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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

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