After I buy my park pass, the park worker (whose husband played for the St. Catharines Falcons!) warns me that I’ve got a big hill to climb into the park. As I round the corner, I laugh. “I see.” It’s in fact a mountain.
Partway up, I’m joined by Rhonda, who is cycling from Deer Lake to the Labrador ferry. “Hello fellow crazy person!” I say. We huff and puff together up the slope and the ones that follow, but our reward is the most amazing scenery yet. That evening we congratulate ourselves with dinner in Rocky Harbour before I continue on to my campsite at Green Point. Newfoundland hospitality seems to have rubbed off on the other tourists, because a lovely couple at the campground invite me into their trailer for tea and screech.
The sunset over the Gulf of St. Lawrence is spectacular and sunrise the next morning is equally so. I head out early for the boat tour of Western Brook Pond.
To reach the pond, I cycle on boardwalks across a bog. At my first glimpse of the pond’s fjords, my eyes fill with tears. The beauty is overwhelming. I cry on and off throughout the tour. I’ve never experienced anything like it.
After the tour I’m able to take a trip to the Tablelands – mountains made of the earth’s mantle – before finishing the day in Woody Point. That night I jam my tent between two buildings in the RV park to avoid the 100km/hr winds forecasted.
The next morning the RV park owner tells me I’m so tough I must have a Newfoundland connection. I feel less tough as I’m struggling uphill into a headwind, the rain blowing sideways around me. Luckily, a wonderful family from Ottawa pull up and offer me a ride back into Deer Lake (thanks Claire, John and Jean!), completing my Gros Morne adventure with another dose of kindness.