20170707 – Day 9

We got up this morning to gale force winds, and uncertainty about whether our plan of a boat tour of Western Brook Pond would go ahead or not.  We got breakfast at the hotel and drove to the trailhead.  We’d been told that we wouldn’t know if the tour was running until we actually got to the dock at the end of the trail.

Luckily, it was running, and we were able to make our reservation for the 10:00 tour.  The winds were ridiculously strong though, and along some parts of the 3km trail boardwalk it was hard to walk without almost being blown off the boardwalk.  In a few spots near other ponds, the wind was making waves big enough to splash up onto the boardwalk.  It kept threatening to rain too.

The rain arrived just after we got on the boat.  We’d chosen to sit on the upper deck, open to the weather, for better views.  We donned our ponchos pretty quickly, and managed to stay mostly dry for the duration of the boat tour.

Western Brook Pond is a former fjord carved out by glaciers, but now a freshwater lake cut off from the ocean.  It’s one of the few lakes with a neutral pH level and the water is so pure that it does not conduct electricity because it contains so few impurities.  The mountainous walls are over 600m tall, made of volcanic rock that’s metamorphosed into gneiss.  Waterfalls and hanging valleys aplenty.

We were reasonably dry when we got off the boat, but were not fortunate enough to make it back to the car in the same condition.  The rain started not long after we set out on the trail back to the parking lot, and picked up in strength until everyone was soaked.  Even the ponchos didn’t help much due to the wind.

We had a long drive ahead to St. Anthony, so we got back on the road as quickly as possible. We made a quick stop at Arches Provincial Park and a late lunch/snack stop in Port Saunders, and got into St. Anthony not too long after 18:00.  Our plan was to stay for 2 nights, but unfortunately none of the local hotels had any rooms available for the second night.  We were lucky enough to get a room in St. Anthony for tonight, and one at a different motel closer to L’Anse aux Meadows for tomorrow night.

Dinner was pizza at the nearby Viking Mall, and then a quick stop at Tim Horton’s for tea.  The Tim Horton’s in St. Anthony has a one-of-a-kind “Iceberg Doughnut” as part of their Iceberg Festival.  Speaking of icebergs, we’ll hopefully be seeing some more of them tomorrow.