Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Trout River

2013_NL_F17_0032Having gone all around the circle through Fogo, Twillingate, and Morton's Harbour, I thought it would be nice to go visit Gros Morne National Park. The park has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since I was last there in 1984. The designation was given in 1987 for both the exceptional beauty of the area and the significant contribution that the Tablelands have had on proving the concept of plate tectonics.

The weather was typical for Newfoundland as I headed towards Woody Point: the sky was overcast and I could see heavy rain ahead.


Sure enough, as I got closer, I could see the clouds pouring huge amounts of water onto the hills around the town.


Dramatic clouds always make for great photographs, though, as in this case of the Woody Point lighthouse.



The rain held off while I photographed this boat tied up at the Woody Point wharf.


After I took the this photo, I noticed a dory nearby. Like the motorboat I mentioned in my Twillingate blog post, dories are a rare sight these days. These narrow-hulled, flat-bottomed boats were very common during the heyday of sailing vessels, as they could be easily stacked on the deck of a fishing schooner. With modern powerboats there is not much call for them any longer. Seizing the opportunity presented, I quickly added it to my growing collection of boat photographs.


The Tablelands are located just outside of Woody Point, and you can see just how dramatic they are. On the right side of this valley is the Tablelands and its mantle geology, and on the other, normal rock.


As you get closer to the Tablelands, you can see that there is very little vegetation growing there.


Plate tectonic theory predicts that at some point in time, the mantle rises above the Earth's crust, so it follows that somewhere on the surface of the Earth there will be a place where this has happened. The Tablelands is a unique example of plate tectonic theory, making geologists refer to Western Newfoundland as the "Galapagos of plate tectonics". It's hard for vegetation to get a foothold here. The rock is very low in calcium, very high in magnesium, and has toxic amounts of heavy metals. It's called Peridotite, and it is also high in iron, which is why it looks like rust.

This rust-coloured blob of rock makes for an interesting contrast with the surrounding vegetation, especially on a sunny day.


As I was taking the photograph above, I noticed that part of the north-facing cliff still harboured snow. Newfoundland has mild summers, but even so, I was surprised to see snow on the island at the end of July.


We stayed at Sheppard's Bed & Breakfast in Trout River, which is just up from the trailhead of the Trout River Pond trail. After a good night's sleep, the weather had cleared so it was time to see the Tablelands close up.


Hiking along base of the Tablelands, I could see plant life starting to adapt, or perhaps more correctly, the toxic metals were finally leaching out and soil was starting to build up.


It is a tough life trying to survive in this area, and most plants are unable to do so.


At the end of the trail are two of Parks Canada's famous red chairs...


... which were perfect for relaxing and taking in the natural beauty of the area.


Here is a list of links to all of the blog posts from my 2013 tour around Newfoundland:

Cuckolds Cove to Carbonear
Signal Hill
Boat Tour!
Bird Watching!
Whale Watching!
Fogo Part 1: Getting There
Fogo Part 2: Walking Around
Fogo Part 3: The Fishery
Fogo Part 4: The Fogo Island Inn
Twillingate Part 1: Getting There
Twillingate Part 2: Wine, Music, and Whine
Twillingate Part 3: An Iceberg and a Lighthouse
Twillingate Part 4: Down to the Sea in Boats
Trout River and Gros Morne National Park
St. Anthony: Grenfell House and Big Boats
St. Anthony: A Whale of a Tale!
St. Anthony: Ice, Ice, Baby!
Red Bay: A World Heritage Site
Mary's Harbour

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