Saturday, July 4, 2015

Of rocks, lobsters and ugly sticks

[We were unable to post yesterday. This is our report for Friday, June 3, 2015.]
Rocky Harbour, NL – Our first destination today was to Green Point, where the Gros Morne Park literature told us a naturalist would be on hand to tell us about a geological site unique in the world. The seaside location was a 20-minute drive from our campground, so we got there in plenty of time. No green-shirted park naturalist was in sight.

The only other person we could see was down at the shore near some fishing build-ings, so we went to see what he could tell us. Roger was there with his pickup truck and his dog, and was getting ready to take his boat out, loaded with lobster traps and chunks of fish for bait. He pointed to where we should go, but we paused for a bit, since we were early, to ask him about his traps. He had the newer rectangular ones made of coated wire, and he told us this was the best year in a long time for lobster. He also told us he was the last lobster fisherman around; no one else was carrying on the tradition.
We left Roger to his preparations and wandered along the shore to the rock formations. Great high cliffs jutted up from the shore, with hundreds of sedimentary layers positioned vertically, like huge stripes of different widths, from paper thin to several inches wide. The short description of the site said this was a unique place where two geological eras stood side by side, exposed for examination. A handful of other visitors were looking at parts of it some distance from us, and a few more people arrived after we climbed the stairs to the top of the cliff, but none of them were there to explain to us what we were looking at.
We chatted with some of the other people for a while, but finally gave up. Turns out the 
naturalist had called in sick, but we didn’t know that at the time.

We had another destination: in Cow Head, the Anglican Church was hosting a lobster festival, with serving beginning at noon! We’d heard about it last night at the moose supper in St Paul, from one of the men who would be cracking the shells today. Sure enough, he was there, as well as a bevy of church ladies who invited us to start at the salad bar, an ice-filled boat holding great bowls of salads. Shortly after, we were presented with one pre-cracked lobster each at our table. The meal was rounded out with tea biscuits and molasses buns and bowls of bakeapple, partridge berry and blueberry jam. It was a delicious treat!

Back at the RV, we took a break, waiting to hear whether or not we’d get in to see “Anchors Aweigh”, a musical Newfoundland show at the hotel in town. It had been highly recommended, but we’d  only made the waiting list. To our delight, we got the call that tickets were available for us. We drove in to Rocky Harbour later on for the show, and what a great presentation it was!
A four-man group delivered Newfoundland songs, old and new, peppered with jokes and lore, for three hours with energy of epic proportions! The highlight for me was the demonstration of the ugly stick, a Newfie instrument used at kitchen parties for people who couldn’t play anything else. A broomstick is fitted with a boot at the bottom, a mop at the top and jangly bottle-tops nailed to the shaft for some makeshift percussion.  It was a terrific performance – worth staying up past our bedtime to see!

No comments: