Monthly Archives: January 2012

Housing Crisis Not Diminishing: Rogers

NDP Housing Critic Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) says weekend news stories emphasize the urgent need for a division of government dedicated to the problems people everywhere in Newfoundland and Labrador are having finding places to live.

“We are clearly in the middle of a housing crisis,” Rogers said today. “This is particularly true for seniors and for people with complex needs, but it is an inescapable fact that all around this province, more and more people are unable to find shelter that is both affordable and appropriate to their needs. More and more people are becoming vulnerable to the housing market.”

Rogers says her office receives calls on a daily basis from all kinds of people – seniors, families, young people – at every income level. Housing issues include rental availability, accessibility, the cost of both renting and buying, supportive housing for seniors and people with complex needs and the condition of rental units.

With that in mind, she will be visiting several communities in the province to hear first-hand from people the challenges they are facing. Rogers and NDP MHA Christopher Mitchelmore (The Straits-White Bay North) will hold a series of open meetings beginning this Saturday in St. Anthony, and travelling in the following days to Norris Point, Stephenville, Corner Brook, Grand Falls-Windsor (TBA), and Clarenville (TBA).

  • St. Anthony – Saturday, February 4, 2012 2-4 PM St. Anthony Lions Club
  • Norris Point – Sunday, February 5, 2012 2-4 PM Town Hall
  • Corner Brook – Monday, February 6. 2012 7-8:30 LC301 Grenfell Campus

“The provincial government must take action and bring together all levels of government, plus non-profits and business, to solve this problem,” Rogers said. “We are a province of 500,000 people. We can get this right. We can come up with innovative and creative solutions that work for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Should you have questions, please contact Christopher Mitchelmore at cmitchelmore@gov.nl.ca or Gerry Rogers at gerryrogers@gov.nl.ca.

http://www.nl.ndp.ca/nr013112HousingSolutions

The Old Wood Stove

The old wood stove has provided heat to Newfoundland & Labrador homes for hundreds of years. Like many rural homes, the primary source of heat is wood – which helps to keep demand for electricity low.

At the cabin – one simply can not miss out on the experience of enjoying a cup of tea made from the pristine pond water and boiled on the stove. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast with Tetley tea.

I remember as a child making toast bread using an old wire coat hanger. Those hangers are getting harder and harder to come by. So if you have one, keep it for the cabin so you too can make toast over the heat of the old wood stove.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

A Feed of Moose Meat in the Woods

A little salt and a shake of pepper at the flavour to savour as I cook the moose patties and thin moose steaks. The result – A double moose cheese burger, steak and well we had some hash browns as a side. This is not a menu item you will find at McDonalds or other fast food chains in Newfoundland & Labrador. If you are lucky you may find a restaurant or two that actually sells moose on the menu. This is surely not for lack of demand. Moose Burgers are a hot item at Jackladder Gas Station outside Deer Lake on Route 430 or the MayFlower Inn & Adventures, Roddickton, NL.

Since we had an extra burger we opted to share between the three, creating the 1/3 burger not the 1/3 pounder or 1/4 pounder but the 1/3 burger. Maybe these will catch on with a toothpick as a party appetizer?

The Great Northern Peninsula would not be the place it is today without a feed of moose. We have to be careful, and may need to reduce licences in the Straits-White Bay North as moose are getting scarce. Even in the Moose Capital of the World – Roddickton, there are fewer and fewer moose.

If you get the opportunity when visiting, try a moose burger! Why are moose not being ranched to produce moose meat for retail at supermarkets and restaurants on a larger scale, without impacting the annual hunt?

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Get Your Own Sealskin Slippers at www.gnpcraft.com

I am the proud owner of two pairs of sealskin moccasins or slippers as well as other sealskin products. Some people have seen me wearing the slippers at the Confederation Building over the past number of weeks. Santa did bring me a pair.

If you would like to get your own pair, GNP Craft Producers in Shoal Cove East on the Great Northern Peninsula can take your order over the telephone and ship your product. Visit their site at http://www.gnpcraft.com. Their prices range from $115-130 a pair depending on size. They also have children’s sizes and a variety of other products.

All items are locally made, by local people. This social enterprise continues to train and pass on the long-lived traditional skills of making sealskin clothing and boots. They have their own tannery, workshop and storefront.

Support local business, local traditions – let’s create larger local demand for sealskin products!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

A Royal Screech-In from the woods

There is a rite of passage for those who visit Newfoundland & Labrador and want to be an honorary citizen – this ritual is known as the Screech-in.

I brought this custom to the Czech Republic as part of the Canadian Nation to Nation celebration in 2007. With 1500 people at the Face2Face Club, some dressed in Halloween Customs (myself a Canadian Mountie), enjoying pancakes with maple syrup, nanaimo bars, Ceasers and lots of trick or treat items. The visitors were given a presentation of all-things Canadian and then a game was played. The Canadian Lumberjack Challenge for Honorary Citizenship:

Round 1 – Three Individuals chug a bottle of Canadian Maple Syrup

Round 2 -Two Individuals chugging a giant Molson Canadian Beer

Round 3 – Had myself as Captain Jack and my trusty assistant Sparrow deliver a Screech-in wearing a poncho and yellow rubber boots. We determined the stage was owned temporarily by the Newfoundlanders, which permitted the Screech-in ceremony. As the person completed the tasks he was made an honorary Newfoundlander. In turn, because Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949 – he would also be an honorary Canadian.

This was the first visit to Newfoundland and Labrador for my German friend, my Swiss friend had been before and was Screeched-in at Christians Bar on George Street. It was my pleasure to break out the South Wester and let the ceremony begin. My first from the woods…

Each Screech-in ceremony has a few variations depending on who is delivering it. I always ask “where ya from?”  “Do you want to be a Newfoundlander?”

We begin by talking like a Newfoundlander and throwing out a few lines. After talking like a Newfoundland. I ask ‘em to get down on their ‘knucks. It typically gets a puzzled look. After a few repeated requests they get down on their knees.

Then they get the stamp of the Newfoundland map drawn on their forehead. Since, I was in the cabin, I improvised with an ice candle (icicle). Then I usually take the salt water and baptize them; however, in this case I used pond water.

Next we sang a tune and danced a little jig. After talking, dancing and being christened, next the person must dress like a Newfoundlander.

Since we were in the forest, I did not have my trusty rubber suit, rubber boots or hat. Instead I handed over my South Wester’ hat and had him put on my wooden rackets (snowshoes w/sealskin). I was not handing over my sealskin boots, belt or wallet.

After looking like a Newfoundlander – one must eat like a Newfoundlander…First Newfie Steak which is bologna.

Normally, I’d have some Purity Rum n’ Butter Kiss candies (quintessentially,  from Newfoundland & Labrador). Instead this time, I included my Swiss friend and he handed over a Lindt chocolate ball.

Next is the Screech Rum! Before we drink though – we always get the person to say:

“Indeed it is me ol’ cock and long may your big jib draw”  - I point out my translation:

“indeed it is’:  here we are

“my ol’ cock”: cock comes from Olde English meaning buddy or friend. So: my old friend

jib: sail of a ship

draw: gust of wind

If a good gust of wind hits a sail of a ship, one will have smooth sailing.

Translation: Here we are my old friend, smooth sailing.

Leave it too a Newfoundlander to made a long and fancy way of saying cheers!

Down the hatch. Next comes the Kissing of the Cod. Now since the moratorium in 1992, it is quite difficult to get a cod fish. I won’t get on a rant about that today. So instead we used a whitefish or smelt that was caught by us a few days prior.

The facial expressions are priceless…Pucker Up

After completing all the tasks, my friend has been granted the rite of passage by the Royal Order of Screechers – presented his certificate of being an honorary Newfoundlander.

If you come to rural Newfoundland & Labrador, check with the local pubs. If you are not successful, look me up as I would be happy to conduct the Screech-in ceremony, so you too can be an Honorary Newfoundlander.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Treat Abandoned Englee Plant like the Emergency it is: Mitchelmore

Taken January 26, 2012

NDP Fisheries Critic Christopher Mitchelmore (The Straits-White Bay North) is demanding the provincial government deal with the decaying former fishplant in Englee before something tragic happens in the Northern Peninsula community.

“The Provincial Government has failed to commit to the clean-up of the abandoned Englee fish plant, for which it is ultimately responsible,” said Mitchelmore. “On January 26, the roof of the structure collapsed. This was nearly eight years after the company that had been operating the plant abandoned it. Community representatives have been calling for the plant’s removal ever since, but government is apparently ignoring them.

“It is obvious to me this Government does not have a plan to deal with crisis situations” says Mitchelmore. “This dangerous situation in Englee could have been prevented and should be a lesson for this Government. Nobody was hurt this time, but there’s no guarantee about what will happen next time a portion of that plant falls down.”

Mitchelmore says the situation in Englee should be raising alarm bells in every community in the province with a fishplant. “What will stop Ocean Choice International, for example, from similarly walking away from communities in which it currently does business – or from plants it has closed?” Mitchelmore asked. “The Province must enact legislation to hold companies accountable, especially fish processers that are benefiting from the people’s resource.

“It is time to give communities control over their resources, entering into a royalty agreement with a processor,” he said. “If Government continues to give away our fishery to irresponsible processors, any town in Newfoundland and Labrador could be facing a crisis similar to the one in Englee.”

http://www.nl.ndp.ca/nr012712EngleePlantHazard

A Cabin in the Countryside

One of the many wonders of living in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador is the ability to get away from it all by venturing across the highway on a snowmobile and heading to the cabin – even if it is only 5 or 10 minutes away and still has access to cell coverage.

I am grateful to my aunt and uncle for letting me stay at their cabin. It was my first time in the woods and on snowmobile in years. There is something wonderful about being surrounded by trees, snow, the old wood stove crackling and pond water boiling to have a spot of tea.

This was my two friends first experience in a Newfoundland cabin and on snowmobile. I hope they enjoyed riding around the pond and trail that evening. I did not realize how the snow on the trees were something that one had not seen before, as in Switzerland the snow would blow away from the limbs. My friend had taken several images.

The woods is the perfect get-a-way. I understand why many ruralites go to the cabin for the weekend to really enjoy the beauty of nature. The warmth from the wood stove made for great conversation as we planned out a supper of moose meat and a Screech-in.

If you have the opportunity, spend some time in nature and truly appreciate the peacefulness and wonder of it all.

Stay tuned for more tales from the forest.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

A Feed of Fish n’ Brewis

Fish & Brewis is a traditional Newfoundland Specialty. I enjoyed this meal of fish, brewis and boiled potatoes on January 5th, 2012.

I’ll share with you the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 4 Cakes Purity Hard Bread
  • 2 lb salt cod fish
  • 1 cup of salt pork (finely diced)
  • Drawn Butter: 1/4 Cup Butter, 2 Med. Onions (chopped), 2 tbsp Water, 1 Cup Water (Optional)

Soak Hard Bread overnight. Use lots of water. Soak cod-fish in a separate bowl overnight. In the morning change water and cook cod-fish for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Put hard bread in saucepan with water to cover and bring to a boil. Remove Hard Bread from heat and drain. Optional Add cooked flaked fish and mix if you would like what is called Fisherman’s Brewis. Keep hot. Fry pork until golden brown and crisp, serve with fish and brews.).

Drawn butter: melt butter in saucepan, add onions  and  fry until golden and soft. Do not brown. Sprinkle flour over mixture and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat. Stir in half water. Place on heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Beat until shiny and smooth. Slowly add remaining water, cook over low heat 2 to 3 minutes. Serve over fish and brewis.

My friends from Europe certainly enjoyed our traditional Newfoundland & Labrador cuisine.

Love Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Mitchelmore calls for discussion and development in seal industry

NDP Fisheries critic Christopher Mitchelmore (MHA, The Straits – White Bay North) says he and his party fully support the commercial seal hunt and he is excited about the potential for the industry as a whole.

“The sealing industry has always been an important aspect of the rural economy and I believe there is still tremendous untapped opportunity,” said Mitchelmore. “Value added business opportunities exist for rural residents, and indeed we already have successful businesses in the industry.”

Mitchelmore stated that when he meets with residents of his district there are ideas for new products but government will need to work with industry stakeholders to help these ideas develop into reality.

“The people I talk to haven’t given up on the sealing industry, and I haven’t given up on the industry. If we work together innovation is possible and good years will lie ahead for sealers and everyone who wants to make a living in the industry,” he said.

Mitchelmore says that while we must continue to work with the federal government to develop new foreign markets, we must also look to developing local markets. “I would really like to see discussions on developing the local markets. Government assistance is needed to help the industry create a plan to build on our humane and sustainable hunt,” he said. “We have to consider all ideas; for example can we reduce regulations for seal buyers in this province which would allow small scale production for untapped niche markets, such as for canned seal meat and bone fertilizers? Can we make it easier for restaurants to feature seal meat?”

The sealing industry has declined in value from approximately $40 million in 2003 to $1.5 million in 2011, largely due to declining export markets. “If we have strong markets here at home, local businesses will be better situated to develop markets around the world. And the one thing we know is that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians support the seal hunt,” Mitchelmore said.

 

Lovely L’Anse Aux Meadows – Population under 30


L’Anse aux Meadows has a population under 30 – although not by years of age but by people. It is a quaint little community that is truly nestled at the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula. It is home to Norstead – Viking Village and Port of Trade, the Norseman Restaurant (Fine Dining) and the Gaia Art Gallery, as well a World UNESCO Heritage Site that was incorporated in 1978.

During the winter, the traffic is much less and the town is even quieter. As we drove around a community of less than 30 we say some snow hardened and clinging to rocks, it could not possibly be an iceberg at this time of year.

The shed depicted below, no doubt that of a fisherman as the splitting table is still present on the private wharf. It is nice to see these structures maintained. They become less and less around our shorelines as storms have wreaked havoc on many causing much hardship.  Also, there is an impressive rack of antlers over the door.


L’Anse aux Meadows is not a question of if I visit, but when and how? There are cruise ships that dock at the wharf with planned excursions, access by car and air (St. Anthony Airport or Deer Lake Regional Airport). This place may be just what you need to truly live Rural.

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Weather is unpredictable in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador

My friends from Europe quickly found out how the weather can change on the Great Northern Peninsula. There were days when it felt like we experienced the Four Seasons – and I am not talking hotels.

I think gloves were probably in order?

The ice can quickly build as temperatures can be warm to freezing at almost any moment. There were days on the vacation when my friends could see the Strait of Belle Isle start freezing. Although, it is not  until late February or early March that the pack ice typically block the Straits. It often boggles my mind why the Labrador Ferry does not continue its run to St. Barbe longer than mid-January?

I will have to settle for the beads of ice on my Honda Civic and stare at the power of the ocean – while I dream of the warm sandy beaches of the South. This is just the beginning of the snow, ice and outdoor amusement.

Winter is incredible for the outdoors enthusiast on the Great Northern Peninsula, just make sure you have an ice scraper and brush in your vehicle as it will come in handy.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Wind Power….Why Not?

During a visit to L’anse Aux Meadows, this photo of an overworked Canadian flag was found. It clearly illustrates the tremendous impact the wind has on that area. In Conche and Englee, I have similar photos of worn out flags by wind. As well, in my own community in the Straits region – flags are replaced on a regular basis due to the consistent amount of wind. So I ask, wind power? Why not?

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North


MHA visits GNP Crafts – Purchases Seal Skin Products

My father was a sealer. He would prepare the seal skins over a several week process, soak them in chopped pieces of bark and ensure they were tanned to perfection. It is more than 13 years later and I still proudly wear the seal skin boots made due to his hard work and dedication to the tradition.

In the photo above, I try on a seal skin vest. Although, it was not my size. As my mother would say, “you’ll have to eat a few more figgy puddings”. I did try on the seal skin belt, which fit perfectly. I could not resist but to purchase it. A number of people have since complimented me on it. This organization is evidence that there is a market for seal skin products and there always will be no matter how many countries that close their border to the import of this product.

Santa gave me a pair of seal skin slippers for Christmas. I have since purchased a second pair for the Office at the Confederation Building. This local social enterprise is ensuring that seal skin products remain a hallmark of our culture and tradition. I am looking forward to picking up my order next week as they have opted to make a custom skinny tie for me.

In 2011, I wrote a letter in retaliation of Ellen DeGeneres‘ stance on the seal hunt. I stand by that position.  It is time for us to take control of our own destiny and depend less on the global market place to purchase our product but to focus on a co-op or social enterprise model that creates local jobs, teaches long-lived skills, pass on traditions and educate people of the economic and social benefits sealing has had to the people of the Great Northern Peninsula and other parts of Canada.

If you would like to find out more about GNP Craft Producers, visit www.gnpcrafts.ca.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Where have all the Vikings gone?

L’Anse Aux Meadows is home to a World UNESCO Heritage Site – as the Vikings came more than 1,000 years ago to a place they called “Vinland“. To celebrate the new millennium and 1,000 years of history a non-profit entity of Norstead was established. It is near the UNESCO site further on Route 436, a sign will guide you down a short gravel road to a Viking Village and Port of Trade. I travel there several times throughout the summer, it should also be on your list.

Norstead has a really cool landscape as it is nestled in its own little part of the cove. The ocean and  islands are forever in the backdrop, making for a photographer’s paradise.

My European friends are posing by a symbolic rock that has an image of the viking ship. The long sod covered building in the background is home to the Snorri. The boat house boasts a life-size replica and was actively sailed from Scandinavia, Greenland, Markland and finally Vinland. During the summer season you would be greeted by the colourful Lambi, all too willing to explain the ship and viking life.

The Viking church and forge are part of the Village. During summer one will find the Blacksmith hammer out some nails, a sword, helmet or other necessary item to survive in rural Newfoundland & Labrador in the year 1,000.

I would make a pretty serious blacksmith’s assistant. I am not sure I have the look of the Vikings though with all that British and Irish Ancestry.

The Vikings and the animals that spend late-Spring until early Fall have all gone. The site is quiet during the winter. I would imagine the Vikings 1,000 years ago found the weather on the Great Northern Peninsula extremely harsh.

As we walk away, we know there is a valuable experience waiting for the everyday visitor. Be sure to visit Norstead on your next time on the Viking Trail Highway, Route 430.

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North


The Straits-White Bay North Constituency Office – Opens Public Art Gallery

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA for The Straits-White Bay North invites all local artists to provide one or two sample paintings, prints, hooked rugs, wall hangings or other art forms to be placed on display in the public space of our local constituency office located at:

Public Building
PO Box 620
279-82 West Street
St. Anthony, NL A0K 4S0

We ask that all art be submitted with name, telephone number, mailing address, brief story behind the art and the artist. All proceeds from sales will be directed back to the local artist.

The Public are invited to drop by the Constituency Office (pictured above) or schedule an appointment to meet with the MHA to discuss concerns, issues or ideas.

Email: cmitchelmore@gov.nl.ca
Toll-Free: 1-888-729-6091
Tel: 709-454-2646
 
Live Rural NL -
Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

A Hospital Like No Other – Visit the Rotunda in St. Anthony, NL

Curtis Memorial Hospital was built-in the 1960′s – a sophisticated medical facility at the time servicing the Great Northern Peninsula and many parts of Labrador. The John M. Grey Centre, a modern personal care facility is adjacent to the hospital and now falls under the banner of Labrador-Grenfell Health. Unlike most medical facilities – this hospital has a rotunda with a unique offering of murals that are dedicated to the people of Northern Newfoundland & Labrador.

These are the Jordi Boney Murals, which circulate around the Main Entrance. This ceramic masterpiece is forever a gift to the people and our way of living. One will see images of people, fish, trees, snowshoes and water. An important means of subsisting from the land & sea.

If you have the opportunity the next time you are in St. Anthony pull into the Hospital and take a few moments to find the meaning behind the images circling the walls.

The Great Northern Peninsula has a unique offering!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Newfoundland Bakeapple Cheesecake Recipe

Bakeapple, the Cloudberry or the Chicouté is a delightful wild berry that grows on the marshes of the Great Northern Peninsula, Labrador and other parts of Northerly climates. Late July-early August is a great time to head to the barrens with your jugs and buckets to get some for yourself. The other option may be to purchase them at roadside.

I enjoy the berry in a pie, served with vanilla ice-cream but especially served as part of a Cheesecake. I’ve been using the following recipe for a while and decided to share it with you:

Crust
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar

Filling
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour, all-purpose
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup blend cream (10%) or undiluted evaporated milk
2/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon rind (zest)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups bakeapple jam or sauce

Bakeapple Sauce
2 cups bakeapples
water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Crust
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch spring-form pan.
- Melt butter, add crumbs and sugar; mix until mixture is moist and crumbly. Press against bottom and sides of greased springform pan. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350°F. Cool.

Filling
Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Beat cream cheese well. Beat in egg yolks, then add l/2 cup sugar, Dour and salt. Beat well. Add cream, vanilla, lemon rind and juice; beat mixture until free from lumps.

In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until they reach the soft-peak stage. Beat in 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until whites are stiff but not dry. Fold egg whites into cream cheese mixture.

Pour cream cheese mixture into baked crumb crust and bake at 325°F for 40-60 minutes or until it sets. The mixture will be a bit quivery when removed from the oven, but will set as it cools.

Cool cheesecake to room temperature, apply bakeapple sauce over the top, then refrigerate until serving (preferably 3-4 hours).

Bakeapple Sauce
Simmer bakeapples in a little water until tender, about 10 minutes. Add sugar and simmer another 5 minutes.

Mix cornstarch with enough water to form a paste. Stir into bakeapples and continue stirring until thickened and smooth.

Please visit http://newfoundland.ws for more superb recipes of Newfoundland & Labrador cuisine.

A visit to a restaurant in Newfoundland & Labrador, especially during summer will likely have this berry in a dessert, alcoholic beverage or as a garnish to a main course. Embrace the bakeapple along with so many residents of the Great Northern Peninsula – it truly is a treat that will tantalize the taste buds.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Polar Bear Visited St. Anthony, NL…Many Moons Ago

This was not the first or the last Polar Bear to find its way into the Town of St. Anthony on the Peninsula`s Northern Tip.

The bear is quite impressive in size as my friend stands at over 6 feet in height. I had taken the time to read the article again which made the Northern Pen Newspaper many moons ago. There is a back story as to how it ended up being preserved and how it died. I won`t spoil it for you, but recommend if you are in Town to visit the preserved bear at the Town Hall during regular business hours.

This is about as close as I`d like to come with a Polar Bear.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Where the Norse settled 1,000+ years ago…

This is where the Norse lived more than 1,000 years ago. The remains of houses, workshops and outer buildings are present by the impressions still left in the ground. Imagine living in L’Anse aux Meadows and having to withstand the harsh winter climate. Today this is a Parks Canada and World UNESCO Heritage Site which in season has more than 30,000 visitors.

A look from the mounds one can see a re-constructed site, where one can get educated on a day in the life of a Viking. This was my first time visiting during the winter. It was bitterly cold, as the wind came from the water. If I was living as a Viking, I would stay near the fire or make sure I was wearing my sealskin boots (they probably used sheep skin).

The Great Northern Peninsula is home to many firsts – including the Norse being the first to re-discover North America, as Native people were already inhabiting this island. We have a connection to many parts of Europe as a point of first contact with the Basque coming in the 1500′s, Captain James Cook, the French, English, and Irish settlers shortly thereafter. We have a long-standing history from the First Maritime Archaic Indians, Paleo-eskimo, Groswater-Eskimo and recent Indians to the point when Europeans came to North America. The proof is at L’Anse aux Meadows, NL on the Great Northern Peninsula – you may want to find yourself here too!

This site has been showcased in the Province’s Award-Winning Tourism Ads – you too may want to find yourself exploring the Viking Trail, Route 430 and experiencing what life was like living as a Viking more than 1,000 years ago.

Live Rural NL -
Christopher Mitchelmore
The Straits-White Bay North 

 

MHA To Hold Community Meeting in Main Brook

A Great Viking Feast -Leifsburdir

Most likely the only place in North America where one can eat in a sod hut and enjoy a Great Viking Feast is on Fishing Point, St. Anthony, NL.

Last September 2011, I attended the final feast of the season which was a fundraiser for the local Boys & Girls Club. An incredible meal of meat, potatoes and other root crops. One will quickly notice there are no forks – simply because the Vikings did not use forks. It can be quite challenging trying to eat certain foods without this utensil. Although, one never really thinks about it until he or she does not have it. Funny how we take for granted some of the items we use daily that makes life a little easier.

As that evening progressed we were treated to theatrical performances, music, ballads and even served by people dressed up in Viking attire.

My friend from Switzerland certainly enjoy the walkabout the Leifsburdir and the view of St. Anthony in the backdrop.

The crashing waves and rocky shores are something to see as you walk to the entrance for service. If you can in 2012, you may want to dine and experience a Great Viking Feast on Fishing Point.

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Frozen Waterfall – Fishing Point, St. Anthony, NL

The road to Fishing Point in St. Anthony, NL is a winding narrow road like that of Signal Hill, which receives great attention from locals and visitors no matter what time of year one visits.

At the end of the road there are pull-offs, board walks, walking trails and even a hike to the top of the hill for the more avid adventurer. The views are terrific – as you can peer out at the open ocean and sense the freedom and life it creates. The smell of the salt water, the sights of St. Anthony Bight, rugged rocks and if lucky a giant iceberg.

One never knows what will capture their eye. I placed the picture above to illustrate this, as I am looking at something completely different from my German buddy. I have been to Fishing Points on many occasions, but I am never disappointed even if I walk the same steps. This visit gave me a  frozen waterfall.

A tour of St. Anthony is not complete unless it is coupled with some time to capture the landscape and natural wonder that Fishing Point so freely offers. Get out and find your frozen waterfall today!

Live Rural NL -
Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North 

Great Northern Peninsula’s Only Traffic Light

I had mentioned in my last post, “Trekking Teahouse Hill in Winter” that St. Anthony is home to the only traffic light on the Great Northern Peninsula.

On that visit we did get the Red Light – certainly my luck. :)

If on your travels, you make it to this waterfront town, nestled near the Tip of the Great Northern Peninsula you too can say I’ve been stopped at the only traffic light they have up that way!

Cheers from Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

A Trek up Teahouse Hill in Winter

On January 4th, 2012 – My friends and I spent some time in St. Anthony – where you will find the only traffic light on the Great Northern Peninsula. However, St. Anthony`s claim to fame is much bigger than a traffic light – it was the home of Dr. Wilfred Thomason Grenfell.

I am  currently reading, A Biography of Dr. Wilfred Grenfell – a Doctor, Missionary and Politician who radically changed the way of living for the people of Northern Newfoundland & Labrador as an International Association was founded to help enhance the social, medical and economic climate of the region.

Grenfell House (pictured in the background above) is one of the Historic Properties which thousands of visitors walk through beginning in May and into the Fall to gain insight on what it was like to live a day in the life of the good Doctor. I have been there many times; however, this was my first visit to Teahouse Hill. I remember my grandmother talking about her walking up to see the simple markers of Dr. Grenfell and the site of where his ashes were buried. Yet, never had I taken the time to experience for myself what it meant to trek teahouse hill – a common play area for the children of St. Anthony.

Teahouse Hill overlooks the town of St. Anthony. According to the Grenfell site, the walking trail is approximately 20 minutes and has been developed to National standards. Although, it seemed much longer on this chilly day of January. We were not really sure where we were going and really hoped not to get lost as the signs or interpretative panels were taken down for the season.

Oh no! – a fallen tree….

Headlines to read…`Mitchelmore uses brute strength to restore the tree to the vertical position`

Unfortunately, Mitchelmore is no Chuck Norris and the leaning tree remains.

The trail is a wonderful winter walk. I can only imagine the joys of walking or jogging along the trails in Spring or midsummer after a day in the office. A great offering for residents and visitors alike.

At the top of the hill there are three strategically placed lookouts that permit you to see the Town, the harbour and gain views of the ocean. The freedom of seeing the open water is quite powerful.

There is beauty in this space. It seems like the wonderful place to re-build a seasonal teahouse – offering incredible views and a place for people to escape and enjoy the beauty of nature that surrounds them, as well as a site for geocaching.

I recommend taking a trek to teahouse hill. This may have been my first visit, I sure hope it is not my last.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
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