After a revitalizing shower in a TCH truck stop, I motored south down the Heritage Run onto the Burin (pronounced Byorn) Peninsula. The sun in my face and wind to my back as clear blue lakes dotted the ice chiseled land. Large expanses of barrens and bog comprise this unique landscape. Home to ptarmigan, caribou, hare, berries and abundant salmon rivers, the land offers all needed to survive if one knows how. On the first night I camped along the Black River beyond the 1939 railway bridge, cooking beans on the fire and enjoying the sound of the cascading river. I slept in the following morning waiting for the rain to pass and then continued up to the high plateau around 600ft above sea level. Low clouds spit soft mists on the breeze but I was just happy to be dry and warm in my suit. After some side road explorations, I turned down toward the quiet outports of Grand La Pierre and English Harbour East. At the wharf in GLP, I befriended a lifelong resident who, after a 20 minute chat, unfastened the lid on a white salt beef bucket to reveal a dozen cod fillets. "Here me buddy, have some feesh". I gladly wrapped the white meat in a trash bag and thanked him for the token of frindship.
Returning to the Heritage Run, I thought it prudent to camp, knowing I had all evening to fish for trout, collect wood and enjoy the scenery. Numerous side trails with cabins and campers looked great for an RV but offered no hammockable trees. By chance, I turned down the trail to Grandy's Pond, a 10 mi long lake abutting a small mountain range separating Terrenceville from the main road and coves of the eastern shore. To my surprise, a sandy beach, campfire pit and stand of trimmed spruce proved the perfect campsite for the evening, or two. I cast my line into the mirror calm water and immediately felt a tug. Hungry trout. A couple rowed out into the picturesque calm , offering some advice on where to fish as they floated past. I'd later meet them on shore when they introduced themselves as Bill and Connie F. from Mt. Pearl, their white cabin I had passed on my way in. We chatted briefly before Bill offered to bring me a load of wood. How could I refuse? To my pleasant surprise, he brought two cardboard boxes full and a plate of cheese, crackers, chips, pickles and a dessert pastry! "This is from Connie". Wow! I'm conistently amazed and warmed by the abundance of kind souls on this island. As Dave said "it's how it used to be, it's how it should be " So true. I cooked up the cod and trout on my frindship fire then watched for the last boat who hadn't returned. By dark I grew concerned and rode up to their cabin to ask about the vessel. They assured me that they often went salmon fishing 30 min after dark and had to travel across the pond. Before I know it, I've got a cold Molson in hand and am sharing stories on their front porch. I listen intently to their shared hobbies here throughout the seasons and of children my age in St. John's, of family that married Americans and have gone away. Still to many who leave, the island of Newfoundland will always be "home". After a second drink, we return to the shore to happily find the ATV idling and the three neighbors safely returned. The stillness of the water reflects the low clouds shrouding the mountain and a hollow call of loons echoes through the humid air. What a place.
I decide to spend another day on the beautiful quiet shores, fishing in the AM then reading in the sun throughout the afternoon. I may have caught a tan, maybe a sunburn. who cares, I was warm and even went for a swim! A local Terrenceville native drives over and has a yarn with me as I lay shirtless on the hot sand. He tells me about life here in the 40s before the road was built, of horse carts and caribou hunts, rock partridge and hare stews. Sitting on a tuft of grass behind me, he laments the progress of society and how young folk have no time or interest for ways of the past. I most certainly do but realize I'm not so young anymore. The day slides effortlessly away and I kindle a fire to cook my beans. No fish today and I thank Bill and Connie for offering me their four trout of the day. I couldn't accept them after all they've done and hope I didn't offend them.
In May 2014 I quit my job to ride a Honda Ruckus over 55'000 mi and counting. Wild camping most nights and cooking most of my own meals, I keep the costs low and the landscape changing.