Blog Archives

Scenic Hay Cove – Your Northern Coffee Experience

Hay Cove is a tiny fishing village on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula, located just minutes from L’Anse aux Meadows World UNESCO site, where the vikings were the first Europeans to re-discover North America.

IMG-20130608-01947

The population is not large, the census notes just 32 residents. However, these are likely not year-round livyers. Yet for a tiny community, there are three Bed & Breakfasts (Marilyn’s Hospitality Home. Viking Nest B&B and Viking Village B&B), walking trails, icebergs and a newly opened coffee-house that offers freshly brewed coffee, espresso and other drinks from flavored beans and at times entertainment. I look forward to getting a fresh cup of coffee when next in Hay Cove.

During my last visit, I was pleasantly surprised by freshly baked cinnamon roles at Mrs. Hedderson’s house when visiting residents. They were delicious.

It is great to see local residents of Hay Cove create small business and expand local opportunities. This region is supported by a strong local independent business community. Let’s build stronger communities and create new opportunities.

Plan you trip to the Great Northern Peninsula today!

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

A Few Snaps of “the Beauty Spot of the North”

DSC_0347

Conche is tagged as “The Beauty Spot of the North”. It is nestled at the edge of the Great Northern Peninsula East and is home to 181 residents, but there are hundreds more ‘Die hard Conchers’ out there and many are home to celebrate Come Home Year of 2013. It truly is a magical place.

This fishing community has a beacon of activity from an extremely active fish plant, that employs people throughout the region. The fish must be trucked in and trucked out of a dusty gravel road. There is constant commuting and significant economic benefits that Conche has contributed to the economy over the years. There must be serious consideration given to Government to pave the remaining 17.4 KM of gravel road.

Conche has also transitioned to be a sought after tourism destination. It is at the heart of the French Shore, with an interpretation centre, 222-ft tapestry depicting the history of the French Shore, textile exhibits, WWII memorial, archaeology digs, cafe, writer’s retreat, B&B, playground, walking trails, icebergs, bird and whale watching, as well as much more activity from talented artists, writers, singers, dancers, crafters and more.

The community understands it must add new economic opportunities by working to establish a fully functional RV site,  beach volleyball and other recreational services. It has carefully placed yellow chairs around viewing areas of the Town. This is similar to an initiative that Gros Morne National Park has done for its 35th Anniversary. These are important and relatively low-cost initiatives that make a community more inviting and tourist friendly. There are storyboards and panels and certainly more room for murals.

I am encouraged  by the economic drive of such a small community. There is much room for growth. It is persevering, despite continuous neglect and inaction from Government that treats residents and road users of Route 434  as second-class citizens. It is unacceptable in 2013 to be driving over a gravel road with no calcium chloride program. Government has invested $6M a few years ago to re-build and re-align this road. Each year there is no pavement,  this investment is being eroded to the bedrock and will cost more to complete. We need better, multi-year planning to protect our investments. Conche road should have been paved years ago.

Please contact Hon. Paul Davis, Minister of Transportation & Works at padavis@gov.nl.ca asking him to take the necessary action to pave Route 434.

It’s Time!

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Another Reason to Live Rural Newfoundland & Labrador

There are many reasons to Live Rural NL – the image above is certainly one of those. This winter scene from Croque, NL instantly brought warm feelings and a smile to my face, despite the cold day of January 24, 2012.

The proportion of snow on the rooftops of the fishing rooms is the perfect contrast to the slowly fading red paint. It is evident the burgeoning fishery is in decline. Although, the community like Grandois, faces a decreasing population – it offers endless opportunities for tranquility and is a photographers dream.

Croque is 20 km via gravel road from neighbouring Main Brook. This community has a French cemetery, waterfront properties, walking trails and many natural wonders.

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula -

Christopher 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

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

Iceberg Festival Runs June 10-19, 2011

This year’s annual Iceberg Festival runs from June 10-19, 2011 and hosts activities in the St. Anthony and greater area on the Great Northern Peninsula.

I have included the schedule listed below:

Schedule of Events

If you have further questions visit www.theicebergfestival.ca  and complete the contact form. The festival should have something that appeals to just about everyone from hiking trails, boat tours, French bread making, iceberg water, entertainment and boat tours.

 
The organizers coin the event as “10,000 years in the making”. If you have the opportunity, book some time off work and travel the Great Northern Peninsula to enjoy iceberg alley!
 
Check out where the icebergs are located by visiting Iceberg Finder at www.icebergfinder.com
Live Rural NL -
 
Christopher C. Mitchelmore
 
 

 

Snowshoeing at Deep Cove, NL – January 30, 2011

Deep Cove Ski Club

 

On January 30, 2011 I finally got the opportuntiy to use my Christmas snowshoes.

I decided to take the trails on the Deep Cove Ski Club. It was a nice afternoon with lots of powder on the ground.

My Snowshoes and Sealskin Boots

I walked the trail and took many opportunities to veer off the trail and take some snaps. There are ponds, views of Deep Cove, bird houses and even some tracks from rabbits.

I was proudly wearing my sealskin boots to keep me warm. These were the last skins my father barked before he past away. My sealskin boots have been around for 12 years now. They are certainly part of our heritage and culture that links back to pre-industrial revolution, in which seal fat was rendered and used for oil lamps, the meat provided nourishment to a population that lived in a harsh island environment and the skin was used for boots and clothing. They were a necessity. In the photo above, I am stopping to make a snow angel. Sometimes it is nice to have a big kid moment and really enjoy life.

The Trail - The sun is setting

I snowshoed extensively for a beginner, only by accident. My friend who accompanied me, she supposedly knew the trail. We ended up walking a big loop, of nearly 10 kms. It was certainly a fun day, despite getting side tracked. An outdoor adventure with a great friend, exercise and sunshine, what more could anyone want?

Looking on, as the sun sets...

A world of activity can be found just off the Viking Trail (Route 430) at Deep Cove Ski Club. Bring your skis or snowshoes – Come and enjoy the winter tourism season in Northern Newfoundland.

Live Rural NL  0

Vernacular Architecture: Rural NL Saltbox Home

A friend, travelling from Quebec City to the island of Newfoundland for the first time had scheduled a visit. Prior to waiting for the Ferry Service to dock at port in St. Barbe, I decided to take a “Look Back in Time”. 

Traditional Saltbox Home

Black Duck Cove Seashore Day Park was my first visit. This rest point’s highlight is a collection of miniatures that represent the architecture-styles of rural communities of the past. There are two saltbox homes, slightly modified; a church, schoolhouse, wharf, fishing rooms and lodge. There are beautiful & well-marked walking trails, captivating views of waterways and binoculars to view sights of Labrador. There is a small playground and picnic area for you to stay for a while. However, many travellers would not easily find this place, at it is not well-marked in terms of signage or on any main highway route. If you can, take the time to ask for directions. I’d recommend a fresh coat of paint to the replicas and some minor repairs, unless the organization responsible is going for a more rustic look of the past. Just moments away, you can see neatly stacked lobster traps, two adjacent graveyards and piles of unpacked wood for winter stoves. 

Stacked Lobster Traps

These replicas made me realize that the vernacular architecture styles are fading from local communities in the Strait of Belle Isle region. Vernacular architecture is a term that categorizes methods of construction which use locally available resources and traditions to address local needs and circumstances, as defined by Wikipedia

 I decided to drive the area in search  of the traditional folk house type, found commonly all over Newfoundland & Labrador, which is the Salt Box style. It is named for its shape, which resembled the boxes used for shipping salt to Newfoundland & Labrador and was one of the earliest forms of house construction. The Salt Box traditionally had a shorter steep roof line in front and a longer steep slope in back. This gave the impression that the house was much larger than it actual size. 

An Abandoned Home

Talking to residents and elders, they noted that logs were sawed into lumber using a “pit saw”. The simple design of a two-story “salt-box” used simplicity of design and maximized space and limited the amount of resources required. This saltbox home depicts a more modern-style where the rooftop peak is central to the home for even distribution. 

Today, Live Rural NL sees a more modern home, split-level, bungalow, two-story, pre-fab home, mobile with an array of designs and styles. I’ve suppose we have gone modern, with very few residents living in this traditional home design with bright vibrant colours. Vernacular architecture tends to evolve over time to reflect changes of culture and society. I certainly hope that these homes do not disappear forever entirely in the region.           

Tilting with Time

There is much charm in an older traditional home. I had to stop for a moment as the structure to my left continues to tilt to its demise as it lacks an apparent caretaker. The field is quite large as the water it in the background. For this place, we can only stop and “Look Back in Time” at the memories that were made by the people who lived here before us. 

A Rural Reflection – 

CCM

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,978 other followers

%d bloggers like this: