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Author Topic: A 'Covid Summer' Road Trip  (Read 675 times)

ghYHZ

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A 'Covid Summer' Road Trip
« on: September 05, 2020, 08:36:23 AM »

A 'Covid Summer' Road Trip





Any other summer......by now I would probably have already posted a couple of Road Trip Reports......but right now I can't even go to Ontario or Quebec (let along into the US!!).....unless it's for essential travel and that would require a 14 day isolation if not two!

With Covid numbers so low here....the four Atlantic Provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick. Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland have formed the 'Atlantic Bubble' that allows residents to travel within those Provinces without requiring the 14 day isolation when crossing a provincial border. So with that in mind it was time for a Road Trip!!.....and I was off to Newfoundland. Here's my route:

https://goo.gl/maps/hxQyMatpyB9ZebEPA

I left home late Sunday afternoon for the 2 hour drive to the Marine Atlantic Ferry in North Sydney NS and an overnight crossing to Port-aux-Basques (Port oh Bask) Newfoundland......and with plenty of time I took the scenic route along the Bras d'Or (Bra Door) Lakes through Iona instead of following the Trans Canada Highway. The Grand Narrows Highway Bridge is adjacent to the CBNS Railway Bridge:





Here's my ride that evening......the MV Highlanders docked along-side the Atlantic Vision.....and the crossing was a bit different in these Covid times: Capacity is reduced to half from the usualy 450 vehicles and you have to stay in your assigned space (I had a cabin) and no wandering around the decks. Restaurants and bars are closed so we were given a complementary snack upon boarding consisting of a nice sandwich wrap, fruit, muffin and bottled water. Under normal circumstances I would have been out on deck on this warm, clear evening with every star out but at least my cabin had a window..... and at sunrise the rocky coast of Newfoundland came into view.















Once off the Ferry.......instead of just heading on up the highway we first had to clear 'Newfoundland Customs'......actually it's the Department of Health checking ID's to make sure you are a resident of the Atlantic Provinces and they didn't have to send you into a 14 day isolation!





I was heading for Gros Morne National Park.....about a 4 hour drive north of the ferry along the west coast of the island. The Trans Canada Highway is wide and straight and once the cars and trucks from the ferry clear.....there's little traffic and a real pleasure to drive!





In Newfoundland....the Passing Lane 'Yields' to traffic merging back in from the right and the pavement is marked as such.







Along the way I drove into a couple of the villages along the coast and came across this nice old concrete bridge:









Through the Humber River Gorge near Corner Brook the 4-lane Trans Canada is built on a portion of the an old abandoned railway right-of-way. (these 2 photos are from a previous trip.....this trip: too foggy for pictures!)







Along the way I was searching out the remnants of the CNR's narrow-gauge Newfoundland Railway that's been abandoned for 30 years. There's some equipment 'stuffed and mounted' at several locations.  I also did a bit of hiking along the old railbed and across several of the bridges and trestles. It's now the T'Railway Provincial Park.....a multi-use hiking, biking and ATV trail)









I drove into Howley on NL401 to the location of this neat old Railway Drawbridge. It's a local landmark and is on the town's Welcome Sign:









And what better way to 'Social Distance' than camping and hiking in a National Park! I bought a Parks Canada Pass for this summer and have already used it several times at other Parks.







A Parks Canada 'Beaver Logo' on a bridge:





















Gros Morne is a scenic gem. It's a UNESCO heritage site and one of only a few places on the planet where you can see the earth's Mantle Rock that came to the surface eons ago. This is in the 'Tablelands' where I hiked the 4 km trail. Notice the contrast here with the typical granite rock and boreal forest on the right and the almost lunar-like landscape of the Mantle on the left of highway with it's brown/copper colour. The highway down the valley goes out to Trout River on the coast. The eastern end of the hiking trail was once part of an old road to Bonne Bay.















I did 'cheat' one night and got a room at the Holiday Inn in Deer Lake as it was going to be a long daytime crossing going home on the ferry. I felt safe with the Covid measures in place and the usual complementary hot breakfast was still served but no longer buffet style!  Then it was on down the highway back to the ferry at Port-aux-Basques. It was a 6 1/2 hr crossing and I took a day cabin instead of having to stay put in a coach seat the entire time. I was home at 9pm.......and I'm ready to head out again with a couple of other National Parks to explore in New Brunswick.







Along the way I came across this 1 km section of abandoned TCH and had to drive it. It was by-passed when a new bridge was constructed a couple of years ago:













« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 11:05:02 AM by ghYHZ »
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renegade

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Re: A 'Covid Summer' Road Trip
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2020, 11:39:12 AM »

What beautiful pictures!  Made my Saturday!  Thank you.
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webny99

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Re: A 'Covid Summer' Road Trip
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2020, 09:22:44 PM »

Thanks for sharing! I've always thought that would be a cool place to visit.
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Jim

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Re: A 'Covid Summer' Road Trip
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2020, 09:24:33 PM »

These are excellent.  I have to get up that way some time.
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1995hoo

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Re: A 'Covid Summer' Road Trip
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2020, 09:32:16 PM »

I went to Gros Morne as part of a family vacation in August 1982 (we spent a few nights at the Berry Hill campground) and Iíd love to get back someday to see some moreóand to see whether itís changed much, though Iíd have to go over to my momís house to look at the pictures. Thanks for posting. The only trip Iíve taken since the pandemic hit was a one-night trip to the Inn at Little Washington for our anniversary, and our next trip will not be a happy one (my late sister-in-lawís burial a few weeks from now), so itís nice to get to see travel photos.
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ghYHZ

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Re: A 'Covid Summer' Road Trip
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2020, 12:00:10 PM »

I went to Gros Morne as part of a family vacation in August 1982 (we spent a few nights at the Berry Hill campground) and Iíd love to get back someday to see some moreóand to see whether itís changed much, though Iíd have to go over to my momís house to look at the pictures. Thanks for posting. The only trip Iíve taken since the pandemic hit was a one-night trip to the Inn at Little Washington for our anniversary, and our next trip will not be a happy one (my late sister-in-lawís burial a few weeks from now)..........

My condolences.

>>>>>>>>

It was Berry Hill I stayed at. A quiet and clean campground.









The common-use washrooms and picnic shelters were constantly being cleaned and I felt very safe using them. Parks Canada has reduced occupancy to about 50% so only about every second camping space is in use. (and why is he taking photos of a washroom??? We just did the design for similar facilities at Fundy Park and I wanted to share how Grose Morne did theirs with a colleague :) )











I hope to get another couple of nights in tenting at Cape Breton Highlands Park next week......but it's the middle of September so we're bound to get a frosty night before too long!!
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Fulcrum29SMT

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Re: A 'Covid Summer' Road Trip
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2020, 03:46:35 PM »

That looks like a gorgeous trip! Is that concrete bridge still operated, or is it in too much of a state of disrepair? And that's great to see how the rooms in the ferries look: I work in Russia and have been doing so for the last 7 years, and intercity overnight trains look the same inside.
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ghYHZ

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Re: A 'Covid Summer' Road Trip
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2020, 11:10:20 AM »

That looks like a gorgeous trip! Is that concrete bridge still operated, or is it in too much of a state of disrepair? And that's great to see how the rooms in the ferries look: I work in Russia and have been doing so for the last 7 years, and intercity overnight trains look the same inside.

There's a newer 2-lane bridge adjacent. The old bridge is still used by ATVs and people walking.

https://goo.gl/maps/SckuevjARAWcCdbq8

>>>>

The Cabins on the ferry are very basic with 2 or 4 berths along with a TV, desk and private washroom with shower......and fine for the overnight crossing leaving at midnight......taking 6 or 7 hrs. You just get on and go to bed.

You can get a cabin on the day crossing at half price......but few do. (I did take a cabin of the day crossing coming back from Nfld just to be separated from others due to covid)   
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