In the next while I’m going to put up some images from sets I have made on my Flickr account. These sets are the main reason I started using a camera a few years ago. I’ve seen a lot of beauty and great scenery around the Island during my life, and for much of my life I thought that it would be impossible to truly capture what I have experienced, even with a great camera and good skills. After trying photography over the last few years, this opinion has been modified slightly.
A camera will never catch all of a wilderness landscape, and especially not all of the wonderful skies common in Newfoundland. We have a lot of weather, and consequently spectacular skies; so I guess the old saying about clouds and silver linings is particularly true in Newfoundland. Anyway, while you can’t capture the entire scene, you can show elements of the experience that appealed to you the most, or that struck you as being especially striking and significant. The other thing a camera does is to develop the habit of really looking around and seeing things that you would have otherwise missed. So while my hiking speed has been reduced, my appreciation of said hike has usually been greatly enhanced.
Anyway, this is the first major hike that I photographed after buying my first camera. It is of the Long Range Traverse hike in Gros Morne National Park (which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site). It is a 3-5 day back country hike in the inland highlands called the Big Level. You start at Western Brook Pond, a fjord with 700 metre walls near the north side of the park. You get dropped off at the head of the fjord, then climb to the top. The next couple of days are spent hiking south, dodging the occasional Moose and Caribou herd, and finding out the true meaning of black flies and mosquitoes. Regarding that last, I would highly recommend doing the hike in the spring or fall, not, and I repeat not, in the summer! You come out near Gros Morne Mountain, and not far from the top of said mountain, and it is worth a detour to have a look at the fjord just north of the mountain. Then a quick 6 km and you are back in civilisation. Personally, it is one of the best hikes I have ever done.
Rocky Harbour Lighthouse, near the north side of Bonne Bay in the park.
Gros Morne Mountain, at 806 metres the second highest mountain on the Island. There’s a wonderful day hike up and around the mountain. The round trip is about 16 km.
Looking towards Trout River at dusk in Bonne Bay.
The entrance to Western Brook Pond.
Note the small bridal veil falls halfway up the right side of the fjord.
A small waterfall. The tour boat went close enough that people on the stern were able to get some water into bottles.
South side of the fjord.
Head of the fjord. To get to the first campsite you follow the valley to the end, then cut right at about 2700 feet high, and hike another kilometre. One thing; there are no marked trails from this point until you reach Gros Morne Mountain.
The rocky area at the top is where you take a break before hiking south and out of the fjord gorge.
These people were going to have a nice meal and sleep in cosy beds tonight. Our beds were about 4 days walk from there.
Four hours later we were near the top.
From the head of the Fjord, after climbing 2700 feet. Our first major break.
Mosse number one. He didn’t mind us getting close, but my friends thought I was getting a little too close.
The morning of day three.
A typical view on the Big Level. Mostly we were in these valleys ,but here we climbed out and had a look around.
Our last campsite. There were three wooden tent pads, and an open air toilet in a bunch of bushes. You sat down on the toilet and everything below your chest was hidden. You had a great view, and enough privacy for decency.
She came within about 50 feet of us, and every few steps she’d stop and look at us.
One of the strange things was the way she bounced along like she was on springs, especially the part where she climbed out of our little valley. It was like sproing..sproing..sproing..
The last day. We were hiking though fog, and then it burned off quickly and this appeared. This landlocked fjord is just north of Gros Morne Mountain in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador. We were at about 700 metres above the pond when I took this, and we’d been in the wilderness for 4 days. It was great to see this, as it meant we would be back in civilisation by that afternoon.
It was a wonderful hike, with Caribou herds, Moose, Black Bear, LOTS of Black Flies and Mosquitoes, good weather, and surreal scenery. One nice thing about the hike is that the number of people allowed on the hike is limited to about 6 a day. When we did it, there were the three of us.
The males were on top, and the females were scattered around below. We think it had something to do with a breeze, the black flies, and a bit of sexism on the part of the males.
Bakeapples. A local delicacy.
Moose number three. She was playing around unconcernidly in the water, even though there were a dozen people around.
A kilometre from the parking lot, and our last look at Gros Morne Mountain during the hike. After 4 days of hiking with 50 lb packs ,we went swimming, then showers and shaves. We didn’t swim far…
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