Hiking Lion’s Den on Fogo Island in Newfoundland tickled us pink. Being there with Clare and Keenan. The wind and sun and uphill climbs reddening our cheeks. The panoramic vistas—ocean waves crashing on granite shoreline, tussocked barrens, royal-blue ponds and small forests alive with birdsong breathtaking. The history, detailed in signage and photos, fascinating. And the tickles… On our 28-point rating, Magellan and I give Lion’s Den 24 boots—it’s that incredible.
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“Dad, can you come over, right now?”
That may have been what Kendra said when she called.
But she’s a fifth-generation Newfoundlander, so it’s more likely her words were, “Whatta ya at? It’s tangly here!”
And Stan’s response may have been, “I’ll be der da Rackley.”
“When is fishing?”
“Is fishing today?”
“I go fishing now?”
A UNESCO World Heritage site of 138 islands, centuries’-old totems, abandoned Haida villages, pristine waters, whales and bears in their wilderness habitat, seclusion—the only access is by chartered aircraft or boat—for these reasons, people book a week in Gwaii Haanas National Park on a small ship.
He came to fish.
(We posted a superb blog, if we do say so ourselves, because it’s like Magellan worked with George on the “faux” diary of Jean-Paul, which he didn’t—we called it Fish Tales.)
It was a bonus for us that Jean-Paul, in his polite French manner, kept asking, and Captain Tom, in his willingness to comply, found a few spots for Jean-Paul’s “Reel Obsession.”
“One of Newfoundland’s best kept secrets.” Trail Peak, 2020.
“In my opinion it’s better than Gros Morne.” Perry Gillingham, mayor of King’s Point, 2016.
“Definitely in the top 10 of all the hikes we’ve done worldwide.” Magellan, May 20, 2022.
High praise. It made us think. What are we, and most hikers, looking for in a good day hike? We came up with seven criteria, awarding four boots for excellent, three for pretty good, two for okay, one for meh.
Watching the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races last week reminded me of Roger Jarvis, past president of “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.”
I was thirty-one years old, had never made a travel reservation and been outside the country by air only once when Roger hired me to work for him at Jarvis Travel. Besides being a great boss, always positive, full of fun and open to new ideas, he is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met.
A day after watching those thoroughbreds, Mike sent us a note: “This was in the Herald last week. I thought you probably knew but decided to send it just in case. https://calgaryherald.remembering.ca/obituary/charles-jarvis-1085691792.
“Ow’s she cuttin’ me cocky?”
“Beskind b’y. Ow’s she getting on?”
“How are you, my friend? “
“I’m feeling great. How are you faring?”
After a month (May 18-June 18) of touring Newfoundland in a rented campervan, feeling discombobulated and achingly homesick for the place, it’s taken me this long to feel “Beskind.”
The province with the oldest exposed rocks in the world. The first province to respond to the Titanic’s distress signal, vaccinate for smallpox, host a transatlantic flight, use wireless communication, prove the theory of continental drift. The province with the oldest city and the oldest street in North America. The province whose people are Canada’s most giving1, most sexually active2 and most satisfied3.
In no specific order, here are 13 reasons why The Rock gobsmacked us.