Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Friday August 21, 1998 - Newfoundland

Green Point - sunny and warm.

The Trout River campground was OK but I didn't like it so much.

Tablelands seen from a distance
I decided to go on the 10.00am Tablelands guided walk. I was a bit late getting there but it was very interesting. The Tablelands are flat-topped mountains of yellow rock and hardly any vegetation. Across the road are mountains of grey rock and lots of vegetation; it's quite startling.

Our guide, Fred, told us that the yellow rock is actually rust, the rocks are peridotite and something else derived from the Earth's mantle. They were thrust up by tectonic forces when the North American and European plates first collided to form the Appalachian Mountains. There are remains of the mantle all along the Appalachians, but only here are they so extensive and undisturbed by human habitation.

Fred pointed out interesting plants such as dwarf "bonsai" birch trees, insectivorous pitcher plants, butterwort, a rare plant that makes its own compost, and another plant whose name I forget that accumulates heavey metals in its leaves. He showed us a mysterious colony of leeches in a stream with no known source of blood meals, and an old growth stand of larches and juniper over 300 years old and a half meter tall at best.

Fred pointed out one tiny tree and said, "This is larch, or tamarack or hackmatack, which we in Newfoundland call juniper," and then another tree and said, "And this is juniper, which we in Newfoundland call juniper." He showed us calcium springs and a place by a waterfall where new rock is being formed: travertine. Only 5 minutes old.

5 minute old travertine
Yohan kept up with the walk pretty well but at one point he slipped on a muddy path into a hole and didn't want to go any further.

I got back to my campsite just after noon and packed up to continue northward, to try my luck in another campground in the park. The scenery was beautiful and the weather great.

I eventually arrived at the Green Point campground right on the ocean shore facing westward. I found a really nice campsite in the "tuckamore" with a path down to the beach. I talked to a man at the next site and another couple, all from Ontario. This campground is uncrowded and quiet.

Yohan and I walked a trail through meadows and tuckamore along the beach. We came to a stream which Yohan would not cross, he waited for me there while I continued on a ways.

Yohan wouldn't cross the water
Later when I put him to bed I saw that his paws were red and raw. I collected driftwood from the beach for a cook fire and later after dark took a rug out onto a nearby meadow to lie down and watch the stars coming out. The sound of the breakers on the beach is soothing. It's a rocky beach with lots of driftwood and old lobster traps.

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