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The fight, the fish, the Hockey Legend

The images one can capture while driving Route 430 to my hometown is incredible. The fjords are ever-present at Western Arm Brook and continue North of Cow Head. They will turn heads and create a few words of “amazing”, “just beautiful” and “unbelievable”.

On a bone chilling Boxing Day of 2011 we walked parts of the boardwalk, to reach the fjords may take you about 40 minutes. During summer one can take the Western Arm Brook Boat Tours and get a closer look at the ridges carved by glacier action some thousands of years ago.

How could we resist being three grown men with some wet snow on the ground. We moulded in our hands a formidable snowball and had a friendly snow fight. It was anything short of the snowball wars I remember as a child. It is refreshing to stop and enjoy the simple things and life – laugh and recall the earlier years and your first experience with throwing a snowball.

It is unique hills and remnants of the Appalachian Mountains are ever present on one side of Route 430, with the water on your left as you drive North. We enjoyed a delicious bowl of homemade turkey soup. A common dish after the big Christmas Day Turkey Dinner for many Newfoundlanders & Labradorians. The night was filled with meeting friends, dancing and celebrating the festivities of the season.

On the 27th we were invited to my Aunt and Uncle’s house to feast on fish. The menu included codfish, salmon, halibut, scallop, shrimp, crab, wrinkles and britches. The fish was coupled with salads of all sorts and homemade beats and pickles. I must say my puddick was completely satisfied after the meal, not to mention a sponge cake served with whipped cream, vanilla pudding and mandarin oranges. In typical nature of any crowd of Newfoundlanders we surrounded the kitchen table and yarned for a while. My little cousin of 9 years of age had prepared a series of questions for my Swiss and German friend, ranging from their favourite colour, sport to what it is like at Christmas in their country.

We had arranged to go ice-fishing the following day. During the evening we would attend a Memorial at the Straits Arena.

The crowd jammed into the arena, filling it to capacity as hundreds of students, family and friends from our neighbouring communities came out to remember the great Hockey Legend of Mr. Baxter Hughes.

Mr. Hughes was my former high school teacher, the father of one of my classmates and a wonderful human being. He touched the lives of so many during his teaching career. One thing for certain is he had an immense passion and love for the game of hockey. As we heard from his daughter give a heartfelt speech and other members of his family be present, former teammates, hockey players and fans watch as his jersey was lifted to near the rafters. It was a touching moment in time, as we reflect on the lost of a loved one. As we look back we remember past times shared and are ever grateful the impact these people had on our lives and growth as a person.

Thank you Mr. Hughes for the life lessons you have taught me.

After the special ceremony a hockey game started, which proved to being very engaging.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA

The Straits-White Bay North

Cuban Vacation…Part IV

There is something I find extremely fascinating and satisfying about riding a train. It may have to do with the fact that there is no train offering on the island of Newfoundland    since 1990. We use to have the Newfie Bullet; however, it has been many years out of commission. The former railbed of the main line is now utilized as a T’railway Provincial Park for hikers, skiers and users of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and snowmobiles.

We continued our train ride, which provided views of rural life in Cuba. I enjoy the tranquility of nature.

One could see people working at either side of the train. They were tilling soil, picking fruit or caring for an animal.

We arrived at a Ranch to stop for an hour and half. There were several work hands greeting everyone from the train. They had a restaurant with the chef ready to serve patrons a tasty lunch. The crops were in view and so were the horses.

Umberto, 19, asked us if we would like to go for a horse ride. The cost was 10 C.U.C. for 20 minutes. We decided we would saddle up and ride through the fields. I love horses and it has been several years since I have been riding. My last time may have been in Reidville in 2006. In between, I managed to ride camels, donkeys and the waves. I certainly missed the joy of riding.

Umberto (our Cuban cowboy) gives Tobias the reins of his horse:

We go to trot through the banana plants, fields and plantation. We discovered coffee, yucca, mango and more on our ride:

Umberto took us through the field after our first horse ride to see coffee. We got to taste the buds. He explained how they grew and how they needed roasting. Then he showed us three different species of mango. We ate one right there on location, peeling back the skin and embedding our teeth into the juicy fruit.

We returned back to the Tower galloping via horseback ride. It was quite adventurous dashing through open water. We would meet up with Umberto later to show us Trinidad and give an inside view of the city.

Horseback riding in Cuba was certainly a highlight!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

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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

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