gallows cove

I’m backtracking to March – when Chris and I walked the Gallows Cove Trail in Torbay. The snow had barely gone, in fact at the time, there was still snow and ice in the shade of the woods.  Regardless, the sun had come out and it felt glorious to be outside.

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I only heard about this trail a couple of years ago when my friend was visiting from Ottawa and we were in search of an iceberg. In case you don’t know where it is, you’ll see the sign for Gallows Cove Road just after you drive by Foodland (if you are coming from town). Turn right and you’ll end up at the trail. 5-Torbay

Looking back on these photos, I can almost smell the fresh, clean, crisp, air. I LOVE the deep blue of the ocean and the gradient blues of the sky.

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We only walked for a hour or so – but I heard you can walk all the way around the harbour.  I’ll have to go back and find out more at a later date. Happy Trails.

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the grand ‘ole duke of york

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Staircase #2 on the North Head Trail is the toughest for me. When I hike the North Head trail, I try to do this staircase without stopping, because frankly, if I stop, I may never start moving again. So to keep my momentum going, I sing “The Grand ‘Ole Duke of York” in my head.  I’m pretty sure the song is from my Girl Guide days. Don’t worry – I don’t sing it out loud, but if you step on each beat of the song, you have to sing it 3 times to ascend the staircase, with a couple extra steps left over at the end.

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So next time you hike this trail, at Staircase #2, think of me and The Grand Ole Duke. You’re welcome.

 

d’iberville trail, trinity south

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Last weekend we did a hike we have been trying to do for ages.  We had a stellar day and it was the perfect opportunity to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.

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The hike leaves from Custards Head in Hants Harbour (down by the lighthouse) and goes along the shoreline to New Chelsea, the next community down the shore (or up the shore, depending on your perspective).

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Most of the hike is through the woods with groomed trails and lovely staircases.

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Early on in the hike, there is an off shoot of the trail to a lookout with an incredible view. Warm gentle wind and the heat of the sun felt glorious, especially after all the cold weather we have been having!

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Around the half way point on the trail, you can look back and see Hants Harbour.

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We took our time and had a picnic lunch on the way so it took us over an hour to get to New Chelsea, but if you were straight hiking it would likely take around 45 minutes. The end of the path comes out in front of the church. So pretty!  We walked back along the highway which was not scenic at all, but we had fun anyway.  Apparently this is only part of the D’Iberville Trail – we definitely need to experience more sections of it soon.  This combines my favourite things about Newfoundland – the ocean, hiking & spending time with my family.

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greek traditions

IMG_8464 When dh and I were university students, we traveled to Greece after one of my work terms in Europe.  What we both remember most about the trip, is that every day at sunset, the entire island stopped to watch the sun sink into the sky. IMG_8470 I literally mean everyone.  Tourists and locals alike, all stopped in their tracks for the quick few minutes it took for the sun to disappear. IMG_8480 We love that ritual. There is something so peaceful and calming about it. Hearing the waves crash onto the shore while the sun sets, is even more magical. IMG_8484 It makes you feel so fortunate.  And complete somehow. IMG_8491 Summer is here. IMG_8495

out of the mouths of babes

As you know, one of my favourite parts of being home in Newfoundland is spending time with my nieces and nephews. I love watching them tap dance (like Sara did here) and when they entertain me with their shows and everything else in between.

Mostly, I love watching them interact with my kids, who are the beloved “older kids”, meaning they are HEROS to the little kids. The downside of this hero-worship, is that whenever I show up with my children in tow, I basically get ignored. Last weekend I popped by my sister’s house with my daughter. As we entered the front hall, two little girls came tearing down the hallway towards me. So I dropped to my knees, whipped my arms open wide and braced myself for the running hugs I was sure were coming towards me and WHOOOSH! They both ran right past me, making a beeline to their idol.

Well, I won’t pretend I wasn’t a little disappointed, although I did manage to get little side-glances of glee as they both knowingly rushed past me. I promised to steal my hugs from them later and managed to get myself up off the floor and dusted off my knees (and my dignity).

Speaking of dignity…. I have managed to cancel two (desperately needed) hair appointments recently because of kid activities/events. This may seem unrelated to the story but as my son would say – “Wait for it!” I got home from work early today and my daughter was babysitting my niece and nephew at our place. I guess the novelty of spending time with my daughter had worn off enough, that my six year old niece crawled onto my lap and then helped me brush the dog. Now this is the same niece who recently made herself a popcorn sandwich with a dinner roll and Smartfood popcorn (ewww!) and is full of twinkling eyes of mischief and love for everyone around her. So I was really appreciating getting to enjoy some time with her as we chatted and cuddled and brushed Rocky. So nice and peaceful!

Until she gazed up at me and started staring at me with her intense squinty eyes, analyzing something to herself. And then she looked at me directly and simply said, “Aunt Marlayne, you have some gray hair. “

Maybe it’s better when they run right past.

 

my heart is as cold

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We introduced our children to Newfoundland music from the very beginning. They have grown up listening to Sunday morning Jigs & Reels regularly. One of our favourite Newfoundland singers is Ron Hynes. We even took the kids to see him perform in Perth, ON a few years ago. He is one incredible talent and we are BIG fans.

When my daughter was old enough to actually start listening to lyrics, I remember her reaction to one of my favourite Ron songs – Atlantic Blue. We were listening to music on my ipod and Atlantic Blue came on. She asked me to skip through the song – she didn’t want to listen to it because it was too “mean sounding”. She didn’t know what the song was about and she hadn’t heard about the Ocean Ranger disaster. Once this was all explained to her, I could see the aha moment click and she got it. She understood the song and a little bit about our Newfoundland history.

This morning I attended the Ocean Ranger Prayer Service that is presented by Gonzaga High School each year to remember the 84 souls who perished in the Ocean Ranger Disaster.

There is no Newfoundlander who does not remember this tragedy. It was one of those events that you recall exactly where you were when you heard the news. I know that when I heard the news I was in our family room with the black and orange patterned pleather sofa and my parents were watching the news on the television. I didn’t fully grasp the enormity of it then, but I knew from my parents’ reactions it was awful.

It’s been 32 years since the Ocean Ranger sank. Here is a description of what happened – I found it on this Heritage Newfoundland website.

On the night of the disaster, a severe storm pounded the rig with hurricane-force winds and 15-metre high waves. Seawater broke through a porthole in the ballast control room and damaged equipment. The rig tilted forward and water flooded the forward chain lockers; it capsized in the early hours of 15 February 1982.

The people of Newfoundland and Labrador are extremely loyal. Keeping people safe is taken very seriously – more so here in this province, it seems to me. Maybe because we live near the sea and understand how unforgiving it can be. Maybe it is because we are isolated. The degrees of separation are so much smaller here that it seems tragedies are felt more closely. I may be wrong, but that’s my guess.

At the ceremony today, a candle was lit for each of the 84 men while Gonzaga students read out the names. It was a lovely way to remember.

My favourite part of the ceremony was the music. I’ll leave you with a link to Ron Hynes singing Atlantic Blue, which was sung by one of the students today at the ceremony.