 tonight so we have time to introduce her to a few more relatives, and hopefully get her back out to Cape Spear. Both times we took her to Cape Spear last week it was foggy and she didn't see anything but fog.  
Fog on Amanda's day
Amanda wanted to get some pictures printed before she left the island so she would be able to show her friends on the weekend.  There is a Dominion Store in Long Pond that does one hour processing which is perfect, we can do some visiting while they are getting printed.  When your on vacation you lose all track of time.  We realized it was lunch time, not a good time to stop into see Delilah who works at the Yacht club and would be serving lunch.  Lunch, oh yeah wouldn't some Toutons go good right about now.  Thank goodness for cell phones and Mr. Google.  There just happens to be a cafe up the road that serves Toutons.  There are 2 Toutons in an order. Oh my, they are so darn good.  I'm drooling just typing this!  We gobble up our Toutons and then stop into see Lynn.  Carson is working so Amanda will not get to meet him until she comes back with Mike.  We walked back to the Manuels river and showed Amanda and Doug the old swimming hole. 
We had a great visit with Lynn.  We said our goodbyes to Lynn and promised not to wait another 42 years to return. By now it was 2:30 and hopefully would be a good time to stop in and see Delilah at work.  She was so happy that we stopped in, she was happy to meet Amanda, if only for a short time.  We had a quick little visit, we didn't want to interrupt her work too long.  Again we said our goodbyes and promised to return.  One more stop before we head to Cape Spear and that was to say goodbye to Delilah's husband Cecil.  He was the most gentle man and reminded me very much of my father.  Cecil has pinched nerves in his back, and can barely walk, he is in a great deal of pain, waiting patiently for surgery in November.  We just couldn't leave without saying goodbye to him.   It was very sad saying goodbye to my relatives that I had not seen for so many years. Amanda was so happy that she was able to meet some more of her Newfoundland relatives.  Hopefully, we will be able to bring the whole family back again in a few years.  It was so great re-connecting with them again after 42 years.  Off we go Cape Spear to see if the weather is going co-operate with us this time.  Finally, we can see the lighthouse!  

And can you believe it, there are whales there to say goodbye to us as well.  What a perfect ending to Amanda's vacation.
Don't Be a Stranger!

Heading back to St. John's

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Amanda’s vacation is coming to end and we have to head back to Holyrood and the Blue Fin campground.  We are on the road around 8:30 with a temperature of 15 degrees.  The road from Twillingate is another bouncy road and we have to take our time so Elbroko doesn’t shake apart.  It was a nice day until we got closer to Holyrood and then it started getting cloudy, overcast and foggy.  We all start to sing, "waiting for the sun to shine, on a grey foggy day" a great Newfoundland song.  The temperature dropped to 9 degrees, it was just like the weather we left behind a week ago.  I am beginning to think the sun doesn’t shine in Holyrood! 
We arrive back at the Blue Fin around 3:00 get set up and then just relax for a few hours.  We didn’t need to make supper tonight, we ate a big lunch out, on the way back to Holyrood.  Doug needed the hour break from driving, after the rough ride.  Amanda wanted to meet a few of my cousins so I make a few phone calls.  Unfortunately, Delilah was working late at a special function and Linda was at her trailer but would be home tomorrow afternoon.  It is Amanda’s last night on the Island so we have to do something with her.  We decided to take her into St. John’s to George St., the hot spot for the pubs.  Hopefully Doug and I will not be the only old foogies there.  We’ll try to keep up, and give it our best shot!  We find a nice bar called O’Rielly’s. There is a fellow playing guitar and singing.  It ended up being a great night.  He was actually an awesome singer and sang Newfoundland songs as well as some Irish tunes.  Doug and I were not the only old foogies in the pub, however, as the evening went on the crowd slowly switched over to young people.  This fellow finished at 10:30, and another band was coming in, which was obviously for the younger crowd.  Amanda definitely has some Newfie blood in her, she has taken a liking to the Newfoundland music and has really enjoyed her last night in Newfoundland.

Don't Be a Stranger!

Toutons and Tea in Twillingate

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Happy Birthday to me!  Well today I am celebrating my birthday in this beautiful province of Newfoundland.  It doesn’t get much better than this!  Again we check to see if the icebergs are any closer to shore, but no such luck.  I guess I will just have to come back another time to see them up close. Oh darn. Yesterday Amanda bought a small painting of Salt Harbour so we wanted to go over and check out the harbour in real life.
Driving down the road we stopped to take a picture and a local fellow who was enjoying his morning walk stopped to talk.  He gave us all the local history of the area, which we found so interesting. He told us about Ship Island and how it had been resettled back in the 60’s. It was really quite sad, the residents were given $1,000 and $100 for each child to relocate to the mainland, not even enough to cover expenses.  Some moved their homes across the bay and some just left them to disintegrate. This gentlemen kept his grandfather’s house and uses it as a vacation home.  We could have talked longer than the 30 minutes but we had places to go and things to see.
Salt Harbour was another great little community tucked back in a bay.  Amanda and I found a nice little hiking trail at the end of the road that we just had to go on.  We were hoping to get a good view of the icebergs from here.  Amanda does have proper hiking boots with her today, so I won’t be as nervous.  We climb to the top of the mountain to look out over the bay that is dotted with lots of islands, what a gorgeous view.  There are lots of local fisherman on the water that look like little dots on the expansive ocean. It is such a beautiful day, sunny and 23 degrees and we are perched up on a lookout viewing this wonderful sight. 

Everywhere we have been in Newfoundland a familiar sight is a line of laundry hung out to dry. 
On our drive back we stop to talk to a husband and wife cleaning some huge codfish just by the road.  Again we were offered some fillets but decline this time, we already have a freezer full of fish, besides that we are starting to grow gills. Amanda is fighting a headache and we have tickets to see the Split Peas tonight so we head for home early. We want Amanda to have a rest and get rid of her headache so she can enjoy the show. On our way back we noticed a mussel farm, which had the larger barrels holding the strings of mussels up.  They start with the floating balls and as the mussels grow they change to a mid size barrel and then finally the larger barrel until harvest time.  We got back to Elbroko early afternoon, Amanda and Doug have a rest and I go for a big walk. I walked along the coast and then through a lovely meadow. 

The Split Peas is a group of 7 local women that sing and entertain.  What an amazing show they put on.  
We all thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, and it only cost $10.  They sing a lot of their own original songs as well as some old familiar Newfoundland songs. 

They sing about mummers, and Swarvin' down the road and My Newfoundland. 
They perform on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the very old Orange Hall, that they call home.  It is a very relaxed setting, they are just enjoying themselves and draw you into their music with the first song I’s the B’y. At break time they served Toutons and Tea.  Oh my, if you haven’t had Toutons you definitely need to try them.  They are basically bread dough that has been fried in oil and served with either partridge berry or blueberry jam, molasses or syrup.  They told us that there are no calories because we are on vacation and the berries cancelled out the oil and dough. Wow, that made me feel a whole lot better, I’ve had way too many meals that were not weight watcher friendly!  The show ended around 9:30 with everyone singing the Ode to Newfoundland. This song is referred to as the anthem of Newfoundland and is the finale of many of the shows. It always brings a tear to my eye to see the Newfoundlanders standing tall and proud as they sing this song about their beloved homeland.  The show was over in time for us to scoot over to the lighthouse to see the tail end of the beautiful sunset.  What a fabulous time we had in this lovely community of Twillingate, and lots more enjoyable memories to add to our backroad memories!
Don't Be a Stranger!

Out and about in Twillingate

Monday, July 25, 2011          
Picture plant in bloom
The sun was shining with clear blue skies and the temps started out in the high teens.  It was a shorts and t-shirt day.  Yahoo!  We decided to go to the dinner theatre “All Around the Circle” tonight and made our reservations through the camp office. First thing we do is head down to the Lighthouse to see if the icebergs managed to find their way closer to shore in the wild wind last night. Maybe it was just wishfull thinking but they sure did look closer.  Maybe the tour boats will be able to go out to them today.  So into town we go to check it out.  Unfortunately they are still beyond their jursidication so try again tomorrow.  Well that leaves us to do what we do best and tour around to show Amanda the sites of the area.  There was one road Doug and I didn’t drive to the end of, so we head out there first and maybe that will get us closer to the icebergs. 
Amanda and I were just going to walk around the corner to see if we can see them.  My Amanda only has her flips flops on, not quite hiking shoes, but we were only going to go around the corner.
There was a laneway that went down to a beach and by the time we got there Amanda thought we should carry on, up and over the mountain.  I was very concerned about her hiking gear but she insisted she was fine, so away we go.  Doug knows by now that when we strike off we will eventually return and he should make himself comfortable looking out over the ocean, watching the fishing boats come and go. This was an amazing hike that takes us to the cliffs overlooking the ocean.

It is just so beautiful  Amanda and I hate to leave, but we better get back and let Doug know we are still alive.  I’m so glad we didn’t miss this, even though I was very nervous about Amanda trapesing around cliffs in her flip flops.  We make it back and find Doug sitting on a rock enjoying the beautiful day and the view.  It had now reached 22 degrees, the warmest day yet for the Dickinson’s!  We went back to Elbroko for our lunch and a bit of a rest before we head down the road to Morton’s Harbour and Tizzard’s Harbour. 
As we are driving through Virgin Arm we notice some fisherman cleaning fish, so of course we have to stop to chat.  They had a mess of Codfish, the largest was 15 lbs, and again we walk away with a bag of codfish. 

Amanda is so amazed at the Newfoundlander's. They love to chit chat,and then they even share their fish with you.  We are going to have to start travelling with a cooler full of ice if we continue to stop and chat with the fisherman! We continue on our tour enjoying all the little communities along the way.  We can’t dilly dally too much we have to get back and get shined up for our dinner theatre.   The 3 of us decide to take a break from fish tonight and order the stuffed chicken dinner which was excellent.  Not only do the 3 men and 4 women of ”All Around the Circle” entertain you they cook and serve your dinner as well.  This entire evening was awesome, and only cost $30. 
They sang Newfoundland songs, and did little skits that had us on the floor in laughter.  Our whole table was from Ontario. The one lady looked so familiar to me but I just kept telling myself that I’m in Newfoundland I will not know anyone here.  As the evening went on she finally asked if I was Kathy Pitz.  OMG, I can’t believe she knew my name, I certainly could not put a name to her face, but when she introduced herself as Dawn Keller I did remember her.  We went to Sunday school together waaaaaaay back when. Unbelievable, you drive half across our beautiful country and run into people you know. We got back to camp just in time to see  this beautiful evening sky.

Don't Be a Stranger!

Back to Twillingate chasing icebergs

Sunday July 24, 2011

Today we are moving up to Twillingate to take Amanda on an iceberg tour.  Of course it was raining this morning.  It had started sometime through the night.  Luckily by 10 a.m., the time we were ready to hook up, it had stopped.  The temperature was only 9 degrees.  It is hard to believe yesterday we were in our bathing suits sitting at the beach.  We stopped in Gander at the Aviation Museum which was very interesting.
They had several old planes outside and a lot of aviation history inside.  They had an exhibit on how Gander came to the rescue in the tragedy of September 11, 2001.  A small town of 10,000 people came together to help 6,500 passengers’ onboard 38 planes that were sent to Gander to land after the disaster of the twin towers. It was very emotional reading the thank you letters and notes from passengers, friends, and governments from all over the world.   What an uplifting story.   There was a fish, fun and folk festival on this week in Twillingate, so we thought we had better make reservations.  We were able to book the last site Peyton Woods RV Park had available that Elbroko would fit on.
I wanted to stop at a little fishing museum that we missed the first time we were in the area.  Wow, what an interesting place.   There were 4 or 5 buildings filled with tons of old fishing gear and antique items.  What a collection we had to snoop through. We were here for over an hour snooping around at all the old items. It was another very windy day so it was a tough drive up for Doug.

He was definitely glad to arrive in Twillingate. Looks like we’ll get rocked to sleep again tonight.  This campground was in a beautiful spot, walking distance to town and a block from the ocean.  We were set up and out at Long Point hunting down more icebergs by 4:30. 
We counted 5 of them off in the distance.  A few of them looked like they were a fair size.  We did not see any of the tour boats out around them so it didn’t look like I was going to get up close and personal with them.  Just to make sure we stopped at the 3 tour boat operators in town to ask is they were going out to the icebergs.  Unfortunately the icebergs were more than 5 miles out and they were not licensed to go that far. Twillingate sure was busier than the first time we were here the end of June.  There were lots of tour buses around which made the tiny gift shops very busy.  Amanda and I did manage to find a few things to help the economy in Twillingate. We were back at camp fairly early, made a nice supper and went on a great walk down by the ocean.  Amanda is very much like her Mother and loves just being by the water, how can you not love this wonderful place!

Don't Be a Stranger!

Salvage, Eastport Beach

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Can you believe it was actually a beautiful sunny day right from the get go!  We had a leisurely morning, just enjoying the sun and a coffee or two. We decided we were going to stay at this park another night, it was such a nice spot.  We did have to go for a little drive to see the area though.  We drove to the little fishing community of Salvage, which was definitely one of my favourites.
Tucked back in a protected bay, with tidy houses and all the fishing sheds and docks were in good repair.  At the end of the road there just happened to be a hike, just what Amanda and I were looking for.  It was just a small trail that wandered past a house, where a lady and her granddaughter were sitting out back enjoying the view and the sun.  We talked to them for a few minutes and she suggested we take the trail to the left it went out to a point and we just might see whales.  
It was a lovely hike that went around Doctor’s pond and gave us a great view of Salvage.  Today was opening day of the Food Fishery so there were lots of boats coming and going.  They could only catch 5 cod per person with a maximum of 15 fish per boat, so they would go out and catch their limit and bring them in and go back out again.  The season only lasts 21 days so they have to get what they can in this short time.  The hike was only about 2 kms but it was beautiful.  It went out to a point of land that overlooked Bonavista Bay.
We did not see any whales today. We were told that the the fish flipping around the top of the water were squid. We also saw lots of small fishing boats along the coast as well.  On our way back the lady we talked to at the beginning of our hike was down on her dock with her son. She called to us to come and see the codfish he caught. Oh my, again these people are unbelievable, we walk away with a bag of fresh codfish right out of the water.
What a yummy lunch we will have today.  I’m sure we will soon be growing gills.  When we got back to the truck, Doug and Amanda were going to go the pub that we passed on the way in, for a nice cold refreshment, while I strolled back through this lovely little community.  I saw lots of photo opportunities when we were driving through, so I wanted to walk, I would catch up with them at the pub.

We hated to leave the patio overlooking the bay, you don’t get a view like that very often when your sitting in a pub.  Unfortunately we had to leave, we had fresh fish in the truck that needed to be cooked!  On our way back to camp we noticed an awesome looking beach that we will definitely have to check out after lunch.  We had a nice relaxing afternoon enjoying the beautiful sand beach. There were a few a souls that braved the frigid waters of the ocean, but not the Dickinson's!

Don't Be a Stranger!