My notes-to-self were centred on writing that day, and how I could release myself from the fear of writing poorly, or that no one would read or care about what I have to say. I decided that wasn’t relevant, and that I would write for myself and release it regardless of the fear. And if someone liked it, or needed it, then that is why I did it. For that one person. Even if that one person was me.
After three hours on the water, we found our island! It was very small. We pulled up next to a houseboat that was moored on the dock. They offered to help but it’s my experience that something like that only needs a couple hands, and it’s good practise to make sure you can do it alone, so we passed on the offer and got ourselves out of the canoe and up on the dock.
Standing on that ruddy cliff overlooking a violent ocean, with the wind ripping at our coats and threatening to blur our vision entirely, I had a moment of complete devotion. I felt so connected to our sublime planet and her machinations, and my tiny but never insignificant position on her. I had been gifted with the experience of seeing a sliver of Canada, and to go from one end to the absolute tip of the other felt like a pilgrimage.
The water got super choppy and it felt a little dicey for a bit, but eventually we docked and made our way back down the 3k trail to the car. Couldn’t have asked for better timing – we saw the fjords within one of the only windows of sun during the entire day.
That change of seasons is all the more distinct on Newfoundland, it seemed. We were really excited to have so much freedom of choice. We found a lovely, deeply recessed campsite with no neighbours that we could hear, let alone see. We set up camp – it was still a little misty. Behind our site there was a little trail, so we took that to the ocean. Again, we were completely alone. It still blew me away to be so close to the ocean – it just feels so huge.
The trail changed terrain several times, from steep but wide, to twisting and narrow. It opened up to the sea a few times, and we were high enough up that if we looked directly down, you could see the waves crashing against the rock wall below. The trail ended at a beautiful spot, directly in the sun, overlooking a rocky outcropping where the waves crashed and tangled.
We made another stop, turning almost backwards onto a side road, down two kilometres of brutalized gravel with potholes deep enough to seek shelter in. We finally arrived at Beauleugh Ban Falls, a really tall waterfall that cascaded onto the rocks below. It was dark by that time so our photos didn’t turn out, but we were glad we made the trek even though it shook us up quite a bit in the car!
However, it got dark very quickly and although I had my headlamp, we still got pretty freaked out. There were a few forks in the trail that didn’t seem to make sense, so we split up – yes, really – to check them both out and then I’d shout if it was the right trail and Christine would have to find me, or vice versa. It was a beautiful trail but no moose and just stress!
Claire-Fontaine trail, a 3.3k loop in a forest, is rife with peeks through the trees to a salt marsh and estuary, which we learned about from their information post at the trailhead. It was quite pretty with a well-trodden trail. The overcast sky made the greens all the more vibrant, and it had a distinctly witchy vibe to it.