Posts Tagged With: children

The Sheeps are in the Meadow – August 10, 2006

Jake & Miss Ewe

Jake & Miss Ewe

Haaaeeey!

Just a final note to say we’re home! Jake’s beady little black eyes nearly popped right out of his head when he saw all the lush foliage and lawn to eat. He can’t get over the big trees – something he never saw in Saskatchewan. We sat on the picnic table drinking chamomile tea trying to absorb it all. We got home a little late last night due to a very busy ferry, unexpected on a Wednesday. The house and yard were all safe and sound and very quiet! There’s nothing like the fresh air and forest smell of this place.

The Man and Lady seem to be having trouble remembering how a stove works so they went out for breakfast. They claim they needed to buy supplies and pick up ten weeks of mail.

The Man and Lady would like to thank everyone for their prayers and encouragement during their trip. Some have expressed surprise that we actually made it to Newfoundland – the Man says he is surprised we ever left there – definitely the highlight of the trip. We also want to thank the Honda car company that produced our 1990 Honda that took us 14,786 miles (24,643 kilometres) without a speck of trouble and still with it’s original 1990 battery!

The Man and Lady are sorting out all their stuff today and thinking about what they’re going to be doing in the next few days and the future. They’ll talk it over when they go out for dinner tonight. Jake and I are going to stay home and make hay! Thanks for patiently reading all my scribbles!

Til some other time … Miss Ewe (and Jake)

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April 10,2013

Just a final update on Jake and Miss Ewe.  Both are still doing well and after careful consideration, they decided to go into the cat-fur sock business.  They researched and auditioned many cats and finally came up with Tigger who is a very patient, placid cat.  Miss Ewe and Jake groom her, roll her fur into balls (or sometimes Tigger coughs them up for them) and sends them to Herman, the Maker of Socks. He then knits tiny socks for pygmy sheep and sends them around the world.  Admittedly it is a limited market but they are happy in their work.  Besides, their needs are few as there is lots of green, luscious grass about.  Right now they are very busy because it is cat shedding season, a favourite time of year for them.

Signed,
             The Man

Tigger, Jake & Miss Ewe

Tigger, Jake & Miss Ewe

◊◊◊◊

So, this is the last post and the end of the road for Miss Ewe.  Thanks to everyone who came along on the trip, it has been interesting for me read through this again and re-live the trip.

To start at the beginning of this tale click the ARCHIVE dropdown above, right and start with the February posts.

Thanks!

 

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Categories: British Columbia, Cross Canada Road Trip | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Aback in Chilliwack – August 8, 2006

(For those reading this for the first time, you might want to look at “About” before continuing)

Cariboo Trail

Cariboo Trail

Well,

We’re almost home! Yesterday morning we left Quesnel and headed down the Cariboo Wagon Trail towards the Lower Mainland.

Thompson River Cemetery

Thompson River Cemetery

It was a beautiful drive following the Fraser River from Quesnel to Williams Lake, losing it there then picking up the aqua blue Thompson River just north of Cache Creek and finally watching them both join together at Lyton.

Cariboo Trail

Cariboo Trail

The scenery was again beautiful and at times spectacular.

Cariboo Trail

Cariboo Trail

The arid brown hills and uncultivable land contrasting vividly with the bright green irrigated fields. The Man was hoping for a leisurely drive but being the last day of a long weekend all the crazy drivers were out. I have noticed though, that with all those kilometres under the Man’s belt, he still isn’t intimidated by fast drivers and still manages to smile with 15 or 20 cars in a long train behind him.

Freight Train

Freight Train

The Fraser Canyon was magnificent as we had sunny weather with just enough patches of cloud to make it photographically interesting for the Man. We all had faint tinges of whiplash from his dashing on and off the highway to get another photograph! I bet he is the only tourist to have read every historical marker across Canada. You can really feel the history here though with remnants of old settlements, overgrown graveyards and rusting pieces of farm and mining equipment – monuments to those who struggled up the trail to find their gold mine.

Harrison Lake

Harrison Lake

One of the reasons we went a little faster was that the Man thought it would be fun to end our ten weeks on the road with a stay at the Harrison Hot Springs Hotel. So . . . that’s where we landed and it was definitely fun for the Man and Lady but the hotel was much too pish-posh to allow sheep. When the bellhop loaded up the luggage cart with the Man and Lady’s Adidas bags, laundry bag full of pillows and the Lady’s ugly flannel nightgown and the Man’s packsack with the broken zipper, Jake and I tried to jump on. The bellhop took one look at the ‘luggage’ and one look at Jake and I and sent us hoofing over to the hotel lawn for the night. I can almost understand his point though because after looking at recent photos of myself I notice, I’m embarrassed to say, I’m looking a little dingy. More like a common farm sheep rather than a sophisticated town sheep. I don’t know what Jake sees in me as he is always so nicely turned out. Perhaps it is his sheep shift that makes a difference or (don’t tell him I said this) his funny looking hat.

Rabbit Farm

Rabbit Farm

Today we drove a bit through some pretty farmland and Jake and I started talking about our future farming plans. Got talking about a rabbit farm so the Man stopped at one so we could check it out. Whewww – though very affectionate, they’re big and more than a bit scary! Jake’s shepherds crook would never subdue one of those puppies! So – hamsters are looking better all the time.

Tonight we will stay in Chilliwack with the Man and Lady’s daughter and then in the morning head to my blessèd Lawn in the Woods. I’ll write you and let you know how everything looks.

Til later,

Miss Ewe (and Jake)

Categories: British Columbia, Cross Canada Road Trip | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

All’s Well in Quesnel –August 7, 2006

Hello from the Cariboo!

Well – we aren’t in Alaska. Last night the Man spotted a White Spot Restaurant in Dawson Creek and got all drooly over the thought of a cheeseburger with Triple ‘O’ sauce (my apologies to all fellow vegetarians). He decided there are better chances of finding White Spots by going south than heading north so, phew, here we are.

We did drive a few hundred metres on the Alaska Highway heading out of town before hitting a turnoff to the south-west. Dawson Creek is the ‘Mile 0’ milepost for the 1500 mile (2,400 kilometre) Alaska Highway that was built through a joint effort with the US in 1942 to ship supplies to the US military stationed in Alaska. The Man says we’ll have to make that trip another time because it is starting to get a little crowded and noisy with another baaaing sheep.

Misinchinka Range

Misinchinka Range

Leaving Dawson Creek we drove westish towards Chetwynd through rolling ranch land with the forests getting progressively thicker and taller. From Chetwynd the highway has very few services all the way to Prince George, about 250 miles (400 kilometres). It’s a beautiful highway following the Pine River to the Pine Pass of the Misinchinka/Hart Range which is all part of the Rockies.

009-Misinchinka Range (06)_watermarked

Misinchinka Range

We had all forgotten (especially me since it was more than two days ago) how beautiful BC is! The highway followed the base of the mountain range which were tall enough to be above the tree line. The lower slopes show much evidence of winter avalanches and it must be quite scary during winter snows and winds. Quite breathtaking at this time of year though with lots of beautiful lakes, poplar and spruce forests and lovely vistas.

Azu Lake

Azouetta Lake

Azu Lake

Azouetta Lake

We didn’t make great time because the Lady was having Garage Sale Withdrawal again so we had to stop at two very pathetic sales. Even so, the Lady managed to find more stuff to buy. It was quite a shock to Jake as he isn’t used to such blatant consumerism and such dubious merchandise. Wait until he sees what’s in the trunk when we get home! The Man was able to divert the Lady’s attention two or three other times so she missed a few sales.

Once on the other side of Pine Pass, the land sloped gently towards Prince George. We saw more farms mixed in with the forest. In Prince George the Nechako River joins the Fraser River and heads south to Vancouver pointing our way. We went a bit further and ended up in Quesnel for the night.

Quesnel is another of the wonderfully historic towns in this area. Just bush in 1862, the town became the supply depot for the boomtown of Barkerville and the Cariboo Gold Rush when Billy Barker discovered gold on Williams Creek 56 miles (90 kilometres) east of Quesnel. In its heyday Barkerville was the largest city west of Chicago and north of San Francisco. Quesnel played an important part in supplying the needs of Barkerville. Supplies came up the Cariboo Wagon Trail or up the Fraser River by steamboat when it was still navigable. The town managed to sustain itself through agriculture and forestry even after the gold rush diminished and it continues to flourish.

One thing that is kind of sad to see is the spruce budworm/pine beetle epidemic that is killing acres and acres of forest every year. Because of warmer winters, the larva of these bugs aren’t being killed and it has become a very serious problem. We could see whole hillsides of forest turned red from dead trees.

Tomorrow I’m not sure what that Man has in store for us. We’re getting closer to home but we may do a bit of exploring. I’ll let you know our plans!

Til later,

Miss Ewe (and Jake)

Categories: British Columbia, Cross Canada Road Trip | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Up the Creek in Dawson – August 5, 2006

(For those reading this for the first time, you might want to look at “About” before continuing)

Well,

We’re in British Columbia but just by the skin of our teeth! Tonight we are in Dawson Creek after spending a couple of days on a more northerly route through Saskatchewan and Alberta. With the Man’s usual logic, he thinks that if we go far to the north we can then coast all the way south because it will all be downhill!?

002-Rain Shower_watermarked

Near Dawson Creek

The highway very loosely followed the old fur trader/Indian trails from the very early days. The actual trails disappeared after farmers moved north during the Depression and Dust Bowl era. The land was surveyed and set out in nice even grids and the road followed the gridlines. Eventually the original trails were ploughed under as the farms expanded. Still, lots of history up here with old barns and log houses/cabins – some still standing, others slowly fading into the landscape. It is also an area where the Indian culture – mostly Cree and some Blackfoot and Métis – still has a strong foothold.

Jake & Miss Ewe

Jake & Miss Ewe

Oh, that reminds me – I have been asked what first attracted me to Jake, besides his wonderful smile. It was his nifty sandals. I think Miriam Thomas in Chitek Lake made them. Miriam lives on the reserve in Chitek and has a store where she sells her leather sewing. Not only does she sew moccasins and gloves, she tans the moose hide mainly using traditional tanning methods. The Man and the Lady have worn Miriam’s moccasins for years and were glad to see that Jake had the wisdom to wear such great shoes.

Ever since the Maritimes we have noticed that the wild life has been very scarce – maybe because of the hot weather. In the past two days we have seen lots of deer and three coyotes. I’m not as nervous about coyotes now because now I have Jake. As you may have noticed, Jake carries a staff that he can bop coyotes on the head with. I’m sure he would do that for me.

Jake is enjoying his travels and is starting to warm up to the idea of a hamster farm. As you may not realize, we are not full size sheep but a very rare breed of pygmy sheep. We think we might be a bit intimidated shepherding contented/oblivious cows so hamsters would be perfect – especially with Jake’s staff that has a crook in it so he can snare and subdue the little critters.

The Man and Lady have been having conflicting emotions when listening to the weather news. It sounds like bad weather, flooding, rain, tornados, severe thunderstorms and hail have followed closely behind each province of our route. The Man is disappointed to have missed it all but the Lady is very thankful.

When we hit Dawson Creek tonight the Man parked at the crossroads and stared up the Alaska Highway which runs 1500 miles (2400 kilometres) to Fairbanks and down the highway which ends 750 miles (1200 kilometres) in Vancouver and did lots of humming and hawing and . . . he hasn’t told us what he’s decided yet.

Til later,

Miss Ewe (and Jake)

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Big News! – August 3, 2006

(For those reading this for the first time, you might want to look at “About” before continuing)

Well, I have some little things to tell you and then some BIG NEWS that I’ll leave to later in this note!

Hungarian Puli

Hungarian Puli

We are still scuttling across the country at a pretty fast rate and are now in Saskatchewan! I almost didn’t make it out of Ontario because the Lady needed to stop at a rest stop (and not to rest) and while she was busy the Man befriended a most incredible dog (he thought) called a Hungarian Puli. It was about 3 feet (.9 metre) high and covered with thick black/brown dreadlocks that covered his whole body and hung right to the ground. The Man had arranged a trade for ME and actually had the dog in the car when the Lady came, rescued me and dumped the dog! Whew! It was a chilly hour or two after that but sweet sheep that I am, I forgave him, after all he is only a human being.

The continuation of our return trip can be pretty well summed up in a paragraph.

007-Storm Clouds (03)_watermarked

Storm Clouds

From the remnants of the Canadian Shield with granite and limestone outcroppings, spruce and birch forests down into the flat, flat prairie terrain of Manitoba. Skirting around the northeast corner of Winnipeg to head north through more flat grasslands with fields of golden wheat, electric yellow canola, armies of sunflowers, green alfalfa, combines, balers, swathers and harrowers. Running up the east side of Lake Manitoba, squeezing through The Narrows near Reykjavik (Manitoba, not Iceland) and landing in Ste. Rose du Lac for the night with it’s replica of the Shrine of Lourdes and it’s claim to fame of being the Beef Capital of Manitoba. The next day rolling westward through more farmland but now with hills and groves of birch, poplar and spruce thrown in. Crossing into Saskatchewan near Roblin and on through Yorkton, Foam Lake, Kandahar (Saskatchewan, not Afghanistan), Melfort, Prince Albert, Spiritwood and finally . . . my birthplace Chitek Lake and home of Herman, the Maker of Socks and his Lady of Chitek Lake, Ruth.

Cows

Cows

It was good we finally arrived somewhere because that Man was getting quite nauseating about his new passion – cows. He kept going on and on about how contented and happy they looked. I can’t see what he sees in them myself. We kept having to slow down and gawk at groups of cud chewing beasts huddling around in small groups in the sweltering, muggy heat. The Man stopped to take ANOTHER picture of a cow and while he was doing that I went over to a group to give them some wise blessèd sheep advice. I told them that in hot weather they should stand at least one metre apart, not almost on top of each other, because it would be a lot cooler that way. They just continued standing there, chewing and burping and chewing with blank looks – I don’t think they’re contented, I think they’re oblivious. A bunch of sweaty, fly covered, prickly, over-heated walking leather suitcases.

Chitek Lake Barn

Chitek Lake Barn

We made a very hasty drive to Chitek Lake because the Man made the mistake of letting me hear we were heading that way. Even with a sock in my mouth and being stuffed in the trunk he could hear my baaing with excitement. We arrived yesterday afternoon and THEN IT HAPPENED . . .

The Lady of Chitek Lake knew I was coming so thought it might be nice if I had someone of my own ilk to spend time with while I was here. So . . . she invited Jake to dinner on the night of our arrival.

Jake and Miss Ewe

Jake and Miss Ewe

It was LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT for the both of us (I’m sure he feels the same way). Jake is a fine looking sheep who has just finished his apprenticeship at Shepherd School. You will notice that he is wearing a sheep sheath that kinda looks like a dress (BUT IT’S NOT!). This is because he has just been sheared and he is feeling a little self-conscious. I must say it makes ME feel a little under dressed but it hasn’t interfered with our relationship and I do still have all of my woollies. We have spent the day together and things are developing quickly. Jake feels he would like to see the West Coast so it has been decided that he will come with us. Naturally, I will stay in the back seat and he will stay in the front seat. We don’t know what the future holds but I did tell him the story of the Man’s grandmother who met her future husband at a party, three days later got engaged, one month later got married and immediately sailed to Costa Rica to live. Jake started twitching a bit when he heard that story so I changed the subject and mentioned how I always wanted a hamster farm but needed someone who could shepherd them – that perked him up.

Tomorrow we’re back on the road though we’re not too sure of our route. The Lady and the Lady of Chitek Lake are out playing bingo tonight so we may be penniless by tomorrow and not going anywhere.

Chitek Lake

Chitek Lake

While Jake and I spent time together today the Man and the Lady went kayaking on the lake. It is a very beautiful spot here – lots of forests and small lakes. The community of Chitek Lake is quite small most of the year but the population swells during the summer with lots of cottages and a large campground.

Chitek Lake Sunset

Chitek Lake Sunset

We have been having thunderstorms for the last three or four days, spreading from Saskatchewan through into Manitoba and Ontario. The weather is a little cooler here (apparently there was actually frost a little south of us last night) and we’re glad we missed the sweltering heat that they have been having in Ontario.

Oops . . . Jake seems to be dozing off so I’ll get back to you soon.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip, Saskatchewan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hidin’ in Dryden – July 31, 2006

(For those reading this for the first time, you might want to look at “About” before continuing)

Hello there –

Sorry I haven’t been writing much but the days seem to be whizzing by now though today seemed endless. It all started well this morning with the Man all smiles and chuckles after experiencing a tremendous thunder storm in Marathon, Ontario last night. Lots of lightning and torrential rain throughout the night. This morning it was still raining, very foggy and hot – all a strange combination for those of us from BC.

Blind Rive

Blind River

As we were driving down the highway I happened to mention that we seem to be seeing Ontario MUCH faster going in this direction. The Man said that we are homeward bound and it’s not too unusual for travellers to get a yearning for home. Well . . . the mention of home set off a reaction in me like Pavlov’s bells. I could almost taste my good old lawn under the apple tree and I started to get quite excited about seeing it again and that’s when the Man had a snarky fit. All I did was ask him, “Are we almost there?” every 10 kilometres or so when he slammed on the brakes, picked me up and locked me in the trunk. There I sat for the rest of the day listening to the wheels spin and my four stomachs gurgling. When he let me out tonight in Dryden he made me promise to only ask once a day for the rest of the trip.

Batchawana Bay Reprise

Batchawana Bay Reprise

I must admit, there is a different feel to the return trip. Every morning we climb into the car, the Man points our tails east and our noses west, throws on the air conditioning and sets the cruise control to 66 mpg (107 km/hr) ?! and down the highway we go. I think the Man and Lady are getting a little satiated with scenery. While it is still very beautiful they are now seeing it with experienced eyes. Mind you, the weather hasn’t been too co-operative – some of the heaviest rains the Man and Lady can ever remember. Since I am a sheep, I can only remember two days ago so it’s all new to me. Our route through Ontario has been retracing old ground as there aren’t many other choices. We will re-examine how we will travel the rest of the way home and determine what we really want to see. I’ll keep you posted.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

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The Ontario Dash – July 25

Sunflowers

Sunflowers

Hi there,

Well, we’ve scooted along to Ontario. We decided to make a dash to the sunshine. We contemplated driving the Gaspé Peninsula but the weather was very foggy and rainy so we headed for Ontario. The Lady wanted to tie up some loose ends in Mulmur so we headed here for a couple of days. This time we were able to find the actual farmhouse her great-grandfather, Robert Noble, built in the 1840’s. We had thought we had found it a month ago when we were through but wrong house. This one was definitely right and we spent an hour with the ‘new’ owners whose grandfather bought it in 1909. We got to visit with lots of cows and the Man thought he was getting along well with the farm dog until it nearly took off his hand. All ended well though and the Man can still drive. Sadly there were no blessèd sheep.

We also managed to find the old Ferris farm (the Lady’s grandparents) though it appears that it isn’t being farmed right now.

Mississagi River

Mississagi River

Ontario is looking a little different than our first time through. The corn is chest high, much of the hay has been cut and baled and lots of the grain fields have turned golden. The weather has turned hot and very muggy. The rain has been spotty with some areas having flash floods and other areas in bad need of some type of moisture. It was interesting talking to Mr. Pendleton, the owner of the Noble house. He showed us their new porch. The old porch had been taken off by a tornado a few years back. It seems the property is in a tornado alley – a very localized area. Fortunately the house is made of brick so only the wood porch suffered any damage though they also lost a barn.

Cranes

Cranes

 The Man is getting rather blasé about moose, now he wants to see a tornado! I’ve told him he can walk home because the Lady and I aren’t going anywhere near a tornado.

Old Michipicoten River

Old Michipicoten River

We’re now planning the next leg of the trip which will take us up the east coast of Georgian Bay. It is known for it’s 30,000 islands and we’re hoping to get some kayaking in. From there we’re not too sure where we’re going but we’ll let you know.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip, Ontario | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Go West Young Sheep – July 22, 2006

(For those reading this for the first time, you might want to look at “About” before continuing)

Well . . . here I am back again after being in an Internet vacuum for the past few days.

Cormorant colony near Pictou

Cormorant colony near Pictou

We got off the ferry from Newfoundland on Wednesday and made our way up the Northumberland Strait and stayed a night in Pictou, Nova Scotia. Pictou managed to get the Man’s Scottish blood boiling as the town is the “Birthplace of New Scotland.”

Pictou Waterfront

Pictou Waterfront

In 1773, the first boatload of Scottish Highlanders – 33 families and 25 unmarried men – arrived on the sailing ship, Hector. The families had been promised free passage and free supplies and shelter upon arrival in Canada by a group in Scotland that wanted to see Canada opened up.

When the families arrived at the ship they found a rather aged and well used 24 metre (80 foot) boat. 200 family members were loaded below decks where they had to partition off bunks with old canvas. There were no windows, the only light coming from seal oil lamps and small deck grates. Right from the start conditions were not good.

The Captain wrote in his log how concerned he was for the passengers. He mentions how some of the passengers were so excited upon reaching Ireland, they thought they had already arrived at the new colony. The ship set off in July and didn’t reach Newfoundland until the beginning of September. A gale blew up and the ship was blown out to sea and it took a further two weeks to arrive at the same spot.

Food was deplorable, mouldy and rancid. The ship arrived in mid September – eighteen children had died on board as a result of smallpox and dysentery. The settlers found that no provisions had actually been supplied and there were no shelters so they had to spend their first winter in great hardship. They were a hardy bunch and their success encouraged other Scots to emigrate also, eventually populating the coastline and PEI.

Tomorrow we are going to see where the Man’s family arrived in 1829 in New Brunswick.

The Hector

In the 1970’s, the town of Pictou realized they needed to revive their decaying waterfront and started a rebuilding program. The centerpiece of the plan was to build a full size replica of the Hector.

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Pictou Building

Around it they built new wharves, boardwalks and traditional buildings. Still lots of the original buildings around for the Man and Lady to drool over. We had a great time there.

Cousins at Lismore Sheep Farm

Cousins at Lismore Sheep Farm

The next day we continued west. I had a wonderful day when I spotted a sheep farm and convinced the Man to stop. It was a great experience for all of us! The Man was thrilled when he opened the car door and three border collies came leaping towards the car. Two tried to crawl in the car but I baaaed that I wouldn’t be driving with two stinky dogs. The Lady was excited to go through the wool store onsite and I had an emotional time when I met a 4th cousin, 10 times removed. The Man took a picture of her and her new daughter.

Confederation Bridge

Confederation Bridge

Later that afternoon we crossed the Confederation Bridge into Prince Edward Island. The bridge is amazing. Over 8 miles (13 kilometres) long and 600 feet (180 metres) high, it took 15 minutes to cross the Northumberland Strait. Our alternative access would have been a 1½ hour ferry trip but we see enough ferries in our lives so we took the driving route. The bridge is free to get onto the island and $40 to get off.

Well . . . I must say that our first impression of PEI wasn’t good. When you first get off the bridge there is large area called the Gateway Village which, among other things, has the tourist information centre. The village was packed with tourists, RV’s, trailers and every type of Anne of Green Gables knickknacks for sale – very crowded and commercial – yuck. The Man and Lady were quite put off with it all but then the Man managed to find an obscure little road which took us to a mussel plant that had fifty years of mussel stink oozing from it and it picked the Man’s spirit right up. No wonder he likes dogs, he’s just like one!

PEI

PEI

We took a scenic route along the coast and the Man managed to find a motel with three dogs and two cats (one white with three legs and one black with one eye) affectionately known by the neighbours as Cyclops and Tripod.

PEI is an interesting island historically with a strong French (Acadian), Scotch and Irish presence. Originally mainly settled by the Acadians, they were soon removed by the British. In order to encourage development in the late 1700’s the British government divided the island into seventy, 20,000 acre lots and put them up for lottery. Naturally, it seems, they were won by governmental friends who acquired them for speculation purposes. They did nothing with the land until the policy was reviewed and absentee landlords were dissolved. The land was then made available to the local settlers.

East Coast, PEI

East Coast, PEI

It is very pretty farmland with lovely fields of potatoes, corn and grains running down to the sea. The soil is an unusual red colour – quite stunning. The beaches on the north and west coast are white sand, the beaches on the south and east coast are red sand. You can drive from one end to the other (quickly) in four hours. The highest point of the island is 600 feet (180 metres) and no moose!

 

We found, that while pretty, it just didn’t knock us out. We explored the east end of the island but it seemed like a long drive with little return. We decided we didn’t want to fight the crowds at all the tourist spots and since heavy rains were forecasted, we would head back to New Brunswick.

Boat Sheds

Boat Sheds

This morning we once more drove the Confederation Bridge and then went to search out the birthplace of one of our Sechelt friends in the very small community of Springhill Junction. We’re not too sure how successful we were yet. We also popped into Springhill and visited Anne Murray’s birthplace and watched a Anne Murray Day parade through town.

Tomorrow we will head up the east coast of New Brunswick to the New Mills area. We’re not sure what is left of McMillan information but it should be an interesting time.

So, after tomorrow we really will be turning our noses west though from the sounds of the weather reports we are best to stay here in rainy 73º F (23º C) weather!

Til later,

Miss Ewe

Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip, Nova Scotia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Newfoundland Farewell – July 19, 2006

(For those reading this for the first time, you might want to look at “About” before continuing)

Cape Ray

Cape Ray

Well, we’re on the boat heading back to Nova Scotia after a sad farewell to Newfoundland. We had a great final two days seeing the sights we missed on our arrival.

Long Range Mountains

Long Range Mountains

Newfoundland is a place for all the senses. The beautiful green 1,968 to 2,600 foot (600-800 metre) high Long Range Mountains, the northern extension of the Appalachian Mountains, that run up the right side of the highway when you first disembark from the ferry to L’Anse aux Meadows. You can sit and watch the clouds flow over the peaks like water. Not far from Port aux Basques is Wreckhouse where, because of the wall of mountains, the wind can get up to 125 mph (200 km/hour). When the train used to run, boxcars were, at times, blown right off the tracks. And of course the wildflowers – lupines, wild roses, harebell, cow parsnip, yellow buttercups by the acre rolling down through the colourful saltbox houses to the azure sea.

Long Range Mountains

Long Range Mountains

The profusion of flowers creates a bouquet for the nose. Clover flowers so thick you can smell the blossoms (my mouth’s watering again). The smell of peat and warm juniper, spruce trees and poplar, the ocean shoreline and the not so pleasant smell of thousands of seabirds nesting on small islands just off shore.

Red Rock

Red Rock

Newfoundland is most remarkable for what you don’t hear. No industrial noises, few airplanes, little traffic. In the small shoreline towns at night you might hear the waves running up on shore or the wind in the trees. In the morning you are awakened by seagulls and terns instead of an alarm clock. You may hear the fish boats leaving the harbour or the bells on the buoys or occasionally a foghorn in the distance, the baaing of a blessèd sheep or mooing cow. With a population of less than 500,000 and an area of 43,008 square miles (111,390 kilometres squared), the ratio of cars to roadways is very small so traffic problems aren’t an issue.

Red Rock

Red Rock

It is also a land of contrasts from the high tabletop mountains and 800 metre Gros Morne to the flat limestone shelves of Phillip’s Garden. You have the rugged Oregon coast-like shoreline in Bonavista to the sandy beaches at Cape Ray. The dense (though short) spruce/birch/poplar forests of the interior to the windswept barren plains of the west coast. The heritage of cold blooded Vikings and hot blooded Basques. The sand dunes being re-sculpted every day and The Arches made up of some of the oldest rock in the world, rock that should be buried deep within the earth but due to cataclysmic forces have been forced to the surface giving geologists the first concrete evidence of continental drift.

Wreckhouse

Wreckhouse

And of course Newfoundland wouldn’t be Newfoundland without it’s special people. A quality of people not too dissimilar to British Columbia inhabitants. Perhaps it is the isolationism of Newfoundland being an island and British Columbia hiding behind the barrier of the Rockies. Friendly people who will stop to talk and within four sentences be willing to tell you their life story and often do. Waitresses who call you ‘my darling’ when they serve you and will often give you a reassuring pat on the arm. The men who like to discuss the fishing situation and, of course, tell of their moose encounters. These are people who have to make do and have struggled hard to subsist but instead of making them inward and selfish they are always willing to give you advise or help you out. As the sign in the small town of Bonavista says, “We have been welcoming visitors for over 500 years.” But, there is also a sadness to the people as we talked to many of the adults. Time and time again, when discussing children, we found the common thread was that their son was in Edmonton or their daughter was in Ontario. There is little or no work for the young people and they have to move away. There is concern now that many of the small outpost communities will not last much longer as fishing becomes harder and the young people don’t return.

When you talk about the people you can’t ignore their figures of speech and accents. Quite amazing to listen to little kids who often have a stronger accent than their parents. It was really strange the other day to be in a restaurant listening to an Oriental woman with a strong Newfie accent.

So . . . I am so glad that the Man and Lady persevered and made the last push to this wonderful island. The Man says that if there are any future trips it would be to fly directly to Newfoundland, rent a RV and stay for a couple of months. Even then there would be so much more to see.

Leaving Newfoundland

Leaving Newfoundland

By the way, the miles/kilometres we have driven from our doorstep to Cape Spear are 8,894 miles (14,824 kilometres). The Lady and I were looking at the Man the other day and realized that either he’s been in the car too long or he needs better quality shirts. Both of his favourite shirts have a dark diagonal line down the front where the seatbelt strap lies. The rest of his shirt has faded from the sunlight.

Today we’ll be in Nova Scotia. We will drive up towards the Confederation Bridge which we’ll take to Prince Edward Island instead of the ferry. Probably a quick tour of PEI and then the return home. Most likely faster than the trip out!

Leaving Newfoundland

Leaving Newfoundland

One last ‘funny’ before signing off. The other day as we were checking out we were talking to a female acquaintance we met where we were staying. She remarked to us giggling, “Isn’t it funny, all our rooms have started with the number 2.” The Man didn’t have the heart to tell her it was because they always stayed on the second floor.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip, Newfoundland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Homeward Bound Sort Of – July 16, 2006

(For those reading this for the first time, you might want to look at “About” before continuing)

Hello everyone,

Yesterday we had a good day of visiting the east coast. While many of the towns away from the coast aren’t as interesting as the west coast, as soon as we drove into the little bays we found the picture postcard images of Newfoundland. Colourful saltbox houses balanced on the sides of cliffs over churning bays or quiet harbours.

Salvage

On the recommendation of a local Newfie, we went to see the town of Salvage which was very pretty, it’s one of the most photographed towns in Newfoundland. Even in the rain it was very picturesque.

Bonavista

From there we drove out around Bonavista Peninsula ending up at the end, Cape Bonavista which was the landing spot of John Cabot in 1497. Very rugged and sparse vegetation, it obviously endures strong winds and looks very much like the Oregon Coast with its rocky outcrops and sculptured shoreline. Somehow the Man found a flock of goats to interact with. They are quite nice creatures but obviously not quite as evolved as blessèd sheep. They tried to eat bits of carpet and traffic cones and the Man’s blue jeans. We also saw a puffin colony and a whale putting on an incredible show close to shore, breaching about eight or nine times. Naturally the Man got twenty nice photos of whale butts. I’ll bet you’re all looking forward to seeing his photos when he gets back.

That night we stayed in an ‘interesting’ hotel whose minus ratings declined by the hour. One of our worst sleeps yet. Apparently the manager had gone home to sleep, no one was manning the office. At 3 a.m. the Lady got up and saw a poufy haired woman walking down the hall with her white poodle!?

This morning the weather was a little brighter so the Man wanted to go back into Bonavista to take pictures that he’d missed in the drizzle of yesterday. We ended up going back to the Point and seeing more whales, horses and cows but to the Man’s disappointment the goats were still asleep. A beautiful place despite its austere ruggedness.

Then the Man went all crazy and decided to make a dash for Cape Spear, the most easterly point in North America. So we drove and drove and drove and at 4:30 p.m. we arrived at Cape Spear.

Saving Miss Ewe

Saving Miss Ewe

Another rugged stormy place but also beautiful. The waves were pounding on the shore below very steep and crumbly cliffs. There was a fence around the most easterly spot lookout but I was still very nervous. The Man kept saying, “Get a little closer, get a little closer” and wouldn’t you know it, I fell right over the fence and almost down the cliff. With a crowd of people watching, the Man had to crawl over the chain link fence to rescue me. I made a beeline for the car but managed to see another whale blowing and leaping.

Petty Harbour

Petty Harbour

We had to find somewhere to stay as it was getting late and the first thing the Man did was get lost again which made it even later. He said, “We’ll just drive out of town a little bit, I’m sure we’ll find something.” Two hundred kilometres later we finally did. At least it’s two hundred kilometres closer to home. I’m not sure how much more I can take! No moose today.

Newfoundland continues to be beautiful but the Man and Lady have found that this side of the province looks very much like parts of BC and doesn’t have the spectacular quality of the west coast of the province. We’re making a big push to get towards Port aux Basques tomorrow, still want to drive rather than take the long ferry from this end because it is so beautiful. We’re very glad that we decided to see Newfoundland.

So that’s it for tonight.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip, Newfoundland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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