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Even with Grey Skies Gros Morne National Park is a Gem of the Great Northern Pen

Even when skies are grey, Gros Morne National Park is a gem to drive on the Great Northern Peninsula.

It never ceases to amaze me – the natural beauty of this Provincial wonder, that attracts 180,000+ people annually to visit  this place. The reflection of the rock onto the glazed body of water is to be embraced with a warm smile.

I always spend some time at the National Park – there are many walking/hiking trails and an array of outdoor activities that include a Boat Tour of Western Arm Brook or kayaking in the heart of scenic Bonne Bay. Even the beginner can enjoy a cheap canoe rental at the KOA campground in Norris Point. I rented one for an hour for just $10.00.

No matter what age or interest, Gros Morne National Park is to be explored and experienced. After you have had your visit, be sure to head North for several days and it would also be a treat to add Labrador to your journey.

The Great Northern Peninsula awaits, whatever the season you choose to dig in and enjoy our nature, culture and lifestyle!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Moose Hunting at Gros Morne & Terra Nova National Park

                                                                                                                          

Moose Antlers in Gros Morne

The Rick Mercer Report  brought National attention to the moose population by tacking a helicopter to track and tag moose at Gros Morne National Park. He coined Gros Morne, as home to the more moose per square kilometer than almost anywhere on Earth.  Newfoundland & Labrador has a growing moose population, which CBC.ca has reported there are more than 150,000 moose in the province, with about 5,000 in Gros Morne National Park alone. This is a large number considering the human population of the island portion of the province is about 480,000 people.

 
 
I support the issue of approximately 500 moose licences in these National Parks. This is a good start, considering the damage and impact they are having on other species, habitats and on human life. Just two weeks ago, when driving through Gros Morne National Park the sign states, so far this year “7 Vehicle Collisions involving Moose”. I have seen this sign reach the mid-thirties as the summer continues. CBC reported in a link below, that one woman had hit three moose in May.
 
The management of the moose population is becoming a growing problem in Newfoundland & Labrador. The Provincial Government is taking some action, as they are grooming greater parts of the highway and issuing 5,000 additional licences, after continued pressure from SOPAC (Save Our People Action Committee) and a class-action lawsuit against the Crown from victims of moose-vehicle collisions. The Federal Government has finally taken action regarding the growing problems at Gros Morne National Park.
 
The Federal Government should work with local outfitters that have the planes and resources to provide them with additional licences. The economic impact on the local economy can be great.
 
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore
 
 
 

Killarney National Park – Killarney, Ireland

Serene Morning at Killarney National Park

 
After spending an enjoyable day visiting Blarney Castle, Rock Close, visiting Kinsale‘s Farmer’s Market and Charles Fort, we took a scenic drive to Killarney.
 
It rained that night, very heavily. It did not prevent us from going to the pubs. In fact, we did a pub crawl after eating a lovely meal we visited three other pubs and got to take in some music from five very talented people, playing a hodge-podge of instruments. My mother even had a pint of Murphy’s that night.

Two Baby Red Deer at Killarney National Park

 
An early morning arrival was a real treat to Killarney National Park. In the photo on the right, to the very far right one can make out two tiny Red deer as we pulled into the parking lot.
 
We spent some times walking the trails and exploring Ross Castle.

Ross Castle, Killarney National Park

 Ross Castle, according to a panel, is a tower house that was built sometime in the 15th century by the O’Donoghue family who ruled the Killarney area at the time. The castle is on a lake with wonderful views for those who wish to breathe in the beauty of this National Park.

My mother explores remains of Ross Castle

 The grounds have sufficient seating. Once can even feed the ducks or swans. The surrounding area has a good trail network. We were even able to see some early morning joggers and dog walkers.  For those coming to Newfoundland & Labrador, but for those in Ireland, a day at Killarney National Park is a must! 
 

One last view of Ross Castle

 
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore

Will I need my new Snowshoes for Winter 2011?

Snowshoe

Newfoundland Snowshoes

 
2010 was acclaimed a year to build on experiences in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador. It is critical to reflect on past traditions and activities we participated as children to ensure continuation of our culture. 
 
When I was a child, snowshoeing was a popular activity. I would always need them when I went with dad in the woods on his old Bravo (Yamaha snowmobile) to check rabbit slips (snares). We would venture off the trail, so the snowshoes laced into our sealskin boots prevented us from sinking to our knees through deep snow. They certainly came in handy and were developed by our ancestors out of necessity.
 
My father, born in 1961 used them during the winter season. In fact, he had the talent and skill to make them, taking much pride in each tug of twine used to lace the frame. He made many pairs, always donating one at the local winter carnival as part of a fundraising event. I have a pair he made for me before his passing, which I will always treasure. Unfortunately, I wasn’t old enough to learn at the time how to make them. It is a skill, I will try to learn from others.
 
Since I have reached adulthood, my feet have grown and I have needed a larger pair. I was surprised when a Secret Santa present delivered a pair made by a local retired teacher during Christmas 2010. I hope maybe he will teach me, so I can pass this skill on to others.
 
I will not forget community winter carnivals held at the local Lion’s Club, where I would participate in the snowshoe race. It was always a quick sprint to the finish. A mad dash with many people racing. We also had a unique “Newfie Snowshoe” Race, which included teams of three or four people standing on two pieces of 2″X4″ with string to loop each of your feet, extending to your hands for steering. You would be pitted against many other teams. It would be important to move as a unit or your would stumble quickly. The first team to cross the line is the winner. Talk about innovative! Newfoundlanders & Labradorian’s always think of ways to entertain and have fun. If anyone has photos of this activity, please post a comment and I would love to post them.
 
It is January10, 2011 on the Northern Peninsula, Newfoundland with the temperature remaining above freezing point (+0) and no snow to be found. Like many other’s who enjoy the powdery white stuff  and of course winter activities, which include ski-dooing, ski-ing, ice-fishing, snowshoeing, skating and rabbit catching, we will just have to wait and hope that winter will arrive soon.
 
The video below from www.youtube.com entitled, Snowshoe to the Sinkhole at Gros Morne Newfoundland (posted by kdgdan) shows people snowshoeing in our beautiful National Park.
 
 
It was not so many years ago that we would have snow eight or ten feet high on our properties. As a child I was always digging an intricate network or snow tunnels, slides and caves/houses. It was one of the biggest highlights! I remember many attempts to make an igloo. All I can say, “it is much harder than it looks”. I think they should make an instruction manual.
 
The amount of snow dumped on us each winter certainly required a good set of snowshoes. I would choose a locally handcrafted pair over mass marketed modern engineered versions any day.
 
Live Rural NL -Christopher Mitchelmore
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