It was a very early morning to be on the road by 7:00 a.m. to L’Anse aux Meadows. This is a national historic site of the Viking settlement discovered in Newfoundland. The site has a visitor centre and a trail out to some re-constructed houses and the foundations of the original structures that were there. The Vikings called this area Vinland and came for its timber and grapes. They made timber and sod huts and even smelted bog iron from the rocks to make nails. It was all very cool and interesting and much more time could have been spent exploring not just the site, but the surrounding area as well. It was a special place and I left some ashes there for Tracey, at one of the smaller huts covered with flowers.
Along the way, there were countless wee fishing villages and I learned some new things. “Tuckamore”, which appeared on signs in a number of places, was a curiosity. It refers to the growth of the spruce trees, which are bent, misshapen and entangled on the coast of Newfoundland. It makes an almost impenetrable landscape. While there were some pretty interesting names on the signs, the one that made me laugh was for Nameless Cove. Bit of an oxymoron, that.
As we flew along, I also noticed that there were little fenced cribs along the side of the road. I thought “those look like they have potatoes planted in them”. I quickly wrote the notion off, because why would there be potatoes planted randomly along the highway, seemingly in the middle of nowhere? Also notable, were the huge stacks of firewood everywhere – again, not seeming to be organized for sale or in yards or anything. Both of these mysteries were solved by the story-tellers at the Viking settlement site, when asked.
Being due in Millertown tonight meant that we only spent a couple of hours before heading back to Rocky Harbour. Fuelling up, it was on and out for the 3.5 hour drive to Millertown, expecting to arrive about 10:00 p.m. Close to 2 hours along, just at dusk, I needed to pull over for a rest. It was at this point that we discovered my headlight was burnt out! With the ever-darkening sky, I thought maybe I could just follow close to the car with my hazards on and make the next town, leaving Fury parked somewhere as safe as possible for the night. Unfortunately, it was getting dark very fast and the prospect of doing this for another hour was daunting. Thinking that I must find someplace to park much sooner, the universe was looking out for me. Not too far along the highway, Butt’s Esso station was brightly lit and open! Larry was very helpful and very generously offered to keep Fury inside where she would be locked up until I can return for her tomorrow. Tucked away safely for the night and the Millertown destination achieved, I will be able to return for her tomorrow and get her to a shop for fixing up or find a replacement bulb.
In the meantime, I have 3 full days of work starting tomorrow, so it will likely be boring blogs for a few days, if I have any stories to tell at all. So, enjoy your Viking settlement pictures and a collection of Newfoundland flora!