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Gros Morne

Getting To Gros Morne

Driving most of the way across the continent wasn’t enough for us in the summer of 2012 – a combination of wedding gifts and soon-to-be-expiring Aeroplan points made us decide to spend a few days camping in Gros Morne, Newfoundland in early July.

I had only been in Newfoundland once before, when I was two years old, and I have to admit I don’t really remember it very well. We also didn’t do any camping or hiking that time – so this was all going to be new to me.

Just like in our May road trip, we were exceptionally lucky with the weather. We had been prepared for lots of rain and mist and cold, but our time there was mostly hot and sunny. I took a lot of pictures, and many of them turned out really well. Like in my other travel posts, click on any picture to see it in Flickr, where you can find more information about when and where, as well as larger versions.

Getting to Gros Morne from Halifax is a two hour flight in a Dash-8 propellor plane to Deer Lake – flying a bit lower and slower than jets makes for a much more dramatic view of the landscape below, especially when it looks like the Canadian East Coast:


Early on, I got the impression that this was trip was going to have some epic scenery. Even the small airport with its handful of small planes felt like it deserved a Sigur Ros soundtrack:

We picked up our rental car and drove towards our first night’s campground near Trout River. The trees and rocks gave way to our first view of Bonne Bay, and we immediately pulled over to get a good look at it – and I quickly realized that these are the kinds of wide panoramas that are hard to capture on camera.…

Climbing Gros Morne Mountain

“Wh-wh-wha? Just give me some time to digest this.”

It was our first morning in Gros Morne. We had planned on climbing the mountain at some point on our trip, but figured that we would ease into it by having some shorter hikes first. Shannon had noticed that the morning was sunny and clear and had suggested to me that we should climb the mountain today. This being Newfoundland, there was no way of knowing how long we’d have the nice weather, and you really don’t want to navigate the top of Gros Morne in the fog or rain.

There’s a part of me that really likes to stick with a scheduled plan. I’m open to changes, but it often takes me some time to digest them and reorganize my assumptions. We’ve been together for well over a decade, so Shannon has figured this out about me and knows what to do about it:

“Well, I’ll buy you breakfast and you can think it over.”

So instead of camp-stove coffee and instant oatmeal, we drove into Woody Point and had full bacon-and-eggs breakfast. It’s not every breakfast place restaurant that has this kind of view from the counter:

Fed and caffeinated, I started coming around. It was indeed a beautiful day, and why not start or visit with a bang? Shannon smiled and ordered us a pair of the “hikers lunch” packs they (conveniently!) sold at the restaurant and drove out to the trailhead.

Gros Morne mountain is what gives the entire region its name, looming 807 meters above the fjords and villages. The origin of the name is foggy – literally, perhaps, since it might be referring to how the mountain looms lonely and mournful in the coastal mists. It’s more of a large hill rather than a pointy steep mountain, so climbing it wasn’t going to require any special mountaineer gear or anything – but we had heard that it wasn’t exactly going to be a leisurely stroll, either.…

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