The Great Northern Peninsula has a unique offering including the presence of abundant nature and wildlife. Today as I drove from St. Anthony to Green Island Cove I was greeted by a small heard of caribou in Eddies Cove East and pulled over to wait for them to cross the road. After driving through this tiny community in “The Straits” to the south I saw a total of nine caribou. It was unusual for them to be grazing for food on the opposite side of the road adjacent to the frozen Strait of Belle Isle with Labrador dominating in the background. It was one of those moments when you stared in amazement. I was fortunate to have a camera and able to pull over and take a few photos. See the gallery below:
A visit to the Straits region of the Great Northern Peninsula may be the perfect opportunity for you to get your glimpse of these beautiful animals.
Sometimes, the best surprises don’t cost you a thing.Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North
Deadman’s Cove, NL is a tiny community nestled in the Straits region that presents some of the first views of Labrador. A number of people stop to take walks along the beach and venture onto the “head” (end of land) and watch the waves crash against the rocks. I’ve been often tempted to drive some eco-friendly golf balls from this point.
On Tuesday, I took this image of an old timberjack and the remains of pack ice that regularly fill the Strait of Belle Isle during winter. I hope this remaining piece is a good sign for icebergs this summer. Last year, we saw the massive icebergs from the Peterman ice island make their way to Goose Cove, St. Anthony, St. Carol’s, Conche, Main Brook, Englee, St. Lunaire-Griquet, L’Anse aux Meadows and surrounding areas.
I encourage those to make plans earlier than normal, as there are several Come Home Year Celebrations in the District this summer and accommodations may book up earlier than usual. Anchor Point & Deadman’s Cove will jointly host a Celebration from August 12-18th, 2012. Be a part of the celebration of what it is to Live Rural NL!
Experience the Great Northern Peninsula -Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North
- Lovely L’Anse Aux Meadows – Population under 30 (liveruralnl.com)
The Strait of Belle Isle at its shortest distance is just 9 miles of water. In the 1970′s there was drilling on both ends of the Strait to build a tunnel connecting the island to mainland Canada. All of this ended with a change of Government. A tunnel does not appear to be on the radar of Government at any level. It makes practical sense to work with Quebec to cost-share this project as they complete the Lower North Shore Highway, Route 138 in the next 5 or so years.
This completion of this Route will significantly change the way one travels, as commercial traffic will be re-routed from Montreal using this highway and a much shorter ferry crossing. I would even be able to drive to Montreal to see the Habs play the Leafs. With or without a tunnel, there must be appropriate planning to deal with capacity on the Route 138, Route 430 and Trans-Labrador Highway. There are services and business opportunities that will come with these new highways. The opening of the Trans-Labrador Highway saw an increase in 18% ferry passenger traffic in the Strait of Belle Isle from May-October from 65,000 passengers to 77,400. Will we be ready for Route 138?
Why not build a tunnel? They have built the Chunnel connecting London, England to Paris, France by underground tunnel and train. The Scandinavian countries have several underground tunnels spanning a far greater distance than just 9 miles and comparable, if not worse weather conditions. There may be significant cost-savings by completing this project, as the Feds would not need to subsidize Marine Atlantic at their current levels. A greater focus could be placed on passenger traffic and promote tourism, as well as reduce user rates.
As a means to re-ignite economic activity on the Great Northern Peninsula, this is one of the many answers. Newfoundland & Labrador is one province and should be connected. We should be a part of mainland Canada, as is the case with every other province and territory in the country.
In the meantime, I continue to see the Big Land every day when I awake from my bedroom window and the lights twinkle at night. Some day that Lure of Labrador will be that much closer.
Live Rural NL -Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North
This small berg was so close to land, making for a great snap of the camera capturing the small fishing shed in the corner.
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
- Massive Icebergs on the Loose in Goose Cove, NL – Draw Crowds (liveruralnl.com)
- Norstead – Viking Village & Port of Trade (liveruralnl.com)
- 25,000 Year Old Iceberg Water Makes the Perfect Brew (liveruralnl.com)
- I AM A Viking at L’Anse Aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage Site (liveruralnl.com)
Visit them for a unique offering as they specialize in sealskin products.
Products are locally made. The pleated sealskin boots are made by a local resident in her early 80′s. She has been producing the boots for 7 decades. Seal skin boots protected us from the harsh winter conditions and damp weather.
You may want to pick up the “Out of Necessity – The Story of Sealskin Boots in the Strait of Belle Isle“.
I proudly wear my sealskin boots during winter. I turned a few heads at Memorial University on days walking across campus wearing sealskin prepared by my father.
Take some time to learn about our culture – the seal hunt, the impact on our economy and the art of sealskin boot making. You may be amazed with what your find out.
Live Rural NL -
Christopher C. Mitchelmore
- GNP Craft Producers Has Unique Offering (liveruralnl.com)
Live Rural NL Blogger Seeks NDP Nomination for District of The Straits -White Bay North in Fall Election
Christopher Mitchelmore, a resident of Green Island Cove in the Strait of Belle is vying for the NDP candidacy for the District of The Straits -White Bay North.
Christopher grew up in this fishing community at a time when his family and fellow residents were faced with an economically devastating moratorium, which would lead to higher levels of unemployment, business closures and out-migration.
As a teenager he faced his greatest challenge with the sudden death of his father, the late-Clyde Mitchelmore Jr., who passed away on a fishing boat in Nain, Labrador in September 1999. This life changing event would push Christopher to become more involved with academics, extra-curricular and community activities that would help with personal growth.
Mr. Mitchelmore’s first experience in the political arena was in 2002 as a participant of the Forum for Young Canadians in Ottawa, which goal is to foster and promote an understanding among young Canadians of the role and function of Canada ‘s three levels of democratic government.
Christopher started Flower’s Island Museum in 2002 at Nameless Cove. He later expanded to include a gift shop, 9-hole miniature golf course and worked with partners to host an annual summer festival. The business operated until 2005, when Mr. Mitchelmore took a position to aid other youth experience entrepreneurship.
In 2008, Christopher received a Bachelor of Commerce Honours (Co-op) degree and the James Barnes Award for Academic Excellence. His university experience enabled him to work for the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, NL Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities (Public Utilities Board) and London Offshore Consultants, study in Europe, work in the United Kingdom and travel 25 countries. These experiences provided insight and valuable networks that will bring new ideas and help encourage business and community economic development in the District.
Since 2009, Christopher has been working for Community Business Development Corporation Nortip as Client Services Officer providing assistance to individuals and groups wishing to start-up, expand or modernize a small-medium business or social enterprise.
Additionally, Christopher has been involved with a number of organizations and served on several committees, including:
- Nordic Economic Development Corporation (Director)
- Straits -St. Barbe Chronic Care Corporation (vice-President)
- Canadian Community Economic Development Network (Director)
- Emerging Leaders (co-Chair)
- Junior Achievement
- Admiralty House Museum & Archives
- Marketing Society, Memorial University of Newfoundland & Labrador
- Futures in Newfoundland & Labrador Youth (FINALY!)
- Red Ochre Youth Council
- Parish of Green Island
- Green Island Cove Come Home Year
The NDP has long been a party that has advocated social democratic policies that support working people, families and the labor movement. It is a party that works on behalf of the people and has put government to task as a strong opposition party. Recently, the Provincial Government sided with the NDP which will remove the Provincial portion of the HST from Home Heating this coming Fall.
“The region needs a stronger voice, one that will stand up for the people and address the everyday concerns of the region. The Great Northern Peninsula is faced with fishery woes, erosion of local services, inadequate telecommunication (broadband and cellular) services in areas, plight of our youth and a long list of other challenges that affect the well-being of the individuals and families living in the region.”
Christopher Mitchelmore would be an energetic and educated NDP candidate of The Straits-White Bay North, bringing a new vision and your voice to the House of Assembly.
Make your vote count this upcoming election. Vote for a party that has fresh ideas and real solutions. Let’s pave the way for new growth and prosperity in The Straits – White Bay North.
Live Rural NL -
Christopher C. Mitchelmore
One year ago today, I introduced myself to the wonderful world of blogging under the name Live Rural NL. Over the past year I have scribed nearly 200 posts and have shared with you my rural life from heritage, cuisine, politics to vacations. I extend a big thank you for all my loyal readers for continuing to show interest in the potluck of articles I post daily as time permits.
The journey over the past 365 days was a learning experience as I became much more aware of the significant aspects of rural culture that surrounded my daily life. For instance:
- the tradition of soup Saturday with my grandmother, my love for fisherman’s brewis, figgy duff and Sunday’s Dinner.
- the significance of my grandfather’s folklore, his incredible riddles, quotes and jokes – sadly only the memories remain with his passing on June 6, 2010.
- I continued to realize how much I value the water and the importance of the fishery to our rural economy.
- I took a strong stance against Ellen DeGeneres’ views on the Canadian seal hunt, lobbied Governments for Broadband Internet access and asked for decision-making at a more localized level.
- I realized the nuisance a Moose can be on our roadways, but how delicious they are in a pot of stew.
- I learned how to traditionally hook rugs, paint using acrylics and also improve my photography skills.
- I spent time with family, playing games, telling stories, enjoying laughter.
- Locally, I visited most places on the Great Northern Peninsula, being a tourist at home. |This past weekend, I’ve re-visited again Conche, Englee, Roddickton- Bide-Arm, Main Brook, St. Anthony, L’Anse aux Meadows and Quirpon to tour with a friend. I’ve returned to St. Pierre-Miquelon-Langlade, Grand Bank, Marystown, Burin, Brigus, Cupids, the Irish Loop, St, Johns, Port Home Simpson, Mary’s Harbour, Lodge Bay, Battle Harbour and the Labrador Straits. Evident from the nearly 50,000 kms I have placed on my car in the past year.
- Nationally, I visited Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Winnipeg
- Internationally, Mom and I visited France, England, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland last November to experience the Newfoundland-Ireland connection. I also travelled to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Cuba.
- I joined Couch Surfing
- I met up with old friends and made new friendships
- I realized the importance of community and how everyone has a role to play and that we should do our best to contribute.
- I plan to visit Raleigh, Cook’s Harbour and Cape Onion this summer season. As well as return to many other places. As well, I would love to spend a weekend in Fogo, Ramea and St. Brendan’s. There must be something about island culture.
- Culture evolves and does not remain stagnant
- We have some of the best cultural assets in the world!
- There is immense opportunities on the Great Northern Peninsula, for those young and old alike.
- Include the community in the decision-making process. Local people have valuable ideas and contributions.
- The Great Northern Peninsula is an experience
- Live Rural NL!
To reiterate lines of my first post, “I have changed many times as a person as I progress through my twenties, but I realize that with the right attitude and efforts we can accomplish the unthinkable. Today my friends, I just want to share with you what it means for me to continue to Live Rural Newfoundland.”
Christopher C. Mitchelmore
Every morning when I awake from my bed, if the shade is up the first sight I see is the towering mounds of land we call Labrador. I get incredible views of Mainland Canada, as Labrador is within a short distance of 14 miles away. I commute each day to work viewing the scenic Strait of Belle Isle on Route 430. As a proud islander, there is something rejuvenating of seeing the water and the economic value that drives our economy as the fishers work peacefully on the water.
A few days ago, I slowed my car and decided to pull over as the little boat had caught my attention. How wonderful it would feel to be on the water that day versus sitting at my desk in an enclosed office. Although I have a window, it can not compare to the open space and a sense of freedom you have while spending your day in a boat. One can go wherever the waves take you.
For recreation purposes I enjoy canoeing and rowing. I remember fond memories with father during a few weeks when I spent fishing with him. I was only 13 when he passed, just getting a taste of the open water and being able to work with him. Although I am not a fisherman, the profession is very dear to my heart and runs quite deep in my family line to when the first Mitchelmore’s came from Devon County England in the 1800′s and prior. After living in Alberta for a few months, I found myself planning vacations near the ocean and frequented lakes. There is a yearning to be next to this substance that brings me much happiness. It is good for the body, mind and soul…
Christopher C. Mitchelmore
- Behind every door…there is always a story (liveruralnl.com)
The Town of Flower’s Cove has been the first in the Strait of Belle Isle region to embrace outdoor art in the form of brightly colourful signs depicting local attractions. Additionally, they have posted an outdoor mural in the parking area of the White Rocks Walking Trail.
This image certainly garners attention and encourages travellers to pull-off and stop. This is an excellent form of marketing for the small town. More visitors will likely take some time to walk Marjorie Bridge, explore the Thrombolites, visit St. Barnabas “Sealskin Boot” Church, view Flower’s Island Lighthouse and stroll the waterfront. In turn, these visitors may stop to shop at one or more businesses a long the Viking Trail (Route 430) or eat at the local L & E restaurant. The Town has the opportunity to create an open-air art museum. I can envision a series of black and white paintings scattered about a vast walking area of the Town when it was known as French Island Harbour with French fishing vessels at port, the days of Rev’d. Canon John Thomas Richard, harbour front and fishing activities, logging, daily living and events of social and cultural significance.
There is much value in our rural communities posting outdoor folk art, murals and story panels. It is common in other parts of Canada and around the world. I have a few images of my travels to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and Whitehorse, Yukon.
The “Jaw”, Thanks Carolyn for informing me your very lovely hometown.
A weekend in Whitehorse! It is a pleasure to just walk around Town to see the art everywhere. Make sure you take in the Frantic Follies while you are there. Best 2.5 hours of laughter you can get for $22.50.
I have fond memories of seeing outdoor Vincent van Gogh art in Amsterdam, Tin Tin cartoons in Brussels, informative panels in Berlin, Germany; Miquelon (Territory of France) and Battle Harbour, Labrador and many interesting images and murals on my travels.
It is quite encouraging to see the Town of Flower’s Cove embrace this means of outdoor art as it has looked at what the Town currently has, utilizing the talent and assets of community to further develop them to create sustainability.
Other Towns and Communities may wish to engage in this practise, telling stories with images, art forms and panels throughout the Great Northern Peninsula. All of these collections of oral cultures, images and artwork serves limited economic and social value if it is not shared. This is one small measure that will help build our rural regional community.
Live Rural NL -
Christopher C. Mitchelmore, email@example.com
- Place of Provincial Significance – Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital (liveruralnl.com)
- A Great Place to Discover – Town of Englee (liveruralnl.com)
- An Opportunity for More Rural Social Space – The Coffee Shop? (liveruralnl.com)
- Looking for local photos of Families enjoying Outdoor Activities & Everyday Lifestyle…… (liveruralnl.com)
Snow patches were present on the rolling hills and the harbour filled with ice, as I drove the winding roads. For the first time, I was not in any rush to get somewhere or meet someone – it was just perfect. I had taken time to explore the landscape, the houses and just get lost in the wonder that is quintessentially rural Newfoundland & Labrador.
Where are the local coffee shops in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador? I am not talking about the Tim Horton‘s that are springing up practically everywhere, including rural areas. There is even a Tim Horton’s in St. Anthony, NL on the peninsula’s tip that has a town of under 3,000 people. Some residents from the Strait of Belle Isle region, where I reside have even driven more than 100 kms to get a “cup of Joe” combined with a high calorie sweet to match. This is the power of branding and the importance of changing to fit with market demands.
- Tim Hortons raising prices on some items (theglobeandmail.com)
- 52 Unique Coffee Shops – From Hidden Indie Coffee Houses to Laundromat Cafes (TrendHunter.com) (trendhunter.com)
Yesterday, I stared out my kitchen window in awe at the magnificant sunset that was on the horizon overlooking the Strait of Belle Isle.
You see the kitchen brings me great comfort. If represents more than scents and smells, it has a childhood of memories of mother preparing a nice meal, baking my favourite banana bread, preserving berries, dates, beets or preparing homemade pickles.
I stopped to reflect for a moment, as I sipped tea out of Aunt Elsie’s cup (thanks again Melissa, it is surely a treasure and will get great use through the years) and put down my book, “Honorary Indian” by Sandi Boucher. This book has been uplifting, inspirational and attitude changing. I highly recommend it, if you would like to feel more positive, empowered, gain inner strengh or about life in general (www.sandiboucher.ca). Thank you Sandi! I just stared at the water, as the waves were silent.
Earlier that day I walked along the shoreline from each end of my community, stared and smiled. You see, I can just reach out and touch “the Big Land” Labrador and enjoy their lights every single night. I hear the waves crash when the wind blows, the icebergs as Spring breaks, whales, seals and seabirds visit frequently. Moreover, I hear the motors as fishing boats leave the wharf to attend their nets and secure their daily catch. It is quite magical to experience the life that exists from the water!
Today, I think of my father, my grandfather and their fathers before them…all made their living from the sea. We have much to be thankful for in my small community….as I go to bed each night and wake up each morning and look out the kitchen window, see the water and think…these are the kinds of things dreams are made from…
The water represents a special place in my heart, quite possibly all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. I will not take such a treasure for granted.
Take time to find your special place and keep your dreams alive,