As is reinforced by where we've chosen to travel, Kristen and I are a bit hooked on seeing the ends of the earth. There's a certain feel to those exposed tips of civilization that seem to draw us near. We've felt this rawness in Patagonia, certainly in Tierra del Fuego in South America, on the Dempster Highway while crossing into the town of Inuvik in the Arctic of Canada, on the tiny blip of land in the South Pacific called Ha'apai, and now on the island of Newfoundland.
Don't get me wrong, Newfoundland is very civilized. It's not even all that difficult to get to but this environment is a HARSH place to survive. As evidenced by how the trees along the coast have bent over sideways due to chronic harassment from wicked winds, this is a place of extremes. And let me tell you, it is not lacking for rugged beauty.
There are two options for ferries across the Cabot Straight - a 7 hour ride to the southwest town of Channel Port aux Basques or an over-night, 16 hour ride to the far east town of Placencia. We opted for the shorter as we thought we would have an easy time running around the whole island and back in a week. Turns out Newfoundland is much bigger than we imagined and it's nearly impossible to not stop every few minutes to take a photo.
Our first stop was the national park of Gros Morne. We had originally planned to only stay for one night but ended up there for several days hugely because of the amazing campsite we ended up with.
We spent several days just exploring the epicness (not a word?) of Gros Morne. What's interesting about the park is that we found it to be fairly underdeveloped, which is actually pretty awesome. There are some killer back country backpacking routes to absolute wilderness that we would have loved to do if we would have brought the right gear. Next time...
One of the biggest draws of the park is Western Brook Pond. A glacially carved valley of the most grandiose proportions, it is well worth the effort. There are a couple ways to view it, including a 25 mile back-country hike that Kristen and I are definitely coming back for some day.
This is as close as we got to a particular outlook that I really wanted a photo from - I mean, I was straight obsessed. Next time I will not be denied.
We were there during such harsh light and it was still astounding. We're coming back for you Gros Morne. Look out.