Monthly Archives: August 2011

Scenic Pursuit Boat Tours- Tourism at its Finest.

The Scenic Pursuit Boat Tours is operated from Bide Arm (Roddickton-Bide Arm). This boat tour operates three runs daily to view the unique coastlines, whales and other sea life. If you are lucky you might catch the glimpse of an iceberg in Canada Bay.

This boat can seat up to 37 passengers and has entertaining music, flavoured coffee and other snacks. As you walk on this boat you will be surprised by the aromas of cedar and abundance of spacious seating. If you like the smell of salt water and the wind in your hair than enjoy the outside or upper deck. The ride is 2.5 hours in length.

If you like something even more unique, you may wish to charter the boat with the Captain, who will take you to the resettled community of Hooping Harbour. This heritage/adventure learning vacation is 8-9 hours in length.

This past week, Scenic Pursuit had Peter Jacobs perform live music on the tour.

Visit their website at www.scenicpursuit.com. They are another great addition to our tourism experiences on the Great Northern Peninsula.

Book your tour today!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Underground Salmon Pool, Roddickton-Bide Arm, NL

The Underground Salmon Pool just minutes from the Town of Roddickton-Bide Arm is a natural attraction. A boardwalk will allow you to circle the trails to the underground salmon pool.

There are panels with information and signs directing you to the underground hole.

It is amazing the natural beauty we have around us on the Great Northern Peninsula.

If you like the natural beauty of what the countryside has to offer than en route to Roddickton-Bide Arm, take a stroll to the underground salmon hole.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

Does Anyone Know the Story behind this Snowmobile?

A miniature replica of an old snowmobile was displayed on the yard in the Town of St. Lunaire-Griquet while I was searching for the Petermann Ice Island! I passed by this item, but was told to take a snap.

Does anyone know the history behind this piece of art?

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Twitter/LiveRuralNL

 

The Straits – White Bay North NDP District Association Annual General Meeting

ANNOUNCEMENT:

The Straits -White Bay North NDP District Association holds its Annual General Meeting at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at the Flower’s Cove Lions Community Centre at Flower’s Cove, NL.

The District Association will Elect Officers to fill positions of President, vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Women’s Representative , Youth Representative and Members-at-Large.

You may wish to join the party in advance by signing up at http://www.nl.ndp.ca/join. Your membership is free; however, we truly appreciate donations from our members. Remember your contributions are tax deductible!

Christopher Mitchelmore, NDP Candidate for The Straits- White Bay North will provide an address. We look forward to your participation, hearing your ideas, issues and solutions that can better our communities.

-30-

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

Treasures and Rare Finds at Dr. Henry N. Payne Community Museum

The Dr. Henry N. Payne Community Museum & Craft Shop at Cow Head, NL is within walking distance of the Shallow Bay Motel and the home of Gros Morne Theatre Festival.

On August 4, 2011 I visited this Community Museum. It brought me back nearly a decade ago when I first started Flower’s Island Museum in Nameless Cove in July 2002. The old homestead similarly was filled with items of the 19th century and had stories adorning the walls highlighting baking bread, domestic life and past residents that were pillars of the community.

Dr. Henry Payne was a dedicated teacher for 45 years, Justice of the Peace and a field worker for the Co-operative Movement.

Since the 1950s the co-operative movement has continued to grow. Today, it consists of related organizations with significant influence in the agriculture, finance, insurance, fishing, retail and housing industries. Retail co-operatives play significant roles on the Prairies and in Atlantic Canada, according to Canadian Encyclopedia.

Rural Communities were built around the cooperation of its residents. It led to development. We may have to re-visit the co-operative model and consider it for craft retail, tourism marketing, fishery and agricultural sectors on the Great Northern Peninsula.

The Museum has a wealth of artifacts from the past. Entrance is just $3.00 and if under 12 there is no admission fee. The kitchen has the old stove, with flat irons ready to be heated for ironing clothes. In the pantry there was an old water pump in the basin and many old tins and cans, which were former homes for tea, spice, flour and other foodstuffs.

The rocking chair below is a rarity. It certainly is one of a kind and a symbol of the times. This appears to be an old hooping barrel converted into a rocking chair. You may also notice the hinges on the seat. It was also good for storage – maybe the wife’s knitting and wool would be neatly stowed away. Nevertheless, this piece illustrates the ingenuity of a rural Newfoundlander & Labradorian.

Rug Hooking has begun to see a revival on the Great Northern Peninsula. I have seen rug hooking kits for sale at many outlets, the Grenfell Interpretation Centre sells a variety of hooked rugs, the College of the North Atlantic had delivered a Mat Hooking course (which, I enrolled), many rugs were hooked in Englee and Main Brook. This is an excellent opportunity to place your images of Rural Life in an art form. Community-members could come together to form a rug hooking cooperative as was in the past with the Grenfell Foundation. People would send their stockings to the women of Labrador and the Great Northern Peninsula to hook Grenfell Rugs.

The Dr. Henry Payne Museum offers Rug Hooking classes on-site, taught by the multi-talented Glenda Bavis. If you are interested in learning this trade make contact at: 709 243-2466 or
g.bavis@nf.sympatico.ca.

The museum is a rare find with photos, period furniture, artifacts, geology and more. Additionally, a visit to their gift shop is a treasure hunt. They have a little bit of everything from candles, postcards, hand-knit sweaters, pottery, pewter bowls, Dark Tickle products, books, antler buttons, pet rocks, jewellery, music and more. (http://www.cowhead.ca/heritage/)

If you have the time, drop by this museum. They are open until 8:00 PM! The two staffers working we able to answer my questions, as I can be very inquisitive at times. I like playing the role of a tourist even on the Great Northern Peninsula, as it is nice to see the product and service offering others experience when they visit local sites. Great job!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Twitter/LiveRuralNL

 

Finding your way in Bird Cove, NL – It’s About Time

The Town of Bird Cove is quite scenic. One could get lost in the beauty of your surroundings. I had taken the trek around parts of Long Pond and some of the archaeological sites.

Bird Cove is a Community of 50 Centuries. People have inhabited this peninsula for more than 5,000 years. So many cultures collided, from the first Maritime Archaic Indians, Paleo-Eskimo, Groswater Eskimo, Recent Indians, Basque, French, English to the current settlers. So it is certainly “About Time…”

I started my walk behind Bird Cove Community Centre.

I was tempted to take this small boat out for a row. It has been awhile since I’ve been rowing on the water, I miss it terribly. On the walk, I would recommend bug spray as there were many gnats and dragon flies skirting around me. I saw a fine winter’s wood neatly piled along the walk.

The trail continued with pebbles that would lead me to various plant life along the trail.

I was told that it is not uncommon to see a caribou while walking this trail.  I did see a small squirrel and several birds. They were singing :). It was a beautiful day.

One could be with nature at one turn and at the other see civilization of Bird Cove with a view of dwellings and the water tower. The trail continued to a boardwalk into the “Big Droke” (thickly forested area)

There was lots of space to sit down for a rest or to have a bite to eat. The trails were well-maintained. However, some of the signage was missing, so at times when I came to a fork I was a little unsure as to which direction to take. There were no bags in the limited garbage containers, so I held my Gatorade bottle. I was pleasantly surprised garbage was absent. Despite this, I found the trek very enjoyable. The larger panels had good images and useful information.

There were many other trails, as there are more than 30 register archaeological sites. One could walk Dog Peninsula and see Captain James Cook’s Cairn. I did not enjoy the fact that the trail did not loop around, as I was sporting my beige shorts with black dress shoes (very under-prepared for this walk, as I left from work wearing dress pants, shirt and tie). I ended up having to walk down a road of houses and make a turn to get back to the Community Centre. The additional walk did permit me to take many great photos of lobster traps, a rest area, fishing boats, seabirds and the Big Droke Cultures Foundation before making my way back to the Centre.

You too could find your way in Bird Cove! Remember “It’s About Time”

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Twitter/LiveRuralNL

A Summer of Icebergs – The Giant Ice Island moves to St. Lunaire

The Giant Ice Island has moved to St. Lunaire, NL. I ventured to the Town of St. Lunaire-Griquet Friday evening hoping to catch a glimpse of the Petermann Ice Island. When driving into the Town at Tip of the Great Northern Peninsula you see the magnificent reams of white ice mountains contrasting with the grey rocky hills in the habour. Most of the images I captured were smaller bits as the larger images were blocked by the hilly landscape and I was unable to find the trail known as the Camel Hump. There was a sign, but I did not see any direction or place for parking. I took my Honda Civic over a dirt road until she was about to scrape bottom. I continued by foot up a steep hill, but had no success in catching an up close glimpse.

Jeffrey Curtis had uploaded a video on YouTube of the “The Petermann ice island, located 4 Miles off St Lunaire harbor” which I’ve embedded below. It is just an incredible intact piece of ice.

I did manage to see some smaller icebergs scattered throughout the harbour from a distance. They appeared to be blocking the harbour.

Imagine being able to look out your kitchen window or sit on the deck and enjoy a cup of Dark Tickle tea or coffee and taking in this view. Another wonder of Life on the Great Northern Peninsula!

The Great Northern Peninsula is the place to be this summer season if icebergs are on your bucket list. They are truly a wonder.

Take route 436 – it will lead you to the bergs, but also Norstead – Viking Village & Port of Trade, L’Anse Aux Meadows World UNSECO Heritage Site, The Dark Tickle Company, Raleigh Historic Village, French Oven and Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve. You can dine experience Fine Dining at the Norseman Restaurant & Gaia Art Gallery, sophistication and specialty seafood at The Daily Catch, great food for the whole family at excellent prices can be found at Northern Delight Restaurant and for those on the run, Snow’s Take-Out can serve up some tasty chicken and chips. There are many little shops en route to purchase carvings, jams, preserves, knitted items, hooked rugs and other local lore. There are many B&B’s, campgrounds, motel, cabins and heritage properties available to appeal to any type of traveller.

I would highly recommend spending a few days on this part of the Peninsula. A few hours simply is not enough to experience the sights, sounds and wonder of it all. This was my 6th visit on Route 436 this summer season!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Twitter/LiveRuralNL

Having a Good Scuff at the 10th Annual St. Anthony Music Festival

On August 5, 2011 myself and a friend had plans to take in the 10th Annual St. Anthony Music Festival. After a quick stop at Tim Horton‘s for an ice cap, we drove up to a little paradise with panoramic views, trails, restaurants and an emporium. It can be the peak of your experience. I was able to park my car and get a good view of the many icebergs.  There is also one lonely fisherman in the harbour, maybe he plans to catch a few cod-fish while the recreational fishery.

The reason for the trip was to take in the festivities and hear the diverse talents of our local musicians. They had a great line-up of performers that would appeal to everyone’s fancy, from Folk, Traditional Newfoundland & Labrador, Blue Grass, Country, Old Time Rock N’ Roll and other songs from popular culture. The Olympia was a buzz – there was a sense of happiness from the people in the room. I spoke with a number of people and even found some travelling to St. Anthony from Corner Brook, NL and even as far as Northern Quebec and Nunavut.

Addmission was just $10.00 to hear 9 different bands/performers. The schedule was as follows:

  • 7:30 PM Doors Open. Recorded Music
  • 8:00 PM The Pumper Boys
  • 9:00 PM Angela Byrne & Alphonsus Reardon
  • 9:30 PM Alphonsus Reardon & Albert Kinsella
  • 9:45 PM Wade Hillier
  • 10:15 PM Max Sexton
  • 10:30 PM Jade Gibbons
  • 11:00 PM Skipper Hotts Band
  • Midnight  Sam S., Adam R., Trevor N., & John H.
  • 1:30 AM – Close Dwayne Snow

Alphonsus Reardon & Angela Byrne perform some traditional music. She had a beautiful voice and was the only female performer during the whole show. Great job & hopefully next year more female singers will come out and participate. There certainly were no shortage of women in attendance, as they filled up the dance floor.

Wade Hillier has many talents – Viking re-enactor, story and joke teller, as well as a musician. I heard him the Friday prior performing at the Norseman Restaurant in L’Anse Aux Meadows. My two friends from California enjoyed his tunes, that they purchased a copy of his CD. I love the deep voice Wade has and especially love hearing his rendition of Aunt Martha’s Sheep and anything he does by Johnny Cash!

Ford Blake is one part of the Skipper Hotts Band, as he riddles out the tunes on the old squeeze box. I had the joy of hearing him and a part of his band play at Skipper Hotts Lounge in Straitsview the previous Friday as well. There my two friends would get Screeched-in (photos and story to follow). Tonight they had their full complement and their music pulled the people out on the floor to dance up a storm.

Prior to his performance I had asked him about playing the accordion. He had told me he started learning by playing on his father’s old one as a little boy, because you certainly were not allowed to use the good one back in those days. Drop by Skipper Hotts Lounge in Straitview and you too may be greeted by this self-taught talent and his band’s traditional music. The sound of music in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador is vibrant and even more so due to the people with the talent of being able to play the accordion.

Despite the chill in the air of the stadium, the night ended up drawing a large crowd. I have to commend the organizers as they handed out a schedule with important information, which included a floor plan. This helped people find the washroom, concession stand, bar, drink ticket area, seating area and designated smoking area. As well, the local Boys & Girls Club benefited from revenues sold at the concession stand. It was nice to see that monies would go back to a local cause and benefit the area’s youth.

The Music Festival brought a crowd of young and young-at-heart alike out to the floor. I had a great time meeting new people, catching up with old friends, having a glass of Screech & Coke, dancing and enjoying the life in the stadium created through music.

Great Job!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Twitter/LiveRuralNL

World Renown Youth Choir Visits the Great Northern Peninsula

The Saltwater Joys – Tour of Newfoundland & Labrador presented by The Munich Youth Choir set the stage that drew a large audience at the Bird Cove Community Centre on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 7:00 PM.

It was wonderful to see nearly 200 people come out for this event that had limited marketing in the region.

They opened the event to all and accepted donations. It was nice to see the inclusiveness and variety of all age groups from a few years to the mid-eighties. I was fortunate to be able to sit in the audience. I have attended operas, musicals, theatres and other special performances in Europe; however, this was my first by youth. It was a very empowering experience!

A production that promotes the exchange and share of culture. We were greeted with German music, British, English, Japanese, Australian, African, Classical, Popular Culture and even tunes from Newfoundland & Labrador.

I was captivated by their rendition of “Yesterday” by the Beatles. For me this was completely unexpected. I really did not know the aptitude of this group and their talents. I was pleasantly surprised. They utilized different instruments, including a bone drum, tambourine and keyboard accordian. Celebrate Life made me smile, enough that I purchase their “Folk CD” and have played it in my car to and from work for more than 1 hour.

Music is the universal language – Re-quoted by Blair Gaulton, Tour Organizor

The Sister Act tunes really were upbeat! It was also a first hearing a song recited in Japanese. Although, I truly enjoyed hearing the Newfoundland Tunes of “Danny Boy“, “I’se da By’s” and one of my favourites “Saltwater Joys”.

They were impressive! It reminded me of being at the Opera House in Prague, Czech Republic watching a Grand Performance, when you realize that you are in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador at the local community centre. The World has come to us, to share with us their talents and we had the opportunity to share with this group from Munich the rural lifestyle. I have been on an exchange, lived, studies and travelled Europe visiting nearly 30 different countries and there is much value in meeting, learning and sharing ideas with others.

The Munich Youth Choir was given the opportunity to meet and hang out with locals, travel the peninsula, visit Icebergs and even meet Rose. Rose is a local resident, well – Crinkle Cove, I think? She provided some light hearted humour while the band played traditional Newfoundland & Labrador music including the “ugly stick”.

The group easily broke into dance with the group. There was much positive energy, harmony and happiness in the room with each others company. Rose lead the way to provide a re-vised version of the Screech-in, making each visitor an honourary Newfoundlander by dressing, dancing, eating, talking and drinking Purity Syrup and kissing a cod fish.

Pucker Up!

After 3 hours at the center, I was deeply rewarded for contributing my time and making a donation. In turn was exposed to music, art and culture from a very talented group of individuals. I had taken away many photos, a couple of cds and the cherished memories of being there for something wonderful.

Communities came together, people were happy and we have an opportunity for more growth. Rural Newfoundland & Labrador is a good venue beyond the large urban centres for culturally significant events and entertainment.

A special thank you to the Munich Youth Choir, organizers, sponsors and local groups such as the Big Droke Foundation. St. Barbe Development Association, Going Healthy Program – Bird Cove and the Town of Bird Cove.

For those of you that missed the performance, you can drop by sometime for a cup of tea from the Dark Tickle Company and listen to the music. There is opportuntiy for Rural Newfoundland & Labrador to exchange talents, hosting a multitude of learning vacations.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Twitter/LiveRuralNL

A Small Iceberg in Green Island Brook

Last month en route to Norstead – Viking Village & Port of Trade at L’Anse aux Meadows, I captured this small iceberg at Green Island Brook (July 7, 2011).

This small berg was so close to land, making for a great snap of the camera capturing the small fishing shed in the corner.

Travel Tip: Between the communities of Green Island Brook and Eddies Cove East is a brilliant area for watching whales passing through the Strait of Belle Isle.

I’ve read articles today still noting that along the Labrador coast and around the Northern tip of the Peninsula there are close to 200 icebergs.

Enjoy the Great Northern Peninsula Experience -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Twitter/LiveRuralNL

Fireworks Celebrate Canada’s 144th Birthday in Ottawa

I had the privilege of being in Ottawa for Canada Day to celebrate Canada‘s 144th Birthday! It was quite the celebration with more than 300,000 people on the hill, incredible musicians, Royals and a wave of red and white. The fireworks were quite the show:

There is something magical about a good fireworks show. The crowds together are filled with amazement. They certainly are a crowd pleaser!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Twitter/LiveRuralNL

A Marketable Farmer’s Market – Let’s Get Growing

We have lost a generation, maybe two of hobby farmers in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador. My grandparents practiced subsistence farming, ensuring they would have enough potatoes to last throughout the winter months.  They also planted the typical carrots, turnip and cabbage. Why did the majority of their children not follow these practises? I am sure there are a number of reasons, as even Rural Newfoundland & Labrador had more purchasing power and options to purchase produce at the local grocery store.

Today, there is renewed interest among young people, like myself and even from people of my parent’s generation in growing their own produce – A Revolution! It appears there is a sense of enjoyment to the experience of growing your own green things. There is gratification of being rewarded for your own efforts. It is now “fashionable” to be seen sporting your rubber boots and hanging out in the mud, yanking out the weeds. Even my friends, family and co-workers bring up gardening in casual conversation. These are all good measures that can lead to more local and regional business development.

Today, I’ve pulled one of my romaine lettuce from my garden bed. It is one of several that were planted as a test. It is very encouraging, as I see the red onion, green onion, onion and carrots srouting up nicely.

On a recent vacation to Montreal, Quebec I had the pleasure of visiting the Jean-Talon Market, which is open year-round and takes up space of what would be two streets. The former bus station terminal has been converted to host parking, specialty boutiques and office space. There were so many varieties of fruits and vegetables. Also, one could buy ice-cream. fresh meats, breads, ice ciders, wines and of course maple syrup. I managed to pick some up some of the maple sweet stuff and a nice bottle of ice cider. Certainly a treat!

A local co-op may be interested or one could be formed to promote local gardening, community gardens and work to establish a seasonal farmer’s market. This venue may also be utilized during special occasions, such as the holiday season for local preserves, baked goods and craft items.

As the issue of food security continues to be a concern for Newfoundland & Labrador. Growing local produce is a good practise, it ensures quality, pesticide free and can be a lower cost solution as these items do not require shipping from other parts of Canada and the world.

Let’s Make a Marketable Farmer’s Market in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador!

Get Growing -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Twitter/LiveRuralNL

 

The House of the Original Fairmount Bagel – Montreal, QC

There are certain things you must do where you visit certain places – like having a Beaver Tail on the Rideau Canal, drinking a Mojito in Cuba and tasting a crepe in Paris. In Newfoundland & Labrador we have many traditional dishes you should try while here, including:

  1. Split peas soup & dumplings
  2. Lassie Bread
  3. Toutons
  4. Fisherman’s Brewis
  5. Baked beans & hash
  6. Jigg’s Dinner
  7. Fish & Potatoe w/ Pork scrunchions
  8. Rabbit & Paste
  9. Moose Burgers
  10. Caribou Steak
  11. Moose Stew
  12. Fish Cakes
  13. Figgy Duff

During a visit in late-June to Montreal, I was introduced to a traditional taste enjoyed by many Montrealers – the bagel. The overpowering aromas filled the air of freshly baked bagels. There were racks upon racks – several being loaded on a truck to go to market. It was great to be able to purchase directly from the producer at “La Maison De L’Original Fairmount Bagel”.

My friend who lives in Montreal introduced me to this place and also to Smoked Salmon Spread, which we was delightful to the taste buds. Although, I must admit that I was skeptical at first.

It just goes to show sometimes we need to be open-minded. You may realize that by giving something chance you may find a new joy.

Consuming culture can be as simple as eating the sesame seed bagel with salmon dip from a local bagel shop. When you visit a new place, I encourage you to try local foods. As I try to  prepare often local dishes for myself and those who come and visit me in Rural NL.

Bon A petit!

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Twitter/LiveRuralNL

 

Moose Antlers Make Quite the Entrance – Englee, NL

On a recent trip to Englee, NL my attention was drawn to the house below that had a very beautifully landscaped yard, fountain with Moose Antlers combined to make quite the entrance.

I am proud to see this unique creation by a local artist. It is great to see creative uses for a product that most people would just throw away. Moose are in abundance on the Great Northern Peninsula. Males shed their antlers each season to conserve energy, as well their antlers can be obtained during Moose Hunting season in Fall/early Winter.

There is value in producing unique products. I have seen antlers used to form a large chandelier at the Tuckamore Lodge, Main Brook. There are also a select few with the talents to tediously carve from the moose antler.

This past weekend, my two friends showed me a unique product made from a wooden tree with deer antlers – a Coat Tree.

We have an opportunity to produce unique products made from moose antlers. We can develop a cottage industry around them and make high-end coat trees, chandeliers, entrance posts, and others. We have talented people in our rural economies that could produce during the Fall/Winter these products from sale on-line or at local gift shops.

There are simple solutions that can help our rural communities survive and thrive. With the appropriate partnerships and involvement by stakeholders we can change the state of our economy.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Twitter/LiveRuralNL

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