11/20/19: Hello, adventure reader, how are you doing? I want to thank you for taking the time to embark on a journey across my homeland of Canada. The consensus of the trip was to see my country and all the beauty that resides within it. My passion for landscape photography has inspired me to have taken several months to myself back in the summer of 2017 to pack up all my gear in my car, and drive over 4800 kilometers (2982 miles) from Edmonton, Alberta, to my hometown of Clare, Nova Scotia, and then head north towards North Sydney in Cape Breton to jump onto a ferry and take a boat ride towards where some people might know as the Rock, and also as Newfoundland.
ARTICLE #2: STEPPING ONTO THE ASTONISHING LANDSCAPE THAT IS NEWFOUNDLAND
With my hometown slowly fading in my rearview mirror as I am making my north on Highway 101, I set up camp in Cape Breton at a campground nearby the Seal Island Bridge. Having driven for several hours and wondering why I’m leaving the beautiful region of Clare in Digby County, Nova Scotia, this amazing bridge that’s situated twenty minutes south of North Sydney was a breath of fresh air. Cape Breton is a beautiful extension of Nova Scotia, with the coastal roads like the Cabot Trail and the fishing communities all joined with friendly people. After setting camp, I settled into my first night, wondering how this trip was going to fall together. I planned six months to get everything ready for this moment in my life, and I felt like a blank page, just waiting to be filled with amazing stories.
The following morning directives were to head towards the North Sidney Ferry Terminal that would cross to Newfoundland. The boat ride takes six hours to get to the Port Aux Basques terminal. From Port Aux Basques, I had a great welcoming view of the table mountains, which was my first surprise in this province. I didn’t know a whole lot about Newfoundland; I envisioned it like Nova Scotia, and in some ways, was correct, but I later learned that it was a whole lot more than that. My first stop was Corner Brook, a lovely little town surrounded by massive rolling hills. Setting up camp, I was already getting into the idea of this trip materializing in front of me. I was awakened the next morning with a beautiful sunrise and fantastic landscape surrounding the Trans Canada Highway. It reminded me of the Rocky Mountains when I got onto the highway outside of Corner Brook with the massive rock walls and the river running alongside it. My next stop was Gros Morne National Park, my next camping site for the next two following nights. Instantly surprised by the change in the landscape, once again, it became apparent that Newfoundland was a photographer’s paradise. Beautiful vast lakes that were surrounded by mountain scenery, I felt like a kid in a candy store. My goal of the day was to see coastal towns and icebergs on the North end of the island. Twillingate was my pick. Based on what I read on the internet, this was a particular spot for finding both interests.
Located North-East on the Island, Twillingate has a lot of fishing activity with the sheltered harbor the location provides. After about fifteen minutes of driving through some of the community, you can make your way towards Crow Head, which has one of the most incredible views of what the Maritimes can offer. Massive rock walls and cliffs that give way to the endless Atlantic Ocean view, I instantly fell in love with the location. I took advantage of this spot to carry my camera and camera drone a taste of the action. Perfect drone flying conditions, a sunset slowly forming in front of me, and a sailboat making its way around the area, this was a great first location to shoot photography. The catch is I had a five drive to my campsite, which meant I had to drive at nighttime. The nighttime driving doesn’t bother me. One of my main concerns was the roaming wildlife that occasionally appears on the road, one animal, in particular, was potentially a moose. Luckily I didn’t encounter anything, and I considered the day a success.
Day three’s initial focus was on the fantastic Gros Morne National Park. Gros Morne is a gem of many within this province. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this landscape is phenomenal. You’ve got mountain ranges that have existed for billions of years, the tablelands being one location that stood out for me. It looks like a desert because of the ultramafic rocks that cover the surface of the land. It’s a rustic color that would make for a great movie set, or in my case a photoshoot. The Western Brook Pond is a massive body of freshwater filled with glaciers melting into it many moons ago. I spent time at one waterfall, but I failed to write the name down in my journal because of that evening. Things like this are bound to happen, and I was grateful it was just an inexpensive piece of rubber and plastic and not the camera itself. The last night I spent in Gros Morne, I decided to make a fire to celebrate my first explored province. I was heading back towards the Port Aux Basques ferry the next morning, so I got all my content backed up and headed straight to bed.
The next morning in true Marcel fashion, I woke up a little late with a boat that was about four hours away and had a traveling schedule that doesn’t wait for anyone. Tearing the tent down as quick as I could, I got onto the road and tried my best to get to the ferry terminal. The idea that I didn’t make it to Saint John was discouraging. Tips to anyone that wants to travel, please take the time to have a plan when you get to an unknown location. I continued south up until I was at the Ferry terminal. Making the boat with maybe five minutes to spare, I got out of my car, was directed very quickly of where the elevator was, and after finding a chair in the lobby area of the ferry, I took a deep breath and relaxed. I made it. Hooray, I get to make traveling progress for another day. Sitting in my chair, I began to process what I experienced throughout those several days on that beautiful island. How did I go so long living so close to Newfoundland and not taking the initiative to explore it? That question will baffle me for a while, but in the meantime, I had the ambition to focus on, which was my next destination, Prince Edward Island.
Location: Seal Island Bridge. Cape Breton, Canada.
- Before I made my way to the ferry in North Sydney, I saw this amazing bridge when I was at the end of a seven-hour drive. This bridge got my little heart beating, and my inspiration ignited. I took the time to whip out my camera, and I captured my first and last image of Cape Breton.
Location: Crow’s Head. Newfoundland, Canada.
- After another long drive towards the northern part of Newfoundland, the sunset resting on this landscape was incredible to see. I still recall the incredible sensation of the energy surrounding within this location, bringing a second wind into me. No wind, open skies, and the summer weather made all of the driving to see this location worth it.
Location: Twillingate, Newfoundland, Canada.
- As the feelings of experiencing the sights of the northern parts of Newfoundland, the drive-through Twillingate was a cherry on the top of my photography day. Coastal towns are dear to me since I grew up on the south-west shores of Nova Scotia. The sunset resting over the lovely town put me in a good headspace towards my drive back to my campground.
Location: Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada.
- The very next day I woke up in the wonderful landscape that’s Gros Morne National Park. The sun was in full swing with very little clouds in sight, so it was time to get my gear ready and hit the road.
Location: Lobster Cove, Newfoundland, Canada.
- The rugged landscape that follows the shorelines is incredible to see for its beauty and its the ability to withstand the elements from the Atlantic ocean.
Location: Lobster Cove, Newfoundland, Canada.
- I love finding random things like this example of a sign on the coastline. A little bit of humor can go a long way.
Location: Crow Head, Newfoundland, Canada.
- After taking one more drive out to Crow Head to witness the beautiful landscape that’s out there, I noticed a sailboat passing by in front of my shot. I loved the image because it showed me that adventure awaits us in various forms.
Canadian Cross Country Road Trip: Vlog 1: A Peak In Newfoundland
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