The airport limo arrived on the button and the ride to Toronto proved uneventful with one other passenger pickup. Debbie Kaye won’t believe this—I couldn’t either—the airport was a breeze this time. We had arrived at the right time with e-Tickets and boarding passes in hand. A bored attendant printed our luggage tags, we checked our luggage and zipped through Security in a snap. Only a handful of passengers waited ahead of us. A traveler’s dream or had we stumbled into the Twilight Zone?
Mary and I weren’t buzzed the way we’d expected. Boarding occurred fifteen minutes late because a recent arrival was readied for our flight to Deer Lake.
We took to the tour guide right away. He’s one of those people you warm up to as if you’d know him all your life. As we found out, the charm about Newfoundlanders is you talk to one for five minutes and you’re friends for life. Maybe the real reason is you have to stick close and listen hard because the Irish /British lilt and Newfoundland speech patterns demand you hang on to most every word. We understood Francis better than other people whose paths we crossed.
Our bus astonished me: a honking one-year-old beauty with elevated seating for the passengers and a tall and wide wraparound windshield which afforded a panoramic view. Puddles on the asphalt showed signs of earlier rain, but had stopped earlier. The temperature was seasonal and comfortable. I’m not sure about my sister Mary, but my brain wasn’t in gear.
Deer Lake quick facts:
- Pockets of water all over the island resulted from glaciers
- Humber River runs out of Deer Lake: beautiful salmon river
- Salmon as heavy as 30 pounds (but you don’t keep those)
- Population of Deer Lake around 5,000
- 1920 construction of Deer Lake Power Company hydro plant
- 1922 International Pulp and Paper Company work camp
- 1925 camp formal Town of Deer Lake
- 1955 airport built
- Airport serviced close to 340,000 passengers in 2014
Our tour consisted of 31 tourists. Sixteen came from Ontario; twelve from British Columbia and across the Prairies; a couple from California; a young woman from Germany, plus our guide and the bus driver. We were booked to over-night in Corner Brook but first excursion had begun.
- The Appalachians extend from Newfoundland and Labrador to Central Alabama
- Rival the Himalayans
- Eroded over time due to wind and glaciers
- Oldest rock on earth found in Labrador
- 1904 moose brought here from New Brunswick
- Because of tall, spindly legs, can peel top off a small car on impact
- Many collisions in Newfoundland because of moose sightings
- 90% of drivers swerve to avoid moose (heavy skid marks on highways)
- Weight of moose 1200 pounds and more
- Hunters from North and South Carolina, Quebec, Pennsylvania come to hunt moose
- Current moose population over 100,000
- Considered a menace. Eat 20 kilogram (50#) of young trees a day
- Will eat whole forests: balsam, fir
- Hunting season extended
- Controlled areas hunting Gros Morne National Park
- Fenced areas at Gros Morne to protect trees (whole areas bare of trees)
I suppose the moose had no idea we were there as we’d just arrived.
Hockey and politics are the two most enjoyed pastimes in Newfoundland.
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Next on October 9th: Adventures in Corner Brook
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