Start: Long Will Campsite. End Aquaforte. 14 miles
Here are some photos from this amazing day of hiking oceanside.
We scored a breakfast at mid morning.
At noon, we encountered a young German couple who told us that they spent last night tenting in the rain. They apparently didn’t realize that when it rains any descending ground turns into a watercourse. They reported adjusting for rain water flowing around and under their tent during the night. They had two weeks to hike from Cappayden to St. John’s. BI and I counseled them to consider hitching up past St. John’s to start with the two newest sections and work their way south. BI and I have been grumbling about the unkempt nature of the trail in this last quarter section and the numerous mud pits and bogs that we trudge through.
BI and I did a little bit of “overland exploring” or better put as bushwhacking today. It was on map #13. We’ve been seeing these green dashed access trails but have avoided them until today when we decided to explore an alternate route from Church Cove to Slaughters Pond. The intersection was signed, pointing to Calvert.
Things went fine until the trail petered out entering the Church Cove Marsh. We entered an area with multiple ATV tracks and quizzical routes in a huge marshy bog. BI got the idea to launch the drone as a reconnaissance tool and find us a way out. This is a pic of what it discerned. We found our way to a road in no time.
Newfoundland’s laws ensure that the edge of the landmass stays public property. A 10 meter strip of land that starts at the high water mark is legally open to the public for walking. This trail has the potential to keep growing, both in popularity and in scope. It deserves greater consideration by US long distance backpacking enthusiasts.
The closest I have come to experiencing a multiple day backpacking trip like this was backpacking the Fundy Footpath on New Brunswick. That experience was documented in this 4 part blog post from October in 2008, where Bad Influence and I teamed up with Rangoon and Zenon, who served as our host and guide.
Once we hitched a ride at the start of the Aquaforte community road walk it became readily apparent that escaping the rain in a room would be difficult to bring about. The young couple in the front of the car drove us to the first B & B where I had left a previous phone message and no one was home. Then we continued down the coast to a second B&B where 10 hikers had completely filled the place. The owner of the second B&B offered to call around to try and find us a room anywhere in the area. She eventually secured us a couple of rooms in Ferryland. Her husband drove us all the way back, close to where we started from today. Newfoundland hospitality saved us again and he was unwilling to take any money for his time and effort. When I tried to hand him a $20 bill after he reached our lodging he told me, “Buy yourself a good plate of fish tonight.”
Our place that night was in a newly renovated home where the bottom floor had two brand new rooms, huge comfy beds, a TV with DVDs, but no WiFi. We were within a short walk of the excellent Squid Jigger restaurant, which did have great WiFi, which we used to catch up on correspondence and the plate of cod was fresh and tasty.