Blog Archives

Black Duck Cove has a Hidden Gem

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Traveling the Great Northern Peninsula on Route 430 (Viking Trail Highway) en route to L’anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Site or to Quebec or Labrador via the Strait of Belle Isle Ferry crossing, Black Duck Cove presents the perfect stopping point.

The Black Duck Cove Seashore Day Park provides a picnic area, play ground, viewing binoculars, open air museum of Newfoundland vernacular architecture. walking trails, bbq area, miniature golf and basketball courts. It’s a great rest stop to enjoy life by the sea.

The concept of an open air museum is not new, as I’ve visited many on my European travels. I’m impressed that this economic development project is a step back in time of what the small outport community living looked like – from the one room school, church, wharf, hall to homes. These handmade buildings replicate our rural life and are wonderful to view and take a snap or two. This concept could be taken a step further and explain the building process, tell the stories of who owned these homes and the pioneers that built and shaped the community.

This area needs better directional signage to guide you to this almost hidden space. It’s almost a locals know kinda of gem. Since location is less than ideal, this fantastic space needs to be further promoted and expanded upon.

As you take the paved road and drive pass the Black Duck Cove wharf and shrimp plant, you will encounter lobster traps neatly piled, fishing gear and boats sitting on the grass. Our history, our heritage, our culture and life from the sea is well on display – both past and present at Black Duck Cove Seashore Day Park.

It is an experience in itself.

Live Rural NL,

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

Picturesque St. Lunaire-Griquet & Gunner’s Cove, NL

The Town of St. Lunaire-Griquet  and Gunner’s Cove on the Great Northern Peninsula are completely picturesque and there is no wonder more than 30,000 visits during the summer season. This place is steeped in history from the Aboriginals, Vikings, French, English and other settlers given the presence of the mysterious markings at St. Brendan’s rock.

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The presence of traditional saltbox, biscuit box or two-story homes can be viewed along winding roads with ocean views and craggy coastlines. There are many unique pieces of vernacular architecture you will not want to miss on your visit.

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There will be root vegetable gardens near roadside and flakes of salt cod drying in the sizzling summer sun. A host of accommodations are available from motels, cottages, cabins, bed & breakfasts, vacation rentals and hotels to meet any travellers needs.

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There are unique attractions, a network of walking trails, eco-museums, craft and carving shops, boat tours, festivals and an array of activities in the surrounding areas from the Viking Settlement, Norstead Viking Village and Port of Trade, Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve, Raleigh Historical Fishing Village, Grenfell Historic Properties, Radio Quirpon, Coffee Shops, Kitchen Parties at the Legion and Screech-ins at Skipper Hots with traditional music by the Skipper Hots band.

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People come and are wowed by the icebergs of the Great Northern Peninsula. They are much larger as they snuggle into our harbours and coves. Watch small boat fishers as they bring in their daily catch or have a yarn at the small wharves. Rural Newfoundland & Labrador is truly about interaction with out people. The Great Northern Peninsula offers a truly unique and authentic experience.

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The culinary experiences are exceptional, with two of the restaurants ranking in the top 10 for the best fish n’ chips in Newfoundland & Labrador. The Daily Catch, Snow’s Take-out  and Dark Tickle Cafe are in St. Lunaire-Griquet, with Northern Delight in Gunner’s Cove. L’Anse aux Meadows is home to the Norseman Restaurant, Coffee in the Cove at Hay Cove and Burnt Cape Cafe in Raleigh.

Northern Peninsula eateries praised for their fish and chips

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The tip of the Great Northern Peninsula is the perfect get-a-way to be one with nature. Moreover, it has the distinction of being the one place in the world where humanity came full circle – an event more than 100,000 years in the making!

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Now that you know there are lots of places to stay, eat and experience – pack your camera and begin planning that trek up the Great Northern Peninsula and start snapping images of the picturesque communities of St. Lunaire-Griquet and Gunner’s Cove on Newfoundland’s tip.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

Jelly Bean Row – Denmark

Our rural communities on the Great Northern Peninsula have been known for their bright vibrant colours. It would not be uncommon to see an array of red, blue, orange, green and yellow painted wooden homes scattered along the shoreline. Today only a few of the older salt-box houses remain, as they are now replaced with vinyl siding and other modern designs. I would love to see a revival of our heritage colours and even home design in our rural communities.

The tiny town of Conche on the Northern Peninsula East is travelled by many over a 17.4 KM gravel road. Despite a gravel road, thousands of tourists and travellers visit each summer, the “Beauty Spot of the North” to take in its rich local culture, folklore and heritage. Conche, even today has vibrant colour that brings a smile. Back in April 2011 I wrote, “Vernacular Architecture Thrives in Conche, NL” (https://liveruralnl.com/2011/04/05/vernacular-architecture-thrives-in-conche-nl/).

When travelling to Denmark this past year, I walked along a small business and could not resist taking the photo shown below:

The coloured wooden houses instantly reminded me of “Jellybean Row”, which is iconic in the downtown heritage corridor of St. John’s, NL.  If you would like to add some colour in your life you can visit www.jellybeanrow.com/ and buy a mailbox, wall art and even get decorating tips from a local company in Conception Bay South.

A simple idea can translate into a viable business. The existence of the Internet means a talent you have or product you make can be sold around the world. Live Rural NL blog has been viewed  more than 137,000 times across 154 countries! Our communities on the Great Northern Peninsula may be small, but technology can allow us to develop cottage industries and sell our products, services and experiences all over the globe. Let’s do this together!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Look Up, Way Way Up – New York, New York

“Look Up, Way way up” – is a line I remember from the Friendly Giant. It is fitting in New York City where the skyscrapers are far-reaching. A visit to the 102 story Empire State Building – currently the tallest building in the City, stands at more than 440 metres. We took the elevator up 86 floors.

The skyline of New York City is breathtaking. The buildings seem to go on for miles at 360 degrees. It is not my community where if you do look both ways – you could see it all.

We arrived at the top as the sun was setting and darkness began to fall. The sky had magnificent hues of yellow, orange, red, pinks and blues as the lively city began to turn on its ever so bright lights!

There is wonder in the architectural surroundings of this city. We were successful in being photo-shopped into an image with the Empire State Building in the background. A great family portrait!

On the Great Northern Peninsula it would be difficult to find a building that reaches more than 3 stories. The views are quite different – the homes, water and boats in the background.

Every place I visit, offers something unique – New York is one that will take your breath away.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
 
P.S. Happy Birthday Mom! 

Brigus Blueberry Festival

Beautiful Brigus

Newfoundland & Labrador is well-known for a summer of events, activities and festivals.

The Brigus Blueberry Festival is Award Winning and in its 23rd year! I dropped by this summer along with the other 17,000 plus visitors during August 12-15, 2010. It was my first time in historic Brigus on this lovely Sunday afternoon. The event coordinators expected a large crowd and had made the main streets one way to help with the flow of traffic. It took a little while to get a packing space, as it seemed everyone was arriving at the same time.  After safely parking in a large field, I was not disappointed as I walked through the streets of this quaint town that boasts beautiful vernacular heritage architecture. There were large crowds and great photo opportunities.

The festival activities include: A Royal Shag Up” – comedy dinner theatre, Steps Through Time – walking tour, Newfie night with Screech Ins, community breakfasts, dinners, and suppers, a two-day Folk Festival with well-known Newfoundland talent, visits by Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador and Miss Newfoundland and Labrador, the Missed Blueberry Pageant, raffles, craft stalls, baked goods, a pie eating contest, games of chance, mooseburgers, cash bar, children’s games, dances, and fireworks at the Brigus Waterfront. (http://www.brigus.net/blue.htm)

The waterfront

We stopped to have a mooseburger and beer, which went down very nicely! It was followed by a good drop of moose soup. It was good, but not comparable to my grandmothers…she makes the world’s best! There was a large queue to enter. The toll was $2.00 for the complete weekend pass. A number of booths and stands were set-up with local artisans, organizations and entrepreneurs selling their wares. We made our way pass the many games of chance and listened to some traditional Newfoundland music.

We decided to drive through Cupids, celebrating 400 years as the oldest Town in English North America! As well as visit Carbonear and Harbour Grace. The SS Kyle still remains aground as you enter this town.

It was a wonderful day, filled with lots of fun, food, sounds and sights! I recommend you to put the Brigus Blueberry Festival on your list of things to do. So make sure you mark your calendars for the 24th annual in August 2011!

Live Rural NL – CCM

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