Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Saturday August 22, 1998 - Newfoundland

Pistolet Bay - rainy, cloudy.

I didn't know if I wanted to stay at Green Point another day, but in the morning it was cloudy and a bit rainy so I decided to head up the coast towards l'Anse aux Meadows. The couple from Ontario had recommended the boat trip up the Western Brook Pond, a steep-sided fjord, instead of going to Labrador, so I was thinking about that, but only if the weather was good. I passed the Western Brook and it was cloudy and rainy. I could see the entrance to the fjord (it is actually quite a ways in from the coast), with steep cliffs on either side cut into the Long Range Mountains. I continued on, the weather didn't seem good enough to make the trip.

I turned off at Port au Choix which has an Archaic Maritime Indian burial ground and a Dorset Eskimo site, as well as a current archaeological dig for an Archaic Indian habitation site. The Dorset Eskimo site is on a trail along the coast through arctic alpine "gardens"—orange lichen on grey basalt rocks, juniper, wild flowers, dwarf birch—many different textures of green. The site is in a grassy meadow.

I was at the meadow, but since I didn't know what I was looking for, I didn't see the house sites, which apparently were rock circles. I couldn't see the burial site either, but I got a quick tour of the dig directed by Priscilla Renouf of Memorial University of Newfoundland. It's in someone's backyard and so far they've found some arrowheads and fire hearth sites. Also a more recent piece of pottery.

I continued on up the coast and iadvertently ended up in the 5.00pm ferry for Labrador line up at St Barbe. Since I had previously decided not to go to Labrador I turned around to get out of the line up and out of town. I sort of regretted it, but decided that I didn't really have time for it with the ferry schedule being what it was.

I got into Pistolet Bay around 6.30 or 7.00pm, another tuckamore campground on the edge of a bog. I found a fairly private site and split some firewood with the good splitting ax at the camp firewood pile. This is the first provincial campground I've been in since BC that provides free firewood. They also have a "comfort station" with showers and washing machines. The firewood was wet so it took a long time to get a good fire going and cook dinner. It was dark before I finished and quite cold.

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