Peck's personal Web site
is still there (2006)
island that became part of Canada about the time that I was watching Captain Midnight
on a 10-inch B+W TV screen and sending in my cereal boxtops for the code ring.
Gros Morne National Park: Cow Head and Shallow Bay
reached Shallow Bay, northward up the coast near the top end of the Gros Morne
park. This is in fact a Very Shallow Bay.
may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a
good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught
up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
checked into our B+B cabin here late in the day, in the village of Cow
Head, with the Cow Head itself across the bay.
contemplating the coastline at just about Happy Hour, 25 June 2006.
for a little wash-up and then dinner. A very comfortable room, the price is right,
and there's a splendid very shallow bay view. (But the tide's coming in now.)
book in the foreground is Gary Younge's collection of his brilliant essays in
The Guardian about the USA, Stranger in a Strange Land (The Guardian, 2006).
Order it now.
is our snuggly prefab B+B for the next four days, called the "Bayview",
with three bedrooms and a common livingroom and kitchen. It's not a true B+B,
as the breakfast is in the restaurant down the street -- in fact, this was Mr
House's mom's home until she passed away. There appear to be a restaurant, a motel,
some cabins, and at least one B+B in Cow Head, and Mr House seems to have built
them all, under the name Shallow Bay
Motel and Cabins. It's all very well run, reasonably priced, and friendly.
If there's a campground, that's probably his, too.
is clutching her laptop, bound for Mr House's newly-installed WiFi in the restaurant
and hotel lobby, anxious to catch up on Raw
Story and the Wayne Madsen Report.
Warehouse Theatre squats between the B+B and the
restaurant and shares the architectural motifs (mainly white siding). It's a summer
stock theatre with a lively programme, mostly all to do with Newfoundland themes.
We went to see "Ed and Ed do Florida", apparently an annual comical
instalment in the adventures of two stereotypical local lads. Unfortunately we
caught it on its first night, before things had settled down, but beneath the
shamelessly contrived plot there were enough George W. Bush
jokes throughout to keep everyone slapping their thighs merrily.
the Shallow Bay restaurant -- recognizable by the enormous sign "ATM"
over the front door. Kristin is rushing on ahead to make sure that the promised
WiFi connection really works.
scenes in the diningroom.
setting up to check out the WiFi and find out whom we've bombed today. A great
view of the bay, but there HAD to be a better place to put that aging swimming
flagging a bus near Broom Point the following day. But the bus doesn't run here
it out to the end of Broom Point on a foggy day, looking for strange life forms
in the tidal pools, as usual, but finding very few scummy little things of interest
end of Broom Point near St Paul's, not far from Cow Head.
you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in."
that great a view on this weathery day, and not much good stuff in the tidal pools
either. For connaisseurs, it's an artistic Fantasy of Greyness, but there's not
much happening here at the moment, and some of us are growing restive.
fed up, decides to walk out to the Western Brook Pond instead, to see the famous
fjord and try to view a moose, and starts back to the car.
leaving Broom Point, the narrator takes the opportunity to show off his moose
impressions. That's the querulous bellowing one.
is not just another of Peck's bellowing impressions.
Not an hour later, we've nearly stumbled across what appears to be a real moose,
or something! We're walking in 3/4 of an hour across the peaty bogs from the coast
road (Rte 430) to the Western Brook Pond shore, and we'd been warned to expect
moose sightings along the way.
combined Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, with about 520,000 enlightened
human citizens, is still maintaining about a 3-to-1 lead over the mooses, but
apparently the beasts are catching up. Israelis would recognize this as a "demographic
problem" (as no mooses can be truly Jewish).
be perfectly honest, for once, I had expected a bit more from my first moose,
something -- perhaps -- more majestic. Not just a badly designed overweight horse
with a schnozz.
out at the tour boat docks on Western Brook Pond now, long after closing hours
and long past Happy Hour as well.
a quiet time to have a good look round, we're deliberating amongst ourselves whether
to come back on the morrow for the famous tourist boat ride up the fjord.
to make a fjord. The
maquette on the right ("Today") shows the Western Brook Pond in the
center. It's not, strictly speaking, a true fjord, because when the ponderous
ice sheet melted off, the land bounced up with a sigh of relief, and the fjord
was cut off from the sea by a couple of kilometres of boggy foreland.
informative stuff, and we're determined now to come back for the boat ride tomorrow.
the walk back to the road, a Snowshoe Rabbit. (In fact, several, but most of them
were too quick for us.)
out in the bog looking for plants that eat people.
one of the little rascals (Pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea). Not always
people, of course -- mostly just insects, as a daily sort of thing. People are
late in the day, at the parking lot on the coastal route 430, more mooses, a family
of them as it might be, crossing the highway on their way to the coast. Dad, with
the rack of antlers, casts a look of profound disinterest and unconcern back at
us (as trucks blast by at 80km an hour between us).
we're decided now (not that that happens often) -- tomorrow, we're coming back
to the Western Brook Pond fjord!
Parks of Canada
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative,
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 13 August 2006, revised 7 June 2012, 22 July 2013.