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Friday, May 26, 2023

Into the Tablelands!

Friday, May 26, 2023

Head north up the Western Shore of Newfoundland.  When you reach Corner Brook, head East to Deer Lake.  When you reach Deer Lake, turn left and head up toward Gros Morne National Park.  So far so good.  When you are about halfway to Rocky Harbour, turn west on NL 431 toward the Tablelands and Trout River.  You climb quickly into the Tablelands.

The Tablelands, found between the towns of Trout River and Woody Point in south west of Gros Morne National Park, look more like a barren desert than traditional Newfoundland. This is due to the ultramafic rock – peridotite – which makes up the Tablelands. It is thought to originate in the Earth's mantle and was forced up from the depths during a plate collision several hundred million years ago. Peridotite lacks some of the usual nutrients required to sustain most plant life and has a toxic quality, hence its barren appearance. Peridotite is also high in iron, which accounts for its orange/brown color. Underneath this weathered zone, the rock is really a dark green color.

We've been here before.  We visited the Tablelands twice in 2018 - once, to hike a trail and route across the high section of the Tablelands - and, the second time, to hike the Green Gardens Trail down to the Bay of Labradour northeast of Trout River.

So, it was like reuniting with an old friend when we reached the top of the grade in the Tablelands.  We had seen from our vantage on Marble Mountain just two days ago that the Tablelands had received a new layer of snow in the system that passed through recently.  It laced the tops of the mountains as we drove through:

We are camping at Elephant Head RV Park in Trout River, an accommodation that had not been created yet when we drove into Trout River in 2018.  We are perched on the top of a height of land with the Tablelands in view beyond our RV:

Because it is a new park, it doesn't have many amenities.  However, it boasts a birdhouse --

-- which Ruby and David checked out as they explore the willows, grasses and other attractions of this hilltop:

In one direction, our campground looked out over one end of the town of Trout River and the western end of Trout River Pond (euphemistically named, because it is HUGE) --

-- and a stretch of Trout River linking Trout River Pond with the Gulf of St. Lawrence --

-- and a section of town at the mouth of Trout River where it curls into a sort of barachois:

 As soon as we got settled, Kathy took off to the beach beyond this section of town above to try her luck with sea glass.  She found a few pieces of well-smoothed glass, and even a piece of a mirror!

This was a good omen for our stay.  We'll have more to report in the next day or two.

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